Tag Archives: Choo

Tanaka not to be posted?

Reports are coming in that Japanese ace Mashahiro Tanaka will NOT be posted. The star, who was 24-0, 1.27 for Rakuten this season, would be a prize catch for any team that landed him, and yes, the Yanks would be very interested in the 25-year-old.

Without Tanaka, where do the Yanks turn? They still need a #4 starter. Behind CC (who had an awful 2013), Kuroda (39 soon) and Nova, there is a gap at #4. For #5, you can have a battle between Pineda, Phelps, Warren and Nuno… or bring in a retread like Johan Santana on a minor league deal to see what he has left.

But if Tanaka is unavailable, then you have to look. Still available are Garza, Jiminez and Ervin Santana. (A.J. Burnett is also available, but let’s not go there).

Sin-Soo Choo was apparently offered 7 years, $140 MM from the Yanks AFTER they signed Ellsbury but he wanted Ellsbury $$$. The Yanks turned to Beltran on a 3-yr. deal after that happened. Apparently Choo has left an offer by the Rangers on the table for now. Houston is said to be involved. Good luck, there, Choo.

Ex-Yankees Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez have found teams, Chavez going back to AZ, and Ibanez leaving Seattle to go to the Angels.

Yankees pull shocker! Get Ellsbury

I didn’t hear or read about this one anywhere. No one saw it coming.

It was expected that Carlos Beltran would be coming to the Yankees. On a 2 or 3 yr. deal. Beltran is 37.

Instead, the Yanks have agreed to a 7 yr. deal with someone younger (30) and faster, and in so doing, take him from their biggest rival—-Boston.

Jacoby Ellsbury.

You wonder what move comes next. I’ll elaborate on that in a bit.

Ellsbury hit .298-9-53 with Boston in 2013 and led the majors in SB. 3x has he led the league in steals.

Yankee Stadium should help his power. He finished 15th in MVP voting this year, but in 2011 was the runner-up to Verlander. That year he was a 30/30 guy. 32 HR, 105 RBI.

His 162 g. ave. is .297-15-71 with 55 SB and an OPS+ of 108. Of course, taking him away from Boston is a plus.

You wonder what this means for Robbie Cano. I think he is gone. Seattle is reported to be a big player for him. But consider this. Cano may have priced himself out of the Bronx.

Let me repeat that in big letters.

CANO MAY HAVE PRICED HIMSELF OUT OF THE BRONX.

Think about that for a moment. Priced himself OFF the Yankees, of all teams.

For the amount that Cano wanted, the Yankees signed both McCann AND Ellsbury.

You know what? Serves Cano and his greedy pig agents right, then. Let’s see how Robbie does in Seattle and how much he hustles, then, when Seattle is 15 out in August.

It’s a shame. Cano may be the best 2b ever to play for the Yankees. Better than HOFers Lazzeri and Gordon, better than Randolph.

But $250-$260MM for 9 years? The Yanks picked up McCann for 5 at $85MM, Ellsbury for 7 at $150 MM.

That’s like making a trade. Cano for Ellsbury AND McCann.

I think Cano is gone. I’ll be shocked if he is back. If he is, he has to come back to earth regarding his demands. There is only so much $$$ to go around.

Now who to replace him? There are more deals coming. Is Cano’s replacement going to be free agent Omar Infante?

Will Ellsbury and Gardner be in the same outfield? Are the Yanks still after Beltran? If after Beltran, then Gardner is on the block.

The Reds may be losing Sin Soo Choo, who is a free agent. They could be looking for an OF and leadoff hitter to replace Choo. Could they have interest in Gardner? If so, would 2b Brandon Phillips be available to replace Cano?

Stay tuned.

Tonight’s deal for Ellsbury is a stunner.

Now to get pitching.

But the EVIL EMPIRE IS BACK!

Who should the Yanks target?

Now that the Yanks brought back Kuroda, and know that Mo is coming back, who should they target?

We don’t know about Andy Pettitte yet, and rumors are that they are interested in bringing back Ibanez.

There’s one problem with all that, and I’ve mentioned it a lot. Kuroda is 38 next year, Mo 43, Pettitte and Ibanez turn 41 next June.

I won’t go into Chavez (35), Andruw Jones (35), Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano or Nick Swisher here. Chavez may be back, I don’t want Jones. Martin could be back, and I hope so. Despite the poor .211 batting average, he did have 21 HR, handled the staff well, was good defensively, and let’s face it, Romine isn’t ready. Cervelli isn’t a starting catcher. Sanchez is a few years away. Stewart is a nice backup who can’t hit. Martin is still the best option for catcher for the Yanks next year.

I expect Soriano and Swisher to be gone.

We know that Jeter (39 in June) and A-Rod (38 in July) are coming back. There is an age issue.

We also know that the Yanks are watching their pennies much more than when the Boss was alive.

So who among the top free agents out there would fit the Yanks’ needs?

Here’s who I would target. You can offer your own opinions, and I’d be glad to hear them.

1) Shane Victorino.  Victorino will be 32, seven years younger than Ichiro (39). I like Ichiro, but see the age issue I mentioned above. I don’t want to see the Yanks with 1/3 of the 25 man roster 35 years old or older. Ichiro has 10 Gold Gloves in his career, Victorino three. You could move Granderson and his bad routes to the short RF at the Stadium, move Gardner to CF and play Victorino in LF. The switch-hitting Victorino could bat second and along with Gardner’s comeback, give the Yanks the speed they lacked last year. He had an off-year in 2012 (.255-11-55, 39 SB, OPS+ 91) but has a 162 g. average of .275-14-62, 30 sb, OPS+ 102. He also has postseason experience, a plus in NY.  You’d have a speedy OF. Of course, you’d have to get Granderson stealing bases again and not just hitting HR (you’d also have to get Curtis to get the batting average up and cut down on the strikeouts).

2) Joakim Soria. He missed all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. The Yanks are taking a flyer with David Aardsma, who’ll be 31 next year, why not Soria? Aardsma missed all of 2011, and only pitched in one game for the Yanks in 2012 (1 IP, walk, K, solo HR). Soria will be just 29 next spring and has expressed the desire to set up for Mo. He could come cheaply, loaded with incentives. His 162 g. average is 3-3, 2.40, 37 saves, ERA+ 181. If he can come back to a semblance of his old self, the Yanks won’t miss Soriano. Not only that, if he is back to his old self and Mo falters, he is a fallback. Him, Robertson, Mo and Joba could be formidable.

3) Jeff Keppinger. The Yanks have been interested in him in the past. If there are concerns over Jeter being ready on opening day or Nunez playing SS (with his shaky defense) while Jeter gets ready, Keppinger could be a fill-in. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B, and (no offense to Nix), would be an upgrade over Jayson Nix. Keppinger hit .325 last year, (.325-9-40, 127 OPS+) and is a .288 career hitter, (162 g. average .288-9-59, OPS+ 97).

4) Stephen Drew. A lefty hitting SS who had a rough year. .223-7-28, OPS+ 79 this year. Once again an option if Jeter isn’t ready. But despite a lefty bat that the Stadium may help, he doesn’t offer the versatility of Keppinger. 30 next year, his 162 g. average is .265-15-70, OPS+ 96. I rate Keppinger higher because of his versatility, esp. with the age issues of Jeter and A-Rod.

I don’t see the Yanks making a big splash. So forget B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton, Dan Haren, etc.

I was looking for guys still in their prime. I also wasn’t looking at guys like Chavez, Ibanez, Pettitte and Martin who could be returning who were with the team last year.

One person I’ve heard that the Yanks should trade for is Shin-Soo Choo of Cleveland. I’m on board with that. He’s 30 (another in their prime player), who could replace the (probably) departing Swisher. Choo, a lefty hitter, hit .283-16-67, 21 SB, OPS+ 131 this past season. He provides some much needed speed. His 162 g. average is .289-19-86, 20 SB and an OPS+ of 132.

If they could sign Victorino and trade for Choo, it means Jones and Ibanez are gone, and they get younger and faster. I am all for that.

As mentioned, I’m looking for guys affordable (which guys like Soria, coming off injury and probably amenable to an incentive-laden contract are), who would fit needs, and who are IN THEIR PRIME.

The team needs to get younger.