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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.

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Open Thread

This is the Open Thread feel free to comment on any baseball related topics you want to bring up.

Here are some things you may want to discuss…..

* Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the Yankees are “60-40″ to become more aggressive in adding to the roster before spring training.

* Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Diamondbacks are showing interest in free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon.

* Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the asking prices for free agent starters Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and Edwin Jackson “have come down significantly.”

Here is a Poll as well….

Open Thread

Door 1.....2......or....3?

Do you remember Let’s Make a Deal with Monty Hall?   Well you dressed up and got to pick which door you wanted and it could be a new car or a donky.  It was just a guess and was either hit or miss.  Well the Yankees have three options behind the door with Oswalt, Kuroda, or Edwin Jackson.  All could either be hits or misses depending on your likes and dislikes. Here is your open thread.  Share which one you would like and also share which one you do not like.

Enjoy the night everyone!!!

Yankees Talk With Kuroda, Jackson & Oswalt

Yankees Talk With Kuroda, Jackson & Oswalt

By Delia E.

After the Yankees mention that they are thinking of increasing the payroll, the Yankees mention that they are talking to Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda & Edwin Jackson according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The Yankees have mentioned that they wanted to add another arm in the rotation but they aren’t willing to pay just any cost for a pitcher. With Spring Training less than 6 weeks away, the Yankees are running out of time and they need to think of an option and fast.

Hiroki Kuroda still looks like that he is the most likely to sign with the Yankees since he has been easily known to have a 1 year deal, but Edwin Jackson is a more solid & versatile pitcher. With Edwin Jackson he has pitched in the AL before, so he might be an interesting target to go after.

Offers for Roy Oswalt have been cool since he has had back injuries, but he has also been known to take 1 year deals. The downside with Oswalt is that like Kuroda, he has not pitched in the AL before.

The Yankees should take advantage of this and sign at least one of them but knowing what Brian Cashman has done this off-season, we might not see any of them in pinstripes come time for Spring Training.

Morning Bits: Free agents 2013, Curious off-season, Oswalt, A-Rod,

Good Morning all it’s already Mid-Week so that’s exciting.  We are getting closer to Friday and to find out what the Yankees will be doing with Nakajima.  From all the reports though it seems that he will be going back to Japan.

Let’s get right to the links.

* The Yankees are saving now for a potential splash next winter.  Some great options in the 2013 class of free-agents.

* They Bombers curious off-season leads to many questions, few answers. IMO it also lead to a lot of head scratching.

* Yankee and Cardinals have interest in Roy Oswalt.  Please please be true.  Let’s lock him up Cashman.

* Batting coach Kevin Long says A-Rod is determined and focused.  Well that’s good to hear.  The Yankees also believe that A-Rod is at full strength.

Open Thread

Tonight at 7pmEST on YES is a new installment of Yankees Baseball Daily.  Be sure to tune in for all of the latest.

In other notes:

Jack Curry of YES Network reports that Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima is unlikely to play for the Yankees unless he accepts a one-year deal.  Also Curry notes that the Cubs have asked the Yankees for Jesus Montero and either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances in exchange for Matt Garza.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, free agent Roy Oswalt is “being eyed” by the Cardinals.  He also says that the asking price “remains high” for Hiroki Kuroda. Either of them are guys that are possible options for the Yankees’ 2012 rotation.

Morning Bits: Nakajima, Oswalt, Garza, Edwin Jackson

Good morning all.  The holidays are in the rear view mirror and while this is a short week for most it will be the last one for awhile.  Today we are proud to roll out our very own Top 40 Yankee Prospect List.   We are very excited about this.  Please stop by later as this article will come out in the early afternoon.

Let’s get right to the links….

* Yankees continue to negotiate with Nakajima.

* Why Oswalt is the perfect short term fix.

* Don’t put out the welcome mat for Garza just yet.

* Could EJax be a fit for the Yankees?

Should Paul Maholm be an option?

With many options now off the table, if the Yankees want to sign or trade for a starting pitcher, they won’t likely be able to find one of a “number-two” caliber. Therefore, it may be time to look at some of the lesser, cheaper alternatives that are out there. Let’s take a look at lefty free agent, Paul Maholm.

Drafted in the first round (8th overall), Maholm has spent his entire career with the Pirates, where he has always been a fairly average pitcher. In 2011, however, the 30 year old turned it around and had a very good season, despite the 6-14 record (the product of being on a poor offensive team). The Pirates decided to decline Maholm’s $9.75MM club option, and he is now one of the remaining free agents.

Maholm owns a 4.36 / 4.21 / 4.22 line for his career, though he boasted a much improved 3.66 / 3.78 / 4.03 in 2011. His increased success in 2011 could be that of a career year, but it could also be the work of an adjustment he made with manager Clint Hurdle during the 2010-2011 offseason. Unlike in previous years, Maholm started to pitch to hitters much more aggressively on the inside third of the plate. The benefit of pitching inside more can be seen clearly through looking at his Batting Average Against (BAA). In 2009 and 2010, Maholm’s BAA was .287 and .296 respectively, whereas in 2011, it dropped substantially to .254. Dominating the inside part of the plate generally translates into less solid contact, which makes it seem likely that Maholm’s improved 2011 campaign isn’t a fluke.

One thing that is great about Maholm’s game is that he is a pitcher of control and ground-balls (52.3 career GB%; BB/9 usually in the upper 2’s). Now don’t get me wrong, ground-balls are great to have at Yankee Stadium. However, Maholm doesn’t strike anyone out (5.55 career K/9). This means that if he is in a high leverage situation with multiple runners on base (say runners on 2nd and 3rd), he can’t rely on getting a strikeout. Instead, he would have to rely on getting a ground-ball, which would entail a higher probability of run(s) scoring. In summation, ground-balls are great, but they lose a lot of their appeal when the pitcher can’t get strikeouts – which is Paul Maholm’s case.

You also have to take into consideration the transition from the weak NL Central, to the tough pressure-cooker that is the AL East. It’s not like Maholm is able to overpower hitters even in the NL Central, as he held only a measly 13.1 Swing-and-Miss percentage in 2011. That doesn’t figure to get any better pitching against offenses such as the Red Sox on a fairly regular basis. He is the quintessential soft-tosser, with a 86-89 mph fastball, a low 80s slider and change-up, and a low 70s looping curve. As Freddy Garcia showed last year, a 86-89 mph fastball can certainly get the job done. Freddy really mixed his pitches up masterfully, throwing his fastball only 36% of the time. What concerns me is that Maholm uses his fastball over 50% of the time. He’ll struggle in the AL East throwing a 87 mph fastball 50-55% of the time.

Additionally, Maholm has a huge platoon split- vs. Righties: .297 / .357 / .449; vs. Lefties: .216 / .285 / .309. To me, that implies that Maholm’s secondary pitches are either just as weak as his fastball, or he doesn’t use them as effectively as he could. A four-pitch pitcher should not have such horrendous numbers against righties and have such success against lefties.

Overall, Paul Maholm is not really a great match for the Yankees’ needs. I just don’t think a soft-tosser who doesn’t strike anyone out translates well into the AL East, or even the American League in general, though there are always exceptions. One more thing to note: Maholm’s number of innings has steadily declined since 2008, in addition to a shoulder strain at the back end of 2011.

Tim Dierkes of MLBTR said he should be able to get a 2 year deal for around $12MM. If that’s the case, I’d happily take Hiroki Kuroda or Roy Oswalt over Maholm.

What I’d Do If I Were Cashman

We know that it is not possible for a team to win the World Series during the offseason due to all the acquisition & trades to make their team better on paper, but the Yankees have done close to nothing. The Yankees have gotten some small players here and there, but if George Steinbrenner was alive today, he would probably be shocked that the Yankees haven’t gotten anyone big. During the Winter Meetings the Yankees picked up 2 Rule 5 Drafts while the Marlins and Angels picked up Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, Albert Pujols & C.J Wilson, four big names that were on the FA list when the season ended. I understand that Brian Cashman wasn’t interested in players since they would cost so high or because they get injured but just sitting around not doing anything will not get you Championships.

There were rumors last week that Cashman said that his rotation was as good as it is. Well what I say is that is complete nonsense. The Yankees were good enough to win the AL East Division, and if the bats were alive they may have been well enough to get through the playoffs, but the World Series? I wouldn’t think so. The World Series is the big stage and if you look at the names that aren’t CC Sabathia & Ivan Nova. You have inconsistent A.J Burnett, and okay pitchers like Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes. Garcia & Hughes are good, but if the Yankees were to win the WS, they need the 1-2 punch in their rotation. I would not put Nova as a #2 starter as that would be too much pressure, but having Burnett as your #2 starter? No way. I hate to do Brian Cashman’s job for him, but here are some things I would do if I was Cashman this offseason (you might want to take notes):

1. Sign Roy Oswalt to a 1 year deal: It would have been Mark Buerhle,

Roy Oswalt could be the answer to the Yankees problems, if he could stay healthy.

but Buerhle packed his bags and went to Miami because Cashman didn’t want to sign him. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that Roy Oswalt is injury prone, but his manager Bob Garber insists that Oswalt is fine and that there are no back problems. When Roy Oswalt is healthy he is quite impressive. While Oswalt had a 9-10 record, he had a 3.63 ERA which isn’t bad at all. He doesn’t walk a lot of batters (33 batters in 2011 to be exact; 2.14 BB/9) and struck out 93 (6.02 K/9). He only gave up 10 HR’s in 2011 (0.65 HR/9, which is fantastic). Does Roy Oswalt get injured a lot? Yes. But when he’s healthy does he show that he’s very effective? Yes. Also another hint to Cashman if you are thinking of signing Roy Oswalt. Don’t give him a lot of money. You don’t want that on your shoulder if Oswalt should get injured at any time during the season.

2. Trade for Gio Gonzalez: No, I am not going to propose the trade that was rumored around that would have sent Brett Gardner to the A’s. I was thinking someone more like Eduardo Nunez to the A’s. I wouldn’t send Nunez alone of course. Nunez would go with some nice prospects to sweeten the deal such as Adam Warren or Dellin Betances. If the A’s don’t like it (which is 100% inevitable) then a 3 way trade might do the trick. The A’s see players that they like from the Royals and we see players that we like from the A’s, so a 3 way trade with Oakland, Kansas City and the Yankees could do nicely. I know the A’s might be interested in young outfielders, but I think that Nunez could learn the OF. It should be almost impossible to commit 20+ errors out there like it is at shortstop (Nunez, just don’t slide).

3. Ask the Nationals for a trade: I wouldn’t expect the Nationals to help us out, seeing that we won’t give them Brett Gardner but what if we were able to entice the deal with Nick Swisher & Nunez (if the Gio Gonzalez trade doesn’t work). I don’t dislike Nick Swisher, but let’s face it- he sucks in the postseason. And would the Nationals rather have Nick Swisher in the RF vicinity than Jayson Werth, who they unfortunately nicknamed “Jayson Werth-less” due to his contract? Unfortunately, despite the Nationals’ interest in some Yankees players, they don’t have a whole lot to offer as far as the Yankees’ needs go. Stephen Strasburg or Jordan Zimmerman would certainly be nice to acquire, but there’s no way Washington is making them available.

A trade for Felix Hernandez is as unlikely as ever, but if he becomes even slightly available, Cashman will inevitably pounce.

4. Trade for King Felix: The Seattle Mariners may have said that Felix Hernandez is off the market, but if the Yankee were serious about getting starting pitching, then they could try and trade for Felix Hernandez. During the “Yankees Talk” live chat, someone asked me if the Yankees would consider trading Brett Gardner for Felix Hernandez. A point was brought up to me by Matthew B. (Writer for Yankee Fans Unite) that if the Yankees offered just Gardner for Hernandez, the Mariners would laugh in our faces. I would hate to trade Brett Gardner to any team (and I am trying to keep a neutral opinion) but if it is to get Felix Hernandez, I would do it. The Mariners want someone who can entice people into the stadium and Gardner does just that for the Yankees. If you haven’t noticed, there are a bunch of girls who sit in the LF part of the stadium. Do you really think that they are there just for baseball or more to see Brett Gardner make fantastic plays in the OF? That is the type of energy that the Mariners could be looking for in a player. The only issue with giving up Gardner is that there is no given in who will be the next LF who is as versatile as he is. I would only go to this step if all else fails and if the Yankees are getting desperate.

Not sure if Brian Cashman would want to do ANY of these things but it is getting late(r) into the off season and he has so much to do. So Cashman- now is the time to act! What are you going to do this offseason?

Yankees Mailbag: Part 1

Thank you to all who asked questions for this mailbag – let’s get started!

(If you don’t see your question, it will be answered in tomorrow’s Part 2.)

Billy Beane is willing to listen on anyone at the moment.

@AJ_Rotger asked:
What would you give up for Gio G. from Oakland?

I would give up anybody except Jesus Montero or Manny Baneulos. However, considering Gio Gonzalez is under team control for quite awhile, Billy Beane has no reason to ask for anything less than one of those two. Gio is young, talented and has plenty of low-dollars years ahead of him. However, I wouldn’t give up Montero or Banuelos for him. Although he generates a lot of striekouts (8.6 career K/9), I am not keen on his fastball command issues (4.4 career BB/9). If the Yankees are to give up Montero or Banuelos, it has to be for a sure thing elite starting pitcher. Gio Gonzalez, in my opinion, is not a sure thing. Would I like to have him pitching in pinstripes? No doubt about it…but not at the price Oakland is asking for.

@PrimoBledBlue asked:
Which prospective pitcher would you consider to be in the NYY rotation: Yu Darvish, CJ Wilson or Roy Oswalt?

Out of all those three, my favorite for the Yankees to acquire would be Yu Darvish. Although there is always the “Japanese-import” risk, its money the Yankees can afford to gamble on. Cashman may say he’s on a budget, but you can never put too much weight into comments like that. I think he has the highest “upside” of the three you mentioned. Also, if they were to make a trade for a John Danks etc., in addition, there would be less of an absolute necessity for Darvish to be as elite as he was in Japan.

C.J. Wilson would be a great pitcher to have…on a three-year deal. However, he is reportedly looking for a six year, $120MM deal, which is absolutely absurd. If I’m Brian Cashman, I walk away after the four year mark. His upside simply doesn’t match up with the enormous risk of a 5-6 year contract. Delia took a look at whether the Yankees should pursue Wilson, earlier in the month, before we found out what kind of lucrative contract he was looking for. I would take a pass on Wilson.

 

Oswalt would be a nice addition, since it would be on a relatively short contract, such as a two-year deal. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, never having a FIP over 4.00 in 11 MLB seasons. Matt examined the idea of Roy Oswalt on the Yankees earlier in the month. Oswalt has consistently manufactured plenty of ground-balls, and successfully limited the walk. However, his back is definitely something to think about, as back problems are a tricky thing to come back from, although there are always exceptions. I would not want Oswalt to be the one pitcher the Yanks acquire for the rotation next year, as if his back problems flare up again, well…

 

@GITGUYfoREVer asked:
What are your thoughts about Albert on the Yankees?

Although it’s impossible as a Yankee fan to not want to see Albert Pujols in pinstripes, there’s really no spot currently open for him. Ricky, a few weeks ago, shared his thoughts on Pujols. Some have said they could trade Tex, but that’s just typical Yankee-fan greediness. His ability to drive a pitch anywhere in the ballpark at a far distance is something we would all drool over to have on the team. But as long as A-Rod, Tex, and Montero are on the team, there’s no reason to sign Pujols. If, however, Jesus Montero was traded for an elite starting pitcher, then there is a scenario where I would absolutely, positively go after Albert. You could sign Pujols to play third base, move A-Rod to DH, and keep Tex at first. That is, if Montero is traded, which I don’t exactly advocate.

That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 1. Anybody that asked any questions that weren’t on today’s mailbag, will be answered tomorrow by Ricky. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask, either email me at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.

C.J Wilson & Roy Oswalt Interested in Yankees

C.J Wilson & Roy Oswalt Interested in Yankees

By Delia E.

As of right now, it is uncertain how much interest Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has in acquiring C.J Wilson & Roy Oswalt, but if there is one thing these two pitchers share in common it’s that they are both interested in the Yankees, at least according to their manager Bob Garber.

Garber manages both Wilson & Oswalt and has described what each player wants, and they both desire the Yankees. C.J Wilson is considered the No. 1 pick in the free agent market after going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA. Garber believes that Wilson’s outgoing, friendly personality with the media will thrive in New York

“He is one of those guys that would fit in very well.” Garber said. “He would fit in most places pretty well. New York I think he will thrive in a city like that.”

Oswalt on the other hand had a 9-10 record with a 3.64 ERA with the Phillies. In 2010 the Yankees nearly acquired Oswalt in a trade before he was sent to Philadelphia from the Houston Astros. Garber believes that Oswalt would be interested in playing for the Yankees since he has talked about it with former Yankees pitcher Andy Pettite.

“I know that he is friends with Andy Pettite and they have talked about the Yankees over the years.” Garber mentioned about Oswalt. “That’s a situation that I think Roy would fit into as well.”

Both Wilson and Oswalt are looking for multi-year contracts but the Yankees are iffy in giving Oswalt a deal due to his previous back injuries. Garber assures that Oswalt back is fine.

“It’s just a matter of figuring out how to manage his back situation.”

The Yankees are expected to have interest in both players but Cashman would like to become “conservative” which means he wouldn’t plan on getting into a bidding war with the other teams over them, especially if Wilson gets a bigger deal than Oswalt. The Yankees may pursue Chicago White Sox free agent Mark Buerhle or bid for the contract of Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. The Yankees may also want to re-sign Yankees free agent Freddy Garcia.

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