Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Breaking News Story!

Not really. But the Red Sox do have a new manager, one Bobby Valentine. Valentine has spent the last few years managing in Japan, which should give the Sox some key insights into the next player they overbid for/overpay from the archipelagic nation. You may be wondering how this alters the rivalry. It doesn't.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Things That Have Happened Since We Last Posted

Recently, we here at the RJG have taken the Joel Sherman approach to blogging, posting infrequently and with no regard to whether or not there are any developments in the world of the Yankees. I'm not going to lie, it's a good approach. Far less taxing than actually having to think of something to say. But it is time to give you, our loyalish readers, a new update. Since we last posted, it was reported that Mo might have surgery on his vocal chords and that the Yankees reached a one-year agreement with Freddy Garcia for Pedro Feliciano money ($4M). That's it. That's all the updates we have and that you already knew about. See you in six weeks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The New CBA

Reports indicate that the new CBA is more or less done, and will likely include HGH blood testing. This is bad news for Yankee fans, who are counting on a big 2012 from Alex Rodriguez. Well, we can forget about it now. At least MLB hasn't banned the stem cell therapy Bartolo Colon got last year, even if the Federal government has. Maybe A-Rod should look into that. The CBA also includes a litany of items nobody gives a $#!% about but apparently took a while to negotiate. I guess nobody could bring themselves to care enough to settle the matters. These include things like amateur draft compensation, free agent signing compensation, and international free agent compensation. You might be saying to yourself that these are important matters. They affect competitive balance and we hate losing draft picks for signing Rafael Soriano to an ill-advised contract. But if you can name a draft pick from the previous two seasons for any team whose last name isn't Bichette, Strasburg, or Harper, you need to close all the adult entertainment tabs surrounding RJG in your browser, then go ahead and close RJG too, and go outside. Seriously. Go outside. 20 minutes. That's all I'm asking. It's for your own good. Seriously.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time for a Call

It's been ages since we last spoke to Yankees GM Brian Cashman via satellite phone, but with the GM Meetings starting up, it was time to get him on the horn and find out his plans for this offseason. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Hey Bronny. It's been a long time.

BC: Yeah. It has. Look, I'm kind of busy. I can't talk right now.

RJG: Oh. $#!%. Do you have, like, some top secret negotiation going on right now?

BC: Yeah, something like that. I gotta . . .

RJG: Whoa, whoa. Slow down Bronny. Just give me a little taste, you know, let me wet my beak a little. What are you workin' on?

BC: I can't discuss that right now, but it's big.

RJG: Pujols big? Prince Fielder big? CJ Wilson medium? Come on, Bronny! Look, I'll just report it as a rumor. Unsourced.

BC: Okay, but you can't tell anyone! Especially those @$$holes down the hall from Milwaukee!

RJG: Oh $#!%. You're signing Prince Fielder, aren't you?! You crazy bastard! Where are you going to put him?

BC: No. It's not Fielder. It's not a player acquisition.

RJG: It's not a player acquisition? What are you talking about?

BC: Look, I'm on the other line with Pizza Hut and I got them to throw in a free medium with the purchase of a large and breadsticks. I don't even have a coupon, but I lied and said I did but that I left it in my other suitcase. I'm trying to get some free chicken wings and pepsi bottles. Don't blow this up for me!

RJG: Why would the Milwaukee guys care about that?

BC: Because they're jerks, that's why.

RJG: When you got to the hotel, did you go straight for the mini-bar or did you remove your coat first?

BC: That's awfully judgmental of you. You know what I think?

RJG: What?

BC: I think you're jealous of my mad negotiating skills.

RJG: Can we please talk about baseball?

BC: No. You're mad because when you order a pizza you pay full price and you don't get $#!% for free. You're probably eating a pizza right now, aren't you?

RJG: What does that have to do with anything?

BC: You paid full price, didn't you?

RJG: Can we please change the su. . .

BC: You paid full price and now you're upset that I'm going to get a free medium without a coupon. And some pepsi. Pepsi and free mediums.

RJG: I hope you choke on that medium pizza.

BC: I'm more worried about choking on all this money I'm saving!

RJG: You motherfu. . .


So there you have it folks. The GM Meetings are underway and the Yankees are hard at work planning their offseason; perhaps even laying the groundwork for a Curtis Granderson-type trade come the Winter Meetings.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where's the Noise?

Years ago, Savion Glover taught us all to bring da noise and da funk. But since signing CC Sabathia to a one year extension last week, the Yankees have been surprisingly quiet. In the meantime, other teams have stolen the spotlight. The Marlins have given a tour of their new facility, and a contract offer, to every available free agent in baseball, and some in a few other sports. The Nats had their catcher kidnapped by Colombian drug lords, and when Jimmy Carter failed to secure his release after 48 hours of direct negotiations, a Venezuelan black-ops military unit secured his rescue with peace offerings from an M-16. Where were the Yankees during all of this? Doing a coat drive. WTF? That may get you some blog coverage (not here of course, we already have coats) but not national media attention. Meanwhile the Hanshin Tigers continue to mock us after tricking us into throwing millions at Kei Igawa on the premise that he would throw balls down in the strike-zone. Even worse, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the only minor league team in baseball that's not sure what town it plays in, continues to undermine our future. This week better be different, or else . . .

Friday, November 11, 2011

Time to Make a Decision

The Red Sox have just lost their closer to the Philadelphia Phillies. Earlier in the offseason, they had lost their Manager and GM to chicken wings and beer in the clubhouse. With everything going on around Boston, it is only natural to ask, who will be our rival next season?

Don't get me wrong. We'll still act like, despite their 20 game deficit in the standings, beating Boston is key to our baseball success. But, for a real thrill, we're going to need a new rival. Just on a part-time basis mind you.

We could stay internal, keep it in the division and look at Tampa Bay, but it's hard to hate a team whose home stadium is filled with your own fans when you play them. It makes it hard to get aggressive. Besides, half the Yankees live in Tampa anyways, making the Trop basically a home game for us. The Rays can't serve as our rival.

The Phillies are an option. After all, they keep landing players we'd love to have. Halladay. Lee. Oswalt. Now they signed Papelbon? Well, it's not that we wanted Papelbon, and actually they kind of did us a favor. Not that I want to face Bard with his 110mph change-up, but I want to have to look at Papelbon even less. Plus the Phillies play in another league. Different league + did us a favor = not our new rival.

But maybe I've made a mistake. Maybe I didn't look internal enough. What about the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees? Those motherf@#$%*s regularly send us players who don't pan out and give up runs as though its contractually stipulated that they do so. Remember when we gave Andrew Brackman his own country to play for us? How did that whole Scranton development plan go? These dirty sons of dishes keep screwing us time and time again. I think we've found our new rival.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wilson at $75 million?

According to this New York Post article, it is believed that Wilson could be signed in the 5 year, $75 million range. That's $15 million per season. For comparisons sake, Burnett signed a 5 year, $82.5 million contract, or $16.5 million per season. That would put Wilson at 36 in the last year of his contract. Yesterday we posted that Wilson, as the top free agent pitcher would likely get more than Burnett's deal, in both years and dollars, and that we didn't think he would be worth the investment. But say he could be signed in the neighborhood of 5 years and $75 million, is he worth it then?

That article also mentions that Cashman has been in contact with Edwin Jackson's agent, Scott Boras. We know what Jackson does: throws hard, but can't find the strike zone. But I wonder if he may be a better option lower in our rotation than say, us hoping on a Phil Hughes comeback, or signing Colon or Garcia again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Not Wilson?

I'll admit that for a team entering an off season where the biggest need is pitching, displaying little interest in the top free agent pitcher makes little sense. But that seems to be what's going on with the Yankees and CJ Wilson. He's been succesful as a starter, is a lefty, so why have the Yankees been so cool towards him? The main issue isn't whether he will better the team or not. He definitely would. He's a much more stable presence than AJ Burnett or Phil Hughes, and would pitch better than Garcia or Colon can at this stage in their careers. He'd slot in as the perfect number 2 behind Sabathia. However, Wilson is not a number 2 pitcher according to this market. What this means is that the $82.5 million for 5 years we gave to AJ to be our number 2, is probably way too short in both money and years to land CJ Wilson. In this market, he is the top ace and a left handed one at that. This doesn't even take into account that he's only been a starter for 2 years, has a delivery that raises health concerns, and is 31 going into free agency. It would not be surprising for him to get 6-7 year offers, which would put him at 37 or 38 by the end of his contract. For all these reasons, the Yankees haven't jumped all over him as they did with Cliff Lee or CC Sabathia. Personally, I think the Yankees may be best served trying to bring up some of their prospects. Noesi should get a shot, and maybe a mid season call up for Betances or Banuelos could give us some results. But if we do this, we may have to concede the season (think 2008 Joba, Hughes and Kennedy).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gold Gloves and Silver Bats

Cano and Granderson won silver slugger awards, while no Yankee was picked for a gold glove. Its not surprising that we didn't win any gold gloves. For the most part we played very good defense, but we weren't a web gem team. Granderson and Gardner were probably our best defenders, but centerfield is a defensively rich position, and the left field award was won by a converted third baseman who recorded 20 outfield assists. Its tough to beat that.

Now with these announcements out of the way, the question is what is going on with the players union negotiation? As far as I can see, slotting continues to be the biggest hold up, and it really shouldn't be. Slotting seems like a reasonable request in a sport with no salary cap. Owners look greedy when they want a salary cap, but the slotting issue makes the players look greedy. In the interest of the game, these negotiation should come to a resolution soon so we can focus on what really matters: the hot stove season.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Off Season Plan In Full Swing

CC Sabathia signed an extension which puts him at 5 years, $122 million for the rest of his time in pinstripes, and this of course locks down the most glaring need of the Yankees off season. However, the Yankees rebuilding plan for this off season goes as follows:

Step 1: Sign Sabathia.

Step 2: ?

This is an odd year for the Yankees since where they have needs, there isn't really a market to replenish, and where the Yankees are not looking to fill holes, that's what the market is supplying in abundance. The Yankees need pitching, but they aren't too high on CJ Wilson, and Yu Darvish seems like he'll be too pricey. Those are the top players available. The Yankees aren't looking for a bat, yet Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are hitting the market, and they both carry big bats. The Yankees have to hope either for a trade, or for some rookies to grow this year. I'm all for having some of the up and coming pitchers compete for a spot, but if that's the tactic for this year its going to be a long winter.