* Kyle Kendrick recently got engaged to former Survivor runner-up Stephenie LaGrossa, which is especially interesting because fellow Phillies starter Cole Hamels is married to former Survivor contestant Heidi Strobel. Somewhere a naked Richard Hatch is studying Philadelphia’s depth chart.
* Drew Storen was the first of this year’s draftees to sign and the No. 10 pick has already been promoted to high Single-A
after racking up an amazing 26 strikeouts versus zero walks in 14.2
innings at low Single-A. I’ll be shocked if the former Stanford closer
isn’t in the majors for good by the middle of next season and he could
see Washington as soon as September.
* While the Brewers were trading for Felipe Lopez, the Twins signed Mark Grudzielanek to a minor-league contract in the hopes that the 39-year-old can provide an upgrade over their ugly second base situation despite last playing in a big-league game nearly 12 months ago.
* Matt Gagne of the New York Daily News wrote a lengthy profile
of Sean Forman, who in addition to being one hell of a nice guy runs
the world’s greatest website (besides this one, of course).
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.