Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Derek Jeter's career not matchable, new Yankees shortstop Gregorius says

The act of Derek Jeter will be a tough one to follow. Nobody who saw him play will say otherwise.

Just ask Didi Gregorius. 

The 24-year-old Yankees shortstop said in a recent interview with Jack Curry he won't be able to fill Jeter's shoes during his upcoming tenure with the team, adding that nobody else would either. Gregorius, who was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Yankees December 5 in a deal that also involved the Tigers, is expected to play the position Jeter did for the last 20 years when the 2015 season kicks off, but seems to be staying realistic about the job.

"What Jeter did, that's Jeter," Gregorius said. "I'm just going to come here and play my game. If they want to compare me to Jeter, they can do that but I'm not going to take it personal. I'm here to play my game."

Gregorius hasn't been in the majors for very long, so it's somewhat tough to predict how he'll do. In 191 career games, he's batted just .243/.313/.366 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI, going 3-for-5 on stolen base attempts. 

He said replacing Jeter makes him feel good, seeing as he watched the future Hall-of-Famer growing up.

"For me it means a lot, just following in his footsteps," Gregorius said. "I've seen, since I was little, everything he's done. I just want to be like him."

To get Gregorius, the Yankees parted ways with promising right-hander Shane Greene, who went 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 78 2/3 IP for them last year. Indeed, Gregorius was a relatively-expensive commodity for New York, and will no doubt be under pressure to live up to his price tag. 

Living up to the standards of Jeter, though, is probably a whole different thing. 

Out with MY9, In my WPIX

UPDATE: Yankees games will be moving back to WPIX 11 after losing the team's games to MY9.

Apparently there is a bit of a rift between MY9 and the YES Network and the New York Yankees are shopping their over the air television home games. When the Yankees aren't on YES, ESPN or MLB Network the team can usually be found on MY9 but Channel 9 actually lost money in 2014 and will not meet the YES Network's asking price for 2015.

No word on a replacement but honestly I wasn't crazy about MY9 games anyway so it's no skin off my nose.

Yankees Held Private Showcase for Yoan Moncada

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America the New York Yankees held a private workout for Cuban defecting 19 year old prospect Yoan Moncada recently. There isn't word on when the workout actually took place or how Moncada looked but the workout has already happened, that much we do know.

Moncada is a potential five tool player and a franchise changing prospect that can be acquired for just money. If the Yankees don't make a serious run at this guy then the team's direction and plan really has me scratching my head.

New York will not be without competition though as at least 20-28 teams will more than likely be involved for the Cuban middle infielder.

Breaking: Yankees Trade Gonzalez Germen for Cash

(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

The New York Yankees designated relief pitcher Gonzalez Germen for assignment to make room on the 40 man roster for the Chris Martin signing. As you may remember Germen was traded to the Yankees from the New York Mets for cash so basically this was a wash for the Yankees as New York traded Germen to the Texas Rangers for cash this afternoon.

Nothing to see here, moving on.

My Prediction for John Sterling's New Home Run Calls

The New York Yankees added a pair of new positional players this season so now the fans anxiously wait to hear what John Sterling's home run calls will be for them. New York added a new shortstop in Didi Gregorius and a backup first baseman, right fielder and DH in Garrett Jones. What will the home run calls be? Nobody but John knows but I wanted to take a shot at it. Thoughts?

"Yes Sir, Didi Gregorius!"

"Garrett keeping up with the Joneses with that home run."

Yankees Still Yet to Finalize non-roster Invitations to Spring Training

Some teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers have already finalized and announced their non-roster invitees to spring training camp this year but the Yankees have not. Who the Yankees will invite is anyone’s guess but there seem to be more than a few obvious choices for New York.

Nick Noonan, Cole Figueroa, Robert Hernandez, and Slade Heathcott have all signed minor league deals with invites to spring training so we shouldn’t be surprised to see these three names. Joining them, besides the 40 men that currently occupy the 40 man roster, will likely be Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Robert Refsnyder and Taylor Dugas. We may see a Jake Cave, Cito Culver or Kyle Roller signing as well but that’s merely speculation on my part.

I expect New York to invite a ton of pitching this spring as many men battle it out for the last remaining bullpen slots and maybe a rotation spot if Chris Capuano is not up to snuff. It’s going to be an interesting spring with tons of competition, just the way Brian Cashman envisioned it and Joe Girardi wanted it. 

The Max Scherzer Domino Has Fallen

Max Scherzer signed with the Washington Nationals late Sunday night on a reported seven year deal marking the biggest domino to finally fall this winter. This will undoubtedly escalate the market for James Shields, Ryan Vogelsong and the rest of the market’s free agent starting pitchers. How does this domino falling affect the Yankees though you may be asking? Washington now has far too much starting pitching and not enough rotation spots to fill them all. Enter Jordan Zimmerman.

We have clamored for Zimmerman once or twice already this winter so the name should be familiar to you all. Zimmerman comes with just one year remaining of team control, which would keep his prospects cost down, but would give the Yankees the legitimate ace they undoubtedly need. More moves will come so the Yankees should not just limit themselves to Zimmerman or bust as all the teams that will miss out on both Scherzer and Shields will begin scrambling for what’s left on the market and especially in the trade market.

Cole Hamels will get extremely expensive while Zimmerman will be extremely well sought after. Is this not the deal Brian Cashman has been waiting for? The deal that Cashman has been stockpiling pitching for? Stockpiling prospects for? If not Zimmerman, what about Doug Fister? The possibilities are endless and I think this is the eventual endgame for Cashman. He’s been sitting and waiting patiently for this shoe to drop and this domino to fall so he can pounce, and that time is now. Get it done Cash. 

Japan Introduces Top 12 National Team Tournament

Tokyo has been chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and as you may or may not know host cities are allowed to propose the inclusion of one or more events to their games. Since Baseball was removed from all Olympic Games after the 2008 games that were played in Beijing and since baseball and softball is so popular in Japan one could be led to believe that Tokyo is pushing for Baseball to return to their games in 2020.

To help push that agenda along Japan has announced that they will co-host a new international baseball tournament this year, called the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s Premier 12 Tournament. The leaders of the WBSC and the Nippon Professional Baseball League will co-head the tournament that will be separate from the MLB and MLBPA owned World Baseball Classic.

The tournament will be played in Japan and Taiwan from November 8-21 and will feature the men’s top-12 ranked national teams. The opening round-robin games and quarterfinals will be played in Taiwan while the grand opening, semifinals, and the medal games (gold, silver, bronze) will be played in the Tokyo Dome.

This isn’t Yankees related as no MLB players will be a part of it but as a fan this is exciting because it may lead to Olympic Baseball in 2020. Good call Japan. 

TGP Daily Poll: Scherzer Signed, Shields is next by Sunday

Max Scherzer signed so James Shields is next, probably by this Sunday and probably with the Boston Red Sox.

Vote in our prediction poll on knoda.com

Hey Washington, Better You Then Me

When I read the news that the Washington Nationals had signed Max Scherzer to a seven year deal I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. When I read that the deal was worth $210 million my disappointment level plummeted. When I read that Washington will be paying Scherzer until he’s 45 years old and for the next 14 years I just kind of chuckled a bit.

While this deal is genius for the next four or five years, especially with Scherzer in the National League and facing the pitcher once every three innings, this deal is going to potentially handcuff the organization down the road. Scherzer will be on the books until 2028 and won’t be on the team after the 2021 season. This is not even mentioning the similarities in the contract to Clayton Kershaw and factoring in how much younger, better and which hand Kershaw throws with versus Scherzer.

This deal has all the makings of looking terrible and crippling to the franchise in five to nine years. This makes me very happy that Brian Cashman, for once, did not fold to Scott Boras. Scherzer is great but just how much better are the Nationals with him anyway? Especially if they trade away Jordan Zimmerman or Doug Fister? Not 14 years and $210 million better that’s for darn sure. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/20: Joe Sewell

On this day in 1931 33 year old Joe Sewell signs with the New York Yankees after being released by the Indians. Sewell will hit .282 during his three seasons in New York before heading to the Hall of Fame after his 1934 retirement.