Monday, February 23, 2015

A quiet day turned not so quiet in New York Yankees camp

It started out as a normal Monday morning during pitchers and catchers.  There wasn't too much going on, the biggest thing was going to be Luis Severino facing hitters.  Then the news broke this morning that the Boston Red Sox signed Yoan Moncada.  Then if that wasn't enough around 11:00AM who showed up but none other than Alex Rodriguez to take his physical and then to head over to the minor league complex to have a workout.  It was a crazy day for sure in Tampa. 

The Yankees did make a 25 million dollar offer to Moncada but they really didn't want to budge off of that.  They said they would go to 27 million if he would sign and from the reports it sounded like Brian Cashman the GM was pushing for him but the owner Hal Steinbrenner said no.  The Red Sox ultimately bid 31.5 or around there and got him.  The thing about him is he is so young and will be in the minors for a couple of years most likely.  He also costs double do to the tax most teams would have to pay on him.  Moncada liked the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres equally and it was going to come down to who bid the highest and everyone started at 25 million of those teams.  I think he would of been a good fit on the Yankees and don't see a really good fit for Boston but they ended up getting him and we will see in the future how that works out. 

Alex Rodriguez was of course the main story of the day.  He showed up took his physical and then had an hour workout at the minor league complex.  He started out throwing around a medicine ball, he took some grounders at third base and took 70 swings and hit six homeruns if you care about that stuff.  Yes there were people keeping track.  He then posed for pictures and signed autographs with all the fans and spoke to the media for around eight minutes.  Here is some of what he had to say. 

Arod said he is still training to play 3B even with the presence of Chase Headley.  He said "I think Chase is an excellent addition to our team,"  Rodriguez said.  "We had a nice conversation a little bit ago.  Talked about winning, talked about how great it is to play in New York, in front of the greatest fans.  Talked about the Stadium.  I'm looking forward to being his teammate." 

He didn't take any groundballs on the right side of the infield but did say he was open to playing 1B if he was asked.  He said whatever Joe wants him to do he will do.  He said he felt very welcomed and that he has strong relationships in the locker room.  As for any lingering bad feelings he said. " I created a big headache for a lot of people."  He said he still thinks he can play third base.  He said he will still be productive as long as he is healthy and said flatly that he isn't currently taking any illegal substance. 

He said, "No mistake that I made has a good answer, or no justification, and that's on me.  I've dug a big hole for myself and paid a price.  I'm fortunate for a lot of people, especially the commissioner's office, the players union, the Yankees, to give me an opportunity to play the game that I love."

I would say it went pretty well for him arriving and having the media storm.  I think it was a good idea for him to arrive early.  There will probably be a large crowd tomorrow and every day for a while but he got the questions out of the way and the shock of him showing up out of the way and now he can just go to work.  If he keeps his mouth shut and stays clean eventually all the talk will be about his play on the field and that is what everyone wants at this point.  You can't go back in time, the damage has been done but he can write another chapter and make it a good one.  Stay tuned to see what tomorrow brings. 

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