Sunday, December 30, 2012

Are The 2013 Yankees Doomed?

So what's been going on lately in Yankee news? Nothing? Really? Well, I suppose it's time to be creative and pull a subject out of thin air.

A lot of fans such as myself have been sitting back and waiting for Ninja Cashman to pull off a big trade. Maybe not a "big" trade, but something along the lines of the Nick Swisher deal he pulled off after the 2008 season. After all, I haven't read anybody that's excited about the outfield of Granderson, Gardner, and Suzuki. I should talk about a deal possibly involving an upgrade behind the plate, but I honestly don't think that's a big deal. I agree with the idea of simply having a strong defensive catcher. Heck, our starting catcher last season put up a batting line of .211/.311/.403, so it's not like we need an all-star caliber player back there to be competitive.

But does the team really need a "big" trade, or something close to it, in order to compete in 2013? To start to answer that question I decided to take the proposed 2013 starting position players, along with the proposed starting rotation, and look at their Wins Above Replacement from Baseball Reference (bWAR) in 2012.

SP1: Sabathia - 3.3
SP2: Kuroda - 5.2
SP3: Pettitte - 2.4 this is his bWAR in 2010, since he only threw 75.1 innings in 2012 due to injury, and didn't pitch at all in 2011
SP4: Hughes - 1.5
SP5: Phelps - 2.0


C: Stewart - 2.9 Stewart only had 157 PA, therefore his bWAR was extrapolated to 500 PA. And I'm using Stewart as he had the highest bWAR among the 3 catching candidates for 2013.
1B: Teixeira - 3.6
2B: Cano - 8.2
3B: Rodriguez/Youkilis - 1.55 I took 1/2 of each player's bWAR in 2012, and adding them up, since ARod may be out half the year and Youkilis would be playing 3B for that half.
SS: Jeter - 2.1
LF: Gardner - 3.7 I'm using his 2011 bWAR, since he missed too much of 2012.
CF: Granderson - 2.7
RF: Suzuki - 1.6
DH: ???/Youkilis - .55 Only uses 1/2 of Youk's 2012 bWAR, as he'll be the primary 3B in the first half of this season. The other half of the DH equation is unknown, so I'm leaving it at "???".



"Yeah, I'm going to need some context here."

The 2012 Yankees weren't as good as I'd hope they'd be, but you can't tell me they were terrible. After all, they did make it to the American League Championship Series. So how did that team do as far as bWAR, looking at their starting position players and starting rotation?

SP1: Sabathia - 3.3
SP2: Kuroda - 5.2
SP3: Hughes - 1.5
SP4: Nova - 0.4
SP5: Garcia - 0.0

TOTAL: 10.4

C: Martin - 1.5
1B: Teixeira - 3.6
2B: Cano - 8.2
3B: Rodriguez - 2.0
SS: Jeter - 2.1
LF: Ibanez - 0.3
CF: Granderson - 2.7
RF: Swisher - 3.5
DH: Chavez - 1.5

TOTAL: 25.4


I get this sarcastic look from my girlfriend quite a bit.

So the 2013 Yankees, assuming the players do as well as last season, have a better bWAR. Okay, but how about the 2012 American League Champion Detroit Tigers?

SP1: Verlander - 7.6
SP2: Scherzer - 4.0
SP3: Porcello - 1.4
SP4: Fister - 3.2
SP5: Sanchez - 2.6

TOTAL: 18.8

C: Avila - 2.2
1B: Fielder - 4.4
2B: Infante - 0.7
3B: Cabrera - 6.9
SS: Peralta - 0.8
LF: Dirks - 2.0
CF: Jackson - 5.2
RF: Boesch - -1.4
DH: Young - -1.2

TOTAL: 19.6


I wanted to say that a good bullpen can help or hinder a team, so not including them in the above numbers is not me disregarding them. It was simply too difficult for me to break down the bullpen into it's most important parts, since not all bullpen members are created equal. And by not including each bullpen member, I don't believe I could accurately put a number on them. But I do want to say that the 2013 Yankees bullpen does look to be a good one. I don't mean to say they'll be "lights out" awesome, but they should be good enough that the difference between their bullpen and any other team's bullpen is not enough to skew the numbers much at all.

I don't mean to say that the Yankees are on their way to the 2013 World Series, but looking at these numbers does make me feel a little bit better about the team's chances of having a successful season. Either way, I'd like to see the Ninja work his magic again.

What About Carlos Lee For The Yankees 2013 DH?

It is no secret that the Yankees need a right handed hitter, a designated hitter, and some power to replace the home runs lost by Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, etc etc etc. I wonder if the Yankees have considered Carlos Lee for their opening. Before you start throwing popcorn at the screen hear me out and let's look at this statistically.

Carlos Lee is a contact hitter who rarely strikes out, something that is overlooked in the day of the long ball in my opinion, with a strike out rate of only 8.0%. To go with this strike out rate is a pretty nice 89.5% contact rate from the right side. Carlos Lee, in a pinch of course, can also play first base and a little bit of left field which makes him much more versatile then say Raul Ibanez was last season, not that I would want Carlos in the field any more then we would have to. Entering his age 36 season (turning 37 in late June) I would also think that he would be willing to accept the one year deal that the Yankees seem to be only throwing out this off season, which makes him make even more sense for the Yankees. Now while I admit that his 2012 season was a horrible season where he only hit 9 home runs between two teams he did play in 147 games, get on base a respectable 60 points higher then his batting average (.264/.332/.365), managed 77 RBIs for two terrible teams the Marlins and the Astros, 145 hits, 27 doubles, and even managed enough outfielders to fall down in one play for him to get a triple. While he will not be a stolen base threat, 3 stolen bases and wasn't caught stealing in 2012, he could really fill out and balance the lineup in the Yankees 6th or 7th slot in the lineup.

Carlos Lee is durable, more flexible then any of the DH options we had last year or could have this year barring a trade, is right handed, can still hit for power regardless of his 2012 numbers, would probably take a one year deal, and would make us one step closer to being competitive in my opinion. This makes too much sense to me at this point in the game. I will note that I am not a fan of having Carlos Lee on the team but he is the best of what is left and would help the team the most in my opinion so I think Cashman should get it done now.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Most Memorable Moment From 2012

With the new year almost upon us I wanted to take the time to, like most people are doing at this time of the year, look back at the most memorable moment from the 2012 season. 

Most people while writing a piece like this would go back to the Raul Ibanez home runs against the Red Sox to basically clinch the AL East or the Mariano Rivera injury or even the Derek Jeter injury as the obvious answers but I wanted to go another route. See the one moment that really sticks out in my mind is Game 5 of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles.

This game was the perfect example of New York Yankees baseball and made me proud to be a fan. The Yankees got behind their ace CC Sabathia and rode him all the way to the promised land just like the script was written way back in Spring Training. The Yankees rode CC for a complete game 3-1 Yankees victory in front of 47,000 and change fans at Yankees Stadium. Along the way CC allowed the one run on four hits with two walks and nine strike outs in a total domination of the Baltimore Orioles. It was a complete team win with clutch hitting, timely hitting, great defense, and stellar pitching. A classic Yankees win and a classic Yankees moment, my most memorable, from 2012.

Whats yours?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Former Yankees Update : Andruw Jones

Apparently Andruw Jones could not hit a baseball in 2012 but he proved that he could hit his wife as he did just that recently. Andruw Jones, in a drunken fit, beat his wife Christmas day while dragging her down stairs and putting his hand to her throat telling her that he wanted to kill her. He was obviously arrested for this incident but still is expected to play in Japan this season. Here is his mugshot for those weirdos that are into those sorts of things.

Yankees Hire Don Wakamatsui

You may have heard that the Yankees added Don Wakamatsu to their pro scouting staff.

Wakamatsu has coached and managed at pretty much every level of the minor leagues, and has some experience in the majors as well... his latest stint as a bench coach in Toronto. I was looking for something in particular to stand out in his bio, and I came across this bit from Fred Claire, former baseball executive and writer for
It is the relationships that Wakamatsu has built during his time in baseball that defines him best. He was somewhat of an unknown to the public when he was hired as the Mariners' manager last November, but he is well-known and highly respected within the game.
Not sure how much this will translate into his job in the scouting department, but it's nice to know that the team has hired somebody that is well thought of in baseball circles.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 Yankees Spring Training Uniforms & Hats

The Yankees have redesigned their Spring Training and batting practice hats and jerseys for the 2013 season and I have to say... boy are they ugly. I have to say I was a big fan of the ones that we have used in recent years and I am not the biggest fan of the two tone design. 

Former Yankees Update : Hideki Matsui

Former Yankee Hideki Matsui has announced his retirement from baseball today after 10 years of playing in the major leagues. After spending his first 10 seasons in the Japanese League he came over to the New York Yankees in December of 2002 and adopted the name of Godzilla as he took over New York. I am not sure if he will be remembered more for his hand drawn sketch of his wife or his 2009 World Series heroics (please sense the sarcasm here) but he will always be remembered, especially in the Yankees family community. He also spent time with the Angels, A's, and Rays but will always be remembered as a Yankee. Congratulations to him on a stellar career which included two All Star teams and that 2009 World Series ring.

Top 50 Baseball Related Twitter Accounts has compiled a list of the top 50 baseball related twitter accounts on twitter seen here. While I cannot fathom how they over looked our twitter page, @GreedyStripes (follow us people), I guess this list will just make us work harder for next years list. Here is the list so check it out and give some of these people a follow. For the lazy I will include the top 15 accounts for you to see here! Enjoy!!

1. Sandy Alderson (@MetsGM)
2. Brett Anderson (@BrettAnderson49)
3. Collin Balester (@ballystar40)
4. Baseball Factory (@BaseballFactory)
5. Baseball Hall of Fame (@BaseballHall)
6. Brandon Beachy (@Brandon_Beachy)
7. Dan Brooks (@brooksbaseball)
8. Maury Brown (@BizballMaury)
9. Dave Cameron (@DCameronFG)
10. Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco)
11. College Splits (@collegesplits)
12. Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick)
13. Eric Cressey (@EricCressey)
14. Cody Decker (@Decker6)
15. John Dewan (@FieldingBible)
51. The Greedy Pinstripes (@GreedyStripes)

Yankees Still Looking For RH Bat

Matt Diaz may bat from the right side, but his signing is not keeping the Yankees from searching for another option. According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, the Yankees are still interested in Scott Hairston.

Although I'm interested in seeing what Diaz can do after having thumb surgery in August, the thumb which has been ailing Matt the past three seasons (he hit .313/.390/.488 in 2009), I like to hear that the team isn't done looking for better alternatives. Honestly, though, I doubt we'd hear the 100% truth anyway.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yankees Sign Matt Diaz

The Yankees have finally filled their right handed bat in the outfield problem when they signed long time Atlanta Braves player Matt Diaz today to a one year minor league deal. The deal will let Matt earn $1.2 million plus incentives if he makes the big league club, which he should.

Former Yankees Update : DJ Mitchell

The forgotten guy that the Yankees gave up, DJ Mitchell,for Ichiro Suzuki this July has been designated for assignment today to make room for the recently signed and former Yankee Raul Ibanez. I do not think the Yankees would take a waiver on him unless they could stash him in AAA but it is a slow news day so it was worth noting. I was always a fan of DJ Mitchell and compared him a lot to Ramiro Mendoza of the 90's dynasty teams.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas From The Greedy Pinstripes

Everyone here at The Greedy Pinstripes would like to wish you a very safe and Merry Christmas. Hopefully it is a great holiday and a great year for everybody. If you don't exactly celebrate Christmas then I wish you all a Happy Holidays as well! Everyone be safe!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Yankees Will Not Allow Cano To Play In Winter Ball

The Yankees have declined Robinson Cano's request to play in this years Dominican Winter League playoffs. Cano will be entering his age 30 season and will be the integral part of the Yankees offensive attack so this move makes a lot of sense especially when you consider that he has played in the third most number of games in the last six seasons with at least 159 games in each. He really has nothing to gain and everything to lose from this so this makes sense from the Yankees point of view.

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa:

You know I have been good and you know what I want, so get it done. I know that you are busy this time of year so I will keep this short and sweet. Thank you!

The Greedy Pinstripes

Yankees Interested In Matt Diaz

The Yankees continue to search for a right handed bat in the outfield to compliment Ichiro and they are reportedly interested in long time Braves player Matt Diaz. Matt has battled some injuries but is reportedly regained his health to 100% and would be willing to sign a one year deal. His batting line against left handed pitching really intrigues me as well with a triple slash of .324/.364/.498 to go with what one would think would be a very inexpensive base salary. I would welcome Matt to New York although I fear that it would mean a loss of Chris Dickerson on the 40 man roster and the team all together.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

John Sickels Top 20 Yankees Prospects List

John Sickels of Minor League Ball released his preliminary Top 20 Yankees prospects list with his grading system attached. For the full article click the link and head over there but I will give you the readers digest version here. 

1. Gary Sanchez
2. Tyler Austin
3. Mason Williams
4. Slade Heathcott
5. Brett Marshall
6. Jose Campos
7. Angelo Gumbs
8. Mark Montgomery
9. Ty Hensley
10. Manny Banuelos
11. Nik Turley
12. Corey Black
13. Rafael DePaula
14. JR Murphy
15. Ramon Flores
16. Bryan Mitchell
17. Austin Romine
18. Corban Joseph
19. Nick Goody
20. Dante Bichette Jr

Nick Swisher Signs Four Year Deal W/ Cleveland

Nick Swisher came to the Yankees in a trade before the 2009 season and has left this year via free agency after signing a four year deal with the Cleveland Indians this morning. This four year deal with worth $56 million before potential incentives and such which have not been announced at the time of this writing. There is an option year for a 5th year at $14 million which could bring the total deal up to $70 million.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Raul Ibanez Comes Off Board, Signs W/ Seattle

Mr. Yankee Raul Ibanez has come off the Yankees board and radar tonight when the 41 year old signed a one year deal worth $2.75 million. He will be missed I cannot even lie because it is hard to find clutch hitting.

Mariners Enter The Raul Ibanez Sweepstakes

Last week we learned that the Texas Rangers would be possible suitors for Mr. Yankee Raul Ibanez and today we learned that the Seattle Mariners also have "serious interest" in the left handed DH/outfielder. Ibanez will be entering his age 41 season and while he only had a triple slash of .240/.308/.453 with 19 home runs for the Yankees last year he had big hit after big hit after big hit in the biggest of spots. Ibanez would be comfortable in Seattle as he played there from 1996-2000 and then again in 2004-2008.

Yankees Release Seven Minor League Prospects

The Yankees have announced that they have released seven minor leaguers today from various affiliates. Here is the list of released minor leaguers.

RHP Reinier Casanova
RHP Ryan Flannery
RHP Jhorge Liccien
SS Yadil Mujica
OF Kelvin Duran
OF Justin James
OF Damon Sublett

No big names or probably anybody that you would notice but still worth posting because this is a slow off season.

Cody Ross Come Off The Board, Signs W/ Arizona

The top right handed outfielder left on the market has officially come off the Yankees board. Cody Ross has signed a three year deal worth $26 million with an option for a fourth year with the Arizona Diamondbacks. As much as the Yankees could have used him that is an awful lot for a platoon outfielder and part time bench player. Makes you wonder why the Diamondbacks would sign ANOTHER outfielder after trading away Chris Young but who knows maybe he is a Justin Upton replacement *hint at Cashman*.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jim Miller Clears Waivers, Outrighted To AAA

Jim Miller was designated for assignment to make room for the recently signed Ichiro Suzuki and has cleared waivers and will be sent down to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre. In 33 appearances last year in the majors for the Oakland Athletics Miller pitched to a 2.59 ERA with a .217 batting average against while being much better against lefties then right handed batters. He will add some considerable depth to the AAA bullpen and be in line for a Bronx call up if need be.

Had To Share This Hal Steinbrenner Photo

A Picture is worth a thousand words...

Raul Ibanez To Sign Soon

It turns out that the Yankees are indeed interested in Raul Ibanez as a platoon DH, however George King of the New York Post says that their talks have not involved any sort of negotiation.

I don't like that the Yankees are even considering bring back Raul, as he's not even that good against right-handers. Mind you, a batting line of .248/.319/.492 isn't horrible (his 2012 mark), but it's hardly what a team should want out of a platoon DH.

King makes note that Ibanez would like to sign within the next 7-10 days, so at least this isn't something that will drag on all offseason. I mean... it's better to just rip the bandage off quickly, rather than do it slowly and suffer the pain longer.

Casey McGehee Signs With Japanese Team

There's at least one player from the 2012 Yankees, who I'm not interested in re-signing, that won't be back next year.

Via Sankei in Japan, NBCSports is reporting that Casey McGehee has signed a 1 year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Casey finished 5th in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2009, after hitting .301/.360/.499, but things went downhill from there. He had a line of .151/.220/.264 in 22 games for the Yankees in 2012, after having been acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It didn't seem like the Yankees were interested in bringing back McGehee, but seeing their signing of Ichiro, along with their interest in Ibanez, I wouldn't have been surprised to see the 30 year old back in the Bronx in 2013.

Prospects : Top 10 DSL Players To Come To US In '13

Greg Corcoran over at Bronx Baseball Daily did it again with his Top 10 Yankees DSL players that could come stateside in 2013. Go over and see the original post HERE and give Greg some love and some views but with his permission here is the write up for your reading enjoyment. For the full write up click the link and head over to BBD.

There have been whispers that the Yankees are likely to have another rookie league team for 2013. The GCL rosters are filled three ways. The amateur draft, the DSL, and miscellaneous signings.With that, the Dominican Summer League, which is where the Yankees keep their young international talent to develop them for baseball in the USA, is going to play an even more important role in the Yankees farm system. Luckily the system is stocked with talent in their baseball program in the Dominican Republic, which has to be one of the major reasons for the decision to create another GCL team.
This list does not include new signees, or anyone who didn’t play at least a game in the Dominican Summer League this year. One caveat to this list is that you have to take DSL statistics with a grain of salt. They are still somewhat important, but the season is short and the competition doesn’t compare with rookie ball. It’s a big jump.
10. Erick Canela (Dominican Republic), RHP
9. Jose Figueroa, OF (Mexico)
8. Chris Cabrera, RHP (Dominican Republic)
7. Renzo Martini, 1B (Venezuela) 
6. Wilmer Romero, OF (Dominican Republic)
5. Abiatal Avelino, SS (Dominican Republic)
4. Christopher Tamarez, 3B (Dominican Republic)
3. Luis Severino, RHP (Dominican Republic)
2. Dallas Martinez, RHP (Mexico)
1. Rafael DePaula, RHP (Dominican Republic)
Other names to watch out for: Brian Cuevas (SS out of the Dominican Republic) Luis Torrens (catcher just signed out of Venezuela), Yancarlos Baez (SS signed out of the Dominican Republic), Jesus Aparicio (C out of Venezuela), Simon De La Rosa (RHP just signed out of the Dominican Republic), Daniel Vavrusa (C out of the Czech Republic) Omar Luis Rodriguez (LHP signed from Cuba for $4 million), Alexander Palma (OF signed out of Venezuela).
Some of these other guys could be coming over in 2013 or 2014. If Omar Luis Rodriguez gets his visa issues taken care of, he’ll be in the states as well. As you can see there is a wealth of talent in the Dominican Republic right now.  The sense is that most other teams in the league are really impressed with what the Yankees are doing at that level. If they continue to pump out solid prospects at the current rate, the Yankees will have a real surplus of top prospect talent in the not so distant future.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End Of The World Music Recommendation

With the Mayans prediction of the world ending tomorrow I figured I would get this in as one last ditch effort to whore up some views for the blog. Enjoy the song and hope for the best tomorrow!

Omar Luis Having Visa Issues

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Omar Luis is having trouble obtaining a visa after using documents claiming permanent Haitian residency. The problem is that Haitian documents are notoriously unreliable, and it's common knowledge that Omar has lived and trained in the Dominican Republic.

Luis is the 20 year old Cuban left-handed pitcher that the Yankees signed for $4 million, before the new CBA came into affect... which limited spending on international free agents. Here is Ben Badler's scouting report...

Luis, 19, has a five-pitch mix, stands out for his pitchability and scouts have lauded him for his competitiveness on the international circuit. His fastball ranges from 86-92 mph and touched 93 at a recent workout with solid sink and run. Luis doesn’t have a knockout pitch, but he mixes his stuff well, attacks hitters aggressively and throws strikes to all quadrants of the zone, though he does have a head whack when he finishes his delivery. His 73-78 mph curveball flashes average and he’ll use it against both lefties and righties, though some scouts prefer his changeup. He’ll mix in the occasional slider and cutter as well. Luis is listed at 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, and he’s a stocky guy who will have to always stay on top of his conditioning…

Given his age and experience level, Luis would likely report as high as low Class A Charleston, though he still must be able to acquire a visa, so it’s not certain when Luis will be able to begin his career. Luis, like Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, is represented by Bart Hernandez of Praver Shapiro Sports Management.

AJ Pierzynski Comes Off Board, Signs W/ Texas

AJ Pierzynski and the Texas Rangers have agreed upon a one year deal for the 2013 season and yet another Yankees option comes off the board. I guess there might actually be some validity to the "Austin Romine to start for the Yankees" reports and rumors from earlier. No details on the money and such so check back for that update.

The 2013 Starting Catcher: Austin Romine?

UPDATE: After doing a bit of digging I was able to find this tweet from Jon Heyman...

I can't find any sources for this information, but I read that the Yankees are currently thinking about having Austin Romine be the starting catcher.

This isn't news that makes me really excited, but I would look forward to seeing what the kid could do. Austin hasn't torn up AAA ball, but he wouldn't be the first guy to do well in the majors after a lackluster minor league career.

Prospect : Dugas, Segedin, Butler, Pope & Johnson

My friend over at Pro Sports Daily forums posted five guys that he really likes that are not really well known names down in the Yankees system. I really enjoyed reading this so, with his permission, I figured I would share with you guys as well. I encourage you all to click HERE and check out the original post to show him some love and to check out the stats that he posted that are not copying over here well. Enjoy the list!

5 non-prospects (more than likely organizational guys) that I like

1- Taylor Dugas - 5'8 / 170 lbs / 23 / Bats: Left, Throws: Left

8th round pick of the Yankees this year. Plus K-Zone discipline, advanced approach at the plate, solid hit tool (career .360 hitter in college as well in the SEC) carry him offensively. He has little to no power. Defensively, he has above average speed and arm strength. He has a ceiling of a 4th OF, maybe a starter on a lower-tier team. His intangibles and competitiveness are all off the charts. He's probably an organizational guy but I really like his game.

2- Rob Segedin - 6'3 / 220 / 24 / Bats: Right, Throws: Right

3rd round pick of the Yankees in 2010. Segedin played 3B/LF/RF this year in Hi-A and AA ball. He's a contact oriented hitter. He has an advanced approact at the plate and takes the ball the other way pretty well. He has a strong throwing arm and is an an average defender at both 3B and in the outfield. He doesn't have the necessary power to play either a corner OF or INF position which limits his ceiling.

3- Saxon Butler - 6'2 / 239 / 22 / Bats: Left, Throws: Left

Drafted by the Yankees in the 33rd round of this year's draft. The guy can mash. He makes consistent contact with the ball and hits it hard. No value on defense or in the running game. His numbers took a hit after he was promoted to Charleston mid-season. 

4- Ryan Pope - 6'3 / 205 / 26 / Bats: Right, Throws: Right

Time's running out for him. He had some bad BABIP luck in 2012. Gave up a bit too many hits. His other peripherals (specifically K/9, BB/9 ratios) were elite. Fastball sits 91-93 and he commands it well. Has a change-up and curveball that he commands well, though neither are anything more than average pitches. He might have the best pitching deliver in the entire system. Quick, effortless, efficient.

5- Cody Johnson - 6'4 / 240 / 23 / Bats: Left, Throws: Right

Former 1st round pick of the Braves in 2006. He has tons of power from the left side, especially against right handed pitching (.512 SLG and .864 OPS against RHP last season in AA). Still fairy young. Doesn't offer anything else though especially defensively or on the basepaths. Needs to improve plate discipline. Pinch hitter / platoon player is his ceiling.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yankees Considered Moving Tyler Austin To Third Base

The Yankees originally drafted now super prospect Tyler Austin to be a catcher but quickly moved him to the hot corner for his first professional season with the team. Last season, Austin's breakout season that saw him get all the way to AA Trenton, the Yankees moved him to right field where he played a lot of in high school and college. With the Alex Rodriguez hip injury, Dante Bichette Jr's disappointing sophmore season, and nobody else really worth talking about besides David Adams and Corban Joseph down the pipe line the Yankees have considered moving Tyler back to the hot corner. Austin, entering his age 21 season, is coming off of a break out season where he saw a .322/.400/.559 triple slash over three minor league affiliates. Personally I would like to leave him in the outfield for a while and not have him switching positions every year as he also has to adjust to better pitching but I guess Mark Newman and company knows better then I do.

Jim Miller Designated For Assignment For Ichiro

As predicted here on The Greedy Pinstripes the Ichiro Suzuki deal became official today and the Yankees designated Jim Miller for assignment to make room for him on the 40 man roster. There is a very small chance in my eyes that Jim Miller is NOT claimed this time but I was frankly shocked that he fell to us last time too so we will just have to watch and see.

The Yankees Are Speaking With Ibanez

I'm probably not the only Yankee fan that has reacted like this often this offseason.

Day by day I grow more frustrated this offseason. It started off just fine, with the Yankees picking up the options on Cano, Granderson, and Aardsma. Then things moved right along the way I'd expected and hoped, as the team brought back Kuroda, Pettitte, and Rivera on one year deals. However, at this point things went south.

The team found out that Alex Rodriguez was going to miss a large chunk of the season, so they were left scrambling to find somebody to fill in. ARod may not be the MVP-caliber player he was years back, but his loss still stings quite a bit, so it was important to make a move. Kevin Youkilis is not the most ideal fill-in, but I don't really have a problem with the signing. $12 million is a bit much, though, especially when I see that Fangraphs had him worth less than half of that ($5.7 million). It is only a one year deal, so it doesn't bother me much at all.

Looking at Kevin's face, I don't think Jorge whispered sweet nothings into his ear.

One move that does bother me is the signing of Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro turned 39 this past October, and the last 418 games he played for Seattle were far from impressive (his OPS+ during those 2+ years was below 90). The .322/.340/.454 he put up for the Yankees after the trade was great, and Suzuki can still play pretty good defense, but you'd have to be a fool to believe he could hit like that all season long. I suppose it wouldn't bother me if Ichiro was looked at as the 4th outfielder, but as of right now he's penciled into the starting lineup.

And what do I hear now? The Yankees may want to bring back Raul Ibanez, who will turn 41 next June. The same man that hit .248/.319/.492 vs. right-handed pitchers, and only .197/.246/.246 against lefties. Hardly numbers one should be drooling over going into 2013. On top of that the Yankees already have a bit of an issue with all three current outfield starters batting from the left side, so adding another left-handed bat seems dumb. Lastly, although Raul played quite a bit of left field in 2012, with some right field thrown in there, he's a below average fielder.

The team does need a designated hitter, so Raul must be looked at as a DH against RHP. But why? Chris Dickerson is not only a much better defender, but outside of Raul having a bit more power, Dickerson's career line vs. RHP of .269/.354/.424 is more attractive. Add on the fact that outside of a loss of power, Chris hits just as well versus same-sided pitching (.253/.344/.316). Finally, that doesn't take into account that Ibanez would likely make twice as much money as Dickerson would.

"Mr. Ibanez and I may look alike, but I could probably hit better than him."

It's not surprising that the Yankees would want to bring back another aging player who's well past his prime, but frankly I'm getting tired of it. I still believe Cashman has a trick or two up his sleeve, but already being an impatient man doesn't help one bit.

Injury Updates

My current feelings on the Yankees isn't too optimistic, so going over a few injured Yankee players doesn't make me feel much better. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel for these guys.

Jose Campos, perhaps better known as the lesser half of the two players the Yankees received for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi, made only 5 starts in low-A Charleston last year before being shut down with an elbow injury. Luckily, unlike Manny Banuelos, Campos will evidently not need surgery. He's currently throwing off of flat ground, and is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

The "greater" half of that trade, Michael Pineda, didn't throw a single pitch for the Bombers last season after a tear was found in his right/throwing shoulder. He's also throwing on flat ground, but at long distances, and the belief is that he'll be ready sometime around May. Keep in mind that he'll have to be stretched out at that point, so I wouldn't expect Pineda to contribute until at least June.

Finally... Mason Williams. Mason tried to make a diving catch last season, and ended up hyper-extending his non-throwing shoulder. He'd been promoted to high-A Tampa not too long before the injury, and was shut down the rest of the season. Vice President of Baseball Operations, Mark Newman, said that Mason is swinging the bat, which tells me he'll be ready to go by Spring Training.

Kevin Youkilis Added To "Wives & Girlfriends" Section

Newly acquired Kevin Youkilis has been added to the Wives and Girlfriends section of The Greedy Pinstripes, seen HERE, so go over and check out him and his wife Enza Sombataro. I am personally a big fan of this one, although she is not as hot as Russell Martin's girlfriend. Welcome to the WAG section Youk!

Prospects : Top 10 Yankees Relief Prospects

Greg Corcoran over at Bronx Baseball Daily is at it again this time posting his top 10 Yankees relief prospects. Go see the original post HERE and give him some love and some views but with his permission here is the post for your reading enjoyment! For the full write up head over to BBD!

BBPD: Top 10 relief prospects

Amongst the craziness of the Winter meetings, A-Rod’s injury, and all of the rumors that have been circulating, it’s time to take a break from all of the insanity and talk about the farm system. Relievers in the minor leagues are not the most glamorous players. They don’t get a lot of love in the rankings, they can fall off at any level, and they are often passed up for promotions to the major leagues for converted starters. The Yankees are one team, however, who has had some recent success with relief prospects, most notably David Robertson.

Since the D-Rob success story, they have used the draft to pick up some later round guys who end up being excellent relief prospects. Here I will highlight a few of the players who I think could make an impact in the major leagues. The system has never been so deep in relief pitching, and this could be the season where we start to benefit from a cheap, homegrown, phenomenal bullpen. Only 5 of these guys made the top 50 prospects.

10. RHP Manuel Barreda

9. RHP Dan Burawa

8. LHP James Pazos

7. RHP Preston Claiborne

6. RHP Kelvin Perez

5. RHP Tom Kahnle

4. RHP Chase Whitley

3. RHP Branden Pinder

2. RHP Nick Goody

1. RHP Mark Montgomery

With Barreda, Kahnle, Pinder, and Montgomery possibly starting in Double-A, the Thunder aren’t going to lose many close games. With Claiborne, Perez, and Whitley in Triple-A, the Yankees won’t be hurting for relief pitching depth either. That’s seven relief pitchers in the top two levels of this system. The bolus of talent is coming, and it could save the Yankees significant money in 2014 and beyond. One thing is for sure. The Yankees shouldn’t need to hand out any contracts to players like Rafael Soriano anymore.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yankees Luxury Tax Bill Increased To $19.3 Mill

Major League Baseball screwed up when figuring up the luxury tax for the Yankees in 2012 and it has been increased from $18.9 mill to 19.3 million. The roughly $400K increase is just a drop in the bucket when your payroll was figured at $223,302,212 but still any news is news at this point in the off season.

Josh Spence Clears Waivers, Sent To AAA Scranton

Josh Spence was designated for assignment last week to make room for Kevin Youkilis and has cleared waivers and accepted a minor league assignment with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders. If you remember Spence was claimed off waivers last month from the San Diego Padres and given a roster spot and invite to Spring Training. I am sure he will get that same invite now that he has cleared waivers.

Texas Rangers Interested In "Mr. Yankee" Raul Ibanez

The Yankees have some competition it would seem for the 41 year old OF/DH Raul Ibanez for the 2013 season. Ibanez makes a lot of sense for Texas after losing Josh Hamilton with their lineup now leaning heavily towards the right side. Ibanez would presumably be in the same role for Texas that he was in New York if he were to sign there, a reserve outfielder and DH coming off the bench late in games.

Jeter Tops List Of Most Popular Jerseys Sold

Major League Baseball always lists their top jerseys sold around this time in the off season and this year Derek Jeter tops the list of all players in MLB. Ichiro Suzuki was surprisingly third on the list and Robinson Cano was a distant 10th place. This list is pre All Star Break 2012 just as an added FYI. Here is the complete list via Lohud.

1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
2. Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
3. Ichiro Suzuki, New York Yankees
4. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
5. Mike Trout, LA Angels of Anaheim
6. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
7. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
8. Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
9. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
10. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
11. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
12. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals
13. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
14. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
15. Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
16. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
17. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
18. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
19. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
20. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays