Monday, February 16, 2015

Yankees Sign Jared Burton to Minor League Deal

The New York Yankees continue to stockpile pitching with invitations to Spring Training camp in 2015 as the team announced today the signing of Jared Burton to a minor league deal. His deal will include an invite to Yankees spring training camp this season. Burton has spent the last two seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization and has spent the last eight seasons in the major leagues.

Nothing wrong with a little depth, a little insurance and a minor league deal. Not much to see here but the 33 year old could be quite the piece if a David Carpenter struggles out of the gates. Stay tuned...

Yankees To Also Retire Bernie Williams #51, Jorge Posada's #20

Yesterday we reported that the New York Yankees would be retiring the #46 of Andy Pettitte along with a plaque in Monument Park on Andy Pettitte Day. Today we learned that there will be a Jorge Posada Day in 2015 and we also learned a little bit more about Bernie Williams Day. The Yankees will also retire Posada's #20 jersey with a plaque in Monument Park along side Williams' #51.

Both are well deserved and both should have happened already so I am glad to hear this. I guess we now know what the Yankees are going to do to bring fans out to the ballpark without a farewell tour. They are going to milk the Cour Four/Five one last time. And good for them for doing it.

Willie Randolph will also be honored on Old Timers Day 2015 with a plaque in Monument Park. Should be a fun summer for Yankees fans.

Williams: Sunday, May 24th 
Randolph: Saturday, June 20th (Old Timers’ Day) 
Posada: Saturday, August 22nd 
Pettitte: Sunday, August 23rd 

Yankees Could Be Interested in Cuban Andy Ibanez

The latest player from Cuba to officially defect from his native country in hopes of landing a major league deal in the United States is Andy Ibanez and he is a second baseman. Ibanez is 21 years old and stands 5'10" and 183 lbs from the right side of the plate.

Ibanez does not have any "premium tools or star upside" according to Baseball America but is overall solid at about everything he does on the diamond. Ibanez won the equivalent of a Gold Glove Award in his rookie season in 2011-2012 and slashed .267/.377/.435 in 280 plate appearances last season in Cuba. With all this said many speculate that Ibanez would start out no higher than Double-A ball and more than likely in Low-A or High-A in the minor leagues.

Ibanez did not play the necessary years in the Serie Nacional and would be subject to 2014-2015 International spending caps. Teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays have already gone over their caps for this season and could easily swallow the penalties to sign Ibanez as a long term investment for their minor league systems.

If the Yankees could land him it wouldn't hurt to have the project and the depth in the system but if he went elsewhere that would be okay too.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Refsnyder Gets a Shot at Second Base Job in Spring

Rob Refsnyder's chances at the Yankees' starting second base job certainly didn't look too great after the club re-signed Stephen Drew to a one-year/$5-million deal last month, but that doesn't mean they're not still there. 

Refsnyder will still get the opportunity to win the role at spring training, general manager Brian Cashman said Friday.

According to Cashman, Refsnyder isn't the Yankees' top choice for the position yet, but will be given time to develop his defensive skills during camp. Refsnyder, 23, is a converted outfielder struggling to adjust to the infield -- something clearly shown by the recurring issues he had with his glove last season. 

"We're going to see that develop in spring training," Cashman told WFAN radio

Refsnyder batted .318/.387/.497 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 137 games last year at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but wasn't nearly as good on the other side of the ball. His fielding percentage at the two levels was just .977, and he committed 12 errors. 

Refsnyder will still be considered by the team, though, if Cashman and the Yankees notice improvement. 

"The bottom line is, he'll go into camp, and he'll compete, and he'll have a chance to potentially earn a spot on the roster," Cashman said.

Refsnyder is currently viewed as one of the Yankees' top prospects, and was often talked about by New York's fanbase last season when Brian Roberts was in the midst of his slump. Indeed, many wanted to see Refsnyder brought up to replace the weak-hitting Roberts, a plan Cashman didn't support at the time.

Now, however, the GM seems to be thinking differently. 

"He has a chance to be a regular offensive second baseman," Cashman, referring to Refsnyder, said. 

Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 Prospects List: #13

Prospects Month is in full swing and we're already up to our 13th best prospect in the farm system, Miguel Andujar. I think Andujar has a lot of growing to do and a lot of maturing to do but if he puts it all together he could be pretty special.

Here is the write up from Kyle McDaniel on Andujar:

Miguel Andujar, 3B Video: Andujar is an exciting young player that had a solid full-season debut, turning in league average offensive numbers in Low-A at age 19.  He has above average bat speed and an easy plus arm, with fringy speed, a chance to be at least average defensively at third and solid average raw power.  There’s plenty to project as an everyday player given the upside and youth, but there’s still a long way to go.

13. Miguel Andujar
14. Eric Jagielo
15. Jake Cave
16. Austin DeCarr
17. Tyler Wade
18. Juan DeLeon
19. Dante Bichette Jr.
20. Domingo German
21. Slade Heathcott
22. Nick Rumbelow
23. Jose Ramirez
24. Ramon Flores
25. Gosuke Katoh
26. Chasen Shreve
27. Taylor Dugas

28. Johnny Barbato

Meet a Prospect: Chris Martin

In an effort to continue stockpiling every single bullpen arm in Major League Baseball, especially those tall enough to be centers in the NBA, Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees acquired Chris Martin from the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations yesterday after Martin was designated for assignment by his former team. Martin will need a 40 man roster spot and does have minor league options remaining so expect him to be in the thick of things this spring training. Let’s meet the man and see exactly what he brings to the table.

Chris was born on June 2, 1986 and attended Arlington High School in Arlington, Texas. During his baseball career in Arlington he did enough to be drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 18th round of the 2004 MLB First Year Player’s Draft but did not sign and instead attended McLennan Community College. The Colorado Rockies then drafted Martin in the 21st round of the 2005 Draft and once again he did not sign. Instead Martin signed with the Fort Worth Cats of United League Baseball but did not get to pitch in a game before tearing his labrum.

Martin spent the next five seasons out of Major League Baseball and baseball period before signing with the Grain Prairie AirHogs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball after a tryout with the team. He did enough there to warrant a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2011 where he stayed until he trade to Colorado along with Franklin Morales for Jonathan Herrera deal on December 18, 2013. Martin toiled around in the Rockies minor league system before getting called up to the majors on April 25, 2014. Martin’s numbers were less than impressive with Colorado posting an ERA north of 6.00 which led to him being designated for assignment on January 5th.

New York has snatched up the big, and I mean big listed at 6’ 8”, right handed relief pitcher and will stash him presumably in the minor leagues while hoping for the best. If not the Yankees can always start their own basketball team with Martin, Dellin Betances, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Brett Gardner running the point. 

Looking at the 2015 Draft: 13th Best Prospect

Continuing our look at the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft we take a look at the #13 ranked prospect expected to enter the draft. As always we will include the mini scouting report from as we introduce the #13 prospect, Alex Bregman. Bregman is a Junior at LSU where he mans the shortstop position for the Tigers Baseball team.

Here is the write up from

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55

A New Mexico product, Bregman ranked as one of the best pure high school hitters in the 2012 Draft, but slid to the Red Sox in the 29th round because of his steadfast commitment to Louisiana State. The consensus national freshman of the year in 2013, he's now one of the top bats in this year's college crop.

Bregman has an unconventional right-handed swing, but it works for him because he has a very quick bat and controls the strike zone well. He has some pull power and could develop average pop if he adds some loft to his stroke. He has average speed that plays up because of his instincts.

Because of his size, tools and aggressive nature at the plate, Bregman regularly gets compared to Dustin Pedroia. Like Pedroia, he's a college shortstop headed for second base in pro ball because he lacks the quickness and fluid actions to stay at the more difficult position. His arm and assets allow him to make plays at shortstop.

13. Alex Bregman
14. Nick Plummer
15. Trenton Clark
16. Ian Happ
17. Phil Bickford
18. Mike Nikorak
19. Kyle Cody
20. Cody Ponce
21. Riley Ferrell 
22. Chris Betts
23. James Kaprielian
24. Jake Lemoine
25. Beau Burrows
26. Richie Martin
27. Kyle Tucker
28. D.J. Stewart

Thunder Invite Jon Stewart & Family To Celebrate Storied Career

Tuesday night, Mercer County native Jon Stewart (Lawrence, NJ) announced his plans to leave Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," after a historic run as the show's anchor for over 16 years. Stewart mentioned that he had looked forward to having dinner on a school night with his family and that he had heard from multiple sources that they "are lovely people."

Your Thunder proudly extend an official invitation to Mr. Stewart to enjoy a game in the family-friendly environment of ARM & HAMMER Park.

Stewart, a well-known Mets fan, is welcome to attend the Binghamton Mets' only visit to ARM & HAMMER Park during a four-game series beginning on July 23. That weekend the Thunder will giveaway CC Sabathia bobbleheads presented by TD Bank (July 24 to the first 2,000 fans ages 14 and over) and have two opportunities to watch fireworks shows (July 23 and 25). On Sunday July 26, the first 1,000 fans (age 14 and over) through the gate will get a duffle bag, and after the game, kids can run the bases courtesy of TD Bank.

"When Mr. Stewart mentioned looking forward to spending more evenings with his family, I could not think of a better option than attending a Thunder game," said Thunder General Manager, Will Smith. "I challenge any New Jersey resident to find a more family-friendly experience than a game at ARM & HAMMER Park. We would whole-heartedly welcome Jon Stewart and his family to attend a Thunder game and throw out our Ceremonial First Pitch."

Of course, the Stewart family may select a game that better matches their schedule if they are unable to attend the series against Binghamton in July.

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/16: Yankees Trade Alfonso Soriano for Alex Rodriguez

On this day in 2004 the Texas Rangers traded Alex Rodriguez with a boatload of cash to the Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. This comes days after the Red Sox tried to acquire Alex for Manny Ramirez but the Red Sox needed Alex to restructure his contract, something Alex was willing to do, but the MLB Player's Association denied the request and ultimately the deal.

Also on this day in 2001 the Yankees re-signed Mariano Rivera to a four year deal worth $40 million. Mariano passed Dennis Eckersley's major league record with 16 saves in the playoffs the season before and was coming off a 7-4 record with a 2.85 ERA with 36 saves.

Finally on this day in 1967 Red Ruffing was selected to be in the Hall of Fame by getting the most votes on the second ballot after the BBWAA did not choose anyone in the first vote in January. Ruffing had 273 wins.