Daily Archives: November 28, 2011

Russell Martin News

Russell Martin News

By Delia E.

The New York Yankees have until December 12 to offer arbitration to Yankees catcher Russell Martin. It looks as if it will happen since Brian Cashman compared Russell Martin to Thurman Munson in a press conference earlier this month.

The Yankees could offer Martin a multi-year deal but most likely will only offer him 1 year since there is Jesus Montero & Austin Romine to think about. If Russell Martin performs well in 2012 as well as he performed last season, then he could see a two year deal. A lot could happen with Montero & Romine as seeing if Montero could go behind the plate and if Romine can hit. If not, then one of the two could be traded.

Russell Martin could lock up a 1 year deal, but the question would be how much he would make if he gets a new deal. He made $4 million in 2011.

Cubs willing to trade Matt Garza this offseason

Cubs willing to trade Matt Garza this offseason

by Mike D.

Via Buster Olney, other MLB organizations are of the strong belief that the Cubs are “open for business”, regarding Matt Garza. In fact some teams expect the right-hander to be dealt this winter. As with any starting pitcher on the market, the Yankees are figured to have interest in pursuing Garza. In 2011, he pitched to a 3.32 ERA / 2.95 FIP / 3.19 xFIP line, with a 8.95 K/9 in 198.0 for Chicago.

Around The League: Marlins, Rays, Astros

Around The League

By Delia E.
  • The Miami Marlins have revealed that they had just finished building all the seats in their new ballpark, which is scheduled to be finished in 2012. Here is the picture of the stadium via @MarlinsBallpark’s Twitter account.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have picked up free agent catcher Jose Molina with a 1 year, $1.8 Million deal with an option for 2013. The signing comes a day after the Rays traded catcher John Jaso to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Josh Lueke and a player to be named later or cash.
  • The Houston Astros fired their GM Ed Wade and the team president Tal Smith on Sunday night in the first of changes promised by new owner Jim Crane. The Astros had the worst record in franchise history 56-106 in 2011.

Left-Handed Relief Series: Darren Oliver

As the offseason began, we heard something that is oh so familiar for Yankee fans. Brian Cashman is looking for rotation help and left-handed relief pitchers. With Boone Logan as the only lefty in the bullpen, Cashman is at least expected to explore the market, both through free-agency and trades, in search of a second lefty. Considering it will be a miracle if Pedro Feliciano pitches for the Yankees at all next season, the Yankees could use some outside help.

Over the next week or two, I’ll be looking at the free agent market for lefty relief pitchers...

Positives:

•   Oliver, a seasoned veteran at the age of 41, has played 18 seasons in the MLB. Because of his age, a one year contract is just about as close to a guarantee as it gets. Considering the Yankees past history with multi-year contracts for relief pitchers, a one year deal might be a nice change of pace. Plus, he’s maintained some pretty nice numbers of late, including 4 straight seasons with an ERA in the 2s.
•   He does a very good job versus lefties. In 51 IP in 2011, Oliver held lefties to .227/.269/.318, with a 5.75 K/BB ratio, which is quite good. He’s showed that skill against lefties in other recent years as well.
•   Oliver, with a 7.76 K/9 in 2011 doesn’t strike out a ton of guys, but with a stellar 1.94 BB/9 to go along with that, he manages pretty well.
•   He’s always been good at getting ground-balls (career 44.7 GB%), except for in 2011 where he had only a 37.9 GB%. More importantly, his GB% against lefties specifically, was much better at 42.9%.

Negatives:

•   At 41 years of age, Darren Oliver is very far from a sure thing. At his age, he is much more prone to injury, and he is probably one significant injury away from retirement. You also have to figure his numbers will decline from 2011 to 2012, so don’t be expecting another 2.29 ERA / 2.77 FIP / 3.24 xFIP season.
•   In fact, Oliver showed decline from 2010 to 2011. There was a significant drop-off in both his strike-outs, ground-ball, and swing-and-miss rates. Not a good sign if you’re holding out that Oliver will have another great season next year.

Overall, I wouldn’t mind if the Yankees signed Darren Oliver to a one year deal. It’s a relatively low-risk signing, but you simply can’t expect a whole lot out of him. He showed significant decline in 3 very important stats from 2010 to 2011, so there would be no surprises if this trend of decline continues. If Oliver, can stay healthy, and (close to) maintain his 2011 numbers, he would be helpful to the Yankees in 2012. Could he be that extremely dominant, Randy Choate-like, lefty specialist next year? Odds are, no – but he could be of use.

Morning Bits: Jeter, Nunez, Cespedes, Garcia, Joba

Good morning and back to the work week.  Hope you all enjoyed a long Holiday weekend.

Now on to the Yankee links….

* Here is a look at the Yankees 2012 outlook at the position of shortstop.  Jeter is getting old, is Nunez the answer???

* Reports are the Yankees are looking at Cuban defector Cespedes. I am all in favor of this.  Get these types of players now with the old rules before it becomes harder in the future.

* Even though the Yankees re-signed Garcia, more work has to be done.

* Joba says Tommy John surgery is on track.