Jorge Posada asks out of lineup after Yankees drop him to ninth

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9:20 p.m. EDT: Sources told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that Posada asked out of the lineup due to back stiffness, contradicting pretty much everything that’s come out over the last hour and a half.  Maybe there’s some truth to it, but it sounds like spin.  In speaking with reporters just before 8 p.m., GM Brian Cashman made it clear that Posada’s exit from the lineup was not injury-related.

8:45 p.m. EDT: Buster Olney tweets:

To be clear:Posada said to reporters at 4 p.m. that he understood move to 9th spot, blamed himself.At 6 pm, he told Girardi something else.

8:30 p.m. EDT: A source told YES Network’s Jack Curry that Posada told manager Joe Girardi that he was “insulted” to be batting ninth and that he went on to throw “a hissy fit.”

The Yankees are believed to be weighing docking Posada’s pay as a result of the incident.  Indications are that Posada is not leaning towards retirement.

8:00 p.m. EDT: GM Brian Cashman says Jorge Posada asked out of the lineup after being dropped to the ninth spot.   While indications were that he was fine was being dropped, obviously, it wasn’t the case.  One wonders if he might be suddenly weighing retirement.

6:40 p.m. EDT: The Yankees just scratched Posada from the lineup.  No reason was given.  Andruw Jones has replaced him as the DH and No. 9 hitter.

Early word was that Posada was OK with the switch to the ninth spot in the lineup.  He indicated that it was an appropriate move given his struggles.

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For the first time in exactly 12 years, Jorge Posada is batting out of the ninth spot.

In a 4-for-25 slump over the past 10 days, Posada was dropped to the very bottom in the Yankees lineup for Saturday’s game against the Red Sox.

He last opened a game batting ninth on May 14, 1999.

Posada is hitting just .165/.272/.349 for the year. He has six homers, but the last one of them came on April 23. He’s driven in four runs in his last 16 starts.

Likely also influencing manager Joe Girardi’s decision is the fact that Posada hasn’t excelled against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. He’s 11-for-42 with one homer and four RBI versus the right-hander, good for a 668 OPS. Most of his teammates have fared quite a bit better, as evidenced by Beckett’s career 5.90 ERA in 23 starts against the Bombers.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.