Here’s the latest from around the big leagues as we move into the new week…
- Joe Girardi is entering his last year under contract with the Yankees, though the manager tells FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that he isn’t worrying about his future. Girardi said he’ll continue to manage as long as his family still wants him to remain in the job. The Yankees usually wait until a season is over to evaluate managers (and general managers, as Brian Cashman is also in the last year of his deal), though Hank Steinbrenner recently gave Girardi a vote of confidence. Cashman praised Girardi’s ability to work with young players, which could bode well for him remaining to oversee an increasingly-youthful New York roster. “There has never been a question about his ability to manage. The only time (managers lose their jobs) is if they wind up having missteps with their roster in terms of leadership, and they might not be the right voice anymore,” Cashman said. “You get a sense of that from your players. It happened toward the end with [Joe] Torre. It hasn’t happened at this stage with [Girardi].”
- Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin left Sunday’s game after fouling a ball off his right foot. The injury is officially being called a bruise for now, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and other reporters. Naquin underwent x-rays after the game and the results will be revealed on Monday. The former first-rounder made a big impact for the Tribe in his rookie season, batting .296/.372/.514 with 14 homers over 365 PA. Naquin was slated for the majority of playing time in center field for Cleveland this season, with right-handed batters Brandon Guyer, Abraham Almonte and Austin Jackson all competing for a backup or even a platoon role spelling Naquin against left-handed pitching.
- Scott Feldman’s history as a starter, reliever and swingman makes him a valuable asset for the Reds, who are in a very fluid situation with their young pitching staff, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. Feldman looks like he’ll at least begin the season in the rotation, though that could change once Homer Bailey returns from the DL or if the Reds want to take a longer look at one of their young arms. Feldman is comfortable in his role, though he admits that still having to prove his value as a starting pitcher “definitely makes you play with a little bit of a chip on your shoulder.”
- Former Phillies first-rounder Jesse Biddle is looking to revive his career with the Braves, though he tells Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he has no hard feelings towards his old club for trading him to the Pirates in February 2016. Once a fixture of top-100 prospect lists, Biddle ran into some struggles as he reached the upper minors, and his career was halted entirely when he underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2015. Atlanta claimed Biddle off waivers from Pittsburgh last March and the southpaw was finally back on the mound on Saturday, facing (ironically) the Phils in Spring Training action.
- Looking ahead to the 2018-19 free agent class, Joel Sherman of the New York Post updates his list of the top 10 free agents slated to hit the open market during that potentially historically-good winter. Manny Machado tops the list, followed by Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw (who has an opt-out in his Dodgers contract), Josh Donaldson and Zach Britton rounding out the top five.