OK, so maybe the Yankees will have some A-Rod-induced headaches in 2014 after all.
While Rodriguez was banned for the entirety of the 2014 season by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz today, his spokesperson Ron Berkowitz told Jon Morosi of FOX Sports that it is “100 percent certain” that the suspended slugger plans to participate in spring training with the Yankees. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal details why he could be allowed to do so:
We have seen similar situations with suspended players in the past, including Manny Ramirez with the Athletics in 2012. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that MLB, the MLBPA, and the Yankees will sort through rules in the coming days to clarify Rodriguez’s status for spring training, but it looks like we could have a circus on our hands in Tampa, Florida.
Yasiel Puig, unexpectedly, remained unemployed for the entire offseason. But now, a week or so into spring training, it’s appearing as though he may soon have a job. That’s the word from Hector Gomez of Z101, who reports that the Rockies and White Sox have emerged as “frontrunners” to sign the guy.
Puig hit a .252/.302/.475 (92 OPS+) for the Reds before being traded to the Indians. Once in Cleveland his performance improved, however, as he hit .297/.377/.423 (109 OPS+). Definitely a down year overall, and a far cry from the sort of superstar performance he showcased when he first broke into the league, but he’s just 29 and still profiles as an above average big league outfielder, on defense and at the plate.
He’d certainly benefit from playing in the thin air of Colorado. He’d also look pretty spiffy in the White Sox’ lineup, though he’d likely have to assume a platoon role there. Which, given that he as better in that role toward the end of his tenure in Los Angeles, would not be the worst idea. He didn’t like it all that much, but at the moment, he needs to find a job.
Anyway, look for Puig to be off the market soon.