Add Us:     MySpace     Facebook     StumbleUpon     Twitter


You are currently viewing archive for November 2005.

Posted by: Patrick

The Yankees appear to be closing in on a deal with right-hander Kyle Farnsworth, which would give New York a young, hard-throwing arm to set up closer Mariano Rivera.

One baseball official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Farnsworth will ink a three-year contract worth $15-17 million. The deal could be announced as early as Wednesday.

3 years, $17 million would work out to $5.666 million a year. I don't really have a problem with that and I'd like to see it get done.

The New York Daily News is reporting that we are also in "serious negotiations" with Flash. I'm curious as to what type of deal that Flash would get, given Farnsworth's potential deal.

My dream was Ryan, Gordon and Sauerbeck. But, I'd be happy with Farnsworth, Gordon and Mike Myers.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
We've signed Kelly Stinnett to a 1 year, $650,000 deal. So, this probably means that he'll be Posada's backup.

He caught Randy in Arizona. Last year he played in 59 games for Arizona, hitting .248 with 6 home runs, 12 RBIs and a .317 OBA.

Via Alex.
Posted by: James
Update: Cashman says this is not true and Torre says he was misinterpreted.

Wow. Maybe someone in the Yankees front office or down in Tampa reads the various Yankees blogs out there. ESPN is reporting that the Yanks are indeed mulling over their options for the hole in center field, including the possible use of one of its two All-Star (and Gold Glove winning) shortstops, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

There has been a lot of talk in Yankees fandom about this already. However, most of the time the debate has been about whether or not Jeter should move. A-Rod usually doesn't enter into the conversation. I've always been eager to see how this would play out if the Yanks ever seriously pursued it. In essence, with Jeter (who goes back on fly balls better than most players out there) in center, you would move from non-existent production to a better hitting version of Johnny Damon. A-Rod would be back at his natural position and there is no one in either league who puts up those kinds of numbers at the shortstop position. The only question then would be the one of who plays third base?

Still, I wouldn't hold your breath... I strongly doubt they would seriously consider moving the Captain from short (though he would certainly add even more to his legacy by willingly trying the CF experiment). Well, I'll believe it when I see it.
Posted by: Seamus
ESPN is reporting that reliever B.J. Ryan and the Toronto Blue Jays are closing in on a 5-year contract worth about $47 million. The deal will be the largest deal ever given to a reliever, surpassing Mariano Rivera's 4-year deal that ran from 2000-2001 (Rivera's deal was worth more per year). The Yankees have shown interest in Ryan, who has quietly become one of the game's most dominant relievers. Ryan went 1-4 last year with 36 saves and a 2.43 E.R.A.

Well, herein lies another part of the problem of attempting to convert a dominant closer into a setup man. $47 for 5-years is a huge deal. Most teams would not give that to a closer. In fact nobody has, so certainly he isn't going to get that much to be a setup guy, even if it's from the Yankees. Ryan said he wanted to be a closer this year, and there were too many teams that wanted him to close for them.

Well, there goes another reliever on the Yankees' offseason wish list. Perhaps we might have to reach out to Flash a little more and convince him to stay for another year or two.
Posted by: Patrick
Finally, we are able to get the Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere series underway. Our first interviewee is Brian MacMillan of Off the Facade. Without further ado...

» Read More

Posted by: James
Based on the current roster, the Yankee bullpen, as of November 23, consists of:
-A first ballot HoFer in Mariano Rivera (will be 36 in a week). Greatest. Closer. Ever. (and quite possibly the best righthanded pitcher in Yankee history).
-A pitcher with a career ERA of 5.18 in Tanyon Sturtze (just turned 35). To be fair, Tanyon did pitch well for a little bit between late-year 2004 and the first third of 2005 but for whatever reason, regression to his old self, injury, overuse, etc., went back to being the Tanyon Sturtze that Tampa Bay got rid of. Hopefully, he is able to rediscover the cutter that Mo taught him in 2004 and be effective again. Still, having to rely on Tanyon Sturtze to be a central part of your bullpen is definitely not the ideal scenario.

Then you have your tweeners. Are they starters or relievers?

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
I was interviewed (along with Alex, Brian and YanksFan) over at

Thanks Steve for having me.
Posted by: James
According to ESPN and Peter Gammons, this deal is all but done, with Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell being traded to Boston for highly touted shortstop Hanley Ramirez (who has yet to really produce all that much, in my opinion), right-handed prospect Anibal Sanchez and a minor-league pitcher. The Red Sox have agreed to take on all $18 million of the money owed to Lowell over the next two seasons. In my mind, this is a no brainer for the Red Sox as they have another SS prospect who could be just as good, if not better (he's already outproduced him by a good deal in the minors), than Ramirez in Dustin Pedroia. Anibal Sanchez is no slouch either. I have had the opportunity to see him pitch a few times for the Wilmington Blue Rocks and I have to confess, I think that he is the goods. However, giving that up for someone who has already proven himself in the majors and on the grand stage of the World Series doesn't really require that much reflection. Also, the Red Sox have more than enough revenue to offset Lowell's price tag and this deal should bolster support for the team after a disappointing 2005.

I'm sure there will be more on this the rest of the day and we'll keep you posted but for now, any first reactions to the trade?
Posted by: Patrick
Sources: Marlins close to fire sale:

The Marlins have not made any trades yet, but they have been actively shopping their players for the past two weeks, starting with first baseman Carlos Delgado (owed $48 million over the next three years), who has received attention from the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets and New York Yankees.

Wonder if there is any truth to that. What would we do with Delgado? Have him split time with Giambi between 1B and DH? I wonder what we'd be trading for him. Would we be giving up some "bad" salary (but less than they are)?

Delgado is owed between $48 million and $60 million dollars for the final 4 years of his deal (final one is a mutual option for $16 million with a $4 million buyout). During those years he'll be 34, 35, 36 and 37 years of age. So, yeah, they need to pony up some dough or we need to be dumping someone. Giambi, Posada, Pavano, Wright are the guys that would come to mind. Of course, they'd have to be clearing money, so it's not gonna be Giambi. I'm not sure I'm interested in trading Posada or Pavano for him (of course, Pavano might want out), but I guess Wright would be alright. Still, it seems odd to me, so I'm not sure that it's true. If we sign Giles and trade for Delgado, what's that lineup look like?

(With 2005 numbers).

SS - Derek Jeter (.309 AVG, 122 R, 19 HR, 70 RBI, .389 OBA, .450 SLG)
LF/CF - Brian Giles (.301 AVG, 92 R, 15 HR, 83 RBI, .423 OBA, .483 SLG)
3B - Alex Rodriguez (.321 AVG, 124 R, 48 HR, 130 RBI, .421 OBA, .610 SLG)
1B/DH - Jason Giambi (.271 AVG, 74 R, 32 HR, 87 RBI, .440 OBA, .535 SLG)
RF - Gary Sheffield (.291 AVG, 104 R, 34 HR, 123 RBI, .379 OBA, .512 SLG)
DH/1B - Carlos Delgado (.301 AVG, 81 R, 33 HR, 115 RBI, .399 OBA, .582 SLG)
CF/LF - Hideki Matsui (.305 AVG, 108 R, 23 HR, 116 RBI, .367 OBA, .496 SLG)
C - Jorge Posada (.262 AVG, 67 R, 19 HR, 71 RBI, .352 OBA, .430 SLG)
2B - Robinson Cano (.297 AVG, 78 R, 14 HR, 62 RBI, .320 OBA, .458 SLG)


Via Brian MacMillan.
Posted by: Michael
According to the Star-Ledger, Carl Pavano wants out of New York in a hurry.

A person who spoke with Pavano late in the 2005 season said Pavano was "miserable" with the Yankees and that he would like the team to try to trade him this winter.

The article goes further to say that the Yankees are looking to trade Pavano as they feel they have a good staff of starters ready to go regardless if they have Pavano or not.

Carl's season was unstable at best with an ERA of 4.77 and a 4-6 record in 17 starts. He was shelved just after the All-Star break on July 7th and never returned.

Is this a case of a pitcher who just can't handle New York? Did he put too much pressure on himself, and/or his body to meet expectations of rabid Yankee fans? By doing so, did this cause his season ending injury?

Making a trade with Pavano might be tough as he is owed just over $30 million over three years. But I strongly feel they should make a trade if any Yankee wants out as bad as Carl Pavano does.
Posted by: James
For those wondering why I think that resigning Flash Gordon would be a bad idea, Ben Kabek over at Off The Facade has a pretty thorough analysis on the situation.

Also, I was going to post this myself but SG over at RLYW beat me to it. posted their top 10 list of AFL prospects and Baby Bomber Eric Duncan made it to number 10. Take a look through my write-up of what Duncan did in Trenton this year, check out the article for what he did in the AFL and check out some of SG's work over at the RLYW. He's been cranking out some very thoughtful analysis this offseason. He is quickly climbing up the ranks to join Cliff Corcoran from Bronx Banter as my favorite Yankee analyst with a sabermetric slant.
Posted by: James
The Yankees off-season shopping list grows a little shorter as Scott Eyre signs on with the Cubbies. There was a good amount of talk that the Yanks would go after Eyre pretty hard to be the lefty out of the pen for next year but the Cubs beat them to it, signing Eyre to a two-year contract with a player option for a third year.

I was disappointed when I heard that he had signed with someone else because I had been looking at his stats and his rates recently. Batting average allowed, on-base % allowed and WHIP declining each year for the past 3 years. Positive trends with Ks too and it looks like he has his wildness coming under control. Combine that with his age (33) and left-handedness... and he looked like a great addition to the pen (certainly when you consider that he would be replacing Wayne Franklin, Alan Embree, et. al).

HOWEVER, I searched a little more on the 'net to find some more particulars on the contract. I found it: 2 years, 11 million dollars! That's closer money. It's also pretty much double what Tom Gordon was making with the Yanks and double what another lefty reliever got in the open market last year (Steve Kline - 2 years, $6 million). (Edit: Brad Williams was able to correct me in the comments below - the contract is actually only worth $11 million if he exercises the option. It's 2 years, $7 million if he doesn't. Even if he does, $3M + $4M + $4M isn't crazy money for a guy as good and as sought-after as Eyre.) Well, it's too bad - Eyre would have been a good pickup for the bullpen.
Posted by: Patrick
Notes: Bernie not the center of attention:

General manager Brian Cashman received a call Tuesday from Scott Boras, who represents Williams, but told the agent that he wasn't prepared to talk about a contract for Williams just yet.

"I told him it's for another day," Cashman said. "In the event that there's a role here for Bernie, it would be in a secondary role, not an everyday situation. How we approach that every winter, it doesn't get pushed up front. We'll deal with [bench players] after we tackle the bigger areas of the bullpen and how can we upgrade center field."

I understand how we may have handled things before, but this is a little different. Can't we multitask a bit? If Bernie wants to come back and wants to be a bench player (and be paid as a "well paid" bench player would be), let's get something done, I say.
Posted by: James
It looks like Luis Sojo will have some things to do with his free time now that he will be managing the Venezuelan squad in next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic, which will be the first international hardball tournament ever to include Major League players.

Tony Pena, who recently signed on to be the Yankees' first base coach, used to be the coach of the Dominican Republic team (which has players such as A-Rod, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Miguel Tejada and Vladimir Guerrero amongst its player pool).

Roberto Kelly, another former Yankees player is also mentioned in the article as he will be leading the Panama team (I wonder if Mo will pitch for them...). The games are scheduled to be played from March 3-20 in Japan, the United States and Puerto Rico.

11/16: Flash Update

Posted by: James
The Daily News is reporting this morning that Flash Gordon wants a three year deal and that the Yanks are only interested in two. So far, most reports have shown that the Yanks have shown interest in B.J. Ryan, Kyle Farnsworth, and Scott Eyre to help add some stability to the bullpen.

Also, some of the side trimmings from an article about the Matsui signing were interesting:
The Yankees were discouraged by Scott Boras' asking price of $84 million over seven years for Johnny Damon, so they will look seriously at signing Brian Giles with the thought of using a rotation in centerfield.

First, Scott Boras has to be crazy for setting that as Damon's asking price. $12 million a year for an aging centerfielder who isn't great defensively, is starting to show some offensive decline and has a less powerful arm than Bernie Williams. HOWEVER, if some GM actually signs Damon for that ludicrous deal, I will then bow to Mr. Boras, who will have displaced Stephen Hawking as the new smartest guy in the universe.

Second, a center field rotation, huh? I'm going to assume that rotation will consist of Matsui, Giles (I went into detail about it earlier) and Crosby (and after the first couple of months, hopefully Kevin Thompson as well, once Yankee management realize that he can do everything that Bubba can do, except better). I wonder how that would play out and what percentages each will play in center.
Posted by: James
We've got two sources saying that Mr. Matsui has officially signed with the Yankees for $52 million over 4 years (that's $13 million per). Is he overpaid? Sure, but he brings in a lot of revenue as a stand-alone star from Japan, doesn't get into trouble, and hey, he wears those pinstripes well. Good to have you on board Hideki. See you in spring training.

Still, it sure felt like Cashman was cutting it close! Now, on with the rest of the offseason - B.J. Ryan, pick up your phone!
Posted by: Patrick
Tanyon Strutze's option was picked up:

Yankees made the first of many expected moves to fill their bullpen, exercising the 2006 option on right-hander Tanyon Sturtze. The club had to decide by Tuesday whether to pick up the $1.5 million option on Sturtze or pay the reliever a $150,000 buyout.
Posted by: James
Now that the awards have all been given out, let's take a look at some of the hot topics for the Yanks, starting with the wooing and potential signing of Brian Giles. I've always thought very highly of Brian and he has been on my radar ever since his prospect days with the Cleveland Indians. I heard a lot of people speaking and writing pretty highly about the guy's tools and makeup. He didn't light the world on fire a la Miguel Cabrera in either 1997 or 1998 when he was given 350 ABs to show what he was made of. Still, Brian definitely didn't tank either and ended up putting up an OPS of .827 in 1996 and .856 in 1997 (with an OBP of .396). By this point, I was praying that the Yankees could find some way to get him from Cleveland but it was not to be.

November 18, 1998: Brian was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ricardo Rincon. Hmmm... yeah, that didn't end up being a very good trade for the normally very astute Indians organization. In his first season as an unopposed starter, Brian put up a line of .315/.418/.614 with 39 HRs, 115 RBIs and OPS+ of 157 (an OPS that was 57% better than the league average). This would be the first of several great seasons (four and a half in total) that Brian would have for the Pirates. None of these accomplishments earned him any MVP consideration though as the highest he ever finished was 13th in 2002 (which incidentally turned out to be his last full season with the Pirates). Not too shabby considering that he played for a team who could afford few quality hitters to surround him with.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on winning the 2005 AL MVP award.

In the end, he finished ahead of David Ortiz by 24 points, receiving 16 of the 28 first place votes. Ortiz took 11 of them with Vladdy taking the other 1. No one had him lower than 3rd (1 guy had him third?!). No one had Ortiz lower than 2nd. Gary Sheffield came in 8th with 84 points, Mo came in 9th with 59 points, Jeter came in 10th with 23 points, Matsui came in 14th with 8 points and Giambi came in at T18th with 5 points. Good to see.
Posted by: James
Update: Congrats to A-Rod on his 2nd MVP award! He definitely deserved it for his great year. (As a side note, Gary Sheffield (8th), Mariano Rivera (9th) and Derek Jeter (10th) rounded out the top 10.)

In my mind, there is no doubt that A-Rod is the MVP and for him to lose to a DH would be akin to a DH winning a Gold Glove without playing more 30 games at his position (see Palmiero, Rafael in 1999) or a SS winning an MVP award when another shortstop CLEARLY had the better year (see Tejeda, Miguel in 2002).

I grant that David Ortiz has had a great hitting season (though A-Rod's is still better since he played half his games in a pitcher's park, which also happens to favor left-handed batters!). Still, Ortiz had a great hitting season, too - I'll give you that. But baseball is played out on the field as well and that's where any Ortiz argument invariably breaks down. To replace Ortiz, you would need to find one thing: a great hitter. To replace A-Rod: you need a couple of things: a) a great hitter, b) a very good defensive third baseman and (this is often overlooked) c) a great baserunner. I like David Ortiz but he is not your AL MVP. A-Rod is.

Still, not convinced? Well, here are a few quick thoughts from the past couple of months on why A-Rod should be the winner:
-Tony DeMarco at NBC Sports
-Ken Rosenthanl from The Sporting News
-Elliot Kalb at Fox Sports
-Gary Peterson from the Contra Cost Times

Update: Even the folks at ESPN are pulling for A-Rod:
-The experts (God forbid Peter Gammons picks a Yankee... though to me the bigger travesty is that the experts showed Derrek Lee no love in the NL voting. Anyone who gives Andruw Jones votes over Derrek Lee didn't pay attention to his season.)
-The Daily Quickie

And finally, required reading from Larry Mahnken at The Hardball Times and Steve Lombardi over at Enough said.

If you want Ortiz support... well, this IS a Yankees site. ;)
Posted by: James
Here is the full list of Yankee free agents per Lee Sinin's Around the Majors:

Kevin Brown, RHP (Good riddance!)

Alan Embree, LHP (Bye bye!)

John Flaherty, C (That's the door!)

Tom Gordon, RHP (Hmm... would be a good guy in the pen but a declining K rate, 3 year contract demand, severe injury potential and a history of overuse sound the alarms. Combine that with the 2 first round draft picks the Yanks could potentially recieve and it might be time to say goodbye to Flash.)

Matt Lawton, OF (Ouch.)

Al Leiter, LHP (Another hmm... may be of some use as a LOOGY out of the pen.)

Tino Martinez, 1B (Thanks for the memories!)

Ramiro Mendoza, RHP (Another hmm... is he done because his AAA numbers this year say otherwise.)

Felix Rodriguez, RHP (See ya!)

Rey Sanchez, SS (Buh-bye!)

Ruben Sierra, DH (If the Yanks care about winning, do not resign him!)

Tanyon Sturtze, RHP (This would mean that the Yankees declined his '06 option - I wasn't aware of that happening but if that's the case, then I for one, am very happy about it.)

Bernie Williams, OF (Maybe a 4th OFer? If not, thanks for the memories and I'll see you in Monument Park!)
Posted by: James
This is currently just a rumor being floated out there but Newsday is printing that the Yankees are about to open up the bank to keep Hideki in the tune of $50 million over four years (update: the NY Times is saying that the $50 million is on the table as well). For those of you keeping score at home, that's an average of $12.5 per year (well above the $7 he earned in his first three years with the Yanks) and would keep him in the Bronx through his age 35 season. If this report turns out to be accurate, we should all pray that he ages as well as his fellow corner outfielder, Mr. Sheffield.

There was something else of note in the article that I found interesting.
The new proposal exceeds a goal Matsui is believed to hold of getting "a dollar more than Ichiro Suzuki," whose Mariners deal is for $44 million over four years.

Honestly, I wouldn't have expected this game of monetary one-upmanship from Matsui. Frank Thomas, Sheff, A-Rod... but not him. Maybe it's my naiveté but he seems so placid about everything when he's at bat, on the field or fielding questions that I wouldn't have expected money matters (or more specifically, how much someone else was being paid) to bother him.

11/12: Matsui Update

Posted by: James
A question was posed in the comments section of an earlier post that wondered if Hideki is really a free agent after Nov. 15th? The question was picked up over at WasWatching and here's a recap of the findings.

Murray Chass's article in the Times does a good job in explaining how the contract was set up:

A star in Japan, Matsui was free to sign with anyone before the 2003 season, and the Yankees wanted him. They wanted him badly enough that they were willing to risk losing him after paying him $22.5 million over three years.

As a three-year major leaguer, Matsui would be eligible for salary arbitration but not for free agency. Under the collective-bargaining agreement, he needed six years in the major leagues for free agency. But if the Yankees had to put him on unconditional-release waivers at the end of his contract, it would open up the way for him to become a free agent. Even worse for the Yankees, they would not be allowed, at that point, to re-sign him until May 15, which would effectively mean he would playing somewhere else next season.

Then, Baseball Musings, a phenomal baseball site run by David Pinto, picked up the question as well and a commenter named Mike (update: who runs hs own site - Baseball Insights) was able to provide a more detailed explanation:

» Read More

11/10: Re$pect!

Posted by: James
Well, it looks like Hideki might have listened to some Aretha Franklin over the last three years with the Yankees.

"Absolutely, staying with the Yankees is my first priority," Matsui recently told Sankei Sports in Japan. "I hope it happens. But I want to feel that the Yankees really need me. I want to feel respected. If the Yankees do not need me anymore, I am ready [to talk to other clubs]."

Brian Cashman met with Matsui's agent, Arn Tellem, last night over dinner and hopefully have set the stage for successful negotiations.

Cashman knows that he is working against the clock with Matsui. Hideki's current contract states that if he is not re-signed by Tuesday, November 15th, the Yankees have to release him. If that were to happen, the Yankees couldn't negotiate with him until May. However, reports are stating that the Yankees are willing to go as long as 4 years (with maybe an option for a fifth year) and as high as 10-12 million (Hideki's current contract is for 3 years and 21 million). Considering the dearth of good corner outfielders on the market and what Matsui brings to the table in terms of age and popularity, not to mention his good hitting, decent fielding and a proven ability to handle NY, it looks like Matsui's got a lot of leverage in these talks. I hope the Yanks aren't forced to overpay too much but still, this is a deal that needs to get done.
Posted by: James
Well, now that Tino's gone and it looks like Andy Phillips is going to get a shot, I started thinking about the Yankees as a team and just how old they were as a team. Last year, they were the oldest team in the majors, coming in just ahead (or is it behind...) the Red Sox, who averaged 29.6 years. Now, obviously, the average age of the team isn't an indicator of a great team by any stretch, but it doesn't seem likely that you'll be building many dynasties when you have a ton of older players on the roster. In that case, most of your guys hit their peaks (normally thought to be around the age 28 season) and while they may still perform at a high level, the decline phase of their career looms ever nearer.

Take Gary Sheffield for example - 2003 MVP: 3rd place - 2004 MVP: Runner-up, 2005: .291/.379/.512 - probably a top finisher in the MVP voting... and yet, it looks like there are some chinks in that armor. His 2005 numbers, while very good, were less than his career averages and Gary will be going into his age 37 season next year with 2,190 games and 7,886 at bats under his belt. With the way that he plays and how hard he swings that bat, that's a lot of wear and tear on that (in my mind) Hall of Fame body and you have to wonder if and when the wheels will start to come off. Will he experience a slow decline and still be of use to the club? Or will we be looking at a Bernie type fall, where we see the seemingly overnight transformation of a baseball superstar into someone that can and should be easily replaced. I'd pick the former for Sheff (he's still got that bat speed and that keen eye that very, very few players can match) but still, after what happened to Bernie and with the age of the roster - Sheff, Randy (42), Mussina (36), Posada (34), Giambi (34) and even Matsui and Jeter (31) are on the wrong side of 30 - it's hard not to think about and would be foolish to ignore.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees have declined Tino's option, deciding to pay him $250,000 to void his contract rather than $3,000,000 to play for us next season.

"I know the team has to get younger," Martinez said in a telephone interview. "I totally agree with that."...

"Tino's been a terrific Yankee," Cashman said. "But we have a kid knocking on the door in Phillips, so we should see what he can do. I'm not locked into it, but I'm gravitating toward using him there." ...

He reiterated on Tuesday that he was satisfied with his role last season, as his 303 at-bats represented his lowest total since 1991, when he played just 36 games with Seattle.

"I had a great time," Martinez said of his 2005 season. "I'm thankful for the time I had with the Yankees."

I still say that if our choice is Tino or Olerud, I'd take Tino. Nonetheless, he's handling it well and is a model for older players to follow. Thanks for everything, Tino.
Posted by: Patrick
I really wanted Scott Sauerbeck. Instead, he went back to the Indians. But, it's good to know that the Yankees called.

"My options were: I could sign a two-year deal with the Yankees and be a left-handed specialist for two years; or have a chance to set up and earn my way back," said Sauerbeck, who turns 34 on Wednesday. "I was like, 'I don't want to lose again, but I don't want to get locked up in being a specialist.'

Via Brian MacMillan.
Posted by: Patrick
Blast. Mo finished second in the AL Cy Young voting. He came up with 68 points to Colon's 118. I'm a tad surprised that it wasn't even close. 6 people actually failed to place him on their ballots at all. Everyone who voted had Colon on their ballot and no one had him placed lower than second. Mo got 8 first place votes, 7 2nd place votes and 7 3rd place votes. This marks the 4th time that Mo has finished in the top 3 in AL Cy Young voting - it's the first time he's placed 2nd. Ah, well. Congrats on a great season, Mo.
Posted by: Patrick
Well, we wrote about his case previously and our sister site,, launched a campaign to support his chances. And today, we'll know for sure as the AL Cy Young winner is being announced at 2:00 PM Eastern Time today. Fingers crossed - it'd make my day!
Posted by: James
Robinson Cano placed second in this year's AL Rookie of the Year voting, coming in behind Oakland's Huston Street. He finished with 57 points, 40 points shy of Street's 97.

I think that I must be jaded by the lack of Yankee ROY candidates of the past couple of years but I find it amazing that Cano finished this high. Joe Blanton (6 points) and Scott Kazmir (1 point) got the short end of the votes in my opinion since Blanton had arguably a more important season for the Athletics than Street did. On my ballot, it went Blanton, Street, and then you can pick one from Gustavo Chacin, Jonny Gomes, Kazmir and Cano. Don't get me wrong, I'm not undervaluing Robbie's contribution to the Yankees this past year. I'm just saying that there were several other worthy candidates amongst his peers who should have recieved more attention.

Steve Lombardi had a good writeup over at WasWatching on what the future might hold for #22.
Posted by: Michael
Yesterday the Yankees announced Yankee legend Ron Guidry as the successor for Mel Stottlemyre as the Yankees pitching coach.

Guidry has been working with the Yankee pitchers in spring training since 1990. Other than that, he doesn't have any coaching experience. He's been on the top of the list to take over for Stottlemyre over the last few years.

Guidry was the Yankees' co-captain (with Willie Randolph) from 1986 through 1989. A four-time American League All-Star, he remains in the top 10 on the Yankees' all-time list in games pitched (368), innings pitched (2,392), wins (170), winning percentage (.651), strikeouts (1,778) and shutouts (26).

It was also announced that Joe Kerrigan will be taking over the role as bullpen coach. As you may recall, Neil Allen was reassigned within the organization this week. Kerrigan came quietly to the Yankees last year as a special advisor doing in-house advance scouting and reporting to Cash.

With Kerrigan, Bowa, Pena, and Mazzilli on the coaching staff, we have four former managers and two Yankee legends. So we don't have Mazzone. Who cares? I'm completely satisfied how the Yankees approached their needs on the staff, and went out and got the best that were out there. I'm even more anxious now for the new season.

Priority now shifts to signing some key players.
Posted by: Michael
The Yankees announced Tony Pena to fill the role as the Yankees first base coach.

"I'm a baseball man; you can't stay away from the game," Pena said. "It's a privilege and honor to be part of the staff with the New York Yankees. Working for Joe Torre and everybody in the Yankees organization should be an honor for anybody in baseball."

By signing Pena, the Yankees have filled another coaching position with someone with Major League managing experience. Just last week the Yankees filled the third base coach position with Larry Bowa, and then this week welcomed back Lee Mazzilli as the bench coach.

In my opinion, this is a BIG deal. With Pena, they get a Latino presence in the dugout, but they also get someone who can work with the catchers. This will be very important, as Girardi filled that role last year, and he's gone to the Marlins.

Pena has four gold gloves and is a five-time all-star. Experience and success. Everything you could want in another coach. Welcome Tony!
Posted by: James
Matt Lawton tested positive for steroids.

I guess that this is the mystery roider that was discussed last week but as for someone that people will care about... well, and I apologize to all the Matt Lawton fans out there but... I don't really care. With the Yankees, he batted .125 (6-for-48) with two homers and four RBIs so if those were steroid-induced stats, I think even Matt would be the first to say that they should be thrown out.

Seriously though, I personally am happy that more people are getting caught because in theory, it should level out the playing field. However, I'm a realist and I figure that as long as the carrot of a multi-million dollar contract is dangling, there will always be some people who are willing to cheat to get there.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees have brought back Lee Mazzilli, this time as Joe Torre's fourth Yankee bench coach. Mazzilli was the Yankees first base coach for four years from 2000-2003, but spent the last two seasons managing the Baltimore Orioles. Mazzilli was fired by Baltimore in the middle of last season after they quickly collapsed after being in first place through late June.

I think this is good to see. Mazzilli has a great mind and he fit in well with the Yankees' bench while he was here. It also helps that we have a guy who has experience coaching under Joe Torre. I actually think he did a pretty good job in Baltimore. People forget that the Orioles weren't expected to do anything last year, yet they led a division that includes the Yankees and the Red Sox for most of the first half of the season. And of course it never hurts to have another home town guy on the staff. Welcome back, Maz!
Posted by: Michael
MLB announced the winners today of the AL Gold Glove awards, and Derek Jeter won his second Gold Glove!

On the surface, Jeter had a modest season with the glove, his 15 errors and .979 fielding percentage ranking middle-of-the-pack. But like Varitek, the Red Sox captain, the Yankees captain's take-charge presence in the middle of New York's infield presented a compelling case for voters.

In my mind, MLB should be comparing Varitek to Jeter instead of the other way around. But hey, that's my opinion. Say what you want about "middle of the pack" stats, the AL short stops fall far short of a "take charge presence."

I will also like to say that we as Yankee fans are very fortunate to have Jeter our our team. I believe it is more of a natural aura that surrounds him on and off the field that every baseball player should strive to emulate. When I think of him, I think of all the things when I think of the Yankees. Class. Professionalism. And maybe a bit of cockiness. Not a bad thing. Left off of the All-Star roster? That one still has me shaking my head.

Here's to you Jeter and your Gold Glove.