Morning Bits: Jeter, Hughes in shape, Burnett, Damon

Good Morning all.  We are now 5 days till pitchers and catchers report to spring training.  Will today be the day that we find out if A.J. Burnett get’s traded?  Today is Valentine’s Day the day for “Love”  and many Yankee fans would love to see AJ pack up his things and get out of New York.

Now onto the links….

* Anthony McCarron of the Daily News writes that Jeter confesses he’s older and wiser as spring training approaches.

* McCarron has another article this one on the topic of Hughes getting in shape to make pitch at rotation.   I don’t know about you all but I really hope we get the Hughe’s of two years ago in 2012.

* Daniel Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal looks into where A.J. Burnett places in the pantheon of busts.

* Joel Sherman of the NY Post says the Yankees fear Impatient Damon’s quest for 3,000.

* Yahoo reports that Madonna has added a second concert at Yankee stadium.

About Matthew S.

Avid Yankee fan since birth. I have been going to Yankee games with my father since i was young. I have many memories at YSII including many playoffs and world series games. I hope that you enjoy our blog. Comment often.

Posted on February 14, 2012, in Notes & Links and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. Yes, Valentine’s Day is the Day of love…which is why I would LOVE to see A.J stay!

  2. It’s getting close to that time when when fans across the county will be singing:
    “Take me out to the ball game,
    Take me out with the crowd.
    Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
    I don’t care if I never get back,
    Let me root, root, root for the home team,
    If they don’t win it’s a shame.
    For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
    At the old ball game.”

    …and please Brian make AJ Burnett disappear like a puff of smoke.

  3. Here is one for you Ken….

    The Cubs are expected to agree to a deal with Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, according to Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune.

  4. This is potentially another interesting development on the AJ front. Here is the link on the entire “rumor” from Hardball Talk:

    Yankees-Indians are talking about an A.J. Burnett for Travis Hafner deal.

  5. Hafner would certainly satisfy a Yankees need for a left handed bat.

  6. The word is that the Yanks still are in on Soler, anyone have any news. I figure 4/20 ought to get this deal done. Soler and Williams would make the Yanks outfield prospects outstanding. It also might enable them to get Cain or Hamels next season if they become available.

    • havne’t heard that doug. but i would be a big fan if they get him.

    • Several sources are saying the Yanks are still in on Soler. I haven’t read if Soler is looking for a Major-League deal or not. If he is, it would be difficult for the Yanks to sign him. He is several years away from the Majors from what I’ve read and a Major Lg deal would count against their luxury tax bills if on the 40-man roster.

      Would think he’d just have to accept a huge signing bonus. It would be worth the big bonus for the Yanks since he’d be a 1st round pick if he were in the draft, it won’t count against tax and when he makes the majors he’ll be making minimum salary.

      • I for one, would like to have Soler a part of the Yankees regardless of the money up front. As you say Fishjam, it’s the money after the 2014 year that would come into play.
        There isn’t much written about him other then subjective reports by people that have seen him work out and very few that saw him play. Most of that even, is 2nd or 3rd hand information. The little I have been able to dig up says he would be a very good fit with the right or left field spot…very good CF type speed (now, but may grow out of CF), good arm for RF, and again speed for LF.
        Again I stress, this is all hear say information, and from scouts that saw him work out. Not a slap in the face of very good personnel experts but, work outs only tell 3/4 of the story. Games are were the real information come from, reaction with game situations can never be evaluated with out a game.
        Bottom line is; I have liked this kid from the beginning, my hope is…he is a TRUE 5 tool player not the 3-1/2 or 4 tools most so called 5 toolers end up being.
        Any news on Rivero yet?

  7. Hello fellow Yankee fans! Help a female Yankee fan get into the MLB Fancave!! You can also follow me on Twitter @go_go_sirico! Thank you!

  8. Would love Hafner as lefty DH but I tend to think this is a smokescreen put up by Yankees to get Pittsburgh motivated.

  9. fishjam you make a good point, I don’t know if the Yanks will try and sign him with a bonus or he is looking for a major league contract. I agree with you that it would be better for the Yanks to give him a bonus, and have him come to the majors with the minumum contract.


    @JeffPassan Follow
    8:51 PM – 15 Feb
    No surprise, but the two teams in hardest on Jorge Soler right now are the Yankees and Phillies, two sources say. This will get expensive.

  11. I think the Yanks will get him, then go after a SS in the draft. Soler and Williams will give the Yanks two great young prospects in the OF.

  12. Thanks for the heads up uyf1950!
    Agree Doug but, there are a couple of others down on the farm that could get a shot soon after them. Soler could be the power we have not had for many years in right or left field.
    If the Yankees do go after Josh Hamilton (end of year) he would be another big time bat in a corner spot…what a heck of an outfield! 🙂

    • Josh Hamilton may have just done the Yankees a favor by temporarily falling off the wagon the other night. It seems like now the Rangers have put his extension on the very back burner. And for the Yankees that’s a good thing.

  13. I don’t see the Yanks signing Hamilton with the new cap in 2014. Pitching will win in the end, so I see the Yanks trying to pick up Cain or Hamels over an outfielder. Williams and Soler could be the replacements for Swisher and Grandy down the road. If they get Soler they can go after a top SS in the June draft. I like Carlos Correa and Tanner Rahier the most from what I have read. SS is supposed to be a strong area in this draft, so the Yanks should be able to get a replacement for Jeter.

  14. Doug, I agree with you about Hamels or Cain if they hit Free Agency. I might not even be surprised to see them go after Anibal Sanchez if Cain and Hamels aren’t available and depending how Hughes does this season.
    But I disagree with you about Hamilton. Neither Williams or Soler will be ready for the 2014 season even if the Yankees sign Soler they are both more likely to be ready for the 2015 season. I can see an outfield for the Yankees for the 2014 season of Gardner, Hamilton and Heathcott to start the 2014 season. Those 3 players more then fit into the Yankees ability to get to the luxury tax threshold for 2014 if they Yankees really intend to get there.

  15. uyf, I think Hamilton is a risk and he is going to cost too much. They won’t be able to stay under the 189 million cap in 2014 and still sign a good pitcher. I think the 2014 outfield will be Gardner, and Heathcott, Williams, or Soler in right. Both Williams and Soler will be 21 in 2014, two years older than Brice Harper. I’d rather keep Grandy than take a chance on Hamilton, he just has too much baggage. I don’t think he can make it in NY, plus he gets injured alot.

    • Just my opinion, but I don’t believe age has anything to do with it. Harper has already played Double AA ball As for Williams he has yet to play full season minor ball league and as for Soler he hasn’t played 1 inning of MLB. Again just my opinion but both will need to mature in the minors playing A, High A, Double A and at least spend some time in Triple A Scranton.

      Also I doubt very seriously the Yankees will commit the dollars and years to Granderson at the age of 33 when he is a FA for the 2014 season to play CF. I just don’t see it. And Hamilton probably because of some of those issues will be less expensive then Granderson. I just don’t see Granderson in the Yankees future past his team option year of 2013.

      But that’s why Cashman gets paid the big bucks to make those decisions.

    • Doug…
      I respectively disagree in many respects with your assessment of Josh Hamilton and the structure of the 2013 & 2014 outfield.
      Josh is one of the best bats out there, bar none! Josh is one of the better OF out there and plays like there is no tomorrow (as does Brett).
      There is no need for more pitchers, we have more then we need now. A poster I have respect for reminded all of us by saying this; “Pitching doesn’t win game, out scoring the other team wins games!” now is that true or not?
      We don’t have any heavy hitters coming up, in the next year or two. We have a bunch of guys getting to my age real quick like… for a ballplayer, every year after 35/37 is being closer to his 70’s.
      A player such as Josh (in his prime) comes around once every 500 years, the last two were both Yankees also…Mickey and A-Rod. Josh is nowhere near his prime but, is still one of the best bats out there…oh, what could have been!
      Do you think 500 years, was a bit much? 🙂

  16. uyf, I respect your opinion you could be right on Grandy, but I think I’m right on Hamilton. I don’t think the Yanks will touch him unless Hank and Hal step in. 2014 is along ways away. I can see Gardner in CF, Heathcott in LF, and Dickerson in RF as a stop gap in 2014 if need be, either way Swisher and Grandy probably won’t be on the team. Who knows, they might put Derek in right , Yogi played outfield at the end of his career.

    • Dickerson is out of minor league options. When he hits arbitration next year the Yankees won’t re-sign him. In fact if he would have hit arbitration this year he wouldn’t be on the roster.

  17. old yankee, I strongly disagree with you, Josh had a 4.2 WAR lat year while Grandy had a 7.0 and Gardner had a 5.1. The past three years their cumlitive WAR was about the same. Hamilton also is injury prone. I don’t think Texas would let him go if they think he is worth the money. We will have to wait and see on that one. Josh has averaged a little over 100 games the last 3 years.

    • Doug that average is a little misleading on Hamilton. Because 2009 brings down the average substantially. In 2010 he played in 133 games with an OPS of 1.044 and a 8.5 WAR and in 2011 he played in 121 games with an OPS of .882 and a 4.2 WAR

      Just a note. While Granderson played more game than Hamilton in 2011. Their games played in 2010 were nearly identical 136 for Granderson and 133 for Hamilton.

    • Doug…
      You are right but, taking everything into consideration…no more Granderson or Swisher…who better for right field! We bring him in for 3 years, by the time his contract is up we would have (hopefully), Soler, Willams and Brett with one or two others pushing them.
      Until then, we have a very good bat and RF, don’t you think?
      If you differ from my great thinking…after all, I am the expert around here…not so much! LOL!
      Thank you Doug and uyf1950 for a good exchange of information and opinion. 🙂

  18. UYF & Doug –
    You both make some valid points.

    I love our prospects more than anyone but I think it’s a little bit optimistic to think we will have a fully homegrown OF by 2014. IMO, I think the Yanks will add a big OF via trade or FA in 2013 or 2014 and let both Swish and Grandy walk. Cashman has learned his lesson about giving out long-term deals to players who will be in their mid to late 30’s at the tail end.

    I really respect Hamilton’s skills and game. He probably has more talent than any player in baseball. But he’s 31 this yr so the Yanks would be signing him for his age 32 season and beyond. Based on his age and injury history, I doubt Cashman would go more than 4 years and someone will probably go more.

    • Fish, I’d didn’t advocate a fully homegrown outfield 2 of the 3 yes but not all 3. In fact I’m a big advocate of the Yankees signing Hamilton for CF.

      Also I believe previously stated here today that I would think a 4 years $65MM deal for Hamilton might be enough to get a deal done. I don’t see the Yankees offering him any more then that. And to be honest I don’t see the Rangers even going out that far.

      • UYF – I was referring to Doug’s homegrown OF. I probably should have made seperate posts to each of you,

        Regarding the proposed Hamilton deal – I’d probably be OK with a 4 yr $65M deal but I don’t think that will be enough. Depends on what type of season he has but if he has a strong year someone will go more than 4 years. 33 yr old Michael Cuddyer got a 4 yr deal so there will likely be some team to give him 5 yrs

  19. Guy’s an early morning tomorrow, got to go.

    Lets all cross our fingers and hope for a positive resolution of the AJ situation by tomorrow.

  20. uyf, fishjam, and old yankee, I’m starting to agree with some of your points. I don’t think you can expect the Yanks to keep Grandy or have a homegrown outfield. I think Hamilton will resign with Texas. I don’t think the Yanks want a player who never plays over 120-130 games a year.

  21. Sorry guys, I posted above, before reading these last few replies. I read (somewhere) that Josh wanted a chance to play in the WS and win. Under that scenario, New York is the place to be.
    I don’t think he needs a long contract and my thinking was we would have Brett in CF, Josh in RF and Dickerson in LF for 2013. Dickerson would be a rule 5 in 2013 and hits righties well and could share LF with any right handed hitter.
    If we don’t go after pitchers we don’t need (my opinion) there would be more then enough money for Josh and even another big time DH.
    Heck, we could go on for days with the pros and cons of any deal or player with many different creative ideas…and I hope we do!
    Have a good one guys…you all know I am right…ok, maybe not but, I am having a good time…thanks guys. 🙂

  22. I just read today where Hal was talking about getting under the 189 cap in 2014. He said the Yanks are planning on resigning Cano and Grandy, and are depending on the killer B’s to add to their pitching. It sounds like Hamilton and other big contract pitchers are not in their plans at this point. They might be able to squeeze one of them in and stay under the cap, but I don’t think so.

    • yeah but do you really think Hal was going to lay all his cards out on the table to let other teams and players know what exactly they are doing. Sometimes I think things are said to throw other teams off.

      • Could be, but I do think the Yanks are serious about the cap. They can stay under 189 and still field a competitive team. In the past the Yanks have never talked about cap.

        • I agree Doug. Hal & Cash are def serious about 189 in 2014. Whether they remain under beyond 2014 is another question.

          • Just had an opportunity to catch a little bit of the bottom of the 7th inning. I realize you can’t take to much away from so early spring training games. But it looks like from the box score some of the young guys are doing OK for themselves.

            Just a quick comment about the salary cap/luxury tax threshold. I think the Yankees shouldn’t have that big of problem getting to the $189MM threshold for 2014 and re-setting the tax percentage as well as getting back some money from MLB based on the NEW CBA. I also think when 2016 and especially 2017 come along the Yankees will find themselves in very good shape to maintain a payroll at or under the luxury tax threshold with A-Rod, CC and Tex pretty much being gone then. That and hopefully the young guys like Pineda, Nova, and some of the younger prospects we are seeing this spring training making a significant impact during the second half of this decade.

            Let’s remember MLB and the players union will have to renegotiate a new contract for the 2017 season and beyond. But, I think the Yankees future looks pretty bright.

            • Hard to even think that far ahead cause so much can happen but I agree the Yanks will be in good shape and can stayvery competitive at a lower payroll.

              I think in 2014 we’ll see the Yanks with a lot of high-priced guys and a lot of guys making around the minimum or only a few million still under tam control in Arb. I believe they will still spend for their stars like Cano and Granderson or a player of Granderson’s level (Ellsbury?). They will balance it out with players from the farm.

              Cashman said something I thought was interesting when talking of 189. He said a guy like Kuroda was a luxury this yr – adding him at $10M for 1 yr. He said guys like that, the “luxury” signings won’t be possible in 2014. I wanna see if I can find that quote but I think it means the Yanks will pay their stars and have a lot of young players instead of the mid-level priced veterans like Kuroda, Soriano and even Swisher.

              • That’s the way it looks like it’s going to have to be to get to the threshold for the 2014. Several high priced guys. and a couple 2 or 3 around $7MM like Robertson, Gardner, etc… and the rest probably at about $4MM and under with most of those at $2MM and under..

            • uyf, I agree with you on all counts.

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