Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Reid Brignac Elects Free Agency Over AAA

Last week Reid Brignac was designated for assignment by the Yankees to make room for Alberto Gonzalez. Reid ended up clearing waivers and had the choice whether to accept a spot on the AAA team or to become a free agent and try and latch on with another team. Reid announced today that he will become a free agent and test the free agent market. Good luck to him and may God help any team that feels like they need a no hitting left handed defensive only short stop with an extremely hot wife.

New York Yankees Injury Updates For 6/25

Joe Girardi gave us a few more injury updates for the Yankees B Squad they have down in Tampa so I figured we would share them with our readers.

Eduardo Nunez had some simulated at bats today and did not report any discomfort or pain so maybe he is past the rib cage muscle finally. Hold your breathe.

Francisco Cervelli is doing tee and toss while rehabbing from a broken right hand.

None of the big stars or key pieces like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Eduardo Nunez, Francisco Cervelli, Kevin Youkilis, etc are expected back before the All Star break. Unfortunately this is the lineup we are stuck with for a while.

Yankees Sign 2013 7th Round Draft Pick Nick Rumbelow

The Yankees have come to terms with their 7th round pick from the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft Nick Rumbelow to make him part of the Yankees organization. Rumbelow signed for $100,000 which is far below the $161,000 slot recommendation for the 224th pick overall. By my unofficial count the Yankees have nearly $100,000 extra draft pool money to give unsigned guys like Aaron Judge so that is encouraging that this is far from the last sign we will see from this years draft. Rumbelow reminds me of last years Nick Goody and Corey Black so I am excited to see him in the fold and forego his senior season at LSU. Welcome aboard Nick and you need to get a Twitter.

Game Thread: Rangers @ Yankees 6/25

The Yankees will host the Texas Rangers tonight in game one of a three game set between the two clubs. Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish should be a pitching match up that should get even the most casual of baseball fans to tune in tonight on MLB Network. The Yankees have a short bench since they kept Ivan Nova up so it is important to get the most out of out starters and not get into pinch hitting and pinch running situations. Score early and often and let's have a good night, what do you say Yankees fans?

Here is the lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zoilo Almonte LF
Jayson Nix SS
David Adams 3B
Chris Stewart C

Worth noting that since Zoilo Almonte is a switch hitter the Yankees potentially have the first six batters in their lineup batting from the left side. That is great when we are facing the right handed Yu Darvish but I guess Joe Girardi forgot that the Rangers have a bullpen as well huh?

Follow us on Twitter @GreedyStripes to stay up to the minute on the blog and our beloved New York Yankees!

UPDATE: Who's Paying Teixeira's Salary?

I can't say I'm surprised, but Bryan Hoch is saying that the earlier report that the WBC insurance will be paying Mark Teixeira's salary while he's on the DL.

The Yankees will still recoup some of the money lost with Tex on the DL thanks to insurance.

I'm willing to bet we never get the real story here, but if we do you'll find it here.

Texas Rangers @ New York Yankees 6/25

The New York Yankees start a 20 game in 20 days stretch that will bring them all the way to the All Star break and that begins tonight when they host the Texas Rangers at Yankees Stadium. This should be a fun pitching match up to watch as Hiroki Kuroda will go for the Yankees and Yu Darvish will pitch for the Texas Rangers. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on MY9, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

Nova NOT Sent Down

Joe Girardi has said that Ivan Nova will not be sent down to AAA, and he could see another start before the All Star break. Nova will throw is normal between starts bullpen session today, but there's no word on when that spot start could happen.

While this news bugs me at first, seeing as how the team is leaving themselves with only three bats on the bench, there isn't a good bat to call up anyway. The only position player on the 40-man roster that could be called up from the minors is Ramon Flores, but his batting line this year in Scranton of .241/.337/.328 doesn't make me yelling "ah, come on!"

The Yankees do have a spot on the 40-man available, so they could try others such as Corey Patterson or Brent Lillebridge, but is it even worth the price of a plane ticket to get them to New York? I'm not so sure.

Let's Make A Deal... But For Who?

According to a tweet by Buster Olney early this afternoon, the Marlins are aggressively working on trading Ricky Nolasco. After 16 starts this season, totalling 100.1 innings, Nolasco's ERA is 3.68 and has a FIP of 3.55. His 1.4 WAR ranks him 21st among National League starting pitchers (tied with Mike Leake and Cole Hamels). So there's no doubt he could help out pretty much any team in Major League Baseball.

Please, get me away from that ugly thing on the other side of the center field wall.

To nobody's surprise, Nolasco has been connected to the Yankees. I'm not sure there's ever been trade talk revolving around a good player, in which the Yankees weren't mentioned. After learning that the Yankees could very well have a large chunk of money to spend due to the WBC insurance on Mark Teixeira, the connection does make sense. Ricky has about $6 million remaining on his contract this season, which wouldn't be a problem for the Yankees.

Actually, is money ever a problem for New York?

But there is a problem... The Yankees don't need a starter. Would it be nice? Sure. But the team has way more pressing concerns than run prevention. While the Yankees are the only team in the American League East to have given up less than 300 runs (294), they are also the only team in the division to have scored less than 300 runs (293). I don't have to dig up a dozen more numbers to prove that they need to score more runs... not prevent them.

I was looking at the list of free agents to be after this season, and a few names stuck out...

I've mentioned Corey Hart in the past, and seeing as how the Brewers are 15 games out of 1st place and rumors of them dealing Yovani Gallardo are already swirling, he could probably be had. But it was reported today that Hart's suffered more setbacks, and a return soon after the All Star break is really nothing more than a pipe dream. So that idea's no good.

At this point I wouldn't trust me either.

It would be awesome if the team were able to trade for Nelson Cruz, as the guy already has 19 home runs this season, and the Bombers could definitely use the power. But seeing as how the Rangers sit atop the AL West right now, in a tough battle with Oakland (only 1 game back), there's no way anything there is happening.

I'm a fan of Shin-Soo Choo, but the Reds are right there with St. Louis and Pittsburgh for the NL Central, so it's the same story there as with Cruz.

But there was one name that not only stuck out to me, but seemed like a viable option...

Michael Morse

We're not talking about somebody that's a great all-around hitter, as Michael is batting .251/.313/.454 this season. However, it's the power he can bring that's intriguing. He's hit 11 home runs this season, and had 31 in his last full season in 2011 (he missed 50 games in 2012 with a strain in his right shoulder). This season he's striking out a bit more than normal, due to a big drop in contact percentage on pitches outside the strike zone. If he can either improve his eye, or start making contact like he normally has in the past, then he could be a nice "get" for the Yankees.

Morse has spent most of his playing time in right field this year, with a little time in left field and first base. So position wise he does fill a need. He could start at first base against left-handers, seeing as how Overbay is next to useless against same-sided pitching. Then again, Overbay isn't anything special against right-handers either. Anyway, as I was saying... Versus right-handers Morse could be valuable in the outfield since Wells has been useless against any pitcher, and Zoilo Almonte could come crashing back to Earth.

Morse will be due about $3 million around the trade deadline, and seeing how Seattle is not likely to contend this season (currently 10.5 games out of 1st place in AL West), it would come down to having the right prospects to match up in a trade.

The unfortunate thing is that it would be hard enough for the Yankees to put together a package of prospects to get a Michael Morse, so making another significant move would be pretty difficult.

I had an easier time beating this guy.

When the Yankees get back Francisco Cervelli, Derek Jeter, and Curtis Granderson sometime after the All Star break, the only true problem I see at that point is at third base. Kevin Youkilis, even if we were to assume a healthy back meant he'd hit better, could very well be out the rest of the regular season. David Adams is said to be the starting third baseman right now, but after a torrid start to his MLB career he's cooled down quite a bit (.191/.226/.292 on the year).

While I don't think the Yankees would have enough to deal for Chase Headley to take over third base, even before a trade occurred for Michael Morse, perhaps somebody like Mark Reynolds would be within the Yankees' grasp. But to be honest, I'm not sure he would be much of an improvement anyway. Reynolds is only hitting .233/.321/.427 this season, which is really close to what he did last year (.221/.335/.429). Not that Headley has been a superstar this season (.229/.332/.360), but he did hit 31 homers with a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger Award, and 5th place finish for the NL MVP last season.

So the team may just have to hope Adams can at least be a replacement-level player, while Morse's power gives the team a boost, and Francisco Cervelli, Derek Jeter, and Curtis Granderson return fairly strong.

Mark Teixeira's Salary Covered By WBC

David Waldstein of the New York Times has passed along some interesting information.

Back when Mark Teixeira initially injured his wrist it was learned that the WBC would pay part Mark's salary, due to an insurance policy set up for players hurt during the tournament. What I didn't know was that if the player re-aggravated the same injury and missed time, that insurance would again cover the player's salary.

That means that if Teixeira ends up having season-ending surgery, which is a strong possibility, then the Yankees could have around $12.5 million to use to improve this years' team (he earns approximately $140,000 a game). That could be huge for the Yankees.

Five Yankees Draft Picks Announce They Wont Sign

Five of the players that the New York Yankees drafted in the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft have announced that they will not be signing with the Yankees. Ryan Butler was the Yankees 16th round pick and has announced that he will be going to UNCC. 26th rounder and son of former Yankees player Paul Quantrill, Cal Quantrill, has announced that he will not be signing with the Yankees either. The Yankees 30th round pick Cody Thomas has also announced his intentions to not sign with the Yankees. Finally the Yankees 37th and 38th round picks Josh Pettitte and Andrew Schmidt have announced that they will not be signing with the Yankees either. No real surprises with Quantrill and Pettitte not signing and the teams usually do not get too tore up when players in the 15th round or beyond decided to go to college or not to sign. You look to lock up your first ten rounds or so and the Yankees have locked up every one of them but 1st round pick Aaron Judge and 7th round pick Nick Rumbelow. Hopefully the Yankees will get both of these guys signed pretty quick.

The rest of the guys that the Yankees have not signed or heard back from regarding signing or not includes 17th rounder Hever Bueno, 18th rounder Dustin Fowler, 20th rounder Drew Bridges,  25th rounder Jordan Floyd, 29th rounder Charlie White, 33rd rounder Shane McCarley, 35th rounder Nick Green, 36th rounder Nestor Cortes, and 40th rounder Kyle Buchanan.

Game 76 Lineup: Rangers vs. Yankees

It's a brand new series with a marquee pitching match-up. Kuroda vs. Darvish! Here is the starting lineup!

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Travis Hafner DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Zolio Almonte LF
Jayson Nix 2B
David Adams 3B
Chris Stewart C

Hiroki Kuroda P

Some Notes:

-- Reid Brignac opted for free agency instead of taking a Triple-AAA assignment with Scranton.


Is handicapping the payroll again worth keeping Cano?

robinson-cano2Amazingly, the Yankees are nearing the halfway point in the season. Yes, the All-Star break is next month, but their 81st game of the campaign will be played at the beginning of next week.

The team is in an unusual situation to say the least. Though only trailing the Red Sox by one game in the loss column, the Yanks have struggled mightily over the past few weeks. Since the Subway Series when they were swept aside by the Mets, there hasn’t been any showing of the hope and promise that the year once had back in April.

Sure, no one could have foreseen Curtis Granderson, Kevin Youkilis, and Mark Teixeira all going back on the disabled list days after they came off of it, but the fact remains the offense is anemic, only recently beginning to score north of a couple runs a game.

Brett Gardner has been the one keeping the lineup from turning Astro-nomically bad, currently hitting .285 with 28 RBI and 42 runs scored. That may surprise you since the Yankees have an even better hitter playing everyday in second baseman Robinson Cano, but to say he has had a good season [considering his pure talent and expectations of having a big contract year] would be wrong.

Robbie got off to a torrid start in April, hitting .327. Since then, he has hit .257 in May and .229 so far in June, failing to come up with the big hits when needed. He’s been seen swinging out of his shoes on some occasions, striking out and swinging at pitches that no .300 career hitter would.

The argument certainly can be made that with the replacement-level players that surround Cano in the lineup, he is not getting any good pitches to hit. I mean, who in their right mind would pitch to him when you have Lyle Overbay or Thomas Neal on deck? But at some point, Cano has to make the adjustment to focus on making contact with the ball and getting on base, rather than smashing a game-winning home run. With the superstar status he’s gained over the past few seasons along with the pressure he must be under to perform every night, it’s understandable, but ultimately unacceptable.

That’s why it concerns me when the Yankees seem willing to hand out a lucrative long-term contract to this guy. Right now they are far apart on negotiations, but all signs point to Robbie eventually inking a deal worth at least $150 million over six, seven, eight or even more years. And to see the way he’s performed this year when for the first time he truly is the sole bright spot in the lineup, it’s concerning.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely think Robinson Cano is a top-five MLB player when he is playing up to his potential. He’s certainly the best second baseman in the game and will be for a while. Unlike other pessimists, it’s not necessarily how he’ll age that worries me, it’s the rest of the Yankees that Cano will play with for the duration of his deal.

If you’re still living in the fantasy world that Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira, and Granderson will come back strong later this year and lead the charge to a 28th world championship, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. I am an optimistic, but realistic fan, and right now the chances that those four come back and provide so much production so that teams will wind up giving Robbie pitches to hit are rather slim. Cano is the most feared hitter in any Yankee lineup that can be conjured up using the 40 man roster, and we saw how the short returns of Tex, Youk, and Grandy resulted in disrupting the chemistry and production that was once consistently evident in the offense.

Robinson+Cano+Detroit+Tigers+v+New+York+Yankees+783bvcpDTPKlWhich brings me to another point - what will the Yankees lineup look like for the next five years? As frustrating as it’s been to watch the team this season, it may become the norm to see guys who really should be part time minor leaguers, be in the lineup every night in the Show. It seems like Jeet and Alex’s careers are hanging on by a thread, Granderson is almost surely to be lost this offseason, and who knows if Tex can ever be the 30-home run, 100 RBI guy he was penciled in to be throughout the duration of his own albatross of a contract. That leaves way too many holes on the roster for the Yanks to really focus on paying just one solid ballplayer.

It reminds me of a question probably asked when the Texas Rangers were debating to trade Alex Rodriguez - “Are we a better team with [Cano] than without him?” It can be argued that the Yankees really won’t be if they re-sign him. Sure, they may win a few more games, and the new Yankee Stadium will look just a little more full every night, but is that really worth once again limiting your ability to address other areas of the team?

Now I know many of the young, budding MLB superstars have been or will be locked-up by their current teams before they ever hit free agency. But remember, the Yanks’ current top prospects such as Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams, and recent draft picks like Aaron Judge and Eric Jagielo are years away from becoming everyday contributors in the Major Leagues. So, where does that leave the team in its search for new “Bronx Bombers”?

Personally, I see it as a dead end.

The Yankees can never be considered a “rebuilding” team. Their fanbase is too widespread and hungry for success for them ever to accept a year when they weren’t striving for a World Series title. And although letting Robinson Cano walk after this season would at first feel like an apocalyptic decision, it may ultimately result in a brighter future for a Yankee dynasty to re-surface.

The first few years may be very tough to swallow, but letting the fading stars play out their deals and starting fresh may just be a recipe for greater success down the road. If Cano is playing like a Hall-of-Famer and making $20 million a season, but has no support from his teammates to actually win anything, what’s the point? Higher TV ratings on YES? Higher attendance ratings?

Maybe, but that’s not what Yankee fans care about. It’s about championships at the end of the day, and once again giving another bloated contract to a player who will be done with his “prime years” very soon, would be arguably a move pushing the Yankees even farther away from a return to glory.

REMINDER: Vote Your Yankees To The All Star Game

The All Star game is a little under three weeks away now and just as a reminder you can vote your Yankees up to 35 times. I know because I have done it myself that it takes less than 5 minutes to vote for the Yankees the maximum number of times so there is no excuse that we should not get the deserving Yankees, i.e Brett Gardner, into the game. VOTE HERE NOW for your New York Yankees for the 2013 All Star Game in New York at Citi Field.  You can vote all the way up till midnight on July 4th so get to voting now!

Exclusive Interview With 15th Round Pick Jordan Barnes

The Yankees used their 15th round pick in the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft to bring in Jordan Barnes out of Northwest Mississippi. We would like to take this time now to share our latest interview with the latest Yankees outfielder. Enjoy!

The Greedy Pinstripes: Describe your draft experience for us? Stressful? Who did you speak with in the Yankees organization? etc

Jordan Barnes: I Enjoyed the entire process because ever since I started playing baseball all I've ever wanted to do was play professional baseball, so I enjoyed the process and talking to teams. My scout was Andy Cannizaro he is a great guy. 

TGP: In honor of Ian Clarkin we have to ask who your favorite team was growing up?

JB: Texas Rangers

TGP: Did you play any other positions coming up? 

JB: Pitcher and Catcher

TGP: Why has been your biggest inspiration in baseball??

JB: My parents

TGP: What is your best asset you think you bring to the table?

JB: The energy I play with , Speed, and defensive play.

TGP: What do you think you will specifically work on this year? 

JB: Having a high OBP

TGP: Where will you be starting your Yankees career? 


TGP: As a player how do you feel about the new draft rules and the slot recommendations for salary?

JB: Of course it would be nice to have the old rules still in play, but it didn’t really bother me much because to me it was just about the opportunity of playing pro ball and having a chance of making it to the big leagues

TGP: Do you have any regrets in your baseball life? 

JB: Not a chance

TGP: Do you think you will develop power to add to your arsenal or do you consider yourself more of a slap and speed kind of guy?

JB: Yes I believe that I will but speed will always me my strongest attribute
TGP: We saw you worked out for the Miami Marlins down in Miami and be honest, how hideous is that new stadium?

JB: It was a nice stadium but I'm glad to be a Yankee.

TGP: So was it awkward meeting Alex Rodriguez in a bathroom of all places down in George M. Steinbrenner Field?

JB: Haha it was actually in the locker room where I ran into him, I was just on my way to the bathroom.

TGP: Not really a question but I wanted everyone to know that my wife became an immediate fan of yours simply because her maiden name is Barnes. It's the simple things in baseball that make women happy isn't it? 

JB: I'm proud to hear this. 

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone?

JB: Bill Selby My coach from Northwest Community College. He hit a walk off grand slam against the Yankee Legend Mariano Rivera.
TGP: Any embarrassing songs in your iPod?

JB: None I listen to all great music.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this Jordan we really do appreciate you taking the time out for us and your fans. Follow Jordan on Twitter @JBarnes213 and follow his progress all season long. We want to wish Jordan all the luck in his baseball career and future endeavors. 

Staten Island Yankees Recap For 6/24



Staten Island, NY – June 24th – The Staten Island Yankees walked off with a 3-2 win over the Aberdeen Ironbirds after battling it out for 13 innings.

In the final frame, John Murphy led things off with a fly ball single to left. He moved to second when Michael O’Neill was hit by a pitch from reliever Nick Cunningham. Kale Sumner then lined out to right fielder Manny Hernandez before Yeicok Calderon hit the game winning single – a line drive to centerfield – to plate Murphy.

The win went to relief pitcher Dillon McNamara, who tossed 1.0 hitless inning with a strikeout. Cunningham suffered the loss for Aberdeen. He pitched just 0.1 innings, allowing one earned run off two hits.

The Ironbirds were first on the board, as centerfielder Anthony Vega took a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall in the bottom of the fifth, giving Aberdeen a 1-0 advantage.

That lead didn’t last long, however, as Staten Island scored two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Second baseman Hector Crespo reached on a two-out bunt single and stole second. Then, first baseman Bubba Jones drew a walk before shortstop John Murphy singled in Crespo. Centerfielder Mike O’Neill walked to load the bases, before third baseman Kale Sumner was hit by a pitch. That allowed Jones to cross the plate, making it 2-1.

But the Ironbirds struck again in the eighth to tie the game. Shortstop Jared Breen was hit by a pitch from reliever Andy Beresford to start the inning. Breen advanced a base when Sam Kimmel grounded out, and came home on a double by third baseman Kris Richards.

Yeicok Calderon led the Yankees’ offense going 3-for-7 with an RBI. Murphy, Crespo, and Isaias Tejeda also each had a couple of hits.

The Yankees will face the Aberdeen Ironbirds again tomorrow at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, before trading home games with the Hudson Valley Renegades on Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday’s game will begin at 7:00PM. RHP Rookie Davis (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will get his second start for Staten Island, while RHP Austin Urban (0-1, 2.08 ERA) is expected to toe the mound for the Ironbirds. Tickets are on sale now by calling 718-720-9265 or visiting the box office at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. 

Morning Bits

Good morning everyone!

After a day off yesterday the Yankees resume action tonight against the Texas Rangers.  The game will begin at 7:05 PM ET and will be broadcast by WWOR.

Hiroki Kuroda(7-5, 2.78 ERA) will face Yu Darvish(7-3, 2.84 ERA).

Now on to today's news links:

David Waldstein of the New York Times says Mark Teixeira's continued wrist soreness has the Yankees very pessimistic about him returning this season.

Chris Dell of the New York Daily News writes that Robinson Cano says the Yankees need A-Rod back.

Have a great day everyone!

This Day In New York Yankees History 6/25

On this day in 1985 the Yankees ball boy Butch Wynegar was hit by a line drive foul ball and forced the Yankees to enact a rule that made all bat boys wear protective helmets while on the field.