Monthly Archives: January 2012

Yankees Mailbag – 1/29/12

Hello Yankees fans and welcome to another edition of Yankees Mailbag, where you send in your Yankees questions and I answer them. Before we get into the questions, let’s recap a couple of things that have happened with the Yankees the last couple of weeks.

1. The Yankees agreed to contracts with all 6 of their arbitration eligible players (Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Brett Gardner, Boone Logan, Russell Martin & Phil Hughes).

2. The Yankees traded away C/DH Jesus Montero and RHP Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for RHP Michael Pineda and pitching prospect Jose Campos

3. The Yanks signed RHP Hiroki Kuroda to a 1 year / $10M deal.

4. Jorge Posada officially retired from baseball after 17 years in the major leagues.

I asked fans to send in their questions on Twitter and you did! Here are your answers!

The first question comes from @AppFlyer and he asked:

Answer: Well, it all depends on if A-Rod is healthy. If A-Rod is working out his knee like he says he is, then there should be no reason that he can’t go over 99 games but right now, I don’t see A-Rod going over 100 games. Maybe it’s because of all the injuries last season, and if I were Girardi I’d make sure A-Rod takes it easy.

Our next question comes from @bootydrew and he asked:

Answer: I have a lot of favorite Jorge Posada memories, but the one that really stood out to me was the 6 RBI day that he had on August 13, 2011. The reason that the moment was special was for 2 reasons. One of them was that I was at Yankee Stadium that day and I got to witness a grand slam from the legend seats. The second reason was because it was my birthday. Jorge will always have a special place in my heart just because he made that day a day that I will never forget.

The next question comes from @brianbuck13 and he asked:

Answer:  Kim Jones was obviously a great reporter for the Yankees & it’s a shame that she’s no longer with YES but I think the network will be all right moving forward. The only negative that I could think of is with Jones no longer with the Yankees is that there are no female reporters with YES Network in a channel run predominantly by male reporters. Other than that, the station should be fine moving forward.

Our next question comes from @dystmedia. He asks:

Answer: I am not a big fan of Andruw Jones but I think the Yankees made the right call with re-signing Jones. Jones has a good bat that could be used in the DH spot if the Yankees don’t sign anyone in the remainder of the offseason and he knows how to hit left handed pitchers. All and all, the Jones signing was a good deal. To answer your second question, the Yankees just may have the best rotation in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays following close behind. They even have one of the better rotations in the AL with Sabathia, Pineda, Kuroda, Garcia and a TBD 5th starter. I wouldn’t say that the Yankees have the best rotation though because the Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish & the L.A Angels added C.J Wilson, but the Yankees are currently up there.

Our next question comes from @Magnee_ and she asks:

Answer: I think it would be a great idea if the Yankees stopped trying to make Joba Chamberlain a starter. He’s fantastic in the bullpen, why make him into something he’s not?

Our next question comes from @mikeevan1306 and he asks:

Answer: I admit that in the beginning of the offseason, I was frustrated that Brian Cashman didn’t dive into the free agent market like some teams did (ex. Miami Marlins), but after seeing the results I was glad with the fact that Cashman actually stood back. I believe that Cashman wasn’t as aggressive as others have been early in the offseason because he knows how the the process works. Sometimes patience is the key and that is what Brian Cashman showed.

Our next question comes from @willpanagiotis. He asks:

Answer: For starters, this was an interesting question. For the 5th starter, I would say that A.J Burnett would get the spot solely because of the money owed to him, and the end of the year improvement. He came up in key situations and he showed that he could deliver. But I wouldn’t just hand him the spot if he walked through the doors of George M Steinbrenner Field on February 19. A.J would ONLY get the spot if he does well during Spring Training. What would happen to the other two would be interesting. I would put Phil Hughes in the bullpen for long relief since Hughes has the stamina of a starter but has been a bullpen pitcher before. Garcia would be in the bullpen as well but if he requested a trade before June 1 would give it to him. (Garcia can’t be traded until June unless he asks.)

The most realistic DH option would be to platoon the role between Andruw Jones, Alex Rodriguez & Derek Jeter. That way the Yankees save money and they wouldn’t have to trade a pitcher for a bat. Another option that the Yankees could do is to look into the FA market. There are hitters such as Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez & Hideki Matsui who have had good bats, but their age would hinder their production. However, they do have veteran experience and are cheap.

Our final question comes from @NataliaYank2530. She asked:

Answer: The Yankees have expressed some interest with Luis Ayala but now that the Yankees are overflowing with pitching I don’t think that there is a place for him anymore. Other teams have made offers to Ayala and if the Yankees had really wanted to make an offer to Ayala, they would have done it. It’s only a matter of time to see where Ayala ends up – but it will most likely be with another team.

Those were all the questions that I got for the Yankees Mailbag. If you ever have a question about the Yankees, send it to either @dfiregirl4 or @yankeefansunite on Twitter, or email Mike at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com.

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Morning Bits: Granderson, Yankees who got away

Good morning all.  Last day of the weekend.  Enjoy it.

on with the links…

* Wallace Matthews of ESPN asks if Curtis Granderson is for real.

* Lohud looks at the ones who got away from the Yankees.

* The NY Post says dealing away Montero could be costly for the Yankees.

Open Thread

Good evening. Not a lot has happened in Yankee Land today, but another pitcher is off the Free Agent market. Roy Oswalt agreed to a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.

This thread is for you to talk about anything that comes to your mind.

Have a good night.

An interview with Seedlings 2 Stars

Our friends over at Seedlings 2 Stars were kind enough to answer a couple questions about the 2012 Prospect list they put out.  The questions were sent out before the trade but I think the answers are still interesting to hear.

For a bio on both the writers who answered these questions click the below links.

Q1: Tell us what you feel about the projections of Jesus Montero. You ranked him pretty low, in my opinion, on your 2012 Prospect list at #42.  I feel that will be the lowest ranking we will see of him all year from any source.

Nathaniel: Montero is likely to be a very good major league DH. The reason he’s ranked 42nd on the list is because he’s not going to provide any value aside from his bat, so he’s going to have to be one of the top dozen or so hitters in the game if he’s going to attain true stardom. He’s not going to grow much more, and his statistics got worse as he advanced through the minors, so it would seem to be awfully difficult to be confident that he’s going to be a top-15/20 hitter. That said, he’s still just 22 and has a very good track record. He should be a very good hitter. The thing is, there’s a significant chance his offensive production is closer to Billy Butler‘s than Miguel Cabrera‘s.

Q2: A prospect that won’t make many lists is Jorge Vazquez. While he can mash the ball, he tends to strike out quite a bit and doesn’t seem to take many walks. I feel he could be a MLB player (like a Shelly Duncan) but he is blocked by Mark Teixeira at 1B and DH by Montero. Could you see a team wanting him in a trade? Or is he a career minor leaguer?

Wally: Jorge Vazquez is 29-years old and has a dreadful career SO-to-BB of 710-to-173. In 2011 with Triple-A he drew just 30 BB to 166 SO in 118 games. If you’re a fan of percentages his K% was a whopping 33.2 and that’s just not major league material, especially coupled with a 6.0 BB%. The other thing that limits his value on the market is that there are no shortage of younger 1B/DH type guys with better plate discipline and a better track record scattered around the minor leagues. Off the top of my head we have; Clint Robinson (26) – Royals, Bryan LaHair (29) – Cubs, Kila Ka’aihue (27) – Athletics, Brandon Allen (25) – Athletics, Chris Davis (25) – Baltimore. Then you have guys that may be a little older but have a better profile like Luis Terrero (31) – Mexican League. Vazquez may get a look as a bench bat at some point but he’s awfully long in the tooth and with his issues on the plate discipline front, the presence of Teixeira really doesn’t impact his chances of getting major league at bats. The Yankees could be starting Travis Ishikawa at 1B and Vazquez would still be blocked. Bottom line, he has little trade value and is most likely a career minor leaguer who may get a cup of coffee at some point.

Q3: You have Gary Sanchez #17 ranked ahead of Manny Banuelos #26. The majority of Yankees projections will have Banuelos ahead of Sanchez. Can you explain to our readers why you have your rankings this way and how you see Sanchez and Banuelos as MLB players?

Nathaniel: Sanchez has more upside than Banuelos does, and, being a position player, he also has less of a chance of suffering a career-altering injury. His track record, at least on offense, has also been excellent thus far, whereas Banuelos hit some serious speed bumps in the upper minors with his command. I absolutely love Banuelos–he was top-10 on my list last year–but he’s not physically projectable, so his stuff probably “is what it is,” so to speak. Therefore, it could be a couple of years before he refines things enough to get his walk rate back down, and he’s almost certainly not an ace in the end–more of a #2/#3 starter. Sanchez, on the other hand, could be the best catcher in the American League if he can figure out the defensive side of the game. Of course, the same could be said for Montero, but while there’s skepticism surrounding Sanchez’s defensive capabilities, I don’t think it’s quite at the level of the disregard for Montero’s catching.

Q4: What are your thoughts of Dante Bichette Jr.? Some Yankee fans were scratching their heads when he was selected so high in the draft. That being said, in his first season in rookie ball he hit .342 with 3 HRs and 47 RBIs. Do you see him cracking your prospect list in the future?

Wally: I believe in the value of having major league bloodlines and selecting a player of his profile 51st overall was far from head scratching to me. In fact I was surprised he didn’t go earlier. That said, I was surprised by how quickly he transitioned his game to affiliated ball. He was one of a select few players to hit better than 0.300/.400/.500 in 2011 and he did so at 18 years old. I don’t think there is any question that if he puts forth another strong season in 2012 he will land in the 51-100 range of the vast majority of Top-100 lists. He’s got the bat, the projectable power, a strong throwing arm, decent speed and a strong work ethic. In short he’s an outstanding prospect that just needs to show what he did in rookie ball will translate to A-ball and beyond.

Q5: You have Betances ranked at #88 for your 2012 Prospect Rankings.  Some see him as just a back of rotation guy – where do you see him fitting in with the Yankees?

Nathaniel: Tough to say. Betances has very good stuff, so there’s always the chance that he figures out his mechanics, gets the ball down and in the zone more, and takes off. At this point, though, he looks more like an eternal frustration a la A.J. Burnett. He could be a Burnett-type starter with his fastball/curve mix, but probably fits better as a power reliever. If he doesn’t get things together in 2012, he won’t be on the list again.

Q6:  Can you give us a top prospect who could make an impact next year for each team in the AL East that Yankee fans should be aware of?

Wally: For Baltimore there just aren’t a lot of options close to the majors that are likely to have an impact. In fact there’s really just one and that is 2B-turned-outfielder L.J. Hoes. He doesn’t have any standout tool but he is coming off of hitting 0.305/.379/.413 for Bowie (AA) in 2011 with his typically strong SO-to-BB rates. While he lacks the pop you’d like to see in a corner OF, his bat is legit and he should hit for average in the majors. He will likely get on-base at an above average rate and bring good speed to the table.

Like the Orioles much of Boston’s top tier talent is further down in the system but there is one player in particular that will most likely make an impact for the Sox in 2012. C Ryan Lavarnway made his major league debut in 2011 after hitting 32 HR between AA and AAA. Once in the majors he didn’t shrink from the spotlight and handled himself well hitting 0.231/.302/.436. He should push for playing time in Spring Training and have a chance to become a “Napoli-esque player” (to borrow a phrase from Nathaniel’s lexicon).

Tampa Bay has the top-pitching prospect in all of baseball and there is no player I am looking forward to watching more in 2012 than LHP Matt Moore. Everyone knows about him by now but he’s going to make a loaded Rays rotation even better. I may be over the top but I consider Moore a serious threat to win the AL Cy Young Award this year.

Toronto has the best farm system in the division and Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia have already made their presence felt in the majors. There is more impact talent on the way. C Travis d’Arnaud and OF Anthony Gose will likely both start in Triple-A and be just a step away from making an impact on the major league roster. Gose will likely take a little more time to round out his game but d’Arnaud could advance quickly and make Arencibia a tradeable commodity in short order.

Q7: Based on the recent trades of Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos, could the Yankees have come up with a prospect package to match what Washington & Cinncinati gave up WITHOUT including Montero and Banuelos?

Wally: Well to recap. For Washington it took RHP A.J. Cole, C Derek Norris, LHP Tom Milone and RHP Brad Peacock to get Gio and Robert Gilliam from the Athletics. Cincinnati needed to give up C Yasmani Grandal, 1B Yonder Alonso, RHP Brad Boxberger and RHP Edinson Volquez to pry Mat Latos away from the Padres. Those are 2 serious prospect hauls that the Nationals and Reds surrendered respectively and it’s hard to imagine that the Yankees could have gotten a deal done without including one, if not both, of Montero and Banuelos. If they had packaged Banuelos with Gary Sanchez and probably two other guys a bit further away I think they could have pulled it off for either starting pitcher. Likewise a package fronted by Jesus and Betances and some other guys further away may have worked but Montero’s value to the Padres was significantly less due to the uncertainty surrounding his ability to play catcher.

To put it more bluntly, no. I don’t think they could not have pulled off either deal without giving up either Montero or Banuelos.

Q8: Would a package of Betances, one of Romine or Sanchez, one of Warren or Phelps and another C-level prospect be enough for the Cubs to trade Matt Garza?

Wally: Ah, see now were getting to a more realistic target as Matt Garza isn’t on the same level as Mat Latos or Gio Gonzalez. He’s several years older and closer to free agency which makes him a less valuable trade commodity. If the Yankees were to step up with a Betances, Sanchez package and maybe another C+ prospect I have to believe the Cubs would jump at the chance. If they opted to try and move Romine instead of Sanchez than I think Phelps, Betances and another piece would have to be involved.

Q9: I love Tyler Austin as a sleeper prospect. I think he possesses the same skill set of Dante Bichette but doesn’t get near the publicity. Have you seen him play? What do you think of him? And is there a sleeper or two you like in the Yankee organization that might not get a lot of press?

Nathaniel: I’ve seen a bit of video of Austin. I agree that he’s definitely worthy of being talked about along with Bichette and Williams–they form a formidable trio of short-season guys you don’t find in many organizations. I think Nik Turley and David Phelps are two good sleepers. I see both as capable fourth starters in the big leagues.

Q10: With most of their top pitching prospects in the upper levels (AA and above), what young pitchers in the Yankee system do you like to step forward in the coming years to replace Banuelos, Betances, Noesi, Nova, Phelps, Warren, etc…

Wally: Of the guys pitching below AA the two I think have the best chance to step forward are RHP Brett Marshall (21) and LHP Nik Turley (22). Both have now reached High-A and both could develop into mid-rotation guys. Outside of those two there’s not a whole lot else to dream on right now in the lower levels.

Q11: I expect to see Mason Williams crack a lot of Top 100 lists this yr. BA rated him the top prospect in the NY Penn Lg and he’s got all kind of tools in his shed. Was he considered for your top 100 and what is your overall opinion on him?

Nathaniel: Yes, Williams was considered for the top 100. He was around the 110s on my list, and that’s no insult. I was very hesitant with a lot of short-season guys on the list this year, sort of as a reaction to going too crazy with them on the list the year before. I do think he was the top prospect in that league, he has a very good skillset, and he’s certainly a prospect to watch. He, Austin, and Bichette will all rise up my rankings next year if they continue to hit in A-ball.

Morning Bits: Kuroda, Corner Outfield Depth

Good morning all….. Let’s get right to the links.

* Kuroda talks about leaving the Dodgers, why he chose the Yankees.

* Lohud looks into the organizational depth of corner outfield.

* Selig expects expanded playoffs to start this year.

* American League’s super six teams.

Open Thread

Good evening all. This is your open thread.  Feel free to talk about whatever you want.  Some notes to get you started.

* Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Hiroki Kuroda’s one-year, $10 million contract with the Yankees also contains a full no-trade clause.

* Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that when Victor Martinez (knee) returns in 2013, he will bat fifth behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

Enjoy the night.

Previewing the 2012 White Sox | Interview Series

Out with the old, in with the new.

Over the course of the next month or two, we will be previewing the Yankees’ competition in the American League. To do this, I will interview one blog for each team in the league.

Today we’ll take a look at the Chicago White Sox. I was able to interview Anders Johanson of Southside Showdown.

1. In 2011, the White Sox went finished 79-83, 16 games back from the 1st place Tigers. What do you think the team could have done a better job at? What do you think was a definite strength of the 2011 ChiSox?

I feel like the 2010-2011 offseason encouraged Sox fans to set the bar unreasonably high as far as expectations go. I won’t lie, I was one of thos guys. We brought back Konerko and Pierzynski, we signed Dunn, all signs pointed to Peavy being healthy, everything looked good on paper. The problem with baseball, though, is that the game isn’t played on paper. It’s played on the field. Dunn was a shocking disappointment, Rios was terrible, the starting pitching wasn’t there, the bullpen was spotty, there were a handful of consistent players, and the three basic aspects of the game (offense, defense, and pitching) didn’t all work at the same time. The offense would be great for a few weeks while the defense and the pitching couldn’t keep us in a game. Defense and pitching were there when the offense couldn’t score runs. For a team to do well all three aspects need to function at the same time. That never happened in 2011.

With that much going wrong on a team it’s hard to pick a definite strength. We saw the versatility of Brent Lillibridge, the second coming of Joe Crede in Brent Morel, the emergence of Alejandro De Aza, and another good year out of Konerko. The 2011 Tigers got to a point in the season where they could just smell the playoffs and nothing was going to stop them from getting there. Not the Twins, not the White Sox, not the 1927 Yankees.

2. Towards the end of September, the White Sox released Ozzie Guillen from his duties as manager. How different do you think the team will be without the presence of Ozzie Guillen? What do you think the new manager, Robin Ventura brings to the table?

From what I’ve read it seems like Ozzie was the source of a lot of tension in the White Sox locker room. A character like that is entertaining for a little while but after a certain point it just gets repetitive and even annoying. It was a good run with him as Sox manager but the honeymoon had to come to an end at some point – you can’t live off of 2005 forever. I wish him and Mark Buehrle all the best in Miami.

I’m looking forward to have Robin Ventura in the dugout, if not just for the fact that it brings a fresh brain to the managerial position. Ventura flew under the radar of literally everyone except Kenny Williams so when he was hired it was a big surprise. After a week or two it started to sink in and make sense.  Even though the Sox are supposedly rebuilding/retooling there are enough veterans on the team for Ventura to breathe a little bit. Robin has never managed before so the naivety might be frustrating for the first two or three months. It’s tough to predict how a manager will manage. Everyone thought Mike Quade was going to save the Cubs last year and that was a train wreck. We’ll just have to wait and see on this one.

3. Just days after GM Kenny Williams said the team was in full-blown rebuilding mode, he extended John Danks to a 5 year / $65MM contract, despite trading away Carlos Quentin and Sergio Santos. How do you feel about the White Sox seemingly strange offseason?

Kenny Williams’ offseason plan is usually clear by this point. I can’t quite figure out what he’s going for in 2012. Maybe he has some master plan that nobody but him can see? I’m hoping that’s the case because we gave up a lot this offseason and didn’t get much in return. Quentin to the Padres was a salary dump, letting Buehrle go was a risk, and trading Sergio Santos and Jason Frasor killed our bullpen. Chris Sale is going to move to the rotation and Dayan Viciedo will now be our everyday right fielder so this season will be an adjustment for both of them. It’s the Danks extension that throws the whole rebuilding thing out the window. Danks’ 2011 season (8-12, 4.33 ERA) didn’t earn the money he received. There was talk that Williams was shopping both Danks and Gavin Floyd but his asking price was way too high. Apparently his solution to that is to give a lot of money to a mediocre left-hander in hopes that said lefty somehow becomes Randy Johnson? If you’re going to rebuild then rebuild. That means dealing Danks, Floyd, and whoever else so that the team can start fresh.

4. What is the general confidence level in the team moving forward, both in the short-term and long-term?

Right now it’s difficult to say. I think the fanbase is equal parts excited and terrified for both short-term and long-term. The Sox at a major league level will still be competitive because it’s not like Kenny completely cleaned house this offseason. The minor leagues – which I’ll get to in a moment – are what bother me the most. There are two or three guys who are major league ready and then everyone else is still years off.

5. How do you feel about the current state of the White Sox’ prospects, and minor-league system? Are there any prospects that you think could have an impact on the 2012 team?

The Sox are quite weak in the farm system. A couple years ago I would’ve been more confident in the kids we have down in the minors but right now even our Top 10 list isn’t that impressive. Nestor Molina, the pitcher we got from Toronto for Sergio Santos, looks to be our number one prospect and a guy who could potentially be in the starting rotation a year or two from now. Two other pitchers to watch out for who are ready to make an impact are Dylan Axelrod and Addison Reed. Both guys were September call-ups in 2011 and have a ton of upside. They’ll be good replacements for Sale and Santos.

6. Lastly, how do you project the team will do in 2012?

As I said earlier this game is played on the field and not on paper. That being said, on paper we look decent. Obviously we lost a good bit of power, a solid starting pitcher, and some arms out of the bullpen. With the big move the Tigers made to pick up Fielder they’re the clear favorite in the Central so hopefully the Sox can finish second or third. I’d like to be optimistic and give a huge “anything less than first is a waste” speech but second place is honestly what we’re shooting for this season. A record above .500 and good baseball in August and September should take us there. First place would be a pleasant surprise, though.

Yankees Are Interested In Raul Ibanez

Yankees Are Interested In Raul Ibanez

By Delia E.

According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, the Yankees are interested in free agent Raul Ibanez. Ibanez has drawn interest from multiple clubs such as the Tigers & the Mets but 10 days ago the ACES have contacted the Yankees about Ibanez meaning that there is mutual interest.

Last season Ibanez had a .245/.289/.419 line while with the Philadelphia Phillies. ESPN’s Buster Olney had said that he believes that Ibanez would be a good fit in the Bronx.

Morning Bits: Jeter, Mariano, Centerfield

Good Morning it’s Friday let’s get right to the links……

* From the Daily News the final two members of the core four are not thinking about hanging it up.

* Lohud moves onto Centerfield with the organizational depth series.

 

Open Thread

Good evening all.  This is your open thread so feel to talk about whatever you like.  As always I will give some news and notes to get you going.

* All the arbitration cases for the Yankees are now done as LHP Boone Logan avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.875 million contract.

* Yankees finally completed the deal with Kuroda today.

* Mariners skipper Eric Wedge said Wednesday that there’s a “good possibility” that 38-year-old outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is moved away from the leadoff spot.

* Tigers manager Jim Leyland confirmed Thursday that Miguel Cabrera will indeed make the move over to third base to accommodate Prince Fielder at first base.

 

Kevin Whelan designated for assignment

Yankees designated RHP Kevin Whelan for assignment

by Matt S.

He was cleared to make room for the newly-signed Hiroki Kuroda on the 40-man roster. Whelan made two appearances with the Yankees last season. The 28-year-old could draw some interest on waivers.

Getting to Know Cuban Prospect Jorge Soler

Originally Posted 12/6/2011

Name Jorge Soler

Height 6’3

Weight 205

Age/DOB (19)  2/25/1992

Bats/Throws  R/R

Position Outfielder

Jorge Soler is younger than the other big named Cuban Cespedes which both are Outfielders.  Soler has all the tools but is probably a couple years away from what I have been reading from joining the major leagues.   Kevin Goldstein who is a good source labeled the Yankees, Rangers and Phillies in that order in getting Soler.

While Cespedes is believed to be a 30-30 guy most experts believe Soler could be a 4o homerun guy.  With how big his body is most feel he will move from CF to a corner outfield position.

Nationals Director of International Scouting Johnny DiPuglia also said “he’s got a Hanley Ramirez-type body. Plus arm. Plus bat speed. He’s a good kid, a good-energy kid.”

So to sum it up Soler will be a project that has the tools who the Yankees could mold and wait on in a couple years to fill a spot in the big show.

Update: 

Still to this date Jorge Soler is not a house hold name like Cespedes who is still a driving force in the rumors and ramblings.   As for Soler the picture above is really all you can find about him on the internet.  He has no Youtube videos or any other information out as of today.  Most of the information about him is coming from second or third hand accounts.   What is fact is the higher ups in the know all seem to think he will start in the minors and could be an elite prospect and will cost much less than Cespedes.

Another thing is the Yankees are short on high level outfield prospects in the minors.  Besides Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott the out look isn’t that great.  So why not the Yankees take a chance on him and see how he will pan out.

As more information comes available about Soler we will have all the latest right here at Yankees Fans Unite.

Morning Bits: Rotation, Andruw Jones, Girardi, Top 100 Prospects

Good morning all it’s Thursday just one more day and it’s Friday.  Let’s get right to the links….

* Paul White of the USA Today says the Yankees rotation has upgraded with the off-season moves.

* Anthony DiComo of MLB.com has the details of the official signing of Andruw Jones.

* Dan Martin of the New York Post reports the Girardi is OK with the pitching surplus.

* Last night MLB TV released their top 100 prospects here is the list.

* Four Yankees made the list which included Banuelos, Betances, Sanchez, and Williams.

Open Thread

Good evening all.  This is your open thread feel free to talk about anything you wish.  Below are some topics to get you started.

* A-Rod sold his NYC condo and actually made a profit on the deal.  Check the article out it has some pictures.

* Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Red Sox have made an offer to free agent Roy Oswalt.

* Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that the Red Sox have also made an offer to Edwin Jackson

* According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, teams have been informed that Yoenis Cespedes is a free agent.

* The MLB channel will unveil The 2012 Top 100 Prospects tonight at 10pm.  Check it out.

Also to note Andruw Jones is now on the roster (as of today)  so I assume he has completed his physical.  It is official here is an article from the WSJ.

7 Calls Cashman needs to make for a Hitter

Butler is the type of .300 hitter with pop the Yanks should target

In recent days , there have been three general stories coming from Yankee camp – all involving the excess starting pitching and lack of a DH. First, we have heard that the team needs to move some salary in order to spend on a hitter since they currently only have $1 or 2 million at most. Second, the Yanks prefer to trade AJ Burnett, but the prevailing thought around the league is the team would need to eat roughly 2/3 of the remaining $33M on his deal. And the third piece of news – straight from Cashman – is that they prefer to add a hitter via trade and that the FA market is “secondary”.

Well the first thing I’d try to do is dump AJ on someone and pocket the $10-$13M saved over the next 2 years – money which can be used to look for a bat.Since the opening the team has is at DH, they can pursue a bat at any position. But looking beyond this season the potential positions that could be available are RF and 3B. Nick Swisher is a Free Agent following the season and will likely command a 3 to 4 year commitment. Alex Rodriguez is signed for 6 more years, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the team to start looking at 3B options so ARod can begin to make his inevitable transition to the DH spot.

The type of hitter I’d like to see them acquire is someone who hits for solid average with some pop and is under team control for at least 2 years. With that in mind, Cashman needs to make phone calls on the following players:

Chase Headley – San Diego – 3B/OF

Headley is a 27-year-old, switch-hitting 3Bwhose numbers have been adversely effected playing half his games in pitcher’s paradise Petco Park. He hit .289/.374/.399/.773 overall but was a blistering .330/.399/.465/.864 away from Petco in 2011 and for his career is a totally different player on the road with a .303/.364/.441/.805 line. This guy clearly needs a change of scenery and is much more valuable to SD as a trade chip. Headley is in his prime and adds some speed (44 for 53 in SBs last 3 yrs) and defensive versatility. He could play 3B, LF & RF allowing ARod & Swisher to DH a lot – then next yr, he could play RF, 3B or play the same 3B/Corner OF utility role. He’ll make $3.5M this yr and has 2 more Arbitration years so he has 3 more years of team control. Phil Hughes would likely interest SD although they may prefer a prospect package in return.

Daniel Murphy – Mets – 3B/2B/OF/1B

Murphy is another versatile player who could fill in at multiple positions including the all important 3B to DH ARod often. He’ll turn 27 in April and is coming off knee surgery that cut short his red-hot 2011 season. He hit .320/.362/.448/.809 and doesn’t reach arbitration until next season so is still dirt cheap. He is an aggressive hitter who hits for average and puts the ball in play striking out only 9.9% in 2011. The question then is why would the Mets deal him? Well he’s now had 2 season ending injuries in the last 3 yrs so his name was on the market this winter. The Mets have Wright at 3B and can use Justin Turner at 2B but could use pitching. The Yanks could offer a nice package of prospects or offer Hughes who could close or start for them.

Billy Butler – Kansas City – DH/1B

Butler is a 26-year-old righty who hits for average and extra base hit power. He has a career .297/.360./458/.817 slash in his 4.5 yrs career. He’s hit at least .290 with 15 HRs and 44 Doubles every yr in the last 3 so he’s been very consistent. He doesn’t strike out a lot and should continue to improve as he enters his prime. KC has him signed thru 2014 at $8M per season. They have a lot of promising hitters that have emerged and have another big bat on the verge in Will Myers. Butler could be used as a means to update their pitching and a package centered around Hughes or Betances would be enticing.

Logan Morrison – Miami – OF/1B

Morrison became known for some of his brash comments on twitter last season and people are wondering how his personality will clash with new manager Ozzie Guillen. The big lefty hitter has a patient approach and can hit for average and power. He’s a career .259/.351/.460/.811 hitter in his brief 812 MLB PAs. He’s only 24 and has a bright future and Miami really has no reason to trade him right now. However, Miami is said to be highly interested in Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes to energize the large Cuban population in Miami. That could make Morrison expendable but he wouldn’t come cheap since he’s not even Arbitration eligible until 2014. Betances would have to lead a package for LoMo.

Shin-Soo Choo – Cleveland – RF

Choo was one of MLB’s rising stars after hitting .300+ with an .880+ OPS for 3 straight yrs from 2008-2010. However, he had some off the field issues in 2011 including a DUI which contributed to a disappointing and injury plagued season. Healthy and motivated now, the 29 yr old lefty is ready for a comeback season. He’s a great all-around RF capable of hitting .300 with a .400 OBP and 20+ HRs. He’ll make $4.9M this year and has one more arbitration year before hitting FA in 2014. Cleveland may be down on him after last season’s struggles and only 2 years of team control left. I doubt Cleveland would look to trade hm until mid-season at earliest so he could re-establish himself, however with Detroit’s recent power move, perhaps Cleveland is already looking to the future.

Paul Konerko – Chicago White Sox – 1B/DH

Konerko does not fit with the other names on this list since he’s a veteran who will be 36 before the season starts. However, the White Sox have little chance of contending this year and could get a nice package of players to re-build with for Konerko. Over the last 2 years , Konerko has hit .306/.391/.551 for a .942 OPS and averaged 35 HRs & 108 RBI. His bat would look very nice hitting in the cleanup spot. Konerko has 2 yrs and $25.5M on his contract but is worth the money as he still hits at an elite level. To fit his $12.5M salary, some salary would have to go back to Chicago along with prospects but it could be done as long as Burnett is moved in a separate deal.

Domonic Brown – Philadelphia – OF

The Phillies don’t have much that they need and Brown is one of their top prospects. However, they brought in OF Laynce Nix and GM Ruben Amaro said “He has some things to work on….and if I had my druthers, I would keep him at Triple-A and have him get 500-600 ABs.” I’m sure that’s not what the big 24-yr old Lefty hitter wanted to hear after starting 56 games in Philly last yr. The Phils have a strong OF with Pence, Victorino, John Mayberry and Nix so maybe it’s possible they’d entertain a Brown for Betances + trade. Brown would be the heir apparent to take over RF in 2013 and could be broken in slowly. The Yanks don’t have a big time OF in the upper levels of their system and a player like Brown would be just what they need.

Morning Bits: Kim Jones, Posada, Martin

Busy day yesterday let’s get right to the links….

* Kim Jones is leaving the Yes Network.  Me personally I really enjoyed her on the field reporting.  Best of luck to her.

* Posada retired because he was tired.

* Harper of the Daily News says tension still lingers between Posada and the Yankees.

* Yankees also brought back Martin yesterday for one more year.

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