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Yanks have missed the boat with talented IFAs

The IFA market is where the Yanks can find high upside talents like Yasiel Puig

The IFA market is where the Yanks can find high upside talents like Yasiel Puig

Anyone watching Sportscenter for the last week or so has seen Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig put on a show, cracking opposite field HRs and gunning runners out from RF.  He has jump-started the anemic Dodgers offense and energized their fan base while looking like a young Bo Jackson on the field.  Watching Puig and being reminded of fellow Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes while playing the A’s tonight, I couldn’t help but cringe when thinking that both of these talents were available to the Yankees a little more than a year ago.  At a time when the Yankees offense is putrid and their corner OFs are the worst in baseball it is very frustrating

Puig was one of 3 talented Cuban OFs who were available to the highest bidder in 2012.  Cespedes and highly regarded Cubs prospect Jorge Soler were the other 2.   Many of us fans thought the Yankees would sign at least one of them and it’s beginning to look like they made a big mistake by passing on these talents.  Under Brian Cashman’s leadership, the Yankees have become extremely conservative on the International Free Agent market.  After being burned by the signings of Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, the team has refused to spend significant money on any IFA.  In an interview this winter with Drew Voros, Cashman said. “We have learned over time to be very conservative and cautious in acquiring pitching talent from Japan, for instance. It’s a different game there”

Cashman has been applying that conservative approach to all IFAs, signing only a few low-priced players like Adonis Garcia and Ronnier Mustelier.  While it’s natural to be conservative, it seems the team has become gun-shy and is more afraid of making a mistake.  When you have the largest payroll in MLB, you can afford to take some risks on high-upside talents.  While it’s true you cannot expect success in Japan, Cuba, Korea or any other league to equate to success in MLB, talent plays anywhere.  And that is where the Yankees are missing the boat.  If a 20-yr old LHP in the U.S. was consistently throwing 98-100 MPH or when a trio of young OFs are displaying 4 out of 5 plus tools or a 6’5′ 225 pitcher is throwing 3 plus MLB pitches with great command and poise, you have to get involved!  The Yanks let all of the above players pass them by when all they would cost was money….no draft picks, no players in trade.  Where else can the Yankees obtain talent like that? The answer is no where.  While I think the Yanks did well in this year’s amateur draft, they never have access to elite amateur talent picking at the end of the first round and the financial restraints put on them in the new CBA when it comes to signing amateur foreigners, they are going to have trouble finding high-end talent there also. Well, no problem, the Yankees have always just been able to buy Free Agents at the Major League level, right? Well that window has been closing also.  Teams are locking up their young talented players before they become FAs and the small number of big talents that do hit the open market are able to command huge salaries since so many teams have money to spend.

The Yankees MUST become players on the IFA market again.  They are paying $27 Million for washed up Vernon Wells and Ichiro to play LF and RF this year and next – approximately $6.5M per yr for each of them.  Meanwhile, 22-yr old stud Yasiel Puig signed with LA for $6 Million a year for 7 years and the A’s 27-yr old slugging OF Yoenis Cespedes (36 HRs and .843 OPS in 181 games) is earning $9M per season over 4 years.  And they aren’t the only IFA players doing well.  Japanese OF Norichi Aoki had a strong year for Milwaukee last season hitting .288 with 10 HRs and 30 SBs and is hitting .300 with a .375 OBP this season while earning just $1.25 M per yr (plus a $2.5M posting fee for his rights).  These are just some IFA OFs who were signed in the last year or2 but there are other IFAs all over MLB from Shin-Soo-Choo to Dayan Viciedo to Alexi Ramirez, etc.

There has also been a wave of talented foreign pitchers doing well in MLB the last year or 2 also.  The 100-MPH lefty I mentioned of course is Reds closer Aroldis Chapman who has a 15.4 K/9.  Texas Ace Yu Darvish was a guy I thought the Yanks should have been all over.  He’s a true #1 type starter in his prime at just 26 and signed for the extremely reasonable 6 years @ $56M. An ace pitcher hitting the FA market would get nearly triple that. And make no mistake about it, Darvish is an Ace.  He’s 7-2 with a 2.75 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and a 12.0 K/9 pitching in the offensive haven of Texas.  And he’s not alone as a front-end starter, Korean LHP Ryu-Hyu Jin is 6-2 with a 2.89 era in his first year for the Dodgers,  Japanese RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is 7-1 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.81 WHIP for Seattle in his 2nd season and 27-yr old Taiwanese LHP Wei-Yin Chen has been Baltimore’s best starter the last year and a half.

It’s time for the Yankees to dive back in to the IFA waters.  George Steinbrenner was a trailblazer who was all over talented IFAs.  While it worked brilliantly with Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez and Hideki Matsui, the failures of Irabu and Igawa seem to have the Yankee brass afraid today.  It is poor reasoning to write off all big-ticket IFAs because of a couple of failures.  This is the last market where the Yankees money can be used to acquire high-end talent.  Amateur IFAs are subject to spending limits and penalties in the CBA but for veteran IFAs 23 and older, it’s still an open market and one which the Yankees must begin to capitalize on or they will have to continue to spend their money on the veteran has-beens like Wells and Ichiro.

Bats fall silent as Rangers blank Yanks 2-0

Hiroki Kuroda went on the mound and gave the Yankees 6.2 strong innings of 2 run ball, but unfortunately Yu Darvish was better. Darvish blanked the Yanks 2-0 as the Yankees dropped the second game of the three game set.

ANYTHING YU CAN DO, YANKS CAN’T DO BETTER: Hiroki Kuroda had a good outing and did exactly what the Yankees wanted, but in the end Yu Darvish was what would decide the game. Darvish struck out 10 Yankees on a night where runs were a premium. Well the only thing we can really take away from the game was that Kuroda gave a good outing but Yanks couldn’t cash in. Hmm…this sounds oddly familiar to A.J Burnett last year where he would pitch well but Yanks couldn’t cash in. Oh well.

JETER HITS 14 IN A ROW: Derek Jeter extended his hit streak to 14 games tonight, giving Jeter one of his best April’s of his career. Jeter is batting .416 in the month of April and is giving pitchers a hard time in getting him out. Hey Jeet, can you keep this up for like…the whole year? We like it.

IBANEZ ENDS THE GAME…DP STYLE: Raul Ibanez had a chance to continue the inning…but of course he made things easier for Joe Nathan and the Texas Rangers. Nathan threw one pitch, and that was all that was needed to end the game as Ibanez bounced into a DP. That may be how they end games in Philly, but we don’t end games like that in New York, Raul.

PINEDA GETS SECOND OPINION: Michael Pineda will get a second opinion on his shoulder after getting an MRI today. Pineda’s agent spoke with reporters and said that the reason that they are getting a second opinion is not because of the MRI results. Pineda will meet with the New York Mets team doctor and get further evaluated before the press gets the prognosis & diagnosis.

WHAT’S NEXT: The final ball game in the Ballpark in Arlington comes near and Phil Hughes will get the mound. Hughesy needs to give the Yankees some depth (and not give Texas a lot of runs). First pitch is at 8:05pm.

Staff Predictions on the 2012 AL Awards

Yesterday we revealed the staff’s predictions for the American League and the World Series. Today it is the staff’s picks for the AL individual awards.

AL MVP:

Matt B: Robinson Cano Mike P: Jose Bautista Fish: Robinson Cano Mike D: Miguel Cabrera Matt S: Prince Fielder Delia: Robinson Cano Brian: Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano was the leading vote getter among the staff. Myself, Brian, Fish and Delia will think hitting in the 3 hole will help him put up even more fabulous numbers. I think his protection going from Nick Swisher to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira will help him see better pitchers than he saw last year. The other votes were split among Cabrera, Fielder and Bautista. Mike D sees no reason why Cabrera won’t be able to pound out another MVP season, while Matt S. thinks his teammate Fielder will put on a show. Those two teammates may have to deal with their votes canceling each other out. If the Jays do not make the playoffs it may be tough for Bautista to win with so many great players in the AL. The surprise I think is no votes were put in for Albert Pujols.  

AL ROY:

Matt B: Brett Lawrie Mike D: Matt Moore Matt S: Matt Moore Mike P: Matt Moore Brian: Matt Moore Delia: Yu Darvish Fish: Matt Moore

Matt Moore is the majority choice among the staff for very good reason.Moore threw 7 shutout innings in Game 1 of the ALDS against a potent Rangers lineup. That has everybody excited about him this year. I choose Lawrie to be a little different and because I think he will put up a very nice year. Lawrie hit .293, with 9 HR’s, 25 RBI, and a .953 OPS in 150 AB’s last year. He also had a big spring training. Delia is the only one going with the most experienced rookie Yu Darvish. 

AL CY Young:

Matt B: Jered Weaver Matt S.: CC Sabathia Delia: Justin Verlander Mike D. Justin Verlander Fish: CC Sabathia Brian: Matt Moore Mike P: Matt Moore

The first thing that jumps out at me the most is the bold picks by Mike P and Brian for Matt Moore to win the AL CY Young as a rookie. Despite his great talent, winning the CY Young as a rookie would be amazing, especially pitching in the AL East. In 1981 Fernando Valenzuela became the first and only rookie CY Young award winner, so Moore winning would be historic. Sabathia and Verlander tied Moore with 2 votes. Fish has Sabathia over Verlander because he thinks Sabathia’s BABIP will go down from .318 while Verlander’s will go up from .236. He also does not like Verlander’s defense behind him. Matt S. thinks the new rotation will take pressure off Sabathia. Mike D and Delia are sticking with Verlander until he proves otherwise. I was the only one to give Weaver a vote because of his improved team and him getting to face Oakland and Seattle so much.         

AL Manager of the Year:

Matt B: Mike  Scioscia Mike P: Joe Maddon Delia: Joe Girardi Matt S: Joe Maddon Brian: Mike Scioscia Fish: John Farrell Mike D: Mike Scioscia

Manager of the year usually comes from a surprise team that makes the playoffs. However, with so many strong teams in the AL not many surprises are being selected outside the top 6 teams. This makes predicting manager of the year this year very difficult. Scioscia is the leader among the staff with 3 votes and is Maddon 2nd with 2 votes. Delia was the only one to vote for Girardi. I think being the manger of the Yankees gives him no chance. If he did not get consideration last year when the Red Sox were projected by seemingly everybody to beat the Yankees than he never will.

Tell us your predictions in the comments.     

Staff Predictions for the 2012 MLB Season

The MLB season starts tomorrow (not including those ridiculous Japan games) and the Yankees Fans Unite staff has made their predictions on the standings and awards for the 2012 MLB season. The awards will be posted tomorrow. We did the AL only since that’s what we focus on most with the Yankees.

AL East: Well let’s get this out of the way early since I know everybody is wondering. It is almost unanimous among the staff that the Yankees will win the AL East. Myself, Matt S, Mike D, Brian, Fish and Delia all have the Yankees taking the division. Mike P stands alone in taking the Rays. Mike P’s reasoning is that he thinks the Rays have the best rotation in MLB, enough hitting to support them, and they have great prospects to help them once August rolls around. Everybody who picked the Yankees likes the balance of their team among the offense, starting rotation, and bullpen and think they are no worse than their 97 win team from a year ago.

Read the rest of this entry

AL is Loaded

Despite the National League winning the last two championships, the American League has always been considered the dominant league. That gap has widened even further this offseason. Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, two of the NL’s biggest slugger’s, have gone over to the AL and will make the competition ever fiercer. Also, the Yankees got what most people would consider a number two starter in Michael Pineda to further bolster the team that led the AL in wins last year.  There are likely six teams that will fight for four playoff spots, without considering a surprise team cropping up.  With the addition of the second wild card team winning the division will be of utmost importance for the Yankees.

The battle for the Yankees to get into the playoff will probably come down to five teams for three spots as I see the Tigers as a virtual lock to win the AL Central. They won it by 15 games last year and that was without Prince Fielder. In fact if you asked me right now I would say they are the team to beat in the entire AL. I know they will have issues on defense, but when Fielder and Miguel Cabrera hit over .310, with about 35 HR’s, and about 115 RBI each it will not matter as much. They also have a very nice top of the rotation in Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, and Max Scherzer and a very good back end of the bullpen.

The Yankees will in all likelihood be battling the Rays, Red Sox, Rangers, and Angels for the other 3 playoff spots. Right now I would consider the Yankees the favorite in the AL East.  They won it last year with 97 wins and improved more than the Red Sox or the Rays did with the addition of Michael Pineda. I would consider the Rays a close 2nd and the Red Sox 3rd. The Sox have issues all over the diamond right now. Their outfield is a mess right now as Carl Crawford might not be ready to start the year and they still have a hole in RF, even though they signed Cody Ross.  I do not understand them replacing Marco Scutaro with Mike Aviles at SS. They still have issues at the backend of the rotation as nobody knows how Daniel Bard will transform to the rotation.  Their backend of the bullpen is also completely new and will have to prove themselves. Meanwhile, the Rays might have the best rotation in MLB and I like the acquisition of Carlos Pena to provide more power to their offense.  But, the Yankees definitely have the edge over the Rays in offense and bullpen and they are not that far off in the rotation, which I think puts them over the top.                                

If the Yankees were to not win the AL East they will face a stiff competition for the wild card spots and not just from the AL East. Whoever doesn’t win the AL West between the Angels and Rangers will be battling for the wild card spots. The Angels greatly improved themselves with the additions of C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols. They also have one of the best rotations in the MLB led by Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, and Ervin Santana.  The Rangers have one of the best offenses in MLB led by Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre, and Elvis Andrus. Yu Darvish will try to replace Wilson in the rotation and Neftali Feliz will make an interesting jump to the rotation. Both of these teams are legitimate threats to the Yankees.

As you can see the AL will be an absolute dogfight this year with all of these talented teams. All of this is subject to change of course with injuries and trades. You also know their will be a surprise team that will compete who I did not talk about. The Yankees have their work cut out for them in the AL this year, but if they play to their potential they should not have much of a problem.

A.J. Burnett’s Effect on the Yankees


A.J. Burnett has been one huge rollercoaster ride for the Yankees over the last three years. Most of it has been disappointment, which makes people forget that he has had good moments. This is a very appropriate time to write this article, considering there is a chance Burnett may not be in the Yankees rotation this year.  While Burnett’s contract is now seen as an albatross, he did help deliver the Yankees to a World Series championship. That contract is holding the Yankees back now for sure, but it has not been restricting the Yankees as much as people would think over the last three years.

How much would the Yankees be different had they not signed A.J. Burnett? Who would they have spent that money on? In 2009, it came down to A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe as pitchers the Yankees wanted to sign to go along with CC Sabathia.  Lowe pitched egregious in Atlanta for three years, and would not have been a better signing than Burnett. In three years for the Braves Lowe went 40-39, with a 4.57 ERA, and a 1.46 WHIP. Burnett’s numbers were not much better if any, but his 2009 season alone makes him for successful than Lowe ever was.

Now in 2010, the Yankees offered Cliff Lee more money than humanly possible with Burnett on the roster. They could not have offered him any more money, so Burnett had no effect on Cliff Lee not being a Yankee.  There was no other free agent pitcher in 2010 that would have made a huge difference. The Yankees may have made a run at Carl Crawford if they did not have Burnett, which would have been a mistake considering what he did for Boston last season. However, maybe without Burnett’s presence Cashman would have been more aggressive then he was in trading for a starting pitcher, before he acquired Michael Pineda. Cashman might have been able to acquire Cliff Lee or Dan Haren in a trade if he was more aggressive.

This year maybe the Yankees sign C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish to an A.J. Burnett like contract if Burnett was not here. I would not have been crazy about that either. Even though the Burnett contract was a mistake, there does not seem like there were a whole lot of great free agent starting pitcher options over the last three offseasons. However, if the Burnett contract does not allow them to sign Matt Cain or Cole Hamels next offseason it would be a big issue.

While Burnett has been a huge disappointment, the Yankees do not win the World Series without him in 2009. That is a fact. He saved the Yankees with a huge clutch performance in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series.  Burnett went 7 innings, allowed only 1 run, 4 hits, and had 9 strikeouts. If Burnett does not come through, the Yankees would have lost the first two games at home, and lost the World Series.  Burnett also won game two’s in the ALDS and ALCS, while throwing stinkers in both game five’s as well. In the last two years Burnett has represented himself pretty well in the postseason as well. He was pitching well against Texas in 2010, but Joe Girardi left him in to long and gave up the lead to Bengie Molina on a homerun. Burnett saved the Yankees season for one day last year by pitching winning well against the Tigers. Say what you want about Burnett, but he has come through in the clutch for the Yankees at times. This does not make him a complete bust, like say Carl Pavano.  Burnett has at least given the Yankees an average of 194 innings for 3 years, which is more than Pavano can say. Those innings are a lot tougher to replace than many people realize.

Obviously Burnett has done things over these past three years that drive you crazy. He has had unbearable stretches that make you really scratch your head. He has also had a sorry attitude at times, and has cursed the manager out when walking off the mound.  He has had times where he could not find the plate no matter what. Unfortunately at this stage in his career he is what he is, and is unlikely to change.  All of this had made Yankees fans despise him, and rightfully so.  However, Yankee fans should also not forget that he did help deliver a championship that the Yankees had been seeking desperately for.

Yankees Bid for Darvish Revealed

Yankees Bid for Darvish Revealed

By Delia E.

According to reports from CBSSports.com, the Yankees had bid $15M for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. Darvish has since went to the Texas Rangers who bid over $50M. It’s the highest bid since the Red Sox bid around $50M for Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters have “definitely” decided to accept the top bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters have “definitely” decided to accept the top bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish

by Matt S.

Not a surprise. The Nippon-Ham Fighters are expected to announce the winning bid late Monday night (U.S. time). Franz Lidz of Sports Illustrated reported over the weekend that the winning bid will end up topping the record $51.1 million posting fee that the Red Sox paid for exclusive negotiating rights with Daisuke Matsuzaka back in 2006. Most consider the Blue Jays and Rangers the favorites for the winning bid.

 

Morning Bits: Darvish, Cashman

Good Morning all.  Most likely could be a quiet news week besides the news of what team Darvish goes to this week.   Hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Let’s get right to the links….

*  Yankees are most likely not getting Japanese star Yu Darvish.

* Grading Cashman’s off-season.

* 10 struggling players the Yankees have turned around.

Yankees “not getting” Yu Darvish

Yankees “not getting” Yu Darvish

By Delia E.

If  Yu Darvish is going to be in the Major Leagues next year, it won’t be with the New York Yankees. Via Marc Carig, a person with knowledge of the situation said the Yankees “are not getting” Darvish but kept his anonymity due to the ongoing posting process.

The Yankees DID make a bid according to GM Brian Cashman, but he wouldn’t say how big the bid is. The highest bid for Yu Darvish had exceeded $51 Million which was what the Boston Red Sox used to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Texas Rangers & the Toronto Blue Jays are into Darvish while the Yankees scouted Darvish for years.

Since pitching has been a problem for the Yankees, Cashman is planning on keeping a steady payroll heading into next season. The only huge money spending the Yankees actually did this season was extending the contract of Yankees ace CC Sabathia.

Not only are the Yankees out on Darvish, but they might be on the sidelines for Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes. While the Yankees believe that Cespedes will be an everyday outfielder, their belief won’t lead them to bid for him.

Cashman remains inactive as another big starter is traded

Mat Latos is the latest top of the rotation starter to be moved

Well, another potential #2-type starter- Mat Latos –  has been traded while Brian Cashman does nothing. Cash has not made a significant move to bring in a new pitcher since the failed Javy Vazquez trade in 2009.  Since the 2010 season when both Vazquez and A.J. Burnett proved they were enormous busts, the Yankees have had a glaring need for another top of the rotation starter.  The need increased after Andy Pettitte’s retirement.

Despite the obvious need and Cashman’s own admission that “pitching, pitching, pitching” has been his #1 target, he has not made any significant additions, electing to rely on what is in the system and going for low-risk veterans like Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon & Kevin Millwood.  While Cashman continues to complain about the price, we have seen more than a dozen potential top of the rotation arms change teams. Cliff Lee (twice), Dan Haren, Zack Greinke, Shawn Marcum, Matt Garza, CJ Wilson, Trevor Cahill, Mark Buehrle, Doug Fister, Ubaldo Jimenez, Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt, Yu Darvish (likely) & Mat Latos have all been moved since the Yanks have been in the market so what is Cashman waiting for?

Each one of the above pitchers have had their own set of circumstances but to see that many starters being moved, it is really mind-boggling that Cashman has been unable to make any moves.  The Yanks seem to have the 2 most necessary things needed to acquire a SP – plenty of cash and a stocked Farm System.  But if we look in-depth at what has prevented the Yankees from completing a deal, these seem to be the biggest obstacles:

  1. Cashman has been very reluctant to part with his top prospects.  All trade partners have asked for 1 or more of Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances & Eduardo Nunez.  Cashman was willing to trade Montero for Lee but things stalled when Seattle also insisted on Nunez.  Lately Cashman has rebuffed any and all offers for Montero & Banuelos and I think he is right in doing so. Unless a truly elite arm  with multiple years of team control becomes available, those 2 should stay.
  2. Teams have not accepted or Cash  has been unwilling to trade his next level of prospects.  It seems to me that the Yanks have plenty of guys besides the big 4 mentioned above that teams would be interested in.  Romine & Gary Sanchez are both highly regarded Catchers that project to be MLB starters. They also have 4 ready or nearly-MLB ready pitchers in Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, David Phelps & DJ Williams. In addition there are many strong hitting prospects in Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Dante Bichette, Ravel Santana, Tyler Austin, etc but they are all in the lower levels of the system.
  3. The team is working under a stricter budget.  While Cashman always had a budget to work with, he knew he could always go over it if he felt a move really helped the team.  But money has been a reason why the Yanks haven’t made offers to most Free Agent pitchers lately.  While the budget doesn’t preclude Cash from signing a big Free Agent, it makes it much more important that he is right when he gives out the next big deal.  If they want to get under the $189M Luxury tax threshold in 2014 and stay competetive, they will not be able to eat another $80M mistake like AJ Burnett or ~$40M blunders like Igawa, Pavano, Wright or Soriano.
  4. Could Cashman be gun-shy? As mentioned above, the Yankees have often been wrong on their big money pitching acquisitions. I don’t believe Brian is afraid of making a mistake, however I do think he’s starting to become too rigid.  I understand not wanting to trade Montero & Banuelos, but I would trade anyone else in the system to upgrade the pitching.  I’d rather overpay a bit for a proven #2 and challenge for the World Series, than to do nothing and get knocked out early again in 2012. He must remember that most prospects don’t pan out and there are only so many openings in the Bronx for them anyway. Use your farm system while its strong!

    Well Joe, I didn't get you any new pitchers again but you still have A.J.

Based on what is left on the market, I think FAs Kuroda & Oswalt should be targets. Signing Kuroda and dumping AJ Burnett for any salary relief would be a big improvemet.  If Oswalt would consider a 1 or 2 yr deal, he’d also be an option.  On the trade front, I agree with not trading Montero & Banuelos for Gio Gonzalez or John Danks, but I think some combo of Betances, Nunez, Romine, Sanchez, Noesi, etc should be enough to get one of those pitchers.

The Reds got a great young, team-controlled pitcher in Mat Latos but also gave up a lot of talent.  If the Yanks were to match the Reds package, it likely would have been something like Montero, Sanchez or Romine, Noesi or Warren & Hughes or Joba.  That’s a heavy price to pay.  If the Padres offered you Latos for that package would you have done it? And what do you think of what Cashman has done the past 2 years?  Is he correct to do nothing?

Morning Bits: Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Darvish, Beltran

Good morning! Have a happy Saturday and enjoy your weekend! Here are today’s morning links

Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com talks about how it is unusual to see the Yankees & Red Sox quiet during the off-season

Andrew Marchand of ESPNNY.com talks about the chances for the Blue Jays to land Yu Darvish, Carlos Beltran and the chances the Blue Jays have of becoming a serious postseason contender

— This isn’t exactly a new link but Andrew Marchand talks about how the Yankees could land King Felix via trade.

Yu Darvish Sweepstakes

Yu Darvish Sweepstakes

by Matt S. and Mike D.

Update, 10:00am:

The New York Post is speculating that the Blue Jays outbid the other three teams competing for Yu Darvish.

According to Post’s unnamed sources, the Yankees’ bid is “not expected to top what the Blue Jays submitted.” The final results will be announced on Tuesday. If he signs with the winning bidder, Darvish is expected to net about $12 million to $15 million per year.

Update, 10:40am:

—-Who did bid and now is confirmed is the Yankees,  Toronto, Cubs, and Rangers.  (wouldn’t be surprised if Theo is making a splash in Chicago with getting Darvish).

Update, 7:19pm: Olney says the Yankees did make a bid for Darvish. Jack Curry said the Yankees discussed Darvish at a meeting today and made a bid at the last moment.

Update, 6:10pm: Buster Olney hears that possible, speculated heavy bidders are the Blue Jays, Rangers, Mariners, and Giants. (Link 1, Link 2)

Original:

At 5pm ET, the bidding period for Yu Darvish ended. We’ll be hearing plenty of reports regarding Darvish from now until the winning bidder is announced.

— According to Adam Kilgore, we will learn the identity of the winning bidder sometime tonight or tomorrow morning.

— So far, we know the Orioles, Red Sox, Reds, Mariners, Mets, Rays, Angels, Oakland, Giants and Twins did not bid on Darvish.

Morning Bits: Darvish, Cano, Yogi, Sabathia, Jeter, Girardi

Well Darvish Day is come and past; hopefully we find out sooner than later if the Yankees bid was a success.  Come back often for updates.

Tons of links today let’s get right to it.

* The Yankees are monitoring the Darvish Sweepstakes.

* Cano is willing to hit anywhere in the Yankees lineup.

* Yogi slated to receive Munson Legend Award.

* Yankees hold food drive to help neighbors.

* Sabathia is shocked by Braun’s positive PED test.

* Jeter hopes to one day own a team.

* Girardi is in favor of expanded replay.

* Sweeny Murti who works closely with the Yankees for the WFAN & YES has his take so far about the team.

Yankees aren’t expected to get Darvish or Cespedes

Yankees aren’t expected to get Darvish or Cespedes

By Delia E.

According to sources from ESPN, the Yankees insiders are tampering down their expectations about a bid for Yu Darvish; if they even plan on making a bid.

The Yankees like Yu Darvish but they are unaware of how he would pitch in the MLB. Also since they know that Darvish has electric stuff, just to get him to throw a pitch for the Yankees could cost about $80M – $100M. ESPN uses the analogy of  whether Darvish would come out like CC Sabathia or Kei Igawa.

On Cepsedes, the Yankees like him but they honestly don’t have a need for him. If bidding for Cepsedes goes to $30M, $40M, $50M then the Yankees will not be in on him. It would be too much money on a little guarantee. It’s fun to think about, but the reality is, the Yankees don’t see it happening.

Evening Notes: Rotation, Hughes, Darvish

Evening Notes: Rotation, Hughes, Darvish

by Matt S.

Chad Jennings of The Journal News thinks there’s a good chance that the Yankees rotation will remain unchanged next season, and that the team expects a bounce back year from Phil Hughes.

”I’ve got to keep taking a step back and recognizing that we’ve got guys in our system that are producing,” general manager Brian Cashman said. ”We’ve got a lot of depth. Can we add to it? We’d like to. But is it realistic? It’s not necessarily that realistic because for me to be able to push through something, I’m going to have to overpay to do that, and that’s a tough thing to do, especially when you’re sitting with a lot of talent, a lot of people you could slot in and [have them] do this job.”

The Yankees are sending out signals that Yu Darvish isn’t worth the investment it will take to sign him after the bid portion of his posting process ends Wednesday.

New York is rumored to be in full pursuit of Darvish, but the Yankees are speaking as if he’ll be out of their price range. General manager Brian Cashman has stated on numerous accounts that he doesn’t expect to ”spend big this offseason,” and signing Darvish would certainly go against that. On Friday, the club announced the re-signing of Freddy Garcia to a one-year deal worth $4 million.