To say things have been slow this offseason is a bit of an understatement but it is still November, we have months of offseason to go and let’s face it, not everyone can be the Toronto Blue Jays who are in full-on revamp mode.
So until the Yankees announce some more signings – namely Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera who will hopefully be signed soon – we are left to read stories about Jeff Keppinger being a possible free agent target for the Yankees. The thought is that he could play the Eric Chavez role – to start third base when needed and also as a fill-in Derek Jeter who more than likely won’t be at 100% at the start of the season coming off his season ending ankle surgery. Keppinger who batted .325/.367/.439/.806 for the Rays in 2012 made starts at first, second and third base. He hit nine home runs, collected 40 RBI and played in 115 games. This also isn’t the first time he’s appeared on the Yankees’ radar. Maybe this time, he’ll be scooped up, pun intended.
Another story making the rounds on this quiet Saturday in November is about Russell Martin voicing an interest in playing shortstop for the Canadian team in the World Baseball Classic. Yes, you read correctly, I wrote shortstop.
The reasoning behind this request is because George Kottaras of the Oakland A’s is also on Canada’s roster. I guess Martin wants to give Kottaras a chance to play – Martin played in the 2009 WBC.
This isn’t the first time Martin stepped aside to help another player out. In the 2011 All-Star Game, he was the only Yankee to remain on the bench in the American League’s 5-1 loss to the National League in order to allow Matt Wieters to appear on the field in his first All-Star game.
Ichiro Suzuki said he’s willing to wait for the Yankees to sign the aforementioned Pettitte and Rivera and according to an article by George King of the New York Post, Suzuki would love to play for the Yankees again.
“There has been a lot of interest [from teams], but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it’s hard for him to say no to the Yankees. His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we will wait and see.’’
Ichiro played in 67 games for the Yankees and batted .322/.340/.454/.794 with seven home runs – I saw him hit two in one game against Josh Beckett in August. It was both hilarious and spectacular.
Now, the one caveat with Ichiro is his price tag. He made $17M last year and the Yankees will most likely not be willing to pay that price for a 39-year-old outfielder. Then again, you never know, Ichiro may take less money to remain with the Yankees.
Hopefully we’ll find out soon.