Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Winning Games" Reason Headley Signed With Yankees

Chase Headley is tired of losing. 

That's the reason he gave when asked Monday why he chose to re-sign with the Yankees for four years and $51 million, in spite of the fact the club's in the midst of its longest playoff drought in over two decades. He said he feels the Yankees grant him a good chance to win, at least compared to his old team the Padres. 

"The first consideration in my decision was winning baseball games and hopefully winning a world championship," Headley told ESPN.com's Wallace Matthews. "I’ve never been in the playoffs in my entire career, so a two-year drought is a lot in New York, but coming from San Diego where we haven’t made the playoffs I thought this was the place that was going to give me the best opportunity, year in and year out, to have a chance to win a championship." 

That logic doesn't appear to make much sense, as the Yankees are coming off their worst year since 1992. They went just 84-78 in 2014, 12 games out of first place. 

Yet Headley seems to genuinely want to play for them, something clearly shown by his recent turning down of a larger offer. 

"We did have a larger offer," he said. "I’m not going to get into specifics. We left some money on the table to be where I wanted to be, and that was New York. It was the best offer for myself and for my family. It was very attractive."

Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed Tuesday Alex Rodriguez will be their DH next season, so it's possible part of the attractiveness Headley is referring to has to do with the guarantee he'll start at third base. Prior to his suspension for alleged steroid use last year, Rodriguez manned the hot corner for New York, leading some to think he'd keep the job.

But really, it's not a huge surprise he won't. Headley was an elite defender for the Yankees while Rodriguez was gone last season, and, considering he's 30 and Rodriguez is 39, it's a safe bet he's also a bit more athletic.

Yankees Sign Chris Capuano To One Year Deal

I know I am late with this guys and I do apologize but like I said yesterday when Chase Headley signed, all the good stuff happens when I am at work. 

Anyway the New York Yankees signed Chris Capuano to a one year deal worth $5 million. More to come when I am not posting and driving and fuming mad. 

Yankees 2015 Opening Day Countdown - 112 (Year 4)

It is officially 112 days until Opening Day so 112 years ago in New York Yankees history the team looked a little something like this:

In the Yankees second season their team name was the New York Highlanders and they played their first games during the 1904 season. Let’s take a quick snapshot of that historic team as we countdown to Opening Day.

Team overall record: 92-59
Place finished: 2nd place
Wins leader: Jack Chesbro (41-12)
Home runs leader: Patsy Dougherty and John Ganzel (6)

Manager: Clark Griffith

The Best Remaining Options on the Starting Pitching Board After Scherzer/Shields

It seems like all the good starting pitching besides Max Scherzer and James Shields are off the free agency board in a time when the New York Yankees need it most. Besides the two aforementioned aces the remaining crop of pitchers does not look too enticing, should the Yankees take a shot?

Hiroki Kuroda is undecided whether he even wants to pitch next season or not but right now you have to welcome him back to the club if he wants to pitch. He would be a rock in a shaky rotation right now after posting a 11-9 record with a 3.71 ERA in 2014 with New York.

Edison Volquez posted a career best 3.04 ERA with a 13-7 record last season which leads you to believe his control issues are finally behind him. Volquez posted a career best 1.97 K/BB ratio in 2014 with Pittsburgh and has stepped up as the best "second tier" free agent available.

Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen both are coming off their second Tommy John surgeries and both will likely be available on short termed and cheap deals. Neither will be available to start the season but both should be ready around the time Ivan Nova is ready to return. Maybe a split contract for both which keeps them off the 40 man roster until their ready?

We finish with Jake Peavy who probably has the least eye popping stats at 7-13 with a 3.73 ERA but may come with the most experience for the back end of the rotation. Peavy struck out 158 batters in 2014 between Boston and San Francisco and is playoffs and World Series tested after getting a ring this season. Peavy's sinkerball would fit in well in Yankee Stadium and he misses enough bats to succeed not as an ace but a viable middle of the rotation type starter.

Closing the Door on Max Scherzer

By my very unofficial count the New York Yankees payroll for 2015 sits at about $212 million after the Chase Headley signing for $52 million. The Yankees have two open roster spots on the 40 man roster and at least two holes to fill in the starting rotation. With New York seemingly waiting out the 2016 and 2017 seasons to once again make a run at getting under the luxury tax and giving austerity another chance this all may be closing the door on Max Scherzer in pinstripes.

What Hal Steinbrenner fails to realize when making these “Hal Cap” goals is that the team, more so than any other team, needs to spend money to make money. The Yankees fans are spoiled and expect, not appreciate, the big signing and the star power that the checkbook brings to the team. If the Yankees were to make it to the playoffs and the World Series a Scherzer contract would be more than paid for in merchandise, ticket sales and revenue. What Hal fails to realize is the YES Network and stadium attendance have been going down ever since the teams win total started to go down and that was with a Mariano River and a Derek Jeter farewell tour going on. What will those numbers look like in 2015 when the longest tenured Yankees are Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner and Ivan Nova?

The Headley contract looks like it really shut the door on a Scherzer contract and the lack of a Scherzer contract may really put the damper on a lot of future contracts when the fans don’t flock to the overpriced stadium like they once did. It’s the domino effect and I’m not talking about pizza Hal, pay attention. 

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Won’t Sign Max Scherzer

I’ve given up all hope that the New York Yankees will sign Max Scherzer. Not happening.

Vote in our poll!

Quick Hit: Brett Lawrie is a Good Guy

I’m not sure if you guys have seen the Youtube video of the little girl crying after the Brett Lawrie trade, if you haven’t then see it above, but she has no reason to cry anymore. Lawrie actually surprised the little girl, Ameilia, by taking her out to pizza. What a guy, that’s so awesome to give back to fans like that. Also Lawrie made a stop at the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia while he was in town and handed out gifts and helped out. Two thumbs up Lawrie, stay classy. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/16: The Day John Wetteland Would Have Broken Twitter if There Were a Twitter in 1996

On this day in 2009 the Yankees World Series MVP Hideki Matsui signed a one year deal worth $6.5 million with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees were not interested in bringing back their DH due to his knee concerns.

Also on this day in 2002 the Yankees lost their relief pitcher Mike Stanton to a three year deal worth $9 million including a no trade contract with the New York Mets. The Yankees offered Stanton a two year deal worth $4.6 million on December 7, but Stanton was only allowed 15 minutes to consider the deal after a season where Mike went 7-1 with a 3.00 ERA and six saves.

Also on this day in 1996 the Yankees lost the 1996 World Series MVP John Wetteland to free agency to the Texas Rangers. Wetteland signed a four year deal worth $23 million to close games for the Rangers. Wetteland was only 29 years old when the Yankees let him walk to let Mariano Rivera close games.

Also on this day in 1983 the Yankees hired Yogi Berra for the second time to manage the team replacing Billy Martin. Martin was coming off of a season where he posted a 91-71 record which was good enough for third place, which is not good enough for George Steinbrenner. This tenure as manager would end in 1985 after 16 games and multiple assurances from Steinbrenner that he would not be fired. Yogi would not come back to Yankee Stadium for nearly 15 seasons after this.

Finally on this day in 1953 the Yankees and the Philadelphia A's completed an 11 player trade where the Yankees traded then top prospect Vic Power. Vic was a powerful first basemen who has hoped to be the first black player to play for the Yankees enjoyed three great seasons in the minor leagues including a .331 batting average and 109 RBI's the season before for the Newark Bears. The Bears were the equivalent of the AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders today.