Link-O-Rama: Phillips, Ibanez, Mills, Beltran

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* In addition to letting Steve Phillips go, ESPN has now also fired the 22-year-old production assistant with whom he had an affair. Meanwhile, agent Steve Lefkowitz revealed that Phillips has entered a rehab facility for sex addiction in an effort “to save his marriage.”
* Charlie Manuel said today that Raul Ibanez will “more than likely” be the Phillies’ designated hitter for Game 1 of the World Series against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia. Ben Francisco will likely replace him in left field, which is a massive upgrade defensively in addition to giving the injured Ibanez some extra rest.
* Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills appears to be the front-runner for the Astros’ managerial opening after Manny Acta turned Houston down.
* Alex Speier of WEEI.com quotes “a major-league source” as saying that “there is virtually no chance” the Mets will trade Carlos Beltran.
* You can follow the “Circling the Bases” team (minus Craig, who hates technology) on Twitter:
– Aaron Gleeman: @aarongleeman
– Matthew Pouliot: @matthewpouliot
– Bob Harkins: @bharks
– D.J. Short: @djshort
What we lack in creative Twitter account names, we more than make up for in good looks and sarcasm.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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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.