The Yankees believe that the Marlins’ unexpected pursuit of Aroldis Chapman — Miami reportedly offered Chapman a five-year deal worth $87MM — forced New York to spend about $10-15MM more than they would otherwise have had to offer in order to finalize the deal, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Sherman also adds that the Yankees are still hoping to add a starting pitcher and multiple relievers (one of the left-handed variety), though the Cashman said earlier this week that he doesn’t anticipate adding a free-agent starter due to the high asking prices around the league (via Sherman’s colleague George A. King III).
More from around the American League…
- In an interesting read for Yankees fans (or for any fan, really), Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues examines the decision to re-sign Chapman from a variety of angles. Axisa questions whether the Yankees, who currently look to be a ways behind Boston in terms of expected 2017 performance, did the right thing in “paying a lot of money now to buy Chapman for the future” and notes the possibility that Chapman will be opting out of his deal just as the bulk of New York’s vaunted young talent is solidifying itself at the big league level. The move also flies somewhat in the face of the desire to get below the luxury tax threshold, Axisa observes, and there are of course ongoing public relations considerations due to last October’s domestic violence allegations.
- Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet tweets that many in the industry still consider the Rangers to be the most logical landing spot for free agent Edwin Encarnacion. Texas reportedly feels that it doesn’t have the financial means to fit Encarnacion into the budget, but GM Jon Daniels and his staff have certainly made some creative value plays for free agents whose markets have crumbled a bit in the past.
- The Astros prefer not to move upper-level prospects in their search for rotation upgrades, GM Jeff Luhnow tells MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Houston has been asked about top prospect Francis Martes on numerous occasions, McTaggart writes, though Luhnow downplayed the possibility of dealing the right-hander. “The players we’re staying away from are the players that are probably going to start the year on the big league club and are key parts of the 2017 plan,” said the Houston GM. “Martes is a very valuable player, and very valuable players that are close to the big leagues get asked about a lot. That’s no different with him. It would take something significant for us to move him.” McTaggart also notes that outfield prospect Kyle Tucker is “generally considered untouchable.”
- The Tigers aren’t pursuing an Andrew McCutchen trade tweets MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. They’ve also yet to get involved with the recently non-tendered Ben Revere, tweets MLB.com’s Jason Beck. Detroit has a clear question mark in center field at the moment, but the team is also well-known to be striving to shed payroll and get younger. With that in mind, a pursuit of McCutchen never would’ve made much sense for GM Al Avila’s club, though Revere could be a low-cost option that would have plenty of surplus value in the event of a rebound from last year’s disastrous season.