Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yankees interested in Sheets, Pettitte

Jon Heyman comments on the Yankees interest in Andy Pettitte and Ben Sheets. Apparently, new teams are raving over some new Sheets medical info. He is an ACE when he is healthy, but missed the end of the season and the playoffs with an injured elbow.

I wouldn't mind signing Sheets instead of Pettitte, but regardless I think we need one more pitcher. Hughes shouldn't be promised a spot. Pettitte is the better bet for 200 innings, while Sheets is the better pitcher when healthy. We will wait and see how this one plays out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Freddy Garcia choosing between Yanks, Mets?

UPDATE::It will be the Mets who land Garcia. More reason why the Yankees should bring back Pettitte.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that free agent pitcher Freddy Garcia is choosing between the Yankees and Mets. It would likely be a one year deal worth around $2-4 million with incentives.

I don't really get this. Garcia isn't a good bet to be healthy and give us a lot of innings, if any. I'm guessing he'd be promised that last spot in the rotation, sending Hughes back to AAA. While I do agree with making Hughes earn his spot, I am not sure Garcia is the answer. We need that one other guy who can be a solid veteran and give us 200 innings, and Andy Pettitte is exactly that. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 19, 2009

13 Yankees headed to WBC

The rosters for the 2009 World Baseball Classic have been announced. 13 Yankees will be playing in the tournament. As listed here Derek Jeter will represent the USA, while A-Rod, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera will play for the Dominican Republic along with other Yankees teammates Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras and Damaso Marte. Some other Yankee players who will be in the tournament are Alfredo Aceves and Jorge Vazquez (Mexico), Francisco Cervelli (Italy), Jahdiel Santamaria (Panama) and minor leaguers Kai Liu and Zhenwang Zhang (China).

I think it would be best for Cano, Melky and Aceves to stay in camp, but they will take another route. I am glad Sabathia and Teixeira are skipping out, however. Some players who will benefit from these players not being in part of camp are Cody Ransom, Angel Berroa, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke, David Robertson and Brett Gardner.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yankees not pursuing Manny

Bryan Hoch has an interesting article up about the Yankees and Manny Ramirez. He mentions that the Yankees do not appear to be pursuing Manny. It also says that it doesn't appear as if the Yankees plan to do so. This being said, the point is made clear by this article, and by this offseason that the Yankees are unpredictable:

But while Hal Steinbrenner said that the Yankees continue to look at all options every day, the club co-chairman also noted recently, "We accomplished a lot in the last month." There's always the possibility of a last-minute Scott Boras swoop-in -- see Johnny Damon, 2005, and Teixeira, 2008 -- but it seems unlikely this time.

Similar articles were also popping up about Mark Teixeira and the Yankees, and we all know how that ended. While a 3-4-5 of A-Rod, Teixeira and Manny would be arguably the best ever, it would take a lot. The Yankees would need to trade one of Nady/Swisher as well as move Matsui or Damon. Trading Matsui would be close to impossible and we need Damon. Not to mention the price tag and Manny being Manny. For all it would take, I think the Yankees should pass on Manny.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Predicting the rest of the free agent market

A couple weeks ago, I tried to predict where 5 of the top remaining free agents would land. I was wrong on the 3 that have signed since then, and my other two predictions don't look to strong.

My predictions were:
Teixeira to the Angels Actual: Yankees
Derek Lowe to the Mets Actual: Braves
Manny Ramirez to the Yankees Actual: None
Adam Dunn to the Dodgers Actual: None
Brian Futenes to the Cardinals Actual: Angels

Its been a close to impossible predicting where players will land in this tough market, but I will attempt to predict the rest of the top remaining free agents. (No particular order)

Manny Ramirez-Prediction: Dodgers, 3 years, $66 million
Adam Dunn-Prediction: Braves, 2 years, $24 million
Bobby Abreu-Prediction: Reds, 2 years, $22 million
Orlando Hudson-Prediction: Royals, 3 years, $30 million
Orlando Cabrera-Prediction: Athletics, 2 years, $18 million
Ben Sheets-Prediction: Rangers, 1 year, $8 million with $4 million in incentives
Andy Pettitte-Prediction: Yankees, 1 year, $10 million
Ken Griffey Jr.-Prediction: Mariners, 1 year, $7 million
Juan Cruz-Prediction: Tigers, 2 years, $9 million
Chad Cordero-Prediction: Brewers, 1 year, $5 million
Perdo Martinez-Prediction: Dodgers, 1 year, $6 million
Oliver Perez-Prediction: Mets, 4 years, $48 million
Randy Wolf-Prediction: Phillies, 2 years, $20 million with $10 million club option

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yankees invite 20 to Spring Training

The Yankees have announced a list of 20 players invited to Spring Training.

Here is the list:
C Kyle Anson
IF Doug Bernier
IF Angel Berroa
C Kevin Cash
OF Colin Curtis
1B/OF Shelley Duncan
P Kei Igawa
OF Austin Jackson
P Jason Johnson
IF Justin Leone
OF Todd Linden
P Mark Melancon
P Sergio Mitre
C Jesus Montero
IF Eduardo Nunez
IF Ramiro Pena
C P.J. Pilittere
OF John Rodriguez
C Austin Romine
IF Kevin Russo

Out of those players, the ones with any chance of making the club are Berroa, Melancon and possibly Duncan and Jackson. The rest will likely be sent back down to the minors. Linden did tear it up last spring with the Yankees however.

The list is from here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cuban defectors open to any team, name Yankees

A couple weeks ago, it was reported that Cuban pitcher Yadel Marti and Cuban outfielder Yasser Gomez made it to the US and hope to play for major league teams next year. Marti is one of Cuba's best pitchers and dominated in the World Baseball Classic a few years back. Gomez is a speedy outfielder. Both players are seen as capable of playing in the majors now.

Newsday is reporting that both are currently in New York. In an interview with the two players they said they were willing to play for any team, but specifically named the Yankees, White Sox and Red Sox as some teams they may have interest in.

The White Sox of course are home to several Cuban defectors such as Jose Contreras, Alexi Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo, so they may have the inside track if they are interested.

I wouldn't mind the Yankees signing either player. Marti could be given the chance to be our 5th starter, and if not supposedly has experience as a closer, so he could move to the bullpen. Gomez could compete with Cabrera and Gardner for the center field job. I hope the Yankees go after both of these players, especially Marti.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Pavano bashes Yankees

In an interview today with Carl Pavano, he bashed the Yankees organization. Here were his words:

"When you're down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you're down," Pavano said. "I've had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years."

Well Carl, maybe if you actually tried to pitch once in a while, you'd have more supporters. He literally got hurt everytime he tried to come back, minus the end of the year when he was playing for a contract. We all know it was more than injuries, I mean who misses half a year with a bruised ass?

You can get the rest of the article here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yankees would rather keep Swisher

According to the Yankees would rather trade Xavier Nady than Nick Swisher.

To me this makes more sense as well. Nady out-produced Swisher last year by a wide margin. Also, Nady is a free agent after this year and likely wont be returning since he is a Scott Boras client. From what I have heard, Swisher is a great guy in the clubhouse which is exactly what the Yankees need. With Damon, Nady and Matsui all leaving via free agency next year, Swisher would be able to take over one of the spots in the outfield instead of having to dip into the free agent market again.

I wonder what we could pick up for him. Some teams that would likely have interest are the Reds, Mets, Braves, Giants, Rockies, Dodgers, Angels, Athletics and Indians. I wonder if we could pry a Top 10 prospect for him, likely one from the lower half of rankings.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yankees introduce Teixeira

Today at the old Yankee Stadium, the Yankees introduced free agent catch Mark Teixeira. All pictures are from here.

Yankees Notes: Fuentes, Duncan, Mitre...

Tons of Yankees notes from today...

Ken Rosenthal has a new article up that has a couple interesting Yankee notes in it. He says the Yankees and Brian Fuentes' agent has serious talks before the lefty signed with LA. Fuentes would have been the set-up man and eventually would have taken over as closer. He also says that a Pettitte return isn't impossible, though from everything I have heard its very unlikely. Lastly, he mentions that the agent for Orlando Cabrera tried to market his client as a second basemen to the Yankees, but was told they are set with Cano. That would be a very idea in my opinion. Just keep Cano.
The Sporting News reports that newly signed RHP Sergio Mitre has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for an illegal substance. He will spend it while on the DL, so it doesn't really matter,
The LoHud Yankees Blog reports that to make room for Mark Teixeira, the Yankees have designated for assignment 1B/OF Shelley Duncan. Duncan had a magical run with the Yankees for a couple weeks back during the 2007 season. Best of luck to him. It also mentions in the same post that LHP Phil Coke has been told to come to camp as a starter. In another post the same site shares that the Yankees have signed right hander Jason Johnson to a minor league deal. The only thing i'll ever remember Johnson by is getting hit hard in game one of the 2006 Boston Massacre.
Carl Pavano" has signed with the Indians. Goodbye Carl, thanks for stealing $40 million.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pettitte denies Yankees?

The New York Times is reporting that Andy Pettitte has rejected the Yankees 1-year, $10 million dollar offer. He also says that there is no standing offer and it seems unlikely that Pettitte will be returning next year.

Unreal. Andy Pettitte used the Yankees for money once before, and all he cares about again is money. I hope he knows he's done as a Yankee forever and that the fans will boo him horribly if he returns. He is no different than almost all other players, money first. He is no more than a #4 starter and $10 million is plenty. If he doesn't want that, I am fine with that. See you later Andy, bring on Phil Hughes. Good luck getting that money elsewhere.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Yankees to introduce Teixeira as soon as Tuesday

The New York Daily News reports that the Yankees are getting ready to introduce free agent catch Mark Teixeira. It mentions that a press conference could come as early as this Tuesday. Teixeira will have to pass a physical before any deal is announced.

The Yankees and Mark Teixeira agreed to an 8-year, $180 million dollar contract two days prior to Christmas. The Yankees front office has been closed this past week.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Sleepers

There hasn't been any Yankee news at all over the last week, so there hasn't been much to report. So I am going to talk about my sleeper picks for the 2009 Yankees in this post.

RHP David Robertson
We saw David Robertson sky rocket through the Yankees minor league system last year. After a very good 2007 season, he started the year in AA but he didn't stay there very long. He posted a jaw-dropping 0.96 ERA and struck out 26 batters in just 18 2/3 innings earning him a promotion to AAA. He didn't miss a beat there either, going 4-0 with a 2.06 ERA and striking out 51 batters in 35 innings. The Yankees had seen enough and gave him a shot with the big club. At the time, the Yankees had moved Joba Chamberlain into the rotation and were looking for a set-up man to replace him in the bullpen. GM Brian Cashman said that Robertson 'could be that guy' who replaces Chamberlain at the back of the bullpen. Robertson didn't dominate like he did in the minors, looking completely over matched at times while also showing dominance at other times. The Yankees open 2009 with Mariano Rivera, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte the only locks to get a spot in the bullpen, leaving likely 2 spots to be fought for. Robertson, Phil Coke, Alfredo Aceves, Jonathan Albaladejo, Humberto Sanchez, Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy all battling it out for the final spots in the bullpen. I see Coke and Robertson being the ones who grab those jobs, and I see Robertson emerging the way Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras did last year.
Projected season: 5-2, 3.55 ERA, 52 IP, 62 SO

CF Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner isn't really a typical sleeper pick since he is the head candidate for the Yankees center field job next year, but I think he is going to have a much better season than people expect. Him and Melky Cabrera will likely battle it out in Spring Training for the chance to start in centerfield for the Yankees on opening day. Since Gardner adds a whole new dimension to the Yankees line-up, I believe he will be the one who claims the job. There will be a very little amount of pressure on Brett in 2009, he will just be looked at to catch the ball in center, play above average defense and lay the bunt down when needed. In my mind, he will greatly defy those expectations. His speed at the bottom of the order is going to install fear into pitchers when he's on base causing pitchers to make more mistakes to the top of the order. He isn't going to hit many home runs, if any, but he will get on base, lay down the bunt for a hit or a sacrifice, steal bases and will play the defense the Yankees need in center. He is the secret weapon for the Yankees heading into 2009 and will be the spark plug all season bringing a whole new type of game to a line-up of sluggers. The Yankees need to play him everyday.
Projected season: .272 AVG, 2 HR, 54 RBI, 55 SB

RHP Zach McAllister (A)
Here is a player who likely isn't going to contribute in 2009, but is definitely a player to keep your eyes this year. Zach McAllister was the Yankees 3rd round pick in 2006 and spent a while changing his arm angle and pitches. He went back to his original set of pitches this past year, and took off. He started the year in Low-A ball and earned a promotion after going 6-3 with a 2.45 ERA. If you think that is good, he did even better at the High-A level. He dominated with the Tampa Yankees tossing a 1.83 ERA and an 8-6 record. Possibly his most impressive stat, in 151 innings pitched this year, he allowed only 21 walks. His great season earned him the #6 ranking among Yankee prospects by Baseball America in the off-season. As BA puts it "McAllister has the body, mechanics and repertoire to be a mid-rotation workhorse. After making terrific progress in 2008, he figures to spend most of 2009 in Double-A." I couldn't agree more and he looks like he could develop into a Nick Blackburn type pitcher, and could arrive in the Bronx in 2010.
ETA: 2010

These are some players to keep an eye on in 2009.