Category Archives: Winter Leagues

The minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks announced some players that will be going to the Arizona Fall League (taken from the Lohud Yankees blog):

• Initial Arizona Fall League rosters were announced today. The Yankees are sending RHP Chaz Hebert, LHP Tyler Webb, C Gary Sanchez, 3B Eric Jagielo, SS Tyler Wade and OF Dustin Fowler. There are still two open spots for Yankees pitchers (I wonder if Jacob Lindgren might be a possibility).

AAA:  SWB won 2-1. Kyle Davies 1 R in 6 IP. 2 h, solo HR SS Gregorio Petit. 2B Ali Castillo 3 hits.

AA: Trenton lost 7-1. Trenton got just five hits. LF Jose Rosario 3 for 3.

High A: Tampa lost both games of a DH.

Game 1: 2-0. 3B Miguel Andujar with their only hit.

Game 2: 3-1, and Tampa got just 4 hits in this one, two by 2B Abiatal Avelino.

A: Charleston got two in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 win.

Santana, Moncado, $$$ and what is old is new again.

Apparently the Yanks are still interested in Johan Santana as a low-risk, high-reward option. Santana is scheduled to start a game in the Venezuelan league soon and the Yankees are said to be one of six teams interested. Santana has pitched in the majors in just one season since 2010, and that was 2012. The 2x CYA winner will be 36 next year and would be seen as a back-of-the-rotation option. Who knows if there is anything left. In his only season since 2012, Santana was 6-9, 4.85 for the Mets. He did throw the only no-no in Mets history that year, although it was tainted. A ball ruled foul was really a fair ball. The batter? Carlos Beltran.

The Yanks are very interested, and had a workout for, 19 year old infielder Yoan Moncado. He profiles at 2B or 3B but could be moved to the outfield. The Cuban defector is a switch-hitter and estimates in order to sign him go at $30MM. Keep an eye on this development.

The Yanks traded recently DFA’d Gonzalez Germen to Texas for cash. Germen was made available when the Yanks picked up Chris Martin from Colorado for $$$.

Finally, what is old is new again. The Yanks non-Cable (non-YES) games will not be on My9 this year, but are moving…. to WPIX, Channel 11. Many of us grew up with the Yanks and Channel 11. Now the Mets are there as well, but apparently the 25 Mets games and 21 Yankees games will not be overlapping. If only we could get back the Scooter, Bill White and Frank Messer. Only White, at 80, is still alive.

What is more interesting, is that my cable company wanted to can WPIX for other stations just a month ago. Due to protests, they kept WPIX, Channel 11 from NY. Had they canned them, and then THIS development happened, the protests that just occurred would have been a drop in the bucket to the protests that WOULD have occurred.

Nats land Scherzer. Super Bowl set.

Max Scherzer goes to the Nats, $210MM over 7 years, with 1/2 deferred. So $15MM over 14 years. I don’t know about paying someone $15MM between the ages of 37-44, esp. when they are a) washed up b) declining severely and/or c) injured. Not to mention d) retired.

The Yanks said they were not in for Scherzer or Shields, and some but not all, believed them. Maybe with Scherzer off the market, it can be believed now (Shields is still available). It seems last year’s big splash took them out of the market for any big splash (just little splashes–see Headley, Drew….) this year.

That said, there are a lot of free agent pitchers available next year. See this post

http://bronxbaseballdaily.com/2015/01/top-9-pitchers-yankees-can-sign-in-2016/

from our friends at Bronx Baseball Daily to see who may fit the Yanks needs in next year’s free agent draft. The problem is, who comes off the books? McCann has four years left on his deal, A-Rod three, Teix, CC and Beltran a couple. Then you have in-their-prime players like Ellsbury and Tanaka signed to multi-year deals. Even Headley has a four-year deal. Hal doesn’t want to increase the payroll, and there is little flexibility as long as those multi-year deals, especially the ones for aging, fading players, are on the books.

The Yanks did look at Johan Santana, a low-risk, high-reward option. I doubt anything will come out of it. I hope not.  Santana was pitching in the Venezuelan league in hoping for a comeback. Reports have it he was at 86-89 and pitching more on guile than anything else. Santana has missed all of 2011, 2013 and 2014. In his only season since 2010, Johan was 6-9, 4.85 in 2012 (with a tainted no-hitter, the only one in Mets’ history). ERA+ 79. He’s had two shoulder surgeries and turns 36 in March. Minor league deal with incentives? Maybe. But I wouldn’t expect much out of it. Santana had a nice career, not HOF, and it’s a shame his career came to an end basically at the age of 31. 2 CYA, 6x consideration, and 2x in the top 10 for the MVP award. 139-78, 3.20, ERA+ 136. Once great. Now?

I am heading up to the Stadium on May 24th. Hmmmm….. that’s about 1/3 of the way through the season, and A-Rod is 6 HR away from tying Willie Mays at 660. You can do the math. At 18-21 HR/yr. (how much does he have left, if anything?) that could be about the time A-Rod ties or passes Willie. If he does it in front of me, #660* or #661*, I won’t be applauding.

Not much else in Yankeeland right now. That, and busy at work, have me writing less.

The Super Bowl is set. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks vs. the New England Patriots. Interesting games yesterday on Championship Sunday. The Seahawks were outplayed by the Green Bay Packers for 57 1/2 minutes, and the Pack had a 19-7 lead with three minutes to go. TD Seattle with 2:09 left to make it 19-14. Recovery of an onside kick. TD. 2-point conversion to put Seattle up 22-19. Green Bay comes back to tie it on a last-second 48-yd. FG. 22-22. Seattle gets the opening kickoff of OT and scores to win 28-22. What a finish. What a choke by the Pack.

It was the fourth OT NFC title game in the last eight years.

In the AFC, no contest. New England wins 45-7 over the Colts. It’ll be SB #6 for the Belichick/Brady duo. Now the authors of “spygate,” Belichick and the Patriots, are being investigated for deflated footballs. Whatever. They still dominated and will be hard to stop.

It’s a pick ’em right now after the line opened at Seattle by 2 1/2.

So does Seattle repeat for the first time since New England did it a decade ago, or do the Patriots add to their legacy?

 

Yanks’ prospect named AFL MVP

1B Greg Bird, who got up to AA last year, was named the Arizona Fall League MVP. Bird had a fine AFL and topped it off with a massive HR in the AFL All-Star game that had to go some 450 feet.

Here is a link to more about Bird:

http://m.yankees.mlb.com/news/article/101542126/yankees-greg-bird-named-arizona-fall-league-mvp

 

For more on various prospects and winter ball, check out this post from the LOHUD Yankees blog.

 

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2014/11/14/winter-league-notes-tyler-austin-resting-left-knee-injury/

Recent happenings.

Ok, since the WS ended, a couple of managerial moves.

Joe Maddon has opted out of his Rays contract and has taken over the Cubs job, replacing Rick Renteria.

HOF Paul Molitor will be the new manager of the Twins, who let Ron Gardenhire go.

The Yanks have offered a qualifying offer to David Robertson (1 yr., $15.3 MM). We will see if he accepts. So far, no one receiving a qualifying offer has accepted. This burned Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales last year. If D-Rob declines and goes elsewhere, the Yanks get a draft pick. Will D-Rob accept? Can they work out a deal?

The Yanks are apparently talking to Chase Headley to see if he wants to return. Headley could hit the open market, too.

Soon, I’ll be taking a look at the Yanks and will state what I would do if I were Cashman. You may have your own thoughts. Feel free to share.

In winter league ball, Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, Jose Pirela and Aaron Judge are all doing well. Bird tagged a 450 ft. hr in the Arizona Fall League all-star game.

WS Game 1: SF, 7-1.

Maybe after winning eight straight postseason games, KC was due for a loss. In any case, the game was basically over six batters in. Pedro Sandoval doubled in a run (another potential run was thrown out at the plate on the play) and Hunter Pence followed with a 2-run HR to put the San Francisco Giants up 3-0 in the top of the first. That would be all that Madison Baumgarner would need as the Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in Game 1 of the World Series.

Baumgarner gave up just one run on three hits in seven innings of work.

KC’s James Shields has had a rough postseason. He passed a kidney stone the other day and it may have affected his pitching. Shades of the 1980 WS when George Brett had hemorrhoids. Shields is a free agent after the season and his postseason troubles are not helping him.

Meanwhile, Yankees prospect Greg Bird, a 1B who was in High A/Double A this year, was named a player of the week in the Arizona Fall League. He’s had a great start there so far.

 

Baseball news.

From Lohud, with my comments:

• The Yankees first significant signing of the winter — if you call it that — could be shortstop Brendan Ryan. The team is said to be “close” to a deal that would bring Ryan back as infield insurance. He’s an elite defender, and he had his moments with the bat during his brief Yankees tenure this season.

My thought? Ryan is a great defensive SS who can’t hit. It may be time to get Jeter off of SS and to DH him much more often (the same can be said for A-Rod and 3B if he comes back).  

• Knowing the Yankees are in the market for a shortstop, Derek Jeter spoke at Joe Torre’s foundation gala and said he still fully expects to be the Yankees everyday player at the position next season. Jeter has started his offseason workout and said he feels good. He expects to be 100 percent healthy in 2014.

• Brian Cashman made it clear that the Yankees will tender a contract to Francisco Cervelli, meaning Cervelli will be back in some capacity next season. Chris Stewart might not be back.

My thoughts? Let Cervelli go. Let Stewart go too. Get someone like McCann or go for Pierzynski on a one-year deal to let Romine, Murphy and/or Sanchez develop. I’m down on Cervelli what with that suspension. Stewart, although good defensively, can’t hit a lick.

• The Arizona Fall League season came to an end. Vidal Nuno probably had the most impressive numbers of all the Yankees prospects assigned to the league. The numbers from Peter O’Brien and Mason Williams showed a mix of good and bad, while the most significant Yankees news coming out of Arizona was the early decision to pull Tyler Austin because of ongoing wrist issues.

I liked Nuno. He had a good spring training, is a lefty (needed since Andy retired) and was 1-2, 2.25 in 20 IP (5 g., 3 starts) for the Yanks last season. His season came to a quick end. I’d like to see more of him. Does he have what it takes to be successful over a full season?    

• Nothing official yet, but it certainly sounds like the Yankees are going to play two exhibition games in Panama next season. The trip would be a sort of gesture of thanks to Mariano Rivera, who’s from Panama and would, presumably, make the trip.