News & Notes: Winter League Opener, Yadier Molina rumor, and a James Paxton update

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Awards season trudges on as the hot stove remains pretty quiet. Tonight, we’ll find out the AL and NL MVPs. As you know, DJ LeMahieu is a finalist in the AL. The Yankees haven’t had an MVP winner since A-Rod won in 2007. The winner will be announced on MLB Network at 6 p.m. eastern. While you wait for that, here’s the latest Yankees-related news:

Domingo Germán to start Dominican Winter League Opener

If we are to believe Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner, Domingo Germán’s future with the Yankees is still up in the air. Tonight could be his first step in a return to pinstripes though, as he starts the season opener for Toros Del Este in the Dominican Winter League. I don’t know what Hal needs to see from Germán in order to bring him back next year, but it very well could be lip service. Frankly, I fully expect the team to bring him back without (publicly) addressing any rehabilitation following his domestic violence suspension.

Also of note, Miguel Andújar and Gary Sánchez will Germán’s teammates, though Gary isn’t expected to report to the team until next month. We’ll see if Miggy is in the lineup tonight.

If you want to watch the game this evening, you can register here. It’s $15 for the full season, which is a bargain.

Yankees interested in Yadier Molina

It would not surprise me if the Yankees added a major league caliber catcher to compete with (or replace?) Gary Sánchez this offseason. Not saying it’s a good idea or that I agree, but it’s definitely possible. In any case, I’m skeptical that 38 year-old Yadier Molina is actually a target.

Look, Yadi is quite possibly a Hall of Famer, but he’s also well past his prime. He hit .262/.303/.359 (82 wRC+) with solid defense behind th eplate in 2020. That would be fine in a backup role, especially at his age. But anything more than that would not be ideal.

In any case, this also just sounds like a player and agent trying to drum up interest by invoking the Yankees. Tale as old as time, folks. Molina is almost certainly going back to St. Louis. The question is for how much.

James Paxton to throw for evaluators

This makes a lot of sense for Paxton. He lost a ton of fastball velocity this year after having back surgery, so a good showing now would help his free agent case a good deal. The 32 year-old lefty still seems in line for a one-year pillow deal, but he could garner some extra money with a good showcase in the coming days or weeks.

Still, I’d be surprised to see Paxton back with the Yankees. The Yankees need more stability in the rotation, and even if Paxton looks better, he’s still not reliable to be healthy for an extended period. Remember, he also had forearm trouble this year which quite possibly stemmed from trying to hard to regain his velocity.

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2 Comments

  1. samydees

    Same FO people interested in Yadi were also interested in bringing in Ichiro, Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner…. SMDH

  2. MikeD

    The Yankees clearly like Higgy as the back up, and we know Cole likes pitching to him. Molina is not coming in to replace Gary. Sanchez will be the starting catcher next year.

    Picking up Molina would be similar to some time picking up 40-year-old Derek Jeter at the end of his career. A name passed his prime.

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