Apparently all it took for baseball news to heat up was the Super Bowl ending. Go figure. With spring training around the corner, expect more info to pour out in the coming days. Here are a few stories—some directly involving the Yankees, some more broadly related to baseball—worth keeping an eye on this afternoon:
Red Sox expected to deal Betts soon
The Mookie Betts trade saga appears to have reached a critical point, with many expecting a resolution in the near future. Ken Rosenthal said in an MLB Network interview earlier this morning that a deal could happen today or tomorrow, with the Dodgers perceived as the front-runners. The Padres, however, remain in the mix for the outfielder.
Betts, 27, represents one of the game’s elite players. He combines stellar outfield defense with an impact bat. He hit .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs (135 wRC+) in 2019. While that fell short of his MVP campaign in 2018, a year that saw him post a 185 wRC+, it still made him a six-win player. Betts is set to hit the open market following the season. He will earn $27 million in 2020.
Any Betts trade would signal a Red Sox rebuild. New team executive Chaim Bloom could also look to move David Price as well, as rumors have linked the southpaw to various permutations of a Betts trade. This trade has potential to dramatically change the immediate, and perhaps long-term, future of the AL East.
Yankees announce non-roster invitees for spring training
Earlier today, the Yankees revealed their full list of non-roster invitees for spring training. In total, 19 non-roster players will head down to Tampa. Right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt stands out as the top prospect in the group. Schmidt appeared on both MLB Pipeline’s and Baseball America’s top-100 list, placing 88th and 62nd respectively. The Yankees’ first-round pick in the 2017 draft, Schmidt recovered from Tommy John surgery and has since excelled in pro ball. Ryan Pavich recently addressed how the team’s faith in the right-hander has paid off.
Other notable players on the list include Domingo Acevedo, a former big-name prospect of his own, and David Hale, a journeyman arm who has had a few tours in pinstripes. Erik Kratz, Josh Thole, and Chris Iannetta expect to keep Kyle Higashioka honest in the backup catcher competition, while Nick Tropeano aims to pitch his way back to the big leagues.
Boone accurately predicts Super Bowl results
I have nothing else to add here except that Aaron Boone might have the ability to see into the future.
Say the Yankees will win the World Series. Do it, skip.