Jeff Passan

  • 10 Degrees: The Mets are on fire and trying to validate themselves, like so many others

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    In the three most important games the Washington Nationals have played this season, all of which they lost to the surging New York Mets, they used five relief pitchers: Tanner Roark, Casey Janssen and Matt Thornton once apiece, with Felipe Rivero and Aaron Barrett twice.

    The first two games were one-run losses, both frittered away in the late innings, the kind that sting even more when considering Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon, arguably the best relief duo in the National League, spent the entire series picking splinters out of their behinds.

    Managerial malpractice is an easy thing to find when highlighting a small window of time. Ned Yost spent last August looking like he was going to bunt his way into unemployment, and for that he ended up in the World Series. Validation comes in plenty of ways, and all across baseball there are players and GMs and particularly managers looking for it. And Yost's triumph gives a sliver of hope to …

    1. Matt Williams after he bungled his way through the weekend series against the Mets and watched his team, the overwhelming favorite to run roughshod through the NL East, slip into a first-place tie with the Mets.


  • MLB trade deadline: Winners & losers

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    Here, then, are one-sentence summaries of every team’s deadline dealings, with a few getting an extra paragraph to encapsulate their activity.

    New York Yankees: They whiffed going after Craig Kimbrel, who would’ve made their bullpen the finest three-headed monster since Ghidorah, but are calling up Luis Severino to join the rotation, so the AL East’s first-place team just got better. Verdict: Good job, good effort.

    Boston Red Sox: For all of the calls they made – and though they kept quiet, they were trying to get creative – they didn’t have any impending free agents worth much and didn’t want to deal from a core in which they still believe. Verdict: About right.

    Tampa Bay Rays: Got rid of Kevin Jepsen and David DeJesus, and will be a frequent target for teams looking to deal this offseason because of their honey hole of starting pitching. Verdict: Fine.

    Baltimore Orioles: Added Gerardo Parra to their rotating troupe of outfielders, a fine move but not one that brought the impact sort of player a team with a handful of free-agents-to-be needed. Verdict: Could’ve done more.

    Chicago White Sox: Did nothing. Verdict: Makes sense.

    More MLB coverage:


  • With money and cutting-edge brilliance, Dodgers playing a game others can’t

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    All those years when the New York Yankees were outspending everyone by $20 million and $30 million and more, this is what they should’ve done. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a monetary behemoth, beneficiaries of an $8 billion TV contract, and under president Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi, they’re parlaying that financial advantage into a competitive one, too.

    The Yankees sashayed into free-agent meetings like fat cats, paying big dollars for big names and big splashes. They were old money acting like new money. The Dodgers positioned themselves in diametric opposition, fundamentally against larding their roster with aging players, using their cash as judiciously as the filthy rich can, exploring every creative nook and cranny possible.

    [Follow the latest MLB news and rumors on Yahoo Sports' trade deadline tracker]

    More MLB coverage:

  • Sources: Jays agree to trade for ace David Price

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a trade for ace David Price on Thursday afternoon, sources with knowledge of the deal told Yahoo Sports, betting on themselves despite a .500 record and sending three left-handed pitching prospects to the Detroit Tigers, who are only 1½ games behind the Blue Jays in the standings.

    Toronto’s emergence Thursday shoved the Los Angeles Dodgers, favored to land Price, to the side and thrust the Blue Jays – who have outscored opponents by 100 runs this season but have little to show for it – back into a marquee position as they try to chase down the Yankees in the American League East.

    Pitcher Daniel Norris is the prized return for Detroit, which sought pitching depth for its organization and also will receive Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt.

    This year, Price has been at perhaps his finest, posting a 2.53 ERA and averaging nearly seven innings a start for the Tigers, who last season gave up Drew Smyly, Austin Jackson and Willy Adames in a trade-deadline deal for him.

    More MLB coverage:

  • Three-way deal involving Dodgers, Braves, Marlins still not completed

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    A convoluted three-way deal that would reload the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation, send the Atlanta Braves a Cuban hitting prospect and continue the Miami Marlins’ tradition of selling off assets was on hold going into Thursday as the teams delved into medical information of the players who would exchange hands.

    Starting pitchers Alex Wood and Mat Latos would go to the Dodgers under the latest incarnation of the deal, which went through multiple iterations and, depending on the result of the medical reviews, still could change, sources told Yahoo Sports late Wednesday. In addition to dealing Wood, Atlanta would send reliever Jim Johnson and prospect Jose Peraza to the Dodgers, who in addition to Latos would receive outfielder Michael Morse from the Marlins.

    The biggest issue, sources said, is Olivera’s elbow, which has enough damage to the ulnar collateral ligament that his six-year deal with the Dodgers includes a club option for a seventh year at $1 million if he needs Tommy John surgery. Because the Dodgers gave Olivera a $28 million signing bonus and he’s making $2 million this year, the Braves would owe Olivera a little more than $32 million for the next five seasons.

  • Sources: Rangers finalizing blockbuster deal for Phillies ace Cole Hamels

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes.

    The Texas Rangers are finalizing a blockbuster trade for ace Cole Hamels that would send six players to the Philadelphia Phillies, ending their long dalliance with dealing one of the best pitchers in franchise history and fortifying the Rangers for 2016 and beyond, sources with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo Sports.

    Five prospects – catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams, and pitchers Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff – along with left-hander Matt Harrison are expected to go to Philadelphia for Hamels, left-handed reliever Jake Diekman and cash, sources said.

    Because of Texas’ deep cache of prospects – the Rangers didn’t include their three most highly regarded, Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara and Chi-Chi Gonzalez – it emerged as a favorite for Hamels in recent weeks as Philadelphia upped its efforts to trade him. The complexity of the final deal is evident, as Philadelphia surrendered an ace and took back the $28 million Harrison is owed over the next two seasons in exchange for a group with significant upside.

    More MLB coverage:

  • Sources: Royals acquire utilityman Ben Zobrist from A’s

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    The Kansas City Royals continued their uncharacteristic trade-deadline shopping spree Tuesday, acquiring utilityman Ben Zobrist from the Oakland A’s for top pitching prospect Sean Manaea and right-hander Aaron Brooks, sources familiar with the deal told Yahoo Sports.

    The deal, in which Oakland will also send more than $2 million to Kansas City, comes on the heels of the Royals’ trade for ace Johnny Cueto. After getting Zobrist and Cueto, Kansas City, long the American League laughingstock, has positioned itself as a significant AL favorite a year after a surprise run to the World Series.

    While the addition of Cueto helped fortify a rotation in need of a frontline starter, the Zobrist trade might be an even better fit for Kansas City. The 34-year-old Zobrist, who, like Cueto, is a pending free agent, has played every position except catcher. With left fielder Alex Gordon on the disabled list, Zobrist can help man the position until his return, at which point he’ll almost certainly take over second-base duties from Omar Infante, who has struggled all season.

    More MLB coverage:

  • Inside the shocking trade of Troy Tulowitzki

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    There was always an agreement between Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort and his star shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki, spoken out loud so as to be abundantly clear: If the Rockies were to trade Tulowitzki, they were going to ask for his blessing first. Then came the blockbuster deal that sent him to the Toronto Blue Jays late Monday night, and Tulowitzki, according to sources inside the Rockies' clubhouse, found out not via a phone call but when teary-eyed manager Walt Weiss yanked him from their game in the ninth inning.

    The story of how Tulowitzki was treated, relayed by people aggrieved with his departure and how the Rockies broke their word to the longtime face of their franchise, is actually a fitting end to a multiyear trade-him-or-don’t saga that wound up with Tulowitzki fetching his passport and heading to Canada along with LaTroy Hawkins for shortstop Jose Reyes and a trio of right-handed pitching prospects: Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco.

    More MLB coverage:

  • 10 Degrees: A trade deadline primer, with the Royals going all in (yes, really)

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    Rather than glorify itself for two consecutive years of success, Kansas City has shown the sort of adaptive skills that weren’t present early in Dayton Moore’s tenure as Royals general manager. No longer are the Royals making decisions looking solely inward. Their place in the baseball world – atop the AL Central by 7½ games, better than the rest of the league by four – brought not a greater sense of security but one of urgency. The Royals could win a pennant with the team they had before Sunday. They should win it with the one they have after it.

    Even if Kansas City manages to lock up two of them, the planets aligning as they have this season in either of the next two is no given, particularly with the approach of free agency bumping their salaries via arbitration and hamstringing Kansas City’s ability to bring in big-time free agents. All of which is to say: Getting …

    4. Cole Hamels was made quasi-available by the Philadelphia Phillies. At this point, the Phillies might as well be the DMV, because they’re made people wait such an interminably long time they’re tired of the inefficiency.


  • Pedro Martinez's poignant Hall of Fame speech perfectly sums up pitcher's brilliance

    Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes.

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – There is a man, a father to five and a son to a nation, a beacon and a pillar, an overflowing heart and an expansive brain, a deep, vivid human being who fulfills others more than they could ever fulfill him. And this man has 30 minutes to encapsulate a life so rich there's not enough fire in the world to boil it down to its essence.

    This is complex. This is real and tangible, life outside of the bubble in which the ability for a quarterback to read a Cover 2 defense or ornamental lettering on a diploma connotes intelligence. This was Sunday for Pedro Martinez, in front of his family and everyone watching back in the Dominican Republic, showing the world what he grew into and how others could do the same, digging into the deepest reservoirs of himself to imbue others with the sense that even the poorest kid could find himself here, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, his face on a plaque alongside the finest players in the sport, forever a part of the game.

    "When you see me," Martinez said, "you can see a sign of hope, of faith, of determination, of strength, courage, with dignity."