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You are currently viewing archive for November 2007.

Posted by: Patrick
From John Harper and Bill Madden:

After two days of internal discussions among front-office executives, the Yankees swallowed hard Friday and decided to offer Phil Hughes to the Twins as part of the trade package they hope will land them Johan Santana.

The Yanks had declared Joba Chamberlain off limits, and the Twins told them that Ian Kennedy, the third of their three prized righthanders, wouldn't be enough. According to the club source, there was spirited internal debate in the organization via conference calls about whether to make Hughes available.

Via Ben.
Posted by: James
The last Yankee on the Top 50 Prospect list is Joba Chamberlain, who slots in at number 5, just ahead of Clay Buchholz and right behind Clayton Kershaw.

Chamberlain dominated three levels of the Minors, went to the Futures Game and made it to the big leagues as a high-impact short reliever
He's got the kind of stuff that should put him near the top of the rotation in time, with the ability to throw four pitches -- fastball, curve, slider and changeup -- for strikes. You never can tell what might happen in the future with trades and signings, but the concept of a Philip Hughes-Joba Chamberlain-Ian Kennedy rotation should make Yankee fans plan for baseball deep into October for the next decade or so.

3 kids on a list of 50 isn't too shabby. Throw in Hughes, Cano, Melky and the cavalcade of pitchers in the minors and you have a nice looking system. Again, I am surprised that Tabata did not make this list considering who else was on it...but hey, maybe I'm guilty of over-hyping.
Posted by: Patrick
From The Denver Post:

The Rockies contacted the agent for Loretta, who tore up the National League West while with the San Diego Padres. However, the Rockies don't like their chances, believing he will end up with the Yankees. While that deal is close, Loretta has made it known how much he likes the Rockies and would prefer to see how their second base situation plays out before signing with the Yankees.

Loretta, who will be 36 on opening day, is attractive because of his versatility (he's played 194 more or more games at each of the infield positions - 780 at 2B, 400 at SS, 195 at 1B and 194 at 3B) and the fact that he's far from a liability on offense. Last year, with the Astros, he hit .287 with a .352 OBA and .372 SLG. His career numbers are .298/.362/.399. No power, but a guy who puts the ball in play and gets on base.

Via Jim Johnson via Buster Olney.
Posted by: Patrick
The Times and the Post have quotes from Posada and Andy's father, Tom Pettitte, on Pettitte's status as far as him rejoining the Yankees.

“He’s so torn right now,” Tom Pettitte said. “Everybody knows that he was done last year and he didn’t want to play because he wanted to be with his kids. That’s what this is all about. He’s not looking for more money or anything.” ...

“I guess if he hadn’t had as much success as he’s had or accomplished as much as he’s accomplished, I don’t know, it might be different,” Tom Pettitte said. “He’s pretty much accomplished everything he wanted to.”

“Right now he is leaning toward retirement," Posada said of Pettitte, who had a players' option for $16 million but opted for free agency. It's believed Pettitte's choices are pitching for the Yankees or retiring. “But he wants to play. Hopefully we will see him around February. He will make his decision in January."

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
The AP reports that the Posada deal has been finalized. Welcome back, Jorge.
Posted by: James
IPK joins Austin Jackson on the's Top 50 prospects list, coming in at number 26.

The Overall Starting Pitcher of the Year pitched at three levels on his way to the big leagues. He won't light up radar guns like Chamberlain, instead relying on outstanding command of four pitches to get hitters out. He did show that despite the plus fastball, he could miss more than enough bats to succeed.

I'm going to assume that the writer mixed up his thoughts there. Still, nice placement for IPK though I am surprised about another player, Jose Tabata. Unless he's in the top 10, which I really can't see happening, Tabata looks like he won't even make this list...which makes little sense to me considering that Fernando Martinez is ranked 17th.

11/29: Young Money

Posted by: Patrick
John Burgeson reports from the 20th annual Cardinal Shehan Center Celebrity Breakfast in Bridgeport, CT, where Brian Cashman gave an address, talking about his ascension through the Yankee ranks and his loyalty to the Yankees.

He said that he was an unlikely candidate for the Yankee GM's office, however. "I grew up as a Yankee-hater — I was a Los Angeles Dodger fan, and I hated the Yankees because they always beat the Dodgers," he said. While a student at the Catholic University of America in Washington, Cashman, then 19, began with the Yankees as an intern. "I did just about anything, without question — I'd run stats, I'd pick up the GM's wife at the airport, I'd work with stadium security. Whatever they asked me to do, I would do it."

Despite being the "low man on the totem pole" in the Yankee organization, he said that he "loved the work because it was baseball."

He found himself getting one promotion after another. "Not surprisingly, there was a lot of turnover — the opportunities above me kept popping up."

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Our next interview is with Earl Mitchell (also known as anaconda) of Pinstripe Alley.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

I do social work such as case management and both individual and group therapy on an inpatient unit at a psychiatric hospital. It's an interesting and unique place to earn a living because I interact with a lot of people with severe mental illnesses. Some are psychotic and violent individuals who have little fear and will attack you without hesitation. No joke.

Outside of work, I'm a movie buff, gun collector, and a big sports fan (NY Yankees, Michigan football, and - gasp - Miami Dolphins). I also spend quite a bit of free time watching my six nieces and nephews, which includes eighteen month old triplets.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

Since November of 2006.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
The Twins are close to acquiring outfielders Delmon Young and Jason Pridie from the Devil Rays. Why do we care? Well, Delmon's played some center field and Pridie is a CF prospect who has put up some very nice offensive numbers. So, that most likely means they won't be wanting Melky, which has to hurt our chances of getting Johan.

Via Ben.

11/28: Johan!

Posted by: Patrick
Pete Caldera takes a crack at the deals that the Twins and Yankees may discuss, mentioning:

IF Robinson Cano, RHP Phil Hughes, RHP Jeff Karstens and RHP Tyler Clippard for LHP Johan Santana and IF Matt Tolbert.

OF Melky Cabrera, RHP Joba Chamberlain, RHP Jeff Marquez and IF Wilson Betemit for LHP Johan Santana and LHP Glen Perkins.

RHP Ian Kennedy, OF Melky Cabrera, OF Jose Tabata, RHP Ross Ohlendorf and RHP Allan Horne for LHP Johan Santana.

He mentions the third one as unlikely. If Joba, Phil or Cano are needed, it's gonna be a deal breaker for me at this point. Lisa Kennelly and Ed Price report that, "according to a person with knowledge of the trade talks who asked not to be named", Cano and Joba are off limits.

Via Steve and Bryan Hoch.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Kreigel has an interesting look at Hank Steinbrenner and his first time around in the Yankees organization, in the eighties.

Hank chose the worst of all possible years to apprentice in the family business. It was 1986, a season that saw his father's nightmare become reality with the Mets and the Red Sox meeting in the World Series. George the Elder was at his worst: bitching and bullying and firing employees at will. Green, now senior vice president for media relations with the Miami Dolphins recalls being sacked "about five times" in his Yankees career.

None of this was lost on Hank, then a 28-year-old with a taste for Led Zeppelin. The great Hank story — and it is told several ways, though not by Greene — has him being asked what it would take for the team to exhibit sustained improvement. "Simple," said Hank. "Get rid of my father."

He was kidding. Or was he?

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
From Lisa Kennelly and Dan Graziano:

The Yankees have "definitely reached out" to free agent right-hander David Riske, said his agent Nez Balelo. Riske, 31, was 1-4 with a 2.45 ERA in 69 2/3 innings with the Kansas City Royals in 2007.

Via Bryan Hoch.
Posted by: Patrick
This is not a lot of warning, but I wanted to mention that I will be on Marist Radio at 7:30 PM ET tonight. You can listen live online.
Posted by: James
Apparently, Mike A. reported it yesterday but I only noticed it this morning. The Yankees' own Austin Jackson made MiLB's Top 50 prospects list, coming in at number 49.

Jackson is a tremendously athletic outfielder who, upon being promoted from the South Atlantic League to the Florida State League, responded to the challenge by showing the ability to hit to all fields with power, speed and more defensive ability than he'd shown in the past.
He'll play the 2008 season at age 21 and could feasibly do it with Double-A Trenton.

Getting onto Top 50 lists could definitely help that trade value...not that A-Jax hasn't boosted it considerably himself in the past year, becoming (arguably) the Yankees top position prospect.
Posted by: Patrick
This may seem like a foregone conclusion, but just to be sure, Hank Steinbrenner confirmed it:

"I don't want to get into that at this point, as far as what they want, what we're willing to give and all that," he said. "It's preliminary right now."
Posted by: Patrick
The 2008 Hall of Fame ballot has been announced. New Yankees added to the list include Tim Raines, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch and Jose Rijo. Returning, we have "Goose" Gossage, Tommy John, Don Mattingly and Lee Smith.
Posted by: Patrick
From Buster Olney:

Our colleague Peter Gammons is hearing that the Twins want this three-player package from the Yankees, in any Santana conversation: pitcher Phil Hughes and center fielders Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson. Given that the Yankees will probably be asked to pay Santana a deal of at least six years and $150 million to convince him to stay, I'd be shocked if they seriously considered that trade. Because part of the equation for the Yankees or any other team, as they make decisions about a possible Santana deal, is this: Even beyond the question of swapping promising young players like Hughes and Cabrera and Jackson, how much money does it save them to have cheap players on their roster. How much will it cost them to replace a Cabrera or Jackson? Without Cabrera or Jackson, the Yankees might have to sign a veteran center fielder in their place in a year or two.
Posted by: Patrick
Our next interview is with Eric Schultz of Pending Pinstripes.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

I'm a sophomore at Amherst College, majoring in political science. Aside from schoolwork, I play on the ultimate Frisbee team and am involved in various clubs and organizations. I enjoy reading, following politics and watching sports (especially the Yankees and the New York Giants).

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

I've been blogging with MVN since June and I had another blog, called Yanks and More, for a few months before then.

How did you end up blogging at MVN?

They were looking for a fill-in writer because EJ Fagan (my current co-writer) was going to be away for the summer. As someone who enjoys getting my opinion out onto the blogosphere and a big fan of Pending Pinstripes, I decided to apply and give it a shot.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Steve Serby has a long and interesting Q&A with Hank Steinbrenner.

Q: You once said: "If I fired somebody, it would be for a very good reason, and they'd stay fired. Dad fires somebody, then hires them back and sends their kids to college."

A: I don't want to compare myself with my dad. The fact is, I'm a much easier Boss; I'm very slow to fire somebody. It would have to be for a very good reason - if they cross me or the company. Once I fire them, they stay fired.
Posted by: Patrick
From the AP:

Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed on a $30 million marketing package based on home run achievements that could raise the total value of his new contract to $305 million over 10 years.

From Murray Chass:

The nonguaranteed part of the contract will be the marketing agreement, which the commissioner’s office and the players union have approved. The Yankees and Rodriguez had to keep changing the nature of the agreement to gain approval because players cannot receive bonuses for achievements like home run totals. ...

The contract will not have the kinds of award bonuses that filled Rodriguez’s $252 million contract. In the seven years he played under the contract, Rodriguez earned $5.5 million in bonuses, including $3 million for his three Most Valuable Player awards in the last five years.

The $30 million will be broken into payments of $6 million dollars each when (or if) A-Rod ties Willie Mays at 660, Babe Ruth at 714, Hank Aaron at 755, Barry Bonds at 762 and when he passes Bonds.
Posted by: Patrick
Watch below. You can see Cano at :49, Melky at 1:05 and Melky and Cano at 1:09.

Via Cliff Corcoran.
Posted by: Patrick
Ken Rosenthal has this:

One major league star, multiple prospects and a seven-year, $140 million contract.

That's all it will take to add Johan Santana at the Twins' current price — and the likely price for a starting pitcher of his caliber.

The Twins, rival executives say, want at least one big-name major leaguer for Santana, a player such as the Mets' Jose Reyes or Yankees' Robinson Cano.

He also notes that a 7 year, $140 million dollar deal would likely be the minimum that Santana would sign. So, it'd probably need to be something like Cano, Joba/Phil/Kennedy, a very good prospect and something else. Maybe they'd take Melky in place of a very good prospect (or, possibly more likely, as the something else), but that would seem unlikely. Is it worth it?

If they take Cano, Kennedy, Tabata or Horne (not sure) and Melky, that leaves us with major league openings at second and center field, as Johan would obviously fill Kennedy's rotation spot. Though it's not ideal, we do have Matsui, Damon and Abreu and that could be our outfield. Maybe Shelley Duncan would get time out there in left instead of Matsui. The loss of Melky, while a minus, doesn't really concern me. What really concerns me is who plays second base. Wilson Betemit? Alberto Gonzalez? The free agent market is pretty slim. Tadahito Iguchi? Cano is a tough one here because he's one of the best second basemen in the game, he's young and he's under our control. Cano is what breaks this deal. If that's what they want, then I have to say pass.

If it's Kennedy, Horne or Tabata and Melky, I'd think about that. Add Cano and it's just too much. Santana's great, but I'd rather rock with what we have than do that deal.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Billy Martin and Gabe Paul are among the finalists in the round of Veterans Committee voting for Hall of Fame entry for managers/umpires and executives/pioneers.

On a note unrelated to the Yankees, I wouldn't mind if Davey Johnson made it. I met him a couple times, maybe 6 or 7 years ago and caddied for him at a celebrity golf event (well, actually, I caddied for Mike Schmidt and Davey Johnson was his playing partner, but I did have the opportunity to talk with him a bit) and he was a super nice guy.
Posted by: Patrick
MLB pitcher Joe Kennedy passed away suddenly early today. Very sad. Our thoughts are with those who were close to him.
Posted by: Patrick

Kuroda, 32, who has a 96 mph fastball and a power slider, has won 40 games during the past three years in Japan while averaging 193 innings per 135-game season.

Seattle isn't alone in pursuing Kuroda. The Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies and Yankees are all thought to have an interest in the right-hander, who could have come to the U.S. last year but signed a four-year contract with Hiroshima.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Back at the start of October, I mentioned that, former Yankees farmhand, C.J. Henry had left the Phillies and was considering a return to the Yankees. Henry was dealt to the Phillies in 2006 in the Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle deal. According to the Post, it's a done deal. The 21 year old Henry is back with the team and will be sent to single A.
Posted by: Patrick
The Angels have signed Torii Hunter to what is thought to be a 5 year, $90 million dollar deal. This could help open up a deal with the White Sox for Bobby Jenks.
Posted by: Patrick
Ed Price reports that, according to a source, whatever Shelley Duncan went to the hospital for was resolved by medication and he should be good to go in Spring Training. No official word, yet.
Posted by: Patrick
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Yankees could join the bidding for Torii Hunter if they deal Melky Cabrera, who they are shopping for pitching.

Doug Miller has a nice piece on Ronan Tynan.

... a lot of fans write to me and say, 'I'm not a Yankee fan, but I'm a fan of what you do, and I appreciate it. It gives me a moment to understand the bigger picture.' They'll say things like, 'I hate the fact that every time you sing, we lose,' but at the end of the email, they're saying, 'God bless you and keep you safe. You do do a great job.'

"I always write back, and I say, 'Thank you,' and 'Go Yankees!'

"And that must really drive them through the roof."

Buster Olney reports that Johan Santana has rejected the Twins 5 year, $93 million dollar offer (that's $18.6 million a year).

George King reports on new Yankees pitching coach, Dave Eiland, stating that it's not 100% settled that Joba will be in the rotation, though they are leaning that way. The article also notes that the Yankees are interested in Jeremy Affeldt and Trever Miller and that they were interested in Francisco Cordero as a setup man, but he wants to close (that's unfortunate).

Finally, George King and Mike Puma report that Shelley Duncan was in the hospital recently. His agent and the Yankees are mum on what's going on, however.

Shelley Duncan is out of an Arizona hospital, but the extent of a circulatory problem believed to be a blood clot in an arm isn't known because the Yankees aren't talking about it.

Duncan was admitted to the hospital last week, and according to agent Barry Meister and GM Brian Cashman, he is no longer there.

Whatever it is, hopefully it's nothing serious. We'll be keeping him in our thoughts.

Via Steve and Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Steve suggests that Yankees fans write Andy Pettitte a quick note, wishing him a happy holiday season and telling him how much you'd like him back. Worth a shot.

While you're doing that, why not also send one to Johan Santana? It's never too early! :)
Posted by: James
Apparently Johnny Damon and Alfonso Soriano (and Shaq too) are fans of wrestling. Damon (and some really big hair) was on hand for the latest WWE event and the pictures are up on the WWE site. It looks like it was a good time and Dave Batista is one big dude...and man, Soriano is a lucky cat.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand reports that the Yankees are interested in reliever Scott Linebrink. He's a type A free agent and would cost the Yankees a draft pick.

Ed Price reports that, according to a source, the Yankees have contacted the White Sox about a potential deal to get closer Bobby Jenks to setup for Mo.

According to a Yankees official, who asked not to be identified because he is not directly involved in the decision, the Yankees have inquired about Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks to set up Rivera.

Jenks had a strong season (2.77 ERA, 40 saves in 46 chances and a record-tying streak of 41 consecutive batters retired), but a deal is considered a long shot. The Yankees' best hope is that the White Sox fail to sign free-agent centerfielder Torii Hunter and thus ask the Yankees for Melky Cabrera or Johnny Damon in a trade.

A boy can dream, right?

Via Steve and Joseph.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that the Yankees have added four players to their 40 man roster. They signed Scott Patterson to a Major League deal and added catcher Francisco Cervelli and pitchers Jeffrey Marquez and Steven White.
Posted by: Patrick
From Kat O'Brien:

The Yankees also have discussed lefthanded reliever Ron Mahay. Mahay, 36, had a 2.55 ERA in 58 games and 67 innings combined for the Rangers and Braves this season, holding lefthanded hitters to a .189 batting average. Mahay's agent, Lonnie Cooper, said yesterday, "There's nothing that's that concrete at this point. We're talking to them."

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN Magazine's annual NEXT feature could have Joba Chamberlain as as cover boy. You can vote now (poll to the right, midway down the page).
Posted by: Patrick
From Newsday:

Rivera is believed to have been one of A-Rod's major sounding boards during the craziness of Rodriguez's past three weeks. Rivera, according to his friend, told Rodriguez as far back as days after A-Rod opted out Oct. 28 that he should approach the Yankees to tell them how he truly felt.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Mariano Rivera has informed the Yankees that he is accepting their three-year, $45 million offer, returning to wear the only uniform for which he has pitched.

Word of Rivera's signing comes days after the future Hall of Fame closer returned from a week conducting baseball clinics in the Dominican Republic, leaving the Yankees to wait for his response.
Posted by: Patrick
We kick off the 2007-2008 edition of Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere with Eric Haskell of The Bronx Block.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

I am also a die hard New York Giants fan, so I spend a lot of time doing Giant related things. As far as something completely un-sports related, I am really into politics. I spend a lot of time watching and reading about the 2008 presidential election.

How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?

I am fairly new to blogging, having only been writing for The Bronx Block for about two months now.

How did you end up blogging at MVN?

MVN became probably my favorite site to read about the Yankees. I spent all season reading and commenting about the Yankees there, until I finally decided that I was interested in writing for them. I sent them an application letter, which they apparently really liked and I started soon after.

» Read More

Posted by: James
Label this under duh news as the Yankees All-Star picked up his 3rd (should be his 4th) MVP award (second with the Yankees).

Putting it all together offensively as he reached new levels of comfort in New York, Rodriguez established career highs with 143 runs scored and 156 RBIs, leading the Major Leagues with 54 home runs while batting .314. His exploits led the Yankees to the playoffs for a 13th consecutive season.

"For me, it's been the most magical and most special year of my career so far, for many reasons," Rodriguez told "Again, not winning the World Series is very disappointing -- that's why you strap it on every Spring Training and that's why you work so hard in the wintertime.

"But from a personal level, it was very satisfying to be able to come back from '06 and show the world what kind of player I am, on the greatest stage in the world, which is the Yankees."

A-Rod, who became the fifth AL player to win the award three times, did not win the coveted honor unanimously. Rodriguez picked up 26 out of the 28 first-place votes, with Detroit's Magglio Ordonez, who came in second place, earning the other two first-place votes.

By the way, if you go to the main Yankees page and take a look at the top right, the graphic they're using of a flame-throwing Joba is pretty sweet.
Posted by: Patrick
George King reports:

After returning from the Dominican Republic last night, Mariano Rivera is going to huddle with his representatives today and according to several sources is expected to accept the Yankees' three-year, $45 million offer early this week.

The Yankees are looking into Francisco Cordero in case things fall through. The Daily News reports that they called Cordero's agent to ask about him as a closer, not as a setup man. Though, even if we bring Mo back, I'd like to bring Cordero on as a setup man, not that that thought has any grounds (whatsoever) in reality.
Posted by: Patrick
From The Wall Street Journal:

Amid deafening criticism by sports writers and on talk radio, a worried Mr. Rodriguez called Mr. Buffett, say people familiar with the matter. The two had become friends a few years ago, after the slugger flew to Omaha to meet with the investing guru and rabid baseball fan. After that, the two met socially several more times, say the people familiar with the matter. Signifying their mutual admiration, an autographed Rodriguez jersey hangs at Berkshire Hathaway's Omaha headquarters.

Mr. Buffett's advice was simple, says a person familiar with the matter: approach the Yankees solo, without Mr. Boras. "A-Rod really loves being a Yankee," says Mr. Buffett. He declined to comment on the substance of any conversation with Mr. Rodriguez, saying he doesn't discuss private talks.

The whole article is an interesting read as far as what happened behind the scenes to get A-Rod back in pinstripes.

Posted by: Patrick
From Bryan Hoch:

A report in The Record of Hackensack, N.J., discounted a Boston television station's claim that the Yankees were one of four teams to bid on Lowell. Citing two high-level Yankees executives, the report indicated the Yankees have not made a formal offer.

Additionally, the New York Daily News reported Saturday that any reports of a Yankees offer were "pure fantasy." In reality, Lowell has received a reported three-year contract offer worth between $35 and $45 million from the Red Sox. He is believed to covet a fourth year.
Posted by: Patrick
While Mark Feinsand was reporting that Jose Molina had signed a two year, $4 million dollar deal to remain in New York, Bryan Hoch has this:

Reached by telephone at his home in Puerto Rico, Molina said that he had no knowledge of a completed deal but was pleased to hear of reported progress.

"No doubt about that, I still want to go back," Molina said. "It's just a matter of what we're going to do and what their plans are. A lot of times, it doesn't depend on the players -- it depends on what they're willing to do and say. It's what the teams need."

Via Cbeck3.
Posted by: Patrick
Yesterday, I wrote about how I didn't really think A-Rod was sacrificing much - just taking the best offer he's going to get - and how Scott Boras might not have lost in this deal. There were a few related articles in the blogosphere today and I wanted to highlight them.

Larry Mahnken writes that both A-Rod (gets a raise) and the Yankees (by not backing down on not negotiating with him) win, but Boras loses. His reasoning:

Sure, he got the biggest contract in history for his client. And maybe the whole “A-Rod crawls back” thing was a ploy by Boras after he realized he misread the market for A-Rod, and got him the best deal possible—probably for a lot more than anyone else would pay. But here’s the irrefutable fact: A-Rod COULD have gotten more if he hadn’t opted out. Would he have? That depends on how good a negotiator Scott Boras is, but there can be no doubt: there was more money to be had.

If the Yankees are willing to pay $275 million over 10 years without the $21 million from Texas, then it would make sense that there could have been more money to get, if they were negotiating with that money at their disposal (which is essentially the point that Mr. Mahnken makes in the next paragraph of the article).

Jay Jaffe paints Boras as the loser, as well:

Boras overreached, and while the new contract -- incentives regarding his potential chase of the all-time home run record aside -- sets a record by being $23 million more than the 10-year, $252 million deal Rodriguez signed for the 2001 season, the increase doesn't even match the rate of inflation. That's all ya got, Scott? Pfft.

That's interesting - hadn't considered the rate of inflation (though, I don't know that it affects what A-Rod may or may not have sacrificed). Still, should the deal have been in line with inflation? It probably goes without saying that a 25 year old Alex Rodriguez should get a better, inflation adjusted ten year deal than a 32 year old Alex Rodriguez.

Finally, Ben Kabak says that we saved maybe $5 million dollars (after taking into account provisions in his old contract that I had forgotten - good find) - but that isn't what matters here. What matters is that the Yankees stuck to their hard line, broke Boras' "stranglehold" over the game (and A-Rod) and brought him back on their terms. He closes with:

In the end, in all honesty, the Yankees aren’t getting a great deal. They’re not overpaying, but they’re not underpaying either. They’re simply paying A-Rod what they would have given him in the first place. But they’re doing it on their terms, and that edge makes all the difference.

When you factor in everything, if we did intend to offer him an extension that would have made his overall package ten years at $291 million dollars, then we're either losing $5 million or $3 million or saving $5 million (depending on those contract provisions). So, I guess you could say that it comes out about even. As far as cost for us, we're giving him about the same deal we were thought to be willing to give him before he opted out.

I had been ready to move on without him, but I'm certainly glad to have him back. He's the best player in the game and we can get him (as the best third baseman in the game) without trading anything. It'll be neat to (hopefully) watch him set some records, too.
Posted by: Patrick
Ken Rosenthal reports that, according to sources, Mo wants a four year deal. Rosenthal notes that the Yankees remain the "overwhelming" favorite and that no other team is expected to get close to the offer that they have made.

But Rivera, who turns 38 on Nov. 29, has instructed his agents to shop him, in part because he was angered by Hank Steinbrenner referring to his age in recent comments about the Yankees' offer, a source says.

Though it may be true, from Mo's perspective, I wouldn't be happy with that comment, either. "We'll see how committed they are." "It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s a tremendous offer for a 38-year-old relief pitcher." These things don't help. They especially should not be made when we're talking about long time, career Yankees.

I'm not saying that the Yankees offer isn't generous - it is. Nor am I saying that he shouldn't take it - I think he should (and hope he does). But, the side circus isn't needed. Make the offer, speak privately. Don't make statements to the media that could be taken as condescending.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that A-Rod and the Yankees have agreed to the outline of a 10 year/$275 million dollar contract. They are ironing out the nuts and bolts with Boras, including an incentive for becoming the game's all-time home run leader.
Posted by: Patrick
It looks like A-Rod is on the way back. Back after he opted out, I wrote this:

The only way that I could see A-Rod returning now is if Boras has badly overestimated the market. Let's say, for example, that no one is even able to offer him the $27 million he would have made this year. So, then the Yankees offer him an 8 year, $26 million dollar a year contract, totaling $208 million. With the Yankees, if we added 5 years to his deal at $30 million (which, really, we probably would have gone higher), his current deal would have been worth $231 million and we would have received $21 million from Texas, so it would have cost us $210 million. So, we'd actually be saving $2 million dollars and he'd be making $23 million less. In that sort of situation, it'd be taken, publicly, as him crawling back to us. That would enable us to make the deal. Is that going to happen? Unlikely. Boras is at the top of his field, he has to know that A-Rod will command $30 million from someone. As such, A-Rod is gone.

Various reports have indicated that A-Rod came back to us and is making sacrifices. Hank Steinbrenner said that he was willing to make sacrifices to remain a Yankee. The question is: what sacrifices?

The deal that the Yankees are working out with A-Rod is pegged to be for ten years, in the $270 to $280 million dollar range (with incentives that could push it over $300 million). That's an average annual salary of $27 to $28 million dollars a year. It'll be the biggest contract in baseball history. At some point in the deal, he'll have the highest one year salary of all-time. This is a sacrifice? To me, it sounds like it may be the best deal available to him. In other words, he went where the money was.

The offer that the Yankees gave him before opting out was said to be for five years, in the $140 to $150 million dollar range. Let's say it was five years, $30 million per. With the 3 years on his deal already, that would have been an eight year, $231 million dollar deal. Hank Steinbrenner had called it the start of a negotiation. So, for the sake of discussion, let's go with the Yankees adding two more years and keeping them at $30 million per. That would make the extension for seven years and $210 million, bumping the total contract up to ten years, $291 million. Minus the $21 million from Texas and you have a cost of $270 million for the Yankees (before the luxury tax and all that loveliness).

So, if he signs a deal for ten years, $280 million - assuming we were willing to go to that $291 million dollar figure I just gave - he's making $11 million less. But, we're still paying $10 million more, with the loss of the Texas money. Where's the sacrifice? Dan Graziano writes that Scott Boras comes out of this as a winner. Though, my initial reaction is no... how can you say he's a loser in this if he got his client the biggest contract in baseball history. Maybe accidentally, maybe not, but he did it and A-Rod is going to get the deal. Is it that implausible to say that they made a bluff offer on us to see if we'd jump to $350 million and then when we didn't, they came back and made us pay more than we might have, anyway? I just don't see the sacrifice here.
Posted by: Patrick
Dan Graziano reports that the Yankees are looking at Mike Lowell as a possible first baseman. Why would we be doing that? I mean, how much better can he be than a platoon of Shelley Duncan and Doug Mientkiewicz?

Mike Lowell has a career line of .280 (AVG)/.344 (OBA)/.468 (SLG). Mientkiewicz's is .271/.358/.407. Duncan's (in only 34 games) is .257/.329/.554. And, from what I understand (though I haven't looked into it specifically), a platoon of Dougie and Shelley is going to be better defensively. Plus, they'll come much, much cheaper with much less committment. There's no reason for us to get locked into Mike Lowell just to play first base. I'd much rather rock with Minky/Shelley or some combination thereof (or someone else...) and then see where we are next season, when Mark Teixeira could be a free agent.
Posted by: Patrick
In all of the news yesterday, it was reported that, according to a source, the Yankees wouldn't deal with Boras.

A player's union attorney told Ken Rosenthal that that would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Then that attorney told Ken Davidoff that the union was assured that Boras would participate in the process. And then we have a quote from Hank Steinbrenner, care of ESPN:

Hank Steinbrenner said there was no time frame for the negotiations and that it was up Rodriguez to decide whether he wants Boras to participate in talks.

"It doesn't really matter," Steinbrenner said. "No matter who's in the room, I'm going to go to a certain point in negotiations and that's it."
Posted by: Patrick
Eric Wedge was named the American League Manager of the Year. He received 116 points (19 first place votes, 6 second, 3 third). Second was Mike Scioscia with 62 (4, 11, 9), third was Joe Torre with61 (5, 8, 12) and fourth was Terry Francona with 13 (0, 3, 4).
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that Godzilla had arthroscopic on his right knee on Wednesday. It was performed by Dr. James Adre- I mean, Dr. Scott Rodeo at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

He'll begin rehab tomorrow and is expected to be ready to start Spring Training.
Posted by: James
Wow. What a turn of events today, huh?

First, we get the Daily News article saying that something MIGHT be in the works.

Then, A-Rod essentially blogs that he probably went about this whole free agency thing the wrong way... (ya think!?)

After spending time with Cynthia and my family over these last few weeks, it became clear to me that I needed to make an attempt to engage the Yankees regarding my future with the organization. ...

Cynthia and I have since spoken directly with the Steinbrenner family. During these healthy discussions, both sides were able to share honest feelings and hopes with one another, and we expect to continue this dialogue with the Yankees over the next few days.

Finally, we have a piece from the Star Ledger that shows that this has indeed happened and that the ownership has softened their A-Rod stance.

"It's pretty clear to all of use he definitely wants to stay a Yankee," Hank Steinbrenner, team executive and son of owner George Steinbrenner, said today in an interview. "And that's all he's had to prove to me."
"Alex has reached out to us through a third party," Steinbrenner said today. "It kind of looks like he wants to stay."
"It looks like he's willing to make certain sacrifices to stay a Yankee," Steinbrenner said.

Jeez, at this rate, he'll be using his MVP press conference to announce he's signed a new deal with the Yanks.

Hat tip to Steve L. on the Star Ledger article.
Posted by: James
Seriously. This is annoying. The Yankees recently improved their offer to Rivera to $45 million for three years. I mean, wow. $15 million a year for a reliever? Who happens to be 38? He also happens to be the best reliever of all-time...but still, a $15 mill average blows Billy Wagner's $10.75 million a year away.

In my mind (and probably 99.9% of the civilized world's), no relief pitcher (no, not even Mariano) is really worth that amount. However, the Yanks have opened up the checkbook for Jorge and with this offer, they've done the same with Mo. They have made a fantastic offer for an aging HoFer, and one that I really doubt any other team will beat.

So why hasn't Mo signed on the dotted line yet? I honestly don't know. The Yankees have treated him VERY well, both as a player and financially. Anyone who disagrees must not be okay with $84.5 million dollars...because that's what Mo has been paid for his career. The current offer would put Mariano at a just about $130 million earned in his Yankee career, which should blow away any other reliever.

So where are we at this point? Well, if he keeps hemming and hawing, I really wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees said, hey, this is the offer. It will be on the table for this much amount of time. After that, feel free to test out the other teams and see if their offers come close.

And if everything goes down like that...I really do believe that the Yankees wouldn't face a huge fan backlash because management did their best to keep Mariano. I really believe the sentiment would be, hey, we love you man, but if you're not happy with $15 million annually, have been great but you are being unreasonable and we wish you the best.
Posted by: James
The Daily News has the story...and it would be a doozy if it's true. The story starts out saying that the Yankees are indeed willing to bring A-Rod back...IF he signs a below-market contract (to make up for the loss of the Rangers $21 million subsidy). On top of that, the Yankees want no part of Scott Boras as part of the negotiation...which would be a major coup for the team. They apparently don't even want him in the room! THE super-agent getting tossed out of the biggest deal of his life? Because he made a mess of the player's image? Man, THAT would be some story...and it certainly could have a big impact on who works with Boras in the future.

A second Yankees source said that the team believes A-Rod is trying to restore his image, which has taken a beating since Boras announced the opt-out during Game 4 of the World Series.

By taking a contract below market value, Rodriguez would be showing fans that it wasn't all about getting the most money, and that he truly wants to finish his career in pinstripes. ...

"Most of this is about Alex trying to salvage his image," said another source close to the negotiations. "He's upset over the way this whole thing has played out and the way he's being portrayed now, because of Boras."

Huh...this is all just talk right now...and of course, this could certainly be a smokescreen to make A-Rod's other suitors think that the Yankees (and their considerable wallet) are now players in the negotations. Still, who knows at this point? Maybe he does care about his legacy...if nothing else, it is making the off-season more interesting, right?
Posted by: Patrick
From Lisa Kennelly:

On the first day of baseball's free-agency period, the Yankees have opened serious discussions with the agent for third baseman Mike Lowell, said a person close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

Cliff Corcoran has a nice analysis of the third base prospects, deciding that he'd take Lowell at a contract of 4 years, $40 million dollars.

Via Dave and Aziz.
Posted by: Patrick
From Tyler Kepner:

“I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that this is it,” Hank Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ senior vice president, said in a telephone interview last night. “Make no mistake, I want him back, and that’s why this offer is what it is.”

Rivera was in the Dominican Republic on Monday, and his agent, Fern Cuza, did not return calls yesterday. Steinbrenner said he believed General Manager Brian Cashman was in contact with Cuza, but Steinbrenner said he did not know why Rivera has not decided on an offer that Steinbrenner says is more than generous.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s a tremendous offer for a 38-year-old relief pitcher,” Steinbrenner said. “He’ll be, by $4 million, the highest-paid relief pitcher in baseball, by far. I don’t know what the holdup is. The ball’s in their court.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s a tremendous offer for a 38-year-old relief pitcher? Again, I don't know why this sort of thing needs to be said. It makes it easier for him to leave. At any rate, I guess this is the Hank Steinbrenner era and I better get used to it. To his credit, it is true that this is a terrific offer and one that will likely not be matched by any other team. Nonetheless, Pete Caldera is reporting that the Mo camp is believed to be looking for a 3 year, $50 million dollar deal.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Following up on the hitters projections, here are the pitchers. Really, we should just call these the Patrick and Richard A. Holland projections since we were the only two to post projections on all pitchers but one (Wang). So, with that in mind, here we go:

Chien-Ming Wang

                 G GS    IP  W  L BB   K  ERA
Projected: 33 33 220.0 18 8 46 87 3.64
Actual: 30 30 199.3 19 7 59 104 3.70
Our projections reflected high expectations for Wang and he delivered right in line with them. The three start difference can be attributed, in part, to him starting the season injured and out of the rotation.

Individual Matches: Richard A. Holland for games. Richard A. Holland for games started.

Mike Mussina

                 G GS    IP  W  L BB   K  ERA
Projected: 31 31 187.7 16 9 46 156 3.97
Actual: 28 27 152.0 11 10 35 91 5.15
Moose had his moments, but was poor overall, falling well short of our predictions.

Individual Matches: None.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
From Tyler Kepner:

Rivera, 38, is the other star free agent the Yankees had hoped to retain before other teams could talk money with him. The Yankees recently improved their offer to Rivera to $45 million for three years, which would easily surpass the salary of the Mets’ Billy Wagner for the highest among closers. Wagner averages $10.75 million a year.

But while Rivera also wants to return, his agent, Fern Cuza, said last week that he planned to test the market. Rivera was in the Dominican Republic yesterday and told The Associated Press: “The Yankees are my first option. But if that is not possible, there is Joe with the Dodgers.”

Thanks YankeeUniverz.
Posted by: Patrick
Mo has filed for free agency as he and the Yankees failed to come to terms before the exclusive window of negotiation ended. From Bryan Hoch:

"The ball's pretty much in their court now. They've both been made very good offers now, and we'll see where they're at," Steinbrenner told The AP. "We'll see how committed they are." ...

After the Yankees' elimination in the American League Division Series, Rivera vowed he would treat negotiations like a "business." Coyly on Monday, Rivera hinted he could even follow manager Joe Torre to Los Angeles if the Yankees' offer was not to his satisfaction.

"The Yankees are my first option," Rivera told The AP in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. "But if that is not possible, there is Joe with the Dodgers."

I am not sure why "We'll see how committed they are?" needs to be said in public.

Life can be funny sometimes. For a while now, it's been reported that Mo was the one that would sign with the Yankees before the deadline and that Jorge was going to test them. Yet, Jorge signs and we're still dealing with Mo.
Posted by: Patrick
From ESPN:

The New York Yankees and Jorge Posada agreed Monday night to a $52.4 million, four-year contract that keeps the catcher off the free-agent market.

Posada, a five-time All-Star who is 36, said Sunday he was "really close" to an agreement with the Yankees and his preference is to remain with the only major league team he's played for. A person familiar with the talks confirmed the deal to The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team didn't announce it.

Good to see. The alternatives were... scary.

Thanks Mark.
Posted by: Patrick
Members of the media caught up with Jorge Posada at the Knicks game last night. Jim Baumbach has the details, thanks to Anthony Rieber. Among other things, he said:

- The Yankees are his first choice.
- He doesn't know when he wants a decision.
- He is going to listen to other teams but he doesn't know if he's going to get a chance.
- The Dodgers already have a catcher and he's only talking to teams that don't have one.
- He loves Girardi, looks at him like a big brother.
- The chances are good that he'll return to the Yankees.
- They (Yankees, his agents, etc.) are really close in negotiations.
Posted by: Patrick
According to Ken Davidoff, who spoke with "a person familiar with Minnesota's operations said yesterday", the Twins will ask the Yankees for a package centered around Robinson Cano. Davidoff cites a "second major league official" as thinking that a package of Phil, Melky and a prospect might not be enough for Santana. Check please.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Joel Sherman reports that there is a strong likelihood that the Yankees will release Carl Pavano before November 20, in order to free up his spot on the 40 man roster before the Rule V draft.

2008 is the final year of Pavano's 4 year, $39.95 million dollar contract. He's set to make $11 million. There is a $13 million dollar club option with a $1.95 million dollar buyout. So, we're on the hook for $12.95 million.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

Within the next 48 hours, the Yankees are expected to make new contract offers to two of their biggest free agents.

The Yankees' exclusivity period with both Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera ends after tomorrow, and yesterday Hank Steinbrenner reiterated that new proposals to Posada and Rivera will be submitted before the period expires.
Posted by: Patrick
Last night, Joe Torre's Safe at Home foundation held it's annual gala in Manhattan. Besides Torre, Jeter, Mo, Posada, Bernie and Lee Mazzilli attended. Anthony DiComo and Peter Abraham (more) have reports. Here's a summary notable details:

Posada and Mo did not speak to the press. Torre, Jeter and Bernie did. On losing Posada and Mo, Jeter said:

"I talked to [Posada] a little while ago. Am I worried? No. That has absolutely nothing to do with what he's told me. I've played with him since I was 18 years old. I just can't picture it. So if you ask me if I'm worried, I'm not worried."

"I don't have to sell the Yankees to them. They've been here long enough. There is nothing I can tell them they don't already know. ... I think they're coming back."

Torre said that Pettitte is leaning towards staying home and that he'd be surprised if Posada and Mo didn't return to the Bronx. He said that A-Rod to L.A. is possible, but he was surprised that he opted out here. Finally, The Torres plan to maintain their home in Westchester and hold the gala in Manhattan next year. However, they will be opening a Los Angeles office.

Bernie denied speculation that he might be headed to the Dodgers, but DiComo notes that Torre wasn't "as critical" of the idea, though no quote from Torre is included.

Mazzilli said that he did discuss joining Torre's staff in Los Angeles, but declined due to his mother's health. We wish him and his family well.

Edit: Also, Jim Baumbach pointed out that Donnie said that he will be Torre's hitting coach.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada have been named Silver Sluggers, honoring them as the top offensive performers at their respective positions in 2007, as voted on by MLB managers and coaches. It's A-Rod's ninth, Posada's fifth and Jeter's second.
Posted by: Patrick
Roger Clemens has filed free agency and his agent says that, if everything fell in line, he would be interested in pitching for Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Posted by: Patrick
Earlier this year, we asked you to post your projections for the players that would comprise your 2007 Yankees. Now, it's time to take a look back at those projections and see how they measured up with what actually happened. Thanks to James for his work on this project, which was very substantial and thank you to everyone who posted projections.

Jorge Posada

                AB   R HR RBI SB  AVG  OBA  SLG   OPS
Projected: 446 64 19 76 1 .265 .363 .456 .819
Actual: 506 91 20 90 2 .338 .426 .543 .969
We had Jorge pegged for a pretty good year, but he went and put up a R, HR, RBI and AVG line that only two other catchers in the history of the game have matched. Though we got close on homers, he exceeded our expectations in all 9 categories.

Individual Matches: Me and Richard A. Holland for stolen bases.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Our now annual offseason interview series, Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere, is getting ready to kick off in it's third iteration. I thought that I would put a call out for any question suggestions. If you have something that you'd like to see Yankees bloggers asked, please feel free to suggest it. Thanks!

For past interviews, see the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 interviewees.
Posted by: Patrick
From ESPN:

Joe Torre, named last week as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers after ending a 12-year reign with the New York Yankees, is working on a memoir.

The book, currently untitled, will be co-authored by Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci and will include Torre's memories of the Yankees, with whom he won four World Series championships, and general thoughts on the game.

Should make for an interesting read.
Posted by: Patrick
Tyler Kepner is reporting that the Orioles are interested in Kyle Farnsworth. Huzzah! First Jaret Wright, now Kyle Farnsworth. I love the Orioles.

Like Ben, I'd like to see us get something done with Kyle and some lower level prospects in exchange for Miguel Tejada.
Posted by: Patrick
From the Baltimore Sun:

Though it's much too early to fit Miguel Tejada for pinstripes, it's not entirely out of the question. Seeking a potential replacement for free agent third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees have some interest in the Orioles' star infielder, according to an industry source. ...

The Orioles are primarily looking for talented position-player prospects who are close to major league ready. The Yankees are thin in that area but have a wealth of young pitching. MacPhail said the Orioles are in no position to discriminate.

Tejada hit .296/.357/.442 last year with 18 home runs and 81 RBIs last season. He has not played a game at third base in his entire career. It was his worst full season since 1999, but he's not that old - he'll be 31 on opening day. It could be a decent time to get him on a value basis as you would think he could bounce back at this stage of his career. He is signed through 2009 with each of the two remaining years paying him $13 million.

It's intriguing, but it all depends on his willingness and ability to switch spots and what we'd have to give up to get him.

Via Yahoo!
Posted by: Patrick
Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that the plan is for Johnny Damon to be the Yankees left fielder and hit leadoff. He also said that the team would like to re-sign free agents Jose Molina and Luis Vizcaino.
Posted by: Patrick
From Ron Blum:

"It's pretty obvious which players we're not going to trade," the owner's son said Wednesday, before rattling off the team's most-prized young pitchers. "Chamberlain, Hughes and even Kennedy. Not for a position player." ...

"It's like Cashman said: You never say untouchable, but at least least-touchable," Steinbrenner said.
Posted by: Patrick
Hank Steinbrenner told the press that large offers are coming for both Mariano and Jorge.

"These are going to be substantial offers," Steinbrenner said yesterday by phone. "We are not going to short-change these guys. I think we have a great chance to get back who we want back. We are going to make it obvious how much we want them, and then, ultimately, it is up to them." ...

"We are not going to get crazy" in offers to keep Posada and Rivera, Steinbrenner said. But later, he added, "You go to a point of logic. We may even stretch logic to keep them."

He wouldn't say if a fourth year for Posada was a deal breaker.

Meanwhile, Peter Abraham spotted Brian Cashman in the lobby bar at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, where the GM meetings are being held, past midnight and talking with Sam and Seth Levinson, Posada's agents. Though, it's not known what they were talking about.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

... Through his agents, Clemens told the Astros yesterday he is ready to begin working with the team as a consultant. It is the most telling indication the 45-year-old righty may be ready to hang up his cleats. ...

"The plan for 2008 is this: Roger plans to start the new year as the first year of his post-playing career contract as a consultant to the Houston Astros," Hendricks said. "Roger really enjoys the teaching aspects of baseball and loves his interaction with the young players."
Posted by: Patrick
Miguel Cabrera is the topic of the day. Will Carroll and Tyler Kepner have some details on what the Marlins could be looking for in a swap. Carroll:

Alex Rodriguez isn’t headed anywhere yet, but he can cross Miami off his list. He’s not one to give a hometown discount and Jeffrey Loria’s not raising payroll. That means that one of the team’s big two is gone and everyone’s expecting it to be Miguel Cabrera. “He’s at the end of his time at 3B,” the baseball source told me, “but he’s still good enough to play 1B. They won’t get quite as much as [Jon Daniels] did for Mark Teixeira, but they’re looking for a different payoff.” The rumored asking price is three players - one pitcher and position player that are under three years of service time and “solid ink-’em-in guys.” The other would be a “plus prospect, not the best guy on the team, but useful. The Marlins will probably look for a slugger.”


Executives from other teams say the Marlins would demand a center fielder and one or two premier young pitchers in return for Cabrera. In the Yankees’ case, that would mean Melky Cabrera and Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, perhaps with Ian Kennedy thrown in.

Miguel Cabrera is a tremendous offensive player. He could certainly start at first base, giving us a big offensive boost both in what we have now and what the position produced in 2007. We should definitely explore it.

With Pettitte opting out, let's assume he doesn't come back. That gives us a rotation of Wang, Hughes, Joba, Ian and Moose. And Joba and Phil will have innings restrictions on them. If we trade one of the big three, let's say Ian - then it's Wang, Hughes, Joba, Moose and ? We scored 81 more runs than anyone in baseball last year. Yes, we lost A-Rod and we should aim to make up some of that offense (getting more production out of 1B would certainly be a start), but our starters ERA was a medicre 8th in the A.L. at 4.57. Our team ERA was also 8th at 4.49. The best ERA in the A.L. The Red Sox (the only team with an ERA under 4).

For this reason, I think we need to keep the big three. This is a strength, let's build on it. If Andy comes back, we should be in terrific shape. If he doesn't, we're in good shape, but if he doesn't and we trade one of them, who comes in to fill spot? The cream of the free agent market are pitchers like Kyle Lohse and Carlos Silva. Internally, is anyone ready? Do we want to take the chance? Yes, we'll gain on offense, but is it worth it? I'd have to pass. Mark Feinsand reports that Brian Cashman may make an offer including such players as Alan Horne, Humberto Sanchez, Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Tabata. I'd be more amendable to that, I think. But, in any case, one of our organizational strengths at the moment is young starting pitching and that's not something we've had for a while, so we should be careful how we use it. Maybe I'm overvaluing Kennedy by lumping him in with the other two, but having these three guys, with their talent and the MLB regular and postseason experience they had in 2007, under our control for years to come, is not something I'd take lightly and is something that I'd hesitate to trade for a questionable fielding first baseman at this stage, even one as good with the stick as Mr. Cabrera.

11/06: Posada Talks

Posted by: Patrick
Kat O'Brien at Newsday spoke with Jorge Posada on his offseason plans.

"The Mets are interested; they've contacted us," Posada said. "The Mets, the Marlins, Toronto, all of them are interested."

Does Posada have an interest in any of those clubs?

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves," he said. "First we've got to sit down with the Yankees and talk and see what they have to say."

Among other things, Jorge said that he's glad that Girardi is the manager and that his preference is still New York (actually, his wife said that).

From Mark Feinsand:

Posada appears ready to make the Yankees work for his services, according to sources familiar with the discussions, as the five-time All-Star catcher plans to wait until he can hear offers from other teams before making a decision. ...

The biggest sticking point for Posada may wind up being the length of a deal, as the 36-year-old is seeking a four-year pact, according to sources, who said the Yankees have internally discussed an offer of three years and $40 million. With the Mets expected to be one of the teams in the bidding, Posada plans to see what his market value is, though the Yankees likely will do whatever they must in order to retain the popular 11-year veteran.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
From ESPN:

"I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season," Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, said Monday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.

"If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees' willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time." ...

"Obviously, we want Andy to stay with the Yanks and pitch for us in '08. In fact, I'd say I need him to," said Cashman, the team's general manager. "He's an important piece for us. ... We're hopeful that at some point that the marriage of the Pettittes and the Yankees can continue."
Posted by: Patrick
As has been rumored, Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa will join Joe Torre's Dodgers coaching staff.
Posted by: Patrick
Check out this quote from the Boston Globe:

If Alex Rodriguez could handpick the team he plays for, Boston might well be No. 1 on his list. According to a source who has talked to Rodriguez recently, he'd love to play for the Sox because he thinks they can win multiple championships. Meanwhile, agent Scott Boras has been pleasantly surprised with the early interest in Rodriguez. "Several teams have expressed an interest and there have been a couple of surprise teams I never expected to hear from," he said. Boras would not reveal any names (one of the surprise teams is thought to be the Marlins). Asked whether A-Rod would be OK shifting to shortstop, Boras said, "I haven't really discussed that with Alex yet. I will if there's a need to." Whither the Yankees? "That's something I will keep between Brian Cashman and myself," Boras said. "I'm not making any more comments about the Yankees."

I like how he implies that there could be "something" going on with the Yankees. We're going to make him an offer, alright - an arbitration offer. Give us our draft picks and move on.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
With the general manager meetings set to begin tomorrow, Mark Feinsand floats the idea of Johnny Damon being traded to the White Sox for third baseman Joe Crede.

Crede, whose 2007 was cut short by back surgery, hit .216 with 4 home runs, 22 RBIs and a .258 OBA. In 2006, he played in 150 games, hitting .283 with 30 home runs, 94 RBIs and a .323 OBA. For his career, he is a .259 hitter with a .305 OBA. Betemit's career marks are better than that, though in far fewer games.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Hale at the Post notes that Andy may want more time to consider whether or not he wants to come back next year. To get that time, he may decline his $16 million dollar option. If he does come back, however, it will be to the Yankees. His agent, Randy Hendricks, confirms this. They would have to begin a new negotiation if it went this way.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has a nice post summarizing the player/agent relationship. The bottom line, he says, is that Boras works for A-Rod. Don't blame Boras for A-Rod opting out, wanting more money, etc. If A-Rod didn't want to opt out, he could have told Boras and then they would have negotiated with the Yankees. Boras gives him advice, of course, but that doesn't mean he has to take it.

Ron Villone is a Boras client. We were talking about it a few months ago and he told me that on several occasions during his career, Boras wanted him to sign with a certain team and he didn’t. “At some point you have to do what is best for you and your family,” Villone said. “You’re a man, you make your own decision.”

Villone is divorced and has two children who live in New Jersey with his ex wife. He made a deal to stay with the Yankees this season and turned down better offers because he wanted to be close to home. He even started the season in the minors.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

"Girardi was my mentor and he always taught me the value of having a great work ethic and how it was most important to maintain the position year after year," Posada said in the statement, released by his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson.

"The 2007 season was difficult and bittersweet and all I'm doing right now is evaluating everything,"
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that, according to sources, before A-Rod opted out of his deal, the Yankees were told that they would need to make an offer that would bring his total contract (including the three years left on it) up to $350 million total, just to meet with him.

Let's do some math. He had three years and $81 million left on his current deal. That's an average of $27 million a year. The article doesn't say how long the extension would be for. But, we can say it would be for more than 5 years, as that would make the extension pay an average of $53.8 million a year (though, I wouldn't put it past Boras). Peter Abraham said that it was presumably for an eight year extension. OK, so that would make the extension worth an average of $33.625 million a year. That would make the total contract worth $350 million over eleven years. That's $31.818 million a year.

Then, you factor in the $21 million that we had coming from Texas and that makes the contract worth, to us, $329 million over eleven years. That makes the yearly average of the deal $29.909 million a year.

Knowing all of this, it will be interesting to see how it plays out from here.
Posted by: Patrick
The official site reports that the Yankees decided to pick up Bobby Abreu's one year option, valued at $16 million dollars. It had a $2 million dollar buyout.
Posted by: Patrick
And now, a message from Alex Rodriguez.

Posted by: Patrick
Girardi was officially introduced as the new manager yesterday. The coaching staff has been officially announced, as well, and it is the one that was mentioned a few days ago. That is:

Pitching: Dave Eiland
Hitting: Kevin Long
Bench: Rob Thomson
Third Base: Bobby Meacham
First Base/Catching: Tony Pena
Bullpen: Mike Harkey

Cliff Corcoran has a great write up on the group. John Amato says that Girardi told Mike and the Mad Dog that Donnie was asked to return as bench coach, but declined. That's disappointing, but understandable.

Are the Yankees dragging their feet on Posada? From Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden (via Steve):

Industry sources are becoming increasingly baffled at the sluggish pace the Yankees have taken with the five-time All-Star catcher. Even though Posada has filed for free agency, the Bombers are in an exclusive 15-day negotiating rights period with the catcher but apparently have not presented an offer since the end of the season. ...

Should Posada leave the Yankees, the crop of available options is extremely thin. Paul Lo Duca, who played with the Mets for the past two years, leads the free-agent class, followed by Rod Barajas, Jason Kendall, Damian Miller and Michael Barrett, none of whom could come close to replacing Posada's production.

Let's not do this.

Derek Jeter was on WFAN yesterday and he had this to say on the Yankees stance as far as not persuing A-Rod:

"The one thing I've learned in getting to know the Steinbrenners, Hank and Hal, is that they're men of their word," Jeter said. "They've made a statement, so I don't know exactly what's going on in the front office, but it sounds like it's not going to happen."

Cashman covered a handful of interesting subjects yesterday with the media. Pulling from reports by Bryan Hoch and Peter Abraham:

He wants Cano to stay at second, but he knows that Cano can play third, so it's a consideration, however small. Cashman told Cano that he should encourage Wilson Betemit to get himself in good shape so that he can win the third base job and keep Cano at second.

Hideki Matsui will have minor arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Coming into Spring Training, he's expected to be 100%. Derek Jeter will not need surgery on his right knee.

Joba Chamberlain will be a starter... unless we fail to bring back Mo. If we do, then he might stay in the bullpen. If, heaven forbid, we lose Mo, let's just sign Francisco Cordero and put Joba in the rotation. (And sign Scott Linebrink to set up).

The team must decide on Bobby Abreu's option by today.
Posted by: Patrick
Forgot to post about this earlier, but I will be on Marist Radio at 8:30 PM ET tonight. You can listen live online.
Posted by: Patrick
A few days ago, speaking in reference to A-Rod, Hank Steinbrenner told the press, “Does he want to go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee or a Toledo Mud Hen?”

Well, the Mud Hens seized the opportunity and plan to offer A-Rod a contract. The Detroit Free Press has more (mock Hall of Fame busy included).

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick

Not that I think he'll be two faced or anything like that. Honestly, it's the first thing I thought of when I saw the photo.
Posted by: Patrick
The AL and NL Elias rankings have been released.

Why is this important? Well, in the rankings, at the end of certain player listings, you'll see an A or a B. This denotes the type of free agent they are - Type A or Type B. If a Type A free agent leaves his old team for a new one, the new team must give their first round pick to the old team. The old team also receives a supplemental first round pick. So, for example, when A-Rod signs with the Red Sox (just kidding), we'll get their first round pick as well as a supplemental pick after the first round. It's important to note that the first 15 picks of the draft are off limits. So, if he's signed by one of those teams, we would get their second round pick and the supplemental pick, instead. Of course, the Type A team pick can also change if a team signs more than one Type A free agent, in which case the highest pick would be given as compensation for the highest ranked player and so on.

Meanwhile, with Type B free agents, the only compensation given is the supplemental pick. Our Type A guys are Posada, Mo, Pettitte and, of course, A-Rod. Luis Vizcaino is a Type B. To receive compensation, the player must be signed by December 1 or be offered arbitration by November 30. As Peter Abraham reported, the Yankees plan to offer A-Rod arbitration, so that we'll be compensated when he leaves.

Via Mike.
Posted by: Patrick
Girardi will be officially introduced today at a press conference in the Diamond Club at Yankee Stadium at 1:00 PM ET.