Category Archives: Offseason Moves

Yankees rained out. Team set. Nunez sent down.

The Yanks were  rained out today, and end spring training at 17-12-2.

The team is now set to begin the season. Eduardo Nunez has been sent down to AAA and Yangervis Solarte has made the team.

C-McCann and Cervelli

INF-Teixeira, Roberts, Jeter, Johnson, Anna, Solarte

OF-Gardner, Soriano (mostly DH), Ellsbury, Beltran, Ichiro

SP-CC, Kuroda, Nova, Tanaka, Pineda

RP-Phelps, Warren, Nuno, Betances, Kelley, Thornton, Robertson

Lineup looks like Ellsbury, Jeter, Beltran, McCann, Teixeira, Soriano, Gardner, Roberts and Johnson.

The surprise is Gardner seventh. You think he would be 9th to give the Yanks him and Ellsbury back-to-back speed on the basepaths when the lineup turns over.

But according to Jack Curry of YES:

On Gardner batting 7th, not 9th: He had 51 extra base hits last yr so smart to get him to plate sooner, even if its only few extra at bats.

Also,

Yankeesource@YankeeSource 20m

Gardner in 110 career PA in the 7th spot in lineup has hit .337/.417/.467

Masahiro Tanaka won the James P. Dawson award as the best rookie in camp.

 

S.T. Game 14. Yanks, Tigers tie at 7

Hiroki Kuroda wasn’t good today, and the Yanks staged a late comeback to tie the Tigers 7-7 in a 10-inning affair.

The Yanks’ S.T. record so far is 7-5-2.

Kuroda really struggled, going 3 2/3, giving up 6 R, 10 H, 0 walks and 1 K. Chase Whitley went 1/3, scoreless.

Shawn Kelley, Jose Campos, Fred Lewis, and Danny Burawa then each pitched a scoreless inning. Robert Coello gave up an unearned run in his inning of work. Yoshinori Tateyama pitched a scoreless inning.

There are rumors that Francisco Cervelli could be dealt because of the Yanks’ backup C surplus (Gary Sanchez was optioned to AA Trenton today, and the Yanks still have Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy for backup or AAA). Cervelli hit 2 HR today. He is 8 for 16 for the spring with 3 HR. After being suspended 50 games last year for the Biogenesis thing, I can hear the snickers about his S.T. numbers.

Zoilo Almonte was 2 for 2, including a 2-run HR that tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.

Yangervis Solarte is having an INCREDIBLE spring training. Another hit and his batting average is .632 this spring.

Zelous Wheeler had 2 RBI.

Ervin Santana finally found a home. 1 yr. deal w/Atlanta for $14.1 MM.

 

S.T. Game 6. Nova excels in Yanks 4-2 win.

Ivan Nova pitched three shutout innings, giving up no hits, in the Yanks 4-2 win over Washington today. It was the Yanks’ fourth straight spring training win.

Nova threw strikes on 31 of his 35 pitches, and struck out four.

David Robertson followed with his first action of the spring. He hit a batter, got a DP and got an out.

Shawn Kelley and Dan Burawa each gave up a run in one inning of work.

Robert Coello, Yoshinori Tateyama and Jim Miller each pitched a scoreless inning.

Kelly Johnson and Corban Joseph had RBIs. Derek Jeter is still without a hit this spring. He went 0 for 3 and made an error.

Francisco Cervelli and Zoilo Almonte had two hits each.

Joe Namath threw out the first ball and served as Yanks’ “co-manager” for the day.

The Orioles signed Johan Santana to a minor-league deal.

 

 

Yanks extend Gardner, sign Andrew Bailey

After almost a week, I got my internet access back. Sorry for the delay.

The Yanks extended Brett Gardner for 4 years and $52MM. It came as a surprise, since Gardner was scheduled to be a free agent and is now not in CF anymore. He is being moved back to LF what with the addition of Jacoby Ellsbury.

One thing I like about Gardner in LF is his speed and defense. He cuts off balls hit down the line before they can get to the fence, holding what should be doubles to singles and saving a few runs a year. He should have won a Gold Glove or two in LF already.

His power, or lack of it, doesn’t translate well into a corner OF, but hopefully his D makes up for it. Also, Yankee Stadium is big to LCF and having a CF playing LF (think Chad Curtis or Johnny Damon) is advantageous.

I’d like for Gardner to pick up the steals this year. Last year Gardner hit .273-8-52 and led the league with ten triples and had an OPS+ of 108. He stole just 24 bases however. I’d like him back at the 47 and 49 steals he had back in 2010 and 2011 (he led the league in 2011).

In another move, the Yanks signed Andrew Bailey to a minor league deal. It’s a low-risk, high-reward move. Bailey averaged 2-3, 2.07 and 25 saves a year 2009-2011 for the A’s before having arm trouble. He was 1-1, 7.04, six saves, in 2012 for Boston and 3-1, 3.77, eight saves for them last year. Don’t expect Bailey until the end of the year, if at all. If he can get back to his 2009-2011 self, it’s a nice little pickup.

So far, so good. Pineda looks good, as does Tanaka. The rotation looks ok so far and we’ll see how that bullpen shakes out.

A-Rod drops lawsuit

So Alex Rodriguez has apparently decided to take his medicine. He won’t be carrying his lawsuits into federal court. A-Rod, whose suspension was upheld but was reduced from 211 to 162 games, spent how much money on saving what, 49 games? In the meantime, he sued, or wanted to sue, everyone including his own team and union to save his butt. The only reason he probably dropped the suit was probably because estimates are that by proceeding, it would have cost him $10 million more in lawyer’s fees. That plus the $22 million he is losing this year b/c he won’t be playing. Right now the only thing keeping him going is probably the $61 MM the Yankees owe him from 2015-2017. Don’t think the Yanks wouldn’t like to just drop that and him.

…and A-Rod never did tell his side of the story under oath, did he? Not once did he take the stand in his own defense. His lawyer, both on 60 minutes, and in other interviews, comes across as really smarmy, doesn’t he? What a bunch of losers.

A .299 career b/a (if 2 of those outs would have been hits, it’d be rounded up to .300). 654 HR, 1951 RBI, between 2900-3000 hits. You wonder if after a whole year off, if he ever will come back to pass Willie Mays (660) in HR, get his 3000th hit or 2000th RBI. Frankly, I hope he never plays again.

If he does come back, it’d be at age 39 (40 in July 2015) and after a year off and two recent hip surgeries. His skills were declining pre-suspension to where he was becoming a slightly above average ballplayer. After the suspension?

You have to wonder why someone so rich, so talented, would stoop so low as to even have the phone number (as Bob Costas pointed out) of scum like Bosch. Stupidity, greed, no moral compass…. Without the junk, he would have been known as one of the greatest players ever, and that would have happened even if his numbers weren’t asterisked or artificially enhanced. If he would have been completely clean, and wound up with say a .290 average instead of .299, 554 HR instead of 654 and 1800 RBI instead of 1951, would he be in the HOF instead of (as it now appears) never getting in? You bet, if clean, he’d have been a shoo-in with those kinds of numbers. The same goes for other players who won’t get in. If the numbers of Palmeiro, Bonds, and Clemens (to name just three) would have been slightly lower, they STILL would have had HOF credentials. So why do it?

It’s all about THEM. Greed. Selfishness. And I have no sympathy towards them whatsoever.

In other baseball news, Fernando Rodney went to Seattle. There were some Yankees fans hoping the Yanks would sign him to go with Robertson. Not me. He can take his me-first, hot-dogging, arrow-shooting act elsewhere. Give me TEAM players.

Bronson Arroyo finally got a deal—with Arizona. The guy does eat innings. While just a slightly above average pitcher, he has given 200 or more innings each year since 2005, except for one year where he missed by one inning or so.

A friend recently asked me for my prediction for the Yanks this year. I replied that it was too early to do so. I want to see who gets hurt in spring training (remember Michael Pineda showing up out of shape and then getting hurt in 2012?) and what late pickups there are. Remember that the Yanks picked up Lyle Overbay basically just on the eve of Opening Day last year. Remember the unexpected spring training injuries to Granderson and Teix. How many of you remember that the guy getting the most reps at first base in spring training last year was Juan Rivera? Given all that, I won’t make any predictions until the eve of Opening Day. Too many things can happen between now and then.

Berkman, Burnett and more

Not much news on the Yankees front, but a couple former Yanks are in the news.

Lance Berkman, who was briefly with the Yanks in 2010, announced his retirement. Berkman, who mostly played with Houston, retires with a .293 career batting average and with 366 HR. Only three switch-hitters hit more HR in their career than Berkman—Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, and Chipper Jones.

A.J. Burnett, a free agent, decided not to retire. Burnett was with the Pirates last season. He had spent three years (2009-2011) with the Yankees. Word is that the Phillies are interested. They are looking to replace the retired Roy Halladay.

The Yanks did sign a teenage pitching star from Australia. It’s too hard to get to excited about someone 17 though. Time will tell if he makes it.

Matt Garza went to the Brewers, but besides Burnett, other pitchers still out there are Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jiminez, and Bronson Arroyo. Johan Santana is out there if he has anything left and if someone wants to take a chance on him. Paul Maholm and Fernando Rodney are also out there.

Position players out there are Kendrys Morales, Nelson Cruz and Stephen Drew.

The Yanks are probably done. I can see a minor-league signing, but nothing major after all they have done so far.

Waiting for the Super Bowl, as you are….

Yankees get Tanaka, 7 years, $155 w/opt-out after 4.

This will be short because I have to prepare for work. I missed yesterday b/c of the snow and have had to take two unscheduled days this year b/c of snowstorms. Too many of those and I get written up. But what am I to do when I can’t get in (fish-tailing, ice, snow, brakes locking up b/c of the weather conditions, getting stuck… )….

The Yankees got Tanaka. Breaking news. 7 yrs./$155MM w/an opt-out after 4. This sets their rotation. CC, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova and a fight for #5 between Phelps, Warren, Pineda and Nuno. If Pineda can come back to what he was….

Anyway, a BIG offseason for the Yankees. Forget about that salary cap. McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury and Tanaka.

Wow. Are they done, or is there more to come? (infielder, bullpen help?)

Postscript: Yanks DFA Huff to make room for Tanaka. Apparently, the Yanks did use Matsui to make a recruiting pitch to Tanaka. I don’t know if Kuroda or Ichiro did the same, but if you have them to make the pitch, why not use them?

Super Bowl set as we wait on Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka’s decision could come as early as Tuesday (tomorrow) or Wednesday in order for all physicals to be done by the deadline for him picking a team—5 p.m. Friday. A friend asked me my opinion as to who Tanaka signs with, and quite honestly, I have no clue. Apparently six teams, including the Yankees, all put in bids of at least 6 years and at $20MM/yr. Arizona is said to have put in a strong bid. I hope the Yanks get him (and I hope Ichiro and Matsui put a bug in Tanaka’s ear about playing in NY) but I don’t have any feelings or premonitions where he may go.

Once he goes, the rest of the dominoes (Jiminez, Garza, Arroyo, E. Santana, etc). should fall.

Meanwhile, Super Bowl 48 (please dispense with the Roman Numerals already) is set for the Meadowlands Feb. 2. Denver vs. Seattle. With about a month to go in the regular season, a friend had me fill out a form for him for a contest. You had to pick the 12 playoff teams (I got 10 or 11 of the 12) and the Super Bowl contestants. I nailed Denver and Seattle. He is supposed to split the winnings with me if we win. As for the Super Bowl pick, I had Denver 35, Seattle 21. After that interview Erin Andrews had post-game with Richard Sherman, I really hope I am right. I’d rather root for the classy Manning than people like Sherman (or, for that matter, Pete Carroll).

After Kershaw, are the Dodgers still in on Tanaka?

As we all know, Masahiro Tanaka is out there. His wife prefers a West Coast team. Tanaka just wants to play for someone who a) will give him a big contact and b) has postseason hopes.

One team that would satisfy both of them—the Dodgers—just signed their ace, Clayton Kershaw, to a 7 yr. deal worth $215MM. That is almost $31MM/yr. Not only that, Kershaw could opt out (why WOULD he?) after five years.

The question now is this—does this take the Dodgers OUT of Tanaka consideration?

If so, good for the Yanks, but word is to still beware the Cubs and Diamondbacks.

The only teams out there that would satisfy Mrs. Tanaka as far as the west coast would be the Angels and Seattle. The Cubs don’t seem like a fit for a pennant contender.

We’ll have to see if this move by the Dodgers helps the Yankees cause.

Sojo on AAA coaching staff.

No surprise, A-Rod is going to federal court with his appeal of the suspension ruling. One, I don’t think he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Two, even if he pulls off a miracle and wins, when will that be? August?

I have a friend who during spring training is a security guard outside the Yankees clubhouse. So if MLB and/or the Yanks bar A-Rod from spring training, and A-Rod wants to enter the clubhouse, does this mean my friend has to tell him to buzz off?

Luis Sojo is now a coach with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, about an hour’s drive from me.

Another minor league deal. Switch-hitter Yangervis Solarte, who in AAA for Texas hit .276-12-75 in 2013 and .288-11-54 in 2012. Solarte, 27 next July, hasn’t played in the majors yet. Mostly 2b/3b and some SS/LF/RF.