Monday, January 30, 2012

Yanks Sign for Red Sox Reliever Manny Delcarmen!/Joelsherman1/status/164139912331923457
The last time we saw Delcarmen he put up a 4.99 ERA in 57 appearances for the Red Sox and Rockies in 2010. He did not pitch in the big leagues last season

Yanks in Talks With Bill Hall!/Ken_Rosenthal/status/164035352372318208!/Ken_Rosenthal/statuses/164035868032643072
Andy Martino also tweets that Hall is still considering "other teams" as well.

Last season, Hall hit .211/.261/.314 with 2 HR and 14 RBI in 185 at-bats with the Astros and Giants.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ibanez the top DH target?

From Kevin Kernan:
The Yankees have interest in lefty hitting Raul Ibanez, according to sources. Ibanez’s average dropped to .245 last season with the Phillies, but he hit 20 home runs and drove in 84 runs. Ibanez, who will turn 40 in June, has drawn interest from a number of clubs.

Ibanez recently had a productive workout with hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo and believes he has corrected flaws in his swing. Over the past six seasons, he averaged 24 home runs and 100 RBIs.
If he actually fixed his swing that certainly makes him a much more attractive candidate. Either way, he's a professional hitter and is probably better than anything the Yankees currently have sitting on the bench, so why not?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This Week in Yankees History (1/22-1/28)

This Week in Yankees History 

January 22nd - January 28th

January 22nd

1881 - Former Yankees C/1B Ira Thomas (1906-1907) was born (1881-1958).On August 20, 1905; Ira Thomas was purchased by the New York Highlanders from Providence (Eastern League). Thomas appeared in 124 games with Yankees, hitting just .195. On December 12,1907, he was purchased by the Detroit Tigers from the New York Highlanders. Later he would have with the Philadelphia A’s.

1913 - The New York Giants give the New York Yankees permission to use the Polo Grounds for the 1913 American League season only, as their lease on the Hilltop Park has expired. The Yankees will remain as tenants at the Polo Grounds through 1922 American League season, then moving to the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in April of 1923.

1918 - The New York Yankees traded C Les Nunamaker, 3B Fritz Maisel, INF Joe Gedeon, Pitchers Nick Cullop and Urban Shocker to the St. Louis Browns in exchange for P Eddie Plank and 2B Del Pratt. Eddie Plank, a 300-game winner, retires from MLB, but Dell Pratt gives the Yankees three good years of services at second base. Urban Shocker is the gem, posting four straight seasons of 20 or more wins with the Browns. Fritz Maisel, who the Yankees refused to trade in early 1916 for either Red Sox OF Tris Speaker (and cash) or White Sox OF Shoeless Joe Jackson, will hit just .232 in 90 games and be released by the team.

1927 - The New York Yankees released veteran reserve C Hank Severeid. He had retired from MLB. Hank hit .268 in 41 games for the 1927 Yankees, after being obtained from the Washington Senators.

1929 - The New York Yankees announced that they would be putting numbers on the backs of their team uniforms, becoming the 1st baseball team to start continuous use of the numbers. The first numbers are based on positions in the batting order; thus, Babe Ruth will wear number 3 and Lou Gehrig number 4. In a few weeks, the Cleveland Indians announce that they, too, will put numbers on their player uniforms. By 1931, all American League teams will use them. It will be 1933 before all National League players are numbered.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Martin Avoids Arbitration

From David Waldstein:
Just hours after Jorge Posada, their catcher of the past, announced his retirement, the Yankees said Tuesday that they had agreed on a contract with Russell Martin, their catcher of the present.

The deal, worth $7.5 million deal for one year, lets the sides avoid an arbitration hearing. Martin can also earn another $100,000 in performance bonuses.

Prince Fielder Signs 9-Year Deal With Detroit!/TBrownYahoo/status/161899325453119488!/JonHeymanCBS/status/161901664947802112
There's no doubt that Fielder is going to be a huge addition to their lineup, but it'll be interesting to see what kind of shape Fielder is in towards the end of the contract. For now, however, with the combination of Miguel Cabrera and now Prince Fielder the Tigers are looking pretty damn dangerous.

Jorge Says Goodbye

Here's some videos of today's tearful press conference:

Jorge officially announces his retirement

Jorge answers questions from the media

The fans thank Jorge

More videos can be found here.

We have all been privileged to watch you play and fight for this team for the last 17 years. You did it the right way and most importantly, you were a winner. Thanks you, Jorge!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Posada to Officially Retire Tomorrow

From Wallace Matthews:
The YES Network will televise Jorge Posada's retirement press conference live from Yankee Stadium beginning at 11 a.m.
Should be a pretty sad day in Yankeeland, though it would have been sadder to see him in a Rays uniform.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The New York Giants Are Headed to the Super Bowl!

Pineda Talks About Joining Yanks

From Christian Red:
For Pineda, who is an imposing 6-7 and who can fire mid-90s heat, the change of address came as a shock (the deal will be officially finalized when the players pass their physicals and when visa paperwork is completed). But once the news sank in, Pineda started to envision the galaxy of stars that will play behind him.

“It’s a tremendous team, with good pitching. It’s very exciting for me — for the first time in my life, I’ll have the pleasure of playing with Alex Rodriguez, a huge star, and Derek Jeter, one of the most well-known players ever. And Mariano Rivera, (Robinson) Cano, (Mark) Teixeira, Rafael Soriano,” Pineda says in Spanish, his voice trailing off as he sifts through the Yankees’ roster. “I never thought in my life that I would be in this situation.”

Pineda’s father, however, is keenly aware of the bigger draw for a player who slips on the pinstripes.

“The Yankees, they are known for making the playoffs almost every year,” the elder Pineda says. “I guess, maybe, they were looking for some more pitching. But hopefully (Michael) can help win some more rings.”

...“I’m not scared. I’m always focused, working very hard every day,” says Pineda, whose gold earring spelling his name sparkles in the late-evening sunlight. “I don’t think about anything else on game days. I’ve never pitched in New York or at Yankee Stadium, but I’m dying to. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to work very hard to do my job.”

...He’ll also be tested by the change in ballparks: He’s leaving spacious Safeco Field — a pitcher’s park — for the smaller Yankee Stadium dimensions, including the short right-field porch that lefty hitters such as Boston’s David Ortiz find so inviting.

“I’ll just keep it low,” says Pineda, switching to English briefly as he stands near the driveway of his home. “Keep it low and everything will be fine.”
Yea, let's hope so or else he'll quickly learn about the old Bronx Cheer.

Yanks Still Trying to Trade AJ

From Jeff Bradley:
Because future moves Cashman may or may not make this off-season hinge on whether the GM can move Burnett. A source with knowledge of the Yankee organization’s plan for the rest of the off-season said, “It’s a waiting game now to see if A.J. can be dealt. If he is, the Yankees will hope to get a bat in return, or save enough money to get a bat.”

It is tricky, of course, because the whole baseball world knows after the Yankees acquired (pending a clean physical) Michael Pineda from the Seattle Mariners and signed free agent Hiroki Kuroda that the next move Cashman would hope to make is to offload Burnett and a sizeable portion of the $33 million he is owed over the next two seasons.

“I think Burnett has some bounce-back potential,” said one rival executive. “And I think teams would be interested in him at the right value per year. Of course, that would mean the Yankees would have to eat far more than half of his remaining contract — closer to two-thirds, I would think. In addition to that, there are still decent free-agent options out there — Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson in particular — and a few other trade alternatives, so it’s hard for me to think they’ll be able to move him.”

For now, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is telling Cashman he’s out of money, so while the agents for free agents such as Vladimir Guerrero, Raul Ibanez, Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon have initiated contact with the Yankees, they have all been told not to wait around on an offer from Cashman. Of course, Steinbrenners have been known to change their minds in the past, and some money may magically appear before spring training, but for now, the Yankees mission is to see how much they can save on Burnett.

“Around the game, Burnett has become the symbol for wasted money,” said an AL East scout who also believes the Yankees will have to eat at least $20 million. “When you’ve got a guy who has managed to pitch below .500 (34-35) for a team with the Yankees offense, yeah, it’ll make you apprehensive. This is the question now being asked, even about guys like Oswalt and Jackson. How much do you pay for mediocrity?”

If the Yankees don’t want to eat a lot of Burnett’s salary, the other option is to take a chance on another team’s mistake.

Names that always seem to come to mind when you think of bad contracts include the former Yankee Alfonso Soriano, who is owed $54 million the next three years by the Chicago Cubs; Vernon Wells, due to make $63 million the next three years in Anaheim; and Jason Bay, whom the Mets owe $49 million over the next three years.
At this point I can't see how any other team would take a shot on Burnett, but stranger things have happened. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The DH....Why Not A-Rod?

I can't believe it, but we are now just one month away from pitchers and catchers reporting, signaling the start of spring training. Here in New York it's still clearly winter, with snow expecting to hit sometime tonight. But for now, here's some food for thought on a possible candidate for the Yankees' DH spot - Alex Rodriguez.

You already know my feelings on A-Rod and his contract, and I feel now is the time to move him to DH. Before the trade last week that sent Jesus Montero to Seattle, it seemed pretty certain A-Rod would still play third base regularly, getting a start or two at DH per week. But now with a vacant DH slot and Eduardo Nunez ready to become an everyday player, it wouldn't be too crazy to think this could happen and greatly benefit the Bombers.

Don't get me wrong, A-Rod is still an above average fielder at third, and actually made some great plays in the postseason, but let's get real. He is 37, and hasn't played 140 games since 2007. Everyone says he's once again "100%" and is ready for a "huge comeback", but we heard the exact same talk before the Yankees opened camp last season. What happened? He played in 99 games and couldn't hit a home run to save his life in the second half.

Making A-Rod the DH would keep him fresh all year long, and wouldn't give him a real risk of getting hurt. A return to hitting 30 home runs would be likely, and that's up and above any production guys like Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, or Vladimir Gurrerro would provide.

Also something that would be hidden in this potential move is making Eduardo Nunez the starting third baseman. He's a terrific hitter and has been working hard to improve his defense. He would be a solid bat in the bottom third of the Yankees lineup, and would finally give the 25-year old the opportunity he definitely deserves. Also, the Yankees statistically were way better with Nunez in the lineup, whether playing for Jeter or A-Rod.

With A-Rod's ugly contract running through the 2017 season, it is inevitable he will soon become the regular DH for the foreseeable future. But for the benefit of the team and his personal production, Alex needs to make this move now. He's always been a self-centered, "I care about stats more than the team" guy anyway.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yanks Interesting in Cuban Lefty

From Wallace Matthews:
According to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes LA, 18-year-old Cuban lefty Gerardo Concepcion is about to declare free agency and the Yankees -- along with the Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, and both Chicago teams -- are said to be interested.
Here is a link to the Rojas story.

As for that other Cuban on the market, Yoenis Cespedes, a team source tells Matthews that the Yankees do like Cespedes, "they are not willing to pay the price for a player who does not yet appear to be major-league ready."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yanks Have Heard From Ibanez and Vlad!/KenDavidoff/status/159409014353051651
If anything they're at least interesting options. In 145 games last year with Baltimore, Vlad hit .290/.317/.416 with 13 HR and 65 RBI. Ibanez player 144 games for the Phillies, and hit .245/.289/.419 with 20 HR and 84 RBI. Both players are coming off down years, but who knows, Yankee Stadium can't hurt a hitter (unless it's Mark Teixeira).

This Week in Yankees History (1/15-1/21)

This Week in Yankees History 

January 15th - January 21st

January 15th

1890 - Former Yankees MLB Scout and Minor league Manager Johnny Nee was born (1890-1957). Johnny Nee was a major league baseball scout and a minor league player-manager. Nee, a young minor league infielder of 22 was chosen to skipper the Terre Haute team in 1912 as a player-manager. He served as a player-manager at many of his minor league stops including his last post as the leader of the Virginia League Kinston Eagles (1925-1926). During that final managerial season, one of his young charges was future Hall of Famer Rick Ferrell. Starting in 1927, Johnny Nee began a long career as a MLB scout for the New York Yankees. He was credited with discovering many future MLB players including Bill Dickey, Gene Bearden, Marv Breuer, Ben Chapman, Atley Donald, Tommy Henrich, Chink Outen, Billy Werber, Johnny Allen , Dixie Walker , Spud Chandler, Billy Hitchcock and Willie Jones. He left the Yankees for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1946. At the end of the 1949 NL season, Nee was named head of the Phillies minor league system.

1896 - Former Yankees P Michael Cantwell (1916) was born. Mike Cantwell appeared in one game with the Yankees in 1916.

1934 - New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth signs a 1-year MLB contract worth $35,000. While the contract is considered a lucrative one for the times, it represents a pay cut of $17,000 for "The Babe".

1958 - The New York Yankees announced that 140 games would be televised on WPIX-TV this season. The broadcast deal is worth over one million dollars. Six days later, the Philadelphia Phillies agree to televise 78 games into the New York City area, which is without National League baseball for the 1st time since the National League’s inception in 1876. When the Yankees threaten to televise their games into the Philadelphia TV market, the Phillies quickly change their minds.

Yanks Avoid Arbitration With Joba and Robertson

From Andy Martino:
The Yankees on Tuesday avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to one-year contracts with a pair or relievers whose careers veered in markedly different directions last year, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain.


CBS Sports first reported that both contracts were worth approximately $1.6 million.

The Yankees had already avoided arbitration with righthander Phil Hughes, agreeing on Monday to a one-year, $3.2 million deal. The team’s other arbitration-eligible players, catcher Russell Martin, outfielder Brett Gardner and lefthander Boone Logan, await resolution.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Damon for DH?

From Dan Martin:
With the Yankees in the market for a designated hitter now that Jesus Montero is heading to Seattle, they are looking at a number of options and reportedly already reached out to Johnny Damon and Carlos Pena.

Since they already added $10 million to the payroll with the signing of Hiroki Kuroda, they don’t expect to spend a lot to sign another bat and both could be relatively low cost.

Damon, 38, made $5.25 million last year with the Rays, but since Tampa Bay doesn’t want him back, he’ll likely have to settle for less in 2012. And Pena, 33, told MLB Radio the Yankees had made contact with him, according to their twitter account.
Another former Yankee, Hideki Matsui, is also still around after spending last season in Oakland. The 37-year-old slugger hit .251 with 12 homers and 72 RBIs in his lone season with the A’s.

The team could also opt to give 29-year-old Jorge Vazquez a shot.
I'm not sure how much guys like Damon, Matsui and Pena have left in the tank, but you'd have to believe their offensive numbers would get at least a little bit of a boost playing in the Bronx for 81 games.

Who would you like to see as the opening day DH?

So, how was your Sunday?

Yea, mine was pretty damn good.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Better Know a Prospect: Jose Campos

The following is being syndicated from The Yankee Analysts.

On the heels of what may well be the most intriguing deal of the off-season, the acquisition of Jose Campos has been somewhat lost in the ephemera. This is certainly somewhat justifiable, as Jesus Montero has been the Yankees top prospect for the past few seasons, and Michael Pineda represents the veritable white whale to follow CC Sabathia in the Yankees rotation (and, interestingly enough, has been labeled as a potential right-handed doppelganger of the ace). Both players are likely to have enormous impacts on the respective fates of the Mariners and Yankees, for better or worse … where Campos is unlikely to even reach the Majors prior to 2014. That being said, the inclusion of Campos may well be the factor that swings the balance in favor of Cashman and company.

Signed out of Venezuela three years ago today, the 19-year-old Campos made his stateside debut in the short season Northwest League in 2011. The 6’4″, 195 lb right-hander paced the NWL in strikeouts, while leading all starters in K/BB (6.54) and ranking third in ERA (2.32) and K/9 (9.4). This is made all the more impressive by Campos’ status as the fourth-youngest pitcher in the league.

Campos works with a fairly standard three-pitch repertoire at this point – a four-seamer, a curveball, and a change-up. At this juncture, Campos’ fastball is his bread-and-butter. It sits between 92 and 95 MPH, occasionally touching 98, and it features excellent late life. It is made all the more effective by his ability to consistently command the pitch, painting the corners at will. Campos’ curve has shown flashes of being an average to above-average offering, though the consistency of its break is far outpaced by his ability to command the pitch (which is less of an issue than the opposite, in the minds of many). At its best, the curve is a true power pitch with fantastic movement … and Campos has plenty of time to improve. Campos’ change has improved by leaps and bounds since his signing, but it shares the same issues of inconsistency as his curve. That he can command it well at only 19 is impressive, to be sure, and, again, there isn’t much of a rush. It is also worth noting that many scouts have praised his mechanics, noting that he was very willing to listen to coaching with the Mariners in cleaning up his delivery. This, taken in conjunction with his build, should be paramount in his durability.

As it stands, there is precious little information beyond scouting reports and 81 IP in the United States. The consensus, based upon said reports and statistics, is that Campos profiles as a third starter with the potential for much more – a consensus that I believe to be quite fair, though Campos’ full-season debut with Low-A Charleston will be very telling in this regard. For the time being, Campos should slot in behind Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances as the third-best pitching prospect in the system (no small feat), while joining Dante Bichette, Jr. and Mason Williams on what may be the most exciting team in the Yankees organization.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Whither the Fifth Starter?

This post is semi-syndicated from The Yankee Analysts.

I cannot fathom a scenario in which A.J. Burnett is a Yankee come the spring … a palpable scenario, at least. Over the past two seasons, a total of eighty-six starting pitchers have tossed at least 300 IP. Of those, Burnett ranks 85th in ERA, 84th in FIP, and 69th in xFIP (progress!). The pseudo-heroics of the 2009 World Series are a distant memory at this point in time, and his "electric stuff" and "potential" would be more impressive if he was 25 instead of 35.

Why, then, would any other team take him? He has demonstrated the ability to remain durable over the last several seasons, and he can likely be had for pennies on the dollar ... in a market where Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang were signed for two years and eight figures. Additionally, Derek Lowe was moved for a fringe prospect and roughly $5 MM in savings. Carlos Zambrano was moved for a solid back of the rotation type and a bit of salary relief. This, at the very last, tells us that Burnett is movable – and not necessarily at the rate of a true sunk cost.

The real issue should be the roles of Garcia and Hughes. At this juncture, I’d prefer to see Garcia starting. While his upside is certainly limited, I believe a reasonable baseline would see him as a fine fifth starter. I don’t see much of a deviation, either, barring injury. That sort of dependability is worth quite a bit more than most realize, and it is a welcome addition to any rotation.

What of Hughes, then? I would like to see him building up arm strength in the minors. He has certainly had success at every level, but it’s worth noting that he has very few innings in the upper minutes. It’s a good venue for him to refine his curve and command, and it would allow him to step into the rotation in the event of an injury or ineffectiveness. I suspect that this will not be the case, and that Spring Training will award him every opportunity to join the rotation ... or end up in the bullpen. In my mind, though, that would be a mistake.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Saturday, January 14, 2012

More Trade Reactions and Analysis

Fangraphs says the Yankees did not pay retail for Pineda:
Pineda is the third quality young arm to get traded this winter, following the trades that shipped Gio Gonzalez to Washington and Mat Latos to Cincinnati. Given that both pitchers come with one fewer year of team control and lack Pineda’s dominating fastball, a strong case could be made that the Yankees new starter is the most valuable asset of the three guys that were moved. However, compared to the other two packages surrendered, the Yankees didn’t really pay much of a premium to get Pineda, and one could even make an argument that they gave up less value overall than what the Reds surrendered to get Latos.
Then there's this from Mark Simon:
In obtaining right-hander Michael Pineda, the Yankees got a pitcher who looked very promising early in the season, then statistically faded at the end of 2011.

Pineda was 8-6 with a 3.03 ERA prior to the All-Star break, 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA after the All-Star break. The primary culprit was his home run rate, which went from one allowed every 11.3 innings to one every 7.3 innings afterwards.

Pineda was also considerably better in Safeco Field, a pitcher-friendly park. He was 5-4 with a 2.92 ERA and .182 opponents' batting average there last season, 4-6 with a 4.40 ERA and .234 opponents' batting average on the road.

Pineda’s fastball averaged nearly 95 mph, tied for the fifth-fastest average velocity among starting pitchers in the majors. Hitters missed on 20 percent of their swings against that pitch, also the fifth-best among starters.

That helped Pineda to 173 strikeouts, the most by a pitcher in his age 22 season or younger (in other words, for pitchers who were 22 before June 30 of that season) since Kerry Wood struck out 233 hitters in 1998.

It also helped Pineda hold right-handed hitters to a .184 batting average, the best of any pitcher who faced at least 200 right-handers last season.

Pineda made nine starts against the AL East last season and he got hit pretty hard, posting a 4.73 ERA and allowing eight home runs in 53 1/3 innings.
See, it's those things in bold that scare me about this deal..... Anyway, moving on...

Here's what Kieth Law said about the other major piece to the trade coming back to the Yanks, highly touted prospect Jose Campos:
Jose Campos is the lottery ticket in the deal, and could very well turn this deal into a steal for the Yankees four or five years down the road. He's an extreme strike-thrower with an above-average fastball that will touch 95, and a slider that shows above-average but isn't consistent yet. Campos needs to work on his changeup and has yet to pitch in a full-season league, so he's several years away from the majors. He's also young enough that the injury risk is still significant, and I'd like to see him get over his front side better as he finishes his delivery. But he won't turn 20 until July, and if he were in the draft this year he'd be a first-rounder, so for the Yanks it's almost like getting an extra draft pick in the deal. For some context on what Seattle gave up, he would have been No. 5 in my 2012 organizational ranks for the Mariners.
Law also gave the slight edge in the trade to Seattle.

On the other hand, Frank Piliere called it was a narrow win for the Yankees

Jayson Stark says the deal one of the most fascinating in years, and thought both teams won in the deal.

Kevin Goldstein also likes the deal for the both teams and called Cashman a ninja sever times on Twitter tonight. He also said there is no pitcher in the Yankees system with more upside than Pineda.

Speaking of Cashman, there was this interesting quote that came via Sweeney Murti:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kuroda Inked to One-Year Deal!/JackCurryYES/status/157995526921535488

And with that, a potential weakness becomes a clear-cut strength:

01. Sabathia
02. Pineda
03. Kuroda
04. Nova
05. Garcia/Burnett/Hughes

I will do my best to touch on both Kuroda and Pineda sometime this weekend. For the time being, suffice it to say that I am a big fan of this signing ... and that I'm decidedly torn on the Montero-Pineda swap. Though, I believe it should be said that five years of a young pitcher with ace-potential seems like a solid return for Montero - particularly when Jose Campos has a ridiculous ceiling, to boot.

Follow me on Twitter - @DomenicLanza

Yanks Trade Montero for Pineda ... Ummm, seriously?!/JonHeymanCBS/status/157984607516639232!/GregJohnsMLB/status/157987066184077313
I'm not a big fan of this trade.

Pineda is a nice young pitcher, but Montero is the best hitting prospect in the game, and as we saw last year it wasn't just hype. So unless they were getting King Felix in return I really didn't want to see Montero traded. Another thing that scares me is that Pineda is a fly-ball pitcher which doesn't always work out too well at the bandbox in the Bronx.

Hopefully this isn't a deal the Yankees end up regretting for a very long time.

... Oh, and who the hell is going to DH now?

Marchand: Yanks "Strongly Considering Adding Payroll"

From Andrew Marchand:
After the slumber of their quiet offseason, the Yankees are strongly considering adding payroll in a deal to bring in a starting pitcher via free agency or a trade, a baseball official with knowledge of the team’s thinking told ESPN New York.

The official said that with prices coming down as spring training approaches, the odds were “60-40” that the Yankees will become more aggressive and add to a roster that has been unchanged from last year’s club. A source predicted that things will heat up next week.
Adding payroll is fine, and it's something I thought they'd have to do if they wanted to improve. But I would have rather seen them come to this conclusion earlier in the offseason so they could have at least known this before 95% of the FA market was taken off the board.

Nothing has changed regarding free agent targets, they're still eyeing Jackson & Kuroda:
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner met with agent Scott Boras to discuss starter Edwin Jackson, but he is not the only free agent on the team’s radar. Hiroki Kuroda may turn out to be their top choice over Jackson. Roy Oswalt seems more unlikely, but can’t be completely ruled out.

The key to any contract will be the length. The Yankees are looking to make a one-year deal. A source said that while Boras is no longer looking for five years for Jackson, he is still asking for a multi-year contract. If Boras doesn’t come down further, it seems highly unlikely the Yankees will sign Jackson.

A source termed a two-year offer unlikely, but didn’t completely rule it out. The Yankees will not go three years because they want to get beneath the $189 million luxury tax number by 2014. This would cut their payroll tax more than half, down to 17 percent, if they were able to do so.

Kuroda, who turns 37 next month, has been a pitcher the Yankees have had interest in dealing for, but he has been hesitant to leave Los Angeles. However, with the Dodgers not having room for him, he may be more open-minded about coming to the east coast. Kuroda may also return to Japan.
Marchand also mentioned and earlier Buster Olney report that said the Yanks were "quietly shopping Nick Swisher" and could deal the right fielder to free up some salary.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Heyman: Yanks Met With Boras To Talk About Jackson!/JonHeymanCBS/status/157285950047793152
I'm not a big fan of the idea of signing Jackson since I'm not too sure he's better than any of the Yankees in-house options for the rotation. Plus, all Boras clients end up getting more than they're worth which is never good.

Better Know a Prospect: Ramon Flores

This post is syndicated from The Yankee Analysts.


With the noteworthy exception of ‘bust,’ I am unsure that there is a more dreadful label in the scouting community than ‘tweener’ – particularly when such a label is affixed to a prospect within your team’s organization. It may not quite evoke the kiss of death as we associate with a bust, yet it is almost always offered hand-in-hand with terms like ‘fourth outfielder’ or ‘utility infielder’ or ‘spot starter.’ While it is a matter of fact that a team needs players to fill such roles, it serves as a sobering reminder that the minor leagues are not brimming with potential franchise players and staff anchors.


Ramon Flores, signed for $775,000 in 2008, has been pigeonholed as a tweener. Standing at 5’10″ and generously listed at between 150 and 160 lbs., the 19-year-old Dominican lacks the range to play center field, yet his power and potential for power (or lack thereof) profiles best up the middle. As it stands, projections for double-digit home runs may be considered overly ambitious. Flores’ above-average to plus arm strength and average range will certainly allow him to be a solid-average left or right fielder, yet he does not offer the premium speed nor the awe inspiring glovework of Brett Gardner to enable him to shatter the mold.

None of this is to say that Flores is a non-prospect, or anything of that nature. Rather, what Flores lacks in flash, he makes up for in strike zone judgment, plate discipline, and contact skills. In 2010, he led the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League in OBP, and placed second in BB and BB/K as one of the youngest regulars in the league. This past season, Flores placed in the top-ten in BB and BB/K in Low-A, despite checking-in at roughly three years younger than the average South Atlantic League Regular. Only a handful of regulars younger than Flores finished the season with a higher OBP – the list includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jurickson Profar, none of whom should fall outside of the top thirty or so of most major prospect lists. It would be quite a stretch to suggest that Flores is within the same stratosphere of such prospects, to be sure, but it remains indicative of fine discipline and a discerning eye at the plate.

Flores’ contact skills and willingness to take a walk should also serve to mitigate his lack of power, and critiques of his power potential should not be taken as insinuations that pitchers can simply knock the bat out of his hands. The slight lefty utilizes the entire field, and his above-average bat speed allows him to drive the ball into the gaps, which should help him rack up extra-base hits. Aggressiveness and strong base-running instincts should translate into a surprising number of triples and stolen bases, as well.

To many, this may conjure images of Brett Gardner with twenty-pound ankle weights. For the less pessimistic observer, David DeJesus serves as an almost ideal comparison (or at least as ideal as a comp can be). The lack of over the fence power will likely leave much of Flores’ value tied into his BABIP, yet he should walk at an above-average rate while providing above-average glovework in either corner. In the best case scenario, Flores may well be an ideal two-hole bat.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Week in Yankees History (1/8-1/14)

This Week in Yankees History

January 8th - January 14th

January 8th

1913 - The New York Highlanders signed former Chicago Cubs Manager Frank Chance to be their next manager. Chance previously won 2 World Series and 4 NL pennants as the manager of the Chicago Cubs. His New York Yankees managing record would be 118-170 (1913-1914).

1941 - The BWAA in The Sporting News poll names the 1940 MLB All Star team: Hank Greenberg (LF), Yankees Joe DiMaggio (CF), Ted Williams (RF), Frank McCormick (1B), Yankees Joe Gordon (2B), Luke Appling (SS), Stan Hack (3B) and Harry Danning (C) are the position players, while Bob Feller, Bucky Walters, and Paul Derringer are the pitchers.

1963 - Former Yankees minor league OF Shane Turner was born. The New York Yankees in the 6th round of the 1985 MLB amateur player draft drafted outfielder Shane Turner. He never appeared with the Yankees at MLB level. On June 10,1987, Shane Turner was traded by the Yankees along with OF Keith Hughes to the Philadelphia Phillies for veteran OF/1B Mike Easler.

1969 - Former Yankees P Brian Boehringer (2001) was born. On December 14, 2000, Brian Boehringer was signed as a MLB free agent by the New York Yankees. He went 5-9 in 56 games before being traded on July 4,2001 to the San Francisco Giants for reserve C Bobby Estalella and minor league player Joe Smith. The Yankees signed Brian as a MLB free agent in July of 2005, but he was released at the end of the month with no appearances with the Yankees at the MLB level.

1971 - Former Yankees AL All Star DH/1B Jason Giambi (2002-2008) was born. Jason Giambi’s best New York Yankees season was in 2002, when he hit .314 with 34 HRs and 122 RBIs. Jason was named to the American League All Star teams in 2002-2004. He appeared in 897 games for the Yankees, while hitting .260 with 209 HRs and 604 RBI’s.

1976 - Former Yankees P Carl Pavano (2005-2007) was born. Former MLB free agent P Carl Pavano was 9-8 in limited action (26 games) for the New York Yankees due to various injuries.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Yogi: Jorge is a Very Proud and Important Yankee

From Anthony McCarron:
With Jorge Posada set to announce his retirement in the coming weeks, another terrific Yankee backstop - Yogi Berra - appreciates that Posada is keeping his career pinstripes-only.

"Jorge is a good, caring man and a real good ballplayer for a long time," Berra said Monday. "It's nice he spent his whole career with one team, he's been a very proud and important Yankee. I wish him and Laura and their family only the best."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Video: Posada Clinches The Division

Here's one of the last great moments in Posada's great Yankee career:

Also, here is a link to his Prime 9 moments (for some reason the damn embed code won't work).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Jorge Posada To Announce Retirement

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Jorge Posada will announce his retirement "within the next two weeks".

Smart move by Jorge to retire a Yankee, and walk away after a solid postseason performance. I couldn't imagine him in any other uniform.

Hats off to ya Jorgie, thanks for being one of the greatest offensive catchers of our generation.

Hip Hip, Jorge!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Yanks Officially Don't Sign Nakajima

The Yankees announced today that they did not reach a deal with Japanese SS Hiroyuki Nakajima:

“We unfortunately could not come to an agreement with Hiroyuki," said GM Brian Cashman. "We wish him the best of luck during the upcoming 2012 season.”!/JackCurryYES/status/154978388354936834!/JackCurryYES/status/154981283502624768

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yanks Unlikely To Sign Nakajima!/Ken_Rosenthal/statuses/154636635206725632

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Heyman: Yankees desperately seek a No. 2 starter

According to Jon Heyman, Matt Garza and Edwin Jackson are in the Yanks sights as they search for a No. 2 starter.
They like both pitchers. But so far the Yankees don't like the cost for Garza in terms of prospects, and they don't love the price tag for Jackson, either. The Cubs surely would like some combination of Jesus Montero, Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances for Garza. Jackson's asking price is said by sources to be about $60 million for five years.


The Yankees like Jackson's arm, his potential and his durability. But they wonder about his consistency. He is one of only three active pitchers 27 or younger with more than 30 games started each of the past five years, the other two being Matt Cain and Felix Hernandez. He is also one of only three age 27 or younger to have thrown 950 innings with no D.L. time the last five years. The others? Cain and Tim Lincecum.

As for those other names that have been floating around this offseason:
The Yankees' like Hiroki Kuroda, but there is no certainty he wants to pitch in New York. They do not appear to be in on the Jair Jurrjens trade discussions, nor even the Wandy Rodriguez or Gavin Floyd talks. And they haven't seemed anxious to go for Roy Oswalt.
Garza is really the only name that sticks out as a difference maker to me, but as has been the theme this winter, the Yankees aren't getting anything done without giving up Montero and either Banuelos or Betances, and I'm not sure I'd do that. Would you?

Yanks Still In Talks With Nakajima

From Andy Martino:
The Yankees continue to negotiate with Hiroyuki Nakajima, and a team official clarified that the deadline to sign the shortstop is Jan. 6 — not Jan. 3, as some reports said.

While talks are ongoing, there are several reasons to wonder if Nakajima, 29, is a fit for the Yanks, who last month placed a winning bid of approximately $2 million for the right to negotiate. Per the Japanese posting process, the Yankees will pay that fee only if they sign Nakajima.

Nakajima was the starting shortstop last season for the Seibu Lions, and fared well, batting .297, with a .354 on-base percentage, and .433 slugging percentage. He hit 16 home runs, drove in 100 runs and stole 21 bases. Those numbers indicate the potential to start in the major leagues, which will not happen with the Yankees while Derek Jeter is around.

Nakajima would presumably have to accept less money to be a bench player for the Yankees than he would to start for another team, and could return to Japan for a season before attempting another return to the major leagues. The shortstop’s agent, Greg Genske, did not respond to a telephone message on Monday.

The Yankees could convince Nakajima to launch his U.S. career with the internationally known franchise that employed Hideki Matsui for seven successful seasons. They could also execute a sign-and-trade.

If he agrees to terms and remains a Yankee, Nakajima would alter the composition of the team’s bench, making it less likely for the team to re-sign Eric Chavez. Eduardo Nunez, who has drawn trade interest in the past, could also become more expendable.
The idea of signing this guy makes less and less sense to me as time goes on. Unless they actually believe he's going to replace Jeter one day, which I highly doubt they do.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sickels Ranks the Yankees Top-20 Prospects

Happy New Year!

As always, I recommend you read the article in its entirety, as it contains a great deal of worthwhile, interesting commentary. For those of you who may be interesting, I'm currently cobbling together scouting reports and drafting my personal Top-30 - it should be complete sometime in mid-January. Without further ado:
01. Jesus Montero
02. Gary Sanchez
03. Manny Banuelos
04. Dellin Betances
05. Mason Williams
06. Dante Bichette, Jr.
07. David Phelps
08. Ravel Santana
09. Tyler Austin
10. Adam Warren
11. Austin Romine
12. J.R. Murphy
13. Cito Culver
14. Brett Marshall
15. Slade Heathcott
16. Angelo Gumbs
17. Nik Turley
18. Daniel Lopez
19. David Adams
20. Ramon Flores
I suspect my list will be fairly similar within the scope of the top handful or so, but the rest will likely be a jumbled mess ... comparatively speaking. I am quite surprised by the ambitious placements of David Phelps and Tyler Austin; while I certainly agree with his commentary, I had previously seen the two ranked much farther down the list, if placing at all.

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