Monthly Archives: December 2012

Kevin Youkilis signs with the New York Yankees

Yep, the Kevin Youkilis waiting game is over. According to Ken Rosenthal, Kevin Youkilis signed with the Yankees for a one-year, $12 Million contract, marking this the first signing of the offseason for the Yankees that wasn’t a re-signing (Yankees signed Hiroki Kuroda, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Brett Gardner all on one year deals). Here’s the tweet from Rosenthal:

Yankees Offseason Notes: February 12 = Spring Training!

So for all of you Yankees fans that can’t wait until the Yankees get back in action, here’s some good news for you–this year, your wait for baseball will be shorter. Yes, Pitchers and catchers will report on February 12th, 2013 and games will start on February 23rd. Why so early for Spring Training games? The answer is simple: the World Baseball Classic is in March, meaning that teams that aren’t from the USA will play against–the USA. Also a special treat, the Yankees will host the Dominican Republic baseball team and Robinson Cano will play for the DR team (it’s just one game vs. the Yankees so I’m sure that it will be fine). Here’s some more information (along with the schedule for this Spring Training season):

Pitchers and Catchers report: February 12, 2013
First Workout: February 13, 2013
Position Players report: February 17, 2013
Team Workout: February 18, 2013

Spring Training Schedule

February 23:  New York Yankees @ Atlanta Braves (Lake Buena Vista @ 1:05pm)
February 24: Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
February 25: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota @ 1:05pm)
February 26: New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater @ 1:05pm)
February 27: Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
February 28: Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm) (ss)
February 28: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros (Kissimmee @ 1:05pm)  (ss)
March 1: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
March 2: Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
March 3: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox  (Ft. Myers @ 1:05pm)
March 4: OFF DAY 
March 5: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 7:05pm)
March 6: Dominican Republic vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
March 7: New York Yankees @ St. Louis Cardinals (Jupiter @ 1:05pm)
March 8: New York Yankees @ Miami Marlins (Jupiter @ 1:05pm)
March 9: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
March 10: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin @ 1:05pm)
March 11: St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
March 12: New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays (Port Charlotte @ 1:05pm)
March 13: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 7:05pm)
March 14: New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin @ 1:05pm)
March 15: Miami Marlins vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
March 16: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm) (ss)
March 16: New York Yankees @ Atlanta Braves (Lake Buena Vista @ 5:05pm) (ss)
March 17: New York Yankees @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton @ 1:05pm)
March 18: OFF DAY
March 19: New York Yankees @ Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater @ 1:o5pm)
March 20: Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:o5pm)
March 21: Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 7:05pm)
March 22: New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins (Ft. Meyers @ 1:05pm)
March 23: New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers (Lakeland @ 1:o5pm)
March 24: Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)
March 25: OFF DAY
March 26: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees (GMS Field @ 7:05pm)
March 27: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles (Sarasota @ 7:05pm)
March 28: New York Yankees vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (GMS Field @ 1:05pm)

In Other News:

— The Yankees are still waiting on an answer from Kevin Youkilis. We can expect an answer in the coming days.

— The Yankees are closer in a one year deal for Ichiro, which could fill the RF hole if Ichiro can play a full year. The signing could also give the Yankees some leverage if they ever wanted to trade Curtis Granderson and sign Josh Hamilton.

— Also, the Yankees opted out of their contract with StubHub (I am personally outraged), and I ask myself–was stopping the contract between the Yanks and StubHub really necessary? Shouldn’t they be busy putting a team on the field instead of trying to find more ways to get money out of everyone’s pockets?

Morning Bits: Ichiro, Youk, Stubhub

mug3Good Morning all….Let’s get right to the links.

Andrew Marchand writes that getting Ichiro will give the Yankees options.

Marchand also has some thoughts about Youk.

The New York Post reports that the Yankees are dropping StubHub.

Morning Bits: Ichiro, A-Rod, Youkillis

mug3Weekend is over back to the grind.  Here are some links to get you going….

Fox Sports reports that the Yankees are all over Ichiro.

— From the AP A-Rod is committed to the hard road back after surgery.

— Here is a video from the Hot Stove about bringing Youk to the Yanks.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Who else needs to avoid arbitration?

It’s December 8th and the Yankees have done little to none since the season ended. The Yankees signed Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Hiroki Kuroda (all of which were expected from the get-go. What would have been shocking was Kuroda going to a different team). The Yankees have only just started taking care of their arbitration players and only have completed a contract with one player out of the six players that were on the list: Brett Gardner.

Gardner will get $2.85 Million for the 2013 season along with performance bonuses, $25,000 for each plate appearance milestone (375, 400, 425, 450, 475, 500).  So in other words, if Gardner played all 162 games (or at least 150) games with that many plate appearances  he could make up to $3 Million. Let’s see if the extra money can entice our lovely injury prone left fielder to try to not injure himself again. We need him.

The Yankees have four other players on the arbitration list after dealing a contract to Gardner and letting Casey McGehee walk. Here are the four players and their projections based off MLB Trade Rumors:

Phil Hughes: projected to make 5.7 Million in 2013
Boone Loganprojected to make $2.8 Million in 2013
David Robertsonprojected to make $2.7 Million in 2013
Joba Chamberlainprojected to make $1.8 Million in 2013.

If I were to guess why Gardner’s contract was the only one that was able to get completed so quickly, it’s probably because Gardner can’t really argue that he should get more money since he only played 12 games in the 2012 season due to an elbow injury. Now if you were to ask me if these players deserve the money that they’re asking for, here’s what I think.

Phil Hughes: Hughes looked better in 2012 than in 2011 but I don’t know if I would give him almost $6 Million dollars. Maybe if he continued winning 16+ games but lowered how many games he actually lost then I would say why not.

Boone Logan: Heck, for the great job he did in 2012, let’s give him $3 Million. Logan did a great job when the Yankees needed him, so maybe a small raise wouldn’t hurt.

David Robertson: Give the man more than what he’s asking for. He’s simply amazing and really should consider changing his middle name to “Houdini”. I wouldn’t be surprised if this man was the future closer of the New York Yankees. Money wise for 2013, I’d say give him $3 Million.

Joba Chamberlain: Yep, $1.8 Million sounds about right, especially since he just came back from Tommy John Surgery (and an ankle injury but that’s another story). Chamberlain seemed to have gotten it together towards the end of the season so that’s a sign of hope that he’ll be effective come Spring Training.

So if you were the Yankees (or an arbiter), what would you do with Chamberlain, Robertson, Hughes and Logan? Would you give them less money or more money depending on what they’re asking?

In Other News:

Eli Whiteside who was DFA’d by the Yankees has been picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays. No worries, the Blue Jays have to pay the contract that the Yankees signed Whiteside to prior to designating him for assignment.

Alex Rodriguez had a charity event in Miami today and answered questions to the press about certain subjects.

On  Kevin Youkilis: “Youk has always been a tough out. He’s a tough player…a winning player…I think that would be a good move for us.”

On why he didn’t disclose his injuries during the playoffs: “When I struggle,it’s on me. It’s a team sport. I have to do my part. There’s no excuses here”

— Also one more tidbit: If you’re following an account that says @realhankaaron on Twitter, you might want to unfollow it. Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN)  confirmed the account was a fake.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Gardner returns to OF for 2013 season

The Yankees didn’t add anyone new today but they did lock up someone for the 2013 season–their prized outfielder. The New York Yankees and Brett Gardner both agreed to a one year contract, avoiding arbitration. According to sources, Gardner is expected to make $2.8 Million in 2013 since he was sidelined for most of the 2012 season with an elbow injury. Now that Gardner has been officially signed to the club for the ’13 season, the speculation can begin on whether or not the Yankees plan to move Gardner to CF and Granderson to LF (should Granderson be with the team for the ’13 season). I personally believe that the Yankees should move Gardner to CF since you would want your best defensive outfielder in center, but that’s up to the Yankees to decide.

In Other News:

— The Yankees have conducted a background check on FA Josh Hamilton, which speculates that the Yankees have interest in the outfielder. However, the Yankees have to understand that signing Hamilton could be risky with his injury history. Signing Hamilton could also be quite expensive unless the Yankees plan on trading Granderson to free up some cash. It’s honestly been a dream of mine to see Hamilton in pinstripes. Heck, it was a dream of mine to see Cliff Lee in pinstripes when Lee was a free agent. But that’s all what those scenarios are–dreams.

— The Yankees haven’t heard back from Kevin Youkilis as of yet since placing a one year, $12 Million contract offer on the table. Youkilis was at a charity event last night in Boston so Youkilis’s decision might not be for another couple of days. Even if Youkilis signed with the Yankees–there will always be a bit of Boston in his blood. He’s married to the sister of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady. Thought I’d share that piece of information.

Yankees Quietly In on Hamilton?

Are the Yankees finally waking up? According to Bob Nightendale of USA Today, the Yankees without GM Brian Cashman, are quietly running background checks on Josh Hamilton.

Does this story have any legs? It’s not impossible. Hamilton’s market has not developed close to what he had hoped for. Nobody is close to offering him an eight-year deal for over $200 million liked he wanted. It appears like the Texas Rangers are the front-runners for Zack Grienke, which would probably put them out of the Hamilton sweepstakes. This would leave the Seattle Mariners as the only serious suitor at the moment.

If Hamilton is really only going to get a three or four-year deal the Yankees should be all over it. It would really be a good value and  it would fill a big need, as the only big time hitter the Yankees have right now is Robinson Cano. Speaking of Cano, if the Yankees were going to get Hamilton he might have to be sacrificed. The Yankees would have them both for next season, but it would probably be unlikely that both could fit under the $189 million budget when Cano is a free agent next offseason. The question is would Hamilton on a three or four-year deal be a better value than Cano on a six or seven-year deal?

If the Yankees were to sign Hamilton it would allow them to trade Curtis Granderson for some younger players. Right now it is tough for the Yankees to trade him since they have lost Russell Martin, Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez for part of the year, and they have yet to replace them adequately. They would have a great shot at a championship this year with Hamilton and Cano forming the best duo in baseball and behind a solid starting pitching staff.

The other interesting part of this report is that the Yankees are supposedly doing this without Cashman. There were also reports that Cashman did not have the authority to even make offers at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. This is something to continue to watch. Maybe ownership is responding to criticism about the budget?

All of this is still probably unlikely, but it is interesting to talk about. However, there are reasons to think it is possible, so you never know. I think the Yankees should be all over Hamilton at this price, even if it might mean sacrificing Cano. What do you guys think? Is Hamilton on a shorter deal better than Cano on a long-term deal?

Morning Bits: Tight Budget, Youkilis offer, Will the Yankees spend…

mug3Good morning all.  Happy Friday.   Let’s get right to the links….

The New York Times has an article about the Yanks offer to Youkilis.

The Wall Street Journal asks “Why aren’t the Yankees Spending.”

Bob Raissman of The Daily News writes that even the YES Network hosts are surprised by the Yankees tight wallets.

Morning Bits: Rumors, Jeter, Thirdbase

mug3Good Morning all.  Let’s get right to the links.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY has a rumor roundup.

Fox Sports is reporting that Jeter should be ready for opening day.

Lohud mentions the Yankees options at third are dwindling.

Winter Meetings Live Chat

To join the Yankees Winter Meeting live chat Click Here.

Winter Meetings Day 3: Chavez, Keppinger off the market as Yanks do nothing

It’s Day three of the Winter Meetings and every team in the AL East has done something to spice up their team. Every team, except for the New York Yankees. After being told that they were the favorites for Eric Chavez, he went and inked a 1 year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jeff Keppinger who was the Yankees main target for a replacement third baseman since Alex Rodriguez went down went ahead and signed with the White Sox, avoiding New York once again.

Once again what the Yankees are doing is simply “talk.” The Yankees have been asking around for players such as Kevin Youkillis (who the Yankees asked for his medical records) and most recently Mark Reynolds. We could call him “Curtis Granderson 2.0″ if you’d like. He doesn’t hit for average, he strikes out a lot but–he has enough power to send the ball over the right field porch at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees don’t have a lot of options and they don’t have a lot of backup.

A lot of speculation went around today, wondering if the Yankees would now consider Eduardo Nunez for the 3B role (part time of course) and if the Yankees would move Mark Teixeira from 1st to 3rd since Tex played 3rd base in the minor leagues. Both ideas were shot down with a firm “no”.

The Yankees haven’t been close to making a deal with a new player all winter (Kuroda, Pettitte and Mariano don’t count) and all they’ve been doing is asking around.

To quote a famous Neon Trees song: “Oh my, my dear. Everybody Talks too much.” Apparently, that’s all the Yankees have been doing: talking too much and not getting anything done. There’s still two more days of the Winter Meetings, but don’t hold your breath for something exciting to happen.

One other note to think about:

Here is how many legit starters the Yankees could have by Opening Day:

Derek Jeter
Curtis Granderson
Mark Teixeira
Brett Gardner
Robinson Cano

Right now it doesn’t sound too promising for Opening Day, now does it?

Filling The Void

With the news of A-Rods latest injury that will keep him on the shelf until midseason at the least, the Yankees find themselves looking to fill yet another void on the field and in the lineup. Without a clear major league ready farmhand ready to step in the team will have to make a choice; roll the dice with a rookie or shop the FA market. Some may point to former pinstriper Brandon Laird, who was let go earlier this year, but with over 100 plate appearances that amounted to an OPS just north of .700 and a glove that was nothing to fawn over I can’t say I’d be kicking myself for letting him walk. The minors aren’t completely barren, and the FA market may provide a player or two that fit the bill so let’s take a look at who could land in the Bronx come next spring.

 Corban Joseph

Of all the players you’ll read about here, Joseph is the least likely to make a stand, but he is the closest minor league player we have in the system. Corban made his way to Scranton in 2012 after playing the first month in Trenton. His average fell off a bit, but his power saw a sizeable increase; his HR total more than doubled his previous season total in only 327 AB’s in AAA while his doubles total stayed on pace. To be fair, Trenton has one of the biggest parks in the league, but with the porch on his side in the Bronx he could continue to flash a bit of pop. He did however, show quite the platoon split for Scranton; his OPS against lefties was a dismal .493 while he absolutely mashed right handers to the tune of a .961 OPS. Of the 40 XBH’s he had in AAA, only five of them came against southpaws, so he’d have to have a platoon partner if he couldn’t get that straightened out. Even so, a left handed bat like that could certainly play in YS3. The big drawback for Joseph, and quite possibly the deal breaker is that it’s been a while since he’s seen time at the hot corner. 2011 was the last time he took the field there, and it was only for a handful of games. The rest of his career has seen him at second or the DH spot, so he’d be an option to fill in for Robbie if the injury bug bites or he needs a day, but the opportunities look to be few and far. I’d put him in the trade bait category, but with Cano’s impending free agency the FO might just want to hold on to him in case the Boras client prices himself right out of the BX.

 David Adams

Once upon a time Adams was on the prospect radar, until he nearly ruined his ankle and spent the better part of two seasons recovering and then getting his game back. Some will recall Adams as the guy that was initially in on the Montero for Lee trade until Seattle pulled the rug out on the deal and ended up taking a package revolved around Justin Smoak of the Rangers system. Adams made his way back to Trenton in 2012 and hit for a .306/.385/.450/.834 slash line while spending the first part of the season manning second and then getting moved to third later in the year. This, coincidentally or not, was right around the time that Alex ended up on the DL again. Adams was then sent to Arizona as part of the Yankee squad to participate in the fall leagues to get some more work in, where he continued to hit and ended his stint in the desert with a .912 OPS. With limited experience at the upper levels, they may not want to put all their money on Adams to run the hot corner in Alex’s place, but he isn’t far away. He hasn’t shown a ton of power in Trenton but he does take his fair share of walks and won’t strike out a ton. He’s also got a decent glove and was said to be making the transition to third well.

 Jeff Keppinger

As I type this, it’s been reported that Keppinger has inked a three year deal with the White Sox. From what I had read the Yanks were willing to go two years, so the third year put them out. Bollocks.

 Kevin Youkilis

It’s difficult not to have an initial emotional reaction when this guys name and the Yankees are mentioned in the same sentence. His incessant whining to the umpires is bad enough, and add in his stupid bat waggle and the fact that I’d be a afraid to see what’s under that goatee and it’s enough to send me running, tearing my hair out at the roots. With that stuff aside and the numbers in front of me, I can’t say that Youk on a one year deal would be a bad thing. He takes his walks, won’t strike out all day and hits for a bit of pop. On the other hand, he fell off quite a bit last year and has been prone to time on the DL, so getting his time at the DH spot and days off might be necessary. He can also man first base, which gives us the backup that we lost in Swisher. If he could get back to an OPS+ in the realm of 120 while fielding a decent glove I’d be in. It might take a daily cocktail of Dramamine, Valium and Makers Mark to get through it, but then again, I’ve done worse.

 Eric Chavez

Chavez has seen limited playing time in pinstripes the last two years, filling the hot corner and standing in as a left handed bat with some pop. We all know Chavez won’t be able to man the position ever day, but he could serve as a solid platoon player that can also play both corners. 2012 was a solid campaign for Chavez that saw him put up a 126 OPS+, hitting 16 HR’s; his hot streak kept the team running down the stretch, and while he did cool off he was a big part of us keeping pace with the pesky Showalters. His playing time increased quite a bit going from 2011-12, and if he could give us 250-300 AB’s I’d sign up for that in a minute. His defense is still very solid and given regular rest he could provide enough of a boost with his bat to run him out there and not sacrifice overall production in a major way.

Morning Bits: Girardi, Cashman, Trading Granderson…

mug3

Good Morning all.  Away we go with the links….

Andrew Marchand has the review from Joe Girardi’s state of the Yankees. (lot of good nuggets of info check this one out)

The Star Ledger writes that Cashman is carefully exploring his options.

Mark Feinsand writes that the Yankee are looking to trade Granderson to free up payroll.

Stop by tonight at 8pm as Matt B. will be hosting a live chat to answer all Yankee related questions.  See you then.

Winter Meetings Day 2: Would you trade Curtis Granderson?

Earlier today, the Yankees made clear that Brian Cashman would become open to a trade for Curtis Granderson. Curtis Granderson has an interesting case. He’s a free agent next season, he strikes out about 200+ times a year and he’s not the best defensive CF in the whole entire world. But what makes Granderson so special, so unique that it would become hard to part with him? It’s simple, the man has hit 40 HR’s and has driven in 100+ RBI’s since the Kevin Long tutorial. Now, we all know the Yankees list has gotten longer and longer, but the fact of the matter is, trading Curtis Granderson wouldn’t be the way to get the players we need. I made a poll on Twitter today asking fans if they would be interested in trading Granderson and why. Here were some of the responses I received:

As you can see, the favorite answer is no. Although it would make sense to trade Granderson since he is a free agent next season, like @venomous1913 said, 40 HR’s and 100 RBI players don’t grow on trees. If the Yankees were to trade Granderson, it would have to be for the right price.

In Other News

— If Alex Rodriguez were to sit out for the 2013 season, the Yankees would get insurance on the contract–but it would count against their luxury tax in 2014.

— The Yankees made no deals but they did talk a lot: They spoke with Kevin Youkillis, asked about Marco Scutaro and of Jeff Keppinger.

— The Yankees have to look for a catcher, right fielder, DH and a third baseman. The Yankees are adding assistant hitting coach to the list to work alongside Kevin Long. Is this a panic move I sense?

— If you’re interested, the Red Sox signed Shane Victorino to a 3 year deal meaning that Nick Swisher is no longer considered for the Red Sox RF role. A source close to Swisher did say that if the Yankees or the Angels/Dodgers didn’t want him he would love to go to the San Francisco Giants.

*I had so many responses for my Curtis Granderson twitter poll that I couldn’t use all the answers but thank you everyone for sending in your input. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your answers.

Morning Bits: A-Rod, Yankees looking Feeble, Hamilton a Yankee?

mug3Good Morning all.  Away we go with some links….

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that A-Rod’s hip injury reveals fragile state of the Yankees aging roster.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Yankees look feeble and futile.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY mentions that Jim Bowden believes the Yankees are laying in the weeds ready to snatch up Josh Hamilton.

Winter Meetings Day 1: Yankees now need a third baseman

It’s the end of Day 1 of the 2012 Winter Meetings and the big news today is none other than Alex Rodriguez needing hip surgery which questions his 2013 season.  As if the job of Brian Cashman was hard enough, needing to replace a right fielder and a catcher–now we have to add third base to our list as well. The Yankees don’t have many options on the free agent market, which is where a trade would have to come in. Jon Morosi believes that Chase Headley of the Padres could be the Yankees best bet at this point, but if the Yankees want him then they would have to trade high.

Now, not sure if this would be a valid reason to get off A-Rod’s back during the postseason but A-Rod had the hip issues during the playoffs and even stayed in the hospital after one of the ALDS games vs. the Orioles. Again, not trying to give A-Rod an excuse as to why he performed poorly but–just saying.

In Other News:

Derek Jeter spoke on the Michael Kay show this afternoon to address how far along he is with his recovery. Jeter needs to wear the boot for another 6-7 weeks but he says he will be ready for Opening Day. When asked what Jeter wanted for Christmas, his answer was simple.

“I want this boot off my ankle.”

Oh also, Jeter has seen the pictures of himself in the New York Post looking out of shape. His answer about his workout regimen this offseason?

 “Evidently I haven’t been staying in shape.”

Well played Captain. Well played.

— Brian Cashman had a press conference earlier this afternoon during the Winter Meetings to address the Alex Rodriguez issue. He did give a firm no when asked if the Yankees would use Eduardo Nunez at 3B to replace A-Rod in the meantime. A-Rod will be the 3B once he returns but in the meantime, the Yankees are going to have to look high and low for a deal. Just–if you’re going to trade for a 3B, RF, C or something Cashman, don’t touch Brett Gardner. You’d be crazy to do so.

— Oh and one more note, Freddy Garcia won’t be back with the Yankees for the 2013 season. You can silently boo (or fist-pump depending on your views on Freddy now).