Friday, April 26, 2013

No New Talks Between Yanks & Cano

Robinson Cano and his new agents, CAA and Jay-Z, have not had discussions with the Yankees and their management yet for a new contract. The Yankees have a policy where they refuse to discuss a contract extension before a player hit free agency but the Yankees seem willing to suspend this policy to keep Robbie before he hits free agency. The Yankees let big time stars like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera to name a few hit the free agent market due to this policy but it seems like times are changing in Yankeesland. Cano, if he hits free agency, will easily be the best free agent in the entire market and with big money teams like the Dodgers and the Angels lurking it scares the hell out of me to think that Robbie may test the waters. Robinson Cano will turn 31 years old in October and will likely command a $200 million contract this off season so I really hope the Yankees can get this done before the season is over.

Ivan Nova Has Pain In Pitching Elbow

Ivan Nova left tonight's game with the Toronto Blue Jays with pain in his pitching elbow and is heading to get an MRI as soon as tonight or tomorrow. Nova could not get out of the third inning tonight and did not seem to be hit by a ball or anything so this is not a good sign at all. Chien Ming Wang or Adam Warren will probably be called upon to make his next start if he cannot go which I cannot see him making it. This kind of screams Tommy John surgery to me but I am hoping for the best here. The year of the injury continues...

Eduardo Nunez Will Not Be A Super Two

The 2014 Super Two status for arbitration eligible players is being set, tentatively, at two years and 119 days of service in the big leagues. The projected date, which is subject to change, is going to leave Nunez a mere two days short of being a Super Two. The difference between arbitration and Super Two eligibility is a few hundred thousand in salary generally so the Yankees aren't exactly upset about this news I am sure.

Francisco Cervelli Out Six Weeks W/ Fractured Hand

And the year of the injury continues...

Francisco Cervelli is out at least six weeks with a fractured right after taking a ball to the back of his fingers. Francisco is going to require surgery and the Yankees will call up Austin Romine to take his spot on the roster. Romine has a .341/.400/.415 triple slash this season for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders so hopefully he will be the every day catcher for the Yankees and not weak hitting Chris Stewart. This is a shame because Cervelli was having a hell of a season and was one of the few bright spots from the right side of the plate and against left handed pitching. This is a damn shame.

Injury Update: Cervelli, Nova, Youkilis

Despite having a 6-4 win, the Yankees had multiple injury issues. Let's address them one by one as if it's one big sandwich.

-- Let's start with Francisco Cervelli. Cervelli was hit in the knuckles by a pitch from Ivan Nova in the first inning. Cervelli was taken for x-rays and the results weren't good. Cervelli has a broken hand that requires surgery, and he's expected to be sidelined for a minimum of 6 weeks. Having surgery means that the fracture wasn't a clean fracture and the doctors would have to open him up to see how bad the damage in his hand is. The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. A huge blow for the Yankees and bad luck for Cervelli who was playing so well for the first couple of weeks.

-- Let's continue onto Ivan Nova. Two innings later, Ivan Nova was pulled out of the game by Joe Girardi and fans initially thought that he pulled a hamstring. It was revealed that he had pain in his elbow and was sent for an MRI. The results of the MRI weren't back by the time the Yankees finished the game, so we'd have to wait until tomorrow to see the results.

-- And Finally, we shall end it with Kevin Youkilis. Kevin Youkilis has been out of the lineup for almost a week (tomorrow makes seven days) and the Yankees were attempting to avoid the DL with him. However, if his back isn't well by tomorrow then the Yankees could possibly place him on the 15-day DL. Now, he wouldn't have to spend an extra fifteen days sidelined. The Yankees could retroactive his DL from the day he stopped playing.

The Yankees have been the walking wounded since the season began...and now they're going to have to walk wounded some more.

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays 4/26

The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays will have another rematch from last weekend when they face off tonight in the second game of their four game weekend series. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound to face off against Josh Johnson for the Blue Jays. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on YES, MLB Network, and MLB.TV.

Buy all of your Yankees tickets here for tonight's game or any game this weekend.

Game 24 Lineup: Blue Jays vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Jays:

Brett Gardner CF
Jayson Nix 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Vernon Wells LF
Francisco Cervelli C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Ben Francisco DH

Ivan Nova RHP

The Yankees May Scrap The Austerity Budget

When I first read Jeff Passan's tweet last night I didn't think anything of it. I figured it was just another opinion piece from somebody that didn't think it made sense for the Yankees to try and save a few bucks by getting their payroll down, seeing as how it could cost them dearly by losing more games. We've written things like that right here. But it was between innings during last night's game, so I decided to click the link and see. I mean, it would be nice if the Yankees would drop the austerity budget, but there's been so much talk about it my hopes weren't high.

It turns out that Mr. Passan wasn't trying to simply gain website hits, as had some evidence...
"They're going to be over 189," one source familiar with the Yankees' plans said. "They know it. Everyone knows it. You can't run a $3 billion team with the intentions of saving a few million dollars."
Apparently the money that could be saved by getting payroll down to $189 million wasn't as much as anticipated. It was originally thought that the team could save upwards of $50 million by doing so, however that's not the case.

The rules on revenue sharing are changing. In the past, as long as a team was considered "low revenue", they would receive a portion of the revenue sharing money. That means that teams like Washington, Toronto, and Atlanta would get some of the revenue sharing money, even though those teams are actually in large markets. As opposed to low revenue teams like the Oakland As, who are not only low revenue but also in a small market. All of which would lead to a larger pool of revenue sharing money.

That's changing this season, as those teams in large markets (Washington, Toronto, Atlanta) will actually have to start giving that money back to the large market/large revenue teams that have been giving them money through revenue sharing for years.

However, for a team to get that revenue sharing money back they'd have to have a payroll at or under the threshold ($189 million in 2014). And that is the money that makes up the majority of the $50 million the Yankees were looking to save through the austerity budget.

"What happened to all the water?" - The Yankees/That Kid

Due to their success, the Washington Nationals are moving from being a payee to a payor, which will lower the amount of money to be given back to the Yankees and other large market/large revenue teams. The same goes for the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays. Meaning the amount of money to be given back to large market/large revenue teams isn't as much, so the savings won't be as high.

So, it turns out that the majority of the money to be saved by getting to that magical payroll of $189 million would come from the Luxury Tax, which has been talked about quite a bit. As Jeff Passan pointed out in his article, if the Yankees had a payroll of $205 million from 2014-2016, the team would pay $24 million to the tax. However, if the payroll were $189 million in 2014, then went back up to $205 million in 2015 and 2016, the team would only pay $8.4 million. That means the team would save only $15.6 million over those 3 years. There's just no way saving $15.6 million over 3 years makes up for putting a lower quality product on the field.

Hell, the money the team could make from selling Robinson Cano jerseys over three years could make up that $15.6 million.

My math may be off there.

Perhaps if the Yankees didn't already have over $89 million wrapped up in only six players for 2014 (Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, and Vernon Wells are all contracted through next season) things would be different. Oh, and that doesn't include up to nine possible arbitration cases, as well as ten regulars set to hit free agency (Robbie Cano key among those).

So not only would the savings for getting down to $189 million not be as much as first though, but getting there will be next to impossible. As a Yankee official said, "It was a good idea to try, but deep down, we all pretty much knew it wasn't going to happen."

Minor League Week In Review

SWB RailRiders  4-3 on the week

Corban Joseph kicks it off for Scranton this week, as he went 9-26 with four doubles and a pair of home runs driving in three. He did get away from his usual patient approach as he struck out eight times while only walking three. For some that might be a good K/BB but for Joseph it's a little off pace. 3B David Adams continued to put the ball in play collecting 5 hits in 17 AB's. He hit a double, struck out five times and walked twice. With Mustelier still making his way back to SWB, Adams is the odds on fan favorite for a callup in the hopes that Francisco gets his walking papers. Catcher Austin romine fell off pace a bit this past week, chipping in only four hits in his 17 AB's, but he did take one out of the park for his first of the year. Zoilo Almonte had a rough go of it, going 3-22. He did however manage to   hit a pair of doubles and drive in three, as well as work four walks against six strikeouts. 

On the pitching side, Vidal Nuno keeps on rolling. He threw another 5.2 innings of one run ball on three hits. He issued just one free pass while striking out six. Like Adams, he's my pick for first guy called up here. This isn't anything new for Nuno, and even the doubters are starting to come around on the soft tossing lefty. Chien-Ming Wang made his debut this past week throwing 12 solid innings. He gave up just one run and scattered ten hits, walking a pair and striking out five. On the downside he was sitting in the mid to high 80's, so he may have some building up of his arm strength to do yet. Dellin Betances turned in his first dominant outing of the year, tossing seven innings of one run ball on three hits. He walked a pair and struck out seven. As much as we can hope that this is him turning a corner, he's teased us like this before so i'll be waiting with baited breath. On the down side of the starting pitching, Brett Marshall got tuned up again, allowing four earned on eight hits  over 5 innings. He walked only one and struck out five but wow.... he's looked dreadful since his promotion to Scranton. Lefty Juan Cedeno threw 3.1 innings in relief, allowing an unearned run on two hits. He walked three and struck out one. Mark Montgomery kept up his excellent work this week; he threw three no hit innings, walking four and striking out four. He can't be far away from a major league assignment at this point. 

Trenton Thunder  3-3 on the week

After JR Murphy's 3 HR game last week he's taken a bit of a dive the last few games. He went 1-14 with a double and no RBI's. Slade Heathcott is still stuck in a rut since coming to AA. He went 2-15 with a lone RBI. On the bright side he walked as many times as he struck out (four) which was an issue out of the gate. Ramon Flores has been a bright spot in the Thunder lineup all along. He chipped in seven hits in his last twenty-six AB's, including a triple and four RBI's. He struck out three times while drawing four walks. Tyler Austin has broken out of his early slump, going 6-18 this past week, knocking in a pair of doubles and RBI's while working a season high seven walks while only striking out five times. He noted in an interview that he was a bit too excited and needed to just relax and let it happen. 

Zach Nuding led the Trenton pitchers, tossing six innings of one run ball on six hits. He walked just one and struck out four. Nik Turley seems to be getting his adjustments made, after struggling early he managed 5.2 innings of one run ball on four hits. He walked a pair and struck out five. Matt Tracy went down in flames in his only outing; he gave up five earned on ten hits while both walking and striking out a pair. Kelvin Perez came out of the bullpen to throw 1.2 innings of one run ball on two hits, and Tommy Kahnle continued his outstanding work this year tossing a one hit inning in which he struck out the side. Jose Ramirez has been getting his throwing in and i would expect to see him soon. After his spring training performance many of us are looking forward to seeing him prove himself at the AA level, which would go a long way to projecting him as a major league contributor. 

Tampa Yankees   5-2 on the week

Kicking off the lineup in Tampa this week is Gary Sanchez. He went deep for his fourth time this year, putting him ahead of his pace last year where he led the organization for HR's from a catcher. He did fall off a bit in the average department, going 3-19 but is still north of .300 on the season. He drew a pair of walks and struck out five times. Since Robert Refsnyder's promotion he hasn't missed a beat. He went 9-23 this week with a pair of doubles and driving in seven. He worked five walks against just two strikeouts. He was expected to move quickly, coming from a major college program so he's right on pace. At this point a move to Ben Gamel chipped in four hits of his own over 15 AB's, hitting a double, driving in four runs and both walking and striking out five times each. Mason Williams also had four hits this week including a double, driving in one, walking four times and striking out on three occasions. Up and coming 2B Angelo Gumbs remains on the DL with a wrist injury. 

Bryan Mitchell starts off the review for Tampa pitchers this wee. He went five innings, allowing one run on four hits. He was a bit wild though, allowing four free passes while striking out seven. Shane Greene also turned in a one run performance, this one over six innings. He allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out seven batters of his own. Corey Black got tuned up this past week; allowing seven runs (four earned) on eleven hits, walking none and striking out three. Manny Barreda pitched a pair of innings in relief, allowing a run on two hits. He gave up zero walks and struck out one. Sean Black pitched a pair of innings in relief as well, allowing just a single hit while giving up a walk and striking out none. 

Charleston RiverDogs  2-4 on the week

It was an ugly week for the Dogs, as many of the bats are struggling right now. Cito Culver, who had himself a nice little run of XBH's, went 6-22 with an RBI, 5 BB's and 8 K's. Dante Bichette Jr. had one less hit in as many AB's including a double and a pair of RBI's. Not what we were hoping for with their new mechanics that seemingly would allow them to get things going at the plate. Greg Bird has been in a rut since his hot start, going 4-12 this week, although he did drive in four, work four walks and strike out seven times. Jake Cave made his return to the field after missing last year with a knee injury. He opened with four hits in twelve AB's, including two doubles. He both walked and struck out twice. 

On the pitching side Rafael DePaula had himself a nice outing, pitching five innings of no hit baseball. He walked three but struck out ten. Gabe Encinas also turned in another solid outing of his own, tossing six innings of two run ball on four hits, He walked just one and struck out five. Jose Campos made another limited appearance, going three innings (he did pitch to a few in the fourth but failed to record an out) and allowing three runs on four hits. Let's hope he kicks the rust off soon. Daniel Camarena had a Jeckyl and Hyde week, throwing a pair of five inning games. He allowed just two runs in the first, but five in the second. Taylor Garrison came in from the pen to pitch 3.1 innings of shutout ball on just one hit. He struck out four and gave up just one free pass. 

This Day In Yankees History 4/26

On this day in 1961 Roger Maris would hit his first of his record breaking 61 home runs in that magical season. It took Roger eleven Yankees games before he hit his first home run against the Detroit Tigers in old Tiger Stadium.

On this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez hit home runs in his first three at bats becoming only the 11th player in Major League history to knock in 10 or more RBI's in a single game. A Rod would come up one RBI short of the American League record of 11 by fellow Yankee Tony Lazzeri in 1936. A Rod would come up two RBI's short of the Major League record of 12 set by Jim Bottomley in 1924 and Mark Whiten in 1993.