Some news from around baseball…
- According to toxicology reports released today, Jose Fernandez had cocaine in his system and a blood-alcohol level that was twice the legal limit during the boat crash that took the lives of the Marlins ace, Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias on September 25, David Ovalle of the Miami Herald reports. Authorities have yet to determine who was driving the boat at the time of the crash — neither Rivero or Macias were legally drunk, though they both had alcohol in their systems. (Rivero was also found to have cocaine in his system.)
- Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar underwent surgery this week to repair a torn thumb ligament, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports. The defensive standout is expected to be fine by Spring Training. Pillar hurt his thumb while stealing a base on August 6 and spent some time on the DL before playing through the injury throughout the rest of the regular season and Toronto’s postseason run.
- The Yankees should listen to offers for Masahiro Tanaka this winter, Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog opines, though obviously it would take a big haul for New York to actually trade its ace away when the Bombers are themselves looking for quality pitching. Tanaka can opt out of his contract after the 2017 season, which seems like a very likely possibility assuming he stays healthy and keeps delivering his usual strong performance. Tanaka would be hitting the free agent market heading into his age-29 season and would score well beyond the three years/$67MM owed on his Yankees deal through 2020. If New York only has one year left of control of Tanaka, it makes sense for the club to see what it could potentially get back for the right-hander in a deal. Axisa’s mailbag piece covers other several Yankees-related topics, including how the Yankees’ prospect return in the Aroldis Chapman trade was better for the club than if they had swung the rumored Andrew Miller-for-Kyle Schwarber deal at the deadilne.
- The Mariners aren’t likely to make a big splash in free agency, MLB.com’s Greg Johns opines as part of a reader mailbag. Seattle already has $88.5MM locked up in just five players (Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and Hisashi Iwakuma) so there isn’t much remaining payroll room for another big contract. Johns thinks GM Jerry Dipoto will instead spread funds around to address several needs, improve depth and continue to raise the Mariners’ talent floor.