Rodriguez, as we know him, is done. The Major League drug-testing program has won. This is not a dark day for baseball. It’s a glorious day. Source: Bob Nightengale at USAToday
Rodriguez, 38, will seek an injunction that would allow him to play next season while awaiting trial. But for a federal judge to issue such an order, Rodriguez must show a strong probability of success at trial and that he will suffer irreparable harm beyond the financial ramifications of the ban, namely, a lost year of his career he can’t get back.
Daniel Lazaroff, a professor at the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the chance of Rodriguez winning such an injunction “is about as likely as the ‘steroid-era’ players being elected to the Hall of Fame.” Lazaroff also doubts Rodriguez would prevail in an appeal. “The arbitration process in the collective bargaining context is widely respected by the federal courts, and absent of showing some bias or prejudice on the part of the arbitrator or some sort of corruption or some flagrant ignoring of the law, he’s just not going to succeed,” Lazaroff said. “And because the likelihood of success is small, it basically makes this a waste of time.” Source: Mike DiGiovanna at the LA Times
Wonder if A-Rod is going to buy those Stadium tickets he’s got a right to this year? Hang out, heckle the fellas, good-naturedly? From: Anthony McCarron at the New York Daily News
According to Spotrac, Rodriguez can buy up to four Legends Suite season tickets a year until his contract runs out.
Let’s say he wants to attend all 81 Yankees games himself — just as if he were wearing pinstripes. For $32,400, Rodriguez could buy Seat 9 in Row 2 of Section 028. That’s just behind the visitors’ dugout, and within shouting range of third base, where he could give tips to whoever takes his spot on the hot corner. Think about it: Rodriguez could even get in on every first-inning roll call. Source: Brendan Kuty at NJ.com
While Horowitz’s written opinion won’t be made public (one person familiar with it said it is “brutal” in regard to Rodriguez), not one detail has emerged to suggest A-Rod is some innocent. Source: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports
Sources in A-Rod camp “100% certain” he’ll be at spring training and Yankees can’t stop him. From: Wallace Matthews at ESPN New York
MLB has not taken a position yet on whether A-Rod will be permitted to participate in spring training with Yankees, source says. From: Jon Morosi at Fox Sports
AL West Commentary
To understand why Rangers manager Ron Washington could be wedged into an uncomfortable spot when spring training opens next month, look at his peer with the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Wednesday, Don Mattingly completed work on a three-year extension as the Dodgers’ manager. The new deal saved Mattingly from going into the season as a lame-duck manager. To say Mattingly did not want to start the season without security, as Washington could, is an understatement. A manager in the final year of a contract is twisting in the wind. “I’m having to talk about things that don’t have to do with us winning games,” Mattingly told reporters. “That, to me, complicates the whole mess. Just knowing the organization has confidence in me is important. When upper-level management shows you that respect, it sends the message to the players. … That makes your job easier.”
In three seasons with Mattingly, the Dodgers have a .536 winning percentage (260-225) with one playoff appearance. In seven seasons with Washington, the Rangers have a .538 winning percentage (611-524) with three playoff appearances, including two that went to the World Series. Source: Gerry Fraley at the Dallas Morning News
Judging solely by wins and losses, the Angels‘ farm system took major steps last year. Their Triple-A and Double-A affiliates played in their respective championship games, Class A Advanced Inland Empire won the California League title and Rookie-level Orem also qualified for the postseason, giving the Angels four affiliates in the playoffs — more than any organization except the Astros, which Baseball America ranked ninth heading into last year.
How much does that factor into organizational rankings? “The reality of it is that it doesn’t,” said Baseball America writer J.J. Cooper, who was in charge of the Angels and three other clubs for this year’s Prospect Handbook. “I think that they did a really good job of pro scouting. They hit the [independent] ball circuit really well, and they added a number of role players who were solid Minor League players but who don’t project as future big leaguers.” Source: Alden Gonzalez at MLB.com
“I like the Oakland Athletics a lot. I’d like them better if they signed Drew and moved Jed Lowrie from shortstop to second base.” Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
So they said
“At some point in this megalomania trip, a dose of humility would have been welcome. But Rodriguez’s self-importance is so immense that he’s unable to see the damage being done to a sport he claims to cherish. A-Rod should know that the steroid era won’t begin to end until he stops fighting for a legacy that, as of Saturday, is officially dead.” Source: Jon Morosi at Fox Sports
“I tell my clients all the time that free agency is a long process,” said [Scott] Boras. “It just doesn’t end at Christmas. It’s a January, February, and even a March process. Teams assess their needs, explore their trade options, and when things finally settle there’s still a free agent market for them to turn to.” Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
Mariner’s potential off-season targets
Bronson Arroyo, RHP, free agent — Action was picking up on Arroyo by Friday afternoon. Two new teams were involved, according to a source close to the situation. Arroyo was still seeking three years, and at least one team was moving closer to offering a deal for that third year, either through a vesting option or straight up. A lot depended on the average annual value of the contract as to whether the mystery team was willing to offer a third year. The Twins are one team that has been involved from the outset, but it wasn’t immediately known if they were the team moving toward the third year. The Yankees and Phillies were also interested. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
At the winter meetings, the Yanks also expressed interest in Seattle infielders Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin, a source said. But the sides might not match up for a potential trade. Source: Anthony McCarron at the New York Daily News
“Someone is going to come in and blow everyone away,” said one National League GM. “There’s going to be a dance where everyone is in the same boat and then there will be a team that breaks the bank for him.” And then you ask, is Tanaka worth it? There’s growing sentiment he would be worth it for rebuilding teams such as the Cubs, Astros, Blue Jays, Mariners, and even the Padres. He’s also worth it for teams with big bucks such as the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Phillies, and Tigers. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
Cano, at 10 years and $240 million, or $24 million per year, owns one of the largest contracts in the history of the sport. However, when it comes to his average salary, Cano is just one of a growing number of players who have cracked that $20 million mark. “It goes to the fact that these teams are anticipating revenue from regional television networks, and the new cable agreements are an accelerant to the spending,” said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California’s Sports Business Institute.
“The owners feel as though they’re going to get that money back, and the cash flowing in from media does not seem to be ending any time soon. I think that what’s pretty clear, is that the overall interest in sports and entertainment and media is just continuing to grow.” The bottom line? Baseball is very popular, teams are doing well, and they’re not afraid to spend big to win. “More and more, we’re seeing sports and entertainment and media just growing together, and this is a good example of it,” Carter said. “And it’ll probably get bigger.” Source: Doug Miller at MLB.com
Jason Bay says while he hasn’t filed any papers yet, he can’t see a scenario in which he comes back to play, so he’s essentially retiring. From: Shi Davidi at sportsnet.ca