NY Sports Day
Matt Mankiewich

Karpin’s Korner: Yanks Tulo for Machado? Can the Mets “Right” the Outfield Ship

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Now that David Robertson has moved on to the Phillies, the Yankees have reportedly picked up their pursuit of left handed reliever Zach Britton. Robertson acted as his own agent and got himself a two year, $23 million dollar deal in Philadelphia. The Yankees seem to have preferred Britton all along.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about NY Post longtime Yankee beat reporter George King, who had an article that said, “Robertson was seen as a leader in the meeting that limited shares [post-season] to support staff this year.” The reliever reportedly chaired a team meeting where it was decided that several coaches and staff would receive half shares of post season money or none at all.

At the time, I wrote that I found that hard to believe, but in today’s NY Post, Robertson didn’t exactly issue a denial. Now, some more facts have surfaced that support Mr King’s story even more.

Wallace Matthews of the Daily News (they’re lucky to have him) wrote a piece about Robertson where he indicated that the veteran reliever was not very popular in the clubhouse. Matthews brought this fact to light when he described Robertson as “a man who many tell me seemed like a different person after returning to the Yankees from the White Sox last year, and a teammate who was especially disliked by some of the younger players in the Yankees clubhouse.”

“How far has Troy Tulowitzki’s stock fallen?” I posed that rhetorical question a number of weeks ago before the former All Star staged an audition for a number of teams including the Yankees, who signed him to the major league minimum. Considering Toronto is paying the bulk of the $20 million dollars that is due Tulowitzki, who is also playing for his career, the Yankees made a very smart sign.

There were a number of scouts who were very impressed by Tulowitzki’s workout and are in agreement with the assessment that the Yankees made a good move. It’s also an insurance policy, somewhat, if the Yankees don’t sign Manny Machado, but they’ll need a “Plan B” to account for Tulo’s long injury history.

It’s being reported that the White Sox have made an offer for Machado. Chicago acquired Machado’s brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso from the Indians, prompting speculation that the family ties would lure the talented infielder to the Windy City.

Phillies GM Matt Klentak told reporters that “he expects dialogue to continue” with Machado. According to sources cited by Jim Salisbury, Phillies Insider for NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Phillies plan to visit with Bryce Harper soon.

Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, had a reported five hour sit down with Nationals owner Ted Lerner on the Saturday before Christmas. Washington made a reported ten year, $300 million dollar offer near the end of the regular season that was reportedly turned down.

The Mets are still in the market for bullpen help and have not ruled out a right handed bat, preferably in the outfield.

Mets are reportedly discussing their next move which may involve signing a free agent reliever or a right handed bat in the outfield. Former White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia may provide an inexpensive alternative.

The Padres have talked trade with the Mets but Noah Syndergaard will not be involved. San Diego may dangle Wil Myers and if they do, the Mets should be looking into that. Myers’ can also play first and would provide a nice buffer in a lineup that already features Michael Confotro and Brandon Nimmo.

With the news that the Marlins have not backed off on their asking price for catcher J.T. Realmuto, the Astros and Dodgers don’t plan on waiting around much longer. According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, Miami wants major league pieces with three or more years of control.

Marlins have reportedly been asking Houston for their top pitching prospect, Forrest Whitley, but the Astros will not make him part of any trade right now. Houston already lost Charlie Morton while both Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are free agents after the upcoming season, so they’re not about to trade top pitching prospects.

Houston and Los Angeles have been frustrated by Miami’s demands and have been in contact with the Pirates about 32-year old, veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli. The emergence of 28-year old Elias Diaz has made Cervelli expendable and both Houston and Los Angeles need catchers. In 2013, Cervelli but since then, he’s established himself as a reliable backstop who is not an automatic out.

There will come a point where Miami will back off on their demands and trade Realmuto before spring training begins, they would be foolish not to do so.

HKLooking: Did you know that the Dodgers employed a shift on Mickey Mantle in the 1956 World Series. During MLB Network’s presentation of game 5 of the 1956, the Dodgers played three infielders on the right side of second base against the switch-hitter Mantle, who was batting left handed against right hander Sal Maglie. On the broadcast, Mel Allen noted the shift and said the Dodgers would be pleased if Mantle laid down a bunt with two out and no one on base. Mantle homered in that particular at-bat……Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are gaining more and more support for induction in the Hall of Fame. A recent report indicated Clemens is just shy of enough votes for induction while Bonds is gaining also. That will be an interesting day in Cooperstown if/when either of them are voted in. I wonder how many current Hall of Famers would elect to skip the ceremonies…..


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