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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.

Morning Bits: Hughes, Burnett, Soriano, Mariano

Good morning all.  It is very nice to start this day with the Yankees coming off of a win.  Hopefully another win tonight as they head into the off day on Thursday.

Let’s start the morning off right with some links…..

Roger Rubin of The Daily News writes that Phil Hughes gets aggressive against the K.C. Royals, working his way back to 2010 form.

Anthony McCarron of The Daily News looks into former Yankee A.J. Burnett who has the pressure lifted off of him while pitching for the Pirates.

Mark Hale of The New York Post says last night was Soriano’s first true test with a save as a New York Yankee.

Dan Martin of The New York Post writes that Mariano is still awaiting surgery.

— ESPN NY writer Matt Ehalt writes about how former Yankees are doing this season.

Morning Bits: Walk-Off Pie, Garcia, Chamberlain, Nova

Good morning everyone and a Happy Saturday to you all. Last night’s game was wild, so let’s hope that Freddy Garcia can get it together and have a good outing for us. Onto the morning links!

— Now that A.J Burnett is gone–did the Yankees put an end to the pie celebration? If that’s the case, then Brett Gardner is lucky. He had the last pie to the face by A.J.

— Is Freddy Garcia ready to finally have a good outing? If not…”Paging Mr. Phelps.”

— There was a nice surprise for the Yankees last night as Joba Chamberlain was in the clubhouse. There’s good news for him. One is that he says his arm feels 100% and the second thing is that the boot on his foot will come back in a week.  He anticipates being back in 2012.

— Ivan Nova missed his chance to finally beat Justin Verlander. Don’t beat yourself up Nova. The only American League park that Justin Verlander has not won in is Yankee Stadium.

Teixeira, Swisher, Yanks stun Red Sox with 15-9 victory after being down 9-0 in 6th

The way that the game looked going into the 6th inning was absolutely brutal. The Boston Red Sox had a 9-0 lead and Felix Doubront was dealing. Then, Mark Teixeira had a homer which made the game 9-1 and from there–the Yankees banded together and rallied to stun the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine with a 15-9 win.

GARCIA STRUGGLES ONCE AGAIN: Even though the game ended well for the Yankees, the game didn’t start well for them at all as Freddy Garcia gave up 5 runs and didn’t fool a single Red Sox batter. That forced Girardi to once again go to the bullpen early in Garcia’s starts, this time turning to Clay Rapada. Honestly, I don’t see Garcia being in the rotation much longer after that fiasco that he pulled.

PHELPS PITCHES WELL–AGAIN: David Phelps once again pitched well for the Yankees although he gave up 3 runs. What impressed me the most about Phelps was that he looked unfazed while facing the Boston Red Sox and he was able to not let the lead the Red Sox had at the time get out of control. If Phelps started the game, the Yankees would have probably won 15-3 instead of 15-9. Oh well.

THE RALLY: It all started in the 6th inning when Mark Teixeira hit a solo HR to give the Yankees their first run of the ball game. The Yankees got to the shaky Red Sox bullpen and scored 7 runs in the 7th and 7 runs in the 8th. Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher were the main hitters for the Yankees. Teixeira had a 2 run double, a 3 run homer and a solo homer all in the 7th and 8th innings. Nick Swisher had a Grand Slam and a 2 run double. After Doubront, the Red Sox used 6 pitchers (Padilla, Albers, Morales, Aceves, Thomas & Tazawa). Alfredo Aceves received the loss while Rafael Soriano for the Yankees received the win.

WHAT’S NEXT: According to it is slated to rain heavily in Boston tomorrow night, so it might be hard to get the game in. If the Yankees get the game in then it will be CC Sabathia on the mound facing former Red Sox set-up man Daniel Bard as a starter. The game will be televised on ESPN if  the game happens. If the game is rained out then it will be an off-day where the Yankees can rest the bullpen and their starters.

FORMER YANKEES ALERT: A.J Burnett made his Pittsburgh Pirates debut and pitched–like the Pirates ace starter. He went 7 innings with no runs, 3 hits and 7 strikeouts. He ended his night only throwing 71 pitches. It’s a shame that Burnett isn’t with the Yankees anymore–or its a shame that he didn’t pitch that way when he was on the Yankees. I guess some guys can’t handle the New York pressure.

Morning Bits: Nova, Pettitte, Chamberlain, Ibanez

Good morning everyone and happy Sunday to you all. To get started, all of us at Yankees Fans Unite would like to wish one of our writers Matthew B. a very Happy Birthday! Let’s hope  the Yankees win against the Tigers today! Onto the morning links: 

— One of my favorite articles from Matthew B. was about A.J Burnett’s effect with the Yankees. (Keep in mind, this article was written before Burnett was traded).

— Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda & Freddy Garcia have been mentioned as the possible odd man out of the rotation, but should we start adding Ivan Nova’s name into the equation?

— Except for Andy Pettitte, the New York Post reports the Yankees have done a poor job stocking up on southpaws

— Joba Chamberlain believes that he could be back on a mound in July. We kind of wish that Brian Cashman could be just as optimistic.

— After 2 and a half weeks of playing in a Yankees uniform, Raul Ibanez finally  has his first major hit of the Spring;  A 2 run blast that paved the way for a Yankees 4-2 win in 10 innings.

Spring Training Notes: 3/11/12

Today was a CRAZY day for baseball! Yankees played 2 games at the same time which was pretty confusing to follow both games at once, but somehow I managed to get it done! Yankees won vs. the Phillies but lost to the Twins, so that makes their record for the Spring 5-5. Onto today’s notes.

CC Sabathia & Phil Hughes both had GREAT starts today. Here are CC & Phil’s lines for today.

CC Sabathia: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Phil Hughes: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Here was what CC Sabathia had to say about his start.

 “Felt good. The fastball command was pretty good, the secondary pitches were working. I still got a little ways to go, you know. I still want to work on my two-seamer. But I feel good today… Fastball command (improved). Getting it in on righties, and Russ did a good job making sure we got a lot of those. He called a lot of two-seamers which is something that we’ve been working on all spring. He did a good job of working in things we were trying to do.”

Here was what Phil Hughes & Joe Girardi said about Hughes’s start:

Hughes: “The cutter wasn’t as good as it was last time, but the curveball was much better. Fastball location was much better, as well. Command-wise, it was a lot better, especially in the second and third innings… It seemed like my fastball was good. It was jumping on hitters a little bit based on the swings I was getting. That was a positive thing. Being able to work out of some trouble with guys on, they put together some good at-bats in the first and I was able to get around those.”

Girardi: “I thought he had everything today. Fastball location was much better, he threw some good changeups, curveballs and cutters. I was very pleased. I thought it was a nice step in a positive direction for him. A lot of times at this point in the first couple starts, I’m focusing on the good things. Knowing that they are rusty, you don’t expect them to have their A stuff a lot of times. You want to see what they’ve got the first couple starts. I was pleased.”

— Joe Girardi revealed that Hughes & Sabathia will split their next start, each pitcher to go 4 innings.

— If you think that there is a race to see who can get the most stolen bases this Spring, you might be right. When reporters asked Russell Martin what he thought about that, he said “I’m putting a little pressure on Gardy. That’s all I’m doing.” Well Russell, it seems that Brett got the message because he swiped a bag as well today. Martin has 4. Gardner has 2. Stay tuned for ‘The Stolen Base Race” all Spring long.

David Robertson ditched the crutches today and is walking with the boot. Robertson himself will determine if the boot will come off tomorrow, according to Girardi.

Eduardo Nunez is expected to see some game action on Tuesday vs. the Red Sox. Nunez was shut down yesterday after feeling discomfort in his wrist from a hit by pitch.

— David Robertson has someone to join him on the Yankees injured list: Dan Burawa. Girardi says that Burawa hurt his ribcage and has been shut down for a bit. Burawa wasn’t slated to make the Major League team this year anyway.

— A.J Burnett has returned to Pirates camp after having surgery on his eye following a fracture of his orbital bone while bunting. He’s still slated to miss 2-3 months.

Mariano Rivera makes his own schedule. When asked when Mariano will pitch again, Girardi sounded a bit clueless when he said, “He’ll probably have some days where he has a couple days off. He might throw an inning, do a bullpen the next time, then throw an inning again. He usually gets his seven or eight appearances in, so he’s got plenty of time to do that. There’s no rush.”

Tomorrow’s Yankees game is vs. the Braves and as I mentioned it is on the radio. The next YES game will be on Tuesday night at 7:05pm which is one you don’t want to miss. Michael Kay, Paul O’Neil & Lou Pinella (by the way, my new favorite announcer on YES) will call the Red Sox vs. Yankees game! But we have to get through Monday first…

Not sure if everyone saw this video, but this was during Yankees Baseball Daily a couple of weeks ago with Jack Curry interviewing Brett Gardner. Thanks Alyssa (@TeamDRob) for sending in the video!

Have a good night everyone!

Spring Training Notes: 3/2/12

Joe Girardi having a word with Brett Gardner

Today was the day that all have waited for; Spring Training games are back! Although games are back, there has been some headlines. Here are the notes & links:

— MLB has OK’d the expanded wildcard for the 2012 season. Here’s the tweet for the details:

— Pirates RHP A.J Burnett will miss 2-3 months of the season after having eye surgery today to repair the orbital bone. Burnett bunted the baseball in his eye during batting practice earlier this week. Burnett was slated to be the Pirates number 1 starter in the rotation.

— And Yankees fans will love to hear this! The Yankees played their first Spring Training game against the University of Florida. Here was the final score:

— Courtesy of Bryan Hoch of, here are some pictures from today’s practice & game:

Tomorrow the New York Yankees will take on the Philadelphia Philles which is a televised game. The game will be on MLB Network and for those who don’t have MLB Network on MLB.TV.

Use the comment section below to talk about anything you’d like! Have a good night everyone!

Spring Training Notes: 2/27/12

Andy Pettite is at Yankees Camp!

No, you’re eyes are not decieving you. Andy Pettite is at Yankees Spring Training Camp. Unfortunately he’s not going to put on #46 and pitch for the Yankees. Instead he’s a guest instructor here to carve the young minds of our Yankee Farm system.

You may notice that the Spring Training report is earlier than usual. Well, here’s the reason why:

Matthew B. is hosting a Yankees Chat tonight at 7pm answering all things Yankees! Come with questions please!

Now that we got that announcement out of the way, here are some Spring Training notes for today!

— Nick Swisher went to see a Sports Psychologist (didn’t know there was such a thing). Let’s see if it works for him!

— A.J Burnett’s greatest contribution to the Yankees will live on. No, we’re not talking about him pitching. We’re talking about the walk-off pie! Who should do it? Nick Swisher!

— The Yankees released their rotation for the starting week of Spring Training. The rotation will go as follows:

3/2 vs. USF: Adam Warren
3/3 vs. Phillies: Ivan Nova (MLB Network, MLB.TV Game)
3/4 vs. Phillies: Freddy Garcia (YES Network Game)
3/5 vs. Phillies: Michael Pineda (MLB Network, MLB.TV Game)
3/6 vs. Pirates: CC Sabathia & Phil Hughes
3/7 vs. Rays: Hiroki Kuroda (YES Network Game)

—  Robinson Cano has left camp in Tampa Florida to catch a flight to the Dominican Republic after receiving word that his grandmother passed away yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Robbie.

— Courtesy of Bryan Hoch here are some pictures from today & yesterday’s Spring Training session!

Morning Bits: Martin, Hughes, Burnett, Swisher, Posada

Good morning Yankees fans and Happy Saturday! Position players reported yesterday and will soon start their workouts! Here are your morning links.

Russell Martin & the Yankees agreed to wait to talk about a contract extension until after the season.

Phil Hughes spoke with ESPN & said it will be nobody’s fault but his if he struggles in Spring Training and ends up in the bullpen

— With A.J Burnett now a Pittsburgh Pirate, ESPN wonders, who will be the new pie man? The obvious choice? Nick Swisher.

Jorge Posada’s absence from camp is more noticeable than Andy Pettite’s according to Derek Jeter

Spring Training Notes: 2/23/12

Russell Martin & Francisco Cervelli signing autographs

Another quiet day for the Yankees as they prepare for their first Spring Training game next week. Of course, Russell Martin & Francisco Cervelli just couldn’t say no to autographing for fans. How nice! Now onto today’s Spring Training notes:

— After signing with the Yankees, Eric Chavez has reported to camp!

— The Yankees aren’t going to retire #34 for A.J Burnett–they’ll just give the number to David Aardsma instead!

Austin Romine experienced soreness in his back while doing workouts today. The Yankees might hold Romine out of workouts tomorrow as a precaution.

— Russell Martin said that he was “baby-ing” Michael Pineda with his first few changeups. Once Pineda had thrown the changeup with the same arm speed as the fastball the there was big improvement. Russell Martin also believes that Pineda can win with the fastball-slider combination but believes that if Pineda trusts the changeup  & develops it then it would make him a much better pitcher.

There are a few reminders for Yankees fans:

  1. Tonight at 7pm we are hosting a live chat, so come with any questions that you may have about the Yankees.
  2. Also all position players are slated to report tomorrow (that includes Rodriguez & Teixeira) and workouts will begin on Saturday.
  3. Also, there are 43 days until Opening Day so mark your calendars.

Spanning the Yankee Blogs: Roberston, Burnett, Ibanez, Joba, Spring Training

Since the last time we have done this AJ has been traded and pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training.  Lot’s of great blogs about the Yankees let’s take a look at what they are all saying.

* An A-blog for A-Rod mentions a good point that Brandon Laird is the forgotten infielder.

* Bleeding Yankee Blue is reflecting on the negatives of the Burnett era.

* Bomber Boulevard says that June is the earliest for Joba to come back.

* Bronx Baseball Daily has 6 questions about the Yankees rotation.

* It’s about the Money Stupid is projecting Brett Gardner.

* Lady Loves Pinstripes writes about Raul Ibanez.

* New York Baseball Digest has Mason Williams taking the mantle from Jesus Montero.

* NYY Universe got a chance to interview David Robertson.

* Pinstripe Alley takes a look at Yankee drafts by decade.

* River Ave Blues has some thoughts about the A.J. trade.

* Road to Yankee Stadium links some articles about the minors.

* The Captain’s Blog takes a 111-year retrospective at Yankees spring training.

* The Greedy Pinstripes looks into the best 1-2 punch in the AL east.

* The Yankee Analysts has a great article forecasting Ibanez with park factors.

* Yanks Go Yard dives into the 2012 AL East preview of shortstops.

* Zell’s Pinstriped Blog has the all time Yankee flops.

Spring Training Notes: 2/20/12

Photo courtesy of Andrew Marchand of ESPN

Today was the day that the Yankees Pitchers and Catchers started their workouts! Here were some of the highlights of today’s Spring Training.

Mariano Rivera arrived to Spring Training after telling Cashman he was going to be late. Mariano, you weren’t late. You can come whenever you want. You’re Mariano after all.

— The Yankees and Raul Ibanez had agreed on a 1 year, $1.1 Million deal pending a physical.

— The chances that Eric Chavez returns to the Yankees are “50-50” according to Jesse Sanchez of Chavez says that he will also speak with his agent about the matter.

— Joe Girardi spoke to the media for the first time this season and he mainly focused on the rotation and on former Yankee pitcher A.J Burnett.

  • On A.J Burnett: “I feel like A.J did everything we asked him to do. Without A.J, we may not have won the World Series.”
  • On Michael Pineda: “I’m always amazed at how big players are today. They’re large humans.”
  • On Starting Rotation: Sabathia will be pitch opening day but for the rest “You go with an open mind.”
  • David Robertson will continue to be the 8th inning man while Soriano is the 7th inning guy.
  • Girardi is leaning towards having the lineup Cano-Rodriguez-Teixeira but he isn’t exactly “married to the idea.”
  • Girardi says that he anticipates Francisco Cervelli to be the back-up catcher but others such as Austin Romine will get a shot.
  • Girardi mentions that he believe that it is important for CC’s weight to “stay there or close to it.” He also said the most crucial thing is that Sabathia “stays strong.”
  • A-Rod will be scrutinzed once he shows up for Spring Training. Girardi isn’t expecting A-Rod to hit 45 HR’s but he says he expects a big season.

Michael Pineda was working on his slider with Russell Martin earlier this morning which slightly surprised Girardi since it was still very early. However after nailing the pitch, Martin pumped his fist towards Pineda with praise.

— Mariano Rivera says he already knows if he is going to retire after this season. “I know now, but I don’t have to tell you.” Thanks Mo. That really answers our question.

Morning Bits: Sabathia, Spring Training, Burnett, Ibanez

Good morning all I assume many of you are off on this holiday.   So enjoy the day and keep checking back with us for all the latest.  Let’s get right to the morning links…..

* The Washington Post says the Yankees are looking for slimmer Sabathia to revert to dominate form.

* Chad Jennings of Lohud writes that the Yanks take unique road as spring training opens.

* ESPN has the full report of the done deal for AJ Burnett.

* From Ibanez remains at the top of the Yankees wish list.

* Sports Illustrated reports on the lighter side of Sabathia.

* From The Daily News Cashman admits the Yankees didn’t try to win the AL East in 2010.

Here is a youtube video sent it to us from Paul who is one of our readers.  Hope you enjoy it as it’s pretty good.

Burnett To Pirates Deal Official

Burnett To Pirates Deal Official

By Delia E.

The tweet via Jon Heyman down below explains it all:

Let’s not cry all at once now, okay?

Morning Bits: Are the Yanks really better in 2012?, SWB Yankees, Kuroda, Rivera

Good morning everyone and what a fantastic Sunday it is! Today is FINALLY the day where Pitchers and Catchers report for Spring Training although a lot of the players are already at the complex. Here are your morning links for today.

Fishjam was up early today so I added a bunch of links. Some good ones in here. Enjoy!

— Very interesting piece by Wallace Matthews & Andrew Marchand stating that pitching wasn’t the Yankees problem last year, clutch hitting was and asks the question, Is the team really better in 2012? I’d like to hear everyone’s comments after reading this.

— The Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees don’t have their stadium this year, so their home stadium will be in Rochester for the season.

— The NY Post says pitching is still the team’s biggest question mark.  The Daily News also has their 5 biggest questions in their ST Preview.

— The Post also has a story on Kuroda.  Interesting quote from a NL scout who says Kuroda “isn’t afraid to knock somebody down.  I think he will be very good for the Yankees.”

— Newsday has Cashman and Larry Rotschild discussing having 6 starters and the team’s pitching depth.

–Wallace Matthews of ESPN wrote that A.J Burnett deserved his pay on one fateful night; October 29, 2009

— Wallace Matthews also wrote an article asking if we are expecting too much from veteran closer Mariano Rivera.

Morning Bits: Burnett, Mystery Team, Ibanez, Chavez, Pettite

Good morning! Happy Saturday everyone! Only one more day until Pitchers and Catchers arrive for Spring Training although some players have arrived. Onto the morning links!

— The Yankees and Pirates agree on the A.J Burnett trade which will send him to the Pirates, pending a physical & approval by the MLB.

— The mystery team that wanted A.J Burnett was…the Phillies! If you follow me on Twitter, I had mentioned a couple of days earlier that my gut feeling was the Phillies.

— Andrew Marchand of ESPN predicts that the Yankees will now go after Raul Ibanez & Eric Chavez once the A.J Burnett deal is final.

— Andy Pettite has an invite to Yankees Spring Training…as an instructor.