Just a few notes and links on this first day of free agency…
• Curtis Granderson rarely makes a definitive statement. If you’ve noticed, his pregame and postgame interviews are often an overwhelming attempt to see every side of every issue. And during a radio interview earlier today, he seemed to take the same approach talking about the Yankees qualifying offer. “Well, it’s definitely something you’ve got to think about,” Granderson told MLB Network Radio. “And I appreciate the Yankees extending that offer to me. You definitely got to continue to weigh all your options to see what’s the best fit for you.”
• Speaking of qualifying offers, Ken Rosenthal says the Yankees and Red Sox are two of the earlier offseason winners because three qualifying offers from each team set up either reasonable short-term contracts with impact players or eventual draft pick compensation for those farm systems. As Rosenthal points out, two of baseball’s highest-spending teams benefiting from the compensation process wasn’t exactly the plan when the system was put in place.
• I guess this technically isn’t a Yankees story right now, but ESPN says Jay-Z is being investigated because of a birthday gift he gave Robinson Cano. Basically, the league has rules in place that are intended to keep an agent from giving a gift — such as, for example, a $33,900 watch — that might entice a player to stay with that agent for reasons that have nothing to do with actual representation. Ninety-nine problems, am I right Jay?
• During the season, I sit next to Andy McCullough in the press box, and I know he’s a big believer in Brian McCann as an elite middle-of-the-order hitter. Today, McCullough looked at McCann as a possible fit for the Yankees as an offensive upgrade behind the plate. As Andy notes in his own understated way, the Yankees current in-house catchers lack “dynamism.” Yes, indeed.
• A behind-the-scenes addition for the Yankees: According to Juan Rodriguez from the Sun Sentinel, the Yankees have signed former Marlins third-base coach and minor league manager Joe Espada to be a special assistant and scout. The Yankees have done this before, bringing people with on-field experience to bring a different sort of scouting eye to the organization. “Anytime the Yankees call or you have an organization that’s won 27 World Championships, you listen,” Espada said. “They’re looking for baseball people to help their scouting department and get back to the postseason. I listened to their ideas and their plans, and was very interested to see more and be part of a winning organization.”