Thursday, November 20, 2014

Yankees President Levine a Fan of Marlins' New Deal With Stanton

Since it was made Monday, the deal that'll pay Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton $325 million over the next 13 years has been criticized by many.

Some say it's just worth too much money, while others claim that Stanton hasn't proved himself worthy of such a salary at this point in his career. One reporter even asked Stanton if there was a part of his bringing in $69,000 a day that was almost embarrasing in a recent press conference, as that total surpasses the average American's yearly income. 

Just don't tell Yankees president Randy Levine that.

“Every team has to make a decision based on where they are at the time, where they are at the moment,” Levine told The New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand Thursday. “This is a great player."

That's undoubtedly true, with Stanton's impressive 2014 stats basically earning him the vote as the NL's top offensive player. His .288 batting average, 37 home runs and 105 RBIs left him second in the MVP race behind the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, a pitcher.

But should Miami have still committed to him?

"I think (owner) Jeffrey (Loria) stood up, the Marlins stood up, and both of them are pleased with it," Levine said. "Good for them.”

For now at least. Stanton's new contract passes that of Alex Rodriguez for the biggest in baseball, and we all know how badly his has worked out.

Stanton, 26, is yet to get in trouble off the field, and has played for the Marlins since he was a rookie in 2010.

Yankees Sign 16 Year Old Bryan Emery

From Baseball America:

Colombian outfielder Bryan Emery, the No. 23 international prospect for July 2, has signed with the Yankees.
Emery, 16, was the last available player from Baseball America’s Top 30 international prospects list for July 2, and the signing gives the Yankees 10 of those top 30 players.
Emery is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with a loose swing from the left side. He had been switch-hitting, though he’s hit exclusively lefthanded in recent months. He’s strong and generates easy, explosive power, though leading up to July 2, there were mixed reviews about his game hitting, partly because of his environment. Emery trained with Ivan Noboa, the same trainer who brokered an international amateur record $4.95 million bonus for Dominican outfielder Nomar Mazara with the Rangers in 2011, and scouts frequently lament that they can’t get enough game looks at Noboa’s players. Some scouts who have seen him recently have seen better game performance, with a simplified hitting approach and a cleaner setup that helped him stay more direct to the ball. Emery’s athletic for his size, has a strong arm and has worked out for clubs in the infield and the outfield, but he fits best in right field, where he will begin his career.
While the bonus for Emery was not confirmed, it will essentially cost the Yankees double the bonus to sign him. The organization spent record money on international amateur bonuses this year to go well beyond their bonus pool, which means they are paying a 100 percent overage tax on all their signings and won’t be allowed to sign anyone for more than $300,000 the next two signing periods, beginning July 2, 2015.

Yankees Sell Zelous Wheeler to Japan

The New York Yankees have announced the selling of the rights to infielder Zelous Wheeler to the Rakuten Golden Eagles, Masahiro Tanaka's former team. Wheeler likely wanted to play in Japan and asked the team for the sale so the Yankees clear a 40 man roster spot and save some cash while Zelous gets what he wants. Win-win for everybody.

The Yankees Add Four To 40-Man Roster

The Yankees have decided on who to protect from the Rule 5 Draft by adding outfielder Tyler Austin, right-hander Danny Burawa, right-hander Branden Pinder, and outfielder Mason Williams.

Protecting Tyler Austin was a no-brainer. He was great during the second-half of the season for AA Trenton, and kept it going by hitting the ball well in the Arizona Fall League. Austin did suffer a bone bruise in his wrist in 2013, and felt the effects of it in the first half of the 2014 season, however he seems to be over it now. He's slated to start 2015 at AAA Scranton, and should get called up to the Majors at some point.

While I wouldn't use the word "no-brainer" with Burawa, he does have some great stuff, which includes nasty slider and a fastball that tops out in the high 90s. Danny's control has been an issue, but the Yankees have been able to straighten that out with others, so making sure Burawa stuck around was a good decision.

Pinder's ceiling doesn't seem to be as high as Burawa's, but Branden had a great 2014 so adding him to the 40-man is certainly not a head-scratching decision. Like Austin, Pinder will likely start 2015 in AAA Scranton.

I'm a little surprised by the fact that the Yankees added Mason Williams to the 40-man roster, as he's been horrible the past two seasons. But Williams is still a great defender, and his ceiling is still pretty darn high. Along with some poor results, Mason has some maturity and work-ethic issues too. But he is only 23 years old, so it's not as though he can't turn things around and mature.

As a reminder, any team that selects a player in the Rule 5 Draft must keep that player on their active/25-man roster for the entire season. If a team decides not to do that, they must offer that player back to their original team before being placed on waivers. Of course, if the player's original team doesn't want him back, and the player clears waivers, he can then be sent to the minors.

Chase Headley the Next Russell Martin?

Shock waves went around the league this week when the Toronto Blue Jays signed Russell Martin to basically Brian McCann money with a five year deal worth $82 million. Many around the league stated that the Blue Jays over-payed for a specific need the team needed, and they did to be honest, but the team felt they needed Martin to fill the position so they went out and got their man. Good for Toronto and I feel like Martin is going to make the Yankees hate him for the next two or three seasons at least playing for the Blue Jays but I digress. This makes me feel more confident about my prediction just a few days back when I said that offense is going to come at an absolute premium this winter. Enter Chase Headley.

Toronto had to go above and beyond what Martin probably earned, will earn, or deserved with the deal which makes me wonder if the Yankees will or will have to do the same with Headley. As long as Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are on the board the discussions for Headley may be reasonable but once those two big names come off the board I can see the price for Headley skyrocketing.

Would you give four or five years to Headley at $12- $15 million? I'm not entirely sure if I would but if the past is any indicator of the future it may come to that.

Rule 5 Draft and the Yankees Bullpen

The Rule 5 Draft decisions come down today and the New York Yankees bullpen will be the focus of the team before the deadline. New York has four potential Rule 5 eligible players that could be slated into the bullpen as soon as 2015 that they will either protect or leave unprotected in Mark Montgomery, Danny Burawa, Branden Pinder, and maybe Matt Tracy. The Yankees have four roster spots open on the 40 man roster and presumably the Yankees will fill all four spots this afternoon but how many will be relief pitchers?

You have to assume that the Yankees will carry 13 pitchers next season including eight relief pitchers. If you take away spots for Dellin Betances, Justin Wilson, Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, David Phelps, and David Robertson (or whoever presumably replaces Robertson) that leaves just two open spots on the roster with a ton of players vying for the position. New York will take long looks at Jose De Paula, Jacob Lindgren, Tyler Webb, James Pazos, Esmil Rogers, David Huff, Preston Claiborne, Jose Ramirez, Chase Whitley, Bryan Mitchell, Manny Banuelos, Nick Goody, and Nick Rumbelow this spring to fill those two spots making the competition fierce.

Looking at that impressive list and ranking the non-tender candidates and the call up pecking order I can honestly see the Yankees protecting NONE of those four relief pitchers today. All four could be taken by other teams in December or all four could pass through and stick with the organization at least another season. Stay tuned.

40 Man Roster Deadline For Rule 5 Players Comes Today

The deadline for the team to finalize their 40 man rosters as far as the Rule 5 Draft is concerned happens today and the Yankees have some decisions to make. Currently the Yankees 40 man roster sits at 36 players but that could easily be extended with a non-tender or DFA of Eury Perez, Zelous Wheeler, David Huff, or Esmil Rogers. The players New York has to protect this winter include Matt Tracy, Mark Montgomery, Cito Culver, Angelo Gumbs, Mason Williams, Kyle Roller, Danny Burawa, Tyler Austin, Branden Pinder, and Zach Nuding.

Personally I can see New York protecting Montgomery in hopes that he returns to his 2012 and 2013 form in the bullpen. Same can be said for Austin and Culver as I cannot imagine a scenario where these two are not protected. I truly believe New York will leave Tracy, Gumbs, Williams, Roller, Burawa, Pinder, and Nuding unprotected heading into the draft.

Tracy is far from major league ready and has struggled at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes Barre. The same can be said for Pinder and Nuding although Buraw is definitely on the line of needing to be protected or not. I think Burawa could be hidden in a bullpen much like Tommy Kahnle was last season in Colorado after being left unprotected. With the injuries and the depth ahead of them I cannot see Gumbs or Williams being protected and I also cannot see them being taken either.

Roller is an interesting aspect because he is old as far as prospects go but the guy has flat out hit as a career minor leaguer. There aren't many true first base backup players in the majors anymore as teams look for more versatility and flexibility in their roster construction but Roller could add a big power threat to a team like Miami's bench in 2015. I think he ultimately gets left unprotected and selected this December.

What say you?

TGP Daily Poll: Miami Will Buy Three Players

The Giancarlo Stanton extension is complete and the deal is reportedly heavily back loaded. With this new found cash the Miami Marlins will buy at least three notable free agents this offseason.

Vote in our poll!!

Pat Venditte Joins The Oakland Athletics

So much for that. I really hate losing this guy. Hopefully Billy Beane let's him pitch in the major leagues.

Long Cites Contract as Possible Reason for McCann's 2014 Struggles

The pressure brought on by his five-year, $85-million deal may have contributed to Brian McCann's struggles this season, Former Yankees and current Mets Hitting Coach Kevin Long said.

According to Long, contracts as large as McCann's often cause slumps in players. McCann made $17 million this year, a 42% increase from the salary he earned with the Braves in 2013.

He also batted just .232 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI, numbers many considered to be dissapointing.

“I think it’s common that the first time you come into an organization after you sign a big contract I think it plays a little more difficult than it might seem,” Long told's Brendan Kuty.

Long compared McCann's situation to that of Curtis Granderson, who played for the Yankees from 2010-2013. He signed with the Mets for four years and $60 million last offseason, before underperforming similarly to McCann.

“In Curtis’ case that probably played into it," he said. "I know Brian McCann, as the season progressed, he got better and better and more comfortable."

That observation is true, though it still doesn't mean McCann's stats don't have to improve. His offensively-productive backup, Francisco Cervelli, recently got traded to the Pirates, and McCann will likely be expected to make up for his loss in the future.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/20: Mussina Retires

On this day in 2008  Mike Mussina officially announced his retirement following his first 20 game winning season. Moose spent 10 years with the Baltimore Orioles before spending his last eight seasons with New York. Moose finished with a 270-153 record with a 3.68 ERA combined in his soon to be Hall of Fame career.

Also on this day in 2008 the 35 year run of George Steinbrenner being the owner of the New York Yankees officially ended as the MLB owners unanimously approved of his sons, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, taking over the Yankees. George, with his failing health, appointed his sons as the chairmen of the team in 2007 before this was made official.