Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yankees in Mix for Garza, Red Sox Land Bailey

Its recently been reported that the Red Sox have traded for Oakland closer Andrew Bailey. In the meantime, rumors have it that Theo Epstein is listening to offers for Matt Garza, and the Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays are all in the mix. Garza pitched pretty well for the Rays a couple years back and could be a good pick up, but the Yankees haven't been willing to part with their prospects. With 2 other AL East teams in the mix, I'm sure the asking price will be high. In other news, the Yankees have signed Hideki Okajima to a minor league deal in hopes of having him compete as the left handed specialist. Okajima was very succesful for a number of years with the Red Sox and could be another lightning in the bottle situation for the Yankees. Lastly, A-Rod's knee was operated on by Kobe Bryant in his guest house in Los Angeles. The procedure takes A-Rod's own blood, and injects it into his knee, a process which the human body is incapable of completing itself.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Preemptive Happy New Year

With the holiday season fully upon us, it is likely that news from the Yankee world will continue to be sparse. So sparse in fact that we forgot to wish everyone a merry Christmas as the Yankees off season had lulled us to sleep. For this reason, we would like to now wish everyone a late merry Christmas, happy holidays for anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas, and of course a happy new year to everyone because whether you celebrate new years or not, the new year is still coming.

With that said, the recent news that the Yankees are paying their lowest luxury tax is proof of a page being turned in Yankeedom. Over the past few years, the Yankees have shifted from the previous strategy of big free agent spending and past-their-prime trades. Don't get me wrong, the Yankees still spend big on free agents and make trades but now the deals are getting smarter. CC Sabathia, despite the Yankees bizarre strategy of outbidding themselves to land him, was a good signing. It wasn't the Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson approach to the rotation. Sabathia was a young pitcher in his prime, and we've reaped the benefits of that. Granderson and Swisher were two very intelligent trades that have landed us two cost controlled productive players. Last season, the front office diverted from the smart building strategy and signed Soriano, but I think they learned their lesson as they haven't jumped at anyone like that this year. If this holds out and the front office doesn't panic, we could actually see the Yankees build a team from their own farm system.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yankees Perplexed By Luxury Tax Bill

The Yankees were recently hit with a $13.9 million luxury tax by MLB. Yankee brass, however, was for the most part befuddled by the bill.

"Thir...teen? Million?" asked a confused Randy Levine. "Do numbers even go that low?"

"When I saw the number, I thought it was the latest minor league signing bonus by the Nationals," explained Brian Cashman. "I've never heard of a number that low associated with the Yankees. I called experts at Columbia University just to make sure it was an actual number and not a theoretical construct or algorithm or something like that."

"We haven't paid it yet," explained new Boss, Hal Steinbrenner. "You know how regular checks have that line which ends with the printed word 'dollars'? My checks end with the printed words 'billion dollars', so I can't pay the bill until I get my new pedestrian checks. That's how they're known in the industry."

One Yankees executive raised a more pressing social concern: "I read about a number like that in college once. How are the Pirates expected to live on that this year?"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rangers Win Rights to Darvish

The Rangers have won the rights to negotiate with Darvish with a record setting $51.7 million bid. Now that the Darvish sweepstakes are over, Yankee fans are left to wonder what's next. The Yankees weren't really in this sweepstake, and Cashman has preached patience in this hot stove season. Last season the Yankees got antsy and signed Rafael Soriano for no reason, so the idea of signing just to sign someone has really lost its appeal to the Yankee front office. Apparently, the Yankees are going to stay the course, and let some of their own prospects compete for starting spots in the rotation. This could very well be a rebuilding year, but it could pay out big for the future.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Braun's Failed Drug Test Due to Private Medical Issue

Yes, its been reported that the reason for Ryan Braun's failed drug test was a medication he was taking for a "private medical issue". Though the medical issue has not been mentioned, many wonder if its the same "private medical issue" that Manny Ramirez had forcing him to take a medication that caused his failed drug test. Of course, Ramirez's medication was a female fertility drug, which I would definitely want to keep private too. Although Matt Kemp asks that we not jump to judgement about Braun, I have to wonder, if you're taking a drug, any drug, for a personal medical issue in the midst of an MVP caliber season, wouldn't you want to run it by the players union or MLB? Get some sort of sign off? It didn't work for JC Romero who was suspended even though he had gone to the officials asking if a certain over-the-counter product was okay to use and then being told it was. He even brought the container he had purchased to his hearing, showing that it had no warning label on it. Regardless he had to serve his suspension. But at least with Romero it looked like the officials were on a witch hunt, whereas with Braun it looks like he's covering up after getting caught. I'm curious to see how this plays out, but the question is, if Braun is found guilty, will Kemp get the award?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yu Darvish Posted, Waiting on Announcement

Darvish has been posted and bids have been entered! The Yankees allegedly have a bid in on him, as do several other teams hoping that he won't be another Matsuzaka or Igawa, and will in fact be the Japanese Cy Young. My impression is that the Yankees will not be winning this bid. There are teams much more desperate, and the Yankees have been following a much more measured approach to building the team. Namely, that approach is to not build the team, which is a bold approach considering our rotation last season was pieced together with 3 unknowns (Garcia, Colon, and Hughes), 1 rookie (Nova), and 1 veteran who just didn't have it (Burnett). But the approach could work. If we get the 2011 Nova, the 2010 Hughes, the 2001 Garcia, and the 2008 Burnett, we could very well have a powerhouse rotation.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reclamation Projects

This has been the quietest hot stove season in Yankee land in recent memory, and I for one am sick of it. So here's a couple reclamation projects to consider. Available on the free agent market are former starters Scott Kazmir and Justin Duchscherer. In the past I advocated against signing Duchscherer because it would take too long to learn how to pronounce his name correctly. An investment of time I just wasn't willing to make. But with so little going on with the Yankees, and so much time on my hands, I think its time. Sign Duchscherer to a minor league deal, snatch up Kazmir while you're at it, and lets see if either of them can compete for a spot as the 5 guy, or at the very least as another releiver. Kazmir may be the left handed specialist we've been looking for. All I'm asking is that we do something, anything, to give me something to talk about at the water cooler at work. Right now, I'm left talking about life, and people's kids and crap like that. C'mon Yankees!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Matt Kemp Is Pissed Right Now

Beside being arguably undeserving of the NL MVP award from a purely statistical standpoint, Ryan Braun has now tested positive for PEDs. While he embarks on his Floyd Landis Tour of Innocence, the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces. Writers are mad, feeling deceived once again by a very rich man who claimed he could hit baseballs very far and with frequency. It hurts. This is the sports world's version of Occupy Wall Street. Humble writers just scraping out a living being duped and manipulated by those in power. Or at least with power, and speed, maybe a couple other tools if they're lucky. Either way, we're all surprised by this turn of events. Except maybe Braun, he presumably knew he was taking PEDs, unlike A-Rod. There's only one thing we can do at this point: apologize to Matt Kemp for giving an award that probably should've been his to a player with better protection in his line-up and PEDs in his system. Damn. In his own defense, Braun did have this to say: "I'm a computer genius, like the Terminator."

So true.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Give Me Something To Work With Guys!

The Yankees are denying a report that they have made an offer to free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. That's a real d**k move by the Yankees. Just humor us. Say you made a preliminary offer. Lie. I don't care. There is nothing to write about. News is so sparse it's hard to even make up something plausible. Please, do something. Please. Pretend even. Please.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Sprinkling of News

There hasn't been much to report of late, but there have been some small pieces of news that are noteworthy. The Yankees posted $2 million to the Seibu Lions of Japan, to have exclusive negotiation rights for shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. It appears to be a depth move, that won't cost a fortune and on that end it looks like it could be a smart pick up (depending on what his contract demands are). Last year in Japan he batted .297 with 16 homeruns, and 100 RBI's. Power typically doesn't translate to the majors, which is why you see a guy like Akinori Iwamura be a 20-30 homerun threat in Japan, and hit 7 when he came to the Rays. It will be interesting to see what kind of player he is, and if he can be a good defensive presence on the field.

Additionally we picked up right handed pitcher Brad Meyers from the Washington Nationals in the rule 5 draft. Good for us.

The NY Post reported that the Yankees are willing to trade AJ Burnett and eat $8 million of the remaining $33 million left in his contract. Shockingly, there have been no takers.

Outside of Yankee land, the big players are starting to move. Heath Bell and Jose Reyes have been signed by the Miami Marlins, who have apparently invested all their money to sign free agents, leaving none to design their new hats. They have a substantial offer in to CJ Wilson, who is looking at a less substantial but still relavant offer from his home town team the Angels. Speaking of the Angels, they just signed Pujols to a 10 year deal. I'm sure signing a 32 year old player to a 10 year contract won't come back to bite them at all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Standing Pat...Still

It was recently reported that the Marlins picked up closer Heath Bell and shortstop Jose Reyes, making one of the biggest splashes of this hot stove season. The Yankees on the other hand have remained disengaged. The GM meetings are going on right now, but Cashman doesn't seem all too interested.

"I went to speak to Cashman." Explained one rival GM. "I came into his hotel room, and he had what appeared to be a draft board of baseball cards of historical players. He pretended to be on the phone like he was drafting players, and he got really excited when he picked up Cy Young and Honus Wagner in two consecutive draft picks. I tried to interrupt him to discuss a trade idea, but he was like 'I just got Cy Young, who do you got!?'" So the negotiation didn't go anywhere."

While the Marlins are spending like the Yankees, and the Yankees are playing it quiet, Yankee blogs across the country continue to suffer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yankees Memorabilia Auction for the Domestic Violence Project

Over the past few years, the clubhouse manager of the Trenton Thunder has been running an auction to benefit the Domestic Violence Project. The auction bids off a number of Yankees memorabilia including signed hats, bats, spikes and balls by both current Yankees, and Yankees prospects. As the money all goes to a great cause, remove all your inhibitions, start bidding and bid often! They got Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Reggie Jackson, Hector Noesi, Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances game used and signed stuff! Even Shane Victorino pitched in with a couple autographs. They all come with certificates of authenticity. These make great Christmas gifts! Get in on it!