Marc Carig of Newsday reports that Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has left his team, currently in Milwaukee for a four-game series to wrap up a ten-game road trip, to fly back to New York. He will undergo an MRI on his troublesome right elbow.
Matsuzaka allowed three runs in two innings of relief yesterday against the Brewers and has struggled tremendously dating back to late June, serving as a swingman. In four starts and two relief appearances since June 26, Matsuzaka has a 5.93 ERA with a 26/13 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings.
The 33-year-old right-hander has undergone Tommy John surgery before, back in 2011 when he was still with the Red Sox. Obviously, that scary thought has to be lingering in the back of GM Sandy Alderson’s mind.
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.