Friday, November 28, 2014

Yankees can wait on David Robertson

The New York Yankees have been more or less quiet this offseason while others in the American League East and around the rest of Major League Baseball have signed some top-flight free agents. As usual, this leaves some fans clamoring for the Bombers to make a move, and apparently one of the Yankees’ best beat reporters is getting itchy too.

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News wrote a column Friday suggesting the Yankees need to sign David Robertson already. My view, what’s the rush?

I agree with Feinsand and countless others who feel that bringing back Robertson makes absolute sense. I also feel like the Yankees think the same thing. They’d have arguably one of the best 1-2 end-game duos in all of baseball for the next several seasons. Why the hesitation?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yankees could stay in-house at third and second base

As the New York Yankees watched the Boston Red Sox make two splashes in the free agent market Monday, one of the moves will begin a domino effect forcing them to turn their attention to one of their offseason priorities, Chase Headley.

With Pablo Sandoval off the third-base market, agreeing to a five-year, $95 million deal with a club option according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, Headley will use that figure to bolster his contract desires.

The Yankees were always going to have some competition for Headley’s services. The San Francisco Giants will surely get involved with Headley and it can be expected that the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox who both showed early interest in Sandoval could check in on Headley. The San Diego Padres, who dealt Headley to the Yankees, might seek a reunion with Headley, but it seems unlikely as they continue to pursue Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas.

The Yankees would be happy with Headley for a three-year stint, but it seems apparent to me that it will take a four-year commitment and anywhere from $52-60 million to get the job done. If the term and salary gets that high and the Yankees balk, they could fall back on some in-house options.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Will Yankees overreact to Red Sox deals with Ramirez and Sandoval?

“Great, the Yankees are sleeping while the Red Sox win the offseason.” - ABC Yankee Fan


The New York Yankees have a tendency to create plans for the structuring of their roster and then perform a complete about-face when seemingly pushed into the corner by American League East rival Boston Red Sox.

The BoSox have reportedly signed a five-year, $90 million deal with Hanley Ramirez and apparently completed another five-year contract for just under $100 million with Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez and Sandoval were arguably the two best positional players in this year’s free-agent market. The Red Sox, after a 71-91 record and a last-place finish in 2014, are looking to jump right back into World Series contention.

The Red Sox have good depth in their farm system and might trade Yoenis Cespedes for pitching which they need. It’s true, the immediate future looks good in Beantown.

But, now that the Yankees have seen their nemesis make splashes within a 24-hour window, should they change the game plan of staying out of the high-ticket free agent market this offseason?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yankees protect Mason Williams; further roster decisions loom

The New York Yankees added Tyler Austin, Danny Burawa, Branden Pinder and Mason Williams to their 40-man roster Thursday eliminating the chance of them being selected in the Rule 5 draft to be held at the upcoming Winter Meetings.

Austin seemed to have the best chance of being protected in his first season eligible for the Rule 5 draft, and the selection of power arms in Burawa and Pinder was not entirely surprising. It seemed like the Yankees had a decision to wrestle with in Williams which I discussed earlier this week.

Williams, 23, has underperformed across two straight seasons after being thought of as a top prospect in the organization and across baseball prior to the 2013 season. He had a DUI arrest in 2013, and then showed up to spring training last season out of shape.

The Yankees obviously feel that due to his age, and natural talents, he has the ability to turn things around. The other possibility is that he’s been brought up in discussions with other teams in trade talks, or it’s a combination of the two.

Williams seems to understand the magnitude of the Yankees’ decision tweeting this morning that he feels fortunate to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Yankees are not screwing up Chase Headley negotiations

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal pushed out a couple of tweets regarding the New York Yankees and their pursuit of free-agent third baseman Chase Headley. He was immediately tattooed with a balanced number of tweets in agreement and others opposing his statements.

Here are Rosenthal’s tweets.





Here is one from the folks at River Ave. Blues.

Look, both Rosenthal and the gang at RAB are top-notch at their craft. But I believe they are missing the boat here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Will Yankees protect Mason Williams?

Just two years ago Mason Williams was a top prospect in the New York Yankees farm system. Come Thursday, Williams may not be protected by the club and thus be available in the Rule 5 draft held during the Winter Meetings.

Williams was ranked as high as 32nd of all baseball prospects by Baseball America, 41st by MLB.com and 51st by Baseball Prospectus before the 2013 season. He was at one time considered the player who would be manning the outfield in New York sometime by the 2015 or 2016 season depending on who you read at the time. Now he is ranked 17th in the Yankees system according to MLB.com, and he’s nowhere near reaching the majors.

Furthermore, after consecutive seasons of declining performance along with questionable commitment -- he was arrested in 2013 for DUI and came to camp out of shape in 2014 -- Williams could be left unprotected and available to be swooped up in the Rule 5 draft (FAQs here).

What should the Yankees do?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yankees Rumors: Revisiting Max Scherzer; why not Jon Lester?

According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees may be revisiting their plan to stay away from the top free-agent starters on the market, namely former Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

Heyman notes a slow to develop market on Scherzer and intimates that the Yankees have gradually begun to reshape their strategy on making a splash this offseason.

The Yankees have predominantly been linked to Brandon McCarthy and other midtier starters like Jason Hammel and back of the rotation arms such as Chris Capuano thus far. A move onto Scherzer might indicate that after some deeper thought, the Yankees front office is fearful that one or more of the returning starters will suffer from an injury recurrence and they’d need a top-shelf starter.

While Scherzer fits that bill, so too does Jon Lester and Heyman wisely makes note of the Yankees' respect for the long time Boston Red Sox hurler. Heyman also indicates that Scherzer could be more attractive than Lester or James Shields for that matter because of less wear on his arm. I went into detail on this recently. However, after giving it some thought, I think Lester might be the better option.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Yankees: How long before Bird is the word?

When a New York Yankees prospect makes headlines, it sometimes seems like it comes as part of a trade rumor. The Yankees have long used prospects as a tool to upgrade their roster midseason and often times send away a player who develops into a serviceable player elsewhere.

Things might be changing soon with the emergence of first baseman Gregory Bird. Bird, a fifth round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, was named the 2014 Arizona Fall League Most Valuable Player this past Saturday.

Bird is the first Yankees prospect to win the award. It came after a monstrous display at the plate. Bird led the AFL with six home runs and 21 runs scored. He was second in RBI (21), third in extra base hits (12) and slugging percentage (.556) and sixth in batting (.313). He hit a towering home run in the AFL All-Star Game which seemed to put his name on the map for those not familiar with the Yankees’ farm system.

Friday, November 14, 2014

2014 MLB awards breakdown

Now that the Most Valuable Player award has been handed out I felt it would be good to take a look back at my selections (explained in-depth here) made for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) and the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) compared with the final results of each organization and the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).

One thing to keep in mind, my picks (as well as those submitted by members of the BBA and IBWAA) were made before the finalists were announced by BBWAA.

Without further adieu here is the breakdown.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Yankees: Cervelli trade was a necessity

The New York Yankees traded backup catcher Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates for lefty reliever Justin Wilson Wednesday night. The trade was an absolute necessity from the standpoint of the Yankees' catcher glut and fills a slot the Yankees needed for 2015.

Before the trade the Yankees were carrying five catchers on the 40-man roster; Brian McCann, Cervelli, John Ryan Murphy, Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez. It was obvious that the Yankees would need to use some of that depth to build in another area of need, and Cervelli was the clear candidate in my view. The Yankees needed a lefty reliever and with Wilson they obtain one who has seen flashes of success in three major league seasons.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yankees: Dueling opinions on A-Rod from Girardi and Cashman

In an offseason ripe with needs for the New York Yankees, there is a lot of emphasis on Alex Rodriguez and what type of player he’ll amount to as a 39, going on 40-year-old, who also missed the entire 2014 season due to his suspension for his part in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal.

For some reason, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman do not seem to be on the same page with regards to this situation at least where it concerns the words used to describe their stance.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yankees shouldn't compare potential Scherzer or Lester deal with Sabathia

As the New York Yankees come off a second consecutive season without a playoff appearance, and one year removed from spending close to $500 million in guaranteed contracts, there are some who think the club should be all in on free agents Max Scherzer or Jon Lester. There are others who think they should stay far away. The Yanks right now suggest they will avoid the players.

No doubt these are two of the best starting pitchers in the game today, but signing them will amount to some serious salary commitments. As each pitcher is set to enter the 2015 season at age 30, should we look at one pitcher currently on the current squad who signed a similar package to what Scherzer and Lester are reportedly in line for at nearly the same age? That man is CC Sabathia.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Yankees’ hot stove ignited today…kinda

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in Phoenix, Arizona for the start of the General Managers’ Meetings marking the first event of the offseason. While the Winter Meetings in December are considered a more robust gathering, some preliminary chats are certainly held between the general managers and agents around the league during the GM Meetings.

The Yankees have already inked two players for the 2015 season, reliever Andrew Bailey to a minor league deal and Chris Young to a major league contract worth $2.5 million. Young can earn up to $6.325 million if he reaches all of the performance incentives laid out in his deal per a tweet from Bob Nightengale. Bailey's contract value should he reach the big league club was not announced.

While these are small moves, they could have an impact on the 2015 season. With the Yankees and their likelihood for injuries, any of the ancillary pieces put together by Cashman and his team becomes very important.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Yankees re-sign Chris Young and it’s perfectly reasonable

The New York Yankees have re-signed outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $2.5 million contract for 2015 which has the chance to get as close to $5 million with performance incentives according to tweets from Buster Olney and Bob Nightengale.

The deal seems fairly reasonable considering the very low cost and the potential upside. Young hit .282/.354/.521 with three homers and 10 RBI in 79 plate appearances once coming over to the Bronx. His time in Queens with the New York Mets was a resounding dud. There he slashed .205/.283/.346 over 287 plate appearances.

Young will fill the fourth outfielder role and could receive considerable time on the field taking into account two of the three starting outfielders, Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran have had offseason surgery, and Jacoby Ellsbury has dealt with injuries in the past.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Yankees Rumors: Alexei Ramirez at short?

As Scott Boras pushes Stephen Drew on anyone who will listen, the New York Yankees are doing their due diligence on available shortstops in the trade market. According to Bruce Levine of CBSChicago.com, the Yanks have contacted the Chicago White Sox about Alexei Ramirez.

Ramirez, 33, will earn $10 million in 2015 and has an club option for another $10 million in 2016, or a $1 million buyout. Levine rightly suggests that this is a fairly good bargain for a thin position and for a player who has been quite consistent while playing for the South Siders.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Yankees: Brett Gardner’s September swoon explained

There was word from New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner Wednesday that he was suffering from a core injury in July and September of the 2014 season. Gardner described his injury on MLB Network Radio and explained his recuperation is just about over after surgery performed in mid-October.

Gardner went under the knife to repair damage to his rectus abdominis muscle requiring four weeks of rehabilitation. He stressed that he is about one week away from being 100 percent healthy. It will have no effect on his offseason regimen.

Gardner entered the final month of the regular season hitting .269/.344/.443 with 16 home runs and 55 RBI, but fell into a terrible slide which dropped his final slash to .256/.327/.422. He added just one more homer and three RBI over the final month. His 17 dingers and 58 RBI were career-highs. Gardner swiped 21 bases in 2014, marking the fifth time he’s stolen at least 20 bases in a season.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Yankees Rumors: Scott Boras pushes Stephen Drew

The New York Yankees have a gaping hole at shortstop for the first time in 20 years. Super-agent Scott Boras thinks the Yanks (and anyone else who needs a shortstop) must consider Stephen Drew as an option despite his putrid 2014 performance.

Drew, tagged with a $14.1 million qualifying offer after the 2013 season, held out for a contract and ended up missing a good chunk of the first part of the season before re-signing with the Boston Red Sox for a prorated $10 million.

Drew was very good in 2013 helping the Red Sox to a World Series title. He hit .253/.333/.443 with a 109 wRC+ and was very good in the field (6.7 UZR/150). Drew had reason to think that he could get a multiyear deal, but ultimately the qualifying offer (and likely Boras’ greed) did him in.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Yankees Rumors: Staying away from Scherzer, Lester, Shields and Sandoval

The New York Yankees might actually be turning the page on the relentless pursuit of the top free agents on the market. According to a report by Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, the Yankees will pass on top free agents Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, James Shields and Pablo Sandoval per a team source.

The Yankees spent nearly $500 million on free agents leading into the 2014 season and failed to reach the postseason for the second consecutive year. The News reports that the Yankees will instead pursue Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, both key trade pieces from the 2014 season.

In McCarthy and Headley, the Yankees will have to invest much less in terms of salary and contract length, plus they’ll avoid losing a draft pick as compensation for the players above who were each extended a $15.3 million qualifying offer.

When Brian Cashman was extended last month, he suggested and was backed by Yankees co-chairperson Hal Steinbrenner subsequent statements that the Yankees would begin looking at new ways to rebuild the franchise. They’ve been paying close attention to how the farm system will be run and have put plenty of monetary resources into the international free agent market.

Monday, November 3, 2014

New York Yankees set to determine qualifying offers

The deadline to submit qualifying offers to players is Monday at 5:00 p.m. The New York Yankees will assuredly extend one to closer David Robertson, while the jury is out on whether they will make one for starter Hiroki Kuroda.

If Robertson accepts the $15.3 million offer, he would be the first player to ever do so and the highest paid reliever for a season in baseball history. With Robertson the top reliever on the market, and plenty of teams looking to fill the role, he will likely forgo the offer and see what he can get on the open market.

At 30, this could be Robertson’s only chance to secure a multiyear deal, so why risk it on a one year contract? With baseball contracts fully guaranteed, it only makes sense for Robertson to cash in when his value is at its highest.