Monday, December 22, 2014

Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela for Yankees’ second baseman?

Let’s assume that the New York Yankees are serious about having Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela battle it out in spring training to become the team's next starting second baseman. Who is better suited for the position if they both have reasonably similar spring performances?

Refsnyder comes with the prospect tag, ranking #6 on MLB.com’s top 20 Yankees' minor leaguers, while Pirela has done nothing but impress and steadily move himself along the organization, even breaching the big leagues last September.

At the plate, both Refsnyder and Pirela have been productive. Refsnyder slashed .300/.389/.456 with 19 doubles, eight homers and 33 RBIs in 333 plate appearances with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2014. He has a career slash of .297/.389/.444 in just over 1,300 minor league plate appearances. Refsynder is not a threat on the bases.

Pirela, in 581 plate appearances at Scranton in 2014, slashed .305/.351/.441 with  20 doubles, 11 triples and 10 home runs. He drove in 60 runs and scored 87. Pirela added 15 stolen bases (caught seven times). Across just under 3,500 plate appearances in the minors, Pirela owns a reasonable .273/.339/.391 line, though he’s had OPS marks of .804, .771 and .792 the last three seasons showing consistency and improvement compared with his first few seasons in the minors.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Yankees’ youth movement continues with trade

The New York Yankees announced Friday that they acquired RHP Nathan Eovaldi, INF/OF Garrett Jones and RHP Domingo German from the Miami Marlins in exchange for INF/OF Martin Prado, RHP David Phelps and cash.

The trade continues the Yankees trend of getting younger on the roster. Eovaldi is just 24 and German is 22. It seems to, for the moment, free up a battle for the second base job between Rob Refsnyder, who turns 24 in March, and Jose Pirela, 25. Earlier this offseason the Yankees received Didi Gregorius, 24, from the Arizona Diamondbacks via trade.

Good news: Randy Levine says Yankees unlikely to add lavish salary

We’ve heard that the New York Yankees would not spend lavishly this offseason quite frequently from general manager Brian Cashman, and Thursday the Bombers’ president Randy Levine echoed those statements in an interview with Newsday’s David Lennon.

"We're always out there looking, but it has to be tempered by the reality of the organization," Levine said. "You look at our pitching staff, for example. We have two guys who make a lot of money, so you have to build around them. The chances of us bringing in another guy who makes $25 million or over are, in my opinion, virtually none."

It’s hard for me to understand why this is such a big deal to fans. So the Yankees decide to try to become somewhat more responsible with their money and some of the “faithful” are beckoning for George Steinbrenner to return from the grave.

The key word in the Yankees' mantra this offseason is “lavishly” not “cheap.” The Yankees have already spent $95.5 million this offseason on just four free-agents according to MLB Trade Rumors' free-agent tracker. Of that total, $88 million was guaranteed for Andrew Miller and Chase Headley alone. Not exactly chump change.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yankees don't need a "proven" closer

The New York Yankees currently possess an area of strength, potentially their only one at the present time, in their bullpen. With the addition of Andrew Miller and Justin Wilson to the fold, combined with the return of Dellin Betances, the Bombers have a very strong back end of the bullpen. You know what? The front end is pretty good too.

Add Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren (I’m not buying the starting rotation talk for him) Esmil Rogers (or the loser of the fifth starter role) and potentially add Jacob Lindgren to the mix and the Yankees don’t have any holes in the pen as far as I’m concerned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Capuano signing signals Yankees intent to wing it

The New York Yankees agreed to terms with left-handed starter Chris Capuano on a one-year, $5 million contract for the 2015 season Tuesday according YES Network's Jack Curry via Twitter. The deal has not been officially announced by the team.

This is not exactly what some Yankees fans were looking for, but it does indicate that the club might be intent on winging it when it comes to fielding a rotation for the 2015 season.

With CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova all suspect to injury the Yankees figured to build a good deal of rotation depth during the offseason, but many hoped it would center around a deal for Jon Lester, Max Scherzer or James Shields. That’s looking more and more like a pipe dream with Lester already signed with the Chicago Cubs and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman suggesting that Scherzer’s contract wishes are too rich.

“I don’t think the pricier stuff is realistic in this particular year,” Cashman said as reported by Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. “I’m open to any legitimate opportunities that present themselves.”

For the most part it seems like the Yankees are hedging their bets on the injury-riddled returning crew, hoping to get the most out of their potential upside and back it up with stopgap contracts like Capuano’s and those already in the system.