Category Archives: Transactions

Any sort of roster transaction

Yankees re-acquire Alfonso Soriano in trade w/Cubs

alfonso_soriano_by_cool_sports_players_1Next February, it will be an even ten years since the Yankees decided to trade for Rangers star shortstop Alex Rodriguez. At first, a deal with Boston was vetoed by the Commissioner’s Office, so Texas turned their attention to what New York had to offer.

Seeing the potential success A-Rod could bring to the team on and off the field, the Bombers parted with their fan favorite Dominican second baseman Alfonso Soriano, along with a player to be named later. That “PTBNL” ended up being infielder Joaquin Arias, selected from a pool of prospects that included international signee Robinson Cano.

To say the least, things haven’t quite worked out for the Yanks. However, they have now made a move to bring this controversial and monumental decade in franchise history full circle.

So, here it is. The Yankees have re-acquired Alfonso Soriano in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. Chicago has agreed to pay 18 of the 25 million dollars still owed to Soriano, and in exchange pitching prospect Corey Black will be heading to the Windy City.

“Sori” is a different player than he was when he last wore the pinstripes. No longer a speed demon, leadoff hitter, nor infielder, Soriano has played left field since his one and only season with the Washington Nationals in 2006. He has managed to stay mostly healthy throughout his career, as now at 37 years old Sori has been a lock for at least 20 home runs, 70 RBI, and a slugging percentage in the .400s each year.

So far in 2013, the seven-time All-Star is batting .254 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI, which instantly makes him the Yankees’ best [active] right-handed hitter. Yet, sabermetrics suggest this won’t be that big of a boost to the lineup (0.7 WAR, 100 wRC+). Defensively he is also a liability, perhaps even worse than Raul Ibanez who faked his way as an everyday left fielder in 2012.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Soriano’s deal runs through 2014, so he now joins Ichiro and Vernon Wells as another old, washed-up outfielder that is practically irremovable considering all the money owed to him by now both Chicago and the Yankees.

This is not to say Soriano can’t be a somewhat productive player for this year and next, but it’s unlikely he will be as productive as a younger, perhaps cheaper alternative (Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran, and Jason Kubel to name a few).

However in the interim, as in the rest of this season, this definitely will help out the Yankees lineup. They are desperately searching for power from the right side of the plate and it appears Soriano can provide that. He will likely bat in the middle of the order, and probably will DH more often than not with Vernon Wells still being a capable defensive outfielder.

But, this probably can’t won’t be a season-changing addition, and certainly without Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, [maybe A-Rod] and perhaps another bat via trade, this deal could go down as a useless one.

It will be nice to see an old face back in pinstripes, but it may be nothing more than that. Don’t expect an offensive turnaround with Soriano now in the fold; as mentioned it will take a lot more than him to get this team back into legitimate playoff contention.

Still, let’s all welcome back to the Yankees Alfonso Soriano. Hopefully he proves me wrong.

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(UPDATE) Yankees close to re-acquiring Alfonso Soriano

Thursday, 8:00pm: According to Cubs manager Dale Sveum, the deal is “99%” complete, as Soriano has been scratched from the lineup and is saying his goodbyes. Reports say Chicago will pick up $25 million of Sori’s remaining $36 million on his contract. In exchange, the Yankees are rumored to be sending prospects Joel De La Cruz and Chase Whitley to the Windy City.

Tuesday, 12:00pm: Word broke late last night via the New York Post’s George King that the Yankees were close to trading for their former rookie sensation and current Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano. They would apparently surrender no more than a mid-level prospect, and Chicago would cover most of Soriano’s remaining contract (2 years, $36 million) that expires next season.

However, there are conflicting reports on the potential deal. Just read what Cubs GM Jed Hoyer had to say on MLB Network Radio earlier today:

Even if a deal is reached, Soriano has 10/5 rights and can veto a trade to any team. But, it’s been reported several times in the past few years that if a return to New York was on the table, Soriano would gladly accept. The 37-year old is currently batting .256 with 17 home runs, 51 RBI, and a .471 slugging percentage, a right-handed power bat which the Yankees have lacked all season.

Soriano was the Yankees’ starting second baseman from 2001-2003, but was dealt to the Texas Rangers in February of 2004 for – yep, you guessed it – Alex Rodriguez. As A-Rod faces another injury and a possible suspension, Alfonso Soriano coming back now would be irony at its finest.

We will update you as more news comes in.

Off Day Notes: Rapada, Wells, Overbay, 25 Man Roster

It’s the day before Opening Day and the Yankees are putting the finishing touches on their roster by once again cutting and adding players. Here are the moves the Yankees made today.

1. The Yankees have designated Clay Rapada for assignment to make a spot for Lyle Overbay on the 40-man roster. I knew the Yankees had to make a move to put Overbay on the roster, but I didn’t see Rapada getting the boot, especially since the Yankees only have one lefty in the bullpen. This could be a way to get Rapada back into the minors like with the David Adams scenario or this is a goodbye to the side arming lefty. Still, I didn’t see this coming. Rapada released a statement via tweets after his DFA:

2. Vernon Wells changed his number before tomorrow. 56 originally belonged to Tony Pena so Vernon Wells will now wear #12.

3. The Yankees have finally released their 25-man roster. Here’s the roster for tomorrow:

ROTATION
52 CC Sabathia
18 Hiroki Kuroda
46 Andy Pettitte
47 Ivan Nova
41 David Phelps

BULLPEN 
42 Mariano Rivera
30 Dave Robertson
62 Joba Chamberlain
48 Boone Logan
27 Shawn Kelley
38 Cody Eppley
43 Adam Warren

CATCHERS
29 Francisco Cervelli
19 Chris Stewart

INFIELDERS
55 Lyle Overbay
24 Robinson Cano
36 Kevin Youkilis
26 Eduardo Nunez
17 Jayson Nix
33 Travis Hafner

OUTFIELDERS
11 Brett Gardner
31 Ichiro Suzuki
12 Vernon Wells
45 Ben Francisco
22 Brennan Boesch

15-DAY DISABLED LIST
65 Phil Hughes
2 Derek Jeter
25 Mark Teixeira
14 Curtis Granderson

60-DAY DISABLED LIST
71 Cesar Cabral
35 Michael Pineda
13 Alex Rodriguez

The roster begins to shape up for the Yankees

The Opening Day 25-man roster has to be set by Sunday, but the Yankees got a head start and started making some cuts and additions. Here’s what manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees did after the Yankees 4-2 win over the Nationals.

1. The Yankees optioned Melky Mesa to Triple-A Scranton along with newly acquired pitcher Sam Demel.

2. Lyle Overbay officially made the team today. Overbay’s defense impressed Joe Girardi enough that he will be the 1B against right handed pitchers while Kevin Youkilis plays third base.

3. Ben Francisco and Jayson Nix also made the team as the 4th OF and a utility guy off the bench.

4. David Aardsma was designated for assignment by the Yankees today. The reason behind it was that Girardi felt the Yankees already felt that they had enough one inning pitchers. Didn’t seem the need to carry another one.

5. Shawn Kelley made the team. Girardi liked his approach on the mound as well as the fact that he’s a strikeout pitcher.

6. Vidal Nuno along with a handful of other players were reassigned to minor league camp. I guess winning the Dawson Award didn’t mean much in the Yankees eyes.

7. Before the game today, Joe Girardi and Mark Teixeira were watching Brennan Boesch do first base drills while Teixeira was giving him pointers. It seems as if the Yankees plan on carrying Boesch as the emergency first baseman although the Yankees didn’t officially announce that as of yet.

8. After the Yankees released David Adams, he became a free agent today and the Yankees re-signed him. Seemed like a lengthy process to get him off the 40-man roster and back into the organization.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Yankees claim Russ Canzler off waivers, DFA Chris Dickerson

The New York Yankees have a new player on their team, although it’s not the way that everyone prefers. Instead of signing a free agent, the Yankees claimed Russ Canzler off waivers from the Cleveland Indians. He’s speculated to compete for the 4th OF spot with Matt Diaz. In the minors Canzler hit .289/.365/.508 with about 1,000 AB in the International league.

To make room for Canzler on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have designated OF Chris Dickerson for assignment. Honestly Yankees, everyone’s getting tired of the ‘Lets DFA Chris Dickerson‘ game. He’s a great RF and for a moment, I considered him a great bench/Swisher replacement–before you DFA’d him…today.

In Other News:

– There has been no date set for Alex Rodriguez‘s surgery. No one is sure if it’s a set-back but it could be a problem if Rodriguez’s return is postponed by a week or two. Brian Cashman already believes that the 2013 Yankees aren’t going to hit as many HR’s as the 2012 Yankees since the departure of Nick Swisher and Russell Martin along with the injury to A-Rod. Well, maybe if you went to the Winter Meetings and got some big pieces like you were supposed to, then hitting HR’s wouldn’t be a problem.

Yankees Offseason Notes: Kevin Youkilis deal becomes official and ‘El Nino’ signs elsewhere

As of early this morning–Kevin Youkilis is officially a New York Yankee. The Yankees agreed to a one year contract for the former Boston Red Sox infielder, who said that family influenced his decision to come play in New York.

“The first thing was family.” Youkilis said during a conference call. “I wanted to make sure with all these options what was best for the family.” Youkilis’s family believed that being in New York City for a year would have been unbelievable and the fact that the Yankees could of had a chance to win the World Series in 2013.

During the conference call, Youkilis said that he had received a voice mail from Joba Chamberlain–the both of them have had a rough history together. Youkilis said that he hasn’t worked out on trying to reach out to Chamberlain as of yet due to multiple voice mails and calls to return. “For me personally, it’s a new teammate.” Youkilis said of Chamberlain. “We’re going to go out there and take the field together. He goes out there to pitch and hopefully I can play great defense behind him. And if he gets in a jam, we can stop it.”

Before you ask, no Youkilis will not play in the outfield as a Yankee. He will be used as a third baseman, a first baseman and a DH. When Alex Rodriguez returns from surgery, both Youkilis and A-Rod will be in the lineup somehow. Just don’t ask him to play shortstop. “If they put me at short, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble there.”

In Other News

– The Yankees will have to deal with one more familiar face joining another team. Ramiro Pena (or as known in New York as ‘El Nino’) has signed a major league contract with the Atlanta Braves. It’s not surprising that Pena is going to a different team since he barely had time to play for the Yankees, but the fact that’s surprising is that he signed a major league contract. Pena’s fielding is tremendous–but his hitting makes you want to cringe every time there’s an RBI situation and he’s up to bat. We’re going to miss you Pena.

Kevin Youkilis signs with the New York Yankees

Yep, the Kevin Youkilis waiting game is over. According to Ken Rosenthal, Kevin Youkilis signed with the Yankees for a one-year, $12 Million contract, marking this the first signing of the offseason for the Yankees that wasn’t a re-signing (Yankees signed Hiroki Kuroda, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Brett Gardner all on one year deals). Here’s the tweet from Rosenthal:

Red Sox and Dodgers truly wheeling and dealing

The dust has finally settled after a crazy past few days in Major League Baseball. If the non-waiver trade deadline wasn’t shocking enough, the waiver trade deadline was even more frantic and surprising.

In a blink of an eye, the Red Sox traded away three core players and over 270 million dollars worth of contracts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. And then some.

L.A. acquired slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, (the centerpiece of the deal), injured left fielder Carl Crawford, struggling 32-year old righty Josh Beckett. and utility infielder Nick Punto. Meanwhile, Boston receives first baseman James Loney and four prospects.

At first glance with little knowledge of what’s gone on this year, it seems like the most lop-sided trade in baseball history. But, as in football, “upon further review”, this deal is as equal as it can get.

The Dodgers, now 69-58 after a win over Miami in Gonzalez’s debut (1-5, 3-R HR), are two games back of the San Francisco Giants in the N.L. West. Prior to this deal, the team had already made numerous moves to improve the club, compared to where it stood on Opening Day.

Outfielder Shane Victorino, shortstop Hanley Ramirez, reliever Randy Choate, closer Brandon League, and starter Joe Blanton are the biggest names that most recently donned Dodger Blue, and all of them have fit in nicely since their respective trades prior to the July 31st [non-waiver] trade deadline.

Now in bringing in A-Gone, Crawford, and Beckett, the Dodgers have added a grand total of 94.75 million dollars to the team’s payroll [for this year alone] since starting to wheel and deal back in July. And I didn’t even bring up the home-grown superstars of Matt Kemp (making 10 million this year, jumping to 21 million annually in 2013) and Clayton Kershaw (making 7 million in 2012, jumping to 11 million next season, and then demanding a big payday afterwards). Clearly, the Dodgers are digging deep into the pockets of Magic Johnson to make all this happen.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the Red Sox.

Boston officially waves the white flag in making this deal, as they traded their ace, best hitter, and well, Carl Crawford, all in one deal.

It’s been a season of disappointment and bitterness for the Red Sox and their fans, as they are in fourth place in the AL East with a record of 60-67. Uttering the name Bobby Valentine on Yawkey Way is almost as bad as saying “Dent”, “Boone”, or “Buckner”. Seriously. The fans hate him, and so do the players, which is probably a reason why they’ve played so poorly all year long. If you don’t like your manager, it’s unlikely you’ll play hard or well for him.

The Red Sox to me are like a teenage girl following a sudden break-up. “This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.” I can hear Ben Cherington cry out to John Henry.

But in all seriousness, the team’s prior hopes and dreams of championships are crushed, and so Boston finally accepted it’s time to start looking towards the future and planning for 2013 and beyond, which is the smart thing to do.

The players that are coming to Boston aren’t really anything special. James Loney is only coming over to play first base for the remainder of this season, as he’s been a very inconsistent hitter for the past couple seasons now. And the prospects have all had their share of struggles and should be Major League ready by now, yet they’re not.

But for the Red Sox, it really doesn’t matter who they got for what they gave. The point is they are free from a couple of high-priced, long term deals, one that was very misguided (wink wink, Carl Crawford). And Beckett was making 15 million bucks per year as well, and simply had to go. Taking this much money off the books allows the Red Sox to spend freely on any of the big free agents this coming winter, and also a chance to reconstruct the clubhouse and create a happy and friendly environment in Boston, which let’s face it, will be the total opposite as long as Bobby V is manager.

It will be very interesting to see what the Bo-Sox do this offseason. As I said, they can spend the money they got immediately and maybe try to get back in contention next year. Or they could hold off, let their prospects get a chance to prove themselves and wait and see.

If nothing else, one thing is definitely for sure – Bobby V is gone following the season.

Hurrah Red Sox fans!

Yankees Acquire Casey McGehee

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have traded RHP Chad Qualls to the Pirates for 3B/1B Casey McGehee. In 293 PA this year, the right-handed McGehee has hit .230/.297/.377. He will be beneficial as another right-handed bat in an otherwise heavily left-handed roster with the injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. This year against left-handers, McGehee has a very strong 119 wRC+, a .348 wOBA, and a .807 OPS. He also brings a lot of value as a pinch hitter with a line of .292/.382/.542 coming off the bench in his career which is rather impressive. McGehee plays both 3rd and 1st base so he can add some pop to the lineup at 1st base while Teixeira is out, and then he could probably platoon with Eric Chavez at 3rd with A-Rod out. Sherman also notes that the Pirates are giving the Yankees $225,000 of the $485,000 differential between the contracts of Qualls and McGehee.

Chad Qualls was going to be the odd man out of the bullpen anyway with Joba Chamberlain returning from the DL so this is a good move by Cashman to get some value out of the right-hander instead of simply sending him down or DFA’ing him. However, this trade doesn’t come without a negative side, as McGehee’s defense at third base is not anything to rave about. Also as William J. of The Captain’s Blog pointed out on Twitter, the trade makes the Yankees lineup even more suscepible to splits as McGehee is extremely weak against right-handed pitching (.222 AVG, .616 OPS, 67 wRC+ this year).

Joba will be activated tonight and will be a great piece to have in the bullpen as someone who can get both righties and lefties out.

Yankees Acquire Ichiro Suzuki

Yankees Acquire Ichiro Suzuki

According to Jack Curry, the Yankees and Mariners have agreed on a trade to send Ichiro Suzuki to the Yankees in exchange for D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. Also, Joel Sherman is reporting that the Yankees will pay just more than $2 million of what is left on Ichiro’s salary.  Ichiro is batting .261 on the season, with 4 HR’s, 28 RBI, and a .642 OPS. The general consensus seems to be that the Yankees got Ichiro for next to nothing.

2012 5th Round pick Robert Refsnyder to start career in Charleston

2012 5th Round pick Robert Refsnyder to start career in Charleston

by Matt S.

From the Yankees MILB.com page, 2012 5th round pick Robert Refsnyder is to start his career with the Charleston River Dogs. He was just named the Most Outstanding Player in the College World Series. Here is some information on Refsnyder from the article:

Refsnyder was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2012 Draft with the 187th overall selection following his junior year, and is expected to make his professional debut Tuesday night with the RiverDogs.  This past season he batted .364 with eight home runs and 66 RBIs and also stole 14 bases in 65 games, earning a spot on the Pac-12 All-Conference squad.  He was also named to the All-Pac-12 Conference first team following a sophomore season that saw him tie for the conference lead in RBIs.

Chavez to DL; Yanks call up Nix

Chavez to DL; Yanks call up Nix

By Delia E.

The Yankees had made a roster change and for the Yanks, it’s not good. The Yankees have placed Eric Chavez on the 15 day DL after suffering a concussion in last night’s game. The Yankees refused to send down a pitcher, instead they brought up young Jayson Nix to be another bat on the bench. In Scranton, Nix is batting .233 with 0 HR’s & 4 RBI’s.

Freddy Garcia goes to bullpen

Freddy Garcia goes to bullpen

By Delia E.

Freddy Garcia’s tenure in the Yankees rotation is officially over as of today. No, he wasn’t released from the team but he was added to the Yankees bullpen. Yankees called up D.J. Mitchell earlier today to add depth to the Yankees bullpen and though not official, it looks as if David Phelps will get to keep the rotation spot warm–until Andy Pettitte comes back.

There is still one issue though; the Yankees still have 26 men on the roster meaning someone has to be sent down to make room for Mitchell. This also isn’t official but it could be Cody Eppley that gets sent down.

Update: Cody Eppley was just optioned to Scranton to make room for Mitchell.

Yankees call up D.J. Mitchell

Yankees call up D.J. Mitchell

By Delia E.

Update #1: According to Andrew Marchand, this could potentially mean that David Phelps is now in the rotation.

Original Post:

David Phelps’s old friend from Triple-AAA will join the Yankees. D.J Mitchell was called up today just a day after Freddy Garcia blew his last start. There was no counter move at the moment but it looks like Girardi really did sleep on his decision. Mitchell is to make his Major League Baseball debut in today’s game. More on who’s off the roster as this story develops.

Tweet:

Andy Pettitte re-signs with the Yankees

Andy Pettitte re-signs with the Yankees

By Delia E.

The last time we saw Andy Pettitte with the New York Yankees, it was in 2010. After calling it a career in the 2010 off season and not playing during the 2011 season, Andy Pettitte had a change of heart and is now has re-signed with the New York Yankees for the 2012 season. The Yankees & Pettitte agreed on a 1 year, $2.5 Million minor league contract which includes an invitation to what is left in Spring Training! Here are some tweets about Pettitte’s return.

Yankees Sign OF Reynolds

Yankees Sign OF Reynolds

By Delia E.

The New York Yankees signed third baseman/outfielder Burt Reynolds after watching him play for the independent Newark Bears & Can-Am Baseball Association in 2011. Reynolds has some family members in the game; his cousin happens to play 2nd base for the New York Yankees whose name happens to be Robinson Cano. Last season Reynolds hit .232 with 13 HR’s, 36 RBI’s & 11 SB. He was a 30th round draft pick for the Washington Nationals and spent time in Tampa Bay’s minor league system before joining the Can-Am league.

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