Sunday, October 21, 2012

More Japanese Reinforcements On The Way

Kyuji Fujikawa has been the best and most dominant reliever in the Japanese League for the past 10 + years and is now looking to see how that translates into the Major Leagues. Entering his age 32 season he will leave his job as the Hanshin Tigers closer and will look for a major league bullpen job. He is represented by agent Arn Tellem who has represented other notable Major Leaguers such as Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, and Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui. The history between the Yankees and Tellem shows us that we have as good a chance as anyone to sign this guy, especially if Rafael Soriano opts out. Fujikawa has pitched to an ERA under 1.50 with a K/9 over 12.0 for six of the last eight seasons while hitting 94 MPH on his fastball with his splitter being his out pitch. Sounds like the kind of guy worth taking a waiver on to strengthen the bullpen so I am all for this signing if the years and money are right.

Latest Japanese Import Linked To The Yankees

Get used to saying this name because you are going to be hearing it all off season long, Shohei Otani. Otani is a Japanese high school pitcher and has announced that he will pursue a Major League career rather then opting into the Japanese League first, thus avoiding the bidding war that comes with the posting process. Otani, unlike Daisuke Matsuzaka or Yu Darvish, will not jump directly into a rotation but will rather go down to the minor leagues like any normal prospect would.

Otani stand 6'4" and throws right handed while hitting 99-100 mph comfortably which is scary and turns me on at the same time in an arm so young. He has been scouted recently by other major league teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox so the competition will definitely be there so it will probably come down to the money. Otani knows that he will have to go to the minors first but has specified, in English I may add, that his dream is to push to the majors as soon as possible.

If Otani signs he would become the first Japanese amateur to jump straight to the majors and skip the Japanese League and draft. Hopefully he comes to the Yankees because it is just money that does not require a posting fee and the risk is far below the reward in my eyes.

2010 - 2012 Yankees Injuries Graph

I am borrowing the graphic from our friends over at River Avenue Blues

If this does not show the Yankees that they need to get more flexible and more importantly younger then I do not know what will. Injuries are more luck then they are preventative in most cases but still this is an eye opener for me. The fact that the Nationals are so high was also a shocker to me. Enjoy and head over to RAB to see their complete write up.

CC Sabathia To See Dr. James Andrews

Dun Dun Dun...

The news that no Yankees fan wanted to read when they woke up this morning just came true, CC Sabathia will be sent to see Tommy John specialist Dr. James Andrews. The good news is, and I apologize for not saying this earlier but I have to get some views here, that CC is going to get a bone spur looked at and possibly cleaned up. His nerves and elbow look fine and this should not have him out of any real baseball next season so we can all take a collective sigh of relief and go about or business. Better to get this little stuff cleaned up before it becomes a bigger problem.

Marlins May Not Want A Rod But DBacks Might

The initial rumor that will linger all winter long is that the Yankees will be actively looking to trade Alex Rodriguez this winter and absorb a ton of the money to get it done. The first rumors we heard were that "Mr Miami" would be going back to Miami to play for the Marlins, which would make sense with their suddenly deep pockets and new stadium they are struggling to fill, but yesterdays news may be contradicting that just a little. The Marlins sent their closer Heath Bell and $8 million cash to the Arizona Diamonbacks in a three team deal for 22 year old SS prospect Yordy Cabrera. This screams salary dump to me with no obvious replacement for Bell in the closers role so why would the Marlins take on Alex Rodriguez's salary when they have dumped so much this season?

Do not fret just yet Yankees fans because, and granted this is a manager speaking and not necessarily a GM or a team owner, but Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson came out and said that the Diamondbacks would be interested in a trade for Alex Rodriguez. This ignites a flurry of emotions with me because we are already expected to make a run at acquiring Justin Upton so if we can make a deal including those two we have essentially replaced a right handed power hitter with another and we filled a hole, right field, that we needed to address in free agency. Then we can accept a lesser offensive 3B and still have the potent lineup we all adore only with more roster and financial flexibility.

It is going to be a long winter and I dread even hearing about, let alone typing out, the numerous ARod rumors and news that is to come but if it nets us Justin Upton then it just may all be worth it in the end...

Tony Pena Still A Yankee, For Now Anyway

The Red Sox interviewed many candidates in their search to fill their vacatan managerial position including Yankees bench coach Tony Pena. Yankees fans can take a collective sigh of relief this morning as the Sox announced that they will hire John Farrell as their manager. I sound selfish in saying I am relieved to keep Pena as he probably deserves to be a manager again but I am glad he is still a Yankee, even if it is for just a little while longer.