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Yankees reject Phillips deal
The Yankees have been busy this offseason (which is the kind of thing that happens in the Bronx when they miss the playoffs), but they've finally found a deal they don't like. They've rejected a straight-up trade of outfielder Brett Gardner for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, reportedly citing Phillips' declining numbers at second. They might be right to be concerned -- though Phillips' power numbers are freakishly consistent (he's hit exactly 18 home runs in four straight seasons), his OPS plummeted to .706 in 2013. That's a worrisome sign for a 32-year-old second baseman, but could he have rejuvenated himself in Yankee Stadium, with its short porch and hitter-friendly reputation?
Not long after the idea gained some real traction, it appears Major League Baseball is following through: According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the league will ban home plate collisions no later than by 2015, and as early as this coming season. That means no blocking the plate by catchers, no targeting catchers by runners and disciplinary action for anyone who violates these new rules. What do you think?
Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
Roy Halladay is set to announce his retirement after an incredibly successful 16-year career. Halladay's résumé is the envy of nearly every other pitcher in the game -- 203 wins, a 3.38 career ERA, eight All-Star Game appearances, and two Cy Young awards. He's one of only 17 pitchers in baseball history to win multiple Cy Youngs. Can you name the rest? Take our quiz!
Mariners sign Robinson Cano
For the first time in a long time, the Yankees have been outspent on a player. Robinson Cano, perhaps New York's best player over the past five years, has signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. It's one of the largest contracts in baseball history and is a huge statement by the Mariners, who may be looking to establish themselves as a nationally relevant team again. Cano's skills are undeniable, but 10-year contracts have a way of backfiring on the teams that make them -- just ask Angels fans how Albert Pujols' contract is looking after his second year with the team.
Jacoby Ellsbury has gone to the Yankees, undoubtedly causing Red Sox fans some degree of consternation. That World Series championship should help, but Ellsbury is a unique talent; his speed is a huge weapon, and he has enough power to really threaten pitchers when he's hot. He's one of the few players in the 30-30 club since the turn of the century. Can you name the rest?