Nick Nelson

Offseason Lowdown

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Lowdown: Beltran the Skipper?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


It's almost December, and the Yankees are still without a manager. More than a month after dismissing Joe Girardi, the search marches on, though things appear to be picking up steam.


New York is known to have interviewed five candidates: their own bench coach Rob Thomson, former Cleveland/Seattle manager Eric Wedge, Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens, TV analyst (and former Yankee) Aaron Boone, and Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward.


Evidently, nobody has knocked Brian Cashman and Co. off their feet because they intend to look into at least one more name and it's an interesting one: Carlos Beltran.


Last seen helping Houston win the World Series before announcing his beautifully timed retirement, Beltran has been frontal with his desire to manage. There's risk in his lack of experience, but the 40-year-old was very popular as a player, and could uniquely resonate in the clubhouse.


He'd be facing sky-high expectations in his first year. Oh, and maybe the responsibility of handling Shohei Ohtani. All in the most demanding environment possible. But, outside of that, no pressure!


Speaking of Ohtani, he's expected to be posted this weekend, and then the derby for his services will begin. It goes without saying the Yankees will help their cause by getting a manager in place sooner than later.


Rehabbing Iwakuma Stays in Seattle


To whatever extent NPB connections are a factor in Ohtani's decision, the Mariners upped their pitch this week by re-signing starter Hisashi Iwakuma to a minor-league deal.


The timing seems a little odd. Iwakuma is still months from even being able to throw after undergoing shoulder debridement surgery in September. The M's could have likely waited until January or even February to check in on his rehab progress before pulling the trigger. But, it's a risk-free move, and we'll see if it's a selling point for Ohtani.


Iwakuma was never right this year, posting a 4.35 ERA with severely reduced velocity in six starts before going on the shelf. Even if he beats the odds and bounces back from major shoulder surgery at age 37, it's hard to see much upside given his pedestrian results when healthy in 2016.


Stanton Standoff


From the outside, it sure looks as though Giancarlo Stanton is making matters awfully difficult for the Miami Marlins. He seems intent on dictating his own destination in a trade, pushing for a deal with his hometown Dodgers, and that makes life tough for a front office already hamstrung in negotiations by his $300 million contract.


Then again, Stanton has every right. He signed a 13-year pact with Miami, with a no-trade clause. It's no fault of his that ownership decided to bail three years after making that commitment.


Attempting to gain some sort of leverage, the Marlins have reportedly threatened him with the prospect of being stranded amidst an all-out rebuild should he refuse to accept their desired trade.


It's an ugly situation and the outcome is anybody's guess. Fantasy players everywhere are just hoping like hell he gets out of Miami.


Quick Hits: After being designated for assignment by the Phillies last week, former No. 1 overall draft pick Mark Appel cleared waivers, so he'll stick in the organization and head to Triple-A ... Charlie Blackmon, looking ahead to a potentially massive payday next offseason when he's set to hit free agency, hired a new agent ... The Rangers finalized their one-year, $4 million deal with Doug Fister ... The Braves are said to be shopping first baseman Matt Adams ... Jung Ho Kang was released from his Dominican Winter League team after playing terribly, and his big-league prospects look bleak at this point.




Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.
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