A few notes from around the game:
- Much could change during the highly anticipated courting process, but George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are seen throughout the industry as the favorites to land soon-to-be free agent Shohei Ohtani. The Yankees are in an enviable position when it comes to available pool space, though it’s clear money isn’t Ohtani’s primary concern. Whether Ohtani goes to the Yankees may affect left-hander CC Sabathia’s future with the club, King posits, as they’d have a quintet of capable starters on hand with the newcomer joining Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery. So, while Sabathia wants to re-sign with the Yankees, an answer on his future might not come until at least late December if he waits out the Ohtani derby.
- If the Mariners bring back free agent righty Hisashi Iwakuma, it’ll likely be on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, Greg Johns of MLB.com suggests. The 36-year-old Iwakuma revealed this week that he’s weighing an offer to re-sign with Seattle, which declined his $10MM club option in favor of a $1MM buyout at season’s end, and Johns expects him to accept it.
- Power is more prevalent than ever in baseball, but the ability to control the strike zone and make quality contract are less common, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet observes. While 117 players racked up 20 or more home runs last season, only 25 hit .300 or better, leading Nicholson-Smith to note that hitting ability may now be the toughest-to-find offensive skill. The piece, which is worth checking out in full, includes quotes from general managers David Forst (Athletics), A.J. Preller (Padres), Neal Huntington (Pirates), Mike Rizzo (Nationals) and Michael Girsch (Cardinals) about the current offensive landscape.