Tag Archives: Ibanez

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.

Waiting for reality.

As always with the Winter Meetings, there are rumors and then there is reality. I love the hot stove league and the chess-like maneuverings. Who goes where, rumors of trades, etc.

But for the purpose of the blog, I don’t have the time to report on every rumor, and there are many of them out there. What I will do is try to focus on the reality and report and comment on what actually happened or went down. But here is a brief rundown, some of which are rumors and hasn’t happened yet (if it will at all).

That said, the Yanks did turn down a Gardner for Brandon Phillips swap. Yes, the Yanks need a 2B after Cano’s departure, and Phillips (.261-18-103 for the Reds in 2013) would have fit the bill. However Phillips is owed $50MM over 4 years, and has a no-trade clause. He also wanted to renegotiate his deal as part of a possible trade. Checking out various info on Twitter, Gardner (who obviously doesn’t have Phillips’ power) had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 4.2 to Phillips’ 1.7. Also, Gardner had an OPS+ of 108, Phillips a 92.

With some recent acquisitions (Cano, Hart, Morrison), one-time Yankee prospect Jesus Montero is available. His stock has dropped (PED suspension, poor defense).

The Astros could be interested in Joba. So are the Tigers. Ex-Yank Raul Ibanez is talking with the Angels.

The Yanks could have interest in Joaquin Benoit. Also Johan Santana, but Santana would have to be on a minor-league, “Let’s see what you have left” deal.

Omar Infante wants 4 years at $8MM+. This could be a deal-breaker when it comes to the Yanks getting him. As with Beltran, KC could be the Yanks’ main competition here.

The Yanks picked up an A-ball pitcher from the Pirates in return for Chris Stewart.

More uncertainty as Ibanez goes back to Seattle

The Yankees need a righty-hitting OF, what with their OF now consisting of three lefty hitters in Granderson, Gardner and Ichiro. Andruw Jones, who hit less than .200 last year, signed a deal with a Japanese team. Forget Cody Ross, for he signed with Arizona. Could Melky Mesa actually get a shot?

They may need a catcher, what with the defection of Russell Martin to Pittsburgh. The only in-house options are Francisco Cervelli (probably the best hitter of the bunch, and that’s not saying much), and the better defensive catchers in Austin Romine, Bobby Wilson and Chris Stewart. Romine, 24, has a shot to win the job, but he’s only played 21 games at the AAA level.

Now there is another hole that needs to be filled. Raul Ibanez signed a one-year deal with Seattle. So now the Yanks need to find a DH. They, of course, could DH Jeter, who will be 39 next June and who is coming off that broken ankle. The problem with that is that Eduardo Nunez isn’t known for his glove. So Jeter might have to be the SS but you wonder how his range (never great to begin with) will be after the injury. So you might DH Nunez. But Nunez is good for his speed (as are Gardner and Ichiro) and not power (likewise Gardner and Ichiro), so the Bronx Bombers might all of a sudden be the Bronx Burners. Ichiro won’t, at age 39, steal as many bases as he did before.

Now the loss of Ibanez, who’ll be 41 next June, might not be too bad. The biggest problem isn’t the loss (he hit .240 with 19 HR last year, but then had a great playoff run), but in the replacement. Who will it be?

In this respect it’s like losing Martin, who despite his 21 HR hit just .211. It’s not so much the loss, as it is who will be the replacement?

The Yanks have holes to fill. For right now it’s like too many holes in the dike. Sooner or later the dike bursts and you drown.

We’ll soon see how the Yanks fill these holes.

Yanks re-sign Ichiro, working on Ibanez

The Yankees brought back Ichiro on a two-year deal. Details to come.

Meanwhile, they are talking to Raul Ibanez about coming back to DH.

Nice, but there are a couple of problems here. Both are lefty bats, for one. They still need to get a righty-hitting bat to play the OF and/or DH vs. lefty pitching.

The other problem is the age. Ichiro is 39. Ibanez turns 41 next June.

Closing in on Ichiro, waiting on Youk.

The Yanks are supposedly close to bringing back Ichiro on a 1-yr. deal. Ichiro hit .322 for the Yanks, with 5 HR, 27 RBI and a team-leading 14 SB (in only 67 games) after the Yanks got him from Seattle.

For the season, Suzuki hit .283-9-55 with 29 SB, OPS+ 95.

I don’t mind the move, as I’ve always loved Ichiro. But the move does worry me. As of now, the Yanks OF would be Gardner, Granderson and Ichiro. All lefty bats. A righty bat is needed. Another worry about Ichiro is his age—39. We already have a lot of old players (Mo, Kuroda, Jeter, A-rod, Pettitte…)

Don’t look to Andruw Jones. He signed a deal (thankfully) with a Japanese team this week. Besides, he only hit .197 last year.

Scott Hairston would be a nice possibility to platoon with Ichiro and provide righty-bat OF depth. Hairston, 33 next May, hit .263-20-57 for the Mets last year, OPS+ 117. His 162 g. ave. is .247-20-58, OPS+ 100. Average player, mostly LF, but who has played CF, RF and even 2B.

Meanwhile the Yanks wait on Kevin Youkilis. I know, rooting for Youk is like… ugh. But the Yanks do need a 3B with A-Rod out for half the season. Youk could also fill in for Teix at 1B. He’ll be 34 and hasn’t played 145 games in a season since 2008. He’s had injury issues. He hit just .235-19-60, OPS+ 99 last year. But if he could give .246-18-70 (his average over the last two years, OPS+ 111), … He is not young himself… 34 in March. But Alex being out and Chavez’ departure lead to desperate measures. Even signing Joba’s mortal enemy.

No word yet on Ibanez back as DH, but that (41 in June) is another age problem.

MVPs to Miggy, Posey

Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown season (the first in MLB in 45 years) won him the A.L. MVP award today. Cabrera hit .330-44-139 with an OPS+ of 165.

Buster Posey won the award in the NL with a .336-24-103 mark, OPS+ 172. His OPS+ was the best in the majors. He led the majors in batting average (after Melky disqualified himself after having been nabbed for PEDs).

Robbie Cano of the Yanks finished 4th in the MVP voting, Derek Jeter 7th. In the past three years, Cano has finished 3rd, 6th and 4th.

For Jeter, it was the eighth time in his career he finished in the top 10 for MVP.

Rafael Soriano finished 2oth in the balloting, and someone (?) actually gave a 10th place vote to Raul Ibanez (.240-19-62, OPS+ 104), who finished 24th.

Meanwhile, if you didn’t already hear, the Yanks’ AAA franchise in Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre has a new nickname: the RailRiders.

More awards, a signing, and a huge trade.

Manager of the Year Awards went out last night. Davey Johnson of Washington won for the N.L., and the A.L. award went to Bob Melvin of Oakland.

I thought Buck Showalter of Baltimore would win in the A.L., but he lost 16 first-place votes to 12. I’m not saying Melvin wasn’t deserving, but I thought Buck would get it.

Today, the CYA winners were announced. David Price of Tampa Bay edged out Detroit’s Justin Verlander for the A.L. award by just four points. The N.L.  award went to R. A. Dickey of the Mets, who became the first knuckleballer to ever win the award.

Tomorrow, the MVPs.

Torii Hunter signed a 2-yr. deal with Detroit. You would think that Hunter, winner of 9 Gold Glove awards, will help the Tiger defense, what with being next to Austin Jackson in that big outfield in Detroit. Hunter wanted 2 years, and the Yanks wouldn’t go for that, even if Swisher goes. Hunter got those 2 years, along with $26MM, from the Tigers. Hunter, who will be 38 next June (and it may be a good thing the Yanks DID NOT get him, what with their present age concerns), hit .313-16-92, OPS+ 132 for the Angels this past year. Yes, an excellent year, but you have to ask how many players 35+ you want on the Yankees.

As for the Yankees, they better watch out. Toronto made a huge trade. If the old players on the Yankees show their age, then the Yanks could very well slip to 3rd or 4th place in the A.L. East. The Blue Jays picked up a #1 AND a #2 starter from the Marlins in Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, as well as an All-Star SS in Jose Reyes. They also got C John Buck and speedy utility man Emilio Bonifacio in the deal. (Reyes and Bonifacio combined for 70 SB, and Bonifacio only played in 64 games).

There is rumors that Miami isn’t done. I see on the BBD blog that the Yanks are thinking about bringing back Ibanez (I’m against it, he’ll be 41 next June) and thinking about Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins. I also see a rumor that Miami may shop Logan Morrison.

Nolasco, 29, was 12-13, 4.48, ERA+ 88 last year. I don’t want that. For his career, he is 76-64, 4.49. His 162 g. average is 14-12, 4.49. Figure in the DH league he goes something like 13-13, 4.80. That’s not good enough in my book.

I’d rather let Ibanez go and go after Morrison if the Marlins have him on the block. I appreciate what Ibanez did last year (esp. in the postseason), but he will be 41 next June. How many old players do you want on the Yankees (think Pettitte, Jeter, Rivera, A-Rod, maybe Kuroda, maybe Ichiro… Jones is most likely gone, if Chavez comes back, he is 35, Ichiro…). Morrison is 25, LF/1B. With Gardner maybe moving to CF and Granderson to LF, Morrison can DH, play RF and fill in at 1B once in a while (he seems better suited for DH, his defense isn’t good). He hit just .230-11-36 (OPS+ 91) last year, but is young, a lefty hitter, 6’3″ 240 and hopefully can use that to take advantage of the porch. He hasn’t done badly vs. lefties (.247 vs. righties and .259 vs. lefties). He hit 23 HR in 2011. His 162 g. average is .250-21-73. OPS+ 110. Younger than Ibanez, more potential, can probably put up better numbers in 2013 than Raul.

But getting back to Toronto. This is a big deal for them. Let’s face it. The Yanks have an OLD team. If the Yanks don’t watch it, they can fall to fourth place in a hurry, maybe even last. God forbid. But look at the division. Good young players in Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and now Toronto made a big move. Goodness knows how Boston will rebuild.

Yes, I know the Yanks had the best record in the league last year. But they were exposed in the playoffs.

There is a fine line between experienced, and old.

Will the Yanks inject some youth in 2013?