Yankees manager Joe Girardi was questioned about his decision to sit veteran shortstop Derek Jeter for Saturday’s game against the rival Red Sox, which was broadcast by FOX Sports 1. Girardi’s exact response: “I have to manage him with a focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour. I wasn’t hired to put on a farewell tour.”
And that cautiousness will continue in Sunday night’s series finale with Boston, which is being shown on ESPN. Here is the starting lineup for the Yankees, via the club’s official Twitter account …
Jeter is 39 years old and played in only 17 games last season. Girardi’s thinking is pretty understandable.
Also there’s this, from MLB.com Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch …
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.