Report: Braves have interest in Eduardo Nunez

Via John Harper, the Braves let the Yankees know that they have interest in trading for Eduardo Nunez last week. “They need offense, they need a shortstop because they don’t want to bring (Alex) Gonzalez back, and they like Nunez a lot,” said Harper’s source. “They know the jury is out on him defensively, but they think his offense is strong enough that he could move to the outfield if he can’t be their long-term answer at short.”

The two sides apparently did not discuss any kind of framework for a trade, and Harper says no names were mentioned on Atlanta’s side. Feel free to come up with trade scenarios and rosterbate as much as you want, but remember, just say no to Jair Jurrjens!

Open Thread: A Darrell Rasner Follow-Up

(Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Earlier this week I wrote about former Yankee Darrell Rasner, on the anniversary of the day when his rights were sold to the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. I have two quick follow-up items to post, the first an email from Rasner’s father, Darrell Sr., who was nice enough to clarify what happened to his son this past season…

Mike: Darrell Jr. had a groin pull in early May after a 2-2 start. He returned in mid July as a closer and saved 17 games, 1 hold, 1 win and 1 loss in 22 appearances. He never closed before and considering he had to learn on the fly, not bad. FYI.

Good to hear he’s doing well, minus the groin injury. Secondly, NPB Tracker reports that Rasner and Rakuten have agreed to a new contract for next season, which will pay him $1.5M plus performance bonuses. That’s exactly why guys like D-Ras head to Japan, to land paydays they were unlikely to find here. Good for him, that’s some pretty nice scratch for a year’s work.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. There’s a bunch of college football on, plus all three hockey locals are in action. You can talk about anything your heart desires here, it’s all fair game.

New CBA will include HGH testing, eliminate Elias rankings

Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement has not been officially announced just yet, but details of some rather substantial changes have started to leak out. Here’s the latest….

New CBA will include blood testing for HGH

Via Michael Schmidt, the new CBA will include blood testing for human growth hormone. The testing will begin when players report to Spring Training in February, and a positive test will result in a 50-game suspension. Minor leaguers have been getting tested for HGH for two seasons now.

This is obviously a significant step for baseball and a major concession by the union. None of the other major North American sports leagues allow blood testing, though the International Olympic Committee does. Players that participate in the World Baseball Classic are subject to IOC rules and tests.

Type-A free agent relievers and Elias rankings will be eliminated

Via Ken Rosenthal, all remaining Type-A free agent relievers will not be subject to draft pick compensation this offseason. Teams will not be required to forfeit draft picks to sign them, though their old team will still gain a pick somehow. I’m guessing it’ll be just the supplemental first rounder. Click here to see all the Type-A and B free agents. Other Type-A free agents (Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, etc.) will still require a team to surrender a draft pick to sign them.

The Elias ranking system will be completely eliminated next offseason. In order to receive draft pick compensation for a top free agent, the player’s team will need to tender them a qualifying offer of at least $12M per season. I’m curious to see how they decide who is and who isn’t a top free agent, that should be interesting. Reportedly, the Yankees will still gain a supplemental first rounder if Type-B free agent Freddy Garcia signs elsewhere this offseason.

Cashman: Market moving at “glacial speed”

It’s been a very slow offseason for the Yankees so far, save for the Mike O’Connor signing and yesterday’s Rule 5 Draft moves. “The free agent [market] is moving at a glacial speed,” said Brian Cashman to Dan Martin. “And the category I’m shopping in, I don’t believe guys are jumping off the board this week. The players I’m interested in won’t be coming off the board anytime soon. But trade stuff is different. That can move fast, if someone finds the right match.”

“I made trade proposals that were rejected and received trade proposals that I rejected,” added the GM. “The free agent guys haven’t made me any offers.” Cashman also confirmed that he has not yet followed up with C.J. Wilson and his agent after they asked to visit the Yankees in New York. I expect things to pick up a bit once the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is announced next week, since teams will know exactly what is going on with Type-A and B free agent compensation. The winter meetings are two weeks after that, and that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Open Thread: Juan Miranda

(Kathy Willens/AP)

With the light at the end of Jason Giambi‘s contract tunnel starting to draw closer, the Yankees made a move to bring in someone they hoped could be their first baseman of the future. During the 2006-2007 offseason, they signed Cuban defector Juan Miranda to a four-year Major League contract worth $4MM, hoping he’d be able to step in for Giambi when his contract expired after the 2008 season.

Miranda, reportedly 23 at the time, mashed at two minor league levels in 2007 and was anchoring the Triple-A Scranton lineup by Opening Day 2008. He hit .287/.384/.449 with a dozen homers that season, then got his first taste of the big leagues (14 plate appearances) that September. Miranda’s shot at becoming the full-time first baseman disappeared when the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira the following offseason, a move that sentenced Miranda to two more years in Triple-A with intermittent call-ups. He hit a respectable .253/.330/.458 with four homers in 94 plate appearances spread across three seasons in pinstripes, with his most memorable moments being this walk-off single against Kyle Farnsworth, this moonshot against the Rays, and this walk-off walk against the Red Sox.

One year ago today, the Yankees traded the out-of-options Miranda to the Diamondbacks for Single-A pitching prospect Scottie Allen. Allen was a total disaster in 2011 (7.52 ERA in 93.1 IP), but Miranda finally got his first chance at extended playing time in the bigs. He started out very well, hitting .270/.387/.539 through Arizona’s first 51 games, but he stopped hitting after that. Miranda finished the season with a .213/.315/.402 batting line in 202 plate appearances, and was taken off the 40-man roster in June. He remains in the D’Backs’ system.

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Here is tonight’s open thread. None of local hockey teams are in action, so there’s not a whole lot going on in the New York sports scene. You can talk about anything you like here though, have at it.

Yankees, Rafael DePaula still waiting on visa

One year ago today, the Yankees agreed to sign Dominican right-hander Rafael DePaula for $500k, pending a work visa. VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed to Ben Badler that DePaula still hasn’t been able to get the visa, so he remains stuck in limbo. He spent this past season working out at the team’s academy in the Dominican, but he is not allowed to participate in games since his contract is not yet official.

DePaula, 21 in March, had been suspended by MLB for a year after lying about his age and identity. His actual age and identity was confirmed by MLB’s verification process last summer, allowing him to sign. Unfortunately, the U.S. government doesn’t like the idea of letting people who lied about their identity into the country, especially after Sept. 11th. DePaula may never get a visa, but the Yankees also don’t have to pay him unless he does. The 6-foot-3 righty was said to be able to run his fastball up to 97 last year.

Yankees add five to 40-man roster

With the deadline to set the 40-man roster for next month’s Rule 5 Draft looming, the Yankees added RHP David Phelps, RHP D.J. Mitchell, OF Zoilo Almonte, IF Corban Joseph, and IF David Adams to the 40-man roster today. The first three guys are not surprising at all, as I explained yesterday.

Joseph, drafted out of high school in 2008, was eligible for this year’s Rule 5 Draft because he graduated at 19 years old, so he had to protected one year earlier than usual. Adams is somewhat surprising to me; he’s missed the majority of the last two seasons following a brutal ankle injury suffered last May. He’s played in just 29 games since, so the Yankees must feel pretty good about his health if they protected him.

There’s only spot on the 40-man roster left open now, so some guys will get the axe as the Yankees add players this offseason. Kevin Whelan is probably first in line to go, and something will have to give with the out-of-options trio of Greg Golson, Justin Maxwell, and Chris Dickerson.