Mar 25

Top target for 2014: Robinson Cano?

Years after those Matt Kemp-for-Robinson Cano rumors were all the rage, could they end up being teammates?

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors today listed the Yankee second baseman as the top free agent possibility of the 2013-14 offseason. Cano, who had a .929 OPS for New York last year, will be 31 1/2 when the 2014 season begins. Assuming all goes well for him this year, he’ll no doubt be the latest ballplayer to set some kind of salary record for position or age or what have you — but as you might have heard, the Dodgers are players in that game these days. On top of that, Los Angeles will have a vacancy at Cano’s position.

Of course, the Yankees figure to be players in that game as well — especially if they falter on the field in 2013, as so many expect, and will find themselves desperate not to lose such a key player.

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Another interesting tidbit from MLB Trade Rumors today: Former Dodger Jamey Carroll explains why a 27-year-old minor-leaguer who has no negotiating power could still use an agent.

“They were into finding out who I was in the [Montreal Expos] organization,” Carroll said, “what the organization felt about me, and where I fit and what my chances were to keep getting opportunities.  I think that’s one of the most important things, where you sit within the organization.  How they view you and what goals they have for you, I think those are tough questions to ask and they were able to do that for me.  I was at a time where I had quite a few years in the minor leagues and wasn’t sure what my future held.  To me that was more important than worrying about contracts and shoe deals and stuff like that.”

Oct 27

The lame blame game

At the bottom of this morning’s Ramona Shelburne news story for ESPNLosAngeles.com about the Bryan Stow situation, she quotes Jerome Jackson, a lawyer representing Frank McCourt, as follows:

… “What happened to Bryan Stow was a tragedy,” he said. “The Dodgers have held fundraisers. The Dodgers have helped police in solving this case. That doesn’t mean we’re legally responsible for what happens here.

“What baffles me is that the level of public outrage at the Dodgers seems to be higher than the level of outrage at the people who inflicted the blows.” …

Here’s what I’d say to that:

1) Let’s be clear — whatever outrage exists isn’t against the Dodgers, it’s against McCourt. (Update: As Dodger Thoughts commenter Zissou_Steve points out, there was more outrage against Dodger fans than there was against McCourt when this incident occurred.)

2) Despite the anger against McCourt, I wouldn’t say that when it comes specifically to the Stow beating, people are angrier at McCourt than they are at the assailants. People understand who the true villains are.

3) However, if you’re trying to address public anger with McCourt, it sure doesn’t help when you make statements such as these:

“I’ve been doing these cases for 23 years and I have never seen one yet in which it didn’t take at least two people to tango,” (Jackson) said, referring to the notion that jurors could decide Stow bears some liability in the attack. “So stay tuned and stand by.”

Whatever the facts of the case are, when it comes to the question of “public outrage,” that’s an issue of public relations. Does this look like an example of good public relations?

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  • Matt Kemp was the only unanimous selection to The Sporting News National League All-Star Team that also includes Clayton Kershaw.
  • Robinson Cano, whom I still link to Kemp because of all the trade rumors involving the pair a couple years back, is looking (via agent Scott Boras) to redo his contract with the Yankees that includes club options of $14 million for 2012 and $15 million for 2013, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com.

    … Boras, has been peddling his sales pitch through the media recently, cautioning the Yankees that allowing Cano to become a free agent after the 2013 season would be extremely risky, not to mention expensive, the implication being that he would take Cano out onto the open market, where he would no doubt draw a lot of interest.

    An insider told Matthews that the chances of Cano’s contract being re-done were “highly, highly unlikely.”

  • Albert Pujols defended his hit-and-run playcalling, as well as the fact that he didn’t swing when he called the first hit-and-run in Game 5 Monday. (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)