Saturday, February 9, 2013

Yankee Options

"How does this 'player option' thing work?"

I don't know about you, but figuring out who has an option remaining, and/or how many of them, has always puzzled me. Like today, when so many thought that Francisco Cervelli was out of options, meaning he couldn't be sent down to AAA without passing through waiver first. Turns out that, according to Mr. Brian Cashman himself, Frankie does have one option remaining. Which is big since the Yankee catching spot is wide open (albeit not good), meaning it would be great to keep around as many different players as possible that could fill that spot.

On top of Cervelli, Cody Eppley, Eduardo Nunez, and Ivan Nova also have one option remaining. Although they are expected to make the team anyway, Chris Stewart and Clay Rapada do not have any options left.

The team will likely lose one of their right-handed hitting players, as both Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz can opt-out of their contracts should they not get a spot on the Active Roster. Both players could probably find a big league job somewhere else in MLB, so I can't imagine they'd take a AAA assignment.

Yankees Announce 2013 Tampa Yankees Roster

The Yankees have announced their 2013 Tampa Yankees roster and in honor of "Prospects Month" here on The Greedy Pinstripes we wanted to bring it to you first. For the official Tampa Yankees website and news please go HERE. Here is the Tampa Yankees roster:


Manuel Barreda
Kramer Sneed
Caleb Cotham
Shane Greene
Sean Black
Jeremy Bleich
Rich Macheri
Kenedy Agramonte
Nick Goody
Aaron Dott
Edison Mejia


Kyle Higashioka
Gary Sanchez
David Remedios


Kyle Roller
Zach Wilson
Slade Heathcott
Jose Toussen
Hector Rabago
Francisco Rosario
Jose Mojica
Carmen Angelini
Anderson Feliz


Kelvin De Leon
Eladio Moronta
Mason Williams

Hal Looking Into Extending Cano

"What's the first thing I'm going to do with all that money?"

Currently, the biggest issue facing the Yankees after this coming season revolves around Robinson Cano, who is set to become a free agent.

Robbie hit .313/.379/.550 in 2012, with 33 home runs, and finished 4th in AL MVP voting. He also earned his 4th trip to the All Star game, his 4th Silver Slugger award, and a 2nd Gold Glove award. Cano will turn 30 on October 22nd, and about 10 days after that he will become an unrestricted free agent (in the past players had to file for free agency, but the new CBA automatically makes them a free agent the day after the World Series ends).
Although Cano's career OPS+ is a bit lower than Joey Votto's (123 to 155), who signed a 10 year extension last season, not to mention that Robinson will be a couple of years older when he signs his next contract, playing a premium position assures that it's going to cost the Yankees or any other team quite a bit for Mr. Cano's services. Personally, I think it's going to take at least an 8 year deal, and possibly up to 10 years, with an Average Annual Value of $22 to $24 million. And as I've written many times in the past, it would behoove the Yankees to get an extension done before Opening Day, so that Robbie's current contract will affect the AAV of his new deal. That may only save a few million dollars a year against the Luxury Tax, but after looking at a number of scenarios, that $2 to $3 million could mean the difference between getting under the threshold and not getting under it.

"My first purchase after signing my new contract was buying this sweet tuxedo."

I believe Cano is a guy that a team should build around for the future, much like the way the Reds are doing with Votto. But unlike Votto, who plays a position that has a ton of talent, second base doesn't offer a whole lot on the offensive side of things (last season only seven 2B in all of Major League Baseball had an OPS at or above .750, while there were 19 such players at 1B). That means that the Yankees could have a huge bat at 2B, giving them the ability to have a not-so-good bat in the corner outfield... a position normally reserved for somebody that can hit better than .283/.307/.390 (Ichiro's overall triple-slash in 2012). So when I read the following quote from Hal Steinbrenner, I was really happy...
“There’s been a conversation or two [about a contract extension with Robinson Cano]. We’ll get into that and we’ll talk about that at a later date. But he’s been a great Yankee and [we] hope he’s here his entire career.”
Now, there was no talk about trying to get that done before the 2013 season starts, but knowing that the team has at least got the ball rolling makes me smile. The #1 thing that I want to happen is for the team to bring Cano back, and this news makes me really believe that that's going to happen. It would be nice if this could go down before a team like the Dodgers is able to drive up the price, though.

Meet A Prospect : Matt Diaz

Matthew Edward Diaz was born March 3rd, 1978 in Portland, OR but spent most of his childhood growing up in Lakeland, FL.  While in Lakeland Matt attended Sante Fe Catholic High School until his college days where he attended Florida State University. A right handed outfielder standing at 6'0" and weighing in at 215 lbs I'd like to introduce you to one of the newest New York Yankees.

While Matt was at college for FSU as a two year starter he helped lead his team to two College World Series appearances including the title game against the University of Miami in 1999. He was named the Sporting News Man of the Year in 1998 and a First Team All American in 1999. The then Tampa Bay Devil Rays drafted Matt in the 17th round of the 1999 MLB First Year Players Draft and spent parts of the next seven seasons in the Rays minor league system. After struggling for parts of two years in the Majors with the Rays Matt found him released by Tampa and signing a one year deal as back up for the Kansas City Royals.

Matt would finally find a stable and consistent home when the Atlanta Braves scooped him up in a trade before the 2006 season. Matt would spend the next four seasons with Atlanta including his ten consecutive hit explosion in 2006, tying a National League record. Diaz signed a two year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 2011 season but was ultimately traded back to Atlanta in August of the same season for a player to be named later. Diaz would stay in Atlanta until his thumb surgery in August of 2012 would cause him to miss the rest of the season. Now Matt has signed a one year minor league deal with the Yankees with an invite to Spring Training this season and has a great opportunity to make the big league club.

Matt Diaz has a lovely wife and three kids, Nathan, Anna, and Matthew Jr keeping him motivated. He also has a great organization that I fully support in the Diaz Family Foundation which was set up to help orphans and disadvantaged children in Polk County, Florida and around the world. Follow Matt on twitter and keep up with his foundation @diazfoundation. Welcome to the club Matt!!