Friday, December 20, 2013

$3 Million Kept Us From Having Shin-Soo Choo

The Yankees have to be kidding me right now. The Yankees were willing to go seven years and $140 million on OBP King Shin Soo Choo and let him walk over $3 million? I can see ending a deal over years, see Robinson Cano and Omar Infante for great examples of letting guys go elsewhere for too many years, but not $3 million. The YES Network probably makes $3 million between the hours of midnight and 2:00 pm ET, obviously sarcasm but you get my point. The Yankees were angered because Scott Boras asked for $3 million more and instead turned their attention to Carlos Beltran and again this is after they had signed Jacoby Ellsbury. I don't get it, oh well. There is still time.

Yankees Sell Yamaico Navarro To Korea

Well that didn't take long now did it. Earlier in the offseason the Yankees made it priority number one to add depth to their minor league system in all facets of the game, especially infield depth. That depth took a hit today as the Yankees sold Yamaico Navarro to Korea and the Samsung Lions. The only person happy about this is probably Jayson Nix as that opened up another spot for minor league infield depth.

Kevin Youkilis Signs With The Rakuten Golden Eagles

Isn't it ironic that the Yankees have made the Rakuten Golden Eagles star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka their number one priority this season and we lost one of our own free agents, Kevin Youkilis, to that same team? Where is our $20 million for Youkilis signing with Rakuten? We should get Tanaka as compensation, it's only fair right? On a serious note though when Youkilis turned down any offer the Yankees may have even thought about offering by saying he wanted to play closer to his family on the West Coast I thought that meant the United States, not Japan.

Gary Tuck Named New Yankees Bullpen Coach

Gary Tuck was the immediate front runner for the vacant Yankees bullpen coach job when Mike Harkey left to be the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks and today that came to fruition. This is Tuck's 32nd year in professional baseball as a player, coach, scout, and manager and was most recently the Boston Red Sox bullpen coach from 2007-2012. It is also worth mentioning that Tuck was current Yankees manager Joe Girardi's bench coach in 2006 while both men were with the Florida Marlins.

Guest Blogger Pinch Hitting: Adam Hamburger

This post from Adam Hamburger in our Guest Blogger Pinch Hitting section has been a week or two in the making so I am excited to finally be sharing this with you all. Here is a short bio about Adam:

Adam Hamburger currently lives in Washington D.C. where he is a 21 year old senior at American University. Adam is studying Criminology and Political Science with the intention of pursuing a career in federal law enforcement. He grew up in Long Island, NY and began following the Yankees at age 4. Adam was a little too young to appreciate those terrific dynasty years of the late ‘90s, unfortunately! While baseball is his favorite sport, Adam is interested in all things sports. He also closely follows hockey, football, tennis, golf and basketball. Adam was thrilled to participate in the U.S. Open tennis tournament as a ball-person during his high school years. Besides the Yankees, Adam’s favorite teams are the New York Jets and the New York Rangers, followed by the New York Knicks. But it’s baseball that matters most. And Adam watches with great interest where his favorite Yankees players end up once they leave the team. Whatever is going on with the Yankees or a former Yankee, you can be sure Adam will have something to say!

Adam can be reached at his Twitter account @AdamHamburger21 or his email address:

The New York Yankees spending spree this offseason is in direct contrast to the team’s offseason outlook one year ago, while spurring memories of the 2008-2009 offseason. As we remember, the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time that year since 1993 and splurged on the following players: C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira. The addition of those players helped the Yankees win their first World Series title since 2000.

It seemed as if the Yankees would employ a similar strategy of adding the presumed “missing piece” as they continuously did in the 2000s after being swept in the 2012 ALCS by the Detroit Tigers. Instead, for 2013, they implemented a stringent mandate to bring their payroll under $189 million to avoid paying the luxury tax. As a result, the Yankees new-found budgetary restrictions enabled the Pittsburgh Pirates to sign Russell Martin to a three-year, 17 million dollar contract. Instead of easily matching that contract offer, the Yankees thought that going with the trio of Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, and Austin Romine would work despite losing a hefty amount of their offensive production by letting Nick Swisher sign with the Indians along with the aforementioned Martin departure.

The Yankees perceived that the catching trio would fit under the notion that “defense wins championships.” Meanwhile, the Yankees have consistently led the league in offense, which makes this sudden shift in tone puzzling. Why change what has been working and led to a number of championships? Are Yankee executives still reeling over the 2004 collapse in the ALCS? Most importantly, the Yankees were left unprepared and unwilling to fix the roster issues that contributed to the number of injuries and ineffectiveness during the 2013 campaign.

The signing of Kevin Youkilis to a one-year contract was intended to help satisfy the 2014 budget mandate while filling the hole at third base. Instead Youkilis spent more time on the disabled list along with Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira. The injuries left the Yankees essentially fielding a sub-AAA team by Yankee standards. The offense was non-existent to putrid all season long since the Yankees brass never replaced the holes in the rotation resulting from the departures of Raul Ibanez (Mariners), Swisher and Martin. Instead they signed minor league afterthoughts with the vaguest notion that they might succeed. The disappointment of the season forced Hal Steinbrenner to decide whether he wanted to be remembered as the next great Yankees owner or as a “James Dolan,” whom the fan-base of the Knicks and Rangers despise with a passion.

It appears as Hal is now following in his late father’s footsteps with additions of Brian McCann, Brendan Ryan, Kelly Johnson, Carlos Beltran, and Jacoby Ellsbury, along the with the re-upping of Hiroki Kuroda. The signings look to have improved the Yankees as a team and have reduced the $189 million threshold to an afterthought. Team officials have described the mandate as a “goal” now. The Yankees certainly have huge needs left to address – notably finding Robinson Cano’s replacement – but the outlook for the 2014 season is much brighter than it was for 2013 at this time last year. Yet the same still issue still remains: an aging roster with a lack of prospects coming up to help offset the injuries that may occur in future seasons. The free spending will certainly benefit the Yankees in the short term and it may lead to the 28th World Championship sooner rather than later. But that begs the question: is anyone in the front office ready to address the sorry state of the Yankees farm system? In order to return to those dynasty years of the late ‘90s the Yankees desperately need to bring some young homegrown talent into the mix. 

Carlos Beltran To Be Introduced This Morning

"I'm not on your team anymore bro."
In one hours time Carlos Beltran will don the #36 jersey at Yankee Stadium as he is finally introduced to the fans as a member of the New York Yankees. The press conference will be broadcast on YES Network and I am sure MLB Network will pop in as well. Jacoby Ellsbury's press conference was live streamed on as well so maybe they will do the same for Beltran, no idea. Either way check it out and Carlos, welcome to the family.

Brian Roberts Can Earn An Additional $2.6 Million In 2014

Brian Roberts signed a one year deal worth $2 million earlier this week and we learned that the deal will include incentives based on plate appearances. Roberts can earn an additional $2.6 million for staying healthy and in the lineup much like Travis Hafner's contract last season. I don't see it happening but I sure do hope that it does, even if $4.6 million is an awful lot for Roberts for one season.

Yankees Interested In Nick Franklin?

When Robinson Cano left the Yankees he left New York with a glaring hole at second base. When Cano signed with the Mariners he all but ended the tenure of Nick Franklin in Seattle as he has been blocked for the next ten seasons at second base. Obviously that makes Franklin available but should the Yankees be interested?

Franklin is only 22 years old who hit .225/.303/.382 with 12 home runs in 412 plate appearances for the Mariners in 2013. Franklin owns a career minor league stat line of .287/.360/.459 with 46 home runs and 63 steals in 81 chances in 1756 minor league plate appearances. Franklin also has some experience at shortstop, although not considered to be a wizard defensively there, and would likely be a great option for us at second base for the next few years.

Lots of team control, versatility playing both middle infield positions, can somewhat handle the bat in the majors, and its the Seattle Mariners. They would be luck to not give him away. I think we make the trade.

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/20

On this day in 1973 the American League President Joe Cronin ruled that the New York Yankees could not sign manager Dick Williams. The Yankees announced a deal with the former Oakland manager just two days earlier.

On this day in 2004 the Yankees signed Mr. Carl Pavano to a four year free agent deal worth $39.95 million. Pavano is coming off of an 18 win season with the World Series champion Florida Marlins and would make a total of 26 starts in his Yankees career.