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- Masahiro Tanaka Has Slightly Torn UCL
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Derek Jeter Rumors
Four AL East teams can be found amongst the top eight in ESPN's Future Power Rankings, which measure how well-positioned teams are for success over the next five years. The list can be found in two parts (ESPN Insider subscription required).
Here's the latest from the AL East…
- Larry Lucchino discussed his team's turbulent season both on and off the field in a radio interview on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show (WEEI.com's Morley Quatroche has a partial transcript) and the Red Sox president didn't rule out making large changes in the offseason. "I think we’ll examine all options, absolutely,” Lucchino said. “It’s not a question of fine tuning. It’s a question of looking back to the fundamental things….do we have the right kind of system in place? You need to build it all on pitching and we will focus heavily on that, but we’ll look at everything. We’ll look under every rock.”
- With Josh Beckett a sure bet to pass through waivers, the Nationals could be a good trade partner for the Red Sox, opines Fangraphs' Dave Cameron. Beckett could give the Nats an experienced arm in the rotation once Stephen Strasburg is shut down. Cameron thinks, however, that the Red Sox would only be able to move Beckett if they agree to eat at least $20MM of the approximately $36MM owed to the right-hander through the 2014 season.
- Derek Jeter is a good bet to finish in the top six of AL MVP voting this season, which ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews points out will earn Jeter an extra $2MM if he picks up his 2014 player option with the Yankees. That option is worth $8MM, though incentives could push the value to $14MM.
- "No chance. No chance. Nada. Zero. No, not a chance," is how Jeter described his interest in someday becoming a manager, reports CSN Chicago's Jeremy Lynn.
- J.J. Hardy "makes a ton of sense" as a trade target for the Diamondbacks this winter, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Orioles could unload Hardy to make room for Manny Machado at his natural shortstop position, while the D'Backs pick up Hardy as a "stopgap" for the next two seasons until prospect Chris Owings is ready for the majors. Arizona GM Kevin Towers said yesterday that his team would likely pursue a shortstop via the trade market in the offseason as the D'Backs look to replace Stephen Drew.
On this date 20 years ago the 1992 draft took place. A number of future stars, including Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi, were selected that day, but none impacted the American League East like the shortstop prospect the Yankees selected sixth overall. Here's the latest on the AL East…
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains how Derek Jeter fell to the Yankees 20 years ago. Though the Yankees were hoping Jeter would fall to them, they had prepared to start negotiations with right-hander Jim Pittsley in case another club selected their preferred target.
- Ben Cherington will be running his first draft as Boston's GM on Monday, but it'll be a familiar setting in some ways, Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald reports. The longtime Red Sox executive says his staff will seek the best available player with each pick. “The key with any draft is to do more with your picks than the 29 other teams do," he said.
- The Orioles will purchase the contract of utility player Bill Hall today and add him to the 25 and 40-man rosters, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports.
- Adam Lind could be ready to return to the Major Leagues "soon," GM Alex Anthopoulos said, according to Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun.
In a piece inspired by early-season injuries to key relievers Tom Verducci of SI.com points out that closers tend to be inefficient investments. "No one wants to admit it," he writes, "but the modern bullpen is a failure." Here are the rest of today's links…
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he likes what he has seen from manager Ozzie Guillen despite last week's controversial remarks. “He’s very good for here," Loria said. "Excellent. Not only for here, for any team."
- When the Yankees signed Derek Jeter to a three-year, $51MM contract two offseasons ago, they felt it was an overpay, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. But the shortstop played tremendously down the stretch in 2011 and has started the 2012 season well.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney suggests the Giants will likely want to see Tim Lincecum rebound from his early-season struggles before offering him an extension at market value.
- Indians manager Manny Acta told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall remains Cleveland's future third baseman and won’t become trade bait this summer (Twitter link, audio here).
Red Sox ownership already spoke to the media this morning, so now let's check in the on the rest of the AL East…
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette wouldn't comment on the team's interest in Jorge Soler, telling Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com that tipping his hand wouldn't benefit the team. The O's watched the 19-year-old outfielder work out earlier this month.
- The Orioles lead all clubs with ten out of options players, and manager Buck Showalter told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli that he estimates they'll have to make "2-4 moves" before the end of camp (Twitter link).
- Daisuke Matsuzaka told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he still wants to pitch until he's 40. The right-hander is in the final year of his contract with the Red Sox, and is expected back from Tommy John surgery at midseason.
- “If I didn’t think that I was capable of playing the game at a high level I would go home," said Yankees captain Derek Jeter to reporters yesterday, including George King of The New York Post. "If I wasn’t enjoying myself or enjoying the competition I would go home. Right now I am an enjoying myself. I can’t comment on what would force me to retire because I have a lot of confidence and if that starts to waver I would do it."
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post wrote about Alex Rodriguez, wondering what kind of contract the Yankees third baseman would have received had he been a free agent his offseason.
The defending AL East Champion Rays are 47-38, which gives them the third best record in the American League. Unfortunately for the Rays, they're third in the AL East, behind the only two AL clubs with better records, the Yankees and Red Sox. Here's the latest on the division:
- The Orioles' reliance on Mitch Atkins and Chris Jakubauskas as starters shows that Baltimore's rotation has been a disappointment, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen have not pitched as well as expected, so the rotation has become a consistent weakness.
- The Orioles will purchase Atkins' contract today to add him to the active roster and they could consider designating Jakubauskas for assignment to create space, according to Connolly.
- Derek Jeter, who returned to the Yankees' lineup from the disabled list last night, told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that he's unhappy with his first half performance and intends to improve "everything" in the second half.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com looks back at Boston's free agent additions under GM Theo Epstein and concludes that "the pricier investments have offered suspect returns." That's certainly true of two free agents the Red Sox signed before the 2010 season: Mike Cameron and John Lackey.
Even before reports of David Einhorn's $200MM investment in the Mets surfaced, things could've been worse in Queens, writes Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post. Vaccaro points out that New York's baseball history includes plenty of stretches more dismal than the one endured by the present-day Mets, and breaks down his top five. Here are some other Sunday morning notes on the Mets and Yankees:
- Einhorn got a first-hand look at Jose Reyes on Saturday, but refused comment when asked about the possibility of re-signing the shortstop, says Kevin Kernan of the New York Post.
- Whenever Felix Hernandez faces the Yankees, as he did Saturday night, it seems invariably to lead to speculation about King Felix someday wearing pinstripes. However, as Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News writes, that's not about to happen anytime soon.
- Phil Hughes took "a step in the right direction" this weekend, throwing off a mound for the first time in over a month, according to Feinsand.
- The New York Post's Steve Selby argues that if there's one player who deserves to be cut some slack when he struggles, it's Derek Jeter.
Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon are closer to settling on a limited partner who will bring cash and keep the organization running, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Unlike the Dodgers, whose ownership situation “seems to be deteriorating,” the Mets are doing fine, according to Commissioner Bud Selig. Here’s the latest from Heyman:
- If Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has support, it’s either “minute or nonexistent.”
- People who know Mets GM Sandy Alderson expect him to trade Jose Reyes and others if he believes it’s best for the organization.
- There’s no indication yet that the Cubs would be willing to offer Albert Pujols $200MM or more in free agency, Heyman writes. However, the Cubs have money and no long-term answer at first base.
- Some baseball people believe Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake could use time in the minors.
- Though the Yankees aren’t concerned with Derek Jeter’s bat, they are “very concerned” about Jorge Posada. The DH has a .162/.273/.352 line with 6 homers this year.
The latest from New York includes reaction to Derek Jeter and a reminder that the Yankees could have had one of the NL's hottest hitters last offseason. Here are the details…
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman said this afternoon on ESPN 1050's "Ruocco and Lundberg" show that Jeter is an above-average MLB shortstop. "He's not the same player he used to be, and how many people are when they start to get older? But I think he's a championship-caliber contributor and an above-average shortstop, and that's more than enough,” Cashman said. Mike Mazzeo has quotes and audio at ESPNNewYork.com.
- After a strong weekend at the plate, Jeter ranks in the top 15 in OBP, wOBA and WAR among all qualified shortstops.
- As Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out, it’s easy to forget that the Yankees declined their 2011 option for Lance Berkman. The switch-hitter has been among the best hitters in baseball this year, but the Yankees couldn’t have known that in the fall. At the time, they had a DH of their own (Jorge Posada) and Berkman’s $15MM option seemed steep, even for the Yankees.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that interest in a minority share of the Mets is surprisingly strong (Twitter link). Commissioner Bud Selig expressed confidence in the Mets organization and their financial issues yesterday.
Let's catch up on the latest links relating to the first-place Yankees and the last-place Mets….
- Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post argues that Jose Reyes is the kind of player the Mets should be building around, and that cutting ties with him via trade or free agency would be risky.
- John Harper of the New York Daily News takes a similar stance, pointing out that, given the lack of star shortstops around baseball, Reyes is "too valuable not to be part of the Mets' future."
- Within a piece about slow starters, Joel Sherman of the New York Post says he talked to 12 scouts or officials and not a single one believes Derek Jeter will "approach his old self."
- Despite his recent struggles, Boone Logan, the only lefty in the Yankees' bullpen, received a vote of confidence from manager Joe Girardi, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff says Jason Pridie exemplifies the sort of roster depth the Mets will need if they're going to have any chance of contending.
Ten years ago today, the Rockies signed an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic named Ubaldo Jimenez. Now the 27-year-old ace boasts a 3.59 career ERA and 669 strikeouts in 744 innings. Today's links:
- Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays is in the mix as the best hitter in the American League, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. If that's true, his five-year, $65MM contract will turn out to be a significant bargain.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Derek Jeter in a November 30th meeting: "You said all you wanted was what was fair. How much higher do we have to be than the highest offer for it to be fair?" That's from Ian O'Connor's source; the ESPNNewYork.com writer has a new book out next month on Jeter.
- The Wichita Wingnuts signed former big league outfielder Brent Clevlen, announced the team. The independent league club is partially owned by a former teammate of Clevlen's, Nate Robertson.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart looks at the potential roster moves the Astros could make when Clint Barmes is activated off the disabled list, possibly as soon as this coming weekend.