It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and there are some baseball leftovers worth nibbling on.
The Seattle Mariners are said to be among the teams bidding for the rights to negotiate with Japanese shortstop and batting champion Tsuyoshi Nishioka . Given that the Mariners were supposed to be front runners earlier this month for Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma – and never made a bid! – I’m skeptical. Either way, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Japanese media sources think the Twins are the favorites to land Nishioka.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark talks about five teams with too much money on their hands this winter, and one of them is the Angels. In a tough American League West, Stark reports the Mariners may get to watch their Los Angeles division rival pursue – and possibly land – free agents Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre.
Former Mariner George Sherrill may not be tendered a contract by the Dodgers, and will make someone a marvelous situational leftie. Last year in Los Angeles, left-handed hitters batted just .192 against him in a team-high 65 games. The problem? He faced too many rigtht-handed batters - and they hit .474 against him. Used properly, Sherrill will be a valuable piece of someone’s bullpen.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, worth far more in New York than he would be anywhere else, has been offered a three-year, $45 million contract. According to the New York Post, that only puts the two sides $80 million apart. Yikes!
Mariners fans of a certain age may remember when team owner Jeff Smulyan pondered moving the franchise to Tampa, Fla. because Seattle simply wasn’t a good baseball market. Now the Tampa Rays – and Florida Marlins – are asking the question ‘Can baseball survive in Florida?‘
And for those starved for anything baseball, here’s George Carlin and his brilliant comparison of football and baseball. Worth a listen any time.