Saturday, November 22, 2014

Yankees GM Cashman Thinks Kuroda Will Play Somewhere Next Season

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is confident Free Agent Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda will play somewhere next season.

Talking to The Journal News' Chad Jennings Thursday, Cashman opined that Kuroda is just too good to retire right now in spite of his rising age. According to Cashman, Kuroda will have a market if he decides to return, a reasonable observation after the latter went 11-9 with a 3.71 ERA with the Yankees in 2014.

“I haven’t heard anything officially," Cashman said. "Do I think he will play and put himself back in play for the major leagues as well as the NPB in Japan? I would think, yes. The guy is way too talented. I know he’s 38 or 39, but he’s way too talented to give it up and retire."

Indeed, Kuroda's beginning to get old. He'll turn 40 on February 10, and will probably only be given a one-year deal if he doesn't hang up his cleats.

But could the Yankees be the ones to give him that? They've already handed him three straight since 2012, so it'd make sense. 

"I wouldn’t say (whether the Yankees want Kuroda back)," Cashman said. "Every dollar counts to something. Everything we do has to be accounted for, so it will have an impact on something else. It depends on the entire context of the roster. But I do need starting pitching, so he’s clearly an area that would solve some issues. We’ll see.”

Last season, the Yankees payed Kuroda $16 million, the highest salary he received in their uniform. Nonetheless, since it's a safe bet Kuroda will get less if he re-signs for next year, it's likely the Yankees will at least give him a look, especially when you consider that this winter's top available starters are all commanding top dollar.

It's still tough to see exactly where Kuroda would fit into the Yankees' future plans, though, as the returns of CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova are inevitable. 

Bud Selig “Applauds” Giancarlo Stanton’s Contract

What a two-faced back stabbing, well you get the point I was going to make. Bud Selig came out in an interview recently at the conclusion of the meetings in Kansas City by announcing how happy he was with the Giancarlo Stanton and Miami Marlins contract the two sides agreed upon this week. Selig was quoted as saying the deal was “objective of everything we did” when it came to changing the game’s economic model including revenue sharing and the luxury tax.

Nowhere in the statement did Selig mention that Jeffrey Loria sold off players, had multiple fire sale, and gouged his fans both in the stadium and by conning his way into having the fans pay for his new stadium. Nowhere was Selig to be found when Alex Rodriguez scored his big contract(s) with the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees jumping up and down for joy and for the game. I’ll leave you with this quote from the interview from Mr. Selig:

"What I like is individual franchises making decisions to make themselves better, Selig said. "I've been reading all the clips, and I do think they're happy in South Florida, and they should be. It's a good sign, a very good sign for them, and that's how you have to look at it."


Does a Nick Swisher Reunion Make Sense?

Reportedly the Cleveland Indians are looking to trade Nick Swisher in a salary dump or in a trade that brings back another “bad” contract to rid themselves of the first baseman and outfielder. Would a reunion to New York make sense for the Yankees and make sense in a trade with the Indians?

Swisher played predominantly first base in his two seasons with Cleveland after playing right field for much of his career prior, including four seasons with the Yankees. While New York doesn’t exactly have a spot for Swisher in the outfield the team definitely has a need at first base. The problem is the days of having a true backup first baseman are over seemingly around the league as teams looks for more versatility and flexibility on their benches. I don’t believe, and defensive metrics would back me up if I wanted to shove a few down your throats to prove my point, Swisher would be even average anywhere else besides first base or the outfield making him one of the least versatile and flexible players of the team if acquired.

Another road block in a potential reunion would be the trade itself as the team would likely not want to give up anything of value in a trade if they are taking on the salary. Think of the players that will not or could not be protected in the Rule 5 Draft for December and not a Luis Severino type here. New York could always unload a bad contract but the problem is the worst contracts they have are bad because of huge money and/or no trade clauses. As much as it would be nostalgic and fun to have Swisher back in the Yankees lineup a trade seems unlikely, he does not exactly fill a need, and it’s just not fiscally responsible right now for New York. Oh well, life goes on. 

Yankees Considering Jason Grilli

According to Sweeny Murti the New York Yankees have at least discussed signing free agent relief pitcher Jason Grilli this offseason. Whether this is being discussed as a back up plan to David Robertson or whether he would simply fill another slot remains to be seen but one would have to think it would be the former and not the latter. Stay tuned as this sorts itself out.

Manfred Given Five Year Term as Commissioner of Major League Baseball

As many of you know Bud Selig will only be the commissioner of Major League Baseball for a couple more months before Rob Manfred takes over in January. That much we know but what we did not until this week was for how long and today we learned that his first term will be for five seasons. Selig announced that the baseball owners unanimously approved the five year term for Manfred at the conclusion of the GM and owners Meetings in Kansas City.

Manfred has worked for MLB since 1998 and will take over the position officially on January, 25th replacing the 80 year old Selig. Manfred wants to attract young fans back to baseball while he is commissioner and vows to improve and speed up the game. An average MLB game in 1981 was 2 hours, 22 minutes but has jumped to 3 hours, 02 minutes in 2014 with the addition of instant replay. In the postseason the games stretched to nearly 4 hours so I can understand the concern for the new commissioner. 

TGP Daily Poll: Hanley Ramirez Returns to Los Angeles

I have a feeling that Hanley Ramirez’s contract demands, injury history, and bag of question marks will leave him back in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.

Vote in our poll!!

Happy Birthday to my Boy

I wanted to take a second to wish my son Hayden a very Happy Birthday. Today the future New York Yankees shortstop turns 1 years old. While he wasn’t exactly part of the plan when I thought I knew it all and planned my life out all those years ago he’s been the best deviation of the plan I could have ever asked for. I am truly blessed to call this little bundle of energy my son and I love him.

We’re throwing the birthday party today so I may be a little absent, hold it down without me. Have a great day guys! The theme is Super Mario and Luigi if you want to come. 

Florida Attorney Claims A-Rod Received Special Treatment From Prosecutors

Yankees' Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez recieved special treatment from the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecuting Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch, court papers filed in Florida this week say. 

Attorney Frank Quintero Jr. filed court papers in Miami Thursday, in which he asked the court to make MLB comform to subpoenas by February 9, the date Quintero's client, Lazaro Collazo, is set to go on trial. Quintero is trying to make up his defense for Collazo, and questioned why Rodriguez got off easy in the case while his cousin and another defendant didn't.

Quintero also claimed that statements made by Rodriguez' former lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, in a recent interview with New York Magazine prove that the 39-year-old has recieved "promises of non-prosecution by the Government," as a limited-use agreement doesn't prevent the government from prosecuting a witness if more evidence of criminal activity is discovered later on.

“Mr. Tacopina, who served as a prosecutor prior to practicing as a criminal defense attorney, would be aware that the immunity agreement conveyed to Mr. Rodriguez would not bar prosecution against his client under certain circumstances,” Quintero wrote, “such as for providing false information or information derived from other investigations/witnesses.”

Quintero added that the The U.S. Attorney plans to “take no action against Mr. Rodriguez, instead making it known that they intend to rely on his testimony at trial." Rodriguez was suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season after it was found that he had recieved steroids from Bosch, forcing him to forego the majority of his $25 million salary.

Rodriguez is still expected to rejoin the Yankees next spring training, however, the first one he'll have been a part of since 2012.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/22: Enter Goose Gossage

On this day in 1977 the Yankees signed Rich "Goose" Gossage to a six year deal worth $2.75 million as a free agent. Gossage was coming off of a 26 save and 1.26 ERA season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Also on this day in 1957 Mickey Mantle edges out Red Sox superstar Ted Williams for the Most Valuable Player award for the American League. Two Chicago writers had Williams ninth and tenth on their respected ballots which slipped Ted to second place even though he had a .388 average with 38 home runs and a .731 slugging percentage.