Bud Selig takes Tony La Russa’s side on the Cueto/Greinke All-Star controversy

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This should not be terribly surprising given that La Russa and Selig have a pretty close relationship as far as these things go, but for what it’s worth, the Commissioner has La Russa’s back on the Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto snubs:

“Well let me just say this, Tony will answer all questions about his team. But you look at the list of pitchers, and I went over that with Tony, and I think in the end there were a lot of pitchers available. And I think in the end, they picked their strongest staffs.

I guess I’m most curious about the “I went over that with Tony” line. Really? Selig goes over the All-Star rosters himself with the managers?  I can’t decide what I think of that. I sorta want to like it, and it certainly ties in with what we know of Selig’s genuine, almost fan-like interest in the sport he runs. But I’m also kind of surprised that he takes the time to do that.  Oh well.

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.