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Posted by: Patrick
First, Sports Illustrated named Derek Jeter as their 2009 Sportsman of the Year. And then, of course, it was time for a gala held in his honor. Finally, we have the magazine profile piece to go along with it, authored by Tom Verducci. It's definitely worth a read.

One of the more interesting parts is where Verducci shares Jeter's dislikes. In order, they are players who don't care about winning, self-promoters, measuring success by statistics, players who talk about injuries when they play and negativity.

Via Alex Belth.

Posted by: Patrick
Mets Want to See Matsui's Physical: According to NPB Tracker, the Mets have asked Hideki Matsui's agent, Arn Tellem, if they can look at the results of his physical. Chad Jennings points out that Matsui has played exactly 23 games in the outfield over the past two seasons.

Aroldis Chapman: Man of International Mystery:'s Melissa Segura goes over the concerns about Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, who the Yankees are rumored to be interested in. Via Mike Axisa.

Yankees Top Spenders of the Decade: ESPN's Buster Olney says the Yankees have spent $1.45 billion dollars on free agents from 1999 to 2008. Second place? The Mets at $651.3 million. The Red Sox are third with $621.0. Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
On, Baseball America's John Manuel ranks all MLB farm systems, placing the Yankees in the 6-15 range. He says that catching prospect Jesus Montero is among the top hitters in the minor leagues.

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
Joel Sherman at the Post reports that there is a contingent in the Yankees front office that would like to see the team acquire Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay for just one season, rather than a long term deal. This idea hasn't received a lot of support, however. It's been reported that the Jays would allow suitors a negotiating window with the pitcher before completing a trade, so that they would have an opportunity to sign him to a new contract.

The thought is that, if they trade for him for one season, they can offer him arbitration the year after which he'll almost certainly decline if he pitched at least fairly well in 2010. He will then net the Yankees a first round pick and a sandwich round pick when he signs with another team. This would help to offset the value of the prospects or young players we'll have to trade in order to bring him over. If Halladay for some reason pitches awful, that could throw a wrench into these plans, though.

This would have to be a consideration if the team is seriously looking at John Lackey, as well. The Angels offered him arbitration, so we'll have to give up a draft pick if we sign him. So, the choice could be a swap of prospects for Roy Halladay for one season, one first round pick and one sandwich round pick or one first round pick for John Lackey for several years. It all comes down to the prospects, of course. Halladay is said to be after a CC Sabathia or Johan Santana type contract.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees are just full of sportsmen of the year. First, Derek Jeter was selected as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and now, Joe Girardi has been given the same title by the March of Dimes.

Bryan Hoch reports from the gala that was held in honor of him and tennis player Venus Williams, who was selected as the Sportswoman of the Year. Congrats to Mr. Girardi.
Posted by: Patrick
Major league sources have told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of that the Yankees have expressed interest in relief pitcher Brandon Lyon. Lyon was offered arbitration by Detroit, but it's thought he won't accept it. He's a Type-B free agent, meaning the Yankees wouldn't have to surrender any draft picks to sign him.

Set to turn 31 next August, the right-handed Lyon was 6-5 with a 2.86 ERA last season in 65 games with the Tigers. This was much better than his career average ERA of 4.20.

Rosenthal and Morosi caution that the Yankees have a lot of business (our own pitchers, Roy Halladay, Joch Lackey) to consider and attend to before they might make a decision on Lyon or any other free agent reliever.
Posted by: Patrick
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors passed on a CTS report that was summarized in a Twitter message by Diamond Leung, revealing that the Yankees had signed 18 year old Taiwanese infielder Fu-Lin Kuo. Taiwanese Baseball says that the team gave him a $150,000 bonus.

Mike Axisa shared a scouting reporter from Taiwanese Baseball. It notes that he has good bat control, average bat speed that could improve and an average arm strength, with the potential to hit for average and gap power. His most likely position, they say, is second base.
Posted by: Patrick's Bryan Hoch has the story from Tuesday's gala honoring Derek Jeter as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.

With his parents on hand, Jeter was introduced by his father. Cal Ripken, Jr., the last baseball player to receive the honor solo, as at the event, as well. There are some nice quotes in the piece.

"I thought the [Sports Illustrated] cover came out nice," Jeter said to Hoch. "The only thing that I thought was missing from that were my parents on both sides. Even if you don't see them, just know that they're there beside me at all times."
Posted by: Patrick
The AP reports that Joe Girardi paid a visit to New York Jets practice to help their quarterback, Mark Sanchez, work on his sliding technique.

Jets coach Rex Ryan met Yankees president Randy Levine at the wedding of Woody Johnson, who owns the Jets. Ryan called Levine and asked him to send someone over - not anyone in particular. But, Girardi ended up being the one. He also gave the Jets a pep talk after their practice.

"This is probably the first football player he's ever done that with, but he's a natural," Ryan said, speaking of Girardi's work. "He did an outstanding job. He even talked about protecting his left hand. He did a way better job than I knew I could do, and I was right."
Posted by: Patrick's Anthony DiComo and Richard Goldstein of the Times report that former Yankees right fielder Tommy Henrich has passed away at the age of 96. Henrich, nicknamed "Old Reliable," had been the oldest living Yankee. He played 11 seasons from 1937 through 1950 - missing three to fight in World War II.

In 1,284 career games, he hit .282 with a .382 OBA, 182 home runs and 795 RBI. He won four titles while in the Bronx and was a .262 postseason hitter.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, 92 year old Virgil Trucks is thought to now be the oldest living Yankee. A right handed pitcher, Trucks pitched in 25 games f or the Yankees in his final season of 1958.

Our thoughts are with Mr. Henrich's family and those who were close to him.

Via Chad Jennings.
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