Joe Maddon believes 'real men wear plaid'

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Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has a plea to Rays fans out there (from the St. Petersburg Times):

“Real men wear plaid,” Maddon said. “Come on out in your plaids — that would be awesome. To have this ballpark plaided out would be very cool.”

Maddon invented the “Brayser,” a blue and white plaid blazer that his team embraced this season. And I have to admit it would be pretty cool to see Tropicana Field clad in plaid when the Rays take the field for Game 1 against the Rangers on Wednesday. Only one problem: like many creative geniuses, Maddon has focused on the making of his invention, but not the production, and there are only 54 “Braysers” in existence.

So dig into those closets, Rays fans. You’re on your own.

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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.