Monday morning news and notes: 1/18/16

Happy Monday morning, everyone. It has been a while since I've posted and I figured, why not start off with an entry talking about what other writers have written? We'll look at some Yankees news, and some news from around baseball, so grab a cup of joe, sit back and relax.

Yankees Stuff

First up, Ken Rosenthal, in his column on Fox Sports, posted this morning at 8:00 a.m., expounded on the Yankees and Yoenis Cespedes. Amazingly, it's January 18 and Cespedes has not been signed by anyone. Yesterday, Peter Gammons suggested that the Astros go in on Cespedes and today, Rosenthal suggested the Yankees trade Brett Gardner for a pitcher, then sign Cespedes.

Such a move would require a trade of left fielder Brett Gardner, who is under contract for three more seasons and owed $38 million. A Gardner deal, however, would be difficult to pull off this late in the off-season, and any pitcher the Yankees acquired for him would need to be inexpensive if the team also was signing Cespedes. Owner Hal Steinbrenner approved the additions of Castro and Chapman, but otherwise has been reluctant to increase payroll.

Rosenthal also states the obvious, that such a move is close to impossible. He also notes that a lot of clubs, including the team Cespedes helped make the playoffs, the Mets, are being cautious about signing Cespedes to a long-term deal.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, mentioned in his column on Saturday that Cliff Lee could be a good gamble for the Yankees, along with six other teams.

He writes:

Cliff Lee, LHP, free agent — While there’s been a great deal of inquiry, some teams say they haven’t been able to get a good read on Lee’s readiness. Is he ready to join a team right away or is he eyeing a midseason return after elbow issues wiped out his 2015 season? According to an official from an NL team, Lee wants to sign with a strong contender. An AL official said he knew very little about Lee’s offseason program and progress. Another NL official thought Lee was asking for a high base salary. If the 37-year-old lefty is progressing well, he would be a good gamble for teams like the Royals, Astros, Rangers, Orioles, Pirates, Yankees, or Blue Jays.

Here are my thoughts on Lee:

  • He is 37 and coming off a serious injury. And not just any injury, an elbow injury.
  • He decided to forgo surgery and rehab without it.
  • He has never wanted to come to the Yankees in the past so why would he do it now?
  • No thanks.

Would it be nice for him to make a comeback? Sure, but not with the Yankees. The Yankees have enough question marks when it comes to their pitching rotation.

Carlos Beltran helped push an initiative that would make it so each team in Major League Baseball would have a full-time interpreter for its Latino players. For many years, players from Spanish-speaking countries either had fellow teammates or coaches interpret for them: during interviews, team meetings, while they're on trips, etc. and in some cases, there were still communication gaps which made it hard for the player whose first language isn't English.

Beltran, speaking in a phone interview with David Waldstein of the New York Times, said, "There are times during team meetings, you can see it on their faces that they have no idea what is going on. That does not make sense.”

Good for Beltran for getting behind something like that. The guys who come here from places like the Dominican Republic, Central America and South America, make a huge effort to learn and understand English but for a lot of them, it's just easier to express themselves and get their points across while they're speaking their native tongue.

James Wagner of the Washington Post wrote a really interesting column about this last week, and I highly recommend it.

CC Sabathia posted a video of himself on Friday. It was his first bullpen of the year.

I'm really pulling for CC this year and hope he does well.

Jacoby Ellsbury, another Yankee who struggled a bit during the 2015 season, also posted video on Twitter, showing everyone how he trains for the season. (Make sure the volume isn't up too high because it startled me.)

Luis Arroyo, who is best known for his incredible 1961 season, and for being the first Puerto Rican to play for the Yankees, died last week after a battle with cancer at the age of 88. Arroyo was also responsible for the Yankees signing Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Ricky Ledee, among others. He worked for the Yankees as a scout for 20 years.

Some News From Around Baseball

  • The Kansas City Royals signed former Yankee Ian Kennedy for five years/$70M. Yeah, I don't know about that one either. The deal actually includes an opt-out after the first two years because doesn't every contract have an opt-out these days? It will be interesting to see how Kennedy performs for K.C. considering he was was 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA with the San Diego Padres last season.
  • Chris Davis got paid on Friday night. Davis and the Orioles agreed to a seven year/$161M deal. Now what's interesting about this deal is a source told ESPN's Buster Olney that Davis will receive a $17 million annual salary from 2016 - 2022 and will then receive additional annual payments through 2037. Fun fact: Davis will be 51 in 2037. Another fun fact: The Mets will have finally stopped paying Bobby Bonilla only two years before Davis stops getting paid by the O's. Deferred contracts are the best.
  • Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer had a fun time on Twitter last night. He signed on to state that as a rich person, he thinks it's unfair that he has to pay more taxes than poor people and went on to say that he would block anyone who disagreed with him. Let's just say his block button got quite a workout. It was a sight to behold. If you want to check it out, his account is @BauerOutage, though after last night, he should probably change it to @BauerOutrage.

And finally, we are 31 days away from Pitchers and Catchers reporting to Spring Training. We are in the homestretch.

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