Kicking off this final week of the offseason, Buster Olney reports that Vladimir Guerrero has “made it known to the Yankees” that he would like to be their designated hitter this season. Olney still says he expects Raul Ibanez to be the veteran hired for the job.
All of the free agent choices come with obvious concerns — mostly about their age and recent production — but they could thrive in a very specific, platoon-type situation. And that’s likely what the Yankees are looking for. There are no sure things left on the market, so the Yankees are going to have to roll the dice with what’s left.
• Jon Heyman still says the A.J. Burnett trade is “likely to get done” with the Pirates paying $13-15 million of Burnett’s contract.
• It was mentioned in the AP story I posted earlier, but Phil Hughes is already in Tampa and reportedly in noticeably better shape. Erik Boland reports that Hughes has dropped 20 pounds, though Hughes says it was not so much about losing weight as it was about converting fat to muscle.
• Some other players already at the Yankees complex in Tampa according to Anthony McCarron: Derek Jeter, Justin Maxwell, Ramiro Pena, Austin Romine, Ivan Nova, Dave Robertson, Cory Wade, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.
• Good stuff from Alex Bleth over at Bronx Banter. He wrote a nice profile of new Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, who seems to come with a terrific reputation and a already strong relationship with Yankees catcher Russell Martin.
• Baseball Prospectus released its Top 101 prospects list. Banuelos (No. 29), Gary Sanchez (No. 40), Betances (No. 63) and Mason Williams (No. 99) made the cut. Jesus Montero was ranked seventh.
• Showtime announced today that the Marlins will be featured in season two of The Franchise. I’ve never seen the show. I believe last year’s season followed the Giants, correct?
• You’ll all be pleased to know that it was announced today that Madonna will perform a second show at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, September 8, two nights after her previously-announced first show on Thursday, September 6. I’m overwhelming with indifference, but seriously, I want to go to that Roger Waters show.
Associated Press photo