• Got some questions today about why the Yankees chose to DFA Brett Marshall, who pitched well in September and was ranked among the Yankees Top 10 prospects by Baseball America at this time last year. What made Marshall a DFA candidate were his Triple-A numbers. He had a 5.13 ERA with a 1.53 WHIP in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. Combine that with the Yankees relatively long list of similar-level pitching prospects — Manny Banuelos, Vidal Nuno, Shane Greene, Jose Ramirez and Nik Turley could all be Triple-A starters this year — made Marshall a solid choice to clear a roster spot. There’s a chance last year’s struggles get him through waivers, and if he’s lost, there’s some depth in place.
• Might not want to take Grant Balfour off the board after all. Multiple reports out of Baltimore say Balfour’s physical set off some red flags and his deal with the Orioles is at least somewhat in question. Wonder if those physical issues could lower the cost so that the Yankees might like the risk-reward possibility.
• Speaking of risk-reward, Wally Matthews made the case today for the Yankees giving Johan Santana a look on a minor league deal. I’ll add that if the Yankees don’t add another standout starter, the Yankees might be exactly the kind of team Santana wants to sign with because of the legitimate opportunity to land a rotation job. Can’t imagine the Yankees would be the only team willing to give Santana a non-roster invitation.
• Dan Connolly in Baltimore has some additional Brian Roberts contract details. He says the deal could get up to $4.6 million based on plate appearances. I was told there were PA incentives, just hadn’t heard the amount of money involved.
• Speaking of Roberts, his former manager in Baltimore, Buck Showalter, had some kind words to say about the Yankees new second base addition. “You saw glimpses (last year) of what everyone used to see,” Showalter told the New York Post, “and I believe it is still there. He takes very good care of himself. He has something left. I’d be surprised if he didn’t do well for the Yankees. And I mean that.” Obviously you have to consider the source on this one, but at least Showalter didn’t totally dismiss the idea.
Associated Press photo