Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kelley: Yankees Trading Me to Padres Part of Their "New Plan"

If the Yankees want to sign an expensive free agent like Max Scherzer or James Shields this offseason, they'll no doubt need a lot of money. 

The team has maintained a stance of shying away from doing so up to this point, but might be forced to later on due to the health issues CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova have recently experienced. 

And the Yankees may have taken the first step in that process with Monday's trading of Shawn Kelley to the Padres, a move that will save them just under $2 million in 2015. Or at least that's what Kelley said shortly after the deal was completed, reviewing what club GM Brian Cashman told him while talking to The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Barbarisi

"[Cashman] said he hated to see me go, but they have some things they're doing, some things they're working on, and it was part of a new plan," Kelley said.

It's difficult to judge what that plan is, as the Yankees' winter intentions right now are still mostly a mystery. Some speculate they're secretly gearing up for a belated spending spree, while others buy the rhetoric they're just going to build from within. 

Whichever possibility is true, Kelley made sure to express his own thoughts on the move to San Diego, the third city in which he will have played.

“It was a little shocking at first but I’m sure [the Yankees] are still going to have a good pen, even with [David] Robertson gone and now myself gone,” he said. “I was really looking forward to a third year. I hate to go. But at the same time I’m excited for this new opportunity.”

Kelley went 7-8 with a 4.46 ERA in 105 innings with the Yankees the last two seasons, and often threw either sevenths or eighths. He struck out 3.2 hitters for every walk, solidifying his role as a valuable bullpen piece.

He's expected to be the Padres' set-up man next year, working in front of closer Joaquin Benoit.

Yankees Interested in Hector Olivera

Shortly after the Tampa Bay Rays snatched up shortstop and second base option Asdrubal Cabrera off the free agent market conveniently the New York Yankees were linked to Cuban defecting infielder Hector Olivera. Olivera is 29 years old and would presumably be ready to step right into the major leagues today and play, no seasoning needed, so this is a definite threat to the Robert Refsnyder and Jose Pirela Spring Training 2015 competition for the second base position. I do question the timing though of the report as I do not believe in coincidences but anyway, let's delve deeper.

Olivera's contract demands are being thrown around in the six years and $68.5 million range that Yasmany Tomas received from Arizona. That makes a ton of sense if the projections are true which state that he could be the best Cuban defecting player since Yasiel Puig to come to the United States. Olivera stands 6'2" and weighs in at 220 pounds with a smooth and solid power stroke from the right side of the batters box. Olivera's speed and athleticism are highly praised along with his power making him attractive to more than a few teams, especially considering that he is a true free agent and will not count against a team's international signing caps.

Whether the Yankees are in on Olivera or not and whether the team acquires him or not remains to be seen but the idea of adding him is pretty darn interesting.

Remembering 2014: Brett Gardner's Highlights

Brett Gardner's Highlights

Remembering 2014: Chase Headley's First Yankees Game

Spoiler alert, he walked off. 

Are the Yankees going to sign Max Scherzer?

By Eddie Sapienza
With some rotation injuries in 2014 the Yankees needed to sign some pitchers in the offseason. The Yankees traded for Nate Eovaldi and signed Chris Capuano so as of now here would be the rotation.
1. Masahiro Tanaka
2. Michael Pineda
3. CC Sabathia
4. Nathan Eovaldi
5. Chris Capuano

This rotation is pretty solid. Imagine if Max Scherzer was in that rotation to. The Yankees bullpen could be stronger by moving Chris Capuano with a Scherzer signing. Now imagine this rotation.
1. Max Scherzer
2. Masahiro Tanaka
3. Michael Pineda
4. CC Sabathia
5: Nathan Eovaldi

This actually has a chance to happen. Before we all thought Scherzer would come to the Yankees then we didn't and now we do once again. Scherzer won the 2013 CY Young Award and in my opinion is a superb pitcher. He had another great season in 2014. His ERA wasn't great in 2013 and 2014 but Yankee fans would be perfectly fine if he gave up average 2 or 3 runs per game.

Do I think this move will happen probably not. I haven't heard the rumor of him going to any other team besides the Yankees. His agent Scott Boras had a high asking price for him. It will doubtfully be the same if the Yankees talk to Boras about Scherzer again. 180-190 million should be the highest the Yankees will go with Scherzer. I hope Scherzer comes to the Yankees and makes this Yankees rotation better.

The New Yankees Core?

The New York Yankees seem to be rebuilding on the fly as the team gets younger, develops their own players and basically waits out the contracts of Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Carlos Beltran. It makes me wonder if New York is planning on going with another core, core four, core five, whatever and it also makes me wonder if Robert Refsnder/Jose Pirela are the first dominos to fall. Are Refsnyder and/or Pirela the Bernie Williams who comes before a huge influx of minor league talent? It’s looking to be the case.

When the Beltran contract expires New York should have at least a right fielder or two primed and ready to go in Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge. When the Rodriguez contract runs out New York should have a much clearer picture on whether Eric Jagielo is for real or not and what the team should do with Chase Headley in his final season. He could play first base since mark Teixeira’s contract will be up but that would presumably block Greg Bird from making his way to the show. Brian McCann’s contract will be winding down while John Ryan Murphy, Luis Torrens and Gary Sanchez are all knocking on the door if they aren’t traded beforehand and Luis Severino will be itching to replace Sabathia once his contract is off the books.

While watching this offseason has been one of the most frustrating in my Yankee fan career I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I think Brian Cashman can too. A lot can happen between now and the 2016 and 2017 seasons but the stars are aligning for another Yankees core and possibly another Yankees dynasty and I think I can suffer through a few years of mediocrity for that. 

Quick Hit: The Interesting Story Behind the AJ Pierzynski Signing

I know this is not exactly New York Yankees related but when I read this I had to share with the readers an interesting story regarding the Atlanta Braves signing of AJ Pierzynski. Apparently a Braves fan Aaron Lunsford and his father were in line at the Honeybaked Ham location in Woodstock, GA when they noticed they were standing behind Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. According to a set of tweets (@darrenstains, seen below, the group got talking about baseball when Gonzalez leaked a signing that the big guys had not reported on yet. Gonzalez leaked the news that the Braves had signed Pierzynski to a couple of random fans waiting in line for his ham sandwich.

Take that to the Jon Heyman and Buster Olney’s of the world.  In response, and somewhat as a joke, Lunsford started a blog called hamrumors.com which went on to basically attack Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Mark Bowman for falsifying the story that Lunsford and his father told. It’s an interesting read and let’s be honest, you’re either at home with nothing better to do or at work with nothing better to do. Give it aclick and check it out. 

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Will Cut Brendan Ryan

The New York Yankees will cut or designate Brendan Ryan before the beginning of the 2015 Yankees season.

Vote in our poll!

Cops Called on CC Sabathia Inside an Airport

Nobody likes missing their flight ... including MLB star CC Sabathia ... who was so upset after missing his plane to Jamaica, cops were called to calm down the big fella ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Sabathia -- along with 11 people in his party -- arrived to the Newark International Airport on Saturday morning ... only to be told they were too late to board the flight. 
As one source put it, "CC started freaking out" on airline staff -- and that's when someone called the NY Port Authority for help. 

Fortunately for CC, this story has a happy ending ... we're told cops helped CC cool off and the NY Yankees pitcher was able to book a later flight for his entire party. 
No arrests. No citations. And eventually, the gang made it to Jamaica to start their vacation. 

We reached out to CC, his reps and the Yankees for comment -- so far no word back.

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/30: Return of the Rocket

On this day in 2002 Roger Clemens signed a one year deal worth $10.1 million with the Yankees at age 40. Clemens was coming off of a 13-6 season with a 4.35 ERA and states that this would probably be his last season. The six time Cy Young Award winner was only seven wins shy of 300 victories for his career.