Monday, July 1, 2013

Yankees Will Likely Sign Yonauris Rodriguez Tomorrow

Yonaruris Rodriguez is a Dominican short stop that the Yankees will likely sign tomorrow when International spending starts at midnight. The contract is expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 which will eat up a nice chunk of the Yankees $1,880,000 they have to spend for the entire year in the international pool. Y Rod, yeah I am starting that before anyone else gets the idea, is a right handed batter and is considered to be a defensive wizard with quick feet and soft hands. Ben Badler did not rank him in his top 30 International Prospects list before this years international spending spree started but the Yankees have seen enough of him in the Dominican Prospect League and at their minor league complex to know they want him in Yankees pinstripes. The Yankees will almost certainly max out their international spending cap with the expected signings of Y Rod and Leonardo Molina tomorrow.

Game Thread: Yankees @ Twins 7/1

The Yankees look to end a five game losing streak against a team that they have pretty much owned in the last decade or so in the Minnesota Twins. Andy Pettitte and Scott Diamond is the pitching match up and it can be seen tonight on YES. Hopefully the Yankees offense made the trip to Minnesota because they were MIA in Baltimore. Go Yankees!

Here is the Yankees lineup

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

Follow us on Twitter @GreedyStripes and stay up to date with us and the New York Yankees all season long.

Aaron Judge 2013 MLB Draft Signing Update

The Yankees have one player in their top 17 picks that has not signed yet and that is Aaron Judge. Today we got a little bit of an update today regarding Judge and his potential signing with the Yankees. The Yankees have offered Judge a slot recommended deal and Judge has thus far rejected that deal. Judge is holding out for more money which is kind of perplexing to me. I know Judge is a college Junior and has the option of returning back to school for his senior season but I cannot see him getting picked any higher next season then he did this season. By my unofficial account the Yankees have more than $100,000 in draft pool money available from signing guys like John Murphy to below slot deals so a deal will probably happen I just hate that it hasn't happened yet. Ian Clarkin and Eric Jagielo did not get over slot deals and I cannot see why Aaron Judge deserves one and they don't but maybe it's me.

New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins 7/1

Thank God for a new month and thank God for the AL Central. The Yankees start a new month with a new opponent in a "lesser" division when they travel to play the Minnesota Twins in a four game series. Welcome to July baseball and welcome to the AL Central, hopefully both treat us better than June did and the AL East has. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound who has lost his last three starts since winning his 250th career game. Andy will face off with Scott Diamond for the Twins. The game will be televised at 8:10 pm ET on YES and MLB TV.

ARod To Begin Rehab Tomorrow

Last week we passed along word that Alex Rodriguez was going to begin a rehab assignment today. However, as you all know by now, things have been a bit crazy in regards to that topic. Well, it turns out that ARod's rehab is actually going to happen tomorrow.

Rodriguez will play a minimum of three innings tomorrow with the RiverDogs. It was thought that he'd play with Tampa, but the weather reports are not good down there, so Charleston it is.

Due to not playing in any games at all this year, the Yankees will surely use all 20 of ARod's rehab days. Assuming he doesn't have any setbacks, which is not the safest bet, we could see Alex join the Yankees after the All Star break.

What Trade Bait Do The Yankees Have?

For the record, I'm not giving up on the Yankees this season. Although it's been really hard to watch this team, I still watch hoping somebody will come up with the big hit. But the fact is they have the worst run differential in the AL East (5th worst in the entire AL), have lost their last 5 games, fallen into 4th place in the division, and there's little reason to believe things will change.

"Yeah, I don't think this team can get it done."

Curtis Granderson should be back around the All Star break, and I do feel that he can provide some power out of the outfield. But after that none of the returning players, that are currently on the DL, make me feel much better about the rest of the season. Derek Jeter should be better than Jayson Nix, but we have to remember that Jete is 39 and is coming off of a major injury (broken ankle in 2012 ALCS) and a slightly less major one (small crack found in ankle in April). Francisco Cervelli was hitting lights out earlier this season before breaking a bone in his hand, but it would be Lindsay Lohan-insane to think he'll continue that 141 wRC+. You can't count on Kevin Youkilis' return, as the guy has already missed nearly half the games due to his busted back. And Mark Teixeira is now lost of the season, as he's going to need wrist surgery to repair his torn tendon sheath.

So the Yankees need to do a hell of a lot more than just add a middle reliever or bench bat like in previous seasons. At the minimum, the team needs to find a corner infielder. Somebody that could replace David Adams at 3B regularly, and handle 1B when the team faces a lefty starter (Overbay stinks vs. LHP). It would be great if the team were able to pull off multiple trades to fill those holes, which includes a better hitting catcher, or one big one with the Phillies (a trade for Michael Young and Carlos Ruiz would be awesome), but I don't have a good feeling about such a thing happening. Not that it can't happen, but I'm not extremely positive about it. The reason for that is I'm not sure the Yankees have the players to pull off that type of deal.

It kills me that people keep on talking about trading Phil Hughes and/or Joba Chamberlain. The only teams that might be interested in either player are those that are in the hunt for the postseason, because after the season those two are free agents. But seeing how they have pitched, I can't imagine a contending team would even want them. Never mind the cost to get them in the first place. 

"Sorry, buddy. We're likely stuck with Hughes and Chamberlain."

Sure, Joba and/or Phil could be signed to an extension by the team that trades for them, but we're talking about guys with a combined 153 ERA+. In the last 2+ years Phil's ERA+ is 88, so it's not like his poor 2013 is that surprising. Joba had a great 2011 season, but last year his WHIP was a very high 1.548, so an extension for him would be a questionable move at best.

Let me ask you this... At this moment, would you want the Yankees to sign Phil or Joba to an extension? If you answered "yes", then you're either drunk, a liar, or you hate the Yankees. So why would any other team want to sign either of them to an extension? Because believe it or not, they aren't all run by morons.

So at this point the team may as well hold onto Hughes, possibly move him to the bullpen, and see if they can get some value out of the guy. The same for Chamberlain, following a move to something just above mop-up duty. Because the possibility of them being of any value to the Yankees from here on out is probably better than what the team could get in return in a trade.

So what else do the Yankees have of value, either to a contender or to somebody looking to rebuild for the future? 

The idea of trading away Robinson Cano has been brought up quite a bit, but seeing as how he'd cost around $7 million by the trade deadline, the only teams that would want to deal for him would be contenders. And do we want to give another contender an elite player like Cano? To put it another way, would you want to face Cano in the playoffs? My answer to those questions would be a resounding "NO". And like I wrote about a couple of days ago, I want the team to re-sign Robbie and build a team around him.

I don't see the Yankees being willing to move a good MLB regular, such as Brett Gardner, because they don't have anybody they can depend on to step in. Even if you think Zoilo Almonte can continue to tear things up, and therefore Granderson could come back to CF while Zoilo plays regularly in LF, trading Gardner would mean Ichiro and/or Vernon Wells would get regular playing time. That's not a good thing (no, I don't believe Ichiro will continue to hit like he has lately). If the team had young players ready to step in for Gardner or possibly Cano, then that would totally change my thoughts. But that's not the case, so the Yankees need to hold onto those valuable pieces if they want to contend.

Speaking of Zoilo, the team may want to strike while the iron is hot. He may turn out to be a fine MLB regular, but I don't believe his value will ever be much higher than it is now. And face it, he's not going to keep hitting with an OPS+ of 127. So I'd definitely consider dealing him should his name be brought up.

"I'll make you pay for doubting me."

As for other young hitters with MLB experience, we have David Adams, Eduardo Nunez, Austin Romine,  Thomas Neal, Corban Joseph, and Zoilo Almonte. Almonte is the only one that has stood out at all, but his batting line of .269/.333/.432 in the minors could give some teams pause in trading much for him. I could see a team being interested in Adams, as the guy did hit really well in the minors (.296/.380/.450), but would they give up much in exchange? 

Moving on to "big" prospects, the only one that is doing well is Gary Sanchez. But seeing as how he's in A-ball, I can't see him fetching a ton. I don't mean that he has little to no value, but he doesn't seem to be a guy that could be the centerpiece in a trade package. Rafael DePaula isn't as highly touted as Sanchez, but he's having a great season. But like Gary, Rafael is too young to be a big piece in a trade. One player that wasn't very highly touted before the season, but who's having a good year, is JR Murphy. Seeing as how Murphy is further along than DePaula or Sanchez, he could be a nice piece in a trade package.

Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, and Tyler Austin looked like an awesome trio of outfield prospects coming into this season. But while Slade and Mason have stunk it up this season, Austin's 111 wRC+ isn't as good as it should be. So they've lost a bit of their luster. Not that I'd "give" any of those three outfielders away, I'm just saying their value right now is at a low point.

The Yankees do have some depth when it comes to pitching, whether that be starters or relievers. David Phelps and Vidal Nuno are not only young, but they have had some success in the Majors, which would make them nice "gets" for a team. Ivan Nova had a really rough time early this season, but he's been pretty good in his last couple of starts, so a team might welcome him aboard. And although Adam Warren has only had one start in MLB, which was last season, all he did was start in the minors.  So he could would be a nice addition to a rebuilding team too. 

"You know you want me."

On the bullpen side, the Yankees have a really good young reliever in David Robertson. But I can't see the team willing to weaken what has been one of the few bright spots on the team. Especially since the loss of Robertson could leave them with a huge hole at closer beginning next year. But somebody like 25 year-old Preston Claiborne could be of interest, as he's been really impressive this season (1.46 ERA and 0.932 WHIP). Then, in AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, we have guys like Sam Demel, who currently has an ERA of 1.41, and batting average against of .185. Mark Montgomery was thought by many as a possible set-up man next year, and even though he's not having his best year, his name could turn some heads. And Dellin Betances has done a fine job out of the bullpen as well.

Even though I don't see the team making a huge splash, I think something interesting could happen. I'll wrap this up with my list of trade bait. Now, I'm sure there are some guys that I haven't included that could have value to another team, but the I believe the guys listed would be more attractive on the trading block.

note: players with an asterisk are currently in the minors or have no MLB experience

RP Preston Claiborne
RP Dellin Betances*
RP Mark Montgomery*
RP Sam Demel*
SP Vidal Nuno
SP Adam Warren
SP David Phelps
SP Ivan Nova
OF Zoilo Almonte
OF Mason Williams*
OF Slade Heathcott*
OF Tyler Austin*
C Gary Sanchez*
C JR Murphy*

Are We A Trade Match With The Whitesox - Infielders

The Yankees have had a lack luster amount of production from their infielders with big time players Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Teixeira, and Francisco Cervelli all on the disabled list this season. The Chicago White Sox have some veterans available that could easily be upgrades over the current batch of Yankees including David Adams, Jayson Nix, Alberto Gonzalez, and even Lyle Overbay. With the White Sox ready to sell earlier than the July 31st trade deadline let's look at how the Yankees and White Sox may match up in a trade.

Gordon Beckham may be the best White Sox player this season when he put up a .317/.345/.394 triple slash with a .740 OPS. Beckham has been playing second base for the White Sox but is capable of playing third base and outfield in the past for the Sox. Beckham does not have the right handed power that the Yankees need as evident by his 0 home runs this season and 7 RBI's in 104 at bats this season. Beckham is a free agent after the season and is owed nearly $3,000,000 for this season so he would be a good target for the Yankees to look at this July.

Conor Gillaspie has put up a triple slash of .249/.306/.376 with an OPS of .682 this season while playing third base for the White Sox. Right off the bat the fact that he is left handed probably hurts his chances of being acquired by the Yankees even though he throws right handed. Gillaspie has put up 5 home runs and 19 RBI's in limited at bats this season but he has 8 doubles and a triple this season. He would not be a Plan A or even a Plan B for the Yankees in my opinion but he may be a back up plan in case we cannot acquire an insurance policy for Alex Rodriguez before then.

Alexei Ramirez may have the issue of being too good to be true for the Yankees to acquire this season. Alexei has put up a triple slash of .281/.307/.346 with an OPS of .654 in 306 at bats this season. Alexei has been the White Sox short stop all season, a position we are consistently throwing guys like Jayson Nix and Alberto Gonzalez out at, and hits from the right side of the plate, both pluses for the Yankees. Ramirez has also hit a home run with 17 RBI's with 18 stolen bases in 22 attempts this season, also pluses for the Yankees. The problem is we have this guy named Derek Jeter working his way back and Alexei is signed for  $7,000,000 this season and a total of $29,500,000 for the next three seasons including a club option for the 2016 season. I cannot see Alexei taking a lesser role to play for the Yankees, well he wouldn't be happy about it anyway, and that may be the only reason that the Yankees will not acquire Alexei Ramirez at this years trading deadline.

Tyler Flowers is not going anywhere as he seems to be the future of the Chicago White Sox behind the dish so get that idea out of your heads. Paul Konerko would be like a great dream for the Yankees but the White Sox have already said that they will not be trading him away. A power hitting right handed veteran at first base would really be an upgrade for us so that is really a shame that we cannot make a run at him. Adam Dunn makes $15,000,000 this season and next season and with a batting average of .200 to go with his 91 strike outs the Yankees would be down right foolish to make a run at him. Jeff Keppinger just signed a three year deal with the White Sox so I cannot see him being moved or us ponying up the prospect haul to acquire the infielder. Conor Gillaspie, Gordon Beckham, and Alexei Ramirez could be Yankees trade targets this July and all three would probably be upgrades for the Yankees. Will Brian Cashman pull the trigger? Who knows...

Game 82 Lineup: Yankees @ Twins

Yanks, we're already in 4th place. Let's not push it to 5th. That's the cellar. Here's the lineup. 

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

Andy Pettitte LHP

Some News:

-- If you are an Alex Rodriguez fan (or not) here's some news from the New York Yankees. A-Rod has been cleared to play and will do a rehab game tomorrow with the Charleston Riverdogs (Class-A). This was the statement from A-Rod after the news broke:
"Had another good workout today and feel great and I'm excited to get back on the field tomorrow "

A-Rod will need at least a 20-day rehab and if all goes well he should be back around July 22, which is right before the trade deadline. The question is though...will A-Rod come too late to help the Yankees?


Are We A Trade Match With The Whitesox - Outfielders

The Yankees have had some less than stellar results from their outfielders this season and the White Sox may be a match to help us improve in that area. Brett Gardner has been great, maybe even an All Star, this season and Ichiro has been hot and cold all season long. Vernon Wells had a great first month and has fallen off the face of the earth while Zoilo Almonte broke onto the scene in a huge way only to remember that he is a prospect. We have been so desperate for outfield help this season we even let Lyle Overbay play out there since Curtis Granderson has been out for most of the season with two freak injuries. Are the White Sox a good match to help us with our outfield problems? Let's see...

Alejandro De Aza has put up a triple slash of .261/.316/.420 with an OPS of .736. De Aza has also put up 10 home runs and 40 RBI's playing center field for the White Sox. His versatility and speed, 10 stolen bases in 14 attempts, make him an obvious attractive choice for the Yankees. He has the versatility to play any of the three outfield positions and can bat anywhere in the lineup. The only down fall for De Aza and the Yankees may be that he is a left handed batter and the Yankees have more than enough left handed batters and especially outfielders. De Aza is also a free agent after this season and is owed a little less than $1,000,000 for the rest of the season.

Alex Rios has put up a triple slash of .272/.330/.452 with an OPS of .783 this season. Rios has also slammed 11 home runs, knocked in 36 RBI's, and hit 18 doubles this season in right field for the White Sox. Rios has 13 stolen bases in 18 attempts and has only struck out 53 times in 294 at bats. The biggest issue with Rios is that $12,500,000 owed to him both this season and next season and that may keep him out of pinstripes. One redeeming factor that Rios has though is the fact that he is right handed and an upgrade over every Yankees outfielder not named Brett Gardner this season so I would at least kick the tires on this guy.

The DeWayne Wise ship has sailed in New York so I cannot see him coming over in a trade and anyway he is on the DL so that will make any trade difficult. Jordan Danks has only had 32 at bats and is batting a minuscule .125 batting average with a .222 on base percentage so he is definitely not in the Yankees plans this season. Casper Wells has also been limited to 39 at bats and has struggled putting up a .179 batting average with a .238 on base percentage so I cannot see him in the Yankees plans either. Dayan Viciedo is only batting .227 with a .263 on base percentage and can only be an improvement over Vernon Wells at this point so I cannot see him getting in Yankees pinstripes this season either.

It looks like it is Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, or bust for the Yankees and the White Sox this trading deadline.

Are We A Trade Match With The White Sox - Pitchers

One thing that I would not exactly call a pressing need for the Yankees is the pitching, both the starting variety and the relieving variety. The White Sox should have a few pitchers available via trade this July trading deadline but will the Yankees be interested in any of them? You have to consider that the Yankees seem willing and ready to trade Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain this trading deadline if it fetches them a need, mainly a bat. Both Phil and Joba are free agents after this season and I cannot see either returning to the Yankees after this season so it may be worth exploring trading one or both of them if we can get a guy in return that can fill the shoes not only this season but next as well. Do the White Sox have anybody that would fit that role?

Jake Peavy is currently on the 15 day DL but could be moved in a deal if the White Sox can find a suitor for him and his nearly $20,000,000 left to be paid to him. Peavy makes $14,500,000 this season and next which will make him hard to move unless the White Soc trade him as a salary dump. Peavy is 6-4 with a 4.30 ERA in 67 innings pitched this season with a 1.16 WHIP and a .247 batting average against. I cannot see any team taking a waiver on Peavy with his injury history and healthy contract including the New York Yankees so I will call this one a pass.

Jesse Crain has been lights out all season long sporting a 0.52 ERA and a 2-2 record out of the White Sox bullpen this season. Crain is holding batters to a .202 batting average against and has a 1.07 WHIP this season and would fall into the replace Joba Chamberlain category. Crain is signed for this season only at $4,5000,000 and that would obviously be pro rated and make him affordable for the Yankees. Problem is I would think this would be one guy that the White Sox would want a haul for, all things considered.

Matt Lindstrom is getting a lot of attention already in the trade market and I cannot understand why to be honest. He sports a 2-2 record  with a 2.59 ERA in only 31.1 innings pitched. He is holding batters to a .248 batting average against and has a 1.37 WHIP. Not to say that those numbers are necessarily bad but he is being talked up around the internet as the missing piece to a contenders bullpen and I just dont buy it at this point. If the Yankees acquired him I would put him as a 7th inning man and the White Sox are going to want more of a haul than we would offer so I say that we pass.

Addison Reed is another one of those late inning bullpen guys that the Yankees will not be interested in unless a whole lot changed between now and the deadline. Reed is pitching marvelously this season with a 3-0 record and a 3.09 ERA but his WHIP of 0.97 and batting average against of .192 is what makes him valuable. Reed would probably be the White Sox version of David Robertson and while that would be nice we have way too many needs to be looking at luxuries at this point.

Matt Thornton is another one of those guys that the Yankees have seemingly had interest in for what seems like forever but have never been able to pull the trigger on. If the Yankees were able to use Matt Thornton as that second lefty and as a LOOGY only, a la Clay Rapada, the Yankees would find a gold mine. He absolutely cannot pitch against right handed batters but absolutely owns lefties and would be a welcomed addition to the Yankees. Overall Thornton has a 1.27 WHIP and .250 batting average against to go with his 3.33 ERA but he is holding lefties below the Mendoza line this season and would vastly improve that Yankees bullpen. Imagine a pen of Boone Logan, Matt Thornton, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera. No one is touching that bullpen, nobody.

Dylan Axelrod has been downright terrible this season with a .285 batting average against and a 4.57 ERA which will probably keep him in White Sox pinstripes this season. John Danks has long been on the Yankees target board for what seems like forever but after signing a big extension before the season I cannot see him being moved but more likely being built around. The White Sox control Danks for this season and three more years so it would take an absolute haul to acquire Danks at this point(not to mention that he has not pitched well this season anyway). Gavin Floyd is on the 60 day disabled list and will probably not be ready in time for the trading deadline so he will be a White Sox for the remainder of the season in my opinion.

The White Sox have a few pitchers that should fetch them some nice pieces in trades but the only one I can see the Yankees being interested in will be Matt Thornton... again. 43rd time is the charm?

Are We A Trade Match With The Chicago White Sox?

The Chicago White Sox, much like the New York Yankees, are apparently open for business when it comes to trades this trading deadline. The White Sox are not competing once again in the AL Central and they have lots of high priced veterans that the Sox will look to move in order to rebuild and retool for the future that the Yankees will surely be interested in.

First let's get the pipe dreams out of the way by saying that the White Sox are not going to trade Chris Sale and they are not going to trade Paul Konerko, as much as I would like both of them. Tyler Flowers is probably not going to get moved either  unfortunately because the White Sox liked him enough to let AJ Pierzynski walk this past off season. Adam Dunn is going to be a tough move with him hitting below the Mendoza line once again batting .194 and is scheduled to make $15,000,000 in 2014.

John Danks just signed an extension worth $65,000,000 over the next five seasons making him highly unlikely to be moved and more likely to be built around in that rotation. Jeff Keppinger was another guy the Yankees targeted this off season before he signed a three year deal before the season making him also unlikely to be traded. It is conceivable that the White Sox could trade one of the two, more than likely that being Keppinger over Danks,  and use the "total years of team control with a team friendly contract" line in negotiating but I personally do not see it.

The White Sox have more than a few guys that the Yankees would be interested in and should look in to so I am excited to see the latest fire sale in Chicago happen sooner rather than later.

Morning Bits

Good morning every0ne!

The Yankees lost yet again last night, this time by a score of 4-2 to the Orioles.

Hiroki Kuroda allowed three home runs and four total earned runs to take the loss.

The Yankee offense continued to struggle, gathering only six hits.

The Yankees begin a four-game series at Minnesota tonight.  Andy Pettitte(5-6, 4.22 ERA) faces Scott Diamond(5-7, 5.40 ERA) at 8:05 PM ET.  The game will be broadcast by YES.

Now on to today's news links:

Andrew Marchand of says the Yankees are in deep trouble.

Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News writes that Derek Jeter is anxious to return to the Yankees.

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post has this article about Yankee manager Joe Girardi staying out of the A-Rod situation.


Have a great day everyone!

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/1

On this day in 1914 Yankees first basemen Harry Kingman became the first person born in China to play in a major league game. He would go 0-3 with a walk but the historic aspect remains relevant.

On this day in 1944 Joe DiMaggio tied the major league consecutive hit record of 44 held by Wee Willie Keeler.

On this day in 1990 Yankees pitcher Andy Hawkins throws a no hitter against the Chicago White Sox and loses the game 4-0. He is not credited with an official no hitter since he only had to throw 8 IP and the White Sox did not have to hit in the 9th inning.