Storylines: Yankees extend Cashman through 2017 season
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Friday, Oct. 10.
- The Yankees announced a three-year contract extension for general manager Brian Cashman. The new contract runs through the 2017 season. Cashman, 47, will return to a post which he has held since 1998 in spite of the fact that the Yankees missed the playoffs for consecutive seasons for the first time in his tenure in 2013-14. That two-year absence also marks the first time in which the Yankees have failed to reach the postseason in consecutive seasons since 1992-93. However, in spite of that fact, ESPN's Buster Olney reported in late September that the two sides were working on a new contract.
- Jim Tracy, Phil Nevin, Chip Hale, and Sandy Alomar are the finalists for the Diamondbacks managerial job, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. A decision will be announced on Monday.
News and Notes:
- The Mariners had a deal in place with Nelson Cruz last winter before ownership nixed the idea, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reported. Cruz was set to sign for a relatively meager $7.5 million or so, while giving the team an attractive option in the $9 million range.
- Pirates catcher Russell Martin rejected an extension offer made by the team at some point during the season, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported. Terms of the offer (or its precise timing) are not known. There are no indications that the sides are close on a late-breaking deal to keep Martin off the market, Heyman added. Pittsburgh reportedly has continued interest in bringing back Martin, and this reported mid-season effort lends credence to the idea that they will be serious in pursuit. On the other hand, of course, Martin stands alone among free agent backstops, and plenty of other clubs figure to make a run at him.
- Jayson Stark of ESPN.com wrote that players feel underrepresented as MLB experiments with new rules to increase the pace of play. No active players were included on the seven-man committee to look into the matter, though MLBPA executive director Tony Clark (a former Major Leaguer himself) is on the committee to serve as a voice for the players, commissioner-elect Rob Manfred explained to Stark via email. Nonetheless, players such as Curtis Granderson, Kevin Slowey and Brad Ziegler all went on the record with Stark, and a number of players who wished to remain anonymous brought up several issues they've taken with the endeavor. Some players feel that too much of the blame has been placed on them, when there's been little talk of shortening commercial breaks or the consequences that an increasingly matchup-based game has brought about (i.e. more pitching changes). More than anything, players hope to have a voice in the matter before changes are implemented, Slowey and Granderson explained.
- A.J. Burnett has a $12.75 million player option for the 2015 season, but he's also debated retirement on multiple occasions over the past two seasons, so whether or not he picks it up remains uncertain. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports heard, however, that Burnett is leaning toward pitching again in 2015. Heyman spoke to people close to Burnett and got the sense that given the righty's love of pitching and the solid $12.75 million payday, there's a "good chance" that he'll pitch in 2015.
- Though it's early in the process, the market for Yasmany Tomas is beginning to develop, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. To this point, the Rangers, Phillies, Padres, Giants, Mariners and Dodgers have all shown strong interest in the young slugger. Most of those clubs are logical fits, though the Dodgers are a bit surprising given the logjam of outfielders the team already has under contract. The Dodgers are already unable to find regular at-bats for Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Scott Van Slyke, so adding another outfielder to the mix would make a semi-surprising addition.
- The Twins could use Danny Santana at short or in center next year, GM Terry Ryan told Darren Woolfson of 1500 ESPN. That flexibility will presumably open up some additional possibilities for Minnesota. The 23-year-old had a stunning debut, putting up a .824 OPS that dwarfed anything he had done across seven minor league seasons.
- Nationals assistant GM Bryan Minniti has left the team, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported. Minniti said he felt it was time for a change, as James Wagner of the Washington Post reported. Indeed, he could be preparing to enter another field of work entirely. GM Mike Rizzo made clear in a statement that Minniti was an integral part of the organization's rise over the last five years.
- The arbitration order regarding Mid-Atlantic Sports Network television rights fees that is now the subject of litigation between the Nationals and Orioles would deliver about $300 million in payments to the Nationals over the five years, as James Wagner of the Washington Post wrote. Documents filed in court show the structure of the award, which spanned the 2012-16 seasons and therefore would have both retroactive and going-forward impact. Beginning with an approximately $53 million payout for 2012, the award escalated to $66 million in 2016.
However, I believe they will try to shop Kemp, Ethier and Crawford first.