“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.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.