Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kershaw & Scherzer Win Cy Young Awards

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers has won the National League Cy Young Award tonight and the Detroit Tigers Max Scherzer has won the American League Cy Young Award. Congratulations to both men, their teams, and their families and fans on the awards.

UPDATE: Yankees Close To Signing Brendan Ryan

Update 2: It turns out that Ryan and the Yankees had a contract figured out weeks ago. However, the deal was put on hold since Brendan had to have minor surgery, and they had to wait for a physical afterwards.

Update: The Yankees are close to signing Brendan Ryan to a deal for the 2014 season and maybe beyond. No word on the contract details yet but the deal is said to be "small" AAV wise as should be expected. This is purely an insurance signing for Jeter and will not prevent the Yankees from making deals to replace or backup Alex Rodriguez.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that there is mutual interest between free agent short stop Brendan Ryan and the New York Yankees for a reunion in the 2014 season. Ryan was acquired last September as a defensive replacement for the Yankees at short and really impressed with his glove and his range. He also improved, however marginally, under Kevin Long with the bat and all this has the Yankees wanting him back as a back up insurance plan at short stop for Derek Jeter.

Yankees Will Not Sign Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson would really help out the Yankees bullpen in 2014 and beyond but if you had any ideas of that happening you can put them to rest as Wilson himself killed any chances of that happening. Wilson said, via his agent of course, he would not shave his beard and would not sign with the Yankees for that reason. Really? The beard is what keeps you from coming to New York? First David Price and now Wilson? I smell a trend...

Yankees Have Contacted Kelly Johnson

Earlier in the season I posted a post about the worst case scenario for the Yankees hypothesizing what the Yanks would do if Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter all retired as well as Robinson Cano walking away in free agency. In that post I noted that the Yankees could still compete if they filled in and upgraded everywhere they could and signed maybe the second best offensive and home run hitting second basemen in Kelly Johnson. This all but confirms that Brian Cashman and/or Hal Steinbrenner reads The Greedy Pinstripes because the Yankees have contacted Johnson about being a possible backup plan if Cano walks in free agency, basically making me a prophet.

Johnson is 31 years old and is coming off of a .235/.305/.410 triple slash with 16 home runs last season for the Tampa Bay Rays. Johnson plays multiple positions including two positions of need for the Yankees, second base and third base, including a little bit of left field. Johnson figures to take a one year deal with a low AAV, which makes him more attractive then Omar Infante or Stephen Drew, and his left handed swing could see a jump in stats in Yankees Stadium. Johnson strikes out a little too much, over 26% of the time, and does not walk as much as you would like, a little less then 10% of the time, but he may be the best offensive second power threat we could get if Cano walks.

Report: Yankees Interested In David Freese

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees and Cardinals have discussed a trade for Cardinals third baseman David Freese.

It is unclear what St. Louis would want in return, but considering that Freese had a down season last year hitting .262/.340/.381/.721, it would probably not be much.

Even though the Yankees are operating under the assumption that Alex Rodriguez will play next year they have to consider backup plans and Freese would be a nice and cheap pickup.

Even in a down season for him Freese's 106 wRC+ was not terrible. Freese is only 30 years old, so it is reasonable that last year was just a fluke bad year and that he can return to his original form.

Freese's career numbers are .286/.356/.437/.783 with a .345 wOBA and 119 wRC+. The Yankees would take those numbers from him next season for sure.

Freese's luxury tax number is very low, so that is a non issue, and he should not cost a high level prospect. Freese has also been known as a clutch player in his career, as he was the 2011 World Series MVP. He had a record 21 RBI for that entire postseason.

Freese could be like when the Yankees acquired Nick Swisher. A guy coming off a down year, but should be able to bounce back towards his career numbers. Freese would be a very solid pickup for the Yankees.

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Washington Nationals Interested In Boone Logan

The General Manager meetings are going on in Florida and there are sure to be a ton of these little blurbs coming your way this week. Today we learned that the Washington Nationals are showing early signs of interest in left handed relief pitcher Boone Logan. Logan spent the last four seasons in Yankees pinstripes and posted a combined 3.38 ERA with 202 strike outs in 176 innings pitched. That is saying something as Boone was used against right handed batters as well as left handed batters, although Washington seemingly wants him for a LOOGY type role with the Nationals. Boone is coming off of surgery in his throwing elbow to repair and clean up a bone spur that cost him some time at the end of last season and it remains to be seen whether that will affect his free agency status so stay tuned.

All Home Grown Yankees Team - The Positional Players

Continuing with our look at the Yankees all home grown team from the last 20 years or so we look at the positional players the Yankees have brought through their system. I wanna start off by apologizing to the likes of Shelley Duncan, Corban Joseph, Ramiro Pena, Francisco Cervelli, JR Murphy, and Austin Romine for not making this list. Let's take a look at the guys that did make the list for the best home grown positional players that the Yankees have developed in recent memory. 

1B: Don Mattingly
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Eduardo Nunez
LF: Austin Jackson
CF: Bernie Williams
RF: Alfonso Soriano
C: Jorge Posada
DH: Nick Johnson

Obviously I stretched the "20 years" mandate a little bit for Donnie Baseball here as he made his major league debut in 1982. I felt compelled to use him because, I mean besides the fact that he is Don Mattingly, he was right on the cusp of the cour four era. Granted I guess you could say him retiring ended the George Steinbrenner going bat sh*t crazy era and started the dynasty era but that's what makes owning your own site a great thing, you do what you want. All along I said the last "20 years or so" and this man was why.

Robinson Cano is likely to finish as one of the best second basemen in all of baseball after coming up in 2005 from the Yankees system. Cano is already making a case for beating out Joe Gordon, Bill Dickey, and Tony Lazzeri as the best Yankees second basemen in their very storied history whether he leaves town or not this off season as a free agent.

Derek Jeter is the greatest Yankees short stop in their history, no disrespect to Phil Rizzuto, and the greatest captain in their history. A short list of captains includes Don Mattingly, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Thurman Munson, and Babe Ruth to name a few so that is really saying something. The piece of five World Series championships and the first Yankees to ever reach the 3000 hit mark makes Jeter a mainstay on all these lists.

I included Eduardo Nunez as the third basemen after spending a good chunk of time towards the end of the 2013 season at the hot corner. I also think that he will be our Opening Day third basemen in 2014 if Alex Rodriguez gets suspended like we all think he will. I also feel obligated to mention that the Yankees have not had much in the way of home grown third basemen in their history, especially in the last 20 years or so.

Austin Jackson is a center fielder but is way too good to be included on the bench so I am slotting him in left field for this list. Jackson has excelled as a center fielder both with the bat and in the field for the Tigers after being traded in the deal that brought the Yankees Curtis Granderson. Jackson is also one of the best lead off hitters in the game and brings a speed on the base paths that kills other teams catchers and pitchers.

Brett Gardner has been disrespected ever since he came into the game having to split time with Melky Cabrera, riding the bench as a part time player, and people like myself even clamored for the likes of Manny Ramirez on the team over him in 2009. I can admit when I am wrong, and I like being wrong because it was the whole Manny Ramirez as a free agent thing that gave us the name The Greed Pinstripes, as Gardner has been a mainstay at the top of the Yankees lineup and in center field since being given the full time job.

Bernie Williams was not included in the Cour Four for obvious reasons, although I think that he ultimately should have been, including having coming up in the early 90's and not the 95-96 calendar year and not having a World Series ring in 2009. Bernie was still the beef in the middle of the lineup, the best defender we had in center field, and a great clubhouse leader that was part of four of the five Yankees championships. Jeter, Mo, Posada, and Andy or not we do not win a couple of those World Series without Bernie, bottom line.

Alfonso Soriano came through the Yankees system after being signed out of Japan in the 2002 season and quickly burst onto the scene making a run at being a 40/40 player. Soriano hit lead off home run after lead off home run in 2003 before being traded to the Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez. Soriano has bounced around a bit and has even moved position to the outfield but is back with the Yankees for the 2014 season and had to be a part of this list.

Jorge Posada came up with the Yankees during the 1995 season and was on the bench for the 1996 World Series championship run. Although he really did not catch on with the Yankees as a back up until 1997 and did not start full time until the 1998 season. Even with all that said Posada is part of the cour four and has five World Series championships after spending time as a second basemen for much of his minor league time.

Finally we finish the list with Nick Johnson as the Yankees DH after being drafted by New York in the 1996 draft. Nick was brought up to play first base but injuries forced Johnson to be more of the DH only type with the Yankees, Indians, and Orioles. Nick was traded to the Expos for Javier Vazquez the first time and came back to New York in 2010 before missing most of the season with another injury. Nick was always coveted for his patience at the plate, high walk numbers, home run swing, and open and unique stance at the plate.

Looking Back At My 2013 Cy Young Award Predictions

2013 Predictions : Cy Young

The 2013 season is right around the corner and I wanted to take a stab at predicting who I think will win the American League and National League Cy Young Awards. Since my psychic ability is about as good as the economy these days I would not put much stock into these predictions as they are merely for fun but here goes anyway.

The winner of the Cy Young Award in the American League will be Jered Weaver. Jered will have an insane amount of run support with Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and company behind him, the defense is always going to be good on a Mike Scoscia team and a team that includes Mike Trout, and the bullpen should be pretty strong as well. I can Jered Weaver winning as many as 22 games next season for the Halos.

Finished 11-8 3.27 ERA 1.140 WHIP

The winner of the Cy Young Award in the National League will be Adam Wainwright. He showed a lot of little glimpses of coming back healthy from Tommy John surgery last season and I fully expect him to build on that in 2013. With a great bullpen behind him and the usual Cardinals lineup I can see Adam Wainwright pushing for 20 wins again in 2013. I know it is probably not the popular pick like a Stephen Strasburgh but that is my prediction and I'm sticking to it.

Finished 18-9 3.01 ERA 1.079 WHIP

Wrong and wrong again, again by a lot. I am glad I do not play the lottery or do any kind of sports betting because I could not afford the domain and the hosting for this site. I suck, there I said it. Jered Weaver did not come close to my expectations although Adam Wainwright had a great comeback 2013 season. Wainwright is a finalist for the award in the National League so we will see if he nails it down tonight at 6:00 pm ET on MLB Network. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/13

On this day in 1931 the Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert would buy the International League's team out in Newark, New Jersey. The Newark Bears funneled many good players to the Yankees big league club while under Ruppert's watchful eye.

On this day in 1978 the Yankees signed free agent pitcher Luis Tiant to a two year deal worth $875,000.

On this day in 1998 the first home run ever hit in Yankees Stadium, thrown by Red Sox pitcher Howard Ehmke and hit by none other than Babe Ruth, was sold at auction for $126,500. Mark Scala was the seller after finding the historic ball in his grandmothers attic.

On this day in 2008 the Yankees landed right fielder Nick Swisher and AAA right handed pitcher Kaneoka Teixeira from the Chicago White Sox for pitching prospects Jeffrey Marquez and Johnny Nunez, as well as infielder Wilson Betemit.

On this day in 2010 at the Louisville Slugger Museum the ball that Babe Ruth hit out of the park for his 702nd home run was sold at auction for $264,500. The ball went for three times the estimated value after being passed down through three generations before being sold.