The Yankees, at 48-46, are waffling between considering themselves buyers or sellers heading into the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. Part of the reason the club hasn’t performed better is because first baseman Mark Teixiera and DH Alex Rodriguez have both been underwhelming offensively.
Rodriguez has a .640 OPS and his playing time was reduced recently, limiting him to left-handed starters. Teixeira, who missed some time last month with a knee injury, has a .591 OPS.
Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that some in the Yankees’ organization have discussed, in the event the club decides to commit to selling, whether or not to simply release Rodriguez and Teixeira. Rodriguez is owed $20 million next season and has marketing incentives in his contract for his milestone home runs. Teixeira is owed the remainder of his $23.125 million salary for this season and can become a free agent heading into 2017.
As Heyman notes, the Yankees don’t have immediate options to cover for the two veterans if they were to be eschewed. Rob Refsnyder has been sharing first base with Teixeira but he, too, has been underwhelming offensively. The club could also shift Carlos Beltran to DH full-time, but that would likely mean shifting Aaron Hicks and his .553 OPS into full-time outfield duty.
Orioles pitching prospect Hunter Harvey will undergo Tommy John surgery, Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. The procedure is set to take place on July 26 and will be performed by Dr. Donald D’Alessandro in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Harvey was diagnosed with a strained flexor mass last weekend after making a start for Single-A Aberdeen. The 21-year-old also underwent sports hernia surgery in May, so it’s been a tough season for the right-hander. Even elbow injuries aren’t new to him, as he suffered from elbow and forearm issues in 2014 and ’15.
The Orioles selected Harvey in the first round, 22nd overall, in the 2013 draft. He has only been able to accrue 125 2/3 innings in professional baseball, but MLB Pipeline still ranked him as the Orioles’ best prospect and 73rd overall in baseball.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from a source that the White Sox turned down a “king’s ransom” for starter Chris Sale within the last 48 hours. He went on to explain that the White Sox aren’t going into the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline with the intent to sell, but added that the organization sounds “open-minded.”
It’s easy to understand why the White Sox would want to hold onto Sale. He’s a once-in-a-generation pitcher, but he’s also relatively affordable for the next three seasons: $12 million in 2017, $12.5 million if the club picks up his option, and $13.5 million if the club picks up his option.
Sale is currently the major league leader in wins with 14 while carrying a 3.18 ERA and a 129/29 K/BB ratio in an AL-high 133 innings. He has made the AL All-Star team in five consecutive season and has finished within the top-five in AL Cy Young voting in each of the last three seasons.
Rosenthal also noted that it seems unlikely the White Sox agree to move Sale’s rotation mate Jose Quintana.