Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Feinsand: Yankees "Have No Plans" to Pursue Top Free Agents This Offseason

Red Sox Nation can put their worries to rest. Jon Lester won't be playing in the Bronx next season after all, nor will Max Scherzer, Pablo Sandoval and James Shields.

That's right, the Yankees basically announced so earlier today. Or, to put it more formally, they said that they have no plans to pursue this offseason's top free agents, a source recently told The New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand.

From Feinsand's report:

"Instead [of going after the top free agents], the Yankees are interested in bringing back two of their own, free agents Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, neither of whom was eligible to receive a qualifying offer after being traded to the Bronx this past July. A source said the Yankees would engage the pair aggressively in an attempt to lock them up.

McCarthy, who went 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts after being traded from Arizona last July, would slot in behind Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda as a No. 3 starter, also joining CC Sabathia in the rotation." 

According to Feinsand, the Yankees don't want to commit to another $100 million contract this winter after last year's spending spree. He wrote that the Yankees want to lower their current payroll going into 2015, especially since it was baseball's second-highest this season.

The Dodgers, a team often nicknamed the Yankees of the west, were first on that list.

Alfonso Soriano Officially Retires From MLB

Alfonso Soriano, a two time player for the New York Yankees, has officially announced his retirement from Major League Baseball today. Soriano came through the Yankees system only to be dealt to the Texas Rangers in the now infamous Alex Rodriguez trade. Soriano also spent time with the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs before landing back in New York with the Yankees for half of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Soriano was designated for assignment by New York this summer and did not latch on with any other MLB teams and has now announced he will be retiring from the game.

Congratulations and thank you goes out to Soriano for everything he did while in a Yankees uniform and we wish him nothing but the best in whatever his life outside of baseball may bring. 

Betances Among Rookie of the Year Finalists

Dellin Betances of the New York Yankees is among three finalists for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The other two players are the Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Matt Shoemaker. I think Abreu wins in a landslide but Betances should be a distant second in my opinion.

A Great Finish to the Greatest World Series Ever

I may be in the minority here either because of my age or because of my ignorance but I truly believe that the 2001 World Series was the greatest World Series ever played. There was dramatics, there was dominating pitching, there was dominant hitting, and there was 20 game winners and Hall of Fame closers, and everything in between. It was the classic David vs. Goliath with the New York Yankees playing the former and the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks playing the latter. This World Series had it all and it ended on this day in 2001.

You have to remember that this World Series was played just a month to two months after the devastating attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania on 9/11. The New York Yankees were in the World Series for the fourth time in five years and the eyes of the country were on them in this Fall Classic. Game 7 of the 2001 World Series pitted a pair of 20 game winners against each other for the first time since 1985 when the Yankees send 20-3 Roger Clemens to the mound to face off with 22-6 Curt Schilling for the Diamondbacks. The last time this happened was in 1985 when the Royals sent rookie Brett Saberhagen to the mound to face off with the St. Louis Cardinals ace John Tudor.

New York took a lead into the 9th inning of Game 7 and the great Mariano Rivera was on the mound. Luis Gonzalez came up to the plate with a runner on second base and a drawn-in infield. Gonzalez broke his bat and sent a little blooper over the heads of the Yankees infield as the Arizona Diamondbacks went on to win their first World Series of the franchise’s history. This one hurt to lose as an American and especially as a New Yorker but this was easily the best World Series to ever be played, again in my opinion. 

Syndicated Sunday: A Different Yankees Prospects List

Originally seen on Pinstripe Alley. Click HERE for the original post. 

Here is a quick excerpt from the original article:

1. Rob Refsnyder - Has made the difficult transition from college outfielder to professional infielder, but even the most generous scouting reports call his defense a work in progress.

2. Jose Pirela - Rob Refsnyder's offensive potential has garnered more attention, but Pirela's .305/.351/.441 in Triple-A while playing nearly every position on the diamond is just as exciting to me, though there are questions about his defense as well.

3. John Ryan Murphy - Didn't show nearly the power I was hoping for this year. I had hoped that escaping the pitcher's paradise in Scranton would allow him to take a big step forward, but I was impressed by what I saw of his defense, and that means that one of Murphy or Francisco Cervelli is likely trade bait this offseason.

4. Manny Banuelos - This might be a make-or-break season for the slight southpaw. Coming back from Tommy John surgery, this is likely his last chance to prove he can make it as a starter. If the 2015 Yankees have anything close to the trouble keeping their starters healthy that they've had the last two seasons, Banuelos will certainly have the chance to prove himself.

5. Greg Bird - Played only 27 games in Trenton during 2014, but his performance so far in the Arizona Fall League has to bring extra expectations. If Mark Teixeira gets hurt again, or if the Yankees find themselves again struggling to get adequate production from the DH spot, could Bird be a fix?

Yoan Moncada Establishes Residency in Guatemala

The latest Cuban player to defect from their country and establish residency in another country in hopes of signing a major league contract is named Yoan Moncada. Moncada has already been deemed the "next Jorge Soler" as the 19 year old has established residency in Guatemala. Moncada is listed as a third baseman and a shortstop and has played as a teammate with other notable Cuban defecting players such as Jose Dariel Abreu, Erisbel Arruebarrena, and Raicel Iglesias.

Moncada would count against team's international spending cap for 2014-2015 due to his age and lack of years in the Serie Nacional. Teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays are already well over the cap for this season and could be interested in his services. Teams like the Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs are seen as long shots for his services after spending heavily last international spending period and have been hit with spending restrictions for two seasons.

Potential Destinations For New Expansion Teams

There isn't any talk of expanding Major League Baseball to 32 teams anytime soon but we here at The Greedy Pinstripes like to be ahead of the curve. I was bored the other day and got to thinking about potential city landing spots for any hypothetical expansion teams. I believe I came up with a few interesting spots that could support a Major League Baseball franchise.

Major League Baseball seems destined to have a team in Mexico before it is all said and done with the emergence of the Mexican League and the influx of players from Mexico over the past few years. While Mexico City has the population to support a franchise it is nearly 1,000 miles away from it's closest MLB franchise in the United States. Enter Monterrey, Mexico which is right across the border of the United States and Mexico and could easily be protected and support a franchise in my opinion.

There are also rumors circulating that MLB may be headed back to Canada and Montreal specifically. Putting a franchise back in Montreal could work if it's done right and that plan would have to include a new stadium deal. The Montreal and Toronto rivalry would automatically be born, especially if an AL East team like the Rays were to relocate there, and the league would extend its global reach. If Montreal could not build a new stadium for the team then Vancouver could be a viable second option for MLB.

If the league wants to keep their teams domestic then cities who have popular and successful NBA, NHL, or NBA franchises come to mind in Indianapolis, Charlotte, New Orleans, and Portland. Portland would give the Seattle Mariners a travel break every once in a while and a true rival in the West. Charlotte and New Orleans have booming economies and no legitimate MLB franchises close by to have a true fandom for. Indianapolis supports the Indiana Pacers and the Indianapolis Colts pretty well and could be the perfect addition to a Central Division for either league.

This is not based on any rumors, speculation, etc. this is just for fun so take it as that. It's the offseason when everything is not so realistic and not so active. Have fun with it and add your location ideas in the comments section.

TGP Daily Poll: New York Won’t Sign ANY of the Top 10 Free Agents

New York will not sign Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Yasmany Tomas, Victor Martinez, Nelson Cruz, Russell Martin, Melky Cabrera or James Shields this offseason.

Vote in our poll. 

Quick Hit: Greg Bird Hits a Bomb, Wins an MVP

This is a couple days old but I am just now getting around to all my bookmarks to watch Greg Bird hit an absolute bomb in the Arizona Fall League All Star Game that's not really an All Star Game. Bird won the MVP Award of the game, which makes you wonder if it's really an MVP Award or whether it's an "everyone gets a trophy for showing up" award, with this towering home run. Enjoy a glimpse of the future.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/4: “The Yankees Are Back on Top”

On this day in 2009 Hideki Matsui and the Yankees went crazy on the Philadelphia Phillies to capture their 27th World Series championship. The Yankees would beat the defending champions 7-3 in this game and would win the series in six games with Hideki Matsui taking home the World Series MVP award. Matsui tied a World Series record with six RBI's while Andy Pettitte became only the second pitcher to ever collect the victory in the clinching game in all three postseason series. Joe Buck was quoted as saying “the Yankees are back on top” as the final out was being recorded.

Also on this day in 2005 the New York Yankees hired former co-captain and Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry as their new pitching coach replacing Mel Stottlemyer. Former Red Sox Joe Kerrigan also joined the team on this day as the bullpen coach.

Finally on this day in 2003 the Yankees hired Don Mattingly to be their hitting coach replacing Rick Down. It is always kind of cool to bring back Yankees legends to be part of the coaching staff. Mattingly would later be promoted to bench coach for Joe Torre and was one of the top candidates to replace Torre in 2008 before the Yankees decided on Joe Girardi.