In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe backed Commissioner Rob Manfred’s optimism about possibly expanding. The last time baseball expanded was in 1998 with the additions of the Rays and D’Backs and Cafardo feels that MLB is due. Manfred recently acknowledged there’s been interest from a few cities, including Montreal (former home of the Expos), Charlotte, and Portland. Cafardo goes on to list other potential spots for expansion franchises, including Vancouver, Las Vegas, Nashville, northern New Jersey, and Brooklyn. Of course, with those last two, there are obvious territorial issues to consider. Here’s more from today’s column..
- If third baseman David Wright doesn’t look like himself when he comes back or if he doesn’t come back at all in 2015, the Mets will give some thoughts to acquiring a pair of hitters. One of those players, Cafardo writes, would likely be a shortstop. There’s currently a feeling in the organization that the Mets will make a move for a hitter in the coming days with pitcher Jon Niese being the outgoing asset.
- There is more and more talk of Yasiel Puig losing popularity with his Dodgers teammates, a major league source tells Cafardo. Puig was once viewed an untouchable player because of his talent, but the new regime does not feel that way at this time. Cafardo wonders aloud if they would move the slugger for a pitcher and pondered him as a match in a Cole Hamels deal with the Phillies.
- There’s “a buzz in the ownership/management community” that chairman Tom Werner could be more involved in the Red Sox’s day-to-day operations, with president and CEO Larry Lucchino being less involved. Werner’s pace-of-play ideas have worked out well so far and he is being viewed as a more influential figure both in Boston and throughout the game. There have been rumblings of Lucchino losing power in Boston for some time now.
- Former Padres skipper Bud Black has a great relationship with owner Arte Moreno and manager Mike Scioscia and Cafardo feels that talk of him becoming the Angels’ GM bears watching.
- Meanwhile, Angels assistant GM Matt Klentak, he writes, may get strong consideration from both the Angels and the Phillies. He worked for Andy MacPhail in baseball’s Labor Relations Department, so he has an in with Philly. MLBTR wrote that Klentak was a strong GM candidate all the way back in 2011.