News & Notes: Canó’s PED suspension, LeMahieu update, Epstein’s departure fallout

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We’re finally going to get some roster moves tomorrow. It’s been a painfully slow offseason, but tomorrow at 6pm eastern is the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Take a look at our preview of roster addition candidates if you haven’t already. Aside from players simply being added to the 40-man, we may see a trade or two to clean up the roster a bit. Don’t get your hopes up for anything big, but at least it will be something to chew on. While we wait, here are a few things going on in the baseball world:

Robinson Canó suspended for 2021 season after positive PED test

It’s strike two for the former Yankees’ second baseman and current Met. He tested positive for stanozolol, a steroid that is one of the league’s banned substances. He previously served an 80-game PED suspension in 2018 and will now have to serve 162 games next season. He’s still under contract for two more years after 2021.

It’s a huge bummer to see Canó get busted again. He was one of my favorite Yankees of all-time and came up during my teenage years. I was really upset when he departed for Seattle seven years ago too. Robbie was heading toward Cooperstown, and though the first PED suspension may have hurt his candidacy but perhaps not killed it, this second one is probably is the nail in the coffin.

Unsurprisingly, people started connecting the dots between DJ LeMahieu and the Mets after this news broke. It certainly makes sense! I imagine that JT Realmuto, George Springer, and Trevor Bauer are at the top of the crosstown rivals’ wishlist, but we’ll see. The Mets could also just play Jeff McNeil at second base and JD Davis at the hot corner, although signing DJLM and relegating Davis to the bench would be much better for them.

LeMahieu could take a discount to stay in the Bronx

The Canó news is a good segway to the above tweet. I have to say that I’m not familiar with Pat’s work, so I’m not sure how well-sourced he is. But at the same time, this also tracks, no? Remember, LeMahieu wanted to come to New York two years ago and perhaps it caught the Yankees off guard. There’s also this:

One would have to assume that there’s mutual interest in a re-union, though I doubt the Yankees are willing to go five years. There’s also a potential trade for Francisco Lindor that could make the infield a bit crowded. But at the same time, if LeMahieu wants to take a discount, the Yankees have to make it work, in my opinion.

Targeting various Cubs for trade

Theo Epstein stepped down from the helm of the Cubs earlier this week. It’s a fairly clear signal that the North Siders are planning to blow things up this winter. Whether it’s Kris Bryant, Javy Báez, Anthony Rizzo, or Kyle Schwarber (among others), it doesn’t seem like anything is off the table. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com has heard this from various rival executives.

The Yankees have been intrigued by Schwarber in the past, so it wouldn’t be a shock to hear his name come up in Yankees-related rumors. Perhaps Báez could be discussed too, especially if the Yankees can’t land Lindor and/or lose LeMahieu. Báez is one of the many star shortstops in next year’s free agent class.

One name that intrigues me the most? Yu Darvish. I wonder if there’s some sort of Adam Ottavino for Darvish deal to be had (plus whatever else is needed to level the deal out). Darvish is under contract through 2023 (his age-36 season) and has been dominant since late-2019. He has a 2.40 ERA and 2.54 FIP in 157 2/3 innings dating back to July 12th of last year.

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2 Comments

  1. Wire Fan

    Schwarber seems likely to be non-tendered. And he is yet another DH bat on a roster that has a lot of DH options. Seems like a very poor roster fit.

    Hard no on Baez. Tremendous fielder but zero plate discipline, high K rate and he has only one really good season with the bat (and one other above average one). Also despite having this reputation as a great baserunner he is only marginally above average because of the number of outs he runs into. Someone is going to really regret a FA deal he gets on reputation a year from now.

  2. MikeD

    If DJLM wants to stay in New York, he’ll obviously want to stay with the Yankees. The Cohen-led Mets, however, could make it difficult simply by offering a high contract that will still be higher than the Yankees want to give, even if DJ takes a discount.

    I wasn’t surprised by Epstein stepping down. I thought it would happen earlier. Basically, he was not returning after 2021, and Jed Hoyer was going to take over completely. The two men would have differing objectives. Epstein would want to go all in on 2021, while Hoyer would likely want to begin building for the future. So with that, send up all your Yu Darvish’s! We’ll even toss in Tyler Wade to keep Randy happy.

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