Thursday, January 22, 2015

Size of A-Rod's salary reason Yankees aren't in on James Shields

Want someone to blame for the Yankees' lack of interest in James Shields? Blame Alex Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez's large 2015 salary is the reason the Yankees have opted to stay away from emptying their wallet for the prized right-hander this offseason, according to GM Brian Cashman. Cashman, talking to WPAT-AM radio Wednesday, said the Yankees don't want their payroll to go up anymore after Rodriguez's return to the roster, a strategy just not consistent with signing a veteran like Shields. 

"We in fact had some contracts coming back on with Alex Rodriguez returning from his suspension," Cashman said. "That was $21 million dollars coming back on the payroll. We'll still have about the second-highest payroll and I don't see it going any higher."

Shields has reportedly been asking for around $110 million this winter, though that price could soon go up now that Max Scherzer's off the market. Shields was actually said to have been offered that amount by an unnamed team earlier this month, but turned it down. 

Still, it's unlikely the Yankees would've been willing to give him anything close to that number anyway, especially since they've already stuck true to their past statements regarding Scherzer. 

"Typically, when we're aggressive in the winter with a lot of big-time contracts it's when big contracts are coming off [the payroll]," Cashman said. "This winter wasn't that case."

It certainly wasn't, at least after one takes a quick look at the Yankees' current budget. First baseman Mark Teixeira, outfielder Carlos Beltran and starting pitcher CC Sabathia all still have two years left on their respective deals, and $155 million ace Masahiro Tanaka was just inked for seven last January.

Indeed, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Yankees have been relatively cheap these last few months, only making a few longterm acquisitions since the season ended.

“We’ve talked a lot about whether we’d be shopping in the high-end district this winter and, outside of Andrew Miller’s signing, we’ve kind of stayed away from that stuff,” Cashman said. 

Yankees Sign Eddy Rodriguez to Minor League Deal

On January 16th, and just updated on the Yankees team transactions page, the New York Yankees signed catcher Eddy Rodriguez to a minor league deal. Rodriguez came over from the Tampa Bay Rays organization after sporting a minor league career slash of .224/.274/.366 with 45 home runs in an even 1500 at bats.

Rodriguez has gotten into two games in the major leagues and has a total of five at bats with one hit, a solo home run. Rodriguez may provide some Triple-A depth for New York at catcher, nothing more.

Latest Bovada World Series Odds

Nationals 6/1
Dodgers 8/1
Red Sox 12/1
Cubs 12/1
Angels 12/1
Cardinals 12/1
Tigers 14/1
Mariners 16/1
Giants 18/1
Blue Jays 18/1
Orioles 20/1
White Sox 20/1
Royals 25/1
Yankees 25/1
Padres 25/1
Indians 28/1
Braves 33/1
Marlins 33/1
Mets 33/1
Pirates 33/1
Athletics 40/1
Rangers 40/1
Reds 50/1
Brewers 50/1
Astros 66/1
Rays 66/1
Diamondbacks 100/1
Rockies 100/1
Twins 100/1
Phillies 100/1

ICYMI: Didi Gregorius on Yankees Hot Stove

Just in case you missed it Jack Curry interviewed the new Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius on YES Network's Yankees Hot Stove recently and it was a great interview. I won't spoil what was asked and how he answered so click the video above and watch it for yourself. It's a quick five minutes and really makes you see Derek Jeter's replacement in a whole new light, at least it did for me. Enjoy.

From Mariano Rivera to Derek Jeter to Alex Rodriguez

The New York Yankees have enjoyed the past two seasons not because of any sort of postseason play but because they got to say goodbye to two of their great players in Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. As much as we all probably would have liked to have seen these two players play for the rest of their lives it was enjoyable to see them go out on their terms and with full and healthy seasons in the uniform where it all began, New York. This season is going to be a little different as instead of a farewell tour we, the fans, are going to be in the middle of the comeback tour of one Mr. Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez missed the entire 2014 season after being suspended, and after having that suspension reduced, for his ties and involvement in the whole defunct Miami Clinic once known as Biogenesis. Nobody is going to make donations to A Rod’s charities for him this season and I highly doubt anyone gives him a base from an old stadium or a trip to Italy. What we will see is plenty of boo’s and maybe some boycotting across the league from the fans.

This is going to be a nightmare if Rodriguez decides, and his health allows him to, to play the whole season with New York. Even with limited playing time you have to figure he is going to get a couple hundred at bats and you have to figure there is still a Ryan Dempster out there that can’t wait to see them. This has gone far beyond the Bronx is Burning and Reggie Jackson ripping George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin in the media and this has gone way beyond Mr. Steinbrenner paying for information on free agents such as Dave Winfield. Alex Rodriguez made 2013 and 2014 the year of the lawsuit and even had a case against the Yankees team doctor for purposely covering up an injury and keeping him off the field.

This is going to be a mess, a circus perhaps, and I really and truly do not look forward to the 2015 season. The Alex Rodriguez comeback tour starts in about a month whether we are ready for it or not. Oh boy…

MLB.Com's Top 10 RHP Prospects Includes a Yankee

OJ Mayo has released his Top 10 right handed pitching prospects in all of Major League Baseball and a member of the New York Yankees made the list. Luis Severino came in at the #7 slot after a strong 2014 season that ended all the way in Trenton with the Thunder. See below for the excerpt about Severino and click the link HERE to read the entire FREE list. 

7. Luis Severino, Yankees: A newcomer to this list, Severino wasn't on the Top 100 at all a year ago. But after his initial breakout in 2013, he pitched across three full-season levels in 2014, finishing the year in Double-A. The Futures Gamer isn't the biggest guy in the world, but he has a quick arm that fires upper-90s fastballs deep into starts. His changeup is his best secondary pitch and his slider is improving. His ability to throw strikes and keep the ball down in the zone should help him remain in a rotation.

TGP Daily Poll: Alex Rodriguez Does Not Retire During Spring Training

Many around the league and MLB wonder, or hope, if Alex Rodriguez will simply claim he is not able to perform and retire while collecting his $61 million contract. A Rod may do that but it won’t be during spring training, he will make it to Opening Day just to piss off the Yankees.

Vote in our prediction poll on Knoda. 

MLB Umpires Reach 5 Year Deal w/ League

Major League Baseball owners and MLB umpires have ratified a five year collective bargaining agreement that will be enforced through the 2019 season. The deal was agreed to in late December and was subject to approval by Bud Selig and Major League Baseball as well as the World Umpires Association.

I believe this was probably a foregone conclusion that it would get done, especially after uninterrupted labor peace and such since the 1995 season, but it’s still great news and encouraging news to read about when a deal gets struck so easily. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/22: Tanaka Accepts Yankees Deal

It was on this day way, way back in 2014 when Japanese righty Masahiro Tanaka accepted the offer from the New York Yankees of seven years and $155 million. This would mark the fifth largest deal ever given to a pitcher and would also be the largest sum of money ever given to a Japanese player. New York also was on the hook for the $20 million posting fee given to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. 

Also on this day in 1982 Reggie Jackson signed a free agent deal with the California Angels ending his New York Yankees career after five seasons. Jackson signed a four year deal worth nearly $4 million after winning the 1977 and 1978 World Series with the Yankees and reaching the playoffs four times.

Finally on this day in 1913 the New York Giants agree to share the Polo Grounds with the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders, who played in the American League and will soon become known as the Yankees, had been playing their games at Hilltop Park ever since the franchise moved from Baltimore to New York.