The Yankees unveiled a Monument Park plaque in Mariano Rivera’s honor, yet as Dave Dombrowski told reporters (including Fangraphs’ David Laurila) this weekend, Rivera could have become Florida Marlins property via the 1992 expansion draft. Dombrowski, then the Marlins GM, would’ve chosen Rivera if the Rockies hadn’t taken Yankees farmhand Brad Ausmus with the previous selection. Since the rules prevented a team from losing more than one player in an expansion draft, that took Rivera and any other unprotected Yankees off the board. Here’s some more news from around baseball as we wrap up the weekend…
- With Darren O’Day back on the DL, BaltimoreBaseball.com’s Dan Connolly opines that the Orioles should try to acquire a veteran southpaw reliever to fill the void. Connolly reports that the O’s looked into the Rockies’ Boone Logan and the Padres’ Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter prior to the trade deadline, so it’s possible the Orioles could revisit those talks, though it will be much harder to complete a deal through August trade waivers.
- John Lackey spoke last season of signing one more two-year contract and then retiring, though ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the right-hander could continue past the 2017 season if the desire and ability is still there. Lackey is enjoying another solid season, and Olney notes that the veteran is actually posting a career high in fastball velocity at age 37 (though this velocity is a rather modest 91.8 mph, after six seasons in the 91.5-91.7 mph range). Lackey would be 39 on Opening Day 2018, so if he is still pitching well, I would suspect he’d explore another contract with a contending team. Staying with the Cubs may well be at the top of Lackey’s list given how the team seems to be entering a long-term contention window.
- It’s no surprise that the big-market Cubs and Phillies are prepared to be big spenders in the coming years, though Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes that the traditionally low-payroll Marlins could also potentially become more open to big salaries. With a new local TV contract on the horizon, the revenue increase could make the Marlins more likely to re-sign Jose Fernandez, who has long been considered a good bet to leave Miami in free agency after the 2018 season.
- As the Padres are about to begin a series with the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times revisits the three-team blockbuster between San Diego, Tampa and Washington in December 2014. Right now, the deal doesn’t look like a good one for the Rays — Steven Souza has yet to become a consistently productive player, while three of the players Tampa flipped in the deal (Wil Myers, Joe Ross and Trea Turner) are all enjoying success in 2016. It could be years, of course, before we can really judge the trade as a win or loss for any of the three clubs. Topkin also notes that Myers was the source of some clubhouse issues in Tampa Bay, so it’s possible he would never have had his breakout season without a change of scenery.