Friday, November 8, 2013

Add Haren, Arroyo, & Feldman To The Yankees Wish List

Add a few more names to the Yankees Christmas wishlist and shopping list this evening as Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees are interested in pitchers Bronson Arroyo, Scott Feldman, and Dan Haren. Okay so I know that Brian Cashman has to work the phones, do his due diligence, leave no stone un-turned, explore every option, etc. I get that and I appreciate that and the effort but being interested in a guy like Arroyo makes absolutely no sense. Either way the Yankees seem to be ready to become very aggressive at next week's GM Meetings.

Arroyo is 36 years old and went to the National League because he could not cut in the American League anymore, specifically in the AL East, so I think a move back would be foolish. Arroyo is coming off of a 3.79 ERA and 4.49 FIP in a traditionally home run friendly ballpark in Cincinnati in 202 innings pitched. If the Yankees needed a 5th or 6th starter type and had every other position filled then sure you an make room for a big innings eater that can keep you into games but right now I still say we have to pass on Bronson.

Feldman had a pretty decent season split between the Chicago Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles and may be a sleeper pick for whoever acquires him in 2014. Feldman is only 30 years old and is coming off a combined 3.86 ERA and  4.03 FIP in 182.2 innings pitched. Feldman will likely not command a long or big money contract and could fit nicely in or around the #3 spot in our rotation so I say make a guy like Masahiro Tanaka a priority but after that is in the bag I could see us going after a guy like Feldman.

Dan Haren scares the hell out of me after he struggled in a strong National League East division last year with the Nationals. That task is only going to get harder in the American League East with the Yankees if he were to come here although he did pitch better in the second half then he did in the first. I know we were after him at the end of last season but that was only to upgrade over Phil Hughes, now he has a little bit bigger shoes to fill so right now I may have to pass.

Current Batch Of Yankees Minor League Free Agents

Baseball America has listed their annual list of minor league free agents and quite a few members of the New York Yankees have made the list. Some of these guys you may have heard of and most you probably have not and some may be back for 2014 depending on how the winter goes. Oh and one was suspended for 50 games for being part of the Biogenesis scandal, go figure. Anyway, here is the list:

RHP: Cory Arbiso (AA), Sam Demel (AAA), Yoshinori Tateyama (AAA)

C: Bobby Wilson (AAA)

1B: Andrew Clark (AA), Randy Ruiz (AAA)

2B: Reegie Corona (AA)

SS: Walter Ibarra (AAA)

OF: Fernando Martinez (AAA), Corey Patterson (AAA)

Fernando Martinez was the third member of the Yankees to be suspended for the Biogenesis fallout just in case you were wondering and have been living under a rock for the past four or five months or so and is not expected to be back. Corey Patterson was a veteran depth signing to help an ailing Scranton outfield and is also not expected back in pinstripes in 2014. I do not expect Bobby Wilson, Andrew Clark, Cory Arbiso, or Yoshinori Tateyama back with the Yankees next season. 

Walter Ibarra may come back as the Yankees utility guy in the minor leagues as he has a lot of familiarity within the organization as long as he has been here. Same with Corona as he has spent his entire professional career with the Yankees bouncing around. Sam Demel pitched his butt off in Scranton and has major league experience and with so much uncertainty coming from the Yankees bullpen in 2014 he may stick around for a shot at the big club. 

Not any eye popping names here that we absolutely have to bring back but one thing the Yankees lacked last year was depth and bringing a few of these guys back, namely Ibarra and Demel, will be mutually beneficial in 2014.

Yankees Bring Back Entire Coaching Staff For 2014

The New York Yankees have announced that they will bring back Joe Girardi’s entire coaching staff for the 2014 season. Mitch Kelleher will be manning first base, Robby Thompson will still be sending too many runners at third base to be gunned down, Mike Harkey will return as Girardi’s bullpen coach, Larry Rothschild will be the pitching coach, and Kevin Long will return as the Yankees hitting guru hitting coach. Most importantly Tony Pena will be the bench coach for Joe Girardi and not get a managerial deal, at least as of right now anyway. Sometimes change is nice and sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know but which one this story is has yet to be determined. While I genuinely like all of the faces that we have here I would not have minded trying out Tino Martinez in the hitting coach position. I also would not have minded seeing Tony Pena get a shot as a manager somewhere else because he deserves it and is probably long overdue for another shot at being the man. Either way this is your Yankees coaching staff for 2014 now let’s move on to filling the 40 man roster.

Brandon Phillps vs. Omar Infante

Recently, reports have come out about the Yankees' backup options in case Robinson Cano leaves. I still fully expect Cano to return to the Bronx, but you never know.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Yankees inquired about Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, but that the price was too steep.

George A King III of the New York Post reported that the Yankees will look towards Omar Infante if Cano were to bolt.

Phillips is a player that I would probably not reach the Reds' asking price on because I see him as a player in decline right now. Phillips' .706 OPS last season was the worst of his career and his 91 wRC+ was his worst since 2008.

Phillips' power really hasn't diminished, as he hit 18 home runs for the fourth consecutive season. However, his horrible .310 OBP last year is a huge issue. At age 32 I do not see Phillips getting a whole lot better with the bat if he has already started to decline.

One thing Phillips still has working in his favor is that he is still is an elite defender at second base. That part of his game has not declined. He had a 10.9 defensive rating and a 8.6 UZR last season.

Infante enjoyed a career season for Detroit last year, as he hit .318/.345/.450/.795 and 117 wRC+ in 118 games. Infante is also 32 years old, but seems to be on the upswing in his career.

Infante offers more positional flexibility than Phillips, and he can even be an option for third base if Cano re signs and Alex Rodriguez is suspended. Infante's defense is passable with a 2.0 UZR and a 3.8 defensive rating last year.

When you factor in that Infante will not cost you and prospects, and may be the better overall player at this point, than he would probably be the way to go if Cano leaves. You would have been crazy for taking Infante over Phillips a few years ago, but now that seems like the way to go.

However, the bottom line remains that there is a huge gap between Infante and Cano. If Cano were to leave in free agency the Yankees would have a very little chance of being a contending team in 2014.

Daniel already mentioned this, but here is another reminder. I am doing a survey for a research class for college about the distribution of wealth in the United States. I need as many responses as possible, so if you can please fill it out by clicking HERE I would really appreciate it. It will take less than a minute of your time I promise! Thank you very much.

Scorpions winning streak ends with 4-2 loss to Rafters

Yankees prospect Peter O'Brien went 1-for-4 with a double last night as the Scorpions had their three-game win streak snapped by the Salt River Rafters, 4-2. This one aired nationally on the MLB Network, so I actually was able to watch it.

But, it wasn't a very fun game to witness. The Rafters got ahead early, stayed ahead, and then won. At one point, the Scorps did get within 1 run of tieing the game, but then their rally was killed. On the bright side, Bombers prospect Fred Lewis did throw a scoreless inning of relief, but they still lost. So it was a bad night. 

The All Time New York Yankees Team

This week we have been looking at the all time team for the New York Yankees breaking it down by starting pitching, the bullpen, the positional players, and the bench. We have assembled, in my opinion, the best 25 man roster that we could from past players of the Yankees. Let's take a look at the results from our findings and research from this week.

SP: Andy Pettitte
SP: Whitey Ford
SP: Ron Guidry
SP: Red Ruffing
SP: Lefty Gomez

1B: Lou Gehrig
2B: Tony Lazzeri
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Graig Nettles
LF: Joe DiMaggio
CF: Mickey Mantle
RF: Babe Ruth
C: Yogi Berra
DH: Reggie Jackson

BN: Jorge Posada
BN: Willie Randolph
BN: Don Mattingly
BN: Phil Rizzuto
BN: Bill Dickey

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

Nobody, I repeat, Nobody can put up an all time list to match what we have looked at this week with the New York Yankees. The Yankees have pitching on both ends of the game while the starters seemingly only have to go four or five innings and hand it over to that bullpen for a victory. That is the only way that the relievers and closers will get a shot to get in the game because the offense we are putting out there has the ability to put up 8-10 runs a game. There is not a glaring weakness anywhere on that field or on the bench. I challenge any team to try and match this all time team because no one is touching the franchise with the most tradition and history in all of sports, let alone baseball.

Is Vidal Nuno Injured?

I just want to point out that this is pure speculation and a guess here based off of a Facebook post so take it with a grain of salt and remember that this is not confirmed by any means. I raised the question of whether or not we have something to worry about with Vidal Nuno after he posted on his Facebook that he was finally back in San Diego, his hometown.

My first question was where were the Scottsdale Scorpions playing last night? Well they were playing at the Salt River Rafters who play their games in Scottsdale, Arizona so that option was out. I then began to think the worst because of how serious Nuno's groin injury was from 2013. Nuno pitched Wednesday night so he could just be going home in between starts but the way the Yankees and their health have been lately I wouldn't get my hopes up just yet.

We Must Forgive All Steroids Users Starting Right Now

I have made it my new goal and mission in life, for this blog, and in general to remove the bad juju that is fumigating around the New York Yankees right now due to steroids, suspensions, and all that jazz. I have made it my job to try and convert as many people as I can to the side of forgiving the steroid users that have admittedly given a black eye to the sport that we all obviously love. I will not defend their bad decisions, nor will I ever support their bad decisions, but I will look at this from a fans perspective. I am a father to a three year old and soon to be another future Yankees player so I know, understand, and appreciate the message that it sends to children but I also think that that's where parenting steps in. Sure we can look up to these guys as super heroes but we also have to understand, even at a young age, that these men are just that, men. They are human and they make mistakes and it is how they handle themselves and the situation after the fact that they should be judged on. I personally do not believe in throwing the first stone, especially when my closet is probably not as clean as I would like it to be, and I do not believe it is my place to judge them.I was taught to forgive those who need it, not those who ask for it, and that is what this is all about. Agree, disagree, feel indifferent, it is what it is.

I'll be honest this whole thing started out as a joke and a way to just fill time during a lull in Yankees news but it has turned into a borderline obsession. The more I wrote the more I got to thinking why in the hell should I be mad at Alex Rodriguez, Francisco Cervelli, etc for failing steroid tests? I did not allow him to take them and turn a blind eye to their use because it brought back a game that was on life support, that's ownership and management. I did not put A Rod's face on every television show, newspaper, blog, and internet site finding anything and everything to bash the guy about and ignoring the "guilty until proven innocent" mindset that has made this country great, that's the media. I'm not the one who paid reportedly $5 million to get a testimony from the guy selling and supplying the players with the PED's, that was Bud Selig. I am the one who supports, loves, and lives all things New York Yankees. I am the one who is here to be entertained and watch my team win as many games as they can and I have done all that and more in my Yankees watching lifetime. I have been entertained watching Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, and whoever else was linked to steroids.

If there was a clean slate across the board I may feel differently but as much as we all loved watching the dynasty Yankees how do we know who did and who didn't? I know one thing I balled my eyes out when Andy made his final start in New York and then again when he made his final start in Houston. I didn't because Andy played the game clean, he didn't, and I didn't because he admitted it, although that helps, I did it because I love the New York Yankees.

What we as the fans do not understand is these guys are not on call 24/7. They are not firefighters, police officers, super heroes, doctors, nurses, etc etc etc. These men are baseball players and they get paid, quite well I might add, to play a kids game and entertain us. These guys are not on call they get paid to play a game a few hours a night for 162 games plus a season, that's it. Who cares if their significant others feed them popcorn while playing a game, get over it. Who cares if they don't wear their seat belt, it's their life in their own hands. Who cares if they took steroids, how did it affect you personally? How did they cheat a game that was reeling and dying after the greed of Bud Selig wanting a salary cap to maximize revenue for himself that is now flourishing not only in the states but world wide? They cheated themselves, sure, but that's between them and their God. Who am I to judge?

I don't buy my MLB TV subscriptions, my Yankees jerseys, hats, tickets, memorabilia, and run this blog because of what the players do off the field. I will not stop doing or purchasing any of these things if every damn one of them failed a steroid test tomorrow. I love this team, this team is my passion, and I support any and every player that puts those pinstripes on their back. I don't agree with them doing steroids or anything illegal to the game or to the law but that is not my place to judge them and make them out to be the second coming of the devil. These men are here to entertain you. That's what they are paid to do and that's why we continue to pay them, whether directly or indirectly, to do that. That's it.

  I want ONE Yankees fan, notice I said fan, to come to me and tell me that they were not entertained watching Alex Rodriguez hit 50 home runs a season or leading us to the 2009 World Series. I want ONE fan to say they did not enjoy Francisco Cervelli get clutch hit after clutch hit last season for us in limited time. I want ONE fan to tell me they did not enjoy watching Andy Pettitte's career, support the hell out of him, and cry their eye balls out when he pitched his final game in New York and in Houston. Go ahead, I'll give you my email address. You have my twitter account name. I'll give you my cell number, I feel that strongly about this.

When you look at a guy like David Ortiz who can relax at the plate and doesn't feel like he has the weight of the world and his city on his shoulders and he can come out and hit in the .700's in the World Series. The first thing you think about when you think of David Ortiz, a steroid user, is not his past in most cases. A Rod on the other hand is vilified. A Rod could go out there and hit .800 in the World Series and still be asked questions about the other two at bats where he made an out. The last time the entire team, fans, and city had A Rod's back seemed like it was 2009 and look how that worked out for us. This is not just A Rod too, this is all steroid users. We need to forgive Ryan Braun, we need to forgive David Ortiz, we need to forgive Barry Bonds, we need to forgive Roger Clemens, we need to forgive Rafael Palmeiro, we need to forgive them all. If you can forgive ONE of them you have to forgive them all. If you want Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame then you have to forgive them all. If you even know who Shoeless Joe Jackson was then you have to forgive them all.

My last question that I leave with everyone is this... if Derek Jeter failed a test tomorrow would you forgive him?

Hiroki Kuroda May Be Heading Back To Japan

Hiroki Kuroda has basically said that he would likely sign either with the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, or go back to his native Japan to finish out his career. The Yankees are thinking that Kuroda is leaning towards the latter to pitch for the Hiroshima Carp before riding off into the sunset to end his career. The Yankees offered him a qualifying offer so they would only get a pick if he signed with a team like the Dodgers and not if he returned to Japan. Kuroda is expected to decline that offer after making $15,000,000 last season plus incentives.

Kuroda has disappeared down the stretch two years in a row now and entering his age 39 season I have to admit that I would not be terrible upset if he went to Japan and I would be borderline ecstatic if he went to the Dodgers for one more round.

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/8

On this day in 1951 the Baseball Writers Association of America, BBWAA, named Yogi Berra of the New York Yankees the American League Most Valuable Player. Ned Garver of the Browns won 20 games this year on a last place team and finished second in the voting. Roy Campanella would win the award in the National League making this the first two that two catchers have both won the MVP award in the same season.