This was kind of a half-week, really. With the Thanksgiving holiday, things kind of went quite on Thursday and stayed that way through the weekend. In fact, the most significant news of the week was news that we more or less knew already.
Details of the Yankees signing of Brendan Ryan went public this week, and while we already knew Ryan was coming back to the Yankees, we didn’t know it was a two-year deal with an option for a third year. Ken Rosenthal reported that Ryan will make $5 million total in 2014 and 2015, and there are still options for 2016.
Naturally, the move raises significant questions about the role of Derek Jeter and the future of Eduardo Nunez.
Is Jeter really the favorite to start at shortstop this season? Should he be? Is it worth moving him to another position — third base, perhaps — so that Ryan’s spectacular glove can handle shortstop?
Does Nunez have a role going forward? He’s been the Yankees most advanced young infielder for about three years now, but he’s never shown enough consistency when given a chance to lay claim to the utility job. Now that Ryan is under contract for a while, Nunez could be trade bait. And if he doesn’t fetch anything on the open market, there would seem to be a chance the Yankees could DFA him at some point.
• Phil Hughes has his free agent deal. Last night, La Velle Neal reported that Hughes has agreed to a three-year, $24-million contract with the Twins. Young starting pitching is a valuable commodity, even after a bad season.
• In an interview on YES Network, Mark Teixeira explained that he’s still strengthening and working on range of motion in his surgically repaired wrist. He hopes to start hitting in January, hitting with authority in February, and playing in spring training games by early March. There’s little doubt that Teixeira will be ready for Opening Day, but he’s still got some recovery to get through.
• Still waiting for the official announcement of the Brian McCann deal. It seems likely that it will be completed and announced in the next week.
• Also still waiting for a decision on changes to the Japanese posting system. Various outlets have reported that Major League Baseball officials met with Japanese officials this week to try to get an agreement in place. The general expectation seems to be that something will be finished and Masahiro Tanaka will become available, but it hasn’t happened yet.
• The Yankees continue to negotiate with Robinson Cano, and they’re still heavily linked to Carlos Beltran. Those were were the subject of much conversation this past week, but not deal has been reached. In the case of Cano, it seems negotiations could last a while.
• Of course, there was more Alex Rodriguez stuff. He altered his lawsuit against MLB to call out Bud Selig for not testifying during the suspension appeal hearing. Also, Dr. Chris Ahmad fought back against Rodriguez by filing papers saying Ahmad did absolutely nothing wrong in the treatment and diagnosis of Rodriguez’s hip.
• Short-term Yankees infielder Luis Cruz has signed to play in Japan.
• The Hall of Fame announced its 2013 ballot, which includes former Yankees starter Mike Mussina among the first-timers. Nationally, Mussina is largely overshadowed by other first-timers like Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas, but locally he’s still the source of significant debate about whether he belongs in Cooperstown. That debate could continue for several years.
Associated Press photo