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Baseball News 1-23-14

Gomes points out Yankees' remaining flaws

07:36 AM ET 01.23 | Jonny Gomes has taken the occasion of a wide-ranging interview to give his take on the Yankees' $500 million offseason shopping spree, which included Masahiro Tanaka. "People can go out and sign whoever they want right now. I mean, boxing rules, we still have the belt. ... I tell you what, (Yankees GM Brian) Cashman and (manager Joe) Girardi are about as professional as they get in the pinstripe organization. They run a pretty tight camp. It's kind of interesting, though -- $500 million and still, some questions. You've got (catcher Brian) McCann who hasn't been in the American League before. The pitcher (Tanaka) who hasn't pitched a game over here. They've got some guys playing different positions. They've got some true professionals over there. They've got some guys coming back."
Boston Herald

Scherzer in pinstripes, too?

07:36 AM ET 01.23 | The Masahiro Tanaka speculation train finally pulled into a station -- in the Bronx. There were all sorts of wild rumors throughout the Tanaka derby (one incorrectly had theCubs bidding $23 million to $25 million for eight years; that turned out to be dead wrong), but one rumor the Yankees hope is correct is that he is an ace. ... In any case, Tanaka doesn't have to be Kershaw, whose only true comp now is Koufax. But for this money, the Yankees are expecting at least a regular ol' No. 1 pitcher, if not an all-time great (though slimmed-down holdover star C.C. Sabathia surely still gets the ball on Opening Day). TheYankees may believe they have a real shot at Max Scherzer, who's a free agent after the year and reportedly wants to become a $30-million-per-year pitcher.
CBS Sports

'Stros wooed Tanaka with Clemens (and $100M)

07:35 AM ET 01.23 | Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka may have signed on with one of baseball's highest spending teams, but an offer was on the table to land with one of its lowest spenders.Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Wednesday the club made an offer to [Masahiro Tanaka] after flying seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and owner Jim Crane to Los Angeles two weeks ago to meet with the pitcher at a private home. ... Luhnow wouldn't say how much the Astros offered Tanaka, but a source told it was more than $100 million. Tanaka reached an agreement with the Yankees on Wednesday for seven years and $155 million. "They called me and said they were going to make the posting fee on him and asked me if I would go with them," Clemens said.

O's have $17M burning a hole in their pockets

07:35 AM ET 01.23 | Even if a deal with Tyler Colvin has hit a snag, Baltimore may not be done yet. The Orioles have money to spend -- perhaps as much as $17 million for this upcoming season -- and are still looking to do so, according to the club's top executive. Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka signed a seven-year, $155 million deal with the New York Yankees on Wednesday, as the free agent market appeared to open for a second act. The ongoing negotiations with Tanaka -- which did not include the Orioles, who never agreed to pay the $20 million posting fee to talk with him -- seemingly had held free agency hostage after a flurry of activity in early December. "The market was frozen for a while," said Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette. "But things are starting to move again."
The Baltimore Sun

Verlander, Upton together again

07:34 AM ET 01.23 | This time of year, off-the-field matters are all that keeps a baseball fan warm. Don't shoot the messenger. Last week, E! News reported that, although Detroit Tigers pitcherJustin Verlander and model Kate Upton were seen together at a hockey game two weekends ago in Philadelphia, they are not a couple. A source talking to Us Weekly begs to differ, apparently. Verlander and Upton "spent all weekend in the Bahamas together," according to the source, the weekend before New Years Eve last month: "We spotted them looking very cozy having dinner at the restaurant Mahogany House near Lyford Cay," says the eyewitness. Upton, who had her hair in a bun with a blue scarf, and Verlander, wearing a white button-down shirt, were "sitting on the same side of the table" for the romantic meal.
Detroit Free Press