Tuesday, January 28, 2014

AJ Burnett To Pitch In 2014 & Test Open Market

Should the Yankees be interested in free agent pitcher AJ Burnett now that he has announced that he would pitch in 2014 and it wouldn't necessarily be with the Pittsburgh Pirates? I say why the hell not but my favorite pitcher in all of baseball is AJ so call me a little bias, something about throwing a no hitter with nine walks has always done it for me for some reason. Effectively wild always intrigues me and I am a fan of his tattoos so my opinion means little, I want the guy, but should the Yankees go after him?

Burnett is 37 years old, a littler older than you would like, but would likely command a one year deal which always fits in with the Yankees plans. He is also coming off of two great seasons in Pittsburgh throwing a combined 393+ innings, and what team couldn't use a veteran presence at the back end of a rotation that can eat innings? Burnett had a 3.51 ERA in 2013 and a 3.30 ERA in 2012 with a 9.8 K/9 ratio to go with it. Burnett also gets enough ground balls at this point in his career to make him really attractive in a Yankees uniform, seen by his 56.5% ground ball ratio. Oh yeah and he has done it before in New York and in the World Series, he also found a now well publicized mechanics flaw that he attributes to his success in Pittsburgh as well as adding a sinker to his repertoire. He was learning how to pitch, not throw, when he came to New York the first time, now he knows how to pitch.

Burnett does not come with draft pick compensation and has the lowest FIP and xFIP of any available free agent on the market with a 2.80 and 2.92 average respectively. Burnett is going to really throw a monkey wrench into this whole free agent market and things could really start moving now. Instead of dumpster diving Cash let's right a wrong that should have never happened in 2012.

Keith Law Ranks Yankees Farm #20 In League

Keith Law has posted his annual list ranking all 30 Major League Team's farm systems and apparently Mr. Law is not a fan of the New York Yankees farm system. The Yankees farm, even with Mason Williams and Gary Sanchez, was ranked #20 in the league. A subscription is required to read his ranking unfortunately so we will just have to go with this paraphrase and also included is a quote from Law as to why he ranked the Yankees so low:

“It seemed like everyone who mattered in this system got hurt in 2013, and of those who didn’t had disappointing years.” 

The Houston Astros are ranked as the top team followed by the Twins, and the Pirates in the top three. The three worst teams on the list in order were the Tigers, Angels, and Brewers. Surprisingly I thought the Cardinals would be higher and the Brewers not so bad but that's baseball I guess.

JR Murphy Signs One Year Deal for $502K For 2014

The Yankees have signed JR Murphy to a one year deal for the 2014 season with the Yankees worth $502,700. The league minimum for 2014 is $500,000 but this deal is probably a split contract which would pay him less for his time in the minors, where he is presumed to start the season. Murphy still has six years left of team control and his arbitration before becoming a free agent so I am kind of perplexed as to why they made this deal now, especially with Austin Romine ahead of him on the depth chart, but it works.

MLB Approves Protective Hats For Pitchers

Major League Baseball has approved protective fitting hats for pitchers and has named  them isoBLOX. While no one in the majors or the minors will be required to wear them they do have the option to test them out this Spring Training if they so choose. The product weighs six to seven ounces more than your normal cap, which doesn't seem like it would weigh you down or be overly annoying, and a half inch of bulk in the front which looks awkward. Safety before fashion is what I always say, well I don't really ever find myself saying that but you get the message.

We all know the stories of pitchers getting hit in the head with line drive balls and the injuries being career and life threatening, see Brandon McCarthy, so I am 100% on board with this decision. J.A Happ was hit in the head last season as well as Alex Cobb so this is happening more and more, even Doug Fister got hit in the 2012 World Series, and the change needed to be made and I am glad that it was made.

New York Yankees Off Day Music Recommendation

I have not done one of these in a long while and I cannot get this song out of my head, so yeah here it is. I am also going to see him live on April 3rd so there is always that too. Enjoy!

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #63 Dave Winfield (Again)

Dave Winfield was a classy and amiable personality off the field but was a monster in the batter's box. Winfield ranked 30th in Major League history at the time of his retirement with 465 career home runs. Winfield hit a career high 37 home runs in 1982 while playing decent defense in the outfield. Winfield earned five American League Gold Glove Awards from 1982-1987 with the Yankees.

63 days until Yankees Opening Day

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/28

Nothing... so here is a bold prediction. Today I predict that the Yankees sign a pitcher, and that pitcher is Ervin Santana for three years and $30 million. Probably wrong but write it down anyway.