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Cashman goes into Winter Meetings with a lot on his plate

With Russell Martin going to the Pirates, Brian Cashman's winter list got a little bit longer

With Russell Martin going to the Pirates, Brian Cashman’s winter list got a little bit longer

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.

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Yankees Offseason Notes: Russell Martin signs with Pirates

The New York Yankees ended their day with a serious blow when catcher Russell Martin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 2 year, $17 Million contract joining ex-Yankee A.J Burnett as his teammate. According to a source, the Yankees never made an offer to Martin with good reason–the Yankees were busy taking care of their rotation first like they do every offseason. The Yankees attention could now turn to A.J Pierzynski who is the second best defensive catcher on the market behind Martin.

In Other News:

– The Yankees signed closer Mariano Rivera to a 1 year, $10 Million deal which includes incentives such as award bonuses.

Morning Bits: Martin, Hughes, Burnett, Swisher, Posada

Good morning Yankees fans and Happy Saturday! Position players reported yesterday and will soon start their workouts! Here are your morning links.

Russell Martin & the Yankees agreed to wait to talk about a contract extension until after the season.

Phil Hughes spoke with ESPN & said it will be nobody’s fault but his if he struggles in Spring Training and ends up in the bullpen

– With A.J Burnett now a Pittsburgh Pirate, ESPN wonders, who will be the new pie man? The obvious choice? Nick Swisher.

Jorge Posada’s absence from camp is more noticeable than Andy Pettite’s according to Derek Jeter

Yankees Agree to Trade Burnett To Pirates

Yankees Agree to Trade A.J Burnett To Pirates

By Delia E.

Well, it seems that A.J Burnett is finally on his way out of the Bronx. The Pirates & the Yankees have agreed to a trade that would send A.J Burnett to the Pirates reported MLBTradeRumors. There is still “one final detail” that will be worked out but the Yankees will send $20 Million and Burnett to the Pirates for 2 low level minor leaguers. The final detail might just be which minor leaguers to send to the Yankees as the 2 teams are in a bit of a debate as to which minor prospects will make it to George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Burnett’s physical is scheduled for Sunday and due to the amount of money that is going around in the deal, the trade will need to be approved by the league. The Yankees and Pirates hope to talk to the commissioner sometime today. Burnett posted a 4.79 ERA, a 1.9 K/BB ratio & a 1.45 WHIP with 3 seasons in New York. He played a big role in the 2009 World Series & a role in the 2011 ALDS.

The Yankees will now be able to use some of their payroll and add a bat to the bench. It is rumored that the Yankees are interested in Raul Ibanez & Eric Chavez.

We wish A.J Burnett the best of luck with the Pirates and I’m sure some of us will be watching him.

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