Daily Archives: November 14, 2012

Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees change their name

After throwing a big party on Wednesday evening, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees unvieled their new name which will take place effective immediately. Say hello to the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders! Their mascot is none other than a porcupine. Yes, a porcupine. Not very frightening, is it?

Anyway, the SWB conducted a contest to choose their new name and even conducted an online poll to choose the name. However, even though ‘RailRiders’ had the most votes, ‘Porcupines’ was the name that appeared mostly on the ballots.

During the 2012 season the SWB were infamously (and unofficially) known as ‘The Empire State Yankees’ after being out of their beloved PNC Field due to renovations that are set to be completed later this year. The RailRiders will also get a change to their uniforms, black pinstripes instead of the famous blue pinstripes that made the Yankees organization so iconic. The caps will be maroon (for road games) and have the words “SWB” interlocking on the front.

So, I guess it was a good thing that Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano had their jersey’s retired last year. Now no one ever really can wear their jersey’s (and numbers) again.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Yankees want Ricky Nolasco??

It seemed that all everyone could talk about today was the aftermath of the Blue Jays and Marlins trade. Even MLB Network dedicated almost an entire show strictly on the trade. However, as exciting as this trade was there is still speculation and signings today. The speculations come from the Yankees. The signings? Not so much.

— A source says that the Yankees are interested in Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco has 1 year and $11.5 Million left on his Marlins contract. The Marlins confirmed that Ricky Nolasco will be the next to leave the team. If I’m the Yankees, I wouldn’t trade for Nolasco. He had one good year–and is getting paid $11 Million.

— The Yankees can put their checkbooks away: Torii Hunter is no longer a free agent. Hunter signed a two year deal with the Detroit Tigers today pending a physical which means the Yankees are now in the hunt for a right fielder since Nick Swisher leaving is all but done.

— And a tweet that I stumbled upon that I found hilarious by none other than CBS Sports writer Jon Heyman:

Upton Should Be a Target

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Arizona Diamondbacks are actively trying to trade Justin Upton again. With Nick Swisher all but gone, Upton would be an ideal acquisition to replace him. Upton is young (25), has a reasonable contract and has worlds of potential. However, the Yankees chances of landing him don’t appear to be good.

According to reports, the D’Backs want a major league ready shortstop and starting pitcher. Are Eduardo Nunez and Ivan Nova or David Phelps satisfactory for them? I doubt it. Phil Hughes would be a good fit for them, but he is a free agent so Arizona would not want him to have to pay him. Arizona GM Kevin Towers used to be in the Yankees organization and is rumored to love Mason Williams. Could Arizona do better for Upton than getting Nova, Nunez, and Williams? I would guess yes, so the Yankees would have to probably give more than that.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Yankees are not in on Upton because he would cost too much towards their 2014 $189 million cap. I do not buy this at all and it doesn’t make much sense. Upton is a bargain, as he is only making $38.5 million over the next three years. Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano, Mariano Rivera, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte are all likely to come off their books in the next two offseasons. I’m no mathematician, but if they really wanted to they could find room for Upton. If Sherman is correct, there is a problem because it appears the Steinbrenners would no longer be willing to put the best team on the field no matter what.

Despite his postseason struggles Nick Swisher will not be easily replaced. A platoon of maybe Raul Ibanez and another player isn’t going to get the job done. Swisher consistently hit for about 25 home runs and 90 RBI and had the second best OPS on the team last year. He will be missed if he is not replaced properly.

Upton had a down year last season. He hit .280, with 17 home runs, 67 RBI, an .785 OPS and an .341 w/OBA. Upton is a much better player than that and will improve. He proved that in 2010 when he finished 4th in the NL MVP voting and hit .289, with 31 home runs, 88 RBI, an .898 OPS and an .385 w/OBA. Upton also offers good speed, as he has stolen at least 18 bases in every season of his career. He has yet to really reach his peek, as he should start to do, as he is entering the real prime of his career.

The Yankees really need to add to their offense and they need to do it without spending big money, while getting younger as well. Upton is really the only player out there that fits all of these qualifications. Obviously the issue is that you have to give up prospects for him. However, the Yankees should be getting two extra first-round picks this year if Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano sign elsewhere, and it could even be three if Hiroki Kuroda leaves. So if the Yankees were to trade some of their prospects they would be in a good position to restock their system in this year’s draft.

There was a lot of talk that there would be a lot of change this offseason, but so far it is sounding like retooling this team will be more of a two year process. Of course, it is still way too early in the offseason to see if that is the case. Trading for Upton would be a big splash and a sign that the Yankees are really serious about improving their team. They already missed the boat on trading for Chase Headley and it could happen again. If they do not even get involved in the talks for Upton that would really be disappointing.

Morning Bits: Joe Girardi, Martin or Napoli?, Mark Teixeira

Good Morning all.   Let’s get to the links….

Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York has 28 questions for #28 Joe Girardi.

Wallace Matthews of ESPN asks who would you choose Russell Martin or Mike Napoli?

Mark Teixeira is confident in the 2013 team and would like to see Tori Hunter on the team next year.