This one probably sounds worse than it is: the Yankees fell just $5K shy of landing Maikel Franco as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic, as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports on Twitter. Franco ultimately received a $100K bonus from the Phillies, and of course ultimately rose to become quite a well-regarded young player. For his part, Yankees GM Brian Cashman indicated that he is not aware that the team fell just shy of picking up a winning lottery ticket, but neither did he deny that an offer may have been made, as Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News reports. Regardless of what really happened, of course, it would be awfully hard to lay much fault on the New York international scouting department for missing out on Franco, who was obviously not a premium prospect at that time (as his bonus indicates) and took some time to blossom as a professional. Philadelphia does certainly deserve some praise, however, for its investment: the now-22-year-old entered play today with a .319/.368/.604 slash and ten long balls over 155 plate appearances on the year.
Here’s a look at the latest from the AL and NL East..
- The Red Sox have shown no interest in dealing pitcher Clay Buchholz, major league sources tell Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. That’s no surprise given the way that Buchholz has pitched (3.87 ERA, 8.8 K/9 vs. 2.3 BB/9) and his team friendly deal, which allows for club options in both 2016 ($13MM) and ’17 ($13.5MM). For his part, Buchholz wants to stay in Boston through the end of his deal. “Yeah, unless something crazy happens I expect to be here,” he said. “I’ve always called this place home. [Trades] happen, and it’s happened to a lot of guys, where they walk in and they’re told their somewhere. That’s the business part of it and I think everybody understands that. I would love to be here throughout the next couple of years and everything goes well sign another extension. That’s sort of how I look at it.”
- Could the struggling Mets make a managerial change? As of right now, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Talk of the Mets dismissing skipper Terry Collins is “very premature,” a source tells Marc Carig of Newsday (on Twitter). New York is mired in a six-game slide and has dropped back to .500, but it is certainly tough to blame Collins for the roster’s lack of offensive punch and variety of injuries.
- If the Red Sox fall out of the race, Boston would almost certainly trade Mike Napoli or let him go, as Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal writes. The aging slugger is in his walk year and he doesn’t figure to be in the plans for next season and beyond. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen what kind of market there would be for the 33-year-old in July. His overall slash hasn’t been pretty, but he’s still doing well against lefties, hitting .226/.351/.516. Recently, MLBTR’s Jeff Todd checked in on Napoli’s free agent stock.