While Brandon Drury may be the favorite, at present, to open the season as the Yankees’ third baseman, GM Brian Cashman made clear in speaking with the New York Post’s George A. King III that there will still be a competition for that spot. “Nothing has been handed to anybody, so the competition will play its way out,” said Cashman. “…You have horses coming into races as favorites and I think the experience that Drury has along with his abilities should give him a leg up going into this process. But we will wait and see what it looks like and how it plays out.” Miguel Andujar will still be given a chance to win the job this spring, per the GM, who also notes that the team still views Andujar as a player who will have a major long-term role with the Yankees. Both Cashman and new skipper Aaron Boone suggested that they’ll focus on third base as Drury’s primary position for now. Drury spent most of the 2017 season playing second base in Arizona, but the hot corner is his natural position.
More from the division…
- While J.D. Martinez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary designated hitter, the team did tell him during negotiations that he’ll see some time in the outfield, per Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley and Mookie Betts will obviously still shoulder the bulk of that workload, but Drellich notes that first-year manager Alex Cora wants to keep that group as fresh as possible. Drellich also reports that the Red Sox were not initially willing to give Martinez an opt-out provision after both the second and third year of the contract. The year-two opt-out was a particularly crucial tipping point in negotiations, he adds, and seemingly one that may have pushed the deal across the finish line.
- Colby Rasmus, who signed a minor league contract with the Orioles yesterday, candidly spoke to the Baltimore media about his decision to step away from baseball last season while on the disabled list with the Rays (links via MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko and the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo A. Encina). Rasmus and his wife were expecting their third child at the time, and the outfielder ultimately prioritized spending time with his young family above all else last season. The 31-year-old Rasmus has suggested in the past that he may not play into his late- or even mid-30s, but he felt pulled back to baseball this offseason as he began working out. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, so I got back to working out and mentally I feel good,” said Rasmus. ” I feel like I still have a little bit left to give to the game and show the game some respect and go out in a good way.”
- Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis missed the final 100 games of the 2017 season following knee surgery, but he’s healthy and participating in a full slate of baseball drills thus far in Spring Training, writes Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith. “You watch him move around, and if you didn’t know he’d had an injury, you wouldn’t think anything of it,” said manager John Gibbons. “Really, he looks that good.” Travis only just began running in January but has worked his way up to being able to go full speed, though he implies that he’s tempering the aggression of his workouts rather than pushing himself unnecessarily at this point. Injuries have limited Travis to 213 games over the first three seasons of his big league career.