Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The Seattle Mariners and Robinson Cano have stopped talking contract, the New York Daily News reports, because Cano's agent — hip hop impresario Jay Z — asked for too much money. Instead of treated, the M's got tricked!
Hova, say it ain't so!
Cano and his camp arrived in Seattle with what sources described as basically an eight-year deal for $200 million in hand and the assurances that Seattle would go to nine years and $225 million. But when Jay Z then upped the ante to 10 years for $252 million, Mariners president Howard Lincoln apparently "exploded," according to one of the sources, and ended the meeting.
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Tim McCarver never said he was retiring. Not yet. No matter that he won't return to the national Fox broadcasts, there might be another TV job for him in 2014 with the St. Louis Cardinals. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says discussions are underway that could lead to McCarver working again for his former team, "probably in a limited role":
Officials at Fox Sports Midwest, which has the Cardinals’ local TV rights, declined to comment. And Dan Farrell, the Cards senior vice president who oversees their broadcast operations, could not be reached.
McCarver, contacted Thursday, did not want to talk about any specific job possibilities for next season. But he did reiterate that he hasn’t retired at age 72.
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Nelson Mandela, a man of resolute character, vast accomplishment and immeasurable influence died Thursday at age 95. He also looked nothing like New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. And yet, NBC station WDIV-TV in Detroit confused one for the other during a newscast segment that was meant to pay tribute to Mandela by putting up a graphic of A-Rod holding a bat.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
The Walk-Off is your end-of-the-day collection of news and gossip from the world of baseball, plus the best of the blogosphere and other assorted goodness.
GOOD READ: Is Seattle a realistic destination for Robinson Cano? Yahoo Sports baseball columnist Tim Brown weighs in. [Yahoo Sports]
IT'S OFFICIAL: Brian Wilson and the Los Angeles Dodgers are reunited for 2014 ... and maybe 2015. He'll get $10 million next season. [Yahoo Sports]
FREE-AGENT SIGNING: More relief pitcher news: Red Sox agree to terms with Edward Mujica. He'll make $9.5 million over two years. [Yahoo Sports]
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Brian McCann, the New York Yankees' new $85 million man, was officially introduced to the pinstriped-loving world on Thursday, calling it one of the best days of his life. It was also one of the most hairless days of his life.
McCann, the former Atlanta Brave, is the latest Yankee addition to adhere to the team's grooming policy — no beards, no goatees, no long hair. Mustaches, oddly enough, are OK. George Steinbrenner must have yearned for a world of Ron Swansons.
- David Brown at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
This report from ESPN Deportes is in Spanish, but the numbers in it translate to an offer of between $230 million-$240 million over 10 seasons for free agent Robinson Cano by the Seattle Mariners. It also says that Cano met with the Mariners in Seattle on Thursday.
That's a little bit more (sarcasm) than what the Yankees reportedly have offered Cano, the New York Daily News reported a day earlier:
The Yankees are set firm on a deal worth $165 million-$170 million over seven years while Cano’s latest demand was for a nine-year pact worth $260 million that also includes a $28 million vesting option for a 10th year.
Here's how the differences compare:
• Mariners have offered about $23 milion-$24 million per season for 10 years.
• The Yankees have offered about $24 million-$25 million per season for seven years.
• Cano wants $28 million-$29 million per season for nine years.
- David Brown at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
Before you Milwaukee Brewers fans get all excited twirling each other over your heads because left-hander Will Smith is coming to your team in a trade, just hold on. When introducing himself to the Milwaukee media Wednesday afternoon, Smith said he's not the actor/hip-hop vocalist Will Smith. He confirmed it during a conference call.
That's OK, though. Smith is a good back-of-the-rotation candidate long-term who is coming off a good season pitching from the bullpen for the Kansas City Royals. His slider gets a huge percentage of swings and misses. Just as long as Brewers fans don't want him to sing "Welcome To Miami" (or "Milwaukee.") And don't ask him about his son, Jaden, either.
Smith says that having a famous namesake is as irritating as it might sound.
“Remember that ESPN commercial that came out with Michael Jordan?” he said in a conference call with reporters. “That’s basically my life.”
When did the jokes get old?
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
For a little while last season, the Kansas City Royals looked like they might be able to shake off all those years of losing and make the postseason. It didn't happen, of course, but the Royals got people in Kansas City excited again.
They finished 86-76, the franchise's first time over .500 since 2003 and the first time they topped the 85-win mark since 1989. For a team that hadn't made the playoffs since 1985, it was an enjoyable run in 2013. Heck, GM Dayton Moore might have been a little too excited about it, saying he felt like they won the World Series.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
Mariano Rivera may be retired from baseball, but he showed he's still capable of throwing cut fastballs for strikes while making an appearance at Dick's Sporting Goods "Pinstripe Wednesday" event in Manhattan. The only difference, on this occasion Rivera wasn't using baseballs to break opponents bats. Instead, he was using a little humor to bust his former teammates... well, let's just say he was having a little fun at their expense.
It all broke loose when Rivera addressed the crowd and started going over his list of Christmas gifts he'd like to give three prominent members of the New York Yankees from his time with the team: Shortstop Derek Jeter, current free agent Robinson Cano and manager Joe Girardi. He got a pretty solid shot in on all three men, but his zinger for Jeter was especially strong.
For Derek Jeter, a life-size female doll, "so he would have a wife."
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
The New York Yankees landed a much needed insurance policy on Wednesday when they agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with free agent Kelly Johnson. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to report the agreement was in place.
It's not a headline grabbing signing like that of Jacoby Ellsbury, but it's an important one for New York as they borrow from another division rival. Johnson, 31, is a jack-of-all-trades in the field, having spent time at second base, which is his primary position, as well as third base, first base and left field with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013. That versatility and skill set made him an attractive target this winter as they await resolutions on Robinson Cano's free agency and Alex Rodriguez's appeal hearing in New York.