Storylines: Brantley, Gomes win Silver Slugger awards
- Outfielder Michael Brantley and catcher Yan Gomeswere awarded 2014 Silver Slugger Awards on Thursday. Louisville Slugger annually awards Silver Sluggers to the top offensive player at each position in the American and National Leagues. It is the first career Silver Slugger Award for each player and marks the first time since 2000 the Indians placed two hitters on the exclusive club.
- ESPN’s Buster Olney believes the Yankees need to do everything they can do to get rid of Alex Rodriguez. Earlier in the week it was reported that Rodriguez admitted his PED use to the DEA, which is yet another black eye for baseball, the Yankees and Rodriguez in this ongoing saga. Olney believes the Yankees look to release or even suspend Rodriguez by invoking the player conduct clause in their standard contract in an effort to legally absolve themselves of the remaining $61 million left on his deal. Chances are this does not happen because language in the CBA likely supersedes such a clause, but the Yankees behind the scenes are probably going to do everything they can to try and get themselves off the hook of not only keeping Rodriguez on the roster but also paying him all of the remaining money on his deal.
Other News and Notes:
- The White Sox are receiving early interest for shortstop Alexei Ramirez as they have already been contacted by the Yankees, Mets and Dodgers.
- The Dodgers officially announced the addition of former Athletics assistant GM Farhan Zaidi and former Padres GM Josh Byrnes to their front office. Zaidi will be their new general manager and Byrnes their senior vice president of baseball operations.
- The Rays announced their preliminary list of managerial candidates, a list that includes Dave Martinez,Charlie Montoyo, Manny Acta, Don Wakamatsu, Craig Counsell, Raul Ibanez, Ron Wotus and Kevin Cash. Cash is the Indians bullpen coach.
- Braves CEO Terry McGuirk told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Braves payroll is not expected to go down. It was at $112 million last season. Also, the Braves will probably be a greater focus as they will go to the GM Meetings next week to get a feel for what type of return they could get for Jason Heyward,Justin Upton or Evan Gattis.
- Onley notes that Hanley Ramirez has a strong desire to play shortstop or at least the infield in general, something that could hurt his free agent stock. He believes if he makes it known that he would like to play a corner outfield position, third base or shortstop that it would create a strong market for him.
- According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is weighing whether to pitch one more season in the Major League, one more season in Japan or to just retire.
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports notes that pitcher Wandy Rodriguez has recovered from knee surgery and will get some work in an offseason winter league.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. clarified that the team has no plans to move Cody Asche to the outfield in order to make room for Maikel Franco. At the moment, the Phillies plan to platoon both at third base unless they are able to move Ryan Howard in a deal so one can play first base.
- The Blue Jays could be a busy team this offseason. One player they are already making calls on in the trade front is second baseman Howie Kendrick.
- According to Heyman, the Yankees early free agent targets for the rotation are Brandon McCarthy, Jason Hammel and Chris Capuano.
- Olney notes that the Giants are interested in resigning Jake Peavy.
- Former reliever J.J. Putz has joined the Diamondbacks front office as a special assistant.
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Why can't Rodriguez just go away !!! So tired of him and his arrogance. Prime example of someone hiding behind the CBA to keep his name in lights. Cannot think of a more hated athlete. And well deserved. Just a great big jerk !!!!
Would it be worthwhile to kick the tires on Wandy Rodriguez ?