Ace reliever Dellin Betances had more to say Sunday regarding his arbitration-related dispute with Yankees president Randy Levine, telling reporters – including George A. King III of the New York Post – that he has no regrets over comments he made Saturday. Betances added that he isn’t going to seek out Levine to potentially clear the air between the two. “I don’t feel I need to speak to him, I don’t know how [the Yankees] feel,’’ Betances said. “I am just going to try and prepare for the season and help the team as much as I can.’’ Further, on the heels of MLBPA executive Rick Shapiro calling Levine’s remarks “totally unprecedented” Saturday, union chief Tony Clark weighed in Sunday and referred to them as “unprofessional” (Twitter link via Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan).
More from around the majors:
- In an attempt to shorten games, MLB is interested in placing a runner on second at the beginning of extra innings, but that’s not something the players are ever going to sign off on, Clark told the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner (Twitter link via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). Clark actually laughed at the idea while shooting it down, but he did note that players are open to changing the intentional walk (Twitter links via Passan).
- While Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon’s name came up in trade rumors during the winter, GM Jeff Bridich didn’t show any interest in dealing him for anything but a massive return. Should a trade come together in the next two years, Blackmon’s final seasons of team control, it seems he’d understand. “I just think they value me pretty high, I guess, and that’s why nothing happened,” Blackmon told Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “I think that’s good. But it’s my opinion that if a deal had come along where they had gotten a deal worth more than what I was worth, then they would’ve made the deal. And I would expect that to happen.”
- Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber caught a bullpen session Friday for the first time since he tore multiple knee ligaments last April and informed Carrie Muskat of MLB.com on Sunday that he “loved it.” Schwarber realizes that he must “take it slow with the knee and the injury and everything like that,” though, and likely won’t do much catching this season with Willson Contreras and Miguel Montero on Chicago’s roster. “I’ve got to be ready at any time to come in late in the game from left field to maybe come catch and give those guys a blow,” Schwarber said. “It’s not like I’m going to be the everyday starter.”
- Although he emerged as the Rays’ best first base option last season, Brad Miller indicated Sunday that he’s on board with moving to second base this year to take over for the departed Logan Forsythe. “I’m not going to prepare for first at all this spring,” Miller told Bill Chastain of MLB.com. “Just try to get as many reps at second and short right now with the makeup of the team. Obviously, I know it’s a long year. I’ve been through changing positions before. So I understand.” After the Rays’ workout Sunday, manager Kevin Cash opined that Miller “looked outstanding” and was “really fundamentally sound.” The middle infield is nothing new for Miller, who has played 369 games at shortstop and 37 at the keystone. The results haven’t been pretty, however, as Miller has posted minus-27 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-12.3 Ultimate Zone Rating in nearly 3,300 combined innings at the two positions.