Via Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees have intensified their pursuit of Dodgers’ right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Several other clubs are involved as well, so the Yankees have competition. Kuroda has a full no-trade clause and will need to be persuaded to waive it, though perhaps former teammate Russell Martin could help do that. I can’t imagine it’ll hurt. Here’s pretty much everything you need to know about the guy, who would be a definite upgrade to the rotation.
Alex Rodriguez isn’t with the Yankees right now because of his knee surgery, but that’s no reason to skip out on wishing him a happy birthday. He turns 36 today, and is the most productive position player in baseball that age or older in terms of bWAR (3.2). Todd Helton (2.6) is the only other guy that age that has been worth more than two wins to his team this year. Earlier today we heard that Alex will start his baseball related rehab activities with the team in New York rather than Tampa, but he’s still a few weeks from returning. It’ll be nice to have him back, it’s impossible to replace a hitter of his caliber and there’s definitely a different vibe to the offense when he’s out.
Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The now Carlos Beltran-less Mets are playing the Reds at 7pm ET (Pelfrey vs. Arroyo), and Beltran’s new team (the Giants) are in Philadelphia (Cain vs. Hamels) on ESPN at the same time. The trade can’t be official for 24 hours because of his no-trade clause per league rules, so Beltran isn’t in the lineup for San Fran tonight. Use this thread to talk about anything your heart desires, so have at it.
Via Jim Callis, the Yankees have agreed to sign 14th round pick Rookie Davis for $550,000, which is obviously well-above MLB’s slot recommendation. It’s the largest bonus given to a player outside of the top three rounds so far this year, by any team. Davis, a right-hander who stands 6-foot-4 and 235 lbs., is said to own “an 89-92 mph fastball and a promising curveball.” Here’s some video.
Via Buster Olney, the Cubs are “trying to nudge” the Yankees into taking Carlos Zambrano off their hands, dangling some money to offset his salary as a carrot. Zambrano is under contract for $18M next season with a $19.25M vesting player option for 2013 that won’t be a factor because he won’t meet the Cy Young Award voting criteria to trigger it. Not only is he completely insane, but Zambrano’s performance has been declining. His 4.70 ERA is backed up by a 4.21 xFIP, the sixth straight year is xFIP is over 4.20. Plus the Cubs are trying to give him away, what does that tell you? Pass.
A few updates from the infirmary…
- Rafael Soriano was not activated before today’s game, he likely will be before Friday’s game. He threw back-to-back rehab games on Sunday and Monday, so they’re just giving him the extra rest instead of rushing him right back out there. Tomorrow’s off day will give him three days off following the back-to-back.
- Alex Rodriguez will do his early rehab work with the team in New York rather than in Tampa. The Yankees have a date in mind for when A-Rod will start taking batting practice and such, but his return to the lineup is still a few weeks off.
- Pedro Feliciano is probably a non-option for the rest of the year. “I would think so, yeah,” said Joe Girardi before today’s game when asked if he’s ready to give up on having the lefty this season. “He’s not doing much.” Girardi said Feliciano is “trying” to play catch.
- Damaso Marte, however, might be able to contribute something late in the season. He continues to throw bullpens in Tampa and is about nine months out from shoulder surgery. I still wouldn’t count on him returning this year, but it sounds like Marte has a better chance to do so than Feliciano.
It’s a getaway day for the Mariners and the Yankees have tomorrow off. I sure hope the bats don’t head into the 48 hour or so break a little early against King Felix. Get greedy and sweep that miserable team, fellas. Here’s the lineup…
Phil Hughes, SP
The game starts a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.
With just five days until the non-waiver trade deadline, rumors are starting to fly with reckless abandon. The Yankees, by all indications, are looking into most available starting pitchers. There are ups and downs to each, of course, so let’s take a look at the three that have gotten some play in the past day.
Ubaldo Jimenez: In terms of talent, years of control, and contract, he’s the best pitcher on the market. It’s still unclear why the Rockies would consider trading him in the first place. The only reason is to start a quick rebuilding process, since their two biggest stars are under contract for many years to come. Joel Sherman reports that the Rockies have come down in price and are asking for three of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero, and Ivan Nova. Perhaps if they take two and some other prospects it could work, but I cant’ see the Yanks trading three of their top five guys for him.
Ricky Nolasco: We’ve heard his name mentioned a few times in passing before, but nothing seriously. This morning SI’s Jon Heyman said that the Yanks tried for him, but that the Marlins aren’t ready to deal. Nolaso is under contract through 2013, for $9 million next year and $11.5 million in 2013. I don’t quite like this one, unless he comes super cheap. His results have never matched his potential — they’ve been pretty far off, in fact — and his strikeouts are way down this year.
John Danks: There’s nothing connecting him to the Yankees, but Ken Rosenthal reports that he’s on the market. I wrote up the case for Danks last week. He’s my favorite option on the market, all considered. He won’t cost as much as Jimenez and he’s better than Nolasco. The White Sox seem to be in wheeling and dealing mode right now; as I write this, they’re in the process of trading Edwin Jackson to the Blue Jays.