Former Yankees pitcher and Mets, Astros, Yankees and Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Sr. is “fighting for his life,” one of his sons, former big-league pitcher Todd Stottlemyre, writes on Facebook (via ESPN). Mel Stottlemyre, 75, announced in 2000 that he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Stottlemyre was the Mets’ pitching coach for their World Series win in 1986, and the Yankees’ pitching coach for four World Series champion teams. He also won five All-Star berths in 11 seasons in the big leagues. We at MLBTR wish the best to the Stottlemyre family in this difficult time.
Here’s more from the AL East.
- The Yankees and Red Sox could play one another in London as soon as 2018, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes. What seems even more likely at this time is that the Red Sox, Yankees and possibly Mets could all play in London at some point over the course of the new five-year CBA. It’s unclear whether a Yankees/Red Sox matchup in particular will occur, and there are significant issues that must be ironed out first, including the problem of lost gate receipts, as well as how to continue to sell Major League Baseball to Europe after such a marquee matchup has already occurred. But presidents of both teams express enthusiasm for the idea. “We would really like to do it,” says Red Sox president Sam Kennedy. “The Yankees have been at the forefront of suggesting that we bring the great game of baseball to London,” writes Yankees president Randy Levine in an email. “Playing the Red Sox in London would be a special and unique event.”
- Edwin Encarnacion’s departure to Cleveland has many Blue Jays fans upset, with some blaming the team for not finding a way to re-sign Encarnacion and others blaming Encarnacion for seeking too much money early in the process, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi writes in a fascinating timeline of the negotiations between Encarnacion and the Blue Jays. As had been previously reported, the Jays offered Encarnacion a four-year, $80MM deal in early November; Davidi notes that deal also included a vesting option that would have increased the value of the deal to $100MM. Encarnacion, though, didn’t want to take a deal on the doorstep of free agency (as his agent, Paul Kinzer, admitted earlier this week). As free agency opened, the Jays believed Encarnacion was seeking $100MM and judged from his lack of urgency to move on the Jays’ initial offer that he had another suitor in the $80MM-$100MM range, which wasn’t the case. The Jays thus moved quickly to sign Kendrys Morales, and took their $80MM offer off the table. The two sides remained in touch, but with Morales and Steve Pearce in the fold, the Jays weren’t as strongly motivated to sign Encarnacion, and he ended up with Cleveland.