Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yankees Missed Out On Scott Baker

The Seattle Mariners have signed utility guy Jeff Baker to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training and the Yankees really dropped the ball. First off I don't care about the concern for his defense at third base because before last season Kelly Johnson had never played first base. Secondly the other likely option at the hot corner is Eduardo Nunez and his defensive struggles are well documented here as well as everyone in the Yankees blogosphere. Third of all it's a minor league deal, also known as a no brainer.

Baker can play third base, first base, and some outfield and would have really helped the Yankees off the bench or as a starter this season. Baker can make up to $1 million if he makes the team and can make an additional $2.25 million in incentives. It perplexes me that the Yankees did not snatch this guy up, especially on a minor league deal. We had the money to offer, we had the playing time to offer, and we have the need for a guy like Baker.

Please disregard :)

Law Ranks Three Yankees In Top 100 Prospects List

The other day we learned that the New York Yankees did not have a great farm system when Keith Law released his rankings by team of the farm systems across the league. Today we got to read Law's Top 100 Prospects list and three Yankees made the cut, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, and Mason Williams. Once again, even though he is eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award this year, Masahiro Tanaka was not eligible due to his time in Japan and the NPB.

Sanchez was ranked #68, Austin was ranked #85, and Williams came in at #87 on the list that requires subscriptions to read unfortunately. Law says of Sanchez:

“[Sanchez] has huge upside as a hitter, with plus-plus raw power and very hard contact.” His defense behind the plate, while improved, continues to need work. “Even a grade-45 defender [on the 20-80 scouting scale] back there with Sanchez’s potential offensive upside will be an MVP candidate, and if he continues to work at receiving and on his plate discipline he’ll be ready to take over and make a real impact for the Yankees by 2016.”

Law also touched on maybe a surprising pick in Austin:

“When healthy, Austin has a very sound swing that is geared both toward contact and power and is short to contact with good extension. He rotates his hips well to generate power, all with enough patience to keep his OBP in the .350 range,” he wrote. “He’ll be only about average in right field — making the necessary plays but not much more — so he needs to hit and hit for power to be a regular.”

Law didn't leave out Mason Williams and was quoted as saying:

“He is a potential Gold Glove defender in center, a future 70 on the 20-80 scale with good reads off the bat and bursting speed to chase down balls in the gaps … His ultimate outcome should be a high-average, doubles-power guy who might hit 15 homers in his best season, but even .290-plus with 50-60 walks and 10 homers with great defense is an above-average regular.”

MLB Tries To Dismiss Alex Rodriguez Lawsuit

Major League Baseball is seeking a speedy dismissal of the lawsuit brought down from Alex Rodriguez. I guess I need to be more specific since A Rod is suing the world these days, this is the lawsuit fighting the season long suspension in 2014.

Major League Baseball and their lawyer Howard Ganz say that the federal court system has no right to overturn a decision made by an arbitrator. Obviously Alex and his lawyers Joe Tacopina feel otherwise so this will get ugly before it gets better.

Yankees Invite 26 Non Roster Players To Spring Training

The Yankees have released a press release releasing the 26 non roster names that have been invited to Spring Training camp this year. Just as a reminder every man on the 40 man roster has an automatic invitation to camp so we will see the likes of Gary Sanchez, Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Slade Heathcott, JR Murphy, Austin Romine, and Jose Ramirez to name a few will be there.

The list of guys invited were right handed pitchers Bruce Billings, Robert Coello, Brian Gordon, Chris Leroux, Matt Daley, Jim Miller, David Hernon, Yoshinori Tateyama, Danny Burawa, Chase Whitley, and Mark Montgomery. 

Left handed pitchers included Fred Lewis and Francisco Rondon. 

Infielders included Scott Sizemore, Yangervis Solarte, Zelous Wheeler, Russ Canzler, Francisco Arcia, Jose Gil, Peter O'Brien, Corban Joseph, and Jose Pirela.

Outfielders included Antoan Richardson, Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, and Adonis Garcia. 
With every list of invites is always the snubs or omissions and a big one that stands out is Ronnier Mustelier, who was expected to at least be in the discussion at third base. Greg Bird will not be making his second straight trip, although the Yankees brought extra players last season to account for the World Baseball Classic. Borderline players like Kyle Roller, Rob Segedin, and Addison Maruszak also did not make the cut, maybe next year. 

David Ortiz Would Complete The 2004 Red Sox Turned Yankee Mass Exodus

There have been a ton of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox that have since become members of the New York Yankees, could David Ortiz be the next? Ortiz was interviewed by CBS Boston and spoke about his future with the Red Sox and it may not look good if you're a Sox fan. Apparently Ortiz wants to stay a member of the Red Sox, who could blame him really, but emphasizes that he wants a multi year deal, something that Boston may not be willing to give him. Here is a quote from Ortiz on the subject:

“Hey, I would like to. I’m having fun. It’s been a hell of a ride as long as I’ve been here,” Ortiz told WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton in an interview that aired on Sunday night’s Sports Final. ”But as I always keep on telling people, this is a business. Sometimes you’ve got to do what’s best for you and your family.
“As long as they keep offering me a job and I keep doing what I’m supposed to do and the relationship keeps on building up, I’m going to be there. Hopefully, I won’t have to go and wear another uniform,” he said, hoping for another multi-year extension from Boston.
But if the Red Sox do not offer him a multi-year deal, or it’s not up to Ortiz’s standards, the slugger said it would be “time to move on.”
“If I have to, I’ve got no choice,” he said. “I’m not going to quit. As long as I keep hitting the ball the way I have, I’ve got to keep on giving it a try.”

Ortiz is 38 years old now so demanding a multi year deal in your age 39 season may be probably asking a lot. The Yankees though seem to have no problem offering multi year deals to guys way past their prime, especially one who will be a DH only. Presumably after this season Derek Jeter will be retired and Alfonso Soriano will be elsewhere so the DH spot wouldn't be as a big of a log jam as it may be this season. Could we get Ortiz? Should we get Ortiz? Yes and yes please. 

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #62 Tommy John

Tommy John enjoyed two separate stints in New York and pitched for a total of 26 seasons in the Major Leagues. John was a crafty left handed pitcher and racked up 288 wins in his career including a career high 22 victories in the 1980 season with the New York Yankees. John also pitched well in the 1981 World Series allowing one earned run in 13 innings, although did  not get a ring to show for it. John finished his career with a 2.65 ERA in 88.1 postseason innings.

62 days until Yankees Opening Day

RailRiders Dave Miley Inducted To IL Hall of Fame

Former Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders manager and Manager of the Year Award winner Dave Miley has been elected to the International League Hall of Fame for his efforts. Former IL League MVP Jeff Manto and longtime Toledo Mudhens broadcaster Jim Weber were also elected to the hall on this day. Miley's ceremony will happen on Saturday, June 7 when the RailRiders host the Toledo Mudhens of the Detroit Tigers organization.

The first 2,500 fans through the gate will receive a Dave Miley statue, which is kind of cool. Miley won the fan vote this past season to receive the honor of being made into a giveaway statue, which is also very cool and shows the respect the fans have for Miley.

Yankees Sign 17 Year Old Kid From Australia

The New York Yankees have made one kids dream in Australia making him a millionaire before he can legally drive a car. Brandon Stenhouse will head to Tampa for two weeks before returning home to graduate High School and has landed himself a six figure contract, plus money for college. After his graduation he will return to the United States for good and pursue his professional baseball career.

There is obviously not many reports coming about the kid at age 17 and in Melbourne but his fastball can already touch 93 MPH so that is something you can work with. The Yankees were already slightly over their international draft pool cap for this season so this pushes them closer to big penalties next season when they plan to outspend the world in the market.

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/29

On this day in 1999 Jimmy Key decided to call it a career after suffering from multiple shoulder injuries. The 37 year old appeared in the playoffs with every team he played for including the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Yankees, and the Baltimore Orioles.