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Mariners have contacted the Yankees, Mets about Robinson Cano

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Ken Rosenthal’s latest notes column at The Athletic says that the Mariners — clearly in rebuild mode now — have contacted both the Yankees and the Mets in an effort to unload Robinson Cano and the $120 million he is still owed on his contract.

I’ll call that “Great Moments in Jerry Dipoto Shooting His Shot.” It’s admirable — asking is the right thing to do and, given Cano’s no-trade protection, they are two of the few teams you figure he’d approve trades to — but it’s almost certainly going to be an airball.

As Rosenthal notes, Cano is 36, spent half of last season on suspension and his future is almost certainly as a 1B/DH type. The Yankees could, theoretically, take Cano on and give him time at first base, but the money is more than they want to take on and the Mariners have already balked at taking back Jacoby Ellsbury as a financial offset. Also: while it seems reasonable to think that Cano could handle first, he has not had enough reps at first base to make anyone confident about it and the Yankees like to keep their DH slot open to rest regulars. The Mets, meanwhile, are not going to take on big salary and block prospects and don’t even have the benefit of the DH for Cano.

Cano hit well after coming back from his suspension, going .317/.363/.497 in 40 games in the second half. If I’m the Mariners, I plan on starting the season with him at second base while giving him looks at first as well, hope he continues to hit and that, if he does, he seems like a more attractive midseason acquisition for someone. Yeah, he’s expensive, but the Mariners have had him built into their budget for a long time and waiting things out a bit to try to save at least some of the money on him would make the most sense.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.