ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Wade LeBlanc to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He can opt out of his deal at the end of spring training and if he makes the major league roster, he will earn a $1 million salary.
LeBlanc, 33, spent last season with the Pirates, posting a 4.50 ERA with a 54/17 K/BB ratio across 68 innings spanning 50 relief appearances. It was the first season in which he was used exclusively out of the bullpen.
The Yankees aren’t hurting for rotation depth, so LeBlanc will likely be competing for a spot in the bullpen. Failing that, he would start the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre if he decides not to opt out.
The Brewers and Dodgers haven’t had much action in Game 4 of the NLCS, bringing a 1-1 game through 10 innings and about four and a half hours. We finally got something to get the blood pumping, though, when Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado and Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar exchanged some words with each other, prompting both teams’ benches to spill onto the field.
With one out, Machado grounded a 3-1, 95 MPH fastball to shortstop Orlando Arcia, who made an easy throw to first base to complete the out. Machado, running the play out, dragged his left leg, slamming it into Aguilar’s leg as he crossed the bag, causing himself to stumble momentarily. Machado went back and jawed at Aguilar like it was his fault.
Machado has not had the best press in the NLCS. He failed to run out a grounder in Game 2, then made a couple of slides in Game 3 that attempted to interfere with Arcia at the second base bag. He was called for interference on the second one. Machado hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt for his actions tonight.
It’s difficult to imagine Machado’s behavior during the NLCS will affect his windfall as a free agent this offseason, but he’s proving to be somewhat of a distraction for a team trying to get back to the World Series. And that’s not good.