“OMG, [player who just did well against the Yankees] could’ve been a Yankee!”

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As I mentioned in the recaps the other day, one of my favorite things is when a player beats up on the Yankees and then Yankees fans and/or the press that covers them begins to covet them.

Maybe they start talking up implausible trade rumors, such as they did a few years ago with respect to Felix Hernandez. Maybe they start talking about the player’s free agency clock and how long until they can be a Yankee, which they will inevitably be. If we’re extra lucky one of the tabloids will photoshop the player into Yankee pinstripes. Bryce Harper has gotten this treatment an awful lot lately.

I predicted that Maikel Franco would get such treatment after notching 10 RBI in two games in Yankee Stadium. He hasn’t quite gotten that yet, but he has gotten the next best thing. A trope that I neglected to mention the other day but one that is just as fun: tabloids talking about how such-and-such could’ve been a Yankee, except the Yankees were too dumb or too cheap or whatever to snag him. Mike Trout got this treatment recently. Franco got it yesterday:

The sight of Maikel Franco coming to the plate Wednesday at Yankee Stadium will strike fear in the hearts of Yankees fans.

The fact that he was almost a Yankee will break their hearts.

The Phillies rookie, who has tormented Yankee pitching in the first two games of their series to the tune of 10 RBI and three homers, nearly signed with the Yankees as an international free agent, but, according to one report, signed with the Phillies because they offered — wait for it — $5,000 more.

Brian Cashman has no recollection of this but doesn’t deny that it was possible, as anything is possible with Dominican free agents. But of course anything is possible with drafts and international signings and going back over them to see who could’ve gone where is an odd pursuit given the randomness and uncertainty of talent development in baseball.

You tend not to see this in markets besides New York. It’s an odd thing.

Report: Mets and Rick Porcello agree on one-year, $10 million pact

Rick Porcello
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Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris of The Athletic report that the Mets and free agent starter Rick Porcello have agreed on a one-year contract. Per Jon Heyman, the deal is for $10 million.

Porcello, 30, is coming off of the worst season of his career. Though he went 14-12, he compiled an ugly 5.52 ERA with 143 strikeouts and 45 walks over 174 1/3 innings. It has been a rough three years for Porcello, who has an aggregate 4.79 ERA since 2017.

The benefit of this one-year deal for Porcello is that, if he has a bounce-back season, he can potentially leverage that into a multi-year contract next offseason.

The Mets also signed Michael Wacha to a one-year, $3 million deal on Wednesday. The rotation already features Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz. Unless the Mets trade one of those four, they will seemingly have to use one of Porcello and Wacha out of the bullpen to start the 2020 season with the odd man out serving as rotation insurance.

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