Just a few random things bouncing around out there…
• Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were never involved in talks for Dan Haren. It was well known that the Angels wanted to trade Haren before having to decide on his 2013 option.
• Interesting note from Danny Knobler, who says the Yankees are considering moving Brett Gardner to center field next year and shifting Curtis Granderson to left. The Yankees toyed with Granderson in left field during his first spring with the team, but they ultimately kept Granderson where he was most familiar and put Gardner in the spot where he was most easily platooned. However, in the past year or two, Granderson’s defense seems to have slipped while Gardner is widely considered one of the best defensive outfielders in the game.
• More shakeup in the Yankees minor league pitching instructors. Nardi Contreras has been reassigned within the organization and Gil Patterson has replaced him as the minor league pitching coordinator. Late in the season, the Yankees got rid of Billy Connors, a longtime minor league pitching guru in the organization.
• Heyman points out that, given the thin market for everyday catchers, Russell Martin could be one of the top targets despite his disappointing batting average. Supply and demand means his value might not have dipped.
• One notable non-Yankees decision today: The Angels elected not to make a qualifying offer to Torii Hunter, who now hits the free agent market with no draft-pick compensation attached. Could make him an even better fit for the Yankees.
• Ken Rosenthal expects free agent spending to be fairly intense this winter, and he thinks that spending could begin earlier than usual because the landscape is much clearer under the new rules. “… based on prior history, the mediocre quality of the free-agent class is unlikely to deter clubs from spending lavishly,” Rosenthal wrote.
• Major League Baseball and the Players Association announced that they are together donating $1 million to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Feeding America to assist emergency relief efforts after Sandy.
Associated Press photo