Monthly Archives: November 2012

Yankees Offseason Notes: A lot of questions left unanswered for the Yankees

It’s November 30th and Winter Meetings are on Monday. But when this should be a joyous time of year to watch other teams moves, hear other team rumors, this year it’s slightly different. The Yankees have no right fielder, no legitimate catcher and ten million questions for Brian Cashman. Although Cashman says the first priority is a right fielder, fans can’t help but worry about if the catcher should be first on the list. They are the ones that stop the pitches from hitting the backstop in every game you know. Given the Yankees current roster, here is how the Opening Day lineup would look (I factored in that Jeter most likely will be able to play shortstop on Opening Day)

SS Derek Jeter
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
DH ???
CF Curtis Granderson
RF ??
C ???
LF Brett Gardner

Some of the main questions for the Yankees could possibly, who will the Yankees bring to be the everyday catcher? Can the Yankees really count on Austin Romine to be ready for Spring Training despite the back issues? Can the Yankees really count on Francisco Cervelli‘s bat? Can the Yankees count on Chris Stewart to take on a bigger role? Can the Yankees bring back Ichiro Suzuki to the team for another year? Who will the Yankees chose to be the DH for the 2013 season? Can they get Raul Ibanez or Eric Chavez back into their roles for another year?

And…the questions go on and on. What questions will be answered and which ones will remain a mystery? Stay tuned to find out.

In Other News

— Curtis Granderson signed up to be an ambassador this off-season and will fly to Korea and Japan.

— Who remembers seven years ago to this date where Brian Cashman was planning to use Bubba Crosby as the everyday CF for the 2006 season? Then they signed Johnny Damon and Bubba Crosby was traded. Well, the first part mirrors the catcher predicament. Cashman believes that any of the catchers in the organization can replace Martin. I bet he makes some kind of deal for a catcher by January.

Letting Martin Go Represents A Bigger Issue

Last night, Russell Martin signed a two-year deal worth $16.5 million with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was reported that the Yankees didn’t even make an offer. This leaves the Yankees with very few catching options and who knows what they will do. People who are saying that this isn’t a big deal because Martin had a down year last season are missing the greater issue that this represents.

The fact that the Pirates gave Martin a very fair contract and the Yankees chose not to match it, with no good in-house catching replacements is a scary sign. You have to figure Martin would have rather come back to New York than go to Pittsburgh, so if the Yankees just matched that offer you have to figure he would be a Yankee. Martin was always a player the front office was fond of, so the fact that they didn’t match a fair offer for him means they really don’t want to spend any money at all. It really boggles my mind that the Yankees couldn’t match this.

Martin is an average hitting catcher and an above average defensive catcher who is well worth what Pittsburgh is paying him. Martin’s line for the 2011 season was.211/.311/.403. His .714 OPS was fine for his position and when you combine that with his defense and power, it more than makes up for his average, which is not a good stat in determining value anyways. Martin hit an impossibly low .222 on balls in play and was one of the few Yankees who had clutch this down the stretch. Martin hit a career high 21 homers and had a good walk percentage of 10.9%. According to Jay Jaffe of, Martin’s pitch framing was 15 runs above average at midseason last season and the final value is unpublished, but it has Martin at 19 runs above average.

Martin is certainly replaceable, but the Yankees’ resources to replace him are minimal.  If they couldn’t afford Martin for two years and $16 million, than I don’t see how Mike Napoli or A.J. Pierzynski could cost less. I would love to get Pierzynski on a one-year deal. Sure, he won’t have as good of a year as last season, but he should fit well in Yankee Stadium and he would bring a level of toughness that was lacking last season. The trade market for catchers is probably not good, as good catchers are so valuable that teams are reluctant to give them up.

It should be obvious to most people that Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are not starting caliber catchers. Austin Romine missed the whole season last year, so I doubt that he is ready either. For reasons I will never understand, a lot of fans really like Cervelli. In my opinion, his defense is atrocious and despite a decent career batting average isn’t much of a hitter and would get exposed given regular at-bats. There is a serious problem if Cashman truly believes that they can go with these internal catchers.

Martin really was a  good catcher for the Yankees and his leadership will be missed. However, a lot of fans I have seen on Twitter are missing the big picture of what this means. They might figure it out if the Yankees spend no money to fix huge holes at catcher and right field. Hopefully this is a part of some master plan, but I doubt it.

It is certainly fair to say that the Yankees should be able to win with a $189 million payroll. However, when you have so much money tied into Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and Derek Jeter and two of them are not worth their money, it is a lot harder. It is also harder when you have little farm help ready. Hal Steinbrenner might figure out it is not as easy as he think to build a championship team at $189 million. He also might figure out that Yankees fans’ patience will not last very long if this penny pinching continues. Even though the offseason is still very young, mine is starting to go by the day.

Cashman goes into Winter Meetings with a lot on his plate

With Russell Martin going to the Pirates, Brian Cashman's winter list got a little bit longer

With Russell Martin going to the Pirates, Brian Cashman’s winter list got a little bit longer

When the Yankees ended their 2012 season with an ALCS loss to the Tigers, the pieces that the Yankees have to pick up again seemed legitimately small. They knew they were going to have to sign Hiroki Kuroda and Mariano Rivera to contracts. They knew they had to wait for Andy Pettitte’s decision on whether or not he would return in 2013–which came quickly this year. They knew they were going to have to replace the right fielder since Nick Swisher most likely won’t come back next season. They also knew that they were going to have to re-sign Russell Martin to another contract to play behind the plate in the Bronx. Well, as of last night Brian Cashman’s list got a little bit longer.

Although he was able to re-sign closer Mariano Rivera to a 1 year, $10 Million contract, he let another player get away–Russell Martin. The offseason plan has always been to take care of starting pitching first before going off and extending contracts to other players. Apparently, Russell Martin couldn’t wait for that, signing a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2 years and $17 Million, rejoining ex-Yankee A.J Burnett in the process. This leaves Brian Cashman heading into the Winter Meetings on Monday with no catcher and no right fielder, two moves that he has to fill up before Spring Training.

With Martin gone from the Yankees, heading to Pittsburgh there are two legitimate catchers on the free agent market that are still available: A.J Pierzynski and Mike Napoli. Although the Yankees aren’t reportedly targeting either catchers, at this point they don’t have much of a choice.

Last season if Martin had ever gotten hurt, Francisco Cervelli would have been the starting catcher. Now that Martin is gone, that looks to be the case with Chris Stewart at backup and Austin Romine as an emergency choice. As much as I like Cervelli (he’s a big fan favorite), he’s not a power hitter. The same goes for Chris Stewart. Although Stewart is an amazing defensive catcher, he doesn’t have the pop in his bat.

Brian Cashman believes that the answer to the catcher situation could possibly already be on the team, but with players like Cervelli, Stewart, Romine and new Yankee (who is currently in the process of clearing waivers) Eli Whiteside, I don’t see a legitimate starting catcher in the Yankees organization. 2014 is a year away Cashman. Time to take out your wallet and make a deal for someone for this year, no matter what it takes.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Russell Martin signs with Pirates

The New York Yankees ended their day with a serious blow when catcher Russell Martin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 2 year, $17 Million contract joining ex-Yankee A.J Burnett as his teammate. According to a source, the Yankees never made an offer to Martin with good reason–the Yankees were busy taking care of their rotation first like they do every offseason. The Yankees attention could now turn to A.J Pierzynski who is the second best defensive catcher on the market behind Martin.

In Other News:

— The Yankees signed closer Mariano Rivera to a 1 year, $10 Million deal which includes incentives such as award bonuses.

Red Sox pluck Yankees Colbrunn to be Hitting Coach

by fishjam25

The Red Sox named Greg Colbrunn their hitting coach yesterday filling out new manager John Farrell’s staff.  Colbrunn has spent the last 6 years as a coach in the Yankees minor-league system, most recently as the hitting coach for the Class A Charleston River Dogs.  Boston had explored hiring Tino Martinez before he took the job with the Marlins.  Colbrunn  was a Major League player for 13 seasons but this is his first MLB coaching job.  I had the privilige to interview Colbrunn for our site earlier this year (see interview here)  regarding a lot of the Yankees minor-league hitters.  At that time he said he remained with the River Dogs in order to stay close to his family since he lives in nearby Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.  This is a great hire by the Red Sox and a loss for the Yankees organization but I wish Colbrunn the best of luck……except when he plays the Yankees of course.

Andy Pettitte responds after signing one year contract

Yesterday, the Yankees signed Andy Pettitte to a one-year deal worth $12 Million after Pettitte pondered (once again) that he would pitch in the upcoming season. He wasn’t quite sure after the 2012 season ended and he said he needed to “think about it”. He spent about the month that he promised he was going to need to think it over, and at the end of November–the Yankees had a #3 starter in their rotation by the name of Andrew Eugene Pettitte. Pettitte had a conference call last night shortly after the deal was made official. Here’s what Pettitte had to say:

Did Pettitte strongly consider retirement?

“I think everyone, the way I was feeling, was kind of assuming I still had a great desire to pitch. It was still a point where I still felt like it

Andy Pettitte will officially pitch for the Yankees in 2013

was pretty important to go home whenever I tried to start making the decision on if I was going to play again or not, and obviously still talk to the family about the situation and what they were thinking. Just to make sure, they — especially my wife — hadn’t had a change of how she was feeling about things. So it was for me pretty easy once I started working out and trying to decide if I felt like I had the desire to do the work that needed to be put in. It was pretty easy for me to realize that this was something I wanted to try and do again.”

Did last year’s injury impact his decision to return for the 2013 season?

“I’m not real sure exactly how that played into it. I definitely think that if I would have pitched a full season and thrown 200 innings that I definitely wouldn’t feel as fresh and physically feel as good as I do right now, and obviously (I) was able to I feel like that helped lead me to a quick decision. … I would imagine if I’d thrown a full season and 200 innings, my body would be beat up pretty good and it would have definitely been a more difficult decision. I may have maybe fully exhausted myself of feeling like this is something I can still do. With the injury, I still have the desire. For me, it was when I tried to start working out on the 16th or 17th of this month, really having strong desire still to work and looking forward to doing the work to pitch a big league season this year.”

Did he feel that his competitive nature was as strong as when he was younger. 

“When I retired, I just did not have the desire to work. Whenever I came back last year, when Cash spoke to me about would I consider coming back, when I started working out, that desire was there again. Last year, I felt my desire to compete was as strong as it’s ever been in my career. I still feel like that right now. There’s obviously a point where that desire will be there and the competitive nature will be there, but you just can’t do it. I feel like I’m healthy, the desire is there, the family is behind it and I feel good about it in my heart to do it. I would say it’s pretty strong.”

Would he consider pitching in the 2014 season for the Yankees?

Whenever I shut it down again, that is going to be it. It wouldn’t be smart for me to just say right now that I would never play next year. I just don’t think that would be smart because I have no idea. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what this year is going to hold. There’s a lot of things that will go on during the course of this year, I would imagine, that will play into that decision at the end of this season.”

Is the 2013 Yankees team good enough to win a World Series?

“I think we’re good enough to go all the way, I really do. I’m at the point where, if I didn’t feel like we had a chance to win it, deep down, I wouldn’t do this. I feel like we’ve got a certain group of guys that are still there and that know how to win and know how to get it done, and we can go do that. Very disappointed in the way last year ended. I know everyone is. What I’m hoping is that we can learn from that. We can learn from the failure that we had last year in the playoffs, the disappointment, and we can be better and hopefully get back to where we were last year and have an opportunity to go to a World Series. That’s all you can ask. We know the division is going to be nasty, tough again. It is going to be an absolute grind the way the teams have built themselves up, but we’re looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to the competition and I know that we’ve got a team that has a chance to win.”

Yankees Offseason Notes: Andy Pettitte returns in 2013

The Yankees rotation looks less and less uncertain with the signing of Andy Pettitte. Over an hour ago, the Yankees signed Pettitte to a 1 year, $12 Million contract which also includes a $2.5 Million awards bonus meaning that Pettitte could earn up to that much should he win awards in the 2013 season. To make room for Pettitte, the Yankees designated catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment even though the Yankees signed him to a 1 year contract to avoid arbitration earlier this week. The Yankees next order of business? Signing the greatest closer in all of baseball, Mariano Rivera.

In Other News

— Yesterday, Russell Martin revealed that he wanted a 4 year deal for $9-$10 Million per year, and the team that could give Martin what he wants is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates (along with the Yankees) are one of the front runners for Martin and it could all come down to what happens in the Winter Meetings next week. Come on Pirates, we gave you A.J Burnett. That should be enough.

— Yankees reserve shortstop Eduardo Nunez joined Twitter today, so if you want to follow him you can do so here.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Yankees close in re-signing Andy Pettitte

Looks like the Yankees are beginning to get the ball rolling in this offseason game, and this time Andy Pettitte has control. According to Buster Olney, Andy Pettitte had decided to pitch for the Yankees in the 2013 season. According to Joel Sherman, the contract is rumored to be between $10-$11 Million for one year. Pettitte had confirmed when the season ended that he was going to take about a month before he decided what he planned on doing and that it would happen definitely after Thanksgiving. Pettitte started working out a couple of days after Thanksgiving, leading the Yankees fanbase to believe that Pettitte wanted to return.

In Other News:

Mariano Rivera revealed that he also wanted to pitch in 2013, but the Yankees haven’t officially signed him as of yet. The deal should happen sometime this week before Winter Meetings next week.

— Despite rumors last night, the Yankees have not re-signed Ichiro Suzuki to a contract. As a matter of fact, the Yankees and Ichiro haven’t even come close to an agreement! If the Yankees end up signing Ichiro then that will close the chapter on the Nick Swisher saga.

Russell Martin is reportedly looking for a 4 year deal for $9-$10 Million PER year. I seriously doubt that the Yankees will succumb to Martin’s demands. Then again, is it Martin that wants the contract or his agent?

Friedman makes another shrewd move locking up Longoria

Evan Longoria is locked up for the next decade for $136M

While salaries around baseball continue to rise, the Tampa Bay Rays have once again found a way to sign a significant player to a well below market deal.   They locked up 3B Evan Longoria for the next 10 seasons at a the bargain price of $136 Million.  While the amount of years and the total dollar amount of $136M seems high, when you consider he’d be worth close to double that amount on the open market, it’s easy to see the Rays made a great deal.

TB’s GM Andrew Friedman has been proactive in buying out arbitration and early Free Agent years of his young core players like Longoria, Matt Moore, James Shields, Ben Zobrist, etc.  Part of Friedman’s M.O. is to add extremely team-friendly, team-options to the end of these deals.  He did exactly that with Longoria shortly after making his MLB debut which is why the team had options on Longo for 2014($7.5m), 15 (11m) & 16 (11.5m). Without those options, he would have been a Free Agent after the 2014 season at the age of 29.  Looking at the recent deals given to Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, Joey Votto & Albert Pujols – all of them got between $20-24 Million per year for between 7-10 years.  Besides the fact that Longoria will only make an average of $13.6M over the next 10 yrs, he’s also only signed through his age 36 season with yet another team option for his age 37-season for just $8M.

Of course there is some risk since Longoria has missed significant time over the last 2 seasons.  But those were separate incidents and TB is such a better team when he’s on the field, the risk is worth it.  The contract is also so below-market, the Rays will have no trouble trading Longoria down the road if they so choose.

Tampa continues to sign their core players to reasonable deals by locking them up before they hit the open market.  They see the trend in the game with more and more teams signing lucrative TV deals and becoming bidders on Free Agents. The bottom line is, if you are a team with a star player, you’d better be prepared to pay through the nose if you let that player hit the open market. Unfortunately, the Yankees have not been smart with their star player and will either pay way too much for Robinson Cano next yr or watch him walk away for nothing in return.

The time to approach Cano about an extension was last season as I wrote about here.  In one of Cashman’s shrewdest moves as GM, he locked up Cano early in his career with 2 team options for 2012 and 13.  Had Cash offered Cano a Longoria-like 6 or 7 year extension at $20M+, the Yanks would have him locked up only to his age 35-36 seasons.  By waiting til he’s a FA, he’ll get more money, more years and will be locked up til he’s 38 or older either by the Yankees or someone else.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Yankees get $115,065.28 for Postseason

There hasn’t been a lot of Yankees news going around–until today. For the Bronx Bombers, it pays to be in the postseason.

— The New York Yankees are going to get $115,065.28 for playing in the 2012 postseason. That was for making it to the ALCS. The San Francisco Giants get the most money out of the players that played in the postseason since they won the World Series with $337,002.64. That’s the most made in the postseason for a team that won the World Series. The Texas Rangers and the Atlanta Braves also got a piece of some money, the Rangers making $16,999.09 and the Braves making $19,609.04. And for those asking, yes Alex Rodriguez will get a share of that money just for striking out and doing nothing.

In Other News

— The New York Yankees signed catcher Eli Whiteside to  a one year contract, avoiding arbitration. I still don’t get the point of trading for Eli Whiteside when they have Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli.

— The Yankees are going after Russell Martin, but Russell Martin has visited other cities for teams that have interest in him. Martin however did say that he is interested in playing for the Yankees next season.

Andy Pettitte is slated to make a decision soon but according to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, Pettitte has already started training.

In News Around The League

— Here’s the shocker that made me spit my coffee out this morning: The Tampa Bay Rays extended Evan Longoria‘s contract until the year 2022. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you: Alex Rodriguez 2.0. It will be interesting to see how this contract turns out.

Morning Bits: Ichiro, Martin

Good morning everyone. Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving break and of course the great deals of Black Friday. Let’s enjoy this wonderful Sunday before we have to head back to school and work tomorrow by starting off with some Yankees news. Here are your morning links!

— According to ESPN New York, Ichiro Suzuki is willing to wait for the Yankees to offer him a contract. According to his agent, Ichiro would like to appear in Pinstripes for the 2013 season. With no right fielder and not a lot of options yet, the Yankees could always re-sign Ichiro…or they could re-sign Swisher. Take your pick.

— In other news, Russell Martin wants to eventually get rid of the catchers mask–and play shortstop for the World Baseball Classic. If Martin’s shortstop dreams do come true, that will be great to watch. Considering the World Baseball Classic won’t have Derek Jeter this year, I say why not?

Royals seem like good trade match with Yankees

Alex Gordon is the type of player the Yankees need to target

The Royals are looking to contend in 2013 and appear to have the young offensive core to do so.  Their bullpen is also strong but they must improve their pathetic starting rotation to be taken seriously.  K.C. was 26th in MLB with a 5.01 ERA from their starters this year and are looking to trade from their strong young offensive core in order to improve their staff.  According to this article by  Tim Passan of Yahoo Sports, even MLB’s top minor-league hitter, Will Myers is available.

Apparently only young starting catcher Salvador Perez and starting SS Alcides Escobar are off-limits with the Royals willing to listen on DH/1B Billy Butler, 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Mike Moustakas, OF Alex Gordon and OF Myers.  The article explains Kansas city’s budget parameters as follows:

“The Royals’ payroll commitments are around $69 million, leaving them two options to stay within their expected payroll around $73 million: They can pursue a young starter with a cheap contract but not as much experience as the Royals want; or deal for a veteran with a higher salary whose cost would cause them to deal a veteran.”

What could the Yankees offer KC?

The Yankees could offer a package centering around Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova with David Phelps, Joba Chamberlain, Adam Warren and Brett Marshall as other possibilities.  The Yanks could also explore a 3-way trade in which they trade players like Curtis Granderson or Eduardo Nunez for pitching that they could flip to KC for a bat like Gordon.  There are several contenders in the market for a CF this year and many teams would plug Nunez in as their starting SS. Gordon will make $9M in 2013 and go up to $12.5M in 2015.   That is a high price for a team with a $73M payroll andhuge pitching holes. Gaining Hughes and another cheap starter like Phelps or someone acquired for Granderson/Nunez, KC would plug 2 rotation spots and save money to spend on more pitching.  Myers could replace Gordon’s bat in the lineup and KC would be a more balanced team.

It’s time for the Yanks to look at players and decide if they are part of the team’s plans in 2014 and beyond.  With Granderson, Hughes and Joba as FAs in 2014, will NY be willing to pay them on multi-yr deals?Will they ever be comfortable turning the SS position over to Nunez?  If the answers to those questions are no as I expect – now is the time to move these guys. Getting a player like Alex Gordon back would be a great return and is precisely the type of player they should target.

Gordon will turn 29 next year and is under team control for 4 more seasons at an AAV of $11 Million per season. That is fair value for a 2-time Gold Glove OF who could hit 3rd in the lineup and become the team’s new leader as they transition away from the Core 4 Glory Years.  Over the last 2 years he’s hit .298/.372/.478/.850 with an average of 48 Doubles, 5 Triples, 19 HRs, 80 RBI, 14 SBS and a 133 OPS+.

Yankees in 2013

The loss of Hughes could be offset by signing Dan Haren or Edwin Jackson.  Haren is one of baseball’s most consistent pitchers who had a down 2012 due to back problems.  Signing him now after a down season would be wise.  Jackson seems like he’s been around forever but is still only 29 yrs old.  He has an excellent arm and has been a consistent Innings eater averaging 32 starts and 199 IP over the last 5 seasons.  He’s posted a 105 ERA+ over the last 5 years so he’s been 5% better than the average starter.  Pitchers like Jackson often don’t hit their prime until they are about 29-30 when they learn to pitch and harness their great stuff.  I believe either Jackson or Haren would be an improvement over Hughes and have the benefit of staying with the team beyond 2013. The rotation this yr would be a solid CC/Kuroda/Pettitte/Haren or Jackson/Nova or Phelps.

Losing Granderson’s power would hurt but Gordon is a better all-around offensive player and Gardner could move to CF.  Ichiro could be brought back for 1 year to play RF along with a RH hitting OF like Scott Hairston, Chris Denorfia or Red Johnson. Then in 2014, hopefully one or more of Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams or Zoilo Almonte could be ready to join the OF.

In the IF, David Adams should be brought up to play 3B when ARod DHs.  Corban Joseph could also be brought up to DH some against RHP and to rest Cano at 2B. Either Adams and/or Joseph could also become a backup 1B for Tex.  Rather than bring back a 41-yr old like Ibanez to DH some vs RHP,  give a young player like Joseph a shot.  A veteran like Ibanez can always be acquired mid-season.  The Yanks have also been linked to veteran IFs like Jeff Keppinger and Stephen Drew who could play the Utility role Adams & Joseph would.  I’d like to give the young guys a chance because I believe in both of them as hitters.  Either way, the Yankee lineup would look something like this:

RF Ichiro

SS Jeter

LF Gordon

2B Cano

1B Teixeira

3b/DH ARod

DH/3B Adams/Joseph or Keppinger

C Martin

CF Gardner

Morning Bits: Kuroda is back, Storey is claimed & Yanks might be interested in SS Drew….

Good Morning all.  First major news for the bombers yesterday.  Away we go with the links….

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY has his rapid reaction to Kuroda coming back with the bombers.

Marchand also has the details on the Yankees claim of RHP Storey from Houston.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports the Yankees and others are looking into SS Stephen Drew.

Yankees Offseason Notes: For Kuroda its the Yankees

Earlier this week, it was looking as if Hiroki Kuroda‘s chances of coming back to the Yankees were slim. The LA Dodgers were in the race as well as the LA Angels. Well, on Tuesday evening, a source claimed that the Dodgers were no longer in the mix for Kuroda. The Angels soon followed the Dodgers lead and weren’t interested in Kuroda. Now Kuroda has one of two choices–the Yankees or Japan. If Kuroda wants to pitch in the states, he could choose the Yankees. If he wants to go to Japan, he can sign there. This is relatively good news for the Yankees–and bad news for the Dodgers and the Angels. Now all Brian Cashman has to do is make Kuroda an offer he can’t refuse.

BREAKING NEWS: The New York Yankees have signed Hiroki Kuroda to a 1 year, $15 Million contract for the 2013 season. The Yankees prevented one of their worst fears from happening. Now, Yankees need Pettitte.

In Other News:

— The New York Yankees claimed RHP Mickey Storey off waivers from the Houston Astros.

— The Yankees added LHP Manny Banuelos, OF Ramon Flores, RHP Brett Marshall, RHP Jose Ramirez, LHP Francisco Rondon and LHP Nik Turley to the 40 man roster.

— RHP Dave Herndon elected for free agency instead of being outrighted to Triple-A Scranton thus making the 40-man roster a 39-man roster.

— There’s still no word about if Andy Pettitte will return next year. Although Pettitte could most likely return, it’s not guaranteed.

2012 Yankees Awards: Voting

The 2012 Yankees season was full of ups and downs but there were players that rose to the top of the heap and carried a team that was full of injuries. Back for a second year is the Yankees Awards where you choose which Yankees win awards. You can vote on this thread until December 1, 2012 and the winners of the Yankees Awards will be announced on December 8, 2012. Your favorite players will win if you vote for them, so you can vote as many times as you like. Here are this year’s categories:

Player of the Year:

This award goes to the player who has helped the team in many ways possible all year round. Here are your nominees for the 2012 Yankee Player of the Year:

Starting Pitcher of the Year:

Ball games aren’t only won by hitting a baseball and scoring runs. They are also won by great starting pitching. Here are your nominees for the 2012 Yankee Starting Pitcher of the Year:

Bullpen Pitcher of the Year:

When games get into the 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th inning, it’s time to call the bullpen in order to hold things down. Here are your nominees for the 2012 Yankee Bullpen Pitcher of the Year:

Defensive Player of the Year:

The Yankees have players that have held down the fort defensively and saved runs. Here are your nominees for the 2012 Yankee Defensive Player of the Year:

WOW Moment of 2012:

There have been a lot of plays that have made Yankees fans go “Wow” during the 2012 season. Here are your nominees for the 2012 Wow Moment of 2012:

Postseason MVP:

In the postseason is when players lay it all on the line in order to win the World Series. Although the Yankees finished their dreams one round short, there were still some players that deserved to win the Postseason MVP award. Here are your nominees for the 2012 Postseason MVP award:

Comeback Player of the Year:

Some Yankees either retired or became injured only to return to the Yankees Clubhouse when all thought it was almost impossible. Here are your nominees for the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year:

Remember, voting is until December 1, 2012 so make sure to get your votes in by then! Good luck to all the Yankees nominees!

FOX owns 49% equity stake from YES Network

FOX News Corporation recently purchased a 49% equity stake from YES Network. To further explain what that means, here’s the article from LoHud Yankees:

News Corporation has an agreement to acquire a 49 percent equity stake in the YES Network. After three years, News Corporation can acquire a stake that takes it to 80 percent. People, of course, are wondering if these FOX people will try to buy the Yankees from the Steinbrenners down the road.

YES also now has a rights agreement to carry Yankees games through 2042.

Here’s a statement from Hal Steinbrenner:

“This transaction underscores the great value we and our partners created in establishing the YES Network and sets the network on the path for even greater achievements in the future.  We are excited to have News Corporation as a partner.  Its stature and acumen in sports broadcasting on a global scale is unmatched.  We look forward to the many opportunities for growth and development that this investment by News Corporation will bring to YES.  The Steinbrenner family expects to have a continuing, long-term ownership stake in the YES Network and we will continue our yearly commitment of fielding a championship caliber team for decades to come.”