UPDATE: Olbermann’s Yankees-Marlins A-Rod trade report already shot down

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UPDATE: That was fast:

 

And let’s not forget that A-Rod has a full no-trade clause. If he was going to allow a trade anywhere it may be Miami because he lives there, but really, this makes no sense.

3:15 PM: Take this with a considerably large grain of salt. Because while, yes, Keith Olbermann is a member of the media — formerly a member of the sports media — and while he likely has contacts with the New York Yankees given who he is, where his season tickets are and all of that stuff, this doesn’t seem terribly plausible:

The New York Yankees have held discussions with the Miami Marlins about a trade involving their third baseman in crisis, Alex Rodriguez.

Sources close to both organizations confirm the Yankees would pay all – or virtually all – of the $114,000,000 Rodriguez is owed in a contract that runs through the rest of this season and the next five. One alternative scenario has also been discussed in which the Yankees would pay less of Rodriguez’s salary, but would obtain the  troubled Marlins’ reliever Heath Bell and pay what remains of the three-year, $27,000,000 deal Bell signed last winter.

Not plausible from a baseball perspective — why in the hell would the Yankees want Heath Bell? — but also implausible given the timing of it all. Since when do teams in the freaking playoffs have trade discussions with anyone? Also: Olbermann doesn’t really report baseball news, so I’m not sure why he’d get this sort of thing before anyone else.

It’s not crazy to think that the Yankees will try to shop Rodriguez this winter. But I have a really hard time believing that there is anything to this beyond loose “what if” chatter over the dregs of a bottle of scotch.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.