- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports22 hrs ago
They're still the New York Yankees.
Talk about your luxury tax. Fret about the team ERA. Wave goodbye to one icon, then another, then another. Have the third baseman go up in flames. Watch the Boston Red Sox win a World Series. Another World Series, make that.
They know what they like, they see what they like, and then they buy what they like. They play – and pay – for today, because that's who they are, and tomorrow they can fix whatever happened today, or so they think, and that's all that matters here.
Hours after the Yankees made the official announcement they'd signed Brian McCann, the best catcher on the market, to a five-year, $85 million contract, they reached an agreement to sign Jacoby Ellsbury, the best outfielder on the market, to a seven-year, $153 million contract, according to sources. And, if they have their way, they'll get through this clumsy courtship with Robinson Cano and sign the best infielder on the market for something even more than Ellsbury, which will leave them with only a pitching staff to rework. You know, tomorrow.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports23 hrs ago
Nine-and-a-half years later, Carlos Beltran was back in Kansas City on Tuesday, hosted by an organization that had traded him away and continued its path into the wilderness, that once viewed his worth on the trade market as its way back to relevance and now views his worth in their lineup as its way back to relevance. The Royals reportedly have offered to Beltran as much as $48 million over three years, or a little less than Beltran made in his first four seasons with the New York Mets, all those many years ago.
And that was just the start of Tuesday, which culminated with the Yankees doing a very Yankee thing: agreeing with Jacoby Ellsbury on a seven-year, $153 million deal. It was quite a day in Major League Baseball. Actually, it was more like a week in Major League Baseball.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
The dearth of higher-end starting pitchers on the free-agent market and the cost of what is left led Monday to the alternative: The Washington Nationals acquired veteran right-hander Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for three players: infielder/outfielder Steve Lombardozzi, 22-year-old left-hander Ian Krol, and minor-league lefty Robbie Ray.
Starting pitching was the greatest off-season need for the Nationals. The Tigers, who lead their rotation with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Drew Smyly, had a spare.
Fister will fall in with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and one other – from Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan, Ross Detwiler and Ross Ohlendorf – to make up one of the better rotations in the National League. Veteran Dan Haren, whose only season with the Nats netted 10 wins and a 4.67 ERA, signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports7 days ago
For whatever is left of Ryan Braun and his dignity, do know that he knocked on a door Tuesday night in order to do the right thing. And for what remains of Dino Laurenzi Jr., who'd once been sacrificed by Braun to the ends of greed and self-preservation, know that Braun is fortunate Laurenzi is the man he appears to be. He will need more like him.
When Braun knocked, Laurenzi opened the door to the person who tried to ruin him. He let Braun in from the cold. He had him to his dinner table.
The details are vague. Braun, the disgraced ballplayer, told reporters in Milwaukee on Wednesday he'd been to Laurenzi's home the night before. Laurenzi's family was there. Braun brought his fiancée.
"We had some really good conversation," Braun said. "We've made amends." [Related: Washington, D.C. refuses to pay $300 million to Nationals for ballpark roof]
Laurenzi did not return a message left on his phone Wednesday morning.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports9 days ago
The St. Louis Cardinals will pay Jhonny Peralta $52 million to play shortstop for them for the next four seasons, a transaction that has outraged some, and not because Peralta may or may not be skilled enough anymore to play shortstop tomorrow, let alone in four years.
Jim Leyland famously said, "Jhonny Peralta is no donkey," which is one of the endearingly succinct scouting reports of all time, so for the moment let's assume the Cardinals got themselves a good bat and adequate shortstop at the somewhat reasonable rate of $13 million a year.
Then there's this: a member of the Biogenesis 14 – the 31-year-old Peralta served a 50-game ban at the end of last season – just received a $52 million contract. Presumably, free agent Nelson Cruz was pleased to learn there are no lingering hard feelings between baseball's establishment and Tony Bosch's clients.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports9 days ago
Matt Kemp probably should have been MVP once, and then he publicly mused about a 50-50 season, and in the two seasons since he has 29 home runs and 18 stolen bases and turned 29 years old.
He maneuvered through October on crutches, so he will spend another winter rehabbing and will return in the spring to a standing-room-only Los Angeles Dodgers outfield, assuming he returns to the Dodgers at all.
Ned Colletti, the Dodgers' general manager, is not shopping Kemp. His telephone rings and he picks it up and sometimes it's about Kemp, because other general managers count the Dodgers' outfielders – Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig and Kemp – and come up with four. Still, six years and $130 million remain on Kemp's contract, which isn't too much for a near-MVP, but it's rather pricy for an outfielder averaging about 90 games over the past two seasons and has hit six home runs in his last 274 at-bats.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
In a rebuild mode complicated by luxury-tax implications, Robinson Cano negotiations and the ongoing Alex Rodriguez saga, the New York Yankees on Saturday were nearing a multiyear agreement with free-agent catcher Brian McCann, sources said.
The contract is expected to be worth $85 million over five years with a sixth-year vesting option, according to a Fox Sports report. The deal is pending a physical.
The Boston Red Sox, among others, were believed to have interest in signing McCann.
A regular All-Star, the left-handed hitting McCann would seem a sound fit for Yankee Stadium. He has hit at least 20 home runs for six consecutive seasons, all of them for the Atlanta Braves, who drafted McCann in 2002 and are the only franchise he has played for. The Braves did make a qualifying offer to McCann and so would receive a draft pick as compensation, and apparently would cover the position next season with Evan Gattis and Christian Bethancourt.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
David Freese, World Series hero and toast of St. Louis a couple years back, on Friday was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Peter Bourjos, according to sources.
The Cardinals also acquired 22-year-old minor-league outfielder Randal Grichuk, who hit 22 home runs in the Texas League last season. The Angels, along with Freese, received right-handed reliever Fernando Salas, who appeared in 27 games for the Cardinals in 2013.
The trade is expected to be announced later Friday.
Leaving behind 2013, which ended in a World Series loss for the Cardinals and a fourth consecutive dark October for the Angels, the Cardinals sought outfield depth and the Angels required pitching first, a third baseman second. The trade allows the Cardinals to move Matt Carpenter to third and appoint rookie Kolten Wong at second and the Angels to fill their only positional hole. Los Angeles still must add at least one starting pitcher, probably two, and just were outbid for their free agent, left-hander Jason Vargas, by the Kansas City Royals.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports13 days ago
Then they all went home, led by Alex Rodriguez, who bugged out a day early. His arbitration case against Major League Baseball concluded Thursday in New York. In 12 days of hearings spread across nearly two months, MLB and Rodriguez argued and postured and bickered, and when arbitrator Frederic Horowitz returns a verdict – assuming that verdict does not exonerate Rodriguez – not a single person will believe that is the end of it.
It seems likely Rodriguez, who was appealing a 211-game suspension, would challenge in court even the lightest of penalties and also seek an injunction to continue his career while that is decided.
So, as the case wrapped up at MLB headquarters, there was the sense more of the same would come. Different time, different place, same evidence against Rodriguez that MLB officials considered a "mountain," that Rodriguez's attorneys viewed as a molehill, spin it again.
What are we left with?
Alex Rodriguez said he didn't do it. Wasn't him. Who you gonna believe, me or those lyin' eyes-a yours?
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports13 days ago
Discussions on a trade that would send St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese to the Los Angeles Angels for outfielder Peter Bourjos were termed "serious" by one source Thursday.
Freese, who will be 31 in April, was MVP of the 2011 World Series and NLCS for the Cardinals. He batted .262 with nine home runs in 138 games in 2013, then really struggled during the postseason, batting .179 as the Cardinals lost the World Series in six games to the Boston Red Sox.
In the absence of Freese, the Cardinals likely would move Matt Carpenter from second base to third, opening second base for rookie Kolten Wong.
Foxsports.com first reported the talks.