Checking in and commenting on some recent news around the baseball world:
Cashman courts Lee: No one should be surprised the Yankees' GM headed to Arkansas to talk with Cliff Lee and his agent.
Why aren't the O's headed there too? Because they have no shot at Lee and it's crazy to pay 100 million or more for a pitcher. Pitchers get hurt and most megabucks free agent contracts for pitchers have backfired, dating back to Kevin Brown and the Dodgers.
You can add Mike Hampton and Barry Zito to this list and A.J. Burnett deserves at least honorable mention after last year.
If they get Lee, Cashman will get credit for his "quick strike" but it will come down to who can pay the most and the Yankees are always a prime contender in the world of checkbook baseball.
Is Juan the one or is Juan gone?: Wasn't it just a couple of days ago that Juan Samuel told the Baltimore Sun, "I'm coming back." Did he get confused and think he was talking to a Philly reporter?
This is twice now that Buck Showalter has reached out to add Samuel to his staff and he is still waiting to complete the hire.
I am sure Samuel is a solid and respected coach and would be a great addition, again, but Gary Allenson was better as the third-base coach. I'm talking about the in-game decisions made in that box. Allenson did a better job there, in my humble opinion.
Wake me when this staff is completed and announced.
Caleb gets good coaching: Some fans, I have noticed, have wondered about Alan Zinter, a coach from the Diamondbacks, helping Caleb Joseph, an O's minor leaguer, with his swing.
They are both currently with Scottsdale of the Arizona Fall League.
Neither Joseph or Zinter is doing anything wrong here. Coaches, probably more than fans may know, seem open to helping players that are not on their team, from time to time.
Some coaches have worked with those players in the past, know them well and are open to passing along an occasional tip to a guy they have helped previously.
Zinter is a coach for all the players on the Scottsdale roster, not just those from Arizona's farm system. If he suggested something that helped Joseph, good for both of them. Zinter is just a pro doing his job, a good job at that, apparently.
This does not reflect poorly on any O's coach or coaches. Batting coach Denny Walling is cited often by minor leaguers I talk to for his fine coaching. Joseph admits some of the adjustments he put into practice in Arizona have been offered a few times before by Walling, he said he just never got consistent with them until now.
Could the O's pursue Greinke?: Don't look for the O's to make a run at trading for the 2009 Cy Young winner, KC right-hander Zach Greinke.
There are two things working against them in this regard. The Royals are said to be looking for not one, but maybe two, top quality pitching prospects in return and Greinke has a limited no trade clause.
Greinke wants to be with a winner and Royals' observers feel he would veto a trade to almost all teams with a history of losing and that could well eliminate the O's, even if they were interested.