AL East Notes: Cano, Yankees, Cruz, Francisco

Robinson Cano told reporters, including the New York Daily News’ Andy Martino, that he wasn’t bothered by the boos he received in returning to Yankee Stadium. Martino goes on to opine that the booing of Cano seems to be the only emotion the Yankee fanbase can muster due to the team’s lackluster performance. He asked Brett Gardner how the club could be more consistent at the plate and received a frustrated reply: “Well, if we knew that, we would have done it two days ago.” More on the Yankees’ decision to let Cano walk and the AL East…

  • Martino’s colleague, John Harper, wonders if the Yankees would let Cano walk again if they had a mulligan on the offseason. As he notes, there’s virtually no certainty next season in the infield with Derek Jeter retiring, Brian Roberts on a one-year deal, Mark Teixeira‘s injuries, an unproven track record for Yangervis Solarte and Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension. While the back-end of any Cano deal would surely look poor, he asks if that would be an acceptable price to pay for chasing greatness in the short term.
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels appeared on The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Moseley in Texas yesterday and discussed Nelson Cruz‘s hot start with the Orioles. Daniels said he’s not surprised to see Cruz thriving — though they wouldn’t have expected 20 homers through this point in the season. He adds that Texas made multiple attempts to sign Cruz, making a qualifying offer and offering a multi-year deal at the Winter Meetings. Daniels adds: “…by the time it came down to Spring Training, when he was signing, there was some other factors at play. We made the decision that we did to give our own guys an opportunity and keep the draft pick.”
  • Shi Davidi of Sportsnet breaks down Juan Francisco‘s strong play for the Blue Jays and wonders if the Jays could possibly have struck gold on a third low-cost slugger acquisition. Davidi points out that Toronto stumbled into franchise cornerstones Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, and Francisco is cut largely from the same cloth. Davidi looks at improvements to Francisco’s pitch selection — though his strikeout rate remains high — and changes to his approach made by the team’s coaching staff. Francisco, a close friend of Encarnacion, says he feels at home with the Jays. Davidi also reports that Toronto tried to acquire Francisco last season as well before Atlanta traded him to Milwaukee, suggesting he’s been on their radar for quite some time.

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