Tag Archives: Wedge

Wedge, Otani, April start times, AFL

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Add another surprise name to the Yankees’ managerial search. The second person to be interviewed was Eric Wedge.

Wedge will be 50 in January. He managed Cleveland from 2003-2009, and was Cleveland’s manager when the Indians beat the Yankees in the 2007 ALDS, the series known for the midges.

He also managed Seattle from 2011-2013. In his ten years as manager, his teams averaged 77-85. He won 90 or more games twice and the only team he took to the playoffs was that 2007 Indians team (which featured CC Sabathia) that blew a 3 games to 1 lead to Boston in the ALCS.

Nevertheless, Wedge was named Manager of the Year for 2007.

As a player, Wedge, a catcher, only got 86 at bats, hitting .233-5-12, OPS+ 107.

Shohei Otani has been posted by his Japanese team and is someone the Yankees are very interested in. Not only that, the Japanese “Babe Ruth” (because he pitches and hits well) would very much like to come to the Yankees. If you haven’t heard of him, he is just 23, bats left, throws right and not only pitches well (can hit 100 MPH) but also hits well also.

The Yanks are expected to be quiet on the free agent front….except for this guy and possibly bringing back CC and Todd Frazier. (I don’t think Frazier returns, because of Headley, Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, and if the Yanks do sign Otani, then CC may not be signed).

Otani has played in 403 games in Japan as a hitter, and if you take 403/3 that is 134 or about 3 seasons worth, so doing that, he has averaged .286-16-55 as a hitter.

As a pitcher, in 85 games, 82 starts, (85/3 is 28, so once again about 3 seasons worth), he has averaged 14-5, 2.52.

Brian Cashman flew to Japan in August to check on Otani personally. The Yankees have heavily scouted him.

Other teams obviously are interested also. We’ll see who gets him.

The Yanks are changing the start times of their home games (seven) in April, 2018 to a 6:35 start. This only affects the Mon-Thurs. games.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 3-1, getting only 3 hits. Rough night for Yankees’ prospects:

SS Thairo Estrada 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .353
LF Billy McKinney 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .291
RF Estevan Florial 0 for 3 with a walk. .254.

The Marlins have held preliminarty talks with four clubs about dealing Giancarlo Stanton. One team should worry the Yankees. It’s Boston. The others are the Giants, Cardinals and Phillies.

According to MLB.com,

The Marlins, under new ownership, are prepared to make “unpopular decisions” — as chief executive officer Derek Jeter put it — in order to rebuild their farm system and increase payroll flexibility. A Stanton trade could help them to do both.

Stanton, the reigning Major League home run champion, has 10 years and $295 million left on his contract, albeit with an opt-out following the 2020 season. He also possesses a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals are considered the favorite to land Stanton. It would take a boatload of prospects (which the Yankees have) and the willingness to take on a lot of money (the Yankees could take on the $$$, but don’t have the willingness to gut their farm system or take on a contract like that, especially since Hal wants to get under that salary cap), so even though it would be intriguing to see Stanton and his 59 HR in 2017 in a lineup with Judge and Sanchez, keep dreaming. I don’t see it happening.

But if Hal can get under that cap this year, there is a huge and better free agent class after the 2018 season (Harper? Machado?) and if you still have the prospects, and now got under the cap, a big splurge could be made. That is one dream that could become reality.

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The soap opera continues. Could A-Rod return?

It’s interesting in that Buster Olney, ESPN and Mike Lupica today all have comments on the possible return of A-Rod to the Yankees. Could A-Rod and the Yanks actually be discussing it?

Far-fetched? All make points that maybe this time, Boras has bitten off more than he could chew–that the only team out there who could come reasonably close to meeting what Boras and Alex are commanding is indeed the team he opted-out so ungraciously from.

It could be that the Yanks called A-Rod’s bluff and won. Maybe A-Rod needs to visit those poker dens more often.

How sweet would it be for Boras and A-Rod to come hat-in-hand (or as beggardly as one could be considering the amount of $$$ offered here) because they have overpriced themselves?

There are a few things that would have to happen first though, and many problems to consider that would be encountered.

A-Rod would have to meet with the Yankees’ brass by himself. No Boras. There would have to be a lot of apologizing by Alex for 1) opting-out 2) opting-out when he did 3) not even giving the Yanks a chance to make an offer, which as it may turn out, would have been the best offer.

IMHO, the offer would have to stand as is. Strike that. As is BUT $21 million LESS than the original offer. Sorry Alex, but you screwed the Yanks out of $21 million of Rangers money and now have nowhere to play? Tough. Now you pay the consequences. You want it back? Well, maybe here the Yanks can get creative. How about some incentives? Just saying. But as far as Alex giving the money back? I’ll believe that when I see it.

How are those comments by Hank Steinbrenner going to play out? The ones I AGREE WITH. “If he doesn’t want to play here, we don’t want him.” Does Alex really WANT to play in NY? It sure doesn’t seem so. Where does he want to play, other than the answer “where he gets the most $$$$$$$$ ” (I’d put in 30 million dollar signs, but don’t have the time or space.). How would the Yanks take Alex back but save face on their comments that they wouldn’t pursue him if he opts out? How to take him back without looking desperate (which, let’s face it, as far as their 3B situation/cleanup hitter/Righty power threat goes, they are).

Could A-Rod and the Yanks be a marriage made in hell, such as Billy I, II, III, IV or V or the Burton/Taylor marriages?

Might # 13 actually get # 600, 700 and beyond as a YANKEE and have # 13 go into Monument Park–unlike what I wrote a few weeks ago? Could the soap opera that is A-Rod take on an unexpected plot twist? Those of us who remember Old Timer’s Day 1978 (the first Billy return) won’t put anything past anybody here.

But how would the fans and his teammates react? I mean, the guy opted out. He’s not returning various phone calls by teammates. He wouldn’t exactly be “Feeling the Love” here. There would be the “jilted lover” syndrome from fans and teammates. “You want me to take you back? After you dumped me and played the field?” Hmmmm.

A-Rod is about A-Rod. He is now realizing that he is getting bad PR, that his move may have backfired big-time, and that he may have overpriced himself off of any team.

Only with A-Rod. Only with the Yankees. The soap opera continues, and should A-Rod come back to the Yanks it will be sure to be a long-running one.

Is it worth it?

Other news. Mo receives an offer of $45 million over three years. What is he waiting for? This is more than generous for someone who turns 38 in two weeks. It makes the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) the highest-paid reliever by $4 mil per season at the age of 38! Rumors have it that Mo wants $18 mil. a year. I hope they are just rumors. There is no way a reliever–any reliever–gets $18 mil/yr., especially one who is 38. I don’t know what is holding Mo up from signing…travel problems, family….but sign it, Mo.

The AL and NL Managers of the Year are announced today. Please, no Joe Torre votes. I’ll have to see how many votes do go to Torre. Update: Torre came in 3rd, with 5 first-place votes, 8 seconds and 12 thirds. The AL Mgr. of the year was Eric Wedge, as expected. Torre was one point behind runnerup Mike Scioscia. NL Mgr. of the year went to Arizona mgr. Bob Melvin. The Mets’ collapse led to a second-place finish for Charlie Manuel of the Phils, and no votes for the Mets’ Willie Randolph.

Jake Peavy of SD should be the unanimous choice for the NL CYA announced tomorrow. 19-6, 2.54 and the NL Pitching Triple Crown (Wins/ERA/K’s) merits you that honor.

UPDATE 11/15. Peavy was the unanimous winner of the NL CYA. Webb 2nd, Penny 3rd.

UPDATE. IT LOOKS LIKE ALEX MAY BE BACK WITH THE YANKEES. See A-Rod’s website http://arod.mlb.com/players/rodriguez_alex/article.jsp?story=111407 for his statement. It looks like A-Rod is realizing that his image is taking a beating and that there is no one out there who can afford him other than the Yanks. A-Rod is all about his image, and it looks like he’ll sacrifice some of the bank account in order to repair a very tarnished image. It seems like A-Rod is doing a lot of the apologizing and hat-in-hand routine that I mentioned above. Good point by Mike Francesa, which is that the Yanks call A-Rod’s bluff and are the big winner here. Another big winner is the Rangers, who get out of paying $21 million. Alex cuts his losses, makes Boras the scapegoat for the World Series fiasco, and comes back to the only team that can give him what he wants. Scott Boras takes a huge hit. He comes across as an ass for what happened in the Series, and possibly loses out on the best player and biggest contract in baseball, as well as possibly some future clients who don’t want to go through the fiasco that A-Rod just did. It looks like 10 years and $275 million. A-Rod doesn’t get the $300 million he may have wanted, and you have to think that the difference is that Texas money. The Yanks basically told A-Rod that they won’t pick it up. They are saying that by opting out, you opted out of that money since we were never going to pick it up. This is one case where if it is true, and Alex is back, then you really have to tip your cap to Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner. They called Boras’ and Alex’ bluff and won. Now for those “jilted lover” questions I mentioned above. How receptive will the fans and teammates be?