Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Headley Admittedly Not Sure if Yankees Will Re-Sign Him

Free Agent Third Baseman Chase Headley admitted that he isn't sure if the Yankees will re-sign him this offseason.

Headley, 30, hit .262 with 6 home runs and 17 RBIs in 58 games for New York this year. Going into this winter, Headley is expected to get a good amount of interest from around the league, but up until now no team has specifically stated their intentions to pursue him.

"I don’t know if (the Yankees) are going to be interested," Headley recently told The Journal News. "They do have a player under contract. We’ll kinda see how that shakes out."

Headley said that he wouldn't mind signing with the Yanks if they approached him, but would want to know about what their plans to use him for the future are.

"If they do show interest, then there would be mutual interest," he said. "But that would be something we’d want to talk about, and see what the role would look like, coming into (next season). Not something that I’d be scared of, but something I’d like to have clarity on, and I’m sure the organization would as well."

Headley, if he does stay with the Yankees, wouldn't be their only infield option by any means. As he mentioned earlier, they already have the returning Alex Rodriguez under contract, with utility man Martin Prado also being available to play the hot corner if needed.

Yankees To Interview Chili Davis & Dave Magadan

The New York Yankees are preparing interviews for current Oakland Athletics hitting coach Chili Davis and current Texas Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan. Davis, a former Yankee, has been the Athletics hitting coach since the 2012 season before spending time in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox organizations in his career. Magadan has been with the Texas Rangers since the 2012 season after spending time in the San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox organizations in his career.

Join Us on Tap Sports Baseball

Before we get started I just want to say that this is not a paid advertisement or promotion or anything like that, I just really like the game and want some people to play against. With that said, do you guys and girls enjoy playing baseball games on your iPhones? I have RBI Baseball 14 for my arcade game fix and I have MLB The Show on the Playstation for my in depth and realistic fix but sometimes I just like something simple and fun to play. Tap Sports Baseball is that.

It probably helps, as you can see from the graphic above, that I am pretty good at the game. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s free. The ads are a little annoying sometimes but that’s what you get with free games I guess. Anyway join us on the app and play against, shoot us a message, whatever. It’s going to be a long offseason so we need something to pass the time with.

You can search for opponents by user name, ours is GreedyPinstripes, or you can face off with Facebook friends and random opponents. Hope to see you all there! Thanks. 

Jose Fernandez Defects From Cuba, Wants MLB Contract

If the Yankees could get a strong left-handed bat at second base, then I'd pass on Headley. That way Prado could play third base to open 2B for Fernandez.

Unless Fernandez accepted a minor league spot, which wouldn't be a bad idea as he could get acclimated to baseball in the States, I don't see how the team could get Headley and Fernandez. With Headley at 3B, Carlos Beltran playing regularly in RF, then Martin Prado would start at 2B.

I suppose we should wait on more news regarding Jose before taking things too far. But what fun is there in that?

2015 New York Yankees Minor League Free Agents

When a minor league player spends seven seasons in a major league farm system they must be added to the 40 man roster or they become minor league free agents. The deadline is January, 15 2015 and if these players are not added to the 40 man roster, like Jose Pirela was this past September, they become minor league free agents. Here is the list:

LHP Jeremy Bleich (27)
SS Ali Castillo (25)
LHP/RHP Pat Venditte (29)
C Kyle Higashioka (24)
RHP Joel De La Cruz (25)

Rob Refsnyder Ranks 13th in International League Prospects

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of prospects. While it's great to see guys like Brett Gardner come up through the system and contribute, the bottom line is I want what's best for the New York Yankees. And if trading away a top prospect helps the Yankees, then so be it.

No, we're not revisiting that trade.

However, when Baseball America released they're top 20 prospect in the International League, I was intrigued.

First of all, the International League is AAA, meaning players at that level could contribute to the big club very soon. It's not like we're seeing a high ranking for a guy that's still in single A ball, who likely won't even sniff MLB action for years.

Secondly, the player for Scranton that appeared on the list has been mentioned as somebody that could make the Yankees' 2015 Opening Day roster. That guy is Rob Refsnyder.

While the list itself (as well as lists for every league in the minors, at every level) is free to look at, you'd have to pay for the scouting reports. But since other places copy and paste the scouting reports, so will I...
“Refsnyder’s short, powerful stroke from the right side is polished, and when combined with a keen batting eye, he projects to hit for average and get on base at a high rate.”
The write-up also notes that Refsnyder “lacks fluidity and must improve his double-play pivot skills.” One scout said he is “a work in progress, but the bottom line is he can hit.”

All of that makes me believe that, while he probably shouldn't be a starter for the Yankees right away, Refnsyder should get a spot on the bench next season. That way he can learn from the best, be that coaches and players, and possibly take over a larger role in 2016 when a starting spot is likely available.

And finally, with his experience at both 2B and RF, Refsnyder would likely get plenty of playing time even in New York. He's almost a younger version of Martin Prado.

Thoughts on the Yankees & Retiring Numbers

The New York Yankees retired Joe Torre's number 6 in August, leaving the only single digit left to the Yankee Captain Derek Jeter. No safer bet exists that Jeter will be the last person to wear number 2. Sadly no more single digits will be worn by Yankees players when Jeter retires. Don't get me wrong if ever a Yankee deserved to have his number retired for being a great Yankee on and off the field it's Jeter. That leads me to the rest of the story regarding the retired numbers of the Yankees.
Let's start with the first number retired and the reason why. It was Lou Gehrig's number 4 and if you don't know about Lou Gehrig you haven't been around baseball. He holds the American league record for most RBI in a season at 184. Not to mention 2130 games in a row and and a.340 lifetime BA and 493 homers. But the story is that Gehrig was cut down by the disease that bears his name and was dead in 1941 two years after leaving baseball. He was the Yankee Captain at the time and the Yankee organization retired his number and proclaimed the Yankees would not have another captain after Gehrig. The idea of retiring the number is associated with the tragedy surrounding Gehrig. Soon after Gehrig passed the great Babe Ruth passed away in 1948 and his number 3 was also retired. Babe died at the young age of 53, part of the curse of the '27 Yankees which is another story. One of Babe's teammates is quoted as saying about Ruth, "he didn't live a long time but he did a lot of living in the time he was alive!" The Babe contracted throat cancer and passed away and the Yankees retired his number 3. Now both of these players were so great that another player would be hard pressed to be considered worthy to wear his number anyway so retiring those numbers is not a tough call. The flood gates are opening.
Joe DiMaggio wore number 5 and was a Yankee winner! He carried the Yankees to nine World Championships and when he retired so was his number 5. This is the first occasion of a number being retired just for being a good ballplayer. And indeed it is hard to argue that number 5 should not be retired. But now the reasoning has changed significantly. Next up is Mickey Mantle's number 7 and he is also a great winning Yankee, 3 time MVP, seven World Series wins and number 7 is retired. At that time the Yankees Organization decided to look at some of their other great players and lo and behold Yogi. He also a 3 time MVP and 10 world Championships to boot. Number 8 is retired. If you look at the Yankee Stadium wall where the numbers are mounted you will see two number 8's. That is because Bill Dickey also wore number 8 and his numbers as a player are phenomenal especially because he was a catcher. So the Yankees did a double-take and decided Dickey had it all too thus they retired the Dickey number 8. One would think that this exercise by the Yankees would slow down but its only picking up steam by this time. The Yankees decide to retire Whitey Ford's number 16 and Casey Stengel's number 37. Now Whitey has the most wins for the Yanks but he only won 20 games twice. Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez won 20 games four times and Mel Stottlemyre three times. Those three pitchers are relative unknowns to Yankee fans. I do believe that Ruffing has a plaque in Monument Park but why no number retired for him. He had 232 wins for the Yanks and 276 overall while Gomez was 189 and 104 and both are in the HOF.
August 2, 1979 and Thurman Munson dies in a plane crash. What a great player and winner. What a terrible heart breaking tragedy for his family and secondly for his fans. One of my all time favorites! He was the Yankee Captain, selected by George Steinbrenner, and while I don't think there should have been another Yankee Captain, Munson certainly filled the shoes of the Iron Horse Lou Gehrig. After the tragedy of Munson's death the Yankees should have stopped naming captains but like the retired numbers the Yankee organization continued. So the Yankees retired Munson's 15 and we are back to the beginning with a good player and a tragedy and a retired number. Following this a slew of Yankee numbers were retired and only Mariano Rivera who wore number 42 was deserving of a retired number. Lets start with the managers.
Torre is number 6; Martin is number 1; and Stengel is number 37. Now number 37 is such an ignominious number that even if it were not retired no player would wear it! I believe Casey won ten pennants, while Torre won 6 pennants. And Martin won 2 pennants and 1981 the shortened season. First of all no managers should have their numbers retired. They don't even have to wear a uniform and Connie Mack is the proof. Miller Huggins has a monument and didn't wear a number so he has some recognition from the Yankees but Billy Martin is totally undeserving of being in the same category as Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth or even the other managers. What about Joe McCarthy; he won eight pennants for the Yanks! Few could even tell what decades he managed. He didn't get his number retired. Torre and Stengel won with the Yanks however they both were terrible managers with all their previous teams til the Yanks. Maybe Yankee talent had something to do with winning? Sorry unretire those numbers.
Now for the rest of the retired numbers that are truly ridiculous. Lets start with number 9. Roger Maris, a great player and 2 time MVP. A winner with the Yanks and later the Cardinals. But he was on the Yankees for seven years and if they respected him enough to retire his number why did they trade him to St. Louis! I would also argue that Graig Nettles who also wore number 9 did as much or more than Roger did while on the Yankees. Unretire number 9 please. Next up is Elston Howard, a Yankee great. He was an MVP and part of the winning Yankees of the 50's and 60's. But his number was retired because he was also the first African-American player on the Yankees. Now all of MLB has retired Jackie Robinson's 42 for the same reason. I think the Yankees are pushing the envelope on this one. I like Howard but the Yankees also traded him at the end of his career and as a player he is not in the Gehrig/Ruth class.
So I vote if I had a vote to unretire 32. Number 10 is Phil Rizzuto and his number was retired also. I think the Yankees felt sorry for him because he kept getting snubbed by the HOF so they retired his number. He finally made it in and he is at best a borderline HOFer. But up against the numbers of Gehrig and Ruth no way is he worthy of a retired number. Reggie Jackson number 44! Only 5 seasons with the Yankees? His number 9 is retired by Oakland and rightfully so; but number 44 should be unretired. Again only 5 seasons and that is not enough. Then we have Donnie Baseball, number 23. If you examine Don Mattingly's career numbers he had 5 super years with the Yanks. Now he is by far the slickest fielding first baseman ever. But he was a loser on a losing team. In 1985 he guaranteed a pennant and came in 2nd. He never brought the team in but he always had something to say. His only saving grace was a tremendous 1995 playoff series with a bad back but also a losing effort. The guy was cursed, well maybe not but he just didn't win. Unretire number 23. Ron Guidry's number 49. I loved this guy and the way he pitched and played. He was great. But that being said I cannot even put him up there with Whitey Ford whose number I probably would unretire also. There were a lot of Yankee pitchers with similar records to Gator like Allie Reynolds, Eddie Lopat and Vic Raschi to name three. Obviously nobody is retiring their numbers and 49 should be unretired.
The Yankees are still playing games with the numbers. They have yet to give out Bernie Williams number 51, even though it would have been a good fit for Ichiro Suzuki when he joined the Yanks. If they think they are retiring number 51 they are really polluting the waters. Pretty soon if a player has a good year for them they are going to retire his number! It becomes a joke. It has become a joke.
If I had the power to change these things which I don't and probably even the owners themselves have relinquished said power, I would leave numbers 3; 4; 5; 7; 15; and 2 and 42. Number 42 would also be retired for Mariano who was worthy to stand with Ruth Gehrig DiMaggio Mantle and Jeter.

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The Bachelor: New York Yankees Edition

You guys have all watched The Bachelor, or at least heard of it, right? This one guy goes on all these dates with these women and hands the women he wants to keep a rose at the end of the show and the one woman without one goes home. Sounds a lot like free agency, doesn’t it? Enter the 2014 New York Yankees Bachelor class:

Brandon McCarthy, you have been the anchor to my pitching staff. You were the savior when so many others left me. Here’s your rose, welcome to the 2015 Yankees.

Chris Young, I feel like the best is yet to come with some people but I don’t get that vibe with you. Thank you for the memory, you’re going home.

Hiroki Kuroda, I believe your intentions are to go back to Japan or return to the Dodgers. I would offer you a qualifying offer for that reason but the team needs to get younger. I’m sorry, it sounds like you’re going home.

David Robertson, I offered you a qualifying offer and if you decline it I will hand you a blank contract and tell you to fill it out and get back to me in the morning. Here is your rose, welcome to the 2015 Yankees.

Ichiro Suzuki, you were good while you were here and while I think Hal Steinbrenner will find a way for you to chase 3,000 hits in the Bronx again I cannot give you a rose tonight, I’m sorry but you’re going home.

Chase Headley, you are the anchor to this infield going forward. You are a great third baseman, a more than suitable backup at first base, you have played shortstop in your career, and you have played outfield at the major league level. I believe you are the most important free agent signing this winter so here’s your rose, welcome to the 2015 Yankees.

Jose Pirela, many around the league including myself consider you to be a little Martin Prado. I love flexibility, I love versatility, and I love fire. You have all three, here is your rose and welcome to the 2015 Yankees bench.

Kyle Roller, under normal circumstances I would give you a rose in a heartbeat but with suitable backups at first now in Chase Headley, Brian McCann, and other warm bodies like Alex Rodriguez, Francisco Cervelli, and Brendan Ryan manning the position this season I have to let you go. I’m sorry but you’re going home tonight.

Zoilo Almonte, I have fought and fought for your playing time and I have beat many drums in your favor and you have let me down time and time again. You are only a switch hitter on paper and your defense leaves much to be desired. I will never forget you World War Z, but I will never regret sending you home tonight. I’m sorry.

Stephen Drew, you’re not my first choice although you’re not my last either. I would like to see Asdrubal Cabrera in pinstripes as well as Jung-Ho Kang from Korea. I would have also liked to see JJ Hardy before the back issues, the decline in power, and the richest contract currently being paid to a shortstop but that’s the game these days. Here’s your rose and here is to hoping a normal offseason and a full spring training can help you get back to being what you’ve always been.

That’s it for this episode folks. Check back soon for the next edition of the New York Yankees Bachelor where we look at free agents that did not spend the 2014 season with the club. 

*notice. I saw a similar post on another Yankees site the other day. I am not copying, I had this wrote up in a draft on Saturday. Just now finishing it. Sue me. 

TGP Daily Poll: Hideki Matsui Will Be Next Yankees Hitting Coach

Yankees GM Brian Cashman noted the next Yankees hitting coach would bring a little more international flare to the team, which sounds a lot like Hideki Matsui to me. What say you?

Vote in our poll. 

Quick Hit: Red Sox, Braves, Blue Jays, Mets, Others Interested In Kevin Long

Recently fired Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long is not expected to be out of a job long and the list of teams is already starting to take shape.The Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Mets are all said to be interested in retaining the hitting guru for their hitting coach positions. One would think that the Oakland Athletics and others would be interested in Long as well if their current hitting coaches, Chili Davis specifically, were to leave for another team.

Reportedly teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Milwaukee Brewers also have varying degrees of interest in Long as well.

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/15: 2001 Yankees Move On

Just days after Derek Jeter saved the Yankees season in the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics with “the flip” the Yankees clinched the ALDS victory and a trip to the 2001 ALCS with a 5-3 victory over the A’s. The Yankees became the first team ever to win a best of five series after losing the first two games at home.

Also on this day in 1981 the Yankees clinched their 33rd American League pennant in the franchise’s history with a 4-0 victory and sweep of the Oakland Athletics. Dave Righetti, Ron Davis, and Goose Gossage combined for the victory sending the Yankees to play the Dodgers for the third time in the past five Fall Classics.

Finally on this day in 1923 the New York Yankees captured their first World Series championship when they beat the New York Giants in six games. The Yankees, still playing in the Polo Grounds at that time, would win the game by the score of 6-4.