Saturday, December 14, 2013

YES Network Ends 10 Year Run With Mike Francesa

The YES Network has been the place to watch and listen to the Mike Francesa Show for the last ten years but that will come to an end in January. The network will replace Francesa with the Michael Kay Show which I think is a good move. While I will miss the sound bites and the Youtube videos with Francesa in them this is a better move for the YES Network. Now if we could just do something with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman...

Yankees Rejected Cano's Last Minute "Discount"

I have heard people say this on Twitter and such but finally a credible news source has reported that Robinson Cano called the Yankees and offered them a "home town discount" before signing with Seattle. According to the great Pete Caldera, SEEN HERE, Cano had his 10 year and $240 million contract in his hand and called the Yankees offering them his services for 10 years and $235 million. Cano was very gracious in giving us that $5 million home town discount. The Yankees obviously declined and the rest is history.

The Yankees Should Pounce On Brett Tomko

Wait, what? Brett Tomko? Yes that Brett Tomko. The 40 year old is also looking to make a comeback, a la Adam Kennedy and Mark Mulder, and is showcasing his talents down in the Dominican Republic. Tomko is hitting 90-93 MPH on the radar gun and is said to be seeking a minor league deal this winter. Tomko has not pitched in the majors since 2011 when he made eight relief appearances for the Texas Rangers and is a former Yankees player as he pitched for New York in 2009 for about 20 minutes, or 15 games. You know what I say, there is no such thing as a bad minor league deal. Get it done, Cash!

Yankees & Cubs Have Discussed Darwin Barney

According to Bruce Levine, I doubt he is related to Randy Levine in case you were wondering, the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs have discussed a trade that would bring second basemen Darwin Barney to New York. These talks happened before Robinson Cano and Omar Infante came off the Yankees board so the speculation is that talks may begin again.

Barney is 28 years old and the equivalent of Brendan Ryan at second base, great defense and absolutely no bat. I have to wonder if we are interested in someone like that why don't we just use Ryan there and have Nunez on the roster for insurance purposes? I digress, Barney is a 10 or more runs saved per season kind of guy which would be nice to have around with Derek Jeter's diminishing range but at what cost? I know we cannot replace Cano's offense but we could at least try, this is not even trying. If this is the best we can do just put Kelly Johnson at second base like I said to in September.

Barney is under team control for three more seasons and is projected to earn $2.1 million in his first trip through arbitration.

Mistake Passing on Omar Infante

Omar Infante has agreed to a four-year deal worth about $30 million with the Kansas City Royals. This takes a Yankees second base option off the board and the Yankees made a mistake not matching this contract. 

The Yankees offered Infante a three-year deal for $24 million. The deal that he got with the Royals is very fair, especially when you look at the lack of second base options left on the free agent market.  

Infante hit .318/.340/.450/.795 with 117 wRC+ last season for Detroit in what was a career season for him. Infante will turn 32 years old on Dec. 26, so a four-year contract is not outrageous. According to Fangraphs, Infante was worth $9.6 million in 2011, $13.1 million in 2012 and $15.4 million last season, so the Royals did not overpay at all and may have even underpaid him. 

Considering the best remaining second baseman on the market is 37-year old Mark Ellis the Yankees really dropped the ball here. Infante may not repeat his career season last year since his .333 BABIP was lucky, but he at minimum is a league average second baseman and probably a not above that. Infante is also solid defensively, as he was worth 3.8 runs above league average last year and 11.2 runs above league average in 2012. 

The Yankee infield is a mess right now and Infante would have solidified the right side of the infield along with Mark Teixeira. Now, the Yankees do not know who will be starting at second or third base currently and have players coming back from injuries at shortstop and first base. Between that and their pitching the Yankees have a lot of work left to be done and Infante could have really help. 

With Infante Gone Where Do The Yankees Go From Here?

Robinson Cano is gone, Omar Infante is gone, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, and a bunch of other guys are gone so where do the Yankees go from here? Since I pretty much predicted Andy Pettitte retiring and Robinson Cano leaving in free agency, sorry about that, I will take a stab at what the Yankees will do now going forward.

Kelly Johnson is your second basemen on Opening Day. I said that back in September and I say that again today, not the most ideal option but he can hit 20 home runs, drive in 80 RBI's, and hit around .270. Is he Cano? Nope, nobody is, but he will get the job done on the defensive side. Also the Yankees have upgraded in two outfield spots and the designated hitter spot as well as at first base with a healthy Mark Teixeira and majorly upgraded behind the dish. Long story short we will survive the Cano loss and it will suck, probably for two to three years, but it will be better for the Yankees in the long run.

What the Yankees will do now is head out to find an upgrade at third base, enter Stephen Drew. It will cost a draft pick to sign Drew, it's not like we don't know what that's like this offseason, but if we can sell him on being a third basemen, or a second basemen for that matter, then I think we go "big" for him. I called that we would continue to target guys who had turned down qualifying offers, specifically Drew, and I think it's time to start showing interest.

If Drew wants to play third then Johnson is your second basemen. If Drew wants to play second base then you make Johnson your third basemen. If Drew wants to play shortstop then he will likely join Curtis Granderson in New York with the true New Yorkers, the Mets. If Drew heads elsewhere I think we simply sign Mark Reynolds for third base and make a run at Chase Headley in July.

The team would have looked great with Cano and all these additions, the team would have looked good with Infante at second base, and the team will be fine without them both. We're the Yankees dammit!

Vernon Wells Will Wear #19 In 2014

Vernon Wells announced breaking news via his Twitter that he gave up his #22 for Jacoby Ellsbury and will wear #19 next season. Breaking news if anyone cares.

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/14

On this day in 1950 four owners were selected to choose a new commissioner for baseball, as soon as possible. The Yankees owner Del Webb, Braves owner Lou Perini, Cubs owner Phil Wrigley, and Indians owner Ellis Ryan were the four men who chose the new commissioner.

On this day in 1960 Major League Baseball expanded its team base two additional teams with the "new" Washington Senators and the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees southpaw Bobby Shantz was selected by Washington and Yankees righty Ed Grba was selected by the Angels in the expansion draft.

On this day in 1985 Yankees outfielder Roger Maris dies after a two year battle with lymphatic cancer at age 51. Former Yankees teammates Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, John Blanchard, and Bill Skowron served as pall bearers.

On this day in 2010 Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees offer of $150 million for a $120 dollar deal to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee joins Roy Halladay in probably what is the best rotation in all of baseball down in Philadelphia.

On this day in 2012 Kevin Youkilis became the latest member of Red Sox nation to come over to the Dark Side and sign with the New York Yankees. Youk signed a one year deal worth $12 million to be the third basemen in New York.