Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yankees Invite 44 Players To Spring Training

The Yankees have announced their list of players that they will invite to Spring Training and it included 44 players. Matt Diaz, Dan Johnson, Thomas Neal, Juan Rivera, and Bobby Wilson all signed minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training so they will all be there. The Yankees have also invited some of their bigger named prospects like Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez, and Cito Culver to name a few. Here is the complete list:

OF Abraham Almonte
C Francisco Arcia
OF Tyler Austin
INF Greg Bird
RHP Corey Black
LHP Juan Cedeno
RHP Preston Claiborne
INF Cito Culver
RHP Matt Daley
OF Matt Diaz
OF Adonis Garcia
RHP Shane Greene
RHP Nick Goody
OF Slade Heathcott
RHP David Herndon
C Kyle Higashioka
INF Walter Ibarra
INF Dan Johnson
RHP Tom Kahnle
INF Addison Maruszak
RHP Jim Miller
RHP Bryan Mitchell
RHP Mark Montgomery
INF Luke Murton
OF Ronnier Mustelier
C J.R. Murphy
OF Thomas Neal
INF Jayson Nix
RHP Zach Nuding
LHP Vidal Nuno
RHP Mike O’Brien
RHP Kelvin Perez
RHP Branden Pinder
INF Jose Pirela
RHP Ryan Pope
OF Juan Rivera
INF Kyle Roller
C Gary Sanchez
OF Rob Segedin
LHP Josh Spence
LHP Matt Tracy
INF Gil Velazquez
RHP Chase Whitley
C Bobby Wilson

Prado Signs Four Year Deal With Arizona

Well there goes the idea of signing Martin Prado after this coming season.

Prado and the Diamondbacks agreed to a 4 year $40 million contract, which will buy out his last year of arbitration before eating up three of his free agency years.

Hafner About To Be Newest Yankee

It looks like Travis Hafner will be a Yankee in 2013.

It was first reported by Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog, who said that some contract language needed to be figured out before it would be announced today or tomorrow. It is said to be a one year deal worth up to $2 million. I look forward to what Pronk can do for the Yankees, thanks to his left-handed power and ability to get on base at a good rate.

2014 Sans ARod

In a post of mine last Friday I looked ahead to 2014, to see what the Yankees roster could look like after that offseason. With the news that the Yankees are trying to find a way to nullify the remaining 5 years and $114 million on Alex Rodriguez's contract, I thought I'd have a little fun and see what the team could do with that much more money to spend. But, before I do that, let me just say this...

ARod is not going anywhere for at least 5 more years. I see no way Major League Baseball will allow the Yankees to void his contract and wash their hands of the most overpaid player in all of professional sports (that may be an exaggeration, but sadly not by much). It would be the type of thing the Player's Union would fight tooth and nail, which could lead to a lengthy legal battle. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm certainly not counting on it.

That doesn't mean I can't play fantasy General Manager, though. Before I start my spending spree, let's take a look at who the Yankees will already have around after the 2013 season...

I won't need Cashman's ninja gear for this exercise.

C - Austin Romine $500,000
1B - Mark Teixeira $22.5 million
2B - Robinson Cano $23 million (for the 1,937th time... I think he's re-signed, and I'm thinking 9 years/$207 million)
3B -                                                
SS - Derek Jeter $14 million (exercises his player option)
LF - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5 million
CF - Brett Gardner $4 million (arbitration 3, after a raise from $2.85m in 2013)
RF -
DH -

BE - Francisco Cervelli $1.5 million (arbitration 1.... this was tough as I had to go by the fact that Jarrod Saltalamacchia got $2.5m in 2012 from Boston)
BE - Eduardo Nunez $500,000
BE - Tyler Austin $500,000
BE -

SP1 - CC Sabathia $22.125 million
SP2 -
SP3 - Michael Pineda $2 million (arbitration 1... Hughes got $2.7m in 1st year of arbitration in 2011)
SP4 -
SP5 - David Phelps $500,000

CL - David Robertson $5 million (arbitration 3... Robertson will receive $3.55m-$2.85m in 2013, and got $1.6m in 2012)
SU -
RP - Mark Montgomery $500,000
RP - Clay Rapada $1.5 million (arbitration 1... Logan got $1.2 million in his 2nd yr of arbitration)
RP - Chase Whitley $500,000
RP - Ivan Nova $2 million (arbitration 1... Hughes got $2.7m in 1st year of arbitration in 2011)
RP -

15 Players not on Active Roster ~$3 million

TOTAL: $110.125 Million

That total doesn't include bonuses and the Yankees’ portion of the league’s player benefits that are added to the team's total payroll. That amount is expected to be in the neighborhood of $12 million for 2014. So that $110.125 total immediately jumps to $122.125.

That leaves us with about $66.875 million to spend in 2014, in order to stay at or under the $189 million Luxury Tax threshold.

The first hole I'm going to look at is the DH one. While it's unlikely the Yankees have a guy currently in the organization that could fill that role, I'm going to go out on a limb and say otherwise. I'm going to pencil in the name Ronnier Mustelier. Although I included Ronnier on the roster in my last article, I didn't say much about him beyond the fact he could play a little third base to give ARod some rest. With ARod out of the picture, then Ronnier could fill in in the outfield... where he's play the vast majority of his Minor League games. I can also see him hitting .280 and cracking 15-20 home runs a season.

"Yeah, I can be that guy."

Like in that article last Friday, I see the Yankees trading for Corey Hart mid-season, and then signing him to a 3 year/$36 million contract at the end of the season. Corey has a good amount of right-handed power, can hit for a decent batting average, and would be available at a non-premium price unlike a player such as Jacoby Ellsbury (assuming he bounces back from his freak shoulder injury, and hits like he did in 2011). And that non-premium price includes a contract short enough that we'd miss out on his big decline years.

I also see the Yankees re-signing Joba Chamberlain. With Mariano Rivera on his way to retirement after this season (I haven't seen it reported, but I'm assuming this is it for the G.O.A.T.), the bullpen is going to need some work. David Robertson, I believe, could be the next closer for the team. Mark Montgomery could be that guy, but I'm not sure he'll be ready to step right into that position in 2014. The same could be said about Mark for the set-up role, which is where I see Joba after returning to the Bronx on a 3 year/$12 million contract.

One of the holes I see on the team is at starting pitcher, in this case the #4 spot. It would be great if Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances could bounce back this season and be ready to step into the Yankees rotation, but I'm not feeling too good about that. And I'm not the biggest fan of prospects anyway, so I'm going to say the Yankees should look into re-signing Phil Hughes on a contract of about 5 years and $45 million. I'm not saying Hughes is going to start blowing people away, and winning 18 games a season like he did in 2010, but I can see him being a solid starter in the bottom part of the rotation. And with my plans for the second starting pitcher, I think the rotation could be in really good shape.

That second pitcher I just alluded to is the same guy I talked about in my previous post about the 2014 roster. That man is Tim Lincecum. If you want to read my thoughts about the current Giants pitcher then here again is the link to that article, in which I say plenty about The Freak.

The last big free agent signing I'm going to sign on for is for Martin Prado for 5 years and $80 million (this might need to go 6 years, which could be an option). Prado will be 30 years old when he's a free agent after the 2013 season, and would likely command a 5 year deal, which would mean the team that signs him could avoid the bigger decline players tend to see after their age 35 seasons. I can also see Prado hitting for a .290 batting average and on-base percentage of .350. It would be nice if Martin continues to run like he did in 2012, when he swiped 17 bags, too. Add in some versatility to his defense, as he's played a significant amount of time at second base and in the outfield, and I think he'd make a really good signing to fill the hole left by Alex Rodriguez.

Raise your hand if you want to be a Yankee.

After the team uses some younger players already in the organization to fill a couple of remaining holes, like in the bullpen, this is the team I would put on the field in 2014...

C - Austin Romine $500,000
1B - Mark Teixeira $22.5 million
2B - Robinson Cano $23 million
3B - Martin Prado $16 million
SS - Derek Jeter $14 million
LF - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5 million
CF - Brett Gardner $4 million
RF - Corey Hart $11 million
DH - Ronnier Mustelier $500,000

BE - Francisco Cervelli $1.5 million
BE - Eduardo Nunez $500,000
BE - Tyler Austin $500,000
BE - Pre-Arbitration Player $500,000

SP1 - CC Sabathia $22.125 million
SP2 - Tim Lincecum $23 million
SP3 - Michael Pineda $2 million
SP4 - Phil Hughes $9 million
SP5 - David Phelps $500,000

CL - David Robertson $5 million
SU - Joba Chamberlain $4 million
RP - Mark Montgomery $500,000
RP - Clay Rapada $1.5 million
RP - Chase Whitley $500,000
RP - Pre-Arbitration Player $500,000
RP - Pre-Arbitration Player $500,000

With the remaining 15 players filling out the 40-man roster, who will make about $3 million combined, along with the $12 million that includes bonuses and the Yankees’ portion of the league’s player benefits, the total payroll for 2014 would be $185.125 million.

February Is Prospects Month On The Greedy Pinstripes

I am excited to announce that February will be "Prospects Month" on The Greedy Pinstripes with a whole months full of prospects news, Meet a Prospect articles, interviews, and much much more planned. If you are a prospects fan then TGP is where you need to keep your browser all month long. Stay here all season long as well for the latest on the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders, Trenton Thunder, Charleston Riverdogs, Tampa Yankees, Staten Island Yankees, The Gulf Coast Yankees, and both of our Dominican Summer League teams. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yankees Place Three In MLB's Top 100 Prospect List has released their annual Top 100 prospect list and three familiar faces are seen from the New York Yankees. Yankees prospects Gary Sanchez came in at #36, Mason Williams came in at #41, and Tyler Austin came in at #75. I never put much stock into's rankings because sometimes they just plain ole do not get it right in my opinion but it is what it is. I personally would have Tyler Austin ranked ahead of Mason Williams after an injury shortened season and after Tyler raked in multiple affiliates last year but, again, it is what it is.

Yankees Farm System Ranks 14th In MLB

John Sickels of Minor League Ball has released his list ranking the Major League's best farm systems and the Yankees came in the middle of the pack ranking 14th best in 2013. The lower tiers of the farm system having guys like Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and Gary Sanchez to name a few put the Yankees on the map. We are obviously lacking upper level impact type prospects which is probably why we are only ranked 14th and not higher.

Pronk In Pinstripes?

According to Jon Heyman and Rob Bradford the Yankees and Travis Hafner are close to agreeing on a contract. No word on the details of the deal, but Pronk would be a pretty good DH against right-handed pitching.

Hafner was limited to only 66 games last season, but did put up a batting line of .241/.361/.437 against righties. It may not be the batting average I'd look for, but getting on base 36% of the time is a pretty good rate, not to mention the ability to hit 25+ home runs in a season.

Travis had surgery on the meniscus in his right knee last May, and seems to be okay as far as that goes. But it's his lower back that worries me, as he did have a bulging disc that cost him 40 games late last season. Actually, health issues have haunted him in 10 of his 11 MLB seasons, so it's really hard to count on him all season long. Perhaps being a platoon DH would help.

By the way, Pronk is strictly a DH, as he hasn't seen the field since playing 91 innings at 1B in 2007.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Michael Kay Signs Extension W/ The YES Network

The Yankee Entertainment Station, or more commonly known as the YES Network, has signed long time voice of the Yankees Michael Kay to a new deal. Kay has been with the network since its launch in 2002 and does not look to be going anywhere anytime soon. I know a lot of people tend to talk down about Michael Kay and his excitement for fly balls that do not even get close to leaving the yard but I have always liked Kay and enjoyed listening to his broadcasts.

Alex Rodriguez Linked To PED Use.... Again

I know that I am a little late to the party but early this morning Alex Rodriguez was once again linked to performance enhancing drug use when a probe over PED use in a Miami clinic called Biogensis has linked some baseball superstars to the use of illegal steroids. The stars besides Alex Rodriguez included former teammate and recently busted Melky Cabrera. Chad Jennings from Lohud has all the details as to what Alex supposedly bought how much he paid and when he did it so I will redirect you over there rather than try and explain it all because I cannot do it as well as he did.

A name that we all will be hearing a lot in the next coming season will be Anthony Boesch who ran the clinic in Miami and who's personal notebook has become the talk of the town today after the probe. A personal notebook containing around 50 Major League Baseball players names, what steroid they used, when they purchased it, and how much they paid that contained Alex Rodriguez's name a whopping sixteen times in it beginning in the 2009 season and all the way through last season in 2012.

The Yankees have responded with a generic company line of "no comment" but Alex Rodriguez has went on a full fledged denial of the accusations, which should come as no surprise to anyone. The Yankees are now reportedly looking into voiding the final 5 years and $114 million of his contract due to the allegations. In response to this and the PED probe Alex has hired a lawyer, Roy Black, to represent him in the cases to come.

My question is if this is Alex Rodriguez on steroids just how terrible is he going to be without them? Another question is will he ever play again? I am starting to wonder if he ever will. Only time will tell and I am sure this is far from the last thing that we will hear about this case.

Andy Pettitte Decided Not To Pitch For USA In WBC

Andy Pettitte has informed the New York Yankees and former Manager and Team USA Manager Joe Torre that he will not be pitching in this years World Baseball Classic. The Yankees were adamant in not wanting Andy to participate with his age and injury history as of late and Andy has obliged. Andy had until February 20th to make the decision but the decision came down rather quickly so now Team USA is hoping to get Justin Verlander to fill the last spot. Good decision in my eyes Andy!

Former Yankees Update : Chris Dickerson

As much as this saddens me to report former Yankee outfielder, and personal favorite of us at the Greedy Pinstripes, Chris Dickerson has signed a minor league deal with the rival Baltimore Orioles. This does not make much sense to me because he could have just signed another minor league deal with the Yankees and not be stuck behind fellow lefties Nick Markakis, Xavier Avery, Nate McLouth, and switch hitter Trayvon Robinson but what do I know?

Michael Pineda To Throw Off Half Mound

Michael Pineda will throw off of a half mound today for the first time since major surgery in his right throwing shoulder. Pineda will be entering his age 24 season in 2013 and has been throwing off of flat ground since September after his shoulder surgery way back in May of the 2012 season. We still should not be relying on him as reinforcements come mid season but progress is never a bad thing especially for a guy we gave up Jesus Montero for.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Former Yankees Update : Nick Johnson & Freddy Garcia

Former Yankees first basemen and designated hitter Nick Johnson has decided to call it a career at age 34. Right wrist and hand injuries really ended his career prematurely as he never could stay healthy and harness that high walk ability and hitting ability. This is a shame because I always really liked Nick Johnson and his awkward looking open stance. Good luck with the rest of your life Nick!

In other former Yankees news Freddy Garcia has signed a minor league deal with the San Diego padres according to reports. Freddy Garcia will be entering his age 36 season and the junk baller should benefit from Petco Park and the move to the National League. As long as he is not on the Yankees again I guess we cannot complain now can we?

Yankees Sign Juan Rivera To A Minor League Deal

The Yankees have announced that they have signed former Yankee and right handed outfielder Juan Rivera to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. Rivera will be entering his age 34 season in 2013 and will be reunited with a Yankees team that signed him as an International Free Agent way back when he was 17 years old in 1997. Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler cannot be happy about this news as Juan is now direct competition to him for the platoon partner for Ichiro Suzuki.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Andy Has Until 2/20 To Decide On WBC

The Yankees have announced that Andy Pettitte had until February 20th to decide whether he is going to pitch in the World Baseball Classic this year. Joe Torre has come out and said that the option is still there for Andy to pitch hence why there is one open spot for a starting pitcher still on the roster. The Yankees have announced that they would not like to see Andy in the WBC because of his injury history and such and we have not heard much out of Andy yet. Kris Medlen can withdraw and be replaced from the event since he just had a baby so the decision will probably go down to the wire for Andy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jeff Baker Comes Off Board, Signs W/ Rangers

And yet another right handed option for the Yankees comes off the board without even an offer by Brian Cashman and company as Jeff Baker signed a minor league deal today with the Texas Rangers. The deal obviously includes an invite to Spring Training. Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler jump for joy once again.

Friday, January 25, 2013

George Kottaras Comes Off Board, Signs With Royals

George Kottaras was designated for assignment last week by the Oakland Athletics after they acquired John Jaso in the Michael Morse trade. The Yankees never seemed to show interest in the left handed hitting walk machine catcher for some reason and he has officially come off the board today being claimed by the Kansas City Royals. Kottaras was attractive because of the fact that he will only earn $1 million in 2013 and will be under team control through arbitration through the 2015 season but for whatever reason the Yankees seem confident in Austin Romine, Francisco Cervelli, and Chris Stewart.

Alex Rodriguez Could Miss All Of 2013 Season

Brian Cashman while talking to WFAN New York in a radio interview said that there is a possibility that Alex Rodriguez could miss the entire 2013 season after his left hip surgery in January. There was no set back or instance that prompted this so it is not like the Yankees fans have anything to worry about but A Rod has a long way to come back from a second hip surgery so I guess this is a possibility. With all the set backs and such we saw last year with injuries I can see where this could be a concern for the Yankees. Still even with that said I am still willing to file this under the "nothing to see here" folder.

Yankees To Hold Benefit For WCBS Employee

I will send you to Lohud and Chad Jennings for all the details but I wanted our readers to see that the Yankees will be hosting a Hot Stove benefit for a WCBS employee, Carlos Silva. Carlos is a WCBS radio producer and engineer and has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and will be getting help from John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman, Joe Girardi, Mark Teixeira, Mariano Rivera and Brian Cashman to pay his medical bills. This benefit will be held at Times Square Hard Rock Cafe in New York starting at 6:00 pm with a VIP Meet and Greet followed by the Hot Stove forum. There will also be an auction, seen at ,  for such items as a hitting instruction session with Robinson Cano, a pitching instruction session with Mariano Rivera, bat boy/girl for a day, and other great prizes.  Check out the links for all the details and if you can make it and help out then I highly recommend everyone going out and doing their part to support a member of the Yankees family. For the Yankees being the "Evil Empire" we sure do the right thing time and time again, stay classy New York!

David Robertson & Yankees Avoid Arbitration

I'm back, baby!

David Robertson and the Yankees have avoided arbritration, agreeing to a $3.1 million deal.

Robertson was filing for $3.55 million, while the team had countered with $2.85 million. With D-Rob now all set for 2014, the Yankees have avoided arbitration with all five of their eligible players.

Letting Cano Walk... My Response

B-bye New York!

In the comments section of my post regarding Tim Lincecum and the 2014 offseason and roster, Joe in Brooklyn made a great point regarding the Yankees re-signing Robinson Cano. Here is that comment...
I think you bring up some interesting points but I fully expect Cano to be playing somewhere else. He's represented by Scott Boras and isn't signing before free agency for anything less than $200 million, he's resentful of the fact that he is playing on a below market deal now (he's made public comments about that) and he's mentioned there won't be a "home town discount", not that Boras does that often (Jered Weaver). The Yankees can't afford to have another anchor on the payroll during his decline phase. I'd rather see them invest that money spread out over a few players in a similar manner to what the Red Sox did this season with an eye to 2015-2017 when guys like Harper, Hosmer, etc. become free agents and Tex and Arod are off the books. They can then reinvest the big salaries in guys from age 26-28 seasons who are entering their prime as they enter free agency rather than free agents who are nearing the exit to their prime (Cano, Granderson). 
Hosmer and Harper are both represented by Boras and have very good chances of making it to free agency. 
Also, I know a popular opinion is to trade someone who won't sign an extension to get "value" greater than a draft pick, but I don't see how the Yankees are able to trade him for value that would be greater than what he will provide this year in addition to the draft pick. For contending teams the smart move isn't always to move a guy for a couple of sacks of balls just because he's in his walk year. They will have gotten great value on Cano's deal and no one is trading anything that's worth more than what Cano will be able to provide to a contending Yankees team this season.
To start, if a team wants a player of the caliber of a Robinson Cano it's going to cost them. Sure, a team could pull off a big trade in order to acquire a player on a team-friendly deal, but waiting around for that opportunity would be stupid. Those types of things come around only once in a great while, and it's not like the Yankees would be the only team trying to trade for that particular player. Let's not forget that the Yankees don't have a whole lot as far as trade fodder, either. The good trade fodder they do have is currently in AA or lower, and therefore wouldn't get that type of MLB star on a team-friendly deal. And who knows if those top prospects in the low minors turn into something or flame out.

We just spent a ton of time talking about trading for Justin Upton, and while he's not making as much as he would have if he were a free agent this past offseason, Justin's still making $38.5 million over the next 3 years, and that's part of 6 year extension that bought out one of his pre-arbitration and all 3 of his arbitration years. There's two points I'm trying to make here... 1. young stars are being locked up through their arbitration years at a much higher rate than we've ever see, and 2. contracts for such players are no longer that team-friendly. That's another reason why I was happy with the trade of Montero for Pineda last year, because Michael Pineda was a guy that looked to be a possible stud pitcher, and he wasn't signed to any sort of extension which means the Yankees could cut bait completely should they want to.

So sitting back and saying "let's not sign that free agent star and wait for a younger star on a team-friendly deal to be traded" is not a recipe for continued success, which is what the vast majority of Yankee fans demand. On that note, waiting to see if a Mason Williams becomes that type of player is not a recipe for continued success either, because we just saw a top prospect in Manny Banuelos have a horrible injury-plagued season. Waiting on that big trade or prospects to develop into stars is something rebuilding teams do... not what the Yankees do. If you're one of those fans that's willing to wait a few years to win that's great, but even Hal Steinbrenner has said that's not the Yankee way.

And let's keep in mind that during Cano's decline years, the Yankees will no longer have Alex Rodriguez nor Mark Teixeira around. ARod is signed through 2017, and Tex is signed through 2016. Robbie Cano's decline years likely wouldn't happen until after those players are gone, and being the only player with a deal worth $20+ million a year would still allow the team to compete. Heck, if they can compete now with $50 million tied up in players worth half of that combined, then they could do it with half that much tied up in one player.

As for Joe's point about trading players looking to be on their way out, I totally... 100%... agree that trading them while trying to contend is silly. I've heard from a lot of people that say Cano may be on his way out of New York after this season, so the Yankees should look to trade him. Like Joe said, Robbie would give the 2013 Yankees enough value that trading him could be counter-productive, as the players they got in return may not give the team as much value. Especially since the Yankees are looking to contend in this year. Sure, it makes sense for 2014 and beyond, thanks to getting some good prospects and another draft pick (assuming they'd give Cano a qualifying offer, and Cano would turn it down).

The last thing I want to say is that not re-signing Cano could make things interesting. There are other free agents outside of Tim Lincecum that interest me. I'm a fan of Martin Prado, for instance. The guy consistently hits .300 with an on-base percentage over .350, and if he continues to run like he did last season then those 15-20 stolen bases would be nice too. Martin could also play 3B while ARod moves to full-time DH duty. And since Prado would likely sign a deal of 4-5 years, we wouldn't have him into his later 30s when a player really starts to decline.

Jacoby Ellsbury could be another interesting free agent. It's too bad he only played in 74 games last season (although it did hurt the Red Sox, and hurting the Red Sox is always a good thing... hehehe), but if Jacoby can bounce back in 2013 and come close to his 2012 batting line of .321/.376/.552 with 32 home runs then perhaps we could see him in the outfield instead of somebody like Corey Hart.

Or what about Phil Hughes? The Yankees could look to bring him back, lining him up behind the duo of Sabathia and Lincecum, and knocking Ivan Nova out of the rotation (by the way, I'm not confident that Nova is going to bounce back and be a good starting option).

Like I said, it could be a really interesting offseason should the Yankees and Cano decide to part ways. But I don't see that happening. Robbie is one of the players a team builds around, and in order to get one of those players a team has to pay for it. And we're lucky enough that the Yankees are one of the few teams that can sign one of those players and still compete should that player decline earlier than expected (see Alex Rodriguez).

Looking Ahead To 2014

No, you will not win Homecoming King in 2014.

Since this offseason hasn't been very exciting at all, regardless of the fact that the team has signed quite a few players for a decent chunk of money, I decided to jump ahead a year and see where the team would be, and if any free agents jumped out at me.

I'm going to start by reminding everybody that Curtis Granderson, Kevin Youkilis, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, and David Aardsma will all be through with the Yankees after this upcoming season. You may be thinking, "hey, he forgot that Joba Chamberlain will also be a free agent". You'd be half correct, as he would be a free agent, but I haven't forgot about him. You see, I think the Yankees will bring him back, unlike the other players mentioned as free agents.

I also believe that Chris Stewart, who will be going into his first year of arbitration, will be designated for assignment. That means he'll either be with another team in 2014, or he'll be in AAA. But I don't see the team keeping a 2nd arbitration eligible catcher along with Francisco Cervelli, when they have a pre-arbitration catcher like Austin Romine able to fill in as the starter or backup.

Everybody wave goodbye to Chris!

Before I show you the 2014 team so far, I wanted to add that I see the Yankees trading for somebody mid-season. For one, I don't believe Ichiro Suzuki is going to have that productive a season. Secondly, I think the Yankees are going to find their offense lacking a bit in the power department, and will want to bring in a fairly big bat. Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues took an early look at some possible mid-season trade targets, and the one that stuck out to me was Corey Hart. Mind you, that .270 batting average of his last season wasn't fantastic, nor was his .334 on-base percentage, but those 30 home runs sure were pretty impressive. And since the team will have a hole in the outfield when Granderson leaves after this season, and the other free agent outfielders don't exactly get my motor running (keeping in mind the team is not going to shell out the money to bring Grandy back, or sign a guy like Ellsbury), I can see the Yankees bringing Hart back to the team.

Oh, and I'm also assuming the Yankees re-sign Robinson Cano. The idea of an extension, which could save a bit of money towards the Luxury Tax, apparently won't happen. But I can't see Mr. Cano wearing a different uniform after 2013... that's for sure.

So without any further adieu, here is how the 2014 Yankees roster currently looks, including each player's contract's average annual value...

C - Austin Romine $500,000
1B - Mark Teixeira $22.5 million
2B - Robinson Cano $23 million
3B - Alex Rodriguez $27.5 million
SS - Derek Jeter $14 million
LF - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5 million
CF - Brett Gardner $4 million (arbitration 3... $2.85m in 2013)
RF - Corey Hart $11 million (traded for mid-season 2013, re-signed for 3 years/$36m)
DH -

BE - Francisco Cervelli $1.5 million (arbitration 1.... this was tough as I had to go by the fact that Jarrod Saltalamacchia got $2.5m in 2012 from Boston)
BE - Eduardo Nunez $500,000
BE - Tyler Austin $500,000
BE -

SP1 - CC Sabathia $22.125 million
SP2 -
SP3 - Michael Pineda $2 million (arbitration 1... Hughes got $2.7m in 1st year of arbitration in 2011)
SP4 - Ivan Nova $2 million (arbitration 1... Hughes got $2.7m in 1st year of arbitration in 2011)
SP5 - David Phelps $500,000

CL - David Robertson $5 million (arbitration 3... Robertson will receive $3.55m-$2.85m in 2013, and got $1.6m in 2012)
SU - Joba Chamberlain $4 million (re-signed for 3 years/$12 million)
RP - Mark Montgomery $500,000
RP - Clay Rapada $1.5 million (arbitration 1... Logan got $1.2 million in his 2nd yr of arbitration)
RP - Chase Whitley $500,000
RP -
RP -

15 Players not on Active Roster ~$3 million

TOTAL: $149.625 Million

That total doesn't include bonuses and the Yankees’ portion of the league’s player benefits that are added into the $189 million Luxury Tax threshold. That amount is expected to be in the neighborhood of $12 million for 2014. So that $149.625 total immediately jumps to $161.625.

Yes, even this guy got a bonus, and he plays for the freakin' Mets.

I can see the two bullpen, and the offensive bench, spots being filled with players from within the organization, who would all make around the league minimum as pre-arbitration players. So that would raise the payroll another $1.5 to $163.125 million.

The DH spot could be trickier, as I'm not sure the team has somebody in the minors that could step into that slot in 2014. It would be great if I was wrong about that, and somebody like Ronnier Mustelier could step in there. That would be nice as Ronnier has also played some 3B in the minors, meaning he'd be able to give ARod a half day off (meaning ARod would be the DH that day, while Mustelier started at 3B). Just because it helps me with the rest of this thought, I'm going with Mustelier filling in at DH/3B. Since Ronnier would be in his pre-arbitration years, that means he'd make around the league minimum. So add another $500,000, making the new total $163.625 million.

So at this point, in order to stay at or under the $189 million Luxury Tax threshold, the team has $25.375 million left to spend. This is where I'm going to look at that last remaining hole on the team... the 2nd starting pitcher.

Now, let me ask you this... do you trust that Michael Pineda could line-up behind CC in 2014? What about Ivan Nova or David Phelps? Hey, I could see those guys rounding out the bottom 3 of the rotation, but no chance one of those three could fill that #2 spot. That spot I'd like to see get filled by 2014 free agent to be Tim Lincecum.

Last season didn't go so well for The Freak. His ERA jumped up to 5.18 in 2012, from 2.74 the prior year. His WHIP went from 1.207 in 2011 up to 1.468 in 2012. I was trying to see just what the issue was for Timmy last season, and found that it wasn't lack of movement on his pitchers. You can see here from his Brooks Baseball Pitch F/X info that his vertical and horizontal movement didn't change at all. As for his velocity, that didn't drop much either. Mind you, it did seem to go down a bit, but that honestly seemed to be due to having just lost 30 pounds in the offseason. See, Timmy was having some knee soreness, and he felt he needed to lose weight. Turns out he may have lost too much, as pitching coach Dave Righetti (RAGS!) said he'd "showed up too little".

In all, Lincecum's ERA did go from 6.42 in the 1st half of last season to 3.83 in the 2nd half. So I think Lincecum's issue are far overblown. Besides, he did play quite a big part in the San Francisco Giants' World Series victory.

"That's not the Yankees celebrating, so I don't care."

What it comes down to is this... How much for Big Time Timmy Jim? Well, Zack Greinke just got a 6 year deal worth $147 million from the Dodgers. A deal with an average annual value of $24.5 million. I actually see Lincecum getting a little bit less per season, having come off a bad year, along with pitching in the National League his entire career. I don't mean to say they can't hit in the NL, so his stats are inflated, it's just that many pitchers have had trouble with going from the NL to the AL. Therefore, I'm seeing Tim's AAV being in the $23 million range.

As for the length of his deal, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Yankees offer Lincecum an extra guaranteed year, or at least an option for a 7th year. So I'm going to say the Yankees could sign Tim Lincecum for 7 years and $161 million. That would give them a total payroll of $186.625 million, giving them a little wriggle room for things like Hart's contract, arbitration cases, and other miscellaneous costs throughout the season.

Let's take one last look at what the 2014 Yankees could look like...

C - Austin Romine
1B - Mark Teixeira
2B - Robinson Cano
3B - Alex Rodriguez
SS - Derek Jeter
LF - Ichiro Suzuki
CF - Brett Gardner
RF - Corey Hart
DH - Ronnier Mustelier

BE - Francisco Cervelli
BE - Eduardo Nunez
BE - Tyler Austin
BE - Pre-Arbitration Player

SP1 - CC Sabathia
SP2 - Tim Lincecum
SP3 - Michael Pineda
SP4 - Ivan Nova
SP5 - David Phelps

CL - David Robertson
SU - Joba Chamberlain
RP - Mark Montgomery
RP - Clay Rapada
RP - Chase Whitley
RP - Pre-Arbitration Player
RP - Pre-Arbitration Player

Not bad.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The "American Idle" Carl Pavano Strikes Again

I know this is not really Yankees related but when I read this story about the most recent Carl Pavano injury I just could not resist. Carl Pavano was being coveted by teams, including the Colorado Rockies as the front runners and the Mets as another potential suitor, but that interest has subsided after Carl Pavano ruptured his spleen after a fall at his home while he was shoveling snow. Really Carl? You must have the worst luck in the world! It will take Carl six to eight years months weeks to recover according to initial reports. He already missed the last four months of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury and now that he will miss most, if not all, of Spring Training I cannot see him signing any time soon. Best of luck Carl and I really mean that because luck is something you truly need.

Yankees Sign Dan Johnson To Minor League Deal

The Yankees have announced that they have signed 1B Dan Johnson to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Dan is entering his age 33 season and will earn 900K if he makes it to the big leagues at any time in 2013. I cannot see him as anything more then our starting first basemen for the Scranton Rail Riders because of his lack of speed, batting for average, or anything productive like that. Cannot go wrong with a minor league deal though in my opinion.

Justin Upton Traded

It's a sad day for Yankee fans like myself.

Justin Upton has been traded... to Atlanta.

The Braves will reportedly send Martin Prado, prospects Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury, and young right-handers Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill. Along with Upton, the Diamondbacks will send third baseman Chris Johnson to Atlanta.

I was really hoping Cashman had a deal in the works, and the news was going to come out of nowhere for us. It turns out that the Yankees never really had much interest in dealing for Upton, which is a real shame. Maybe there's something else being talked about, but this is not news I wanted to wake up to.

Scott Hairston Comes Off Board, Signs With Cubs

The Yankees had some interest in the best right handed hitting outfielder on the market Scott Hairston but he came off the board early this morning when he signed a two year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Scott's deal is worth $6 million over two years if all his incentives are met. Last week we were told that he was choosing between only the New York teams, the Mets and the Yankees, so this signing comes as a surprise to many. The happiest people alive this morning have to be Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler because one of them is almost guaranteed a roster spot now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yankees Not Interested In George Kottaras

The New York Yankees have announced that they have no interest in recently designated for assignment catcher George Kottaras. The left handed former Oakland Athletic was DFA'd last week when the A's acquired Jon Jaso in the Michael Morse trade. I cannot for the life of me understand why the Yankees would not be interested in this guy especially with him making $1 million and still under team control with arbitration. Real head scratcher here if you ask me.

Yankees To Invite Tyler Austin To Spring Training

The Yankees have not officially announced their list of Spring Training invites for the 2013 season but Tyler Austin, the Yankees super prospect, has announced that he has been invited to Spring Training camp. Tyler told in an interview, seen here, that he was excited to be invited to the camp and it will be an "unbelievable experience that I will never forget." Click the link for the full interview.

Nobody Interesting This Offseason

From MLB Trade Rumors, here's something that can be filed under "Bull****"...
The Yankees intend to lower their payroll below $189MM by 2014, but the financial incentives in place for doing so might not be as strong as initially anticipated. The team could end up obtaining less than expected from the new market-disqualification revenue-sharing program, as Rosenthal explains. However, Yankees officials say the team’s offseason strategy has been influenced by available players rather than maneuverings based on the sport’s collective bargaining agreement.
I'm assuming that un-named Yankee official is only referring to this offseason, which I can kind of understand. I wasn't dying to get Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke, and seeing what happened between the Red Sox and Mike Napoli has changed my mind completely on that player. I keep reading that the austerity budget could be thrown out should the team not be up to snuff, but I guess we'll have to wait another year to see for sure.

Youkilis And His New Batting Stance

I read some news regarding Kevin Long working with Kevin Youkilis on his batting stance, and trying to get Youk back to the all-star caliber player he once was. Well, instead of reporting it here, and possibly because I'm lazy, I'm going to advise everybody to click here and read the article posted by Mike over at River Avenue Blues. He did an excellent job of going over the changes, and why they are being made.

By the way, don't forget to read Daniel's interview with Dante Bichette Jr. right here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

T.G.P Exclusive Interview With Dante Bichette Jr.

The Greedy Pinstripes present to you our latest exclusive interview, this time with Yankees third base prospect Dante Bichette Jr. Our first round pick in the 2011 MLB First Year Players Draft finished last season in High A with the Charleston Riverdogs and looks to be in Trenton or even Scranton by seasons end. I hope you guys enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it. A big thank you goes out to Dante for taking the time to do this for us, you're the best D!!

The Greedy Pinstripes: Was your dream as a child always to be a baseball player? If not then what did you want to be when you grew up?

Dante Bichette Jr: I grew up around the game since my dad played. So naturally I always thought it would be awesome to play on the same stage, but I knew for sure i wanted to be a Major Leaguer when i was about 16.

TGP: What team did you root for growing up as a kid?

DB: I was always a Yankees fan as a kid. I had to keep it a secret though since my dad played for the Red Sox for a couple years.

TGP: Favorite player(s) growing up?

DB: My favorite players have stayed the same since as long as I can remember. Manny Ramirez and Derek Jeter.

TGP: Your biggest inspiration when it came to baseball?

DB: I am extremely self-driven, so it is enough for me to just try and really be the best I can be.

TGP: How is it like to grow up with a dad as a Major League player?

DB: I dont think there is a better way to learn about the game than to be around it, so it definitely is something I am lucky to have been blessed with.

TGP: Was your dad one of the crazy parents that would ride you hard in little league or coming up?

DB: This is funny because I have been around more crazy little league, travel ball, and high school coaches than you can imagine! But no, my dad has always had my best interest in mind which keeps him at a good intensity level.

TGP: Favorite moment as a Yankees prospect?

DB: I have two. One was when i was called up for a Big League game last spring training and hit two homers. The other was winning the GCL finals my first year.

TGP: Who was the best prospect in the Yankees system that you ever played with?

DB: Oh man! I cant single one person out, because I am surrounded by a bunch of guys that are awesome. I would definitely say that Ive been playing with a few future stars the past couple years.

TGP: Do you keep in touch with any other current or former Yankees prospects or coaches?

DB: I do. I stay in touch with a bunch of players and a few coaches via text, twitter, or visits over the offseason.

TGP: Hardest part of being a prospect?

DB: I would be ungrateful to say there is a hard part of being a prospect. Its exactly what everyone wants, and it only means you need to work harder.

TGP: What do you plan to do to bounce back and replicate your 2011 season?

DB: This year will be very simple. I am going to stick to an approach and I am confident everything that is supposed to happen by the end of the year will happen.

TGP: Were you always a 3B? Did you ever want to try another position?

DB: I played SS growing up and through high school. I love shortstop, but now watching guys like Cito Culver I see why I am moved to the hot corner haha!

TGP: Not really a question but your mom is awesome! We love reading and replying to her tweets. She is the mold of how every baseball mom should be!!!

DB: She is great! Everything that has happened in my life or my brothers life should be credited to my mom.

TGP: Most famous person in your cell phone?

DB: haha! Oh definitely my little Brother Bo! Or at least he will be the most famous.

TGP: Most embarrassing song/artist in your ipod?

DB: Possibly "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber. Im not particularly embarrassed by it, but it usually brings on a few laughs.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Yankees Sign Thomas Neal To A Minor League Deal

The Yankees have added more scraps depth to the minor leagues and more competition in Spring Training by signing former Cleveland Indian Thomas Neal to a minor league deal. Neal was moved off the 40 man roster to make room for former Yankees player and recently acquired Nick Swisher. The only reason he was signed is because he is a right handed out fielder who holds a triple slash of .316/.382/.412 against southpaws the last two seasons. This will be Neal's age 25 season so let us hope that Brian Cashman has found lightning in a bottle once again.

Should We Feel Confident For 2013 & Beyond

This has been an off season to remember, or forget depending on how you want to look at it, especially for the fans that have been spoiled to grow up watching the Yankees during the dynasty years of the mid 90's until as recently as 2009. We have all seen guys come through the system like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, and a plethora of others guys that I am unintentionally forgetting that have all had huge impacts on not only the regular season but also have played big parts in our five World Series titles in the last seventeen seasons. We have also seen the Yankees go out and bid against themselves getting the biggest free agent prizes like Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, Gary Sheffield, Mike Mussina, David Wells, Hideki Matsui, and probably 600 other free agents that George Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman have gotten into pinstripes. With the ability to have a seemingly infinite budget both in free agency, with International Free Agents, and in the draft the Yankees and Brian Cashman have not been afraid to pull off big trades involving prospects for proven veteran pieces to make another World Series run which was fun to watch for all of us until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was applied with a luxury tax. With the newest CBA now under full effect with even harsher penalties up to a 50% tax for repeat offenders who go over the luxury tax threshold the Yankees are finally starting to feel the heat and the restraints put into place.

We have been hearing about it for the last couple of off seasons now that the Yankees have a plan to get under the luxury tax threshold before the 2014 season, which is going to be set at $189 million, in order to reap the fiscal benefits that come along with it. The Yankees have continuously operated in the red as an business, although the YES Network has always more then made up for the short comings by the actual team, so the idea to get under the threshold to save some money and restart the penalties if we decide to go over in 2015 make sense on paper but do they really make sense in the real world? I personally have my doubts and my question has always been whether the fiscal savings by getting under the threshold would outweigh the fiscal hit the Yankees would take if we were mediocre on the field not only in 2014 but this season as well. Can the Yankees really compete in what is an ever growing competitive American League East AND follow through with the austerity budget in what seems to be like a rebuilding project? Sure, we can, but the only way that is going to happen is if we put our faith into Brian Cashman's alter ego, Ninja Cashman. Let's not beat around the bush our farm system, especially in the upper levels, is depleted and barren and not going to really help us in major spots in 2013 and beyond besides for maybe a David Adams, Corban Joseph, Adam Warren, or a Mark Montgomery. While those are nice pieces for depth or in a pinch aside from Montgomery none of these guys are the can't miss type guys that we will need to keep the payroll down and still compete. The only way we are going to get this done is if Ninja Cashman can pull off a trade or two that brings us a young and effective piece without creating too many other holes but can we really bank on that? I am glad that you asked...

I took it upon myself to look at the last six seasons worth of trades, no matter how minor, and evaluated each one specifically to evaluate whether or not we should really put our faith into Ninja Cash or if we should expect to miss the playoffs the next two seasons. I am just going to hit the high spots because I do not think anyone puts much weight into trades like when we acquired Justin Maxwell from the Nationals in 2011 for some guy whose name I cannot pronounce and have to copy and paste his last name(Adam Olbrychowski) to make sure the spelling is correct. Let's look an evaluate the trade history of Ninja Cash:

On July 23rd 2012 the Yankees traded minor leaguers DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar for Ichiro Suzuki while we were in Seattle playing the Mariners. This trade worked out beautifully for the Yankees because we were never going to give either of these guys a shot for the big club and in 67 games Ichiro gave us a 0.8 WAR, wreaked havoc on the base paths, and was one of the few Yankees to not totally disappear when the calendar changed to October. Verdict: Good Trade

On April 4th 2012 Brian Cashman traded away George Kontos to the San Francisco Giants for Chris Stewart. This trade never made much sense to me because while I can agree and get behind the fact that relievers are a dime a dozen and George Kontos was not exactly young or a "can't miss guy" can you not say the same thing about back up defensive minded no bat catchers? Especially when the Yankees already had a capable backup, albeit not exactly defensive minded first, in Francisco Cervelli already on the roster. Kontos went on to have a pretty good season for the eventual World Series champions while we were without guys like Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain and Chris Stewart did nothing of note for the Yankees. Granted Chris Stewart looks more and more like our starting catcher in 2013, which I do not know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, so there is time to get some value out of this trade. Verdict: Bad Trade

On January 23rd 2012 the Yankees traded Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos from the Seattle Mariners. As much as this trade hurt because I have watched Montero come through the system and salivated at the idea of his power in Yankees Stadium the trade made sense because Michael Pineda was a power arm with 5 years left of team control and filled a need. Jose Campos was also considered to be able to walk into camp and be listed in our Top 5 Prospects list right away and had much more potential then Hector Noesi ever thought of having. The trade is obviously incomplete as even after the 2013 season we will still have 3 years left of Michael Pineda and Jose Campos is still only in Charleston you have to wonder if Pineda will ever come back and be effective for the Yankees. The only redeeming factor in this trade is the fact that Jesus Montero once again seems to be without a true position and did not exactly tear the cover off of the ball while Hector Noesi got lit up in Safeco. Verdict : Fair Trade

On July 31st 2010 the Yankees acquire "Kid K" Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians for at the time was two players to be named later, who later turned into Matt Cusik and Andrew Shive, and cash. Kerry came over and absolutely dominated out of the Yankees pen with a 0.69 ERA in the second half for the bombers while to date neither Shive or Cusik have done anything for the tribe. Verdict : Good Trade

On December 22nd 2009 the Yankees traded Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, and Arodys Vizcaino for Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez. While in Atlanta Melky Cabrera was absolutely terrible and quickly traded to Kansas City, Mike Dunn has not done anything to lose sleep over, and Arodys Vizcaino is going to miss the 2013 season with Tommy John surgery. While Boone Logan has been somewhat of the LOOGY we have been searching for the last five to ten seasons Javier Vazquez was absolutely terrible for the Yankees. It is a lot to give up just for essentially a LOOGY but since we did not give up anything that has come back to bite us to date this trade gets my approval. Verdict : Good Trade

On December 8th 2009 the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Tigers hooked up in a three team trade that saw The Yankees acquire Curtis Granderson from Detroit while giving up Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Tigers and sending Ian Kennedy to Arizona with other lesser pieces moving back and forth. Curtis started out well for the Yankees and has compiled a 13.2 WAR since the trade the pieces we gave up have compiled a 26.8 WAR in the same time period. Austin Jackson has turned into one of the better lead off men and center fielders in the American League, Phil Coke has dominated us in the playoffs out of the pen, and Ian Kennedy is one season removed from becoming a 20 game winner. Curtis Granderson has forgotten how to take routes in center field and has become an all or nothing kind of home run hitter that the Yankees were trying to get away from. Verdict : Bad Trade

Our final trade we are going to look at was on November 13th 2008 where the Yankees acquire Nick Swisher and reliever Kanekoa Texeira for Wilson Betemit, Jeffrey Marquez, and Jhonny Nunez. This was a classic buy low move after Swisher had the worst season of his career in Chicago and rebounded nicely in four seasons for the Yankees. We gave up nothing of note and got a fan favorite in return that the Yankees are scrambling and struggling to replace after leaving via free agency this season. Swisher has compiled a 15 WAR in his time in pinstripes where Betemit, Marquez, and Nunez combined have brought Chicago a 2 WAR. Verdict: Excellent Trade

I know that I have missed a few trades but for the sake of space I hit the high spots and wen't over the bigger of the trades and according to my tally I have one excellent trade, three good trades, one fair trade, and two bad trades. Trades, much like the MLB draft, are a crap shoot because you never know what you are going to get but on the bigger trades Ninja Cash seems to get the better end of the deal more often than not. I am not the most patient Yankees fan and I definitely hate settling for anyone less then Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton this off season, hence the name Greedy Pinstripes, my faith in my General Manager and the teams commitment to winning will never waiver. Ninja Cash has been fantastic at finding cheap value late in the off season and in traded and I have full confidence that he will again in 2013 and 2014 to keep this team in contention.

Yankees Sign Reggie Corona To A Minor League Deal

The Yankees signed once highly touted prospect Reggie Corona to a one year minor league deal to bring him back to the club after being released. After having a pretty significant arm injury in 2010 after colliding with an outfielder that has basically kept him out of baseball since he finally looks to be healthy and had a decent winter ball this year. The 26 year old will bounce back from AA Trenton to AAA Scranton if I had to guess as a depth infielder.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yankees On Upton's No Trade List

It turns out that the Yankees are on Justin Upton's list of teams he can't be traded to without okaying the deal first. That's not a huge obstacle, as players waiver their no trade clauses all the time, but apparently Arizona took a look at what the Yankees had to offer and wasn't impressed.

It would be great if the Yankees could get something done, but Cashman doesn't seem to be in any hurry after saying the following...
"I know it’s getting late, but we’re still looking … We’re open for business, but we’re not going to do something just to do something. If we have to, we’ll go to Tampa with what we’ve got."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

More On Justin Upton's Asking Price

If this is the asking price for Justin Upton, then it doesn't look like we'll see Upton in pinstripes this season...

According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the Diamondbacks and the Cubs have ended talks regarding a trade for Upton. It seems that the Cubs balked at Arizona's asking price... Starlin Castro. A 22-year old shortstop for a 25-year old outfielder? No wonder Chicago is moving on.

If it's going to take a player of that caliber to land Upton, then we may as well move on from the idea of acquiring him. Castro just signed a 7 year extension, with an option for an 8th, which would only bring him to age 30. And Starlin will only make $60 million during that time, while being worth more than half that in the past two seasons alone (according to Fangraphs value figures).

Of course, that could simply have been Arizona "shooting for the moon", or not liking anybody else they could have traded for. Meaning the Yankees are still in play. But after reading the big prospect proposal from Seattle, which Upton rejected, and now this news about Castro, I'm not so optimistic about a trade with New York happening.