Saturday, January 3, 2015

Yankees Released RHP Elvin Perez

The New York Yankees have released RHP Elvin Perez from their minor league system after signing him as an International Free Agent in 2010 at 19 years old. Perez spent three seasons in the Yankees Dominican Summer League before heading to the United States and the Gulf Coast Yankees. Perez spent time splitting between starting and pitching out of the bullpen before finishing his season in 2014 with the Staten Island Yankees.

Perez is now a free agent to sign with whoever he wants if offered a contract. Perez finished his Yankees stint with a 7-17 record and 3.45 ERA in 193 IP in four seasons.

REPORT: Padres Tried to Lure Hiroki Kuroda

Last month we learned that Santa Claus would not be bringing starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to the Bronx for a fourth straight season and instead he would be delivering to his original team in the Hiorshima Carp. A few days later reports were released that Kuroda turned down a deal in the $16-$17 million range to return home to Japan for roughly $4-$5 million in US dollars. While the report never mentioned the Yankees specifically making that offer, and I questioned anyone and everyone who reported that it was the Yankees making the offer when there was no proof of that including one of my own writers, it was generally assumed that New York made the offer. WRONG!

According to MLB Trade Rumors it was AJ Preller and the San Diego Padres who made the reported deal to Kuroda. I've seen numbers as high as $18 million thrown around from San Diego to the 39 year old RHP although the team confirmed it was not that high. And we have yet to see a reported deal made from the New York Yankees.

Long story short it all comes down to responsible journalism. That's why I personally got into the blogosphere and also why I respect the crew over at Bleeding Yankee Blue so much. Get it right, it's not a race and no one cares if you were first.

Two Reasons to be Optimistic About Nathan Eovaldi

There are probably more than just two reasons to be optimistic about a young 24 year old flame throwing starting pitcher but I had to very big reasons come to me and I felt compelled to share. I was watching an old "Prime 9" episode on MLB Network the other day at some insane hour in the middle of the night and it was showcasing something to do with starting pitching, I don't remember the list, and throughout the episode the crew mentioned Sandy Koufax and Roy Halladay. Okay before Dodgers, Phillies, Blue Jays and MLB fans in general begin to remove their bookmark for the site and unfollow us on Twitter hear me out. I'm not comparing the two I am merely showing you that it's not unheard of for a fire baller to find his control late and harness it en route to a great MLB career.

Eovaldi has a career 15-35 record with 4.07 ERA in 79 starts. While Eovaldi led the league in hits allowed in 2014 his stuff, the "stuff" you cannot teach, is there and undeniable and possibly just a Larry Rothschild tweak or two away from making him a legit #1 starting pitcher for years to come. Why am I so optimistic you ask and how does Koufax and Halladay fit in? Glad you asked, read on.

Look at Koufax's first six seasons in the majors on a pretty good Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers teams:

1955 19 2 2 3.02 12 2 41.2 33 15 14 2 28 30 136 3.64 1.464 0.4 6.0 6.5
1956 20 2 4 4.91 16 0 58.2 66 37 32 10 29 30 82 5.05 1.619 1.5 4.4 4.6
1957 21 5 4 3.88 34 2 104.1 83 49 45 14 51 122 106 3.39 1.284 1.2 4.4 10.5
1958 22 11 11 4.48 40 5 158.2 132 89 79 19 105 131 93 4.38 1.494 1.1 6.0 7.4
1959 23 8 6 4.05 35 6 153.1 136 74 69 23 92 173 105 4.04 1.487 1.4 5.4 10.2
1960 24 8 13 3.91 37 7 175.0 133 83 76 20 100 197 101 3.49 1.331 1.0 5.1 10.1
Now let's look at Halladay's first four seasons in his career:

1998 21 1 0 1.93 2 1 14.0 9 4 3 2 2 245 3.57 0.786 1.3 1.3 8.4
1999 22 8 7 3.92 36 1 149.1 156 76 65 19 79 125 5.36 1.574 1.1 4.8 4.9
2000 23 4 7 10.64 19 0 67.2 107 87 80 14 42 48 6.47 2.202 1.9 5.6 5.9
2001 24 5 3 3.16 17 1 105.1 97 41 37 3 25 145 2.34 1.158 0.3 2.1 8.2
Again I don't think Eovaldi is Halladay or Koufax and I don't think he will have the longevity and successful career that those two players had. I am saying that it has happened before and it can happen again. Hallday taught his teachings to AJ Burnett and saved and extended his career and if Burnett could be saved then why not Eovaldi?

Meet a Prospect: Chasen Shreve

While most of the planet was watching the College Football Playoff, including myself, the New York Yankees were trading Manny Banuelos to the Atlanta Braves for RHP David Carpenter and LHP Chasen Shreve. This trade honestly had me scratching my head at first and while I wasn't happy to see one of my favorite pitching prospects traded away for someone I called "another Shawn Kelley(Carpenter)" the more I read the more I began to understand the trade. Let's find out why as we meet a prospect, Chasen Shreve.

Chasen Dean Shreve stands 6'3" and throws with his left arm hanging from his 190 lb. frame at 24 years old, 25 years old by July 2015. Shreve was drafted in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB First Year Player's Draft by the Atlanta Braves out of College in Southern Nevada. Shreve was a former teammate of Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper but the immediate success that Harper had did not follow Shreve at the beginning of his professional career.

Shreve struggled for much of his minor league career until his 2014 season where he found around 3-4 MPH in velocity on his fastball and did more blowing people away and less spotting the ball. Shreve's success led him to the MLB Braves in 2014 where he finished with a 0.73 ERA in 12.1 IP and 15 K's with just three walks.

Shreve is likely just behind Justin Wilson on the Yankees LHP depth chart and for now may be ahead of Jacob Lindgren and Tyler Webb. Welcome to the family Chasen!

Quick Hit: Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka and Ichiro Suzuki Highlights from High School

This is absolutely amazing and a must watch for any MLB fan, especially those fans of the New York Yankees, as someone collected and mashed up highlights from Yankees Masahiro Tanaka and Ichiro Suzuki along with Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish. Tanaka and Darvish were virtually unhittable and Ichiro did what Ichiro does, hit the ball and get on base.

It's awesome, give it a watch and share it on your favorite social media.

Quick Hit: RIP Mario Cuomo

With a heavy heart I report that former New York Governor Mario Cuomo passed away earlier in the week. Cuomo was 82 years old and an avid baseball fan and the world lost a good man, in my humble opinion, this week unfortunately. Cuomo was the Governor in New York from 1983 to 1994 behind his stories of being a poor Italian immigrant but he, again in my opinion, did a great job for the state of New York and I'm personally sad to see him go.

RIP Cuomo and hopefully your sons learned as much as they could from that poor Italian immigrant.

Should the Yankees Re-Sign Ichiro Suzuki?

Should the Yankees re-sign OF Ichiro Suzuki?

That's the question The Latin Post's Damon Salvadore recently begged, opining Friday the Yankees could soon show interest in the veteran to fill their offensive needs. Ichiro, 41, has played for the Yankees since July of 2012, and hit a solid .284 off the bench for them last season.

From Salvadore:

"Suzuki won't fix all of [the Yankees' offensive] problems, but he does bring veteran leadership, experience and hits. Suzuki has recorded at least 100 hits in all 14 of his years in the big leagues. Adding Suzuki would at least provide a sure reliable hitter. Without [Derek] Jeter and Suzuki in the lineup, the Yankees would struggle mightily to get on base."

The Yankees could certainly use another bat right now, seeing as their performance at the plate last year wasn't all that appealing. Their team average of .245 ranked 11th in the American League, and their .307 on-base percentage was even lower at 14th.

Not to mention, Ichiro's probable replacement, Chris Young, is coming off a pretty unimpressive campaign whether you include his late hot streak with the Yankees or not, and it's not exactly a safe bet he'll be any better in the future.

Regardless of what New York ultimately decides to do with Ichiro, though, it should be noted the speedster stated his intentions to return for 2015 earlier this offseason, so it's unlikely the Yankees will have to worry about being rejected if they do eventually pursue him. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/3: Nick Swisher in Gone Girl

On this day in 2013 the Yankees lost a fan favorite in Nick Swisher to the Cleveland Indians via free agency. Swish was let walk and signed a four year deal worth $56 million that included a $14 million option for a fifth season with the tribe.

Also on this day in 2005 Bud Selig approves the trade of Randy Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Yankees for Javier Vazquez, Dioner Navarro, Brad Halsey, and $9 million in cash. This trade came about three or four years too late and would lead to Arizona then flipping Navarro and the cash to acquire Shawn Green from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Also on this day in 1974 the Yankees sign Bill Virdon as the team's manager. The former Pittsburgh Pirates manager will manager for two years in New York but will finish his tenure never winning a game at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are playing their home games at Shea Stadium these days due to the renovations happening in the Bronx.

Also on this day in 1973 Lester Crown, John DeLorean, Nelson Bunker Hunt, and George Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees from CBS. The Boss will become a well known owner due to his pursuit of talent at any cost, feuds with players and managers that were well documented in the media, and his frequency of firing his employees. He is also the reason this blog was started so thanks are in order.

Also on this day in 1943 Yankees 37 year old pitcher Red Ruffing is drafted into the Army. As a 15 year old the future Hall of Famer lost four toes on his left foot in a mining accident in Illinois.

Finally on this day in 1920 the secret deal made on December 26 to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 is announced to the public. This amount was twice the amount every paid previously for a player when Harry Frazee made the sale. Frazee also put up Fenway Park as collateral on a $300,000 loan.