Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Have a happy and safe new year everyone!

Yankees Prospect Brandon Laird Arrested

From the AP:
Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and his younger brother, Yankees infield prospect Brandon Laird, were arrested following a brawl in the lounge area of Phoenix's NBA arena, according to police.

Phoenix police said Gerald Laird, 30, was cited for assault Wednesday night and 22-year-old Brandon Laird was cited for disorderly conduct. Police said the Lairds and a third man were arrested at U.S. Airways Arena after the fight during the Phoenix Suns-Boston Celtics game.

Police said arena security previously contacted the group of men about their loud behavior. Two of the men were allowed back into the lounge after a conversation with security, but a melee broke out shortly afterward and the Laird brothers allegedly assaulted the security guards.
I really don't have much to say about this. Obviously it was a stupid move by the Lairds.

John Sickels Top 20 Yankees Prospects

John Sickels over at Minor League Ball posted his list of the top 20 Yankees prospects heading into the 2010 season. As you would expect, Jesus Montero came in at no. 1. Sickels said this about Jesus: "I know that his position is up in the air, but I love this bat so much that I'm going to give him a straight Grade A. This is a Mike Piazza/Manny Ramirez type bat."

Montero was followed by catcher Austin Romine, LHP Manuel Banuelos, RHP Zach McAllister, and OF Slade Heathcott, in that order.
The Yankees system is interesting to study. They have one of the best prospects in baseball in Jesus Montero, who has the offensive potential to be a superstar but no clear position. I'm confident enough in his bat to give him a straight Grade A even without a place for him to play. After Montero, things thin out quickly, but there are still a lot of interesting players here.
You can check out the rest of the top 20 here.

Holliday Close To Deal With Cards

Looks like this squashes the hopes of those Yankees fans who wanted and believed the Yankees would go after him.

Via Derrick Goold (hat-tip to Chad Jennings):
The wait might have been worth it for the Cardinals, as the club and free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday are working toward an agreement that multiple sources described as gaining momentum and potentially is the largest ever offered by the franchise.

... Sources with knowledge of the negotiations said progress is "strong" and a resolution could come as early as next week.
The article also says that Holliday’s representatives and Cardinals GM John Mozeliak have confirmed that there have been ongoing talks.

Goold later mentions that Boras had been looking for an 8-year deal worth around $18 million per. The Cardinals offer, Goold said "Sources indicated the sides have discussed several structures, including a five-year guaranteed deal and an eight-year framework. The average annual salary would be higher in the shorter deal. The longer deal’s total worth, however, would surpass the largest contract ever finalized by the Cardinals — the $100-million extension signed by Albert Pujols in 2004."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jennings and Newman Talk Yankees Pitching Prospects

Chad Jennings spoke with Mark Newman and had many interesting bits of info about many Yankees minor-league pitchers. Here's a rundown:
  • Aroldis Chapman is very intriguing, but Newman has no idea what the price tag will be and said “He’s not where (Stephen) Strasburg was.” He also said that he was exactly what they expected when he threw a few weeks ago. "Huge fastball. Spotty command. Inconsistent secondary pitches.... 'But if you don’t like that, you need to be in another business,' Newman said." Newman also said that he would start in A or Double-A and "needs to work on the command and secondary pitches."
  • Newman said Jeremy Bleich could be a pitcher that moves quickly through the system this year.

  • Wilkin de la Rosa will likely "reapeat Double-A", but they're not sure if he will move to the pen or not. As of now he and Bleich will be in the Double-A rotation, which will also inlcude Hector Noesi and Chris Garcia.

  • Dellin Betances is coming off "ligament enhancement surgery" on his right elbow -- the same one Mo had a few years ago -- and is expected to pitch around the start of the season.

  • Newman had praise for Andrew Brackman, calling his stuff "top-of-the-rotation stuff." He said everyone must be patient with him due to his “Big body, limited experience and an injury problem.”

  • Alan Horne is healthy.
Make sure you go over to LoHud and check out the full post with more quotes and info from Jennings and Newman.

Three New York Teams? Why not?

Tim Marchman wrote an article this week for SI and in it suggests that baseball add a third team in New York as a way to help even the playing field.
As Yankees fans and executives will rightly remind you, when the team adds expensive players like Vazquez, they're not just playing fairly, they're doing so within rules designed to constrain them. Nearly all of the penalties that baseball collects from teams whose payrolls exceed the luxury tax threshold, for example, comes from the Yankees. That doesn't change the fact that they and the Mets have an inherent and unfair advantage over even other teams in huge, rich cities.

According to the measure used by the Office of Management and Budget, the New York metropolitan region numbers about 19 million people. In other words, New York has one MLB team for every 9.5 million people. Chicago, by this measure, has one for every five million people, just as Miami and Atlanta do. Los Angeles has one for every 6.5 million people, as do Dallas and Philadelphia. (This doesn't even take into account New York's vast, inherent wealth.)

As we learned a decade ago, baseball at large is quite willing to jury-rig a silly tax system that only works against the Yankees, because everyone else benefits, be it poor teams getting handouts or rich teams who see the Yankees ever so slightly chastened in their spending. With the collective bargaining agreement coming up for renegotiation, a bad economy and a Yankees team that looks like it will be ferociously good over the next few years even if the likes of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera begin their inevitable decline, it's quite likely that their continued high spending will provoke some new set of ineffectual regulations meant to reign them in a bit.

The better solution would be to place a third team in New York. That would bring the town's population:team ratio down to the level of Los Angeles or Philadelphia, and with the same number of people and dollars chasing more baseball, would quite likely bring Yankee spending down a hair without doing anything punitive or unfair. The main holdup is baseball's archaic territorial rights system, which has also trapped the A's in Oakland when they should really be in San Jose. Anyone who cried foul last week on hearing that the Yankees had snared yet another great player would be far better served writing a letter to the commissioner about how stupid that rights system is than they would be to grouse about it over a beer. The address is: Commissioner Bud Selig, 245 Park Ave., New York, NY 10167.
I'm not sure this would stop people from trying to break up the Yankees -- they did pretty well when there were three New York teams the first time around -- but I like the idea anyway. As long as the team plays in the NL. There is only one American League New York team and that's the Yankees, and it shouldn't change.

But bringing a third team back to The City That Never Sleeps would be great, even though it's very unlikely that this will ever happen. But if it were to happen I think Brooklyn should get the team. After having the Dodgers ripped away from them it's the least they deserve.

Would you like a third New York team?

Ed Price is a Confused Man

Price recently penned an article for AOL Fanhouse titled "No Rival to Red Sox in 2000s" (hat-tip to It's About The Money, (Stupid!)). Here is some of the article:
But while the Yankees had the best winning percentage for the 2000s as a whole -- .597, with a 965-651 record -- we have chosen the Red Sox as the team of the decade.

Boston earns the nod not just based on its success but also for the way the franchise turned itself around and became a standard-bearer in ways for the industry.

It's almost hard to believe now, with the Sox as annual contenders, but the decade began with the Curse of the Bambino in full swing. Boston had not won a World Series since 1918 and was firmly in the shadow of its hated rival to the south.

But in 2004 the curse was ended as the Red Sox became the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series, knocking off the Yankees in the ALCS, and then swept the Cardinals in the World Series.

That October was the defining time of the decade. It saddled the Yankees' with a vulnerability that lasted five years, it dialed up the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and it turned New England fans' expectations from inevitable doom to annual contention.

Three years later, Boston won again, sweeping Colorado. And now the Red Sox have had to become accustomed to the same expectations heaped upon Yankees, where anything less than a title is a disappointment.
Price does point out that the Yankees averaged 4.5 more wins per season than the Sox, won two more pennants, and took six more division titles, but still the Red Sox get the nod. Why? I'm not quite sure, maybe it's the trendy thing to do, but apparently it has something to do with Boston becoming "accustomed to the same expectations heaped upon Yankees" or something like that.

Whether it's that, or trendy, or these guys just hate the Yankees, they're wrong. The Yankees were clearly the team of the decade.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mets on Verge of Signing Jason Bay

WFAN's Mike Francesa reported today that the Mets will announce the signing of Jason Bay after he passes his physical, probably some time early next week. The deal is expected to be a 4-year deal worth around $16 million per year. Jon Heyman confirmed the rumor.

It's a signing the Mets probably had to make, but it should be interesting to see how Bay hits in a ballpark like Citi Field after coming from Fenway.

12/29 Demolition Update

Here are some more pics from WCBS880's Tom Kamanski (hat-tip to Zell's Pinstripe Blog). They were taken several days ago and show a snowy Yankee Stadium as it comes down. For more from Kamanski click here.

(click to enlarge)

Images used with permission from

For the main demolition page click here.

DeRosa Signs With San Fran

From Andrew Baggarly:
The versatile right-handed hitter passed a physical after agreeing to a two-year contract worth roughly $12 million. With DeRosa's surgically repaired wrist appearing to be fine, the Giants will announce the signing today.
Well you can now take his name off potential Yankee left fielders.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Now What?

With Mark DeRosa signing with the Giants today and Jason Bay and Matt Holliday not likely to be in pinstripes, what will the Yanks be planning to do with left field?

Now don’t get me wrong, Brett Gardner is a good player and the Yanks don’t need a superstar at every position, but will the Yanks really go into the season with the 40 RBI man manning left? I personally don’t think so.

Their options are dwindling though, and right now Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady, both Yankees last year, seem as the only remaining free-agent choices for the Bombers, so they tell us. They’re not interested in Dye, not interested in guys like Bay or Holliday, and probably aren’t going after Reed Johnson as some reports have stated in the past couple days.

Yet, with Damon and Nady still on the market with relatively cheap contract requests, GM Brian Cashman has stated both of the players are too expensive for the Yankees to sign. Umm…what?

Nady isn’t going over $5 million after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season, and Damon probably would take a $16 or $18 million offer from the Yankees. So, why are the Yanks sounding like they went bankrupt and can’t afford these low-priced players? I tell ya why – strategy!

While typing this, an idea just popped into my mind. Cash is only saying this because he wants to see if the players will react to his statement and lower their asking price. So he’s wanting Damon to go down to around $14 million, and have Nady go down even lower. That’s when he’ll make his move.

If I could see the future, I’d say I would see Johnny Damon back with the Yankees. He’s just using Andy Pettitte’s old strategy of waiting it out as long as possible, until finally taking a deal with much less $ in it then he first asked for.

Even Nady is too expensive?

Via Bryan Hoch:

Why wouldn't the Yankees look at Xavier Nady for left field? They would get a right-handed bat with good power who can handle New York. Is his injury still a factor or is he looking for more than the Yankees want to pay?
-- Pete N., Syracuse N.Y.

Right now, it appears the hold-up would be more financial than physical. General manager Brian Cashman said on Monday that Nady's price is above the Yankees' current budget, which explains why they have not been seriously linked to him while some other clubs have.

How much could Nady possibly cost after his second major elbow surgery?

Jon Heyman also reported that the "yankees have been interested in [Mark] derosa. will be disappointed (and still looking for an OF) if #giants deal goes thru." If Nady is too expensive how can they afford DeRosa.

Borden: Wang Could Come Back To Yanks

From Sam Borden:
There is a chance though, however small, that Wang could end up back in New York. Grace, a friend of the blog’s in Taiwan who often checks in with updates on Wang, recently emailed to say that Wang said publicly in Taiwan that there were no hard feelings on his side about being non-tendered.


According to Grace, Wang told the media in Taiwan that he started long-tossing on Dec. 1 and will return to America this week before seeing Dr. James Andrews on Jan. 4. He hopes to be able to get into rehab games in April or May, meaning he likely wouldn’t be major-league ready until near June (at least).
With the Yankees already stating they will try to match any offer he gets I think the chance of a return might be even greater than people think. When do the Yankees publicly say things like that unless they mean it?

This Week in Yankees History (12/27-1/2)

This Week in Yankees History

December 27th - January 2nd

December 27th

1890 - Former Yankees C Ernie Krueger (1915) was born. He appeared in 10 games hitting .172 for the 1915 Yankees.

1927 - Former minor league Yankee OF Ted Del Guercio was born. Ted Del Guercio played 12 years in the minor leagues and was the only member of the largest trade in baseball history not to make the majors. On November 17, 1954, the Orioles traded P Don Larsen, INF Billy Hunter and P Bob Turley to the Yankees for players to be named later, P Harry Byrd, P Jim Mc Donald, INF Willy Miranda, catchers Hal Smith and Gus Triandos and MLB OF Gene Woodling. On December 1, 1954 The Yankees would send P Bill Miller, 1B Kal Segrist, INF Don Leppert and OF Ted Del Guercio (minors) to the Orioles to complete the trade. In return, the Orioles would send P Mike Blyzka, C Darrell Johnson, OF Jim Fridley, and 1B Richard Kryhoski to the Yankees to complete the 17-player trade.

1939 - The Giants obtained INF Mickey Witek from the Yankees AAA team, the Newark Bears in exchange for INF Alex Kampouris, C Tom Padden and $40,000 in cash. The Giants has high hopes for Witek, who was named the 1939 MVP in the International League. He will return to the Yankees organization in 1949, appearing in 1 game that season. Kampouris and Padden never play for the Yankees at the MLB level.

1943 - Former Yankees OF and MLB Coach Roy White (1965-79) was born. In 1961, the Yankees signed Roy White as an MLB amateur free agent. He was originally INF converted to OF. Roy played for 14 years for the Yankees finishing with a lifetime BA of .271 with 160 HRs and 758 RBIs in 1,881 games. He was a 2-time AL All Star team member (1969-1970). His best Yankees season was in 1970, when Roy hit .292 with 22 HRS and 94 RBIs. He played in 3 World Series for the Yankees (1976-1978) hitting .244. After leaving the Yankees in 1979, Roy played with the Tokyo Giants before retiring as an active player.

1963 - Former Yankees C/DH/INF Jim Leyritz (1990-1996, 1999-2000) was born. In 1985, the Yankees signed Jim Leyritz, as an MLB amateur free agent. With the arrival of C Joe Girardi, Jim became expendable. On December 5, 1996, Jim was traded by the Yankees to the Angels for players to be named later. The Angels sent minor league players Jeremy Blevins and Ryan Kane on December 9, 1996 to the Yankees to complete the trade. On July 31, 1999, Jim was traded by the Padres to the Yankees for minor league player Geraldo Padua. Jim only batted .213 in the post season, but that included 8 HRs with 20 RBIs. On June 20, 2000, the Yankees to the Dodgers traded Jim for INF Jose Vizcaino and cash

1984 - MLB Free agent starter Ed Whitson, who went 14-8 for the NL champion Padres, begins a nightmarish association with the Yankees by signing a 5-year, $4.4 million contract. By the middle of his 2nd year with the club, Whitson gets so rattled in Yankee Stadium that manager Lou Piniella will refused to use him in home games. He can only pitch for the team on the road. His Yankee pitching record will be 15-10 in 44 games. The Yankees shipped him back to the Padres, on July 9,1986, for P Tim Stoddard, where he will have 4 solid seasons.

1989 - The Yankees signed free agent INF Jim Walewander. He will spend the 1990 season at Columbus (AAA).

2001 - After 21 years being heard on WABC-AM radio, the Yankees will broadcast its spring training, regular-season and postseason games on all-news station WCBS-AM, which is owned by Infinity Broadcasting. The 5-year deal with the Yankees' YES Network, created earlier this year, is worth approximately about $50 million.

December 28th

1947 - Former Yankees reserve INF Aurelio Rodriguez (19801-1981) was born. (1947-2000) On August 4, 1980, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Padres. Aurelio would play in 77 games for the Yankees, hitting .283. On November 17, 1981, he was traded by the Yankees to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later. The Blue Jays would sent Mike Lebo (minors) on December 9, 1981 to the Yankees to complete the trade. In 2000, he passed away from injuries after being struck by car that had jumped onto the sidewalk in Detroit.

1978 - Former Yankees reserve C Walt Alexander (1915-1917) passed away. On July 30, 1915, Walt was purchased by the Yankees from the Browns. He appeared in 81 games for Yankees, hitting .233.

1992- Former Yankees hurler and long-time NL post-season rival Sal “The Barber” Maglie (1957-1958) passed away (1917-1992). In September of 1957, the Yankees purchased Sal from the Dodgers for $25,000 cash and 2 minor league players. Sal went 2-0 with 4 saves for the Yankees. In 1958, he faded going just 1-1 in 7 games, before being sold to the Cardinals. Sal had pitched for the Yankees, Dodgers and the Giants during the 1950’s.

1995 - The White Sox traded veteran OF Tim Raines to the Yankees in exchange for future considerations. The Yankees would sent minor league player Blaise Kozeniewski on February 6, 1996 to the White Sox to complete the trade.

2001 - Outgoing New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announces the Yankees and Mets have reached a tentative agreement with the city to build a pair of $800 million, retractable-roof stadiums. Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, who is concerned if the city can afford what is believed to be the largest private-public venture history, will have final word on the $1.6 billion cost of the proposed new ballparks agreements. Neither of the new stadiums would be built with retractable-roofs, due to projected construction costs.

2005 - Yankees LF Hideki Matsui has decided not to play for Japan at next year's World Baseball Classic games, so he can concentrate his efforts on winning a World Series with the New York Yankees.

2005 - MLB Free agent veteran reserve INF Miguel Cairo and the Yankees reached an agreement on a $1 million, one-year contract.

2007 - Former Yankees player Jim Leyritz is arrested in Florida. He had crashed his car into another vehicle, killing the occupant. He was charged with DUI manslaughter. Leyritz was also driving with a suspended license.

December 29th

1885 - Former Yankees OF Frank “Pudgie” Delahanty (1905-1906, 1908) was born. On August 22, 1905, he was purchased by the Highlanders from the Birmingham (Southern Association). He hit .230 in 101 games for the Yankees. On May 16, 1907, Frank was traded by the Highlanders along with P Walter Clarkson to the Cleveland Naps for P Earl Moore. On July 9, 1908, he was signed as a MLB free agent with the Highlanders. Frank would hit .256 in 37 games for the rest of the 1908 AL season.

1893 - Former Yankees reserve C Salvatore “Joe” Smith (1913) was born. Joe appeared in only 14 games for the Yankees during the 1913 AL season, hitting just .156.

1911 - Former Yankees reserve INF Billy Knickerbocker (1938-1940) was born. On February 15, 1938, Billy was traded by the Browns to the Yankees for INF Don “Jeep” Heffner and $10,000. Billy took over Don Heffner’s role as Yankees reserve INF. On December 31, 1940, Billy was traded by the Yankees to the White Sox for C Ken Silvestri.

1928 - The Yankees waived veteran 3B Joe Dugan to the Braves.

1933 - Yankees Owner Jacob Ruppert refuses to release All Star OF Slugger Babe Ruth from his MLB player contract, thus preventing him from becoming the manager of the Reds. Babe Ruth will never receive another chance to manage a MLB team.

1952 - Former Yankees reserve INF Dennis Werth (1979-1981) was born. Dennis was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 1974 MLB amateur player draft. He hit .222 in 76 games as a reserve INF with the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1980, hitting .308 in 39 games. On March 24, 1982, Dennis was traded by the Yankees to the Royals for minor league player Scott Behan.

1972 - Former Yankees reliever Jim Brower (2007) was born. Jim appeared in only 3 games in 2007 for the Yankees with no record, before returning to Scranton (AAA).

1974 - Former Yankees 1B/DH Richie Sexton (2007) was born. His stay with the Yankees was short-lived however; after 22 games in 2007, in which he went to bat only 25 times, Richie was released on August 15th. He had hit .250 with 1 HR and 6 RBI’s in the Bronx.

1975 - Former Yankees P Jarret Wright (2005-2006) was born. On December 28, 2004, he was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. He went 16-12 in 43 games with the Yankees. On November 12, 2006, he was traded by the Yankees along with cash to the Orioles for P Chris Britton.

1977 - Melissa Ludtke, a female Sports Illustrated sports writer, files suit against MLB, the Yankees and NYC officials for denying her access to the Yankee Stadium locker rooms to interview players during the 1977 World Series.

2004 - Former Yankees reserve C Gus Niarhos (1946, 1948-1950) passed away (1920-2004). He was attending Auburn University on scholarship, when a scout for the Yankees signed him. After World War II broke out, he served in the U.S. Navy. Gus spent his 1st 3+ years in the MLB with the Yankees. Yogi Berra was the up-and-coming catcher, and in 1948 Gus platoon at catcher with him while Yogi also played in the outfield. He appeared in 1 game in the 1949 World Series against the Dodgers, which the Yankees won. The White Sox picked him off waivers from the Yankees in 1950. Looking back at his start with the Yankees he said, “That was a tough organization, if you were a catcher. They had Bill Dickey. Then Yogi came up. From '49 on, it was just forget about being a catcher with the Yankees." – Gus Niarhos.

December 30th

1927 - The Yankees released two veteran players: INF Ray Morehardt and P Joe Giard, they have retired from MLB.

1930 - Former Yankees minor league INF Milt Graff was born. Milt was traded by the Yankees in February of 1957 in the Bobby Shantz trade with the A’s. He was unable to break into the crowded Yankee INF. Milt was originally signed by the Pirates in 1949. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 1955 MLB minor league player draft.

1940 - The Yankees swapped starter Monte Pearson (1936-1940) to the Reds for INF Dan Lang and $20,000 cash. Lang will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level.

1995 - MLB free agent starter Kenny Rogers is signed by the Yankees to a 4-year contract. The Gambler went 18-15 in 62 games for the Yankees. On November 7,1997, he was traded by the Yankees along with cash to the A’s for a player to be named later. The A’s would send INF/OF Scott Brosius to the Yankees to complete the trade in November.

2002 - Citing that this will probably be his last MLB career season, 40-year old All Star starter Roger Clemens agrees to a $10.1 million, 1-year deal with the Yankees. The 19-season MLB veteran, who has won the Cy Young Award 6 times, is 7 victories shy of 300 MLB career wins mark.

2002 - The Yankees resigned MLB free agent P Christian Parker. On March 22, 2000, he was sent by the Expos to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on December 22, 1999. The Expos sent players to be named later and P Jake Westbrook to the Yankees for starter Hideki Irabu. He went 0-1 in 1 game for the 2001 Yankees.

December 31st

1914 - AL President Ban Johnson's efforts to strengthen the Yankees succeed when he arranges the purchase of the team by Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Houston for $460,000 from current owners Bill Devery and Frank Farrell. After Tiger’s owner Frank Navin refuses to let manager Hugh Jennings go, the new Yankee owners will name longtime Tiger hurler William “Wild Bill” Donovan to managing the team. Under the new owner regime, the Yankees will make the most important trade in franchise history, when they purchased OF/P Babe Ruth from the Red Sox in December of 1919.

1919 - Former Yankees P Tommy Byrne (1943, 1946-1951, 1954-1957) was born (1919-2007). Before the 1940 AL Season, Tommy was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent. Tommy went 73-50 in 249 games in 10 seasons with the Yankees. He won 15 games each during the1949 and 1950 AL seasons. Tom was named to the 1950 AL All Star team. On June 15, 1951, he was traded by the Yankees along with $25,000 to the Browns for veteran P Stubby Overmire. Tommy was re-obtained by the Yankees in September of 1954 from Seattle (PCL). In 1955, he won the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award by going 16-5. He would pitch 2 more seasons for the Yankees, before retiring in 1957. He later became the Mayor and Owner of the Wake Forrest, NC Country Club. Tommy passed away on December 20, 2007.

1924 - Former Yankees P Ted Gray (1955) was born. On June 30, 1955, Ted was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. He will appear in only 1 game with no decisions before being released in July of 1955 by the Yankees.

1940 - The Yankees send P Bump Hadley to the Giants for the waiver price. Also they traded reserve INF Bill Knickerbocker to the White Sox for C Ken Silvestri. The military will claim Ken Silvestri for the next 4 years.

1971 - Former Yankees P Esteban Loaiza (2004) was born. On July 31, 2004, he was traded by the White Sox to the Yankees for starter Jose Contreras and cash. He appeared in 10 games for the Yankees posting a 1-2 record, before leaving the team for MLB free agency in the winter of 2004.

1974 - MLB free agent starter James “Catfish” Hunter, who posted a 25-12 record with the A’s, signs with the Yankees ending an unprecedented bidding war, when he inks a 5-year, $3.75 million dollar contract. This is triple the salary of any other MLB player. His Yankees pitching career record was 63-53. He won 23 games in 1975 and 17 games in 1976 for the Yankees. He will retire at the age of 33 in 1979, after a 15-year MLB career. He will win election to the HOF in 1987.

1980 - Former Yankees P and MLB Manager (1930) Robert “Sailor Bob” Shawkey (1915-1927) passed away at the age of 90 (1890-1980). After being obtained from the A’s for $85,000 in 1915, Bob was a 3-time 20 game winner for the Yankees. In 1920, Bob led the AL in ERA with a 2.45 mark. Bob Shawkey is noted as the starting pitcher in the 1st game played in Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923. Bob held the Yankees record for 15 strikeouts in a single game. That record stood until Whitey Ford broke it in the early 1960’s. Bob Shawkey finished his Yankee pitching career with a record of 168-131. In 1929, Bob became the Yankees MLB pitching coach. Following Yankees Manager Miller Higgins death, Bob will manage the 1930 Yankees to an 86-68 record, a 3rd place finish, before being replaced by veteran NL manager Joe McCarthy. In 1934-1935, he managed the Yankees top AAA club, the Newark Bears. In the 1940’s, Bob was a MLB scout for the Tigers and Pirates. After managing in the minors in 1949 and 1950 for the Pirates, Bob became the baseball coach at Dartmouth College from 1952 to 1956. During the 1976 opening day festivities for the renovated “new” Yankee Stadium, Bob Shawkey threw out the ceremonial 1st pitch.

1990 - The Yankees purchased starter Scott Sanderson from the A’s. He would go 16-10 in 1991 and 12-11 in 1992, before leaving the team for MLB free agency.

2004 - After the Devil Rays decline his 2005 $8 million player contract option, MLB free agent 1B/DH Tino Martinez, who had hit .262, with 23 HRs and 76 RBIs for the Tampa, signs a 1-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the Yankees. Martinez played in New York from 1996 through 2001, he was replaced by free agent 1B Jason Giambi. This time, he is acquired as insurance in the event Giambi's fragile health due to steroid use continues to fail.

January 1st Happy New Year to All!!!

1874 - Former Yankees P Ned Garvin (1904) was born. On September 9, 1904, Ned was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Brooklyn Superbas. Ned appeared in 2 games for the Yankees with a 0-1 record in September of 1904.

1881 - Former Yankees reserve OF Rudy Bell (1907) was born. He appeared in only 17 games in 1907, hitting just .212.

1910 - Former Yankees P Charles Devens (1932-1934) was born. Charlie went 5-3 in 16 games for the Yankees. He had been a college star baseball player, before signing with the Yankees.

1923 - Former Yankees HOF OF William “Wee Willie” Keeler dies in Brooklyn, NY, at age of 50. In 19 MLB seasons, Keller hit .341, amassed 2,932 hits. He won consecutive batting titles in 1897-1898. He played for the Yankees from 1903 -1909. He hit over .300, three times for the Yankees, including .343 in 1904.

1924 - Former Yankees 1B and MLB Coach Earl Torgeson (1961) was born. On June 17, 1961, Earl was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. The White Sox had released Earl. Earl hit .111 in 22 games before becoming a MLB coach on September 2, 1961.

1942 - Former Yankees minor league INF Bill Bethea was born. Bill was obtained from the Twins on waivers in 1965, but he never played for the Yankees at the MLB level.

1955 - Former Yankees minor league P LaMarr Hoyt was born. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 5th round of the 1973 MLB amateur player draft. Hoyt never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. On April 5, 1977, he was traded by the Yankees along with P Bob Polinsky, OF/DH Oscar Gamble, and $200,000 cash to the White Sox for shortstop Bucky Dent.

1974 - Former Yankees GM Lee MacPhail takes over as AL President, succeeding Joe Cronin, who retires. MacPhail will serve in this role until 1984. He will join his father, Larry MacPhail, as a member of the Hall of Fame in 1998.

2006 - Former Yankees reliever Paul Linbald (1978) passed away. He appeared in 7 games with no decisions after being purchased from the Rangers. The Yankees will send him to the Mariners after the 1978 AL season.

January 2nd

1963 - Former Yankees P David Cone (1995-2000) was born. On July 28, 1995, Dave was traded by the Blue Jays to the Yankees for P Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. Dave went 64-40 as a Yankees starter. He was 2-0 in 4 World Series with the Yankees. David Cone compiled an 8–3 postseason record over 21 postseason starts. He was a part of 5 World Series championship teams (1992 Blue Jays and 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000 Yankees). He had a career postseason ERA of 3.80. After pitching a perfect game on July 18, 1999, against the Expos (the last no-hitter to date by a Yankee pitcher), he seemed to suddenly lose effectiveness. The 1st inter-league perfect game was the last shut-out, he would throw in his MLB career. After retiring from MLB, David has worked with the YES network covering the Yankees.

1973 - Rumors appeared nationwide in the sports media that the New York Yankees were being purchased from CBS Inc., by a Cleveland group of investors.

1977 - Former Yankees P Scott Proctor (2004-2007) was born. On July 31, 2003, Scott was traded by the Dodgers along with OF Bubba Crosby to the Yankees for veteran INF Robin Ventura. Scott went 11-10 with 1 save in 190 games with the Yankees, before being traded back to the Dodgers on July 31, 2007 for INF Wilson Betemit.

1991 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent starter Mike Witt. Mike was obtained from the Angels for All Star OF Dave Winfield in May of 1990. He posted a 5-6 record in 16 games. He would only appear in 2 games in 1991, posting a 0-1 record due to injuries. He would miss the 1992 AL season due to injuries. In 1993, Mike appeared in only 9 games with Yankees, posting a 3-2 record.

2003 - Former Yankees OF Art ‘Bud” Metheny (1943-1946) passed away. Art hit .247 in 376 games for the Yankees. He appeared in 2 games in the 1943 World Series, hitting just .125. Bud Metheny was the baseball coach at Old Dominion University from 1948 to 1980. He also coached basketball (1948-1965) and served as athletic director (1963-1970) at ODU.

2008 - Former Yankees reliever Gerry Staley (1955-1956) passed away. On September 14, 1955, Gerry was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Reds. He appeared in only 3 games with no record for the 1955 Yankees. On May 28, 1956, he was selected off waivers by the White Sox from the Yankees. He would be one of the key members of the 1959 AL Champions White Sox bullpen.

(As always I'd like to thank Fw57Clipper51 for his great contribution.)

...Read more

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yanks remain interested in Dye?

From Phil Rogers:
Jermaine Dye is drawing interest from the Yankees after their acquisition of Javier Vazquez. He had been considered as a first base option in Atlanta before the Braves shifted to Troy Glaus.
Dye had a good year in '09, hitting .250/.340/.453 with 27 HR and 81 RBI for the White Sox. They could probably get him for a one-year deal, which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but I'm not sure he's the answer for the Yanks.

If the Yankees are looking for the best hitter they can find for a short-term deal I still think Damon is the guy. With his market looking non-existent I wouldn't rule out a return just yet. It's unlikely, but not impossible.

Another Award For The Captain

Jeter made it four awards to go with the Yankees 27th World Series win when he was named the Daily News' New Yorker of the Year for 2009. He has already won the Hank Aaron Award, the Roberto Clemente Award, and the SI Sportsman of the Year.

Okay, let us here grant for the record what Derek Jeter did not do. He did not cure cancer. He did not save the polar bears. Nor was he the first shortstop elected President or named to the Supreme Court. One questions whether he could have landed a jet safely in the Hudson River.

But Jeter did accomplish something far more substantial than hitting for average and fielding his position. All across professional sports are lots of guys who put up big numbers and collect enormous paychecks for their production. They come and go from city to city. They are cheered. But hardly are they beloved.

Jeter is beloved. And that powerful bond - player to team to fans to city - has enabled him to buoy the pride of millions year in and year out, this year most of all.

This is a man who has the qualities adults admire and children can look up to. Somehow he combines enormous talent with hard work, riches with responsibility, fantastic success with confident modesty and intense competitiveness with true sportsmanship.
Jeter must hate to see 2009 go, it's been a great year for him.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Remembering Billy

I already posted this link back on the Nov. 17th open thread, but with yesterday being the 20th anniversary of Billy Martin's tragic death I figured it was a good time to repost it. It's an excerpt from a book by Chris Jaffe titled "Evaluating Baseball's Managers" about Martin. Here's the beginning of the excerpt, the rest can be found at the link above.
Billy Martin was the most fearless manager in baseball history. In 20 years of managing, he never backed down from a challenge. As has been well documented by others, Martin consistently caused dramatic improvements to his squads immediately upon arrival by pushing them hard. The A’s went from losing 108 games to fighting for .500. The Rangers, who had posted back-to-back seasons in which they had played .350 ball, suddenly won half their games when Martin arrived. The Twins and Tigers improved by 18 and 12 games for him respectively. The Yankees won their first pennant in a dozen years under him. The Birnbaum Database gives him high scores for every stop along the way: +64 runs in Minnesota, +199 runs in Detroit, +91 runs in Texas, +142 runs with Oakland, and +219 runs in his various New York stops.

Martin’s approach had its downside. He pushed his teams so hard they could not keep up with his pressure. Hiring Martin was like pushing too much voltage through a light bulb: for a brief while it burns brighter than otherwise possible, but it soon shatters unless the excess electricity is removed. Despite his impressive starts, Martin never lasted longer than three years in any managerial stint.

Though Martin is most famous for piloting the Yankees, his first managerial stint running the 1969 Twins best reveals his method and madness. The gutsy bravado and intensity to win that highlighted his career amply demonstrated themselves that year. Martin approached his rookie managerial season the same way a tough convict handles his first day in prison—determined to prove himself immediately as the cellblock’s most dangerous man.

To continue reading click here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Yankees Yule Log

I posted this last Christmas and figured I'd do the same this year. It's a video a friend of mine made a few years back, enjoy:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

It was another nice year here at Sliding Into Home, one that concluded with the Yankees winning number 27 and making some nice moves as the offseason got underway. A major thanks goes out to you readers. This wouldn't be a site without you. And also to the great new writers who have really brought a new spin on things to the site. Anyway, I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from all of us here at SIH. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

Merry Christmas!

Yanks Looking At Reed Johnson?

From Joel Sherman:
An NL executive and an agent told me the Yankees were talking regularly to the representatives for Reed Johnson. I can see the Yankee reasoning. As currently constituted, the Yanks have lefty-swingers Brett Gardner in left field and Curtis Granderson in center. Johnson can play all three outfield positions, and has long been a strong hitter against lefties. In 2009 against lefties, Johnson hit .324 with a .403 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage; and for his career the numbers are .313/.378/.463.
Not the big name most Yankees fans are hoping for, but with what the Yankees already have he could be a nice addition. Those numbers against lefties can come in very handy for this team.

Sherman also had this to say about Xavier Nady:
I still believe that the Yankees should go for Xavier Nady if Nady’s elbow tests fine after a second Tommy John surgery. Nady’s right-center power would be ideal at Yankee Stadium. And I imagine that Nady could be had for a low base with plenty of incentives based on games played.
Also not a terrible idea.

SI Ranks The New Stadium 4th Best of the Decade has a countdown of the 10 best new stadiums of the 2000s and New Yankee Stadium comes it at no. 4.
Located across 161st Street from the House that Ruth Built, the Yankees' new home opened in style as the Bombers won the World Series in 2009. The new home features a giant high-definition screen in center field, gourmet food in private clubs and ample food courts and luxurious seating throughout the stadium.
University of Phoenix Stadium came in at no. 1, San Francisco's AT&T Park came in second, and the new Cowboys Stadium came in third. The entire list can be found here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Johnson and Granderson Versus Matsui and Damon

In 2009 the Yankees benefitted from nearly miraculously productive seasons from Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. Matsui in particular had detoriated to the point where if somebody had picked him for World Series MVP back in March, they would have been laughed at. Coming off a major surgery expectations for the longtime Yankee were very low. Damon was also seen as a broken down former centerfielder who was now a liability in the field.

In reality, the two were huge bats for the Yanks. Although Damon's defense continued to fall apart, he had the best offensive year of his career and hit homerun after homerun into the right field seats. Matsui surprised everybody with his .509 SLG% and was a much needed power threat in the middle of the lineup. Altogether the two combined for 52 home runs and 172 RBI's. They were worth 47.4 offensive runs and a 5.4 WAR if you prefer more sophisticated stats. That's a lot of offense no matter how you look at it.

In the aftermath of the Nick Johnson signing and the Curtis Granderson trade their were a lot of people claiming that the chances of those two replicating the 2009 performances of Damon and Matsui were slim. My intial reaction to this claim was to note that the chances of Damon and Matsui replicating their 2009 performances were ever lower. However, it ocurred to me to wonder whether or not this claim was true and I don't think it is at all.

First a look at Damon and Granderson. Although Granderson is not directly replacing Damon in left field, he is the guy that ultimately made Damon expendable by allowing Gardner to slide over to left. Over the past three years their average offensive numbers are pretty close with Damon providing the more consistent number. Granderson has ranged from a .395 wOBA. I would say his true talent level is probably around what he did in 2008. Damon's 2009 was a pretty good year for him. He put up a line of .282/.365/.489 with a .376 wOBA. Offensively, it wouldn't really be a surprise if Granderson pulled off a season like that, after all he did essentially that in 2008 and was worlds better in 2007. Besides that, Granderson will now have the benefit of that short porch in right that Damon used so well to his advantage in '09. Granderson is coming off of the worst year of his career though and I think its fair to call them a wash in this area.

What really makes the difference between Damon and Granderson is their defense. Granderson contributed 14.2 runs to his team on defense in 2007, -8.9 in 2008, and 1.6 in 2009. Not spectacular but all signs indicate that he plays a solid centerfield. On the other hand, Damon is a major liability in the field. His defensive value has declined steadily from contributing 4.8 runs in the field in 2007, to costing the Yanks 1.1 in 2008 and 9.2 in 2009. He's gone from a solid centerfielder to a leftfielder who should really be DH'ing at this point. Its not even close, Granderson has a huge edge defensively that will push him over the top. Again, the age factor comes into play and its pretty safe to say that Damon's range will probably decline even further in 2010.

Nick Johnson should be directly replacing Hideki Matsui in the DH hole. However, this comparison is quite a s straightforward. I think its pretty easy to say that Johnson is a better hitter than Matsui. Nick doesn't have quite as much power as Matsui and won't fit into his old #5 spot in the lineup. However, he's an on base machine. To pull out the stats is almost meaningless as he barely played in 2007 or 2008. However, in 2009 he put up a line of .291/.426/.405 while playing hurt. That all adds up to a wOBA of .373. Matsui did manage to match it though. His line was .274/.367/.509 with a wOBA of .378. If healthy, Johnson likely could have topped that though. The big question is will the DH spot and regular days off keep Johnson healthy, much the same way it did for Matsui last year.

Over at they have Johnson and Granderson projected for a combined 5.8 WAR in 2010. Its an admittedly unscientific projection made by the fans. However, its worth a glance at least. Matsui and Damon combined for a 5.4 WAR. A lot depends on Nick Johnson staying healthy but the idea of the two new Yankees replacing the production of Damon and Matsui isn't nearly as ridiculous as some of you may think.

Baseball America Ranks Montero Baseball's 5th Best Prospect

Baseball America's John Manuel ranks his top 20 prospects in baseball for and Yankees catcher, Jesus Montero, came in at number five.
Why he's here: The minors' best hitter, Montero gets compared to Mike Piazza as a catcher whose hitting tools far outstrip his defense. The Yankees don't see him as Jorge Posada's heir because his defense is on par with Piazza's or worse.

What he'll be: Because he's likely to move out from behind the plate, Montero should be a first baseman or DH primarily. Other ex-catchers with premium bats such as Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado leap to mind.

When he arrives: New York's offseason moves will dictate whether Montero spends all season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or moves up to the big leagues as a part-time catcher and DH.
I realy hope this kid can learn how to be a good defensive catcher. If he's limited to 1B or DH I really wonder what kind of future he has with this team. Between Mark Teixeira and all the aging vets who could need time at DH in the future (Posada, A-Rod, Jeter) there might not be much room for him. His best opportunity to find an open spot may actually be this year.

Giants Make An Offer To DeRosa

From Jon Heyman:
heard giants offered mark derosa $12 mil, 2-yr deal. but is ex-brave and NJ product waiting for atlanta, mets or yanks?
The other day it was being reported that the Yankees had about $5 or $6 million for a left fielder so that would fit in with their budget if the Yanks wanted to match the Giants offer, but I'm not sure they want to go that high for DeRosa.

Boston Writers Vote Cashman Executive of the Year

From WEEI's Full Count Blog:
The Boston Chapter, BBWAA also announced Tuesday that Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has been selected as Major League Baseball Executive of the Year.
A nice honor for Cash considering it's coming from the enemy. Kevin Youkilis was also voted Red Sox MVP.

Yanks Finalize Deal With Nick Johnson

Today the Yanks have finalized their deal with Nick Johnson. The deal includes around a million in performance based incentives and a mutual option for 2011 worth at least $5.5 million.

Johnson, like Vazquez, seems very happy to be back. Here's a quote from Marc Carig:

"Just coming back to New York, (it's) a great place to play," Johnson said. "And having a chance to win, that's what it comes down to, winning. The last six years I haven't been close to doing that."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vazquez: I'm glad to be back

Mark Feinsand has some quotes from the newest Yankee from today's conference call he had with the beat writers, here are some of those:
“I’m glad to be back. I’m excited to be a part of the team again. Everyone that knows me knows I didn’t want to leave my first time out.”
He also said he knows "how to pitch a little bit more" than he did in 2004. And that he's learned "a lot from the mistakes you’ve made in the past.”

Regarding his poor second half in the '04 season he said his “arm didn’t feel as good as it did in the first half, and it’s really the only time in my career that I’ve felt a little that my arm wasn’t where it was supposed to be. … It may have been my mistake that I never said anything, but that’s over with. I’m ready for a brand new start.”

Yanks Sign Javier Herrera

According to Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times Tribune SWB Yanks blog is reporting that the Yankees have signed Javier Herrera, "an outfielder once considered the best defender in the Oakland system," to a minor-league deal.

In six minor-league seasons the 24-year-old has hit .282/.358/.468 with 49 HR and 213 RBI.

Fangraphs Top 10 Yankee Prospects

Marc Hulet of came out with his list of the top 10 Yankees prospects, here is that list:

1. Jesus Montero, C
2. Austin Romine, C
3. Zach McAllister, RHP
4. Arody Vizcaino, RHP
5. Manuel Banuelos, LHP
6. Mike Dunn, LHP
7. Mark Melancon, RHP
8. Corban Joseph, 2B
9. Kelvin De Leon, OF
10. Andrew Brackman, RHP

Two members of the list, Arodys Vizcaino and Mike Dunn were traded today for Javier Vazquez so the list will have to be updated. When it is I will update this post. You can check out the list on Fangraphs to see scouting reports on all of the players.

Javy's Back, Now What? UPDATED

Updates (5:45 PM): From the Ledger, via Twitter:
Cashman: "Left field is an evolving situation. Stay tuned." But he says it won't be a big piece.
Also, regarding the starting LF's spot as of now:
Cashman: "Brett Gardner is now in a position to be an every day player for us."
Is Johnny Damon considered a big piece? I know that Bay and Holliday are, and I am not set with Gardner starting everyday. How about you?
BTW, it's also said that Granderson is the CF as of now, but that could very well change at anytime.

Original post: This trade has split Yankee fans seemingly down the middle, on whether or not it's a good trade. I, personally, like the trade. Sure, I'll miss Melky, and Javy's a guy who everyone remembers for that one disastrous game, but I like it. Now, there's a hole in left field that I'd rather not be filled by Brett Gardner. I would LOVE it if the Yanks brought back Johnny Damon. One of my favorite Yankees, there's now an opening for him. There's also Mark DeRosa, and the usual names (the more expensive ones)- Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. I hope they just sign Damon, maybe add a bullpen arm or two, and call it a winter. What do you guys think?

Yanks Will Now Try To Trade Gaudin or Mitre

From Joel Sherman:
With Vazquez, Yankees will try to save some $$ by trading Gaudin or Mitre to team seeking backend help before spring training ends
I doubt they'll get much for either, but they don't really need them so why not.

Yanks Send Melky, Dunn, To Atlanta For Vazquez And Logan

So much for Melky Cabrera being the starting left fielder. According to Sam Borden, the Yankees and the Braves have agreed to a trade that will send Melky, Mike Dunn, and righty Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves in exchange for starter Javier Vazquez and lefty Boone Logan.

Vazquez would become the Yankees #4 starter, although he may be in front of Andy Pettitte come Opening Day. He went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA and 238 strikeouts for the Braves last year, and finished 4th in the AL Cy Young voting. He also posted a WHIP of 1.03 and threw 219.1 innings.

Many fans remember him for his ugly performance in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS in which the Red Sox clobbered him, but he's a very good pitcher and is a great acquisition for the Yanks. I think he'll do great in the rotation for the Bombers, and may be able to redeem himself if he can have a solid season and get the Yankees back-to-back championships.

Logan on the other hand, hasn't been a great pitcher in the first couple years of his young career. The 25-year old lefty posted a 5.19 ERA in 20 games for the Braves this past season, and has a career ERA of 5.78. Maybe a scenery change will help him, but to me, getting Logan doesn't make total sense to me.

But, what do you think of this move? I love it. And now, this may also mean the Yankees can still bring back Johnny Damon, now that left field has opened up. Great move, great move Yanks.

Baseball Prospectus Lists The Top Yankee Prospects

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus listed the top 11 Yankees prospects. That list is below, along with their star ratings:
Five-Star Prospects
1. Jesus Montero, C
Four-Star Prospects
2. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
3. Manny Banuelos, LHP
4. Zach McAllister, RHP
5. Austin Romine, C
6. Gary Sanchez, C
7. Slade Heathcott, CF
8. Kelvin De Leon, RF
9. J.R. (John) Murphy, C
10. Mark Melancon, RHP
11. D.J. Mitchell, RHP
He also lists infielder Corban Joseph, SS Eduardo Nunez, right fielder Melky Mesa, and left-hand pitcher Jeremy Bleich as "four more" prospects to look at. If you're a BP member you can view their scouting reports on all the Yankees on the list here.

Luxury Tax Time For Yanks

The Yankees were the only team forced to pay a luxury tax for the 2009 season, and the bill came in at just under $26 million ($25.69). Marc Carig has some more info on the luxury (Yankee) tax:
The Yankees have been billed $174 million of the tax's $190 million total since 2003. The only other teams to pay have been Boston ($13.9 million for 2004-7), Detroit ($1.3 million for 2008) and the Los Angeles Angels ($927,059 for 2004).
So the Yanks 27th championship ends up costing the organization $281.89 million. To me it was well worth it. I'm sure the Steinbrenner's feel the same way.

Yanks Sign Mike Rivera

From Jon Morosi:
Yankees sign catcher Mike Rivera to minor league contract.
In 41 games as a backup for the Brewers, Rivera hit .228/.326/.342 with 2 HR and 14 RBI. He's a career .244/.305/.383 with 13 HR and 69 RBI over 7 seasons with the Tigers, Padres and Brewers.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yankees to Acquire Pitcher Tonight?

(Updated 11:42 p.m.) Another update via Mark Feinsand:
Yankees mystery pitcher does not appear to be Carlos Zambrano. Cubs had not asked him to waive his no-trade as of tonight.
(Updated 10:59 p.m.) Mark Feinsand says that since this trade "doesn't sound like a salary dump," Lowe probably isn't the target.

(Updated 10:52 p.m.)
There are a bunch of rumors going around about the Yankees going after Derek Lowe.

(Updated 10:18 p.m.)
This update comes from Mark Feinsand:
Yankees are apparently close to a deal for a starting pitcher, says a source. Still working on who, but I'm told it's not a salary dump deal
(Updated 10:07 p.m.) Here's a recent tweet from Ken Rosenthal:
Source: Yankees in "active negotiations" for a starting pitcher. Not Harang. Trying to find out who.
(Updated 10:00 p.m.) This comes via Ken Davidoff:
Hear that #Yankees have "two or three" serious trade talks for starting pitcher - A. Harang isn't one of them.
Earlier tonight we got this tweet from Buster Olney:
"Yankees working very hard tonight on deal for starting pitcher. Remember that they came close to deal for Aaron Harang in summer"
Stay tuned...

Braves Interested In Damon or Swisher?

From Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi:
The Braves have talked to the Marlins about Uggla, but one source describes Atlanta’s interest as only “mild.” A trade for the Yankees’ Nick Swisher or the signing of free-agent left fielder Johnny Damon might be preferable to the Braves.

The Yankees still could move Swisher if they wish to obtain Damon or another outfielder; they are not looking to trade Swisher, one source said, but also are not opposed to it.
I really hate the idea of trading Swisher. First of all, and most importantly, he's very productive and has a relatively cheap contract. Second, every teams needs a knucklehead. And before you roll your eyes at that comment think of what he brought to that clubhouse this year and how much fun that team had. He was a major part of that.

Montero To Start 2010 In Triple-A

From Chad Jennings:
Vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said this afternoon that the Yankees plan to have Montero open the season as the regular catcher with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Austin Romine, the team’s No. 2 prospect according to Baseball America, will open in Trenton.
Quick rise through the ranks for the 20-year-old. I assume if he continues to hit and improve defensively, we could see him in the show in 2011.

Marquis Signs With The Nats

Via Mark Feinsand:
Jason Marquis signs two-year, $15 million deal with Nationals.
So you can take him off the Yanks holiday wish list.... Good.

Yanks Want A New Arm By The New Year

From Mike Puma:
With his everyday lineup for 2010 set, Cashman has turned attention to the rotation, and will almost certainly add a starter by New Year's, according to a major league source.
Puma mentions the usual suspects; Jason Marquis, Joel Pineiro and Ben Sheets, and also tells us that Cashman inquired about the Cubs Carlos Zambrano, but the price was too high.

I still like the idea of signing Sheets.

2010 Yankees-Red Sox Comparison

Since I've started blogging I've always done a preview of the AL East and compared the top teams position by position. Although I included the Rays in this last year, I think I'm going to leave them out this time after a 2009 where they finished 19 games out of first place. This tends to stretch out for quite a bit so I'm starting it so early on purpose.

Obviously certain positions are unsettled and could remain so until Opening Day itself. So, I'll be leaving left field, third base, first base, the last two spots in the rotation, the bench, and the bullpen left undone until we know for sure how those position are going to look for both Boston and New York on Opening Day.

In the past I've had people tell me they like this series of posts and the predictions I make at the end of it have been pretty much spot on so I think you'll end up liking.

Weekly Winter Ball Recap

Here's Big Guy's weekly winter league recap:


Romulo Sanchez--RHP--Lara----Sanchez made 4 relief appearances this week for 5.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits. VWL totals: 32.1 IP, 13 ER, 23 hits, 44 K--19 walks, BAA .213. His 2009 AAA totals: 64.2 IP, 29 ER, 66 Hits, 64 K's--34 walks.

Reegie Corona--INF--Maganelles--Corona went 2-14 this week with 3 runs. VWL totals: .323 (41-127), 32 runs, 16 doubles, 16 rbis. In 2009 at Trenton and SWB he hit .257, 69 runs, 40 rbi.

Josh Schmidt--RHP-- Zulia----Schmidit made his 11th start this week taking the loss (2-5). He went 6 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 5 K's---1 walk. VWL totals: 61.1 IP, 26 ER, 53 hits, 56 K's--24 walks. Schmidt had a very good year in 09 at Trenton going 8-4, 1.61 ERA., 83.2 IP, 15 ER, 57 hits, 96 K's---38 walk

Juan Marcano--LHP--Caribes---The young lefty pitcher just started winter ball last week. He's had 2 rough relief stints so far going 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 hits. In 2009 he played at the Domincan summer league picking up 70 K's in 45 innings. 11 ER, 2.20 ERA, BAA .166.

Luis Nunez--INF--Zulia---Nunez has played sparingly in winter ball. He appeared in 1 game this week going 0-1 as a pinch hitter. VWL totals: .289 (13-45), 7 rbi, 3 doubles, 2 runs. He hit .276 between Tampa and SWB in 09.


Ramiro Pena--INF----Pena went 2-18 this week. MWL totals: .257 (19-74), 8 runs, 3 doubles, OBP .313. In 2009 at NY he hit .287.

Jon Weber--OF--Mazatlan---Weber was recently signed to a AAA contract as a minor league free agent. Weber continued his outstanding winter league play this week going 13-27 with 2 homers and 7 runs. MWL totals: .397 (62-156), 7 homers, 30 runs, 29 rbis, OBP .428. In 2009 he played in the Tampa organization at AAA Durham where he hit .302, with 14 homers, 69 rbi, .382 OBP.

Jorge Vasquez--1B--Culiacan--Vasquez continued his power onslaught this week going 4-22 with 2 more homers to give him 11 so far. MWL totals: .250 (28-112), 11 HR, 24 rbi, OBP .320. In 2009 at AA Trenton hit .329, 56 rbi, 13 homers and 15 doubles in 225 at bats.

Walter Ibarra--INF--Hermosillo---Ibarra's been used mostly in a pinch hitting role. He went 0-4 this week. MWL totals: .276 (16-58), 10 runs, 4 rbi. In 2009 at A-Tampa Ibarra hit .265, 38 runs, 16 rbi.


Edwar Ramirez--RHP--Licey--Ramirez just started winter ball last week. In 3 games so far 2.2 IP, 1 run, 4 hits, 4 K's---1 walk. In 20 09 at AAA he threw 51 innings , 18 runs, 39 hits. In NY he tossed 22 innings, 14 runs on 25 hits.

Noel Castillo--Estrelles--Castillo just started winter ball last week. He's relieved in 2 games so far. 1.1 IP, 5 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks. 2009 he threw 66.2 IP, 3.92 ERA, BAA .246 in 37 games.

Wilkins Arias--Aguilas--RHP---Arias relieved in 2 games this week allowing 1 run on 2 walks in 1.1 inning. DWL totals: 17.0 IP, 9 ER, 17 hits, 18 K's--6 walks. In 2009 at AA Trenton, he went 5-4 with a 3.65 ERA., 61.2 IP, 53 hits, 25 runs, 66 K's---22 walks.

Abraham Almonte--OF--Escogido---Almonte's seen action mostly as a pinch runner-pinch hitter in winter ball. He pinch hit in 1 game this week going 0-1. DWL totals: .313, 1 double, 3 rbi, 6 runs. In 09 at A-Charleston he hit .280, 56 rbi, 36 stolen bases

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Must See Yankees DVD

I just bought and watched the new "New York Yankees Season of Pride, Tradition and Glory" DVD. It's basically a 2009 Yankeeography. It's narrated by John Sterling and it's a summary of the entire 2009 season, from spring training all the way to #27. For me it was much better than the World Series DVD, mainly because it was all Yankees and showed all the great moments from what was a fantastic year for the Bombers.

My only complaints are that they sort of breezed through the playoffs and seemed to completely forget the Luis Castillo game. But watching it reminded me just how great a season it was and how much I miss baseball. If you enjoyed the season as much as I did this is definitely a DVD that needs to be added to your collection.

This Week in Yankees History (12/20-12/26)

This Week in Yankees History

December 20th - December 26th

December 20th

1876- Former Yankees 2B James “Buttons” Williams (1903-07) was born. Before the 1901 AL Season, James jumped from the Pirates to the Baltimore Orioles (pre-Highlanders). He appeared in 940 games with the Yankees hitting .277. On November 5, 1907, he was traded by the Highlanders along with Hobe Ferris and Danny Hoffman to the Browns for P Fred Glade, OF Charlie Hemphill and INF Harry Niles.

1881 - Former Yankees C and HOF Baseball executive Wesley “Branch” Rickey (1907) was born. On February 28, 1907, Branch was traded by the Browns to the Highlanders for INF Joe Yeager. Branch playing with a bad shoulder appeared in 52 games hitting just .182 for the Yankees. In 1967, he was elected to Baseball HOF as a baseball executive. He was the creator of the farm system, signing Jackie Robinson in 1947 to break the MLB color player barrier.

1885 - Former Yankees 2B Charles “Paddy” Baumann (1915-1917) was born. After he was obtained from the Tigers Paddy hit.276 in 204 games for the Yanks.

1888 - Former Yankees 1B Fred Merkle (1925-1926) was born. On June 17, 1925, Fred was purchased by the Yankees from Rochester (International) for $6,000. Fred was at the end of his MLB career when he joined the Yankees. He appeared in only 8 games for the Yankees, hitting .333.

1899 - Former Yankees P George Pipgras (1923-1924, 1927-1933) was born. On January 3, 1923, George was traded by the Boston Red Sox along with OF Harvey Hendrick to the New York Yankees for C Al DeVormer and cash. George went 93-64 in 247 games for the Yankees. He appeared in 3 World Series (1927-28, 1932) for the Yankees, posting a 3-0 record. On May 12, 1933, George was purchased by the Red Sox from the Yankees for $100,000.

1903 - In an unpopular trade in Boston, the Pilgrims send Long Tom Hughes to the Highlanders for lefty P Jesse Tannehill. Hughes, 20-7 winner for the AL champs, had jumped to the AL from the NL Chicago team in 1902. Hughes will come up short in the Bronx. He will be shipped to the Senators in July, while Tannehill will win 20 for the Pilgrims (aka the Red Sox).

1921 - The Yankees raided the Red Sox again, and come away with P Bullet Joe Bush, Shortstop Everett Scott, and P Sad Sam Jones in exchange for Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh (who goes on to Senators), pitchers Jack Quinn, Rip Collins, and Bill Piercy, and $50,000.

1928 - The Yankees released reserve INF Mike Gazella (1923, 1926-1928). Mike had appeared in 162 games for the Yankees, hitting .241. He appeared in 1 game of the 1926 World Series with no hits.

1940 - Former Yankees P Thad Tillotson (1967-1968) was born. Thad went 4-9 for the Yankees in 50 games after being obtained from the Dodgers for veteran INF Richard “Ducky” Schofield.

1946 - With the trade for veteran C Al Lopez, the Indians send young C Sherm Lollar and 2B Ray Mack to the Yankees for minor league pitchers Gene Bearden, Al Gettel, and OF Hal Peck. Peck never played for the Yankees after they acquired him in June. Sherman Lollar will play just 33 games in 2-years, with Yankees having Yogi Berra and Ralph Houk ahead of him. Meanwhile 2B Ray Mack is swapped after appearing in 1 game during the 1947 AL season. Gene Bearden, as a rookie knuckle-ball pitcher in 1948, will win 20 games and the lead the AL in ERA. It will be his best season as a MLB pitcher.

1949 - Former Yankees OF/DH Oscar Gamble (1976, 1979-1984) was born. On November 22, 1975, Oscar was traded by the Indians to the Yankees for starter Pat Dobson. Oscar hit will hit only .232 in 1976. On April 5, 1977, Oscar was traded by the Yankees along with minor league hurlers Bob Polinsky, La Marr Hoyt, and $200,000 to the White Sox for INF Bucky Dent. On August 1, 1979, Oscar was traded by the Rangers along with players to be named later and Amos Lewis (minors) to the Yankees for players to be named later and OF Mickey Rivers. The Rangers would send hurlers Ray Fontenot and Gene Nelson on October 8, 1979 to the Yankees to complete the trade. The Yankees will send minor league pitchers Bob Polinsky, Neal Mersch, and Mark Softy on October 8, 1979 to the Rangers to complete the trade. Oscar would hit well for the Yankees, until injuries finally slowed him down. In 7 seasons with the Yankees, Oscar appeared in 540 games with 87 HRs, 276 RBI’s with a .259 BA. In 2 World Series with the Yankees, Oscar would hit .285. He will finish his MLB career with the White Sox in 1985.

1966 - The Yankees acquired shortstop Richard Howser from the Indians for minor leaguer P Gil Downs and cash. Howser was at the end of his fine MLB career because of back problems. Later he would become the Yankees 3B MLB Coach after retiring as an active player. He would later manage the Yankees in 1980 and the Royals before dying of cancer in 1985.

1973 - In Siding with the A's, AL President Joe Cronin rules that the Yankees cannot sign the A’s former manager Richard Williams. The Yankees had announced a deal with the former Oakland skipper 2 days earlier. The Yankees will end up signing former MLB manager Bill Vidron as their manager for the 1974 AL season. Bill had originally signed with the Yankees, but was traded away in 1954 to the Cardinals in the Enos Slaughter trade.

1974 - The Yankees released veteran All Star starter Sam Mc Dowell. After being purchased from the Giants in 1973, Sam went 6-10 in 34 games for the Yankees. Sam was battling drinking problems that eventually ended his MLB career. He would retire from MLB in 1975, after finishing out his career with the Pirates, going 2-1 in 14 games.

1986 - The Yankees released veteran hurler Bob Shirley. He will be resigned in January of 1987. Bob will post a 14-20 record in 165 games with 5 saves as a Yankee.

1988 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent veteran C Jamie Quirk. He will appear in only 13 games, hitting only .083 before being released by the Yankees.

1989 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent veteran C Rick Cerone. He will appear in 49 games as reserve catcher, hitting .302.

1993 - The Yankees signed free agent OF/DH Luis Polonia (1989-1990, 1994-1995, 2000). Luis would be a reserve OF and occasional DH for the Yankees during his 3 tours with the team. He will appear in 276 games with 6 HRs, 88 RBI’s with a .296 BA.

1996 - The Yankees granted MLB free agency to the following players: P Billy Brewer, P Scott Kamieniecki and INF Luis Sojo.

2002 - The Japan's most heralded player, 28-year-old OF slugger Hideki Matsui (.334, 50 HRs, 107 RBIs), reaches a preliminary agreement with the Yankees on a $21 million, 3-year contract. "Godzilla" the 3-time Most Valuable Player of Japan's Central League, had rejected the Yomiuri Giant's $33 million, 4-year offer opting to play for the Yankees. He will play for the Yankees 2003-2009. Matsui appeared in 916 games, hitting 140 HR’s and 597 RBI’s with a Yankee career BA of .290. In 2003-2004, he was named to the AL All Star team. In 2005, he hit .305 for the Yankees. He was named the 2009 MLB World series MVP for hitting .615 (8 for 13) with 3 HRs and 8 RBI’s against the Phillies. Overall in 2 World Series, Matsui finished with a .389 BA, with 4 HR’s and 12 RBI’s. In 6 ALDS, he hit .261 with 3 HR’s and 10 RBI’s. In 3 ALCS, Matsui hit .333 (10 for 81) with 2 HR’s and 17 RBI’s. After the 2009 World Series, Matsui left the Yankees to sign a MLB free agent contract of 6.5 million dollars with the Angels.

2003 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent INF Homer Bush. He will appear in 4 games with no hits for the 2004 Yankees, unable to comeback from his leg injuries.

2004 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent starter Carl Pavano. Carl posted a 9-8 record in 26 games during his injury riddled 4-year stay with the Yankees (2005-2008).
2004 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent veteran INF Tony Womack. Tony will hit only .249 in 108 games for the 2005 Yankees. On December 8, 2005, Tony was traded by the Yankees with cash to the Reds for 2 minor league players Benjamin Himes (minors) and Kevin Howard.

2007 - Former Yankees P Tommy Byrne (1943, 1946-1951, 1954-1957) passed away (1919-2007). Before the 1940 AL season, the Yankees signed him as an MLB amateur free agent. Tommy went 73-50 in 249 games in 10 seasons with the Yankees. He won 15 games each during the1949 and 1950 AL seasons. Tom was named to the 1950 AL All Star team. On June 15, 1951, he was traded by the Yankees along with $25,000 to the Browns for veteran P Stubby Overmire. Tommy was re-obtained by the Yankees in September of 1954 from Seattle Rayners (PCL). In 1955, he won the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award by going 16-5 for the Yankees. He would pitch 2 more seasons for the team, before retiring in 1957. He would become the Mayor and Owner of the Wake Forrest, NC Country Club.

December 21st

1927 - The Yankees signed veteran starter Stan Coveleski after his release by the Senators. Stan will go 5-1 in 12 games for the 1928 Yankees. He was elected to Baseball’s HOF in 1969. He finished his MLB career with a 215-142 pitching record.

1934 - The Yankees sell reserve OF Sammy Byrd to the Reds. Sam was known as Babe Ruth’s legs as a late inning defensive replacement for the Babe. He played in 565 games for the Yankees, hitting .281 with 27 HRs and 155 RBI’s.

1947 - Former Yankees OF Elliot Maddox (1974-1976) was born. On March 23, 1974, Elliot was purchased by the Yankees from the Rangers. Elliot played well for the Yankees in OF, replacing Bobby Mercer as the Yankees CF during the 1974 AL season with Mercer moving to RF. He hit .303 and .307 for the Yankees in 1974-1975. During the 1975 AL season, he injured his leg on the outfield turf at Shea Stadium. With the arrival of Billy Martin as Yankees manager in 1975, Elliot's days as a Yankee player were numbered. On January 20, 1977, he was traded by the Yankees along with OF Rick Bladt to the Orioles for veteran golden glove OF Paul Blair.

1948 - Former Yankees DH/OF Dave Kingman (1977) was born. Dave appeared in 8 games for the Yankees hitting .250 before leaving for MLB free agency signing with the Cubs.
1972 - Former Yankees reliever La Troy Hawkins (2008) was born. La Troy went 1-1 in 11 games before being sent on July 30, 2008 by the Yankees along with cash to the Astros for minor league player Matthew Cusick.

1973 - AL President Joe Cronin rules that former Yankees Manager Ralph Houk is free from all contractual obligations with the New York Yankees. He is free to sign with any MLB team.

1977 - Former Yankees INF D'Angelo Jimenez (1999) was born. The Yankees signed D’Angelo Jimenez, as an MLB amateur free agent in 1994. On June 23, 2001, he was traded by the Yankees to the Padres for reliever Jay Witasick.

1987 - The Yankees released veterans OF/1B/DH Mike Easler and OF/DH Ron Kittle. Also they signed veteran starter Tommy John as a MLB free agent.

1995 - After considering an attractive offer from the Orioles, free agent starter David Cone re-signs with the Yankees for a 3-year deal worth $18 million.

1995 - The Yankees sold veteran hurler Rick Honeycutt to the Cardinals. Rick went 0-0 in 3 games with the Yankees after being purchased from the A’s on September 25, 1995.

1997 - The Yankees signed free agent P Darren Holmes. He would post a 0-3 record in 34 games with 2 saves for the 1998 Yankees. On March 30, 1999, he as traded by the Yankees with cash to the Diamondbacks for P Ben Ford and Izzy Molina.

1998- The Yankees grant OF/DH Daryl Strawberry MLB free agency. Daryl had hit .247 with 24 HRs with 57 RBIs. He will re-sign with the Yankees in April of 1999.

2002 - The Yankees grant OF Spence Spencer and P Christian Parker MLB free agency. Christian Parker will resign with the team on December 30th.

2003 - The Yankees grant OF Karim Garcia and OF/DH Dave Dellucci, MLB free agency.

2005 - Former Yankees reserve C (1976-1977) and long time Orioles MLB Coach and player Elrod Hendricks passes away (1940-2005).

2005 - The Yankees grant reliever Wayne Franklin MLB free agency. On April 4, 2005, Wayne was signed as a free agent with the Yankees. He posted a 0-1 record in 13 games for the 2005 Yankees.

December 22nd

1938 - Former Yankees OF/1B/DH Matty Alou (1973) was born. On November 24, 1972, Matty was traded by the A’s to the Yankees for a player to be named later and P Rob Gardner. The Yankees would send INF Rich McKinney on December 1, 1972 to the A’s to complete the trade. Matty was a major disappointment for the Yankees, hitting .296 but with only 2 HRs and 28 RBIs in 123 games. On September 6, 1973, Matty was purchased by the Cardinals from the Yankees.

1940 - Former Yankees reserve C Elrod Hendricks (1976-1977) was born.

1953 - Former Yankees P Tommy Underwood (1980-1981) was born. On November 1,1979, Tom was traded by the Blue Jays along with C Rick Cerone and OF Ted Wilborn to the Yankees for 1B Chris Chambliss, INF Damaso Garcia, and P Paul Mirabella. Tom would go 13-9 in 1980, before slipping to 1-4 in 1981, before being traded on May 20,1981 by the Yankees along with 1B/DH Jim Spencer to the A’s for 1B Dave Revering, Mike Patterson, and Chuck Dougherty (minors). His brother Pat also played in MLB.

1968 - Former Yankees reserve C Benny Bengough (1923-1930) passed away (1898-1968). Benny hit .253 in 317 games for the Yankees.

1982 - Versatile OF/DH Lee Mazzilli is traded for the 3rd time this year. The Yankees send him to the Pirates for P Tim Burke and 4 minor league players: Don Aubin, John Holland and Jose Rivera.

1986 - The Yankees released veteran reliever Mike Armstrong. He will resign with team in January of 1987.

1987 - The Yankees send troubled starter Steve Trout and OF Henry Cotto to the Mariners for pitchers Lee Guetterman, Clay Parker and minor leaguer P Wade Taylor.

1988 - The Yankees signed P Richard Noles as an MLB free agent. Noles will not pitch for the Yankees at the MLB level.

1989 - The Yankees signed INF Damaso Garcia as a free agent. He will spend the 1990 season at Columbus (AAA).

1993 - The Yankees signed DH/1B Same Horn as a free agent. He will spend most of his time playing at Columbus (IL) in 1994.

1999 - The Expos obtained P Hideki Irabu from the Yankees in exchange for P Jake Westbrook and 2 players to be named. Pitcher Christian Parker will be one of those players named. The Expos will later send P Ted Lilly to the Yankees on March 17,2000 to complete the trade.

2005 - The Yankees agreed to terms with veteran AL All Star OF Bernie Williams on a one-year contract.

2006 - The Yankees signed former Cuban national team baseball player 1B Juan Miranda as an MLB amateur free agent.

December 23rd

1882 - Former Yankees reserve OF George Whiteman (1913) was born. George appeared in only 11 games for the Yankees, hitting .344.

1889 - Former Yankees INF/OF Fritz Maisel (1913-1917) was born. Fritz appeared in 502 games with the Yankees hitting .243, while stealing 183 bases. On January 22,1918, Fritz was traded by the Yankees with P Nick Cullop, 2B Joe Gedeon, P Les Nunamaker, P Urban Shocker and $15,000 to the Browns for P Eddie Plank and 2B Del Pratt.

1898 - Former Yankees reserve OF Henry “Hinky” Haines (1923) was born. Henry appeared in 28 games for the Yankees, hitting only .160. He appeared in 2 games of the 1923 World Series with no hits.

1928 - Former Yankees minor league P Mike Blyzka was born. The right-hander was part of the 18-player trade between the Orioles and the Yankees after the 1954 AL season that saw Bob Turley and Don Larsen go to the Bronx Bombers. Mike was to make the trip also but the Yankees dropped him off with the Denver Bears (AAA) in the American Association. Blyzka never quite made it to Yankee Stadium, pitching for the AAA Denver Bears again in 1956. He finished out his pro baseball career with the AAA Minneapolis Millers and the Springfield Giants in 1957. In 1953-1954, he pitched with the Browns and Orioles; Mike posted a 3-11 record in 70 games.

1929 - Former Yankees P AL “Bozo” Cicotte (1957) was born (1929-1982). In 1948, the Yankees signed Al as an MLB amateur free agent. He went 2-2 in 20 games with 2 saves for the Yankees in 1957. On May 14, 1958, he was purchased by the Senators from the Yankees. Al was the great-nephew of HOF starter Eddie Cicotte.

1958 - Former Yankees P Tim Leary (1990-1992) was born. Tim was a former 1 draft pick by the Mets in 1979. On December 12, 1989, he was traded by the Reds along with OF Van Snider to the Yankees for OF/1B Hal Morris and P Rodney Imes (minors). Tim went 9-19 in 31 games in 1990, then 4-10 in 28 games in 1991. He went 5-6 in 18 games before being traded by the Yankees on August 22, 1992, along with cash to the Mariners for minor league player Sean Twitty.

1969 - The Yankees signed OF/1B Otto Velez as an amateur MLB free agent. Otto will play for the Yankees from 1973-1976, appearing in 65 games hitting .255 with 6 HRs and 28 RBI’s. On November 5, 1976, Otto was drafted by the Blue Jays from the Yankees as the 53rd pick in the 1976 AL expansion player draft.

1977 - Former Yankees P Shawn Chacon (2005-2006) was born. On July 28, 2005, Shawn was traded by the Rockies to the Yankees for Eduardo Sierra (minors) and Ramon Ramirez. Shawn went 12-6 in 31 games for the Yankees. On July 31, 2006, Shawn was traded by the Yankees to the Pirates for INF/OF Craig Wilson.

1981 - The Yankees signed free agent OF/1B Dave Collins for a reported $750,000 a year for at least 3 seasons. Collins, who stole 79 bases for the Reds in 1979, he will end up being a bust in pinstripes; he will be traded after 1 season to the Blue Jays.

1987 - The Yankees signed closer Dave Righetti as a MLB free agent.

1994 - The Yankees grant starter Jim Abbott and INF Randy Velarde free agency. Randy Velarde will sign a 3-year deal with the Angels.

1996 - The Yankees signed free agent P Dave Eiland. He will spend the 1997 season at Columbus (AAA).

2004 - Former Yankees reserve C (1980-1981) and MLB Manager Johnny Oates passes away. John appeared in 49 games, hitting .189 as a reserve catcher for the 1980-1981 Yankees.

2005 - Former Red Sox AL All Star CF free agent Johnny Damon signs a 4-year contract with the Yankees. Johnny has appeared in 576 games for the Yankees, hitting .285 with 77 HRs and 296 RBI’s. He hit .364 for the Yankees in the 2009 World Series against the Phillies.

December 24th

1978 - Former Yankees 1B George McQuinn (1947-1948) passed away (1910-1978). In 1947, George hit .304 with 80 RBIs after being signed by Yankees after being released by the A’s. In 1948, he slipped to .248, but recorded a .421 slugging percentage. He retired after the 1948 AL season.

1986 - MLB free agent OF Gary Ward signs with the Yankees. Gary will hit .255 for the Yankees in 145 games, before being released by the team.

1996 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent starter David “Boomer” Wells. David will go 34-14 in 62 games for the Yankees. On February 18, 1999, David was traded by the Yankees along with INF Homer Bush and P Graeme Lloyd to the Blue Jays for AL All Star starter Roger Clemens.

2002 - In a deal which prompts a Red Sox official to call the Yankees an "evil empire", Cuban defector Jose Contreras agree to terms on a 4-year contract with Yankees. Contreras, who was considered the top pitcher on Cuba's national team, was declared a free agent after gaining residency in Nicaragua.

December 25th - Merry Christmas to all!!!

1881 - Former Yankees reserve C Joseph McCarthy (1905) was born. In September of 1905, Joe was purchased by the Highlanders from Poughkeepsie (Hudson River). Joe appeared in only 1 game with the team with no hits.

1899 - Former Yankees reserve INF Gene Robertson (1928-1929) was born. Gene hit .295 in 173 games for the Yankees. In the 1928 World Series, Gene hit .125 with 2 RBI’s. On September 17, 1929, Gene was purchased by the Braves from the Yankees.

1908 - Former Yankees AL All Star OF (1930-1936) and MLB Manager (Phillies 1945-1948) Ben Chapman was born. Ben was a .305 Lifetime hitter for the Yankees. He was a member of the AL All Star teams from 1933-1935. On June 14, 1936, Ben was traded by the Yankees to the Senators for OF Jake Powell. Ben was the Phillies Manager, who gave Dodgers Jackie Robinson problems in 1947, Ben was a racist, was one of the reasons that the Yankees traded him during the 1936 AL season.

1919 - Red Sox owner Harry Frazee makes a secret agreement to sell OF Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000 (one-fourth cash, plus $25,000 a year at 6 percent) plus guaranteeing a $300,000 loan with Fenway Park as collateral. The transaction will be announced publicly one week later.

1953 - Former Yankees minor league P Richard Anderson was born.

Rick Anderson was the 1979 International League Pitcher of the Year. With the Yankees' Columbus farm club that season, he was 13-3 with a 1.63 ERA and 21 saves. He was unable to break into the Yankees bullpen with Rich Gossage and others around. After being traded to the Mariners, he was 6-0 with the Spokane Indians (PCL) in 1980. However, he developed arm problems and was released by the club in 1982. Anderson weighed over 400 pounds at the time of his death. He was found dead with an autograph request in his hand.

1958 - Former Yankees AL All Star LF Rickey Henderson (1985-1988) was born. On December 5, 1984, Rickey was traded by the A’s along with Bert Bradley and cash to the Yankees for OF Stan Javier, Pitchers Jay Howell, Jose Rijo, Eric Plunk, and Tim Birtsas. As a Yankee, Rickey appeared on the 1985-1988 AL All Star teams. His best Yankees season was in 1985, when he hit .314 with 24 HRs and 72 RBIs. On June 21, 1989, Rickey was traded by the Yankees back to the A’s for P Greg Cadaret, P Eric Plunk, and OF/DH Luis Polonia.

1976 - Former Yankees reserve C (1926) and long time Yankees Minor League Manager Bill Skiff passed away. Bill played in only 6-games, hitting only .091 as a reserve catcher for the 1926 Yankees. He became a manager in the Yankees farm system: 1933-1937 Durham Bulls, 1948 Newark Bears, 1949 Kansas City Blues and 1950 Binghamton Triplets.

1989 - Billy Martin, an AL All-Star INF with the Yankees (1950-1957) and former MLB manager of the Twins, Tigers, Rangers, Yankees and A’s, dies in a truck accident in Johnson City, NY, at the age of 61. Billy Martin, a 5-time Yankees manager under Owner George Steinbrenner, was rumored to be a candidate to replace current Yankees skipper Lou Piniella. During his 18-year managerial career in the AL, Martin posted a 1253-1013 record, led his teams to 5-AL Championship titles and guided the Yankees to the 1977 World Championship. He will be buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Westchester, NY, in a plot near Babe Ruth. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who had fired Billy Martin four times (he resigned the 5th time) purchases the burial plot for Martin.

1995 - The Associated Press selects Cal Ripken, Jr. as the top sports story of the 1995, followed by the death of Yankees Hall Of Fame CF Mickey Mantle.

December 26th

1889 - Former Yankees reserve INF/OF James “Queenie” O’Rourke (1908) was born. He appeared in 34 games for the 1908 Yankees, hitting .231.

1901 - Former Yankees INF/P Edward “Doc” Farrell (1932-1933) was born. Doc appeared in 70 games for the Yankees, hitting .231. On December 19, 1934, he was sent by the Yankees to San Francisco Seals (PCL) to complete an earlier deal made on November 21, 1934. The Yankees sent players to be named later and cash to San Francisco Seals (PCL) for OF Joe DiMaggio. Doc Farrell refused to report to his new team in 1935.

1947 - Former Yankees reserve INF Roxey Roach (1910-1911) passed away. In August of 1909, the Highlanders purchased Roxey Roach from Lancaster (Tri-State League) for $2,500. He appeared in 83 games for the Yankees hitting .219. On June 15, 1911, Roxy was purchased by Jersey City (Eastern) from the Highlanders.

1948 - Former Yankees AL All Star 1B and MLB Coach Carroll “Chris” Chambliss (1974-1979, 1988) was born. On April 26, 1974, Chris was traded by the Indians along with pitchers Richard Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw to the Yankees for pitchers Fritz Peterson, Steve Kline, Fred Beene, and Tom Buskey. Chris hit the game winning HR in the 1976 ALCS to bring the Yankees back into the World Series for the 1st time since 1964. He was an AL All Star 1B in 1976. In 1978, he won the AL Golden Glove for 1B. In the post season for the Yankees, Chris hit .281 with 3 HRs with 15 RBIs. He appeared in 3 World Series with the Yankees (1976-1978) hitting .275 with 1 HR, 5 RBIs. To get a replacement for the late Thurman Munson the Yankees traded Chris away after the 1979 AL season. On November 1,1979, Chris was traded by the Yankees along with INF Damaso Garcia and P Paul Mirabella to the Blue Jays for P Tom Underwood, C Rick Cerone, and OF Ted Wilborn. The Blue Jays would soon trade him to Braves. During the 1988 AL season, Chris had a brief 1 game comeback with the Yankees.

1971 - Former Yankees P Jay Tessmer (1998-2000, 2002) was born. The Yankees in the 19th round of the 1995 MLB amateur player draft drafted Jay. Although he was very successful coming out the bullpen at Columbus, he couldn’t repeat that performance in pinstripes. He appeared in 22 games with 1-0 record. On January 3, 2001, Jay was traded by the Yankees along with Seth Taylor (minors) to the Rockies for David Lee. Jay would return to the Yankees as a free agent in 2002.

1974 - The Yankees signed C Juan Espino as an MLB amateur free agent. On March 31, 1984, Juan was purchased by the Indians from the Yankees. On January 8, 1985, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Indians. Juan would appear with the Yankees in parts of the 1982-1983, 1985-1986 AL seasons appearing in only 49 games, hitting just .219.

1992 - Former Yankees P Tom Gorman (1952-54) passed away. In 1946, the Yankees signed Tom as an MLB amateur free agent. Tom went 10-7 in 75 games with 9 saves for the Yankees before being sold to the A’s in March of 1955. He appeared in 2 World Series (1952-1953) with the Yankees with no record.

1994 - Former Yankees AL All Star pitcher Allie “Super Chief “Reynolds (1947-1954) passed away. On October 19, 1946, Allie was obtained from the Indians for 2B Joe “Flash” Gordon; he went 19-8, with a .704 WP in 1947. He was one of the mainstays of the Yankee starting rotation that won 5 straight World Championships (1949-1953) along with Eddie Lopat, Vic Raschi, and later Whitey Ford. His Yankees World Series pitching record was 7-2. Allie went 131-60 in 8 seasons with the Yankees, including a 20-8 record with an ERA 2.06 in 1952. During the 1951 AL season, he pitched 2-no-hitters, including one against the Red Sox. A back injury during a team bus accident in Baltimore during the 1954 AL season forced Allie to retire at the end of the AL season. He later became the Baseball Commissioner of the American Association (AAA).

(As always I'd like to thank Fw57Clipper51 for his great contribution.)

...Read more