Curtis Granderson likely to reject Yankees’ qualifying offer

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Curtis Granderson was among the free agents given a qualifying offer, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the center fielder is expected to reject the one-year, $14.1 million deal from the Yankees in favor of the open market.

That’s certainly not a shock–the Yankees were likely banking on that decision when they made their decision–but Rosenthal writes that even though the attached draft pick compensation will hurt Granderson’s market value he “will get paid” and speculates that it may come from a team with a first-round pick high enough to be protected.

Granderson is from Chicago and that list of teams with a protected first-rounder includes the Cubs and White Sox. Giving up a second-rounder to sign Granderson would no doubt be a lot more palatable to some teams.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

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The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.