I read Wallace Matthews piece about the $189m payroll next yr and Hal’s changing stance on it. Matthews cites some vague anonymous team sources saying that Hal is ready to spend money and draws the conclusion that the $189M budget isn’t a necessity anymore. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. Until I see them spend some money or Hal comes out and says they are scrapping the plan, I don’t believe it because all of their actions up to this point say they are serious about trimming payroll.
I think it may just be the Yankees trying to leak stuff to the media because they know fans aren’t happy and that ticket sales are likely down again. The last 2 days we’ve had back to back non-news headlines stating that Hal is willing to spend big money to bring back Cano and now that Hal is likely to ditch the $189 goal because he wants to ensure they field a championship team. Sounds like they are trying to save face in the media to me. EVERYTHING they have done for the last 2-3 offseasons has been based on getting below $189m. They have not signed 1 significant player in FA past 2013 except Ichiro who will turn 41 in 2014. I think that speaks volumes.
Think about the Ichiro signing. First off Cashman refused to give anyone a multi-year deal this Winter to protect the 2014 budget. He liked Tori Hunter for RF but it went nowhere because he wanted 2 yrs. Russell Martin was never even made an offer. If you recall, Cashman tried to sign Nate Schierholz to play RF before he decided on the Cubs and kept Ichiro on the back burner for weeks. It looks like Ichiro was signed more at the direction of ownership/Levine than by Cashman due to the fact that he attracts a large Asian fan-base that adds to ticket sales. Don’t forget it was Levine who originally initiated the Ichiro trade talks with Seattle in July and brought it to Cashman. Once again that likely had a lot to do with ticket sales just like when Levine over-ruled Cashman and signed Rafael Soriano in 2011 because Cashman hadn’t signed any significant FAs. Fans weren’t pleased and Levine felt the team had do something to spark interest and at that stage of the offseason, Soriano was the only legitimate FA left.
Hal was surprised to hear that fans weren’t happy with the offseason and according to Matthews’ source, he was “freaked out” by the fans negative reaction to the team’s payroll cuts and lack of significant acquisitions. The 2 stories about Cano and $189 on back to back days seems like a PR move orchestrated by Levine and/or Hal to address fan perception just like the Soriano signing in January 2011, the Ichiro trade in 2012 and the Ichiro signing in 2013. While it sounds like a good thing that the Front Office cares what the fans think, putting band-aids on problems and making reactionary moves to try to bolster ticket sales are not a way to run a team. Bring up and play some exciting young players, sign/trade for players in their primes and don’t mandate sizable payroll cuts while revenues around baseball are at an all-time high and the team has the highest ticket prices in MLB. Those are the things that will energize the fan base and help the direction/performance of the team at the same time. After all, nothing is better for attendance and fan confidence than winning rings.
What do you think? Do you think the team has softened on $189m or is this a PR move designed to save face?
It has been reported that the Texas Rangers have agreed to terms with Free Agent Catcher A.J. Pierzynski. The Yankees were said to have looked into the 35-yr old as an option to replace Russell Martin but ultimately backed off because he supposedley wasn’t strong enough defensively. To me, I thought AJ would be an excellent match for the Yankees but I thought he was out of the picture because he would receive a 2-yr deal from someone. I wanted to see the Yanks offer a Kevin Youkilis type deal – high money for just 1 yr for AJ. In fact I thought they should have offered the same $12M deal to AJ that Youk signed for. Well, I was crushed to see that Pierzynski signed with Texas for a mere $7.5 Million for 1 year. Where was the Yankee offer?
Based on the wreckage that is the current state of Yankees catching and the club’s ridiculous insistence on 1-yr contracts – there really couldn’t have been a better match. I don’t expect AJ to hit 27 HRs and win a Silver Slugger again like he did in 2012, but he seemed to be a good fit and would have improved the team immensely over the Catchers they have now. AJ is a high average , contact hitter who is one of the toughest to strike out in the league. He crushes RHP which would be ideal to match with any of the Yankees RH hitting backups in Stewart, Cervelli or Romine. AJ feasted on RHP in 2012, hitting .287/.338/.536/.874 with 24 HRs in 399 PAs. It would have been ideal to have him start the roughly 110 games this year vs RHP and one of the RH backups to start vs LHP.
Pierzynski is an all-out player with a fiery personality who gets under the skin of opponents. He’s one of the more disliked players in MLB but he’s known to be a good teammate and leader. His demeanor and effort would be a welcome addition to the team. Apparently, the Yankees had concerns that he was only an “average” defensive catcher. This is rather laughable considering the Catchers currently on the team. At this point in their careers AJ is better defensively then Cervelli and Romine. And while Stewart is a solid defender he is like having a Pitcher in the batting order. Pairing AJ with Romine may have been a good move so the young catcher could learn on the job from a seasoned veteran the way a young Posada learned from the veteran starter Girardi.
Looking at the state of catching in MLB, Pierzynski was an excellent option and a no-brainer at the contract he got. Although its been just 114 PAs over the last decade, he’s shown that he won’t wilt in the post-season with a .300 BA, 5 HRs and a .892 OPS. AJ’s LH power also could have made it easier to trade Curtis Granderson for young talent without inhibiting their offense in 2013. There seems to be a multitude of good reasons to have signed Pierzynski to be the Yankees catcher in 2013 yet they had very little interest. I have been perplexed with a number of the team’s decisions this Winter (and the last 2-3 Winters actually) but I totally don’t understand this one. Currently, it looks like the Yanks have perhaps the worst starting Catcher in the A.L. which doesn’t add up with their apparent strategy. All of their moves this offseason make it seem that they are going with a lot of veterans to take one last shot while guys like Pettitte, Mariano and Jeter are still around. They have made no effort to get younger or to make any significant additions for the team’s future beyond 2013. Pierzynski was the perfect fit to go after it in 2013 without adding any further commitment/burden to the 2014 payroll. I want to believe the team has a plan but with each subsequent move and non-move it makes it harder to understand it.
Earlier today, the Yankees made clear that Brian Cashman would become open to a trade for Curtis Granderson. Curtis Granderson has an interesting case. He’s a free agent next season, he strikes out about 200+ times a year and he’s not the best defensive CF in the whole entire world. But what makes Granderson so special, so unique that it would become hard to part with him? It’s simple, the man has hit 40 HR’s and has driven in 100+ RBI’s since the Kevin Long tutorial. Now, we all know the Yankees list has gotten longer and longer, but the fact of the matter is, trading Curtis Granderson wouldn’t be the way to get the players we need. I made a poll on Twitter today asking fans if they would be interested in trading Granderson and why. Here were some of the responses I received:
@dfiregirl4 no he still has 1 year left to his contract, if he hits as many HRs as he did the past 2 seasons i’m fine with him
— Kim Lachance (@Kimtheluck) December 4, 2012
@dfiregirl4 no way he is a cornerstone of the lineup, young and a great centerfielder
— Ed(@Boomer414) December 4, 2012
@dfiregirl4 He might hit a bunch of Home Runs, but strikes out too much …
— Mike (@1amMike) December 4, 2012
@dfiregirl4 It would have to be for a no doubter, superstar type player. 40 HR’s, 100 RBI doesn’t grow on trees.
— Carlos Acosta (@venomous1913) December 4, 2012
@dfiregirl4 yes He is here only 1 more year & no way do they resign him after. 2 much and 2 many years Get a player 4 now plus prospects
— Robbins Dynasty (@RobbinsDynasty) December 4, 2012
@dfiregirl4 it would have to be a great deal. Grandy is a strikeout machine, but a good guy, good power and range. I don’t see it happening.
— Mike O’Hara (@mikeyoh21) December 4, 2012
— kb (@callsignviper86) December 4, 2012
As you can see, the favorite answer is no. Although it would make sense to trade Granderson since he is a free agent next season, like @venomous1913 said, 40 HR’s and 100 RBI players don’t grow on trees. If the Yankees were to trade Granderson, it would have to be for the right price.
In Other News
– If Alex Rodriguez were to sit out for the 2013 season, the Yankees would get insurance on the contract–but it would count against their luxury tax in 2014.
– The Yankees have to look for a catcher, right fielder, DH and a third baseman. The Yankees are adding assistant hitting coach to the list to work alongside Kevin Long. Is this a panic move I sense?
– If you’re interested, the Red Sox signed Shane Victorino to a 3 year deal meaning that Nick Swisher is no longer considered for the Red Sox RF role. A source close to Swisher did say that if the Yankees or the Angels/Dodgers didn’t want him he would love to go to the San Francisco Giants.
*I had so many responses for my Curtis Granderson twitter poll that I couldn’t use all the answers but thank you everyone for sending in your input. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your answers.
It’s the end of Day 1 of the 2012 Winter Meetings and the big news today is none other than Alex Rodriguez needing hip surgery which questions his 2013 season. As if the job of Brian Cashman was hard enough, needing to replace a right fielder and a catcher–now we have to add third base to our list as well. The Yankees don’t have many options on the free agent market, which is where a trade would have to come in. Jon Morosi believes that Chase Headley of the Padres could be the Yankees best bet at this point, but if the Yankees want him then they would have to trade high.
Now, not sure if this would be a valid reason to get off A-Rod’s back during the postseason but A-Rod had the hip issues during the playoffs and even stayed in the hospital after one of the ALDS games vs. the Orioles. Again, not trying to give A-Rod an excuse as to why he performed poorly but–just saying.
In Other News:
– Derek Jeter spoke on the Michael Kay show this afternoon to address how far along he is with his recovery. Jeter needs to wear the boot for another 6-7 weeks but he says he will be ready for Opening Day. When asked what Jeter wanted for Christmas, his answer was simple.
“I want this boot off my ankle.”
Oh also, Jeter has seen the pictures of himself in the New York Post looking out of shape. His answer about his workout regimen this offseason?
”Evidently I haven’t been staying in shape.”
Well played Captain. Well played.
– Brian Cashman had a press conference earlier this afternoon during the Winter Meetings to address the Alex Rodriguez issue. He did give a firm no when asked if the Yankees would use Eduardo Nunez at 3B to replace A-Rod in the meantime. A-Rod will be the 3B once he returns but in the meantime, the Yankees are going to have to look high and low for a deal. Just–if you’re going to trade for a 3B, RF, C or something Cashman, don’t touch Brett Gardner. You’d be crazy to do so.
– Oh and one more note, Freddy Garcia won’t be back with the Yankees for the 2013 season. You can silently boo (or fist-pump depending on your views on Freddy now).
When the Yankees ended their 2012 season with an ALCS loss to the Tigers, the pieces that the Yankees have to pick up again seemed legitimately small. They knew they were going to have to sign Hiroki Kuroda and Mariano Rivera to contracts. They knew they had to wait for Andy Pettitte’s decision on whether or not he would return in 2013–which came quickly this year. They knew they were going to have to replace the right fielder since Nick Swisher most likely won’t come back next season. They also knew that they were going to have to re-sign Russell Martin to another contract to play behind the plate in the Bronx. Well, as of last night Brian Cashman’s list got a little bit longer.
Although he was able to re-sign closer Mariano Rivera to a 1 year, $10 Million contract, he let another player get away–Russell Martin. The offseason plan has always been to take care of starting pitching first before going off and extending contracts to other players. Apparently, Russell Martin couldn’t wait for that, signing a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2 years and $17 Million, rejoining ex-Yankee A.J Burnett in the process. This leaves Brian Cashman heading into the Winter Meetings on Monday with no catcher and no right fielder, two moves that he has to fill up before Spring Training.
With Martin gone from the Yankees, heading to Pittsburgh there are two legitimate catchers on the free agent market that are still available: A.J Pierzynski and Mike Napoli. Although the Yankees aren’t reportedly targeting either catchers, at this point they don’t have much of a choice.
Last season if Martin had ever gotten hurt, Francisco Cervelli would have been the starting catcher. Now that Martin is gone, that looks to be the case with Chris Stewart at backup and Austin Romine as an emergency choice. As much as I like Cervelli (he’s a big fan favorite), he’s not a power hitter. The same goes for Chris Stewart. Although Stewart is an amazing defensive catcher, he doesn’t have the pop in his bat.
Brian Cashman believes that the answer to the catcher situation could possibly already be on the team, but with players like Cervelli, Stewart, Romine and new Yankee (who is currently in the process of clearing waivers) Eli Whiteside, I don’t see a legitimate starting catcher in the Yankees organization. 2014 is a year away Cashman. Time to take out your wallet and make a deal for someone for this year, no matter what it takes.
They’re known as the Evil Empire. The New York Yankee$. Or in Nickelodeon’s “Fairly Odd Parents”, the Bankees.
Year after year, the Yankees and their fans are constantly discredited and disrespected because of how they take advantage of their surplus of cash, spend it on the best players in the game, and build a perennial All-Star team each year in the Bronx.
2009 is the most recent year anti-Yankee fans point to. After an 89-win 2008 season in which the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993, general manager Brian Cashman went on a mission to own the proceeding winter’s free-agent market to put a championship-caliber team in the Yanks’ brand new billion dollar ballpark.
Well, some 400 million dollars later, Cash got his wish. He brought in not only stud lefty CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay’s sidekick A.J. Burnett, but slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira as well. Three players who were all still in the beginning of their primes despite having accomplished plenty in the seasons leading up to their pinstriped days.
As many predicted, the Yankees won the World Series that year by defeating the Phillies in six games. It was a glorious moment (one I witnessed in person), and of course there’s nothing better than your favorite team winning it all.
Besides one thing though: winning it all multiple times.
That’s something this seemingly stacked Yankees team has failed to do, after now three straight playoff failures despite having trophy-worthy regular seasons.
But of course as we all know, that last point is irrelevant to us. No trophy besides the trophy matters. George Steinbrenner set a precedent that is followed by everyone in Yankeeland – that anything short of a World Series is an unsuccessful season. Throw away all the memories and historic moments of the past three years. The Yankees didn’t win it all, and that signals it’s time for change.
Most fans are convinced this offseason will be a replaying of the spending-spree of ’09. Brian Cashman will go out and sign the top free agents [Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke in this case] and the Yankees will become a superhuman team and power their way towards another world championship.
The worst part of it all is that they want this to happen. The same fans that are complaining about A-Rod’s contract are the ones begging ownership to give a drug abusing, clunky, and 32 year old Josh Hamilton hundreds of millions. Not to mention head-case Zack Greinke, who’s an A.J. Burnett waiting to happen.
Don’t get me wrong, those moves would definitely help the Yankees. The question is for how long? I don’t want to win another pennant/World Series, and then suddenly fall apart and fail to win again without a true core in place. This team is too old and has too many holes for it to be fixed with the ‘dough. Hopefully Brian Cashman realizes this and fans can stop their pre-orders of Josh Hamilton jerseys before they arrive at their doorsteps with Red Sox colors.
Just look at the San Francisco Giants. Here they are in a blink of an eye winning their second World Series in three seasons. Biting their lips in the 2000s and watching their West Coast foes enjoy championships and playoff baseball sure paid off, didn’t it? They let their farm system progress, made trades to help the club in a couple years, and locked up young players who clearly had potential others couldn’t see. Now they have two world championships with a roster filled with MVP contenders and Cy Young winners, and most of the players haven’t even reached their prime years yet.
To quote John Sterling, “isn’t that amazing?”
It really is, and quite embarrassing for the Yankees to be witnessing.
Austin Jackson. Phil Coke. Melky Cabrera. George Kontos. Arodys Vizcaíno. Jesus Montero. Ian, Patrick, Kennedy. Do you want me to continue?
Those players (plus many more) made up the future of the Yankees just a couple years ago. It seemed like the Core Four could pass the torch off to this bunch and they could continue the winning and success that Jeet, Mo, Andy and Jorgie enjoyed for the majority of their careers.
Now, after the Cash-man decided to deal away all of those young prospects, the Yankees are left with a team full of senior citizens (baseball-wise). Each season seems like a “last-hurrah” for this whittling core of the Bombers, and had the club simply instilled trust and held on to it’s promising young guns, a new dynasty could have just been getting underway.
Instead, we’re left with a home-run or bust center fielder, two injured pitchers, and suddenly many problems to be addressed this coming winter.
There’s no doubt in my mind this team is certainly still salvageable, and can get younger and stronger for the upcoming season. That’s of course as long as Cashman looks for trades that bring in youth, rather than dealing it away for pretty much nothing.
Then again, that’s just like telling a college student to change his study habits, or lack thereof the night before the big exam. It just won’t happen. Cashman isn’t that type of GM, and it’s certainly hard to be being in the “win-now” atmosphere of New York.
But I’m just flat-out tired of teams taking advantage of the Yanks’ farm system and winning pennants and making superstars due to our front office’s lack of faith in any youngsters. It seems like we hear about these top Yankee prospects for years and BOOM – they’re flipped to the Atlanta Braves for Javier Vazquez. Come on.
I want Curtis Granderson gone. Each time his name is brought up I think of IPK, A-Jax, and Coke. That’s it. He’s done nothing but make me regret that trade year after year. He still has value in being able to hit 40 home runs, and the Yankees could get a great deal including top prospects if you throw in a Phil Hughes or a Joba Chamberlain.
How about Alex Rodriguez? I don’t think he will be traded, and that’s because my personal lack of trust and faith in Brian Cashman. But if dealt, the Yankees could get a big head-case off the team and also either some prospects or a young established Major Leaguer in return.
Look, I am thinking of moves for 2013, 2014, 2015 and beyond. It seems like the Yankees’ offseason policy is just how to win in the next calendar year. And it really annoys me because clearly, that policy has only worked once in the past twelve years. When something ain’t broke, you don’t fix it. But something is clearly wrong in the Yankees organization, be it their outlook on fielding a team or the ones who do the very job.
As I stated, I want to win. But not for one season. I want a dynasty that can last with young exciting players you want to root for.
Hey, what can you say. I’m a Yankee fan. It’s in my blood for me to want that.
This has been a rant on the New York Yankees, sponsored by AARP.
Although both Cashman & Girardi have stated that Alex is the Yankees 3B in 2013 and they have no plans to pursue a trade, they would be foolish to not explore every opportunity to move him. We all know the obstacles in place to move Alex, the 5 yrs @ $114 Million remaining on his deal, the no-trade clause and his decline at the age of 37. However, if anything has been proven over the last year in MLB, it’s that any player can be traded regardless of the obstacles.
This is not meant to be a typical, blame all of the Yankees problems on ARod piece. Alex is still an above average player in the regular season and has value going forward. So why should the Yankees trade him? Well, there are 3 major motivations for the Yankees to pursue a trade:
- The Money - In years past, it really wouldn’t matter what ARod made as the Yankee payroll was routinely $210-225 Million. However, with Hal dead serious about reducing the payroll to get under the $189M Luxury Tax threshold, the ARod deal is the biggest albatross. Although he will make less in the latter years of the deal, he will still count $27.5M towards the Cap every year due to the Annual Average Value and that amount will balloon to $33.5M in the years he hits his milestones. That first milestone is likely to be hit in 2013 as he needs 13 HRs to tie Willie Mays.
- Derek Jeter - We don’t know how Jeter will recover from his broken ankle or how it will affect his already declining range at SS. I’m not one who thinks Jeters range kills the team but the facts are he will have to play fewer games at SS in 2013 and beyond. With Derek needing more time at DH in coming years, can the team really afford to have 2 players in their late 30′s that need extensive DH time?
- The Post-season - I really thought Alex lifted an enormous monkey off his back with his performance in the 2009 Playoffs when he helped lead the team to the WS. However, since then he has been totally invisible in the post-season for the last 3 years. Since 2009, he is 12 for 75 (.160 BA) with 0 HRs and only 2 Doubles for an anemic .448 OPS and 24 StrikeOuts. In his Yankee career, he has had 2 good post-seasons, 1 meh and 5 complete debacles. For a team that goes to the post-season nearly every yr, they need better than that and it is clear that Alex presses during the post-season.
With the above demerits, why would any team want to trade for ARod? Well, let’s look at the motivations for a team like Miami. The money is definitely an issue and the Yanks would have to take back a big salary, eat money and perhaps sweeten the pot with another good player. But Miami wouldn’t have the same financial issues as the Yankees do. For starters, the Luxury Tax is not an issue for them so the fact that Alex’ AAV is higher than his actual paycheck is meaningless to them. The fact that his salary drops to $20-21M the final 3 years is advantageous to Florida. The other big detriment to the Yankees is also meaningless to Miami – the post-season performance. Miami was in last place in 2012 and they would be happy just to make it to the post-season in the next few years.
The 3 major reasons Miami would be interested in Alex are the following:
- Attendance/Exposure - Miami just opened their new stadium in 2012 and have been looking for Latino box office draws to create a buzz and fill seats. If anything, Alex is interesting and always creates a huge media buzz. Miami would definitely benefit from the added exposure and the fact that Alex is aa Miami-native with deep ties to the community is a huge factor for them. Miami tried to sign Albert Pujols in FA as a big Latin draw but failed, they signed Jose Reyes for the same reason. Alex could play the role Pujols was intended to play in the community. Chasing down some HR landmarks may also create a buzz in Miami where it’s almost hum-drum in drama-filled NY.
- Leadership - Despite his flaws, Alex has become a solid leader for younger players and youn Latin players specifically. With Florida building with a young club, ARod could be an important force in the clubhouse to show the young players how to work hard and what is required to succeed. In NY, he’s always in the shadow of Jeter but in Miami – his town, his home – he could be in charge.
- Performance - Like Cashman said, Alex is still an above-average 3B. Although his #s are in decline, he still had a 112 OPS+ in his worse season of his career in 2012. If healthy and rejuvenated in a new setting, he could be a good complement in their lineup to young stud Giancarlo Stanton.
Miami has 2 high-priced, long-term commitments on their books after trading Heath Bell. Both players have heavily back-loaded contracts. The first – Jose Reyes – is highly unlikely to be moved as he’s still young, productive and dynamic. the 2nd player is Mark Buehrle who may be a candidate for the Yanks to take back in an ARod deal. Buehrle made just $6M in 2012 but his salary jumps to $11M in 2013 , then to $18 & $19M in the final 2 seasons. To me, that means Miami intends to trade him in those latter years. He has 3 yrs @ $48M left on his deal and he’s still a solid starter with proven success in the A.L. The Yanks could take him back, eat some money and maybe throw Miami a player to make the deal even. It could be done.
The last impediment of such a deal is ARod and his no-trade clause. But after being embarrassed by the club in the Playoffs and having lukewarm at best support from the NY fans, I think Alex would jump at the chance to go to Miami – his hometown, with a chance to start over and without the glaring spotlight of the NY media and constant post-season pressure.
What do you think? Is a trade possible and should the Yankees pursue it or just sit back and listen like Cashman says? Cashman has always been a very stealth operator who feeds the media a lot of mis-information. I have to believe he will explore every option to deal ARod this Winter because of the reasons above.