Baseball is in the air. Pitchers and catchers reported to Tampa today and Spring Training has begun. Position players are due in camp Monday and the Yankees will play their Grapefruit League opener one week from Saturday. Hooray for that. Anyway, make sure you check out Matt Foley’s piece on Adam Ottavino’s makeshift training facility in Harlem. Here are some other notes to check out.
Marlins wanted Sanchez and Andujar for Realmuto
According to Ken Rosenthal (subs. req’d), the Marlins wanted Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar during J.T. Realmuto trade talks earlier this winter. The deal might’ve been expanded to include utility man Miguel Rojas and possibly another Marlins piece as well. Rosenthal says the Yankees wouldn’t trade Sanchez for Realmuto straight up because he’s younger and under control twice as long. Sanchez and Andujar? Nah.
The Marlins traded Realmuto to the Phillies last week for a three-player package that included top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and big league catcher Jorge Alfaro, which is decidedly less than Sanchez and Andujar. Rosenthal indicates the Yankees wanted to acquire Realmuto and flip him to the Mets for Noah Syndergaard, which is something we heard back during the Winter Meetings. Talks never gained traction though. Sounds like the Yankees wanted to do all that while subtracting as little from their MLB roster as possible.
Disabled list is now the injured list
The disabled list has a new name. It will now be known as the “injured list” at the suggestion of advocacy groups for the disabled. MLB never did formally announce the change, but teams are using “injured list” in press releases, and it doesn’t get more official than that. There have been no other changes to the
DL IL as of now. The MLBPA is pushing to go back to a 15-day IL to help curb roster manipulation. That could happen soon.
“The principal concern is that using the term ‘disabled’ for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports. As a result, Major League Baseball has agreed to change the name ‘Disabled List’ to be the ‘Injured List’ at both the major and minor league levels,” said MLB’s senior director of league economics and operations Jeff Pfeifer to the Associated Press. An overdue change, this is.
60-day IL is now open
Quick procedural note: Teams can now place players on the 60-day injured list to open up a 40-man roster spot. I know this because earlier today the Diamondbacks put Taijuan Walker (Tommy John surgery) on the 60-day IL to make room for free agent signing Caleb Joseph, and the Athletics put Sean Manaea (shoulder surgery) on the 60-day IL to make room for free agent signing Brett Anderson.
The Yankees have two 60-day IL candidates in Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery) and Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery), and potentially two more in Jacoby Ellsbury (hip surgery) and Ben Heller (Tommy John surgery). Next time they need a 40-man spot, I imagine Montgomery will be first to go on the 60-day IL. I should note that, if you put a player on the 60-day IL in Spring Training, the clock on the 60 days does not start until Opening Day. You can’t put a guy on the 60-day IL now and get credit for 40-something days during Spring Training.
Zach Britton is now Zack Britton
Here’s another name change: Zack Britton is now going by Zack with a K instead of Zach with an H. The Yankees announced it last week. “I was born Zack, with a ‘ck,’ but I didn’t know until I went to get a passport it was really with a ‘ck.’ My parents had told me it was with a ‘ch.’ I am blaming my parents,” Britton joked to Kristie Ackert. “The Orioles always just put the ‘ck’ on any legal documents and I went by ‘ch,’ with everything else.”
Ackert says the Yankees and Britton had to rewrite their contract this offseason to change Zach to Zack. Sounds like all his paperwork with the Orioles over the years was correct, but everyone around the league thought it was Zach, and it wasn’t until he signed with a new team that it came to light. Anyway, Britton says going by Zach never bothered him. So far DL/IL has tripped me up more than Zach/Zack, but dude, if you’re going to change your name, don’t change one letter. Go full Giancarlo.
Teams will wear MLB 150 jersey patches this year
Earlier this week MLB announced all 30 teams will wear an “MLB 150” patch on their sleeve this season to celebrate the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first ever professional baseball team. They were the first team with an entire roster of salaried players. Teams will also wear the patch on the side of their caps on Opening Day. The patches are pretty snazzy. Here’s a look:
“We’re excited to recognize the 150th anniversary of professional baseball by honoring our history while celebrating the game and the great players of today. The MLB 150 patch will be a continuous reminder on the field of the link everyone involved in the game today has with the storied history of professional baseball and MLB,” said commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement. Celebrating the first salaried team while clubs simultaneously work to suppress player salaries is something else.