Breaking down the K-Rod trade (cont.)
Word is, CC Sabathia has done some selling on the Yankees to his good buddy Fielder. This doesn't necessarily mean the Yankees will make a play for Fielder, as Sabathia could be acting on his own. But it may be a sign that Sabathia has an indication the Yankees will take care of him. His opt-out likely gives him the power to add two or maybe three years to a contract that will have $92 million over four years remaining after the year.
Bud Selig defended absent All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter, with the commissioner going so far as to say he probably wouldn't have come had it been him in Jeter's shoes. That was no surprise in that Jeter is viewed as a superstar who's only brought honor to the game. There are too many stars over the past couple decades who became tainted by misdeeds that Selig understandably tried hard to counteract the negative publicity surrounding Jeter's decision not to come to Phoenix to be introduced following his 3,000-hit magic. No players criticized Jeter, but some executives said they were surprised Jeter would do anything that could hurt his image.
One problem at the All-Star Game was the lack of star power compared to usual. Though there were 84 All-Stars by the time all the replacements were named, Jeter, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez and Chipper Jones were named but not here, Jon Lester, David Price, Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and James Shields were here but either not active or eligible, and Joe Mauer, Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols did not make the team.
Pujols, who wanted to come, should have been named as a replacement rather than Scott Rolen or Miguel Montero. However, manager Bruce Bochy said he didn't see the St. Louis papers in which Pujols expressed an interest in coming. Bochy also said he picked Montero because of his concern of having a third catcher after last year when Yadier Molina came out hurt and the NL had no possible replacement if Brian McCann had gotten hurt. Rolen is not having a particularly good year by his standards, but Aramis Ramirez refused to go. Bochy seemed to have regrets about leaving out Pujols, but said, "I'm not taking a bullet for [Ramirez].''
Bengie Molina, asked if he was going to play this year, said "No.'' He said he hadn't retired "yet'' though.
The Phillies seek a reliever and a righthanded bat. They play to win, so any claim of having little money to spend should be taken pretty lightly.
The Tigers could be a suitor for Carlos Beltran, who's been more often linked to the Giants, Red Sox or Yankees. The Tigers could look to add one hitter, either a second baseman, third baseman or outfielder. Someone else mentioned the Brewers for Beltran, though they'd have to move Corey Hart to centerfield to consider that.
It's no surprise that David Ortiz wants a two-year deal. The Red Sox would prefer a healthy one-year deal. But it might be hard for them not to accede to his wishes considering his performance: .304, 19 home runs, 55 RBIs.
Sources confirm there's a deal for Jaime Garcia with the Cardinals. It's reportedly for $27.5 million over four years with two team options.
The Reds brought up Ubaldo Jimenez's name in trade talks, as FOXsports.com reported. But the Rockies aren't really looking to sell, so it's uncertain how that could work at this time.
The momentum seems strong for a switch to a 15/15 league split. The Astros are the team that would have to move from the NL to the AL, as they have an incoming owner who wouldn't be in position to protest. The Diamondbacks have been mentioned as the other possibility for a switch, but D-backs sources said they would not agree to be moved.
The momentum is also strong for expanded playoffs, and there seems to be decent sentiment for a one-game wild card playoff among the players.
Players union chief Michael Weiner said umpires and player-umpire relations are "areas of substantial concern.''
Selig suggested replay could be expanded in a small way, using the example of a line drive down the lines as something more they could add for review.
There may be some discussion about moving the All-Star Game to Wednesday since the relatively new rule disallowing pitchers who started Sunday to pitch in the game severely limited the pitching star power. Sabathia, Verlander, Hernandez and Shields all happened to pitch Sunday.
Heath Bell probably won some fans with his sprint from the bullpen, which was punctuated with a slide on the infield grass, just short of the mound. He had alerted a few teammates he was about to do something special. Or at least different. Asked why he didn't do a head-first slide, Bell responded, "I'm stupid, but not that stupid.'' He also seems like a terrific guy.
Asked if their checks were clearing, the Dodgers' Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw both said yes.