Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Current Arizona Fall League Standings - 11/6

The Scorpions are currently 5 games out of first place in the AFL East. 

Scorpions beat Javelinas again, 4-0

Yankees relievers Fred Lewis and James Pazos each threw scoreless innings tonight as the Scorpions beat the Javelinas for the second straight day, 4-0, improving their record to 9-14. All four of the Scorps runs in this one came in the bottom of the fourth inning, with two of them being driven by Bombers hitters Peter O'Brien and Mason Williams. 

Overall, Williams went 1-for-3 in this one with a single and an RBI Walk, while O'Brien went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and an RBI Sac Fly. That K total isn't very pretty, but again, who cares? It was a win. That is all that matters. 

Yankees Have Called Reds About Brandon Phillips

It looks like the Yankees are getting all their "Plan B" ducks in a row just in case Robinson Cano decides to leave New York. The Yankees called the Reds today to talk about the availability of Cincinnati second basemen Brandon Phillips who is said to be available in a trade this offseason. The asking price seems to be pretty steep at this point, and it needs to be said that the Yankees seem to be the front runner to bring Cano back to pinstripes, but there is nothing wrong with Brian Cashman and company working the phones and exploring all possibilities.

Phillips is 32 years old and is coming off of a .261/.310/.396 with 18 home runs in a very home run friendly stadium in Cincinnati. Phillips is owed a little over $50,000,000 over the next four seasons, which is a lot cheaper then what Robinson Cano will make in 2014 and beyond, and to the best of my knowledge does not have a no trade clause. As a back up plan I would have no issue bringing in Phillips if the price is right but I am glad to hear that the Yankees are working the phones and seemingly are willing to do whatever they have to in order to make the team better in 2014.

Jay Z Under Investigation Due To A Gift To Robinson Cano

Remember when I posted pictures of Robinson Cano's birthday party with Jay Z showing all the alcohol they drank and the gold watch that Cano received? Yeah apparently that is against the rules because it is against Major League rules for an agent to give one of his clients a gift. The reason behind it is because they do not want players being bought and enticed into keeping the agents services and such. Chad Jennings of LoHud said it best when he said "ninety-nine problems, am I right Jay?"

New York Yankees Sign Joe Espada

The first signing since the Derek Jeter contract has been announced today when the Yankees signed Joe Espada. Who? Espada is signed to be a special assistant and scout possibly taking the place of the recently departed Don Wakamatsu. Last anyone saw Espada was when he was the third base coach and minor league manager in the Miami Marlins organization. This is obviously a behind the scenes kind of signing but if it helps us get back to the promised land then I am all for it. Welcome to the family, Joe.

RiverDogs Capture Prestigious Larry MacPhail Award

Marks the 2nd Time the Club Has Been Recognized Nationally as the Top Promotional Organization

CHARLESTONSC - Minor League Baseball announced on Tuesday that the Charleston RiverDogs are the winners of the 48th annual Larry MacPhail Award, symbolizing the top promotional effort in all of Minor League Baseball. The RiverDogs will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meeting Banquet at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in OrlandoFla., on Thursday, Dec. 12.
"The Charleston RiverDogs have been one of the clubs at the forefront of creating and developing fun, new ways to promote themselves at their ballpark and in their community through such campaigns as 'Be Your Own Fan' and 'Fun Is Good'," said Pat O'Conner, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball.
"Their involvement with the Charleston RBI Program and the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame are just two of the many ways that the RiverDogs also promote our great game in the South Carolina Lowcountry," he added.
 "On behalf of the entire Charleston RiverDogs family, we are thrilled to receive this prestigious honor," said Dave Echols, the RiverDogs Executive Vice President & General Manager. "The MacPhail Award is one of the most recognizable awards bestowed in professional baseball. This citation is a credit to our ownership group - The Goldklang Group - whose guidance and direction are for us to make sure that our fans enjoy what has become the 'RiverDogs experience.'   We accept this with great pride and humility, as we strive to share the philosophy of 'Fun Is Good.'"
The RiverDogs, who also won the MacPhail Award in 1998, join Hawaii (1969, 1970), Reading (1994, 1999), Richmond (1985, 1990) and Rochester (1967, 1997) as clubs which have won this award two times. 
This season, Charleston added to its already packed promotional schedule and ballpark experience with several additions which contributed to double digit increases in both overall (11.5 percent) and average (13.2 percent) attendance, compared to 2012. The South Atlantic League club introduced several new menu items, including three flavors of beer shakes, a Wacko Taco Stand with locally grown farm fresh vegetables, gluten-free beer and snacks and a peanut butter and jelly jalapeno bacon burger.
The club's "Healthy Challenge Tuesday" promotion included elements about living a healthier lifestyle. The RiverDogs teamed with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Wellness Center and created a new line of healthy concessions options available throughout the season, many made from crops grown on the MUSC Urban Farm located in downtown Charleston. Each Tuesday game featured a different item from these new healthy selections and the item was offered to fans at a discounted rate. 
Additionally, RiverDogs co-owner Bill Murray's South Atlantic League Hall of Fame induction speech was used as the cornerstone for the club's early season TV commercials. Charleston is extremely active on social media, with more than 22,000 Facebook fans and 11,000 Twitter followers, as well as Pinterest, Instagram and Vine accounts to connect and hear feedback from their fans. 
Charleston's marketing slogan of "Be Your Own Fan" is based primarily on direct interaction with its fans. The RiverDogs listened to them and moved up the start time for their Saturday games one hour to 6:05 p.m.
All 10 of their Monday home games featured a local non-profit organization and a season ticket holder was featured at every home game. All Peninsula youth baseball teams were outfitted in RiverDogs T-shirts for their uniforms, saving the city parks and recreation department more than $10,000. A youth baseball T-shirt promotion allowed players to receive discounts by wearing the shirts to games.
Other community initiatives included the club's signature charity, Kindness Beats Blindness, which benefits MUSC, Storm Eye Institute, and which has raised more than $250,000 over the past decade; Reading and Running With the RiverDogs, in which a staff member adopts a local third grade class; and the Charleston RBI Program, a local chapter of Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program.

Past Larry MacPhail Award Winners
1966    SpartanburgWestern Carolinas
1967    Rochester, International
1968    CocoaFlorida State
1969    HawaiiPacific Coast
1970    Wichita, A.A./Hawaii, PCL (Tie)
1971    Oklahoma City, American Association
1972    San AntonioTexas
1973    TucsonPacific Coast
1974    West Palm BeachFlorida State
1975    TacomaPacific Coast
1976    El PasoTexas/Cedar RapidsMidwest (Tie)
1977    ColumbusOH, International
1978    Nashville, Southern
1979    ColumbusOH, International
1980    Nashville, Southern
1981    Nashville, Southern
1982    El PasoTexas
1983    ArkansasTexas
1984    ColumbusOH, INT/Billings, Pioneer (Tie)
1985    Richmond, International
1986    Iowa, American Association
1987    AlbuquerquePacific Coast
1988    Birmingham, Southern
1989    Buffalo, American Association
1990    Richmond, International
1991    Salt Lake City, Pioneer
1992    Ft. MyersFlorida State
1993    El PasoTexas
1994    Reading, Eastern
1995    Kane CountyMidwest
1996    WilmingtonCarolina
1997    Rochester, International
1998    Charleston (SC), South Atlantic
1999    Reading, Eastern
2000    LowellNew York-Penn
2001    Tennessee, Southern
2002    LakewoodSouth Atlantic
2003    Trenton, Eastern
2004    Altoona, Eastern
2005    Brevard CountyFlorida State
2006    Round Rock, Pacific Coast
2007    West MichiganMidwest
2008    Ogden, Pioneer
2009    Chattanooga, Southern
2010    New Hampshire, Eastern
2011    Lake ElsinoreCalifornia
2012    WisconsinMidwest League

Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original post can be seen HERE.

What I'd Like To See For 2014 (Without Cano)

I have been talking about the 2014 Yankees while assuming two things. The first being that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire season, and the second being that the team will re-sign Robinson Cano. Although I'm almost 100% certain both of those things will happen, I'm going to do away with one of those assumptions. I'm going to look at the team as if Cano ends up elsewhere.

"You mean Robbie may not be a Yankee next year?"

It's not as though Robbie doesn't have any other suitors. They may not be an obvious match, but the Mariners, Rangers, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Mets, Nationals, and Cubs could all give Cano a strong look. And the Yankees are not the only team that would be willing to pay, either.

So other than what I've said in the past, what would I like to see happen should the Yankees not re-sign Cano?

  • Sign Brian McCann. He will cost in the neighborhood of 5 years and $85 million. I think it would be a year or two too long, but by years four and five of that deal, Brian could be the regular DH. Thus leading to Gary Sanchez or JR Murphy being the regular catcher at that point.
  • Sign Omar Infante. Three years and $25 million seems to be the number being thrown out their for Omar. We know the Yankees have interest in Infante, and for good reason. Omar is coming off a very nice season, and has plenty of postseason experience.
  • Sign Carlos Beltran. If it wasn't for being 37 years old, Beltran would be in for a 5+ year contract. But instead he's looking at another two year deal worth around $26 million. Carlos has been a very good player, who has built a great reputation for postseason heroics. 
  • Sign Jesse Crain. Due to missing the second half of this past season, Crain is likely going to be signed to a one-year deal with incentives. And assuming he does well like he did in the 1st half of 2013, he'll be primed for a multi-year contract a year from now. The Yankees may want to sign Crain no matter what. I'm thinking one year and $2 million plus incentives.

That would give the team the following 25-Man Roster...

Catcher - Brian McCann $17 million (signed for 5 years/$85 million)
First Base - Mark Teixeira $22.5 million
Second Base - Omar Infante $8.34 million (signed for 3 years/$25 million)
Third Base - Jayson Nix $1.4 million (arbitration 2)
Shortstop - Derek Jeter $12.81 million
Left Field - Curtis Granderson $14.1 million (signed for 1 year/$14.1 million qualifying offer)
Center Field - Brett Gardner $6 million (arbitration 3)
Right Field – Carlos Beltran $13 million (signed for 2 years/$26 million)
Designated Hitter - Alfonso Soriano $4 million

Bench - Eduardo Nunez $500,000 million (pre-arbitration)
Bench - Austin Romine $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Bench - Ichiro Suzuki $6.5 million
Bench - Brendan Ryan $3.25 (signed for 1 year/$3,250,000 million)

Starting Pitcher - CC Sabathia $24.4 million
Starting Pitcher - Masahiro Tanaka $10 million (signed for 6 years/$60 million)
Starting Pitcher - Ivan Nova $2.5 million (arbitration 1)
Starting Pitcher - Michael Pineda $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Starting Pitcher - David Phelps $500,000 (pre-arbitration)

Closer - David Robertson $5 million (arbitration 3)
Relief Pitcher - Jesse Crain $4 million (signed for 1 year/$2 million + incentives)
Relief Pitcher - Shawn Kelley $1.5 million (arbitration 2)
Relief Pitcher - Adam Warren $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - Dellin Betances $500,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - David Huff* $750,000 (pre-arbitration)
Relief Pitcher - Cesar Cabral* $500,000 (pre-arbitration)

Total (including the remaining 15 players on the 40-Man Roster, plus the team's portion of player bonuses)
$177.55 million

All Time New York Yankees Team - The Bullpen

 Mariano Rivera
 Goose Gossage
 Dave Righetti
 Johnny Murphy
 Sparky Lyle
 Allie Reynolds

To nobody's surprise Mariano Rivera is at the top of this list as Mo is the greatest closing pitcher of all time on any team, especially the New York Yankees. Before Mo made a failed attempt at being a starter in 1995 and was moved to the set up man spot in 1996 to only start his march towards being the greatest closer of all time the Yankees greatest closer was widely regarded as Goose Gossage. Dave Righetti was a great Yankees closer in the 80's for those terrible Yankees teams that everybody wants to forget.

Johnny Murphy is a name that many of you may not remember or know but I will leave it to you to check the stats. He was the greatest Yankees closer before the closer position was really established. He was more of a Yankees finisher then a closer but either way I want him in my bullpen. Sparky Lyle is my guy that will get left handed batters outs, a LOOGY before the LOOGY had a name. Yankees bullpen standout and has to have a spot in my bullpen as well. Allie Reynolds could have been put in the rotation or in the bullpen which is why I sort of took advantage of his versatility to put him in the last spot in this bullpen.

The Yankees, Free Agency, & Qualifying Offers

The New York Yankees have a much clearer look at the free agent market now that the qualifying offers have been handed down to free agents yesterday. Now the Yankees can look at their potential free agent targets and see if the cost outweighs the benefits of signing these free agents. Here we will take a look at the high spots of the qualifying offers and how they affect the Yankees.

Carlos Beltran is widely believed to be the Yankees starting right fielder in 2014 and the St. Louis Cardinals extended a qualifying offer to him yesterday. For the Yankees to sign Beltran they would have to give up somewhere in the market of $30,000,000 plus the 18th overall pick in the MLB First Year Player's Draft.

The Atlanta Braves also extended their catcher Brian McCann a qualifying offer, which is bad news for the Yankees. New York is linked to the 30 year old catcher and he may not be worth losing that 18th overall pick.

The Kansas City Royals extended a qualifying offer to Ervin Santana today which he will surely decline. With the Yankees linked to about every starting pitcher this is worth mentioning.

Ubaldo Jimenez opted out of his contract and was extended a qualifying offer as well. He may end up accepting it and getting a raise but I think he will search for a multi-year deal after a strong second half in 2013.

The Boston Red Sox did not offer Jarrod Saltalamacchia a qualifying offer so the Yankees may make a run at him as a catcher after a strong productive offense year for the World Series champions. The Sox did give offers to Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Stephen Drew though and neither seem worth the contract and the loss of the draft pick in my eyes.

The Detroit Tigers did not make any qualifying offers so if the Yankees are seriously interested in Jhonny Peralta, Omar Infante, Joaquin Benoit, etc they will not have to lose their first round pick to acquire any of them.

Joe Nathan may be an option for the Yankees as a closer after opting out of his contract with the Texas Rangers and was not extended a qualifying offer. We could sign him to a deal and not lose our first round pick although he would probably command a two or three year deal which makes me cautious.

Josh Johnson did not receive a qualifying offer from the Toronto Blue Jays as expected so the Yankees may take a high risk high reward kind of waiver on the right hander. He screams of AJ Burnett to me, both when he is off and when he is on, and would not mind him whatsoever if he is healthy. Well also if he is counted on as a 5th starter type and not a front line starter of course.

Finally the Seattle Mariners extended a qualifying offer to Kendrys Morales. Morales may be in the discussion for the Yankees DH position and as a back up for Mark Teixeira but probably not now with the cost of a draft pick looming.

Mariano Rivera Wins Marvin Miller Award

Mariano Rivera won the Comeback Player of the Year award last night but was not done taking home hardware as he also won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award. The New York Yankees closer was with the award that is given based on outstanding charitable work and character. Congratulations to Mo and good luck in his retirement endeavors.

Torre & The Boss On Expansion Era Hall of Fame Ballot

Former manager's are taking the front row seats at this years Hall of Fame voting for the Expansion Era ballot. Names like Joe Torre, George Steinbrenner, Tony LaRussa, and Bobby Cox will all be represented and on the ballot this season. Billy Martin is also on the ballot along with Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller. The Boss, Martin, Concepcion, Garvey, John, and Simmons have been on the ballot before and will seek the 75% of the vote needed to get into the hall this time around.

This ballot will be voted on next month by the Expansion Era Veterans Committee. The managers elected will be announced on December, 9th on the first day of the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/5

On this day in 1996 Derek Jeter was unanimously chosen as the Rookie of the Year from the Major League Baseball Writer's Association of America. Jeter, 22, is the eight Yankees player to win the Rookie of the Year award in their storied history and the first since Dave Righetti won the award in 1981.