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Posted by: Patrick
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There's no good way to say this or no way that won't be surprising. The only thing to do is really to say it: YanksBlog.com is closing.

Unfortunately, I'm facing some difficult economic and personal realities that are forcing me to clear my plate some in order to focus on what needs to be done. When you get to a moment like this, tough choices have to be made. Though it has been very difficult, I have had to identify some projects and commitments that I've had to let go or resign from.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and it was really hard. It's always hard to stop doing something you've been doing for years, something you've invested in that has become a part of your life. We launched YanksBlog.com on May 5, 2005 (05/05/05) and it's been a nice run.

Obviously, our love of the Yankees doesn't change. I was born a Yankees fan. We were die hard fans before this blog launched and we'll be die hard fans after it's gone. But, it will be different being a fan and not operating a blog, or feeling like you have to be in tune with the news or latest happenings. Quite different.

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Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings spoke with Mark Newman, focusing on where various pitchers will fit in the minor league rosters. He also asked about free agent Aroldis Chapman. Newman said that if Chapman signed with the Yankees, he'd start in Single- or Double-A, because he needs work on his command and secondary pitches.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Daily News has assembled their top 10 best and worst New York athletes and best and worst New York sports moments of the past decade. As one could expect, the Yankees factor heavily.

For the best athletes, we have number 4 in Alex Rodriguez, number 2 in Mariano Rivera and number 1 in Derek Jeter. As far as the worst athletes go, Kei Igawa checks in at 7, Kevin Brown at 3 and Carl Pavano at 2 (Stephon Marbury takes the top slot).

Yankees moments appear in the best moments list 5 times. Number 8 is "The Flip," number 6 is the miracle home runs during the 2001 World Series, number 4 is Aaron Boone, number 3 is the 2009 World Series title and number 2 is the 2000 World Series title. The Giants grab the top spot in this list with their Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

Finally, for the worst moments, we have Clemens throwing the bat at Piazza (number 8), the Diamondbacks beating us in the World Series (6), the steroid accusations and admissions (4) and The Curse being broken in 2004 (1).

Via Joseph Pawlikowski.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mark DeRosa is headed to San Francisco, leaving the Yankees with one less option in left. Anthony McCarron at the Daily News writes about the team's efforts to find a cheap player to slot in.

He lists Reed Johnson and Jerry Hairston Jr. as players that the team is pondering. He says that two team officials told him that the team has no interest in Jermaine Dye, despite reports and that Brian Cashman indicated that Xavier Nady would likely be outside of the budget.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
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Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Yankees are interested in Jermaine Dye. Dye, 36 in January, played 133 games in right field for the White Sox during the 2009 season. He hit .250 with a .340 OBA, 27 home runs and 81 runs batted in.

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
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Derek Jeter has been named New Yorker of the Year by the Daily News. They have a feature story to accompany the honor. He's very deserving. Congratulations.

Via Joseph Pawlikowski via iYankees.
Posted by: Patrick
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Joel Sherman of the Post reports that, according to a National League executive and an agent, the Yankees have been in touch with Reed Johnson's representatives.

Sherman says the team could see Johnson as a versatile option in the outfield, where he has spent significant time at all three positions. He can hold his own against left-handed pitchers, as his .313 (AVG)/.378 (OBA)/.463 (SLG) line against them for his career demonstrates.

Johnson is one of three outfielders, along with Xavier Nady and Jonny Gomes, who stands out to Sam Borden among available outfield candidates.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
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The AP has the specifics of Nick Johnson's contract, including performance based incentives and the mutual option for 2011.

Johnson gets a $5.5 million salary next season, and the deal includes a $5.5 million mutual option with a $250,000 buyout. He can earn $1 million annually in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 400 and 425 plate appearances, $75,000 each for 450 and 475, and $125,000 each for 500 and each additional 25 through 625. The option price would increase to $6 million with 500 plate appearances, $6.5 million with 550 and $7 million with 600. If he has at least 550 plate appearances, the buyout would be $500,000.

Johnson has reached 600 plate appearances just once in his career: with the Nationals in 2006, his finest season.

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
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Writing at SI.com, Baseball America's John Manuel shares his top 20 prospects in all of baseball. Our own Jesus Montero is fifth on his list. Manuel writes:

Why he's here: The minors' best hitter, Montero gets compared to Mike Piazza as a catcher whose hitting tools far outstrip his defense. The Yankees don't see him as Jorge Posada's heir because his defense is on par with Piazza's or worse.

What he'll be: Because he's likely to move out from behind the plate, Montero should be a first baseman or DH primarily. Other ex-catchers with premium bats such as Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado leap to mind.

When he arrives: New York's offseason moves will dictate whether Montero spends all season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or moves up to the big leagues as a part-time catcher and DH.

Via Steve Lombardi.
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Sam Borden passes along this quote from the Brian Cashman/Nick Johnson conference call, regarding the Yankees efforts to finalize their outfield: "We'll see where this takes us. It won't be a big-name situation, I can promise you that."

Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden say that the team is looking to sign someone for around $4 million, which wouldn't fit with the two years, $12 million that the Giants offered to Mark DeRosa, according to Jon Heyman.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith and Luke Adams.
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