Tag Archives: Hairston

Astros take wild Game 5, 13-12 in 10.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Add Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the list of possible Yankees’ mangerial candidates. The long-time utility player is 41 and was a member of the 2009 WS Champion Yankees. He’s with the Dodgers in a broadcasting capacity right now. But another without managerial experience.

WS Game 5 was wild. Houston won 13-12 in 10 innings to take a 3 games to 2 lead in the WS, and they have Verlander going in Game 6 Tuesday night.

Going blow by blow could take me years.

LA had a 4-0 lead with Kershaw on the mound. Seemed safe, right? Nope.

Houston came back to tie it. LA then went up 7-4. Houston came back to tie it. In the seventh, LA went up 8-7, Houston came back with four to go up 11-8. Both teams traded runs in the 8th, then the Dodgers scored 3 in the 9th to tie it up at 12. Houston scored in the bottom of the 10th to win it.

Altuve, Correa and Gurriel, 3-4-5 in the Astros’ lineup, combined for 10 RBI.

Alex Bregman with the GW hit, and Kensley Jansen is being mortal this WS.

With Kuechel and Kershaw, you expected a pitcher’s duel. Nope.

Two wild extra-inning games in this WS, and both went to the Astros.

The Arizona Fall League is off Sundays.

Cubs’ bench coach Dave Martinez is now the new manager of the Washington Nationals. The Phillies are apparently hiring Gabe Kapler.

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Happy New Year! Things are quiet….

As we usher in the New Year of 2013, things have been quiet in Yankeeland.

There are no hot rumors of trades or signings as we still wonder who will be the Yanks’ catcher and DH in 2013, not to mention who’ll fill out the bench.

A couple aging Hall-of-Famers are coming off major injuries (Jeter, Rivera) and another (?; steroid abuse, Alex) will miss half the year if not more because of an operation.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of free agents still available. None of the major ones really fit the Yankees needs, and with the Yanks cutting back on spending, the $$$ isn’t there for them.

Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano are still out there. Soriano could be a fit, only because he went 2-1, 2.26 with 42 saves in filling in for the injured Rivera last year. But Soriano probably wouldn’t want to go back to the setup role he was unhappily doing in 2011. But after a strong year, it’s interesting that he opted out and still is unsigned.

Boston has been talking to Adam LaRoche, since the Napoli deal may fall through.

Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders are out there. So are Jose Valverde and Delmon Young.

Young is a righty bat, which the Yanks could use, and a .284 hitter. He was the ALCS MVP vs. the Yanks last year. Although his 162 g. average is .284-16-89, his OPS+ is just 98 due to a poor BB/K ratio. (27/115).

There is still Scott Hairston. There’s Thome or Berkman.

There’s …. (fill in the blank).

But it appears the Yanks are “dumpster-diving.” Who they pick up between now and the start of spring training (and it’s getting closer), who knows?

As of now, who will  be the C, DH or bench?

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has gone up 2%… and that’s just from all the NFL coaches and GMs being fired. Black Monday indeed.

 

Swisher to Indians

We knew Nick Swisher wasn’t going to be coming back as a Yankee, but we just wondered where he’d wind up. Baltimore? Dodgers? Phillies?

With the Indians trade of Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds, a spot opened up in Cleveland for the former Buckeye, and Swisher is headed there. Swisher and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame do seem to mesh. The Yankees haven’t been giving out multi-year deals (except to the 39 yr. old Ichiro) and Swish got a 4-yr., $56 MM deal with the Tribe, with a $14 MM vesting option for a fifth year.

As for the Yankees’ holes, we can only wonder if Cashman has a trade forthcoming. As of now, here are the options, internally.

OF: The OF right now has Granderson, Gardner and Ichiro. Chris Dickerson could backup, but he’s another lefty bat. They need a righty bat. They’d like Scott Hairston, who’ll be 33 next year, can play all three OF positions as well as 2B. Hairston, who spent 2012 with the Mets, is looking for a multi-year deal (aren’t they all?) and that may be a deal-breaker. He hit .263-20-57, OPS+ 117 for the Mets in 2012 and is a .247 career hitter, OPS+ 100. Average player, but has pop. 162 g. ave: .247-20-58.

Internal options could be Melky Mesa, 26 next year who was 1 for 2 with an RBI in a brief September callup last year. Mesa hit .264-23-67 between AA/AAA last year with 22 SB. He provides some athleticism and speed that’s sorely needed but you wonder if he is ready. He’s only had 33 games at AAA (.230-9-21) and that .230 average makes you wonder. Also, at age 26, he’d be an old rookie. He’s mostly played CF and RF.

They also could give Ronnier Mustelier a shot. The 28-yr. old defector from Cuba hit .314-15-69 with 10 SB between AA/AAA last year. But unlike Mesa, Mustelier got more time at AAA and did well (89 games, .303-10-49) and probably has an upper hand. Mustelier has spent time at LF, RF and also 3B. He’s also played a couple games at 2B and CF. This may be to his advantage as he tries to make the team. He hasn’t been invited to major league camp yet. That should change. I was surprised he wasn’t brought up last year. I wanted him to replace Andruw Jones last midseason. Heck, Jones (now to play in Japan), hit only .197 last year. After the ASG he was just .142-3-12. You would think Mustelier could have done better than that.

In 150 minor league games, Mustelier has a .324-18-96 line with 19 SB. I’d give him a shot at that righty-hitting, backup OF job.

As for DH, who knows? Ibanez and Jones are both gone. Maybe it’d be best to DH Jeter the first half of the year because he’s coming off that fractured ankle. It’d be nice to see Nunez get some playing time. He, Ichiro and Gardner could provide a speed dimension to the club that was sorely lacking last year. The problem is, with the catching situation (I’ll get to that in a bit), where will the power come from, esp. with A-Rod out for half the year? Having a weak-hitting C in the lineup, along with Ichiro, Nunez AND Gardner means not much pop at all.

Not only that, but if Jeter DH’s and Nunez plays SS, you wonder about Nunez’ defense. Jeter’s range is not the greatest, has been criticized for years. and could be worse after the injury. But at least he is sure-handed, unlike Nunez.

Nunez, 26 next year, has just an 88 OPS+, but he’s interesting because his 162 g. average is .272-6-43 with 34 SB. But Cashman says he’s just a SS, and not a utility guy.

I really wonder if the Yanks should just go with Nix as the utility IF and trade Nunez while Nunez’ value is high. Nix can play 2B, SS and 3B and some OF. He hit just .243-4-18 last yr., OPS+ 86 and is just .214 with an OPS+ of 75 in his career. He doesn’t have the speed of Nunez but is more sure-handed.

They have to find a way to utilize Nunez and his speed, or trade him.

Of course, once A-Rod returns from his hip surgery, it may be in the Yanks’ best interest to DH Alex (not to stress the hip) and keep Youkilis at 3B. By then, hopefully Jeter won’t need as many DH at bats and his ankle is fully recovered. Time will tell.

But there is now the question of power. Cano, Granderson and Teixeira (switch-hitter) provide pop, but you lost lefty power in Ibanez and Swisher. So what kind of lefty-hitting DH is there?

I can’t see it being Dickerson, 31 next year. The Yanks probably want someone more experienced. Dickerson has 518 MLB at bats, .266-11-47 with 27 SB. OPS+ 101. He probably deserves a shot somewhere but the Yanks already have three lefty-hitting OF. Outside of DH, he wouldn’t have a chance to play, not with the starting OF of Ichiro, Gardner and Granderson. He hit .316-7-25, 17 SB in 69 AAA games last year. I just can’t see a DH platoon of Dickerson/Nunez, although both would provide more athleticism and speed.

Two DH options out there with pop are two old guys. You know I’m not big on getting older.

One is Lance Berkman, who, as a switch-hitter, would be a good option. You don’t want two DH-only types on your team. If you can just have one, who switch-hits and can DH every day, that’s a good thing (think Chili Davis in 1999). Berkman is good friends with Andy Pettitte, and was with the Yanks in 2010.

However “Fat Elvis” didn’t exactly do that well his first time in the Bronx. the 1B/OF hit just .255-1-9 in 106 AB (37 games), OPS+ 90 in 2010. He did go 5 for 16, 1 HR, 4 RBI in the postseason that year for the Yanks.

Berkman did have a rebound season in 2011, winning a WS ring with St. Louis, hitting .301-31-94, OPS+ 164 and finishing 7th in the MVP voting. But last year he played in just 32 games, getting only 81 at bats, hitting .259-2-7, OPS+ 126.

If healthy, Berkman could be decent one-year option at age 37. His 162 g. average is .296-32-108, OPS+ 146. He has 360 career HR (two more than Yogi, one less than Joe D.) and that 162 g. average includes 104 walks. He has a good eye, and along with Youkilis, would give the Yanks some good at bats, lots of walks and help wear pitchers out. He is a 6x All-Star, and has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting six times.

But is he healthy? Is there anything left in his tank? We’ve seen the fading Berkman before he resurrected himself in 2011. Can he put up decent numbers again or was 2011 the last hurrah (FYI, Berkman’s 2011 WS was superb: 11 for 26).

The other option would be Jim Thome. Thome’s big body and lefty swing along with the short porch make you wonder what he could have done playing in Yankee Stadium his whole career. But Thome is 42, 43 next August. He’d strictly DH vs. righty pitching and while Berkman can probably still play a game at 1B or in a corner OF spot occasionally, Thome cannot play the field anymore. He’s played just nine games in the field since 2005.

While it would be interesting to see the first set of teammates wherein each teammate has over 600 HR (Alex 647, Thome 612), you wonder about the lumbering Thome.

He still had something left in 2012, hitting .252-8-25 in 163 at bats for the Phils and Baltimore. His OPS+ was 112. On a one-year deal, he might be ok. But he can’t play the field and hasn’t had 300 AB’s in a season since 2009.

His 162 g. average is .276-39-108, OPS+ 147 with 111 walks.

You wonder if Berkman or Thome on a one-year option would be a path the Yankees might take.

If so, I probably would prefer Berkman. Switch-hitter, can probably fill in in the field more.

You also wonder if Nunez could be trade bait, esp. if the Yanks could get some help for him. Besides Nix, maybe one of these two in-house minor leaguers could be a backup IF:

David Adams: 26 next May. His ankle injury made Seattle scrap the Cliff Lee to the Yankees deal a few years ago. Adams, 26 next May, hit .306-8-48 in 86 games at AA in 2012 but the 2b/3B (mostly 2b) hasn’t played a game above the AA level.

Corban Joseph is 24 and a lefty bat (unlike Adams, who bats righty). Joseph does have 84 games of AAA experience, .266-13-56. Nice numbers. He hit .276-15-62 in 107 games in 2012, AA/AAA. Like Adams, 2B/3B, mostly at 2B.

As for catcher, who knows. Cervelli, Stewart, Romine (24, and with just 21 games of AAA experience) and Bobby Wilson. Cervelli is the best hitter of the bunch, but probably the worst defender. Cervelli has 490 MLB at bats, .271-5-71, OPS+ 84. Romine is just 3 for 19 as a major leaguer, and as mentioned, just 21 AAA games. Stewart hit .241-1-13, OPS+ 67 in 141 at bats for the Yanks last year but is a .217 hitter with an OPS+ of 61 in 351 career at bats. Wilson hit .211-3-13, OPS+ 63 for the Angels in 2012 and is just a .208 career hitter in 389 at bats, OPS+ 67.

You wonder what catchers may be available. I also wonder if Nunez may be the trade bait to get that catcher.

The problem is, Nix then becomes your backup SS. Adams & Joseph have some nice minor league numbers, but neither has played SS.

Are you asking about Ramiro Pena? He signed with the Braves. Of course, Pena couldn’t hit…

I’m wondering what moves the Yanks will be making. They will need to make some… and soon.

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.

Yanks get $ back, can’t sign Nakajima

The Yanks won a posting bid for Nakajima for $2 million, and they’ll get that money back as they could not come to terms with the Japanese infielder. Apparently the Yanks offered a one-year deal and he wanted a multi-year package at a rate the Yanks thought too high. Now the Yanks probably turn to Chavez to see if he’ll return and be the corner backup with Nunez just like last year. Other teams also have some interest in Chavez.

One interesting name: Miguel Tejada is apparently working out with some fitness guru in hope of a comeback. Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP, had the steroids link (via Palmeir0) and had a 2011 season with SF in which he hit .239-4-26, OPS+ 68. He turns 38 in May though, and the Yanks already have a starting SS who’ll be 38  in June and a 3B who’ll be 37 in July. Tejada is a career .285 hitter, 304 HR, OPS+ 108.

Jerry Hairston Jr. is going back to the Mets.

Bobby Jenks of Boston is to undergo a second back surgery. We’ll see if he even comes back in 2012.

Lastly, if you’re like me, you are wondering when some free agents (Fielder, Jackson, Oswalt, Kuroda, Carlos Pena, Maholm, Colon, Francis, Damon, Pierre….)….

Santo elected to HOF

Ron Santo, who played in Chicago from 1960-1974, was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Santo played for the Cubs in all but his last season, when he went to the Big Bad Leroy Brown part of town (the South Side of Chicago, where the White Sox reside).

Santo hit 342 career HR, 337 as a 3B. The only players to hit more HR as a 3B were Schmidt, Mathews, Chipper Jones, Nettles, and Matt Williams. Santo’s 337/342 is just above Gary Gaetti’s 332/360. If you are shocked that Gaetti had 360 HR, you aren’t alone. So was I.

Santo was a 9x All-Star, with 5 Gold Glove awards. His .277 average and 342 HR were established in an era known for its pitching (Carlton, Seaver, Gibson, Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Bunning). Santo’s OPS+ was a 125. Four times he finished in the top 10 of MVP voting. He topped 30 HR each year from 1964-1967 and he drove in 100 or more runs four times. He died last year at the age of 70. Santo retired at the age of 34. He battled diabetes his whole life and eventually had both legs amputated.

Of course, as a Cub (before divisional play and the wild card), Santo, like his teammate Ernie Banks, played in no postseason games.

Missing out in the Veterans Committee vote were Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, and my personal favorite, Allie Reynolds, among others.

So I read today where Brett Favre will listen if the Bears (hurting for a QB with Cutler out) come a’calling. My response, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I read good things about Yankees prospect Mason Williams today. How some in the organization expect the 20 yr. old OF to rise quickly, and they expect him to start at High-A Tampa. Williams hit .349 with 28 SB at Staten Island this past season, in just 68 games. I will just beat John Sterling to the punch right here with the first “Classical Gas” mention of Mason Williams. (If you don’t know…Classical Gas was a hit instrumental for a musician named Mason Williams in 1968).

So, you are wondering why the Yanks haven’t made a move yet? Try this. The Yanks asked about John Danks from the White Sox. The asking price? Manny Banuelos AND Jesus Montero. For a guy who was 8-12, 4.33, ERA+ 97 last year and who is 54-56, 4.03 ERA+ 111 in his career.

Supposedly the Phils are shopping Polanco. One report has that they were going to trade him for Michael Young of the Rangers last year. The Rangers backed out. Could you imagine Young on the Phils?

Hmmm. Aaron Harang goes to the Dodgers, who got Adam Kennedy last week as a backup inf. Harang was 14-7, 3.64, ERA+ 98 for the Padres in 2011. 95-94, ERA+ 101 (epitome of average?) in his career. Then the Dodgers sign Jerry Hairston, Jr. (.270-5-31, OPS+ 99 for Washington/Milw. this past season). Previous to that, they signed Chris Capuano. I thought they were broke after that McCourt divorce and were for sale?

Rumor is that the Nats have offered C.J. Wilson a six-year deal. They better hope if they get him that his first year in D.C. is better than Jayson Werth’s.

Miami (after Bell and Reyes) is now after Pujols? Since when did they become the Yankees?

Update: Apparently it’s not the Nats who offered the six-year deal to Wilson. I like what SI’s Jon Heyman wrote:

Excellent point by an al exec: “if cj wilson has a legitimate 6 year offer he should just take it.”

The Angels are in on Wilson, which would give them Wilson, Haren, Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana.

Meanwhile,  another tweet from Heyman:

hearing #Marlins boosted offer to pujols to 10 years, matching arod’s in length. they are obvs pushing hard.

Umm….if Pujols isn’t 31 (many suspect he’s older), that 10-year deal could really be a problem.

The Yanks considered who? As Ripley would state, believe it or not!

Yankees GM Brian Cashman today admitted that he had several talks with the agent for (wait for it)

Carl Pavano. (insert rim shot here)

Pavano just turned 35, and any Yankees’ interest would have been on a one-year deal (see below). Pavano was looking for two years, which he looks to be getting with the Twins. The deal with Minny is all but finalized.

Talk about desperation. I’m all for giving second chances, but after Vazquez’ second chance didn’t work out, could you imagine Pavano? Four years 2005-2008, almost $40 million, 26 starts (yes, that’s combined over four years) 9-8, 5.00 in his (hopefully only) Yankee term. 

Granted since leaving NY, he has gone 31-23, 4.39, not too bad. Hey, that’s an average 16-12, 4.39. Basically what Yankees fans were hoping from him from 2005-2008.

Some guys are NOT made for NY. Vazquez proved to be one, even though I was willing to give him a second chance.

Having learned my lesson, no second chance for Pavano. I guess remarriages in baseball (let’s throw in Nick Johnson as well) sometimes work as well as the second Taylor/Burton marriage.

But I do think if the Yanks would have signed Pavano, besides giving Leno, ESPN and anyone else good comic fodder, the following would have happened:

A revolt bigger than anything the Tea Party could muster, and bigger than anything this country has seen since, say, 1776 or so. Not to mention Yankee fans undergoing a secession not seen since 1861.

Bronx Baseball Daily reports that per Sweeny Murti of WFAN, the Yanks actually offered the American Idle a 1-year, $10 million deal, plus incentives. Could you imagine if he would have taken it?

You think those boos directed at Vazquez last year were loud? They were murmurs compared to what Pavano would have received.

Andy, PLEASE come back. 

As the Temptations would sing,

Ain't oo proud to beg

 

Update: Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Nats. Another righty hitting OF / utility guy gone. Meaning Yanks target Andruw all the more.