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After injuring his left calf, Derek Jeter wont return to spring training action until next week at the earliest.
Though Yankees manager Joe Girardi was unsure when Jeter's injury happened, he decided to err on the side of caution after New York's shortstop missed nearly a month last season with a right calf injury.
"My alarm was he hurt his calf last year and even though it is the other calf, we are going to be smart about this," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I told him, 'Don't even go outside today.' I think he could hit or take BP, but just let it calm down."
Girardi did say Tuesday is a possible return date for Jeter. The Yankees will face the Pittsburgh Pirates in Tampa, Fla., that night.
Jeter joins a growing list of injured Yankees, including backup shortstop Eduardo Nunez (hand), utility man Ramiro Pena (ankle), catcher Russell Martin (groin) and starting pitcher Freddy Garcia (hand). Reliever David Robertson, who slipped on some stairs in his home and injured his right food, is expected to be ready for Opening Day on April 6.
Looking for a low-risk, high-reward addition to their bullpen, the New York Yankees signed relief pitcher David Aardsma to a contract that will pay him a base salary of $500,000 this season.
The hard-throwing righty missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, and the Yankees don't expect him to make an instant impact.
Rather, they inked Aardsma with an eye to the future.
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained,'' general manager Brian Cashman said. "He's a power arm we picked up for $100,000 over the minimum (salary) and we feel it could have a nice payoff down the road.''
The 30-year-old saved 69 games for the Seattle Mariners during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. His best season came in 2009, when he saved 38 games with a 2.52 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 71.1 innings.
The first domino from the New York Yankees trade of A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates has fallen. The Yankees, as had been rumored for weeks, have signed veteran Raul Ibanez to be a left-handed hitting designated hitter and occasional outfielder.
The Yankees bypassed two former Yankees to sign the 39-year-old Ibanez. They chose him instead of the begging Johnny Damon and former World Series hero Hideki Matsui.
Ibanez hit .245/.289/.419 with 20 home runs and 84 RBIs in 144 games for the Philadelphia Philliesin 2011. For his career, Ibanez is .280/.342/.471. The Yankees will obviously hope the 16-year veteran rebounds from his worst season since hitting .229 back in 2000.
The Yankees had been expected to use some of the $13 million they saved by trading Burnett to sign a designated hitter. ESPN reported that Ibanez will sign for around $1 million.
New York holds its first pitchers and catchers workout of Spring Training today in Tampa, Fla.
Johnny Damon thinks he's a "perfect fit" for the left-handed designated hitter role the New York Yankees have open. The Yankees apparently think the veteran outfielder/designated hitter should go peddle his wares somewhere else.
Damon told the New York Post that the Yankees have, basically, slammed the door in his face. From the Post:
"We both are looking at other options now,'' Damon told The Post Saturday and called it "unfortunate.''
According to GM Brian Cashman, Damon contacted the club.
"He called and I told him the truth. He is not the No. 1 option if and when I turn to DH options,'' Cashman said.
Damon, 38, was a Yankee from 2006-2008. He seems stunned by the team having no apparent desire for a reunion.
In a harsh rip job on Damon, the NY Baseball Digest takes Damon to task and insinuates that he has no one to blame but himself for the Yankees turning away from him.
That stance might be a little harsh. Damon, however, is still a productive player. So, you have to think there is more to the Yankees' decision than playing ability.
Yankees close to signing Clay Rapada to a minor league contract with invitation to spring training.
Rapada is 30 years old, 6'5" and 200 pounds with a mid-80s fastball. He's spent most of his career in the minors with the Rangers, Tigers, Cubs and most recently the Baltimore Orioles. He has 52.5 major league innings under his belt with a career ERA of 5.13. He's struggled with control throughout his short sting in the majors, posting a BB/9 rate of 5.47.
Give Rapada's lack of success, age and limited-to-no upside, this move is likely one of the 'warm body' variety, strictly for added depth in spring training.
The Yankees have been looking to add a left-handed designated hitter all offseason, even setting the groundwork for a trade that would have sent Burnett to Anaheim in exchange for Bobby Abreu. But Burnett waived the deal and the Yankees returned their focus to the relatively cheap fill-ins left in the free agent market.
Ibanez, 39, hit .245 with 20 home runs and 84 RBI with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011. The lefty has knocked in at least 80 runs in nine of the past 10 seasons and hit at least 16 home runs every year since 2002, though his on-base percentage (.289) and slugging percentage (.419) both saw a precipitous drop in the past year.
Chavez, 34, returns to the Yankees after batting .263 with two homers and 26 RBI in 160 at-bats during 2011.
It's likely that Ibanez will be used as New York's primary DH against right-handed pitching, with Andruw Jones earning most of the starts against southpaws.
The two teams still await MLB approval on the trade, which is required because of the money being exchanged in the deal. The Yankees have reportedly agreed to send Burnett to Pittsburgh in exchange for the two prospects, with the Pirates assuming $13 million of the $33 million left on the two years of Burnett's contract.
Neither of the prospects is considered a great fetch. Moreno is a 25-year old reliever who was 2-4 with a 3.63 ERA last season in Single-A and Double-A. Cayones is a 20-year old outfielder who batted .228 with zero home runs and 12 RBI during 2011 in 114 at-bats split between rookie ball and Single-A.
The quest to trade A.J Burnett is reportedly over.
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of the MLB Network, the New York Yankees have agreed to a trade that will send the starting pitcher to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The deal is still subject to MLB approval because of the money involved.
Rosenthal reports that the Pirates will assume $13 million of the $33 million owed to Burnett over the next two seasons in addition to sending two low-level prospects to the Yankees. The two teams had previously been stuck at an impasse, with the Pirates unwilling to assume more than $10 million worth of Burnett's deal.
Burnett was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA in New York during 2011, striking out 173 batters in 190.1 innings.
Relief pitcher Hideki Okajima, who signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees in December, failed a physical and is no longer expected to join the team, reports David Waldstein of the New York Times.
An MLB official "who knows about it" told Waldstein that Okajima did not pass his examination, meaning his contract has likely been voided.
The 36-year old pitcher was expected to compete for a role in New York's bullpen despite a troublesome 2011 that saw him taken off the Boston Red Sox's 40-man roster. Okajima was 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA during 8.1 innings with the Red Sox but spent most of his time in Triple-A Pawtucket, where the left-hander was 8-1 with a 2.29 ERA.
Okajima was named an All-Star during his debut 2007 season, when he was 3-2 with a 2.22 ERA, but his production has declined since.
A.J. Burnett is still a member of the New York Yankees. Reports are indicating, though, that the unpredictable right-hander could be an ex-Yankee before the weekend. Let’s look around the Inter-Google for the latest in the ongoing Burnett saga.
- Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees are “honing in on Burnett decision,” and have one other offer to weigh.
- Former GM and current ESPN analyst Jim Bowden tweets that a “should get done in next 24 hours.” Bowden also adds “Pirates still working through the details at their end this hour NYY weighing one last proposal at their end this hour.”
- There are also various reports that Burnett could have saved the Yankees all this aggravation if he had just accepted a trade to the Angels three weeks ago. That deal would reportedly have brought Bobby Abreu back to New York. Burnett apparently used his no-trade clause to squash it.
It sounds like the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates are in a good old-fashioned staring contest when it comes to the potential trade of A.J. Burnett from the Yankees to the Pirates.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees want a resolution by Saturday — the day before pitchers and catchers report to Tampa for the Yankees Spring Training.
Various reports had indicated that there were other teams interested in Burnett, but that as of now the only realistic trade partner for the Yankees is Pittsburgh.
The impasse reportedly is about money. The Pirates are reportedly willing to assume $10 million of the $33 million Burnett is owed for the next two seasons. The Yankees would like $13-$15 million, or better prospects.
Could the Pirates stare the Yankees down here? New York does have seven starters and most likely doesn’t want Burnett around. So, that is a distinct possibility.
The New York Yankees are among the teams that are involved in what appears to be furious bidding for 19-year-old Cuban outfielder prospect Jorge Soler. Buster Olney reported that the Yankees “have serious interest” in Soler. (via MLBTradeRumors.com)
Earlier Tuesday the Chicago Tribune reported that Soler was likely to join the Chicago Cubs. That has not yet happened, however, and it appears the Yankees and other teams are still in the mix.
Baseball Prospect Nation offers a full scouting report on Soler. Here are some snippets from the report:
“Truly classic right field profile. Offers plus-plus raw power that has a chance to translate if the hit tool comes together. … Raw ceiling could be a .275-.280 hitter with 30 home runs in the heart of the lineup, all with very good outfield defense. … High doesn’t begin to describe Soler’s risk level. Handing a teenager more than $25 million and trying to develop him in a new country and a new baseball environment is extremely risky, but the payoff could be huge.”
Sounds like most experts believe Soler will sign with the Cubs.
Confidence remains high that the New York Yankees will complete a trade to send A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the Yankees are reportedly engaged in conversations with at least two other clubs regarding the right-hander.
The Pirates have offered to take on $10 million of the $33 million owed to Burnett for the next two seasons and send two prospects to the Yankees, according to a New York Post report. But the Yankees are reportedly unenthusiastic about the current offer and looking for the Pirates to take on more of Burnett's contract.
There is reportedly internal conversation in New York about whether to trade Burnett now or wait until the trade deadline and possibly fetch a better return.
The process of trying to trade A.J. Burnett is moving along at a snails pace, especially for those who would like him out of town as soon as possible. However, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand there's optimism that the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates will get a deal done.
"Eventually, I think, it will get done," a second official, with knowledge of the talks, said.
Marchand reiterates there's still a lot of steps that need to be completed for Burnett to be dealt from the Yankees to the Pirates.
When the Yankees and Pirates agree on the players and how much of the $33 million Pittsburgh will pay of the remaining two years on Burnett's contract, the trade will still not be completed.
At that point, the commissioner will have to bless the deal because of the amount of money that will be changing hands. There likely won't be any David Stern-like issues, but Bud Selig will have the final word.
On Monday, it was reported by The Star-Ledger's Marc Carig that the Yankees will be looking for players in return for Burnett, not just salary relief. So, this process, while moving in the right direction, could take a while to sort out.
As the Pittsburgh Pirates emerge as a leading candidate to trade for New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett, the Yankees are making clear that they will not trade the veteran right-hand pitcher simply for salary relief.
After three years of wildly inconsistent pitching in the Bronx, Burnett finds himself on the trading block as the Yankees continue to upgrade their starting rotation. Back in January, the Yankees signed free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, limiting the team's finances for the remainder of the offseason. Burnett is owed $16.5 million over each of the next two seasons.
However, according to The Star-Ledger's Marc Carig, the Yankees won't trade Burnett without getting players in return.
Indeed, the Yankees are willing to absorb a large portion of Burnett's $33 million contract if it means they can ship the expendable right-hander to the Pirates. However, the Yankees refuse to move Burnett unless they receive players back in the deal, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, who requested anonymity because talks are ongoing.
"(The Yankees) have to get players back," the person with knowledge said on Sunday. "Not a give away."
Additionally, Carig reports the Yankees and Pirates are continuing to evaluate which players could be included in a trade. Also up for negotiation is exactly how much of Burnett's contract New York will absorb.
The teams intend to keep working on a deal, the person with knowledge said, though it does not appear that a trade is imminent. The Yankees are talking with three other clubs about Burnett, according to multiple published reports, though the Pirates appear to be the frontrunners.
Talk of a potential trade of starting pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates by the New York Yankees simply won’t die. In fact, ESPN New York today quoted a source saying "This thing has legs and it is real. There’s a chance something will happen there."
The Yankees have a surplus of starting pitching and have been trying to move Burnett since the end of last season.
New York would like to moved Burnett and get relief from at least some of the $33 million they owe the 35-year-old right-hander for the next two years. The Yankees would reportedly like to use some of the savings on Burnett’s contract to sign a left-handed hitting designated hitter.
The Pirates seem like the most likely landing spot for Burnett. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX reported that as many as four teams are vying for Burnett’s services.
Burnett has pitched to ERAs of 5.26 and 5.15 the past two seasons.
The New York Yankees have come to terms with Russell Branyan on a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, according to a report from the New York Post's Dan Martin.
Branyan batted .197 with five homers and 14 RBI a season ago with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Angels, primarily functioning as a pinch hitter. Always known more for his power than average, the lefty swatted a combined 56 home runs in the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians. He hit .237 with 25 homers and 57 RBI in 2010, and .251 with 31 home runs and 76 RBI in 2009.
The New York Yankees signed a veteran free-agent Tuesday, but not a player most Yankee fans might have been expecting.
Veteran utility man Bill Hall has signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees.
Hall tweeted the news himself: "IT’S OFFICIAL IM A YANKEE!!!!!!!! #IwannaRing!!!!
Hall, 32, spent last season with Houston and San Francisco, hitting only .211. He played mostly second base. Hall, however, has extensive big-league experience at second base, third base and all three outfield positions. Hall has a .248 career batting average in 10 seasons.
The signing is not likely to impact the Yankees’ ongoing search for a left-handed hitting designated hitter. Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez, Hideki Matsui and Eric Chavez have been mentioned as potential candidates to fill that role.
The Yankees also have young Eduardo Nunez in a utility role. Nunez, however, has very limited experience playing the outfield. Hall hit 18 home runs for Boston in 2010.
It has been pretty well-documented that the New York Yankees would like to add one more bat, a left-handed designated hitter type.
The Yankees have been linked to Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Eric Chavez as possible fits for that role. Even with Spring Training rapidly approaching, though, the Yankees appear content to wait out the market and let the price drop.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported that at most the Yankees would spend $2 million on a one-year deal, and might prefer to not even pay that much.
Sherman makes it sound as though the Yankees are not necessarily thrilled with any of the candidates, especially since they all come with health risks and with limited abilities to play in the field at this late stage of each of their careers.
It seems likely one of those guys will end up in the Bronx, but at the Yankees price.
As if he doesn't have enough toys to play with, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Friday that he would like another bat to add to the Yankees lineup, preferable a left-handed hitting one who can spend be at least a part-time designated hitter.
"I think it will be helpful; I do," Girardi said at Modell's Sporting Goods in Times Square. "I think we've had a good offseason; I think Brian has done a really good job this offseason in what he's done. But I think it's important to our club that you add that other bat. The American League is going to be tough."
Raul Ibanez -- The 39-year-old outfielder seems to be Girardi's personal favorite, despite hitting only .245 a season ago. He had 20 home runs and 84 RBI. A Sabermetric look at Ibanez shows all of his numbers a season ago were well off his career marks. You have to wonder if he can rebound, or if he is done as a consistently effective offensive player.
Johnny Damon -- Bringing Damon back to the Bronx would probably be the most popular move with the fan base. At 38, he is still an offensive presence -- having batted .261 with 16 home runs, 73 RBI and 19 stolen bases a season ago. The question with the Yankees and Damon is really playing time. Though primarily a DH now Damon is still a guy who would likely want to play every day. With Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and maybe Mark Teixeira requiring some DH appearances that isn't going to happen.
Hideki Matsui -- The 37-year-old has knee issues and his power numbers were the worst of his big-league career a season ago as he hit just 12 home runs, drove in 72 runs and had a .375 slugging percentage, well off his career .467 mark. Matsui seems likely to be willing to accept part-time duty, but does he have enough in the tank to warrant being brought back?
The New York Yankees have come to an agreement with former Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry to become a special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman, according to an ESPN report.
A major league source told ESPN the deal will keep Hendry in New York for multiple years.
Hendry spent 17 years with the Cubs, working his way from farm director to scouting director, assistant general manager and eventually general manager. During ten seasons as the Cubs general manager, the team won three division titles, advancing in 2003 to within five outs of the team's first World Series appearance since 1945. (Insert Steve Bartman reference here.)
Hendry was fired by Tom Ricketts after the Cubs followed a 75-win 2010 campain by winning 71 games in 2011. Former Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was brought in as president of baseball operations and he hired Jed Hoyer to replace Hendry as general manager.
Everyone figures that dollar signs is usually the big reason why free agents decide to join the New York Yankees organization. However, in an interview published Friday with the Los Angeles Times, new Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda said the tradition of the Yankees was one of the big reason why he choice to sign a one-year, $10-million deal that was made official this past week.
"They have an incredible tradition," Kuroda said of the Yankees. "They contend for the championship every year. I wanted to play for a team like that. When you get to my age, you don’t know how much longer you can pitch and I wanted to experience that before my career ended."
In the LA Times article, Kuroda said his choice was between New York or rejoining his former Japanese team, the Hiroshima Carp. Kuroda also mentioned that his family will remain in L.A. as his kids will continue their schooling there.
Since the blockbuster trade of Jesus Montero to Seattle for pitcher Michael Pineda there has been a great deal of conjecture about how the Yankees would fill their designated hitter role in the 2012 season.
Several free agents expressed interest in the role, and some of those are still on the market.
One of those candidates is veteran left hitter Raul Ibanez, and the New York Post is reporting that the Yankees “have interest” in Ibanez, who will be 40 in June.
Ibanez hit just .245 with 20 home runs, 84 RBI and a .s89 OBP for Philadelphia last season, his worst year in more than a decade. Ibanez is a .280 lifetime hitter with a lifetime on-base percentage of .342. Ibanez has averaged 24 home runs and 100 RBI during the past six seasons.
The Yankees have also reportedly had discussions about free agents Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, as well as possibly using some of their surplus starting pitching to make a trade.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark wrote today that New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is still trying to do the impossible. That means Cashman is still trying to get someone to take overpaid, underproductive starting pitcher A.J. Burnett off the team’s hands.
As Stark wrote, “good luck with that.”
Cashman has pretty much been trying to find a taker for the 35-year-old Burnett and his $16.5 million per year contract ever since the 2011 season ended. With Michael Pineda added via the trade for Jesus Montero, Burnett is even more of an albatross around the Yankees neck at this point.
Burnett has pitched to ERAs of 5.15 and 5.26 in the past two seasons, and the Yankees would love to find someone to take the enigmatic right-hander off their hands.
It appears, though, that Cashman is going to have to be a miracle worker in order to get Burnett out of pinstripes.
The New York Yankees announced today that they will avoid arbitration with outfielder Brett Gardner (via Yankees Twitter). Arbitration looked to be certain when Gardner filed for arbitration at $3.2 million while the Yankees had offered him $2.4 million.
The club did not announce the details of the deal with Gardner in the tweet. The Wall Street Journal reported that the agreed upon figure was $2.8 million (via WSJ).
Gardner has some of the best wheels in MLB. He is coming off a season in which he stole a career-high 49 bases, which tied for the American League lead. He hit .259 last season and had 7 home runs and 36 RBI. Gardner has been with the Yankee organization since 2008. This offseason was his first opportunity to file for arbitration.
The designated hitter position for the New York Yankees became a lot more interesting when young Jesus Montero was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Michael Pineda. Alex Rodriguez, seems like a prime candidate to occupy significant time as the Yankees' DH given his recent injury problems, but the 36-year-old slugger doesn't want that to be the case. Rodriguez spoke about the DH position and the upcoming season in a recent interview with ESPN Deportes:
"I think a lot of us at some point or another, in such a long season, are going occupy that spot. But for me, I'm really excited about playing third base."
Rodriguez also said he's healthy after off-season workouts and hopes that procedures on his knee and shoulder by a German doctor – recommended by Kobe Bryant – lead to him staying healthy for the entire 2012 season.
"I feel pretty good right now and I hope that (the procedure) helps me stay healthy and have ... a great year on the field," Rodriguez said.
A-Rod played only 99 games last season and hit 16 home runs, his lowest total since 1995.
Jorge Posada still has not officially closed the door on his career. But the celebrated New York Yankees catcher said he is not planning to play in 2012, and a retirement announcement could come soon.
"I'm not getting prepared for another season, that's for sure," Posada said Wednesday at a fundraiser for Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. "I tried, and it's not in me. ... More and more days started going by, and nothing's going in the right direction."
Posada said he will discuss his situation for a couple of weeks with his family before making a decision on retirement, but noted that he is "content [with] my decision that's going to happen here soon."
The five-time All-Star said he was not "comfortable" with the way his final season went -- Posada batted .235 with 14 home runs and 44 RBI in limited at-bats -- and admitted he is still coming to terms with the notion that he won't play baseball next season. But the 40-year old sounds like a man who has played his final game.
Whether or not the New York Yankees are actually interested in bringing in a veteran to be at least a part-time designated hitter is debatable. It seems, though, that there are no shortage of free-agent players will to fill the role.
Newsday’s Ken Davidoff tweets that “The reps for Jack Cust, Vladimir Guerrero & Raul Ibanez have contacted the #Yankees about their DH opening.”
Cust and Ibanez are lefty hitters. Guerrero is a right-handed hitter and would probably carry the biggest price tag. There has really been no indication from the Yankees that they are actually interested in any of these players.
An apparent opening for a designated hitter was created when the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for pitcher Michael Pineda, a bombshell deal that vastly upgraded the New York pitching staff.
Martin's departure from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010, the team he had played for from 2006-2010, was over salary. Martin thought he was worth more than the Dodgers' offer of $4.2 million. Rather than face arbitration, the Dodgers let Martin become a free agent (via LA Times) and he signed with the Yankees. This is Gardner's first arbitration opportunity.
Gardner hit .259 last season with 7 home runs, 36 RBI. He had a career-high 49 stolen bases. Martin hit .237 for Yankees last year with 18 home runs and 65 RBI and made his third All-Star game.
After solidifying their starting pitching rotation Friday there's just one more thing that the New York Yankees needto before Spring Training -- a designated hitter -- and according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman the Yankees have contacted former Pinstriper Hideki Matsui, who's free agent.
Matsui is a "decent fit" says Heyman, who broke the story Monday.
Matsui, 37, spent last season with the Oakland Athletics, hitting .251 with 12 home runs. Matsui spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the Yankees (2003-2009), hitting .292 with 140 home runs during that span.
Matsui could be a solid candidate to fill the Yankees vacant DH spot, which last season was shared by Jorge Posada, who has a slim chance of resigning with New York as he's contemplating retirement, third basemen Alex Rodriguez and newly dealt Jesus Montero
After solidifying their starting pitching rotation Friday there's just one more piece of the off-season puzzle that the New York Yankees need before training camp -- designated hitter -- and according to free-agent slugger Carlos Pena he has spoken with the Yankees.
On Sunday morning, Pena was a guest on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio with hosts Rich Herrera and Mel Antonen, and talked about being a free agent. When asked about if the Yankees talked to him about DH, he responded:
"You know, I heard about, you read that stuff that’s in the newspaper. That’s something that hasn’t been discussed at all."
By no means is Pena the favorite to fill the Yankees vacant DH spot, which last season was shared by Jorge Posada, who has a slim chance of resigning with New York as he's contemplating retirement, third basemen Alex Rodriguez and newly-dealt Jesus Montero.
"I think we explore all the options," said Pena. "You have to be humble enough to look at all different opportunities and obviously I think it is the smart thing to do, is just to sit down and listen to it and see what it is all about."
Last season, Pena played in 153 games for the Chicago Cubs, but hit just .255 with 28 home runs and 80 RBI.
The New York Yankees agreed to a one-year deal with pitcher Phil Hughes that avoided salary arbitration, Hughes' representatives from CAA Baseball announced on Monday.
Hughes will make $3.2 million for the season with the opportunity to increase his income by achieving performance-related bonuses.
The 25-year old left-hander was 5-5 with a 5.79 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 74.2 innings last year, mostly as a starter. He is expected to remain a starter this season, but new additions to the Yankees staff Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda could push Hughes into the bullpen. He last served primarily as a reliever in 2009, when the Yankees won the World Series and Hughes was valuable out of the bullpen, enjoying a 3.03 ERA in 86.0 innings pitched over 51 appearances.
A few days ago this would have been a big blow, however, after Friday's fireworks the Sunday news of former New York Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics isn't that newsworthy. The deal isn't official until Colon passes a physical, says ESPN.com's baseball insider Jason Stark, who broke the story.
Last season, the 39-year-old Colon, who made the team out of Spring Training, was an impressive 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 appearance for the Yankees.
The New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners swapped young studs on Friday, pulling the Yankees out of what had been -- for them, at least -- a dormant offseason and giving the Yankees the type of high-caliber (not to mention young) starting pitcher every team covets.
The Yankees have reportedly sent catcher Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi to Seattle in exchange for starter Michael Pineda and right-handed prospect Jose Campos. Following is the web's reaction of the news:
The Mariners blog Lookout Landing believes Pineda is a rare talent with room for improvement, but wonders whether he will ever reach his ceiling.
Pineda's 22 years old. He's 23 next Wednesday. He has five remaining years of team control - six, if the Yankees send him to the minors, which they are not going to do. His selling points are that he's enormous, with a hard fastball and a biting slider. Last year, as a rookie, he posted baseball's sixth-best strikeout rate. He also posted a good-but-not-outstanding xFIP of 3.53. Same as Mat Latos, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Nolasco.
Pineda is good now. He also has room to grow. He could improve his command. He could develop his changeup. With a strong changeup, Pineda would be something else. He'd probably be an ace. But here's the thing: an important principle to keep in mind is that pitchers usually don't follow the same development path as hitters. They don't break in and then improve until a peak. Pitchers frequently break in and stay where they are or slowly get worse.
The Yankees blog Pinstripe Alley is sad to see Montero -- and his tendency to mash the baseball -- leave New York, but understands why the Yankees pulled the trigger on the move.
I never supported trading Jesus Montero, and I am still certainly going to miss Montero. My first reaction to Montero being involved in the trade is that I always felt he would be the next Jorge Posada for the Yankees, and now that he is gone, I do not know what to think.
The young star that electrified Yankee Stadium daily in September, the player that was deemed "bored" in the minors, and "not good enough" to play catcher, the player that the Yankees defended more than any player on the Yankees, that player is now gone.
Taking away any personal feelings, this deal screams fair for both sides. Jesus Montero was always projected to be the cleanup hitter for the Yankees for the next decade in my mind. The Yankees lineup seemed pretty set, and Montero was always part of it.
Now he is not, but the rotation picture is that much clearer.
Sports Illustrated's Cliff Corcoran believes that with Friday's one move, the Yankees made themselves clear favorites in the AL East.
If you blinked, you missed it, but in a quick flurry of action after a largely inactive offseason, the Yankees landed right-handers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on Friday night, vastly improving their rotation and instantly becoming heavy favorites to repeat as American League East champions. The four-player trade that netted Pineda, arguably the best rookie starter in baseball last season, was enough of a bombshell given that the Yankees sent Jesus Montero, one of the game's top hitting prospects, to the Mariners in the deal, which also netted them the Mariners fifth-best prospect, teenage righty Jose Campos.
According to a Tweet from Jack Curry from the YES Network, the New York Yankees have reached a one-year deal, pending a physical, with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda that is worth between $10 million and $11 million.
Jack CurryBig night for the Yankees. They have agreed to a 1-year deal with Kuroda, pending a physical. Deal will be between $10 and $11 million. 26 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto
Kuroda is coming off a 2011 season in which he went 13-16 as a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He started 32 games, struck out 161 batters, allowed 24 home runs and had a 3.07 ERA.
For more updates on the Yankees, visit Pinstripe Alley.
New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman says he is perfectly OK with the team’s quiet off-season thus far. Will the Yankees’ lack of activity continue?
Well, the Yankees are running out of time with Spring Training six weeks away. They might also be running out of options for starting pitching upgrades. SB Nation’s Grant Brisbee, however, isn’t buying that the Yankees won’t do something.
Yeah. There are three second-tier starting pitchers left on the market: Hiroki Kuroda, Roy Oswalt, and Edwin Jackson. Their asking price is reportedly dropping. The Yankees absolutely will sign one of them. It’s the Baseball Nation Lock of the Week™ — call 866-800-1275 for our other picks. Oswalt and Kuroda are even okay with one-year deals, which suits New York just fine.
The Yankees are playing it cool right now. They don’t need to panic. They aren’t knee-deep in sewage, desperately needing a plumber. But their teenage son keeps flushing potatoes down the toilet because him and his punk friends think it’s funny. They’re right to think that they should be a little proactive.
Brisbee is probably right here, in his own strange way. There are good reasons for the Yankees to feel uncomfortable about every starting pitcher they have not named CC Sabathia. There are, however, also lots of good reasons not to pay big money for any of the available guys Brisbee mentioned.
Yes, the Yankees have been quiet. That, however, does not mean they have not been interesting.
The New York Yankees have been uncharacteristically quiet this off-season. Normally players for the biggest of biggest free agents, like Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes, the Yankees have sat and watched everyone else bid on the big names this off-season. Because of their lack of acquisitions, the Yankees – and General Manager Brian Cashman in particular – have been subject of much criticism from the media and the fans. In a recent interview with Richard Justice of MLB.com Cashman essentially stated he doesn't care about the criticism.
"I've learned over time," he said. "I used to care. I used to pay attention to what the media said, what managers and coaches said. I've compartmentalized everything. Now it just doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If it's the wrong thing, don't do it. If it's the right thing, you've gotta do it. I'm going to do it my way. You don't get points for pleasing people."
Despite their lack of moves, the Yankees will still open the 2012 season with the highest payroll in the Major Leagues.
The New York Yankees have done a poor job of addressing the holes in their starting ration this offseason but that all could change soon, as the Bronx Bombers seems to be trying to work out a deal with free agent, right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson. According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, a source confirmed that Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner met with Scott Boras about working out a deal for the right-hander.
"If that sounds familiar, the two talked last year around this time and the result was the acquisition of Rafael Soriano, who had an ugly first season in The Bronx," wrote Martin Thursday. "Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman have said they would like to upgrade the starting rotation, which still has considerable question marks after CC Sabathia, whom the Yankees signed to a contract extension after the season."
We have nearly reached the middle of January, and things remain awfully quiet around the New York Yankees. So, what are the New York Yankees going to do to upgrade their starting pitching? Better question might be, are they going to do anything at all?
ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting that the Yankees will decide in the "next couple of weeks" whether or not they will increase their 2012 budget -- most likely to make a better run at adding a starting picher. River Avenue Blues said the only likely outcome of that scenario would be the signing of free-agent right-hander Edwin Jackson, a player the Yankees have been rumored to be interested in.
There might be another plan at work, however. The New York Times speculated recently that the Yankees could be biding their time until after the upcoming season when they could have much more appealing choices.
Tyler Kepner of the Times writes:
It turns out the Yankees are not obliged to sign a player just because he happens to be a free agent who would fill a need. They won 97 games last season, the most in the league, before their first-round playoff loss. They can give it another try with these players and go back on the market next winter, when the free-agent starters should be much more appealing.
Cole Hamels and Matt Cain, All-Stars younger than 30 with strong postseason pedigrees, are unsigned past this season. Either would make more sense for the Yankees, in the long term, than Wilson or the other top starters on this winter's market.
Imagine that. The Yankees being smart with their money rather than just throwing it at whoever happens to be available. What is the world coming to?
There remains only a "faint possibility" that the New York Yankees will sign Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima. The Yankees reportedly announced Thursday that they had ended negotiations with Nakajima, but they do have until 5 p.m. ET Friday to make a deal.
The Yankees win the rights to Nakajima with a $2 million posting bid, a result that seemed to catch the Yankees off-guard. They reportedly offered the Japanese infielder a one-year deal, which he has not been willing to accept.
With Nakajima and the Yankees not coming to terms, the Yankees are widely expected to make a push to re-sign veteran corner infielder Eric Chavez. The Yankees reportedly have competition for Chavez from several teams. They could use the left-handed hitting Chavez as a part-time designated hitter and a player who can occasionally rest Alex Rodriguez at third base.
-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees.
The wheels have spun slowly for the New York Yankees this offseason, and that seems to be the continuing trend as they try to construct a roster for the 2012 season.
Reports are that it seems “unlikely” that the Yankees will reach an agreement with Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima by Friday, which is the final day of the 30-day negotiating window the Yankees earned by winning the posting bid.
Jack Curry of YES Network says the Yankees, who were a surprise winner of Nakijima’s right, are offering only a one-year contract for Nakajima, viewed as a utility infielder by New York.
The Boston Globe speculates today that the Yankees may still be in the running for veteran free-agent Roy Oswalt. That actually seems unlikely as the Yankees have voiced concerns about Oswalt’s back and have shown little inclination to pursue him.
The New York Yankees may be moving away from a trade for Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza and toward a picking up free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson (via CBS Sports). The reason to move away from Garza is that New York is certain that the Cubs want plenty of value in return via prospects.
Jon Heyman wrote this about Jackson and the Yankees:
The Yankees and Jackson aren't in any way close to a deal. But there seems reason to think they might find middle ground, as the Yankees like his arm and see him as a solid pitcher who could fill their need for a durable middle-of-the-rotation presence.
According to Heyman, Jackson is looking for a payday of $15-17 million annually. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 60-60 career record and a 4.46 ERA and 801 strikeouts. He was 12-9 last year with a 3.73 ERA with 148 strikeouts.
Matt Garza or Edwin Jackson? Which right-hander would you rather have in your starting rotation New York Yankees' fans? I have to ask, because reports indicate that a trade for Garza or the free-agent acquisition of Jackson appear to be the most likely scenarios as the Yankees try to bolster their starting rotation.
Jon Heyman of CBS summarized the Yankees' thoughts on both pitchers this way:
They like both pitchers. But so far the Yankees don't like the cost for Garza in terms of prospects, and they don't love the price tag for Jackson, either. The Cubs surely would like some combination of Jesus Montero, Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances for Garza. Jackson's asking price is said by sources to be about $60 million for five years.
Garza, 28, has a 52-54 record and a 3.83 career ERA in six seasons. He has pitched successfully in the American League East, having been in Tampa Bay's rotation for three seasons.
Jackson, also 28, has a 60-60 career record and a 4.46 ERA. He was 12-9, 3.73 combined with the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals a season ago. The troubling thing with Jackson is that he has already pitched for six teams since breaking into the big leagues in 2003. Yet, he has made more than 30 starts in four consecutive seasons.
Which move would you prefer, Yankees fans?
David Kaplan of CSN Chicago is reporting that the Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays are all interested in acquiring the right-handed Garza, who was 10-10 last year with a 3.32 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 198.0 innings pitched.
Now that top-notch starters like Gio Gonzalez are off the market, teams have begun to ratchet up their interest in Garza. The Yankees have long been intrigued by Garza but might be unwilling to part with a package enticing enough to land him.
Kaplan suggested that the Cubs' asking price for Garza is "incredibly high," so it's unsure if the Yankees or anyone else will meet the price. The Cubs might have to settle for less if they wish to move Garza prior to the season.
Garza still has two years left on his contract, adding to his trade value.
Cross another name off the list of potential acquisitions for the New York Yankees 2012 starting rotation. The Oakland Athletics are reportedly trading hotly sought after left-hander Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals.
The Yankees, who have sought unsuccessfully since the end of the season to upgrade their starting rotation, had been one of several teams to inquire about the availability of the talented 26-year-old left-hander.
The reported asking price of top prospects Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos was too high for New York, however.
“It’s 99 percent done,” Gonzalez said. “It’s pending a physical and I’m just waiting to hear from my agent.”
Oakland will reportedly receive four players in the deal, including three top prospects: right-handers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, lefty Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris.
The Yankees lost out on another potential trade target Wednesday when the Chicago White Sox announced that they had signed John Danks to a long-term contract.
Back in the day it seemed that during the holiday season, New York Yankee ownership would get a nice, new gift for their fans by either trading or signing a quality player, but their currentshopping list is getting a shorter, as on Wednesday left-handed starter John Danks inked a five-year, $65-million with the Chicago White Sox.
According to the New York Daily News:
"The Yankees had shown interest in the 26-year-old Danks, but the White Sox were asking for a package of prospects that included both Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos, a price Brian Cashman was not prepared to pay."
With Danks off the list, it looks like the only real options for the Yankees are Oakland's Gio Gonzalez and the Mets' Jonathon Niese. However, the NYDN says the asking price for those pitchers is hefty.
Now, its seems like the front-end of New York's starting rotation, which features CC Sabathia and up-and-comer Ivan Nova is pretty solid. But, pinstripe nation would like somebody to solidify the back end of the five-man rotation that features A.J. Burnett, Freddie Garcia and Phil Hughes, who are all question marks entering the 2012 season.
The New York Yankees have been connected to just about every available starting pitcher this offseason. One name you rarely hear connected to the Yankees, though, is talented young Oakland left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
Here is a pretty good idea why. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports Oakland wants a package of Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos AND Dellin Betances in exchange for Gonzalez. That’s right. Not Montero — the Yankees top hitting prospect — and either Banuelos or Betances — but Montero and both of the Yankees top pitching prospects.
Gonzalez, 26, is good, having worked 200 innings each of the past two seasons while compiling a 31-21 overall record. His ERA each season was just a shade above 3.00.
He isn’t that good, however. There are apparently several teams interested in Gonzalez. At that price, though, the Yankees won’t be fitting Gonzalez for pinstripes.
If the price tag doesn’t come down perhaps the Yankees will turn back to free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda or a potential deal with the Chicago White Sox for John Danks.
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman can rappel down the side of tall buildings, which he has done two years in a row for charity. What he can't do is rid the Yankees of A.J. Burnett, the enigmatic and overpaid starting pitcher.
Cashman is trying, making the soon-to-be 35-year-old Burnett available via trade for anyone who wants him. There are, however, no takers.
Realistically, unless Cashman and the Yankees are willing to pick up a significant chunk of the $33 million Burnett has coming over the final two years of his contract, why would anyone take him off the Yankees' hands?
The unpredictable Burnett -- unless you want to just predict mediocrity or worse -- has had successive seasons with ERA's above 5.00. After 13 seasons in the big leagues he is what he is, a mediocre thrower whose success/failure can't be predicted from inning to inning. Oh, and he makes way more money than his production warrants.
Getting someone to take Burnett would probably be addition by subtraction for the Yankees. It does not seem, however, that it is likely to happen.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson admitted earlier this off-season that he would be willing to discuss trading star third baseman David Wright, now the most recognizable Met with Jose Reyes having fled to the Miami Marlins via free agency. The New York Post's Kevin Kernan, in fact, is suggesting that trading Wright would be the best choice for the Mets.
Part of Kernan's reasoning has to do with Reyes and the fact that the franchise just lost one of its two superstars without getting anything in return. Part of it also has to do with the New York Yankees -- a team Kernan sees as a great fit for the soon-to-be 29-year-old third baseman.
Kernan points out that a trade would bring much-needed young prospects to the Mets, and that it would also benefit Wright. A deal would enable him to void the final year of his contract and become a free agent after the 2012 season, a scenario which puts the Yankees in play.
As Kernan points out, Alex Rodriguez will need to move to full-time designated hitter duties eventually and Wright would be a terrific option as a replacement.
What would you do with Wright this off-season if you were Alderson, Mets fans? As for Yankees fans, does the prospect of Wright inheriting third base from Rodriguez sound like a good idea to you?
There are more reports today that the New York Yankees have asked the Chicago White Sox about the availability of starting pitcher John Danks. That seems like an agreeable move the Yankees, since the 26-year-old left-hander looks like a quality starter who would fit nicely into the middle of the Yankee rotation.
The problem is the outrageous ransom the White Sox have apparently asked for. Chicago reportedly wants both catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero and pitcher Manny Banuelos in a deal for Danks. The White Sox lefty is a nice pitcher, but he is coming off a season in which he went 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA. He was 15-11, 3.72 in 2010.
Asking for both the top hitting prospect and top pitching prospect in the Yankee system makes that deal a non-starter for the Yankees.
Banuelos was 6-7, 3.75 combined at AA and AAA a season ago, but the Yankees still believe the 20-year-old left-hander has a bright big-league future.
"I thought he might come a lot faster," [Gene] Michael said here at the Winter Meetings. "I like him. He has a good arm. He has a great change-up, an above-average curveball. He needs to locate a little better. Maybe not pick quite as much as he was. But he is going to be a good one.
"He probably tries to hit spots a little too much. He should let his stuff work for him maybe a little more. I had a scout that told me -- and I'm using a line that a scout told me -- I said, 'I thought he was going to come a little faster, but the scout said to me -- and this is a good line, too -- 'He'll figure it out.'"
Could John Danks be a target for the Yankees as they try to improve their starting pitching?
The New York Yankees have said they have no interest in Atlanta Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens, due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired knee. In the interests of keeping the rumor mill churning, let's talk about another pretty good starting pitcher who might available on the trade market this offseason -- Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs.
Reports out of Chicago indicate that new Chicago baseball boss Theo Epstein might be willing to deal the 27-year-old Garza, who formerly pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Chicago Tribune writes that Epstein is "trying to see what he can get" for Garza.
If Garza is indeed available should the Yankees be interested? One would think Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would have to kick the tires on a 27-year-old who has been durable, has had success in the AL East and has a contract that runs for two more years? Garza made $5.95 million in 2011 and is arbitration eligible.
Garza can certainly pitch in the AL East, having gone 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA for Tampa Bay in 2010 before being traded to the Cubs. He has pitched at least 184 innings in each of the past four seasons. He also has postseason experience, having compiled a 2-1 record with a 3.48 ERA in five postseason starts with the Rays.
Here is what the Tribune believes would be the template to complete a Garza trade:
The Cubs would need a young arm who can have a long run in the spot of the guy whose place he took, even if he doesn't arrive for a year or two, and bodies to fill three or four of their other needs. A young third baseman who can hit for power would probably have to be the other headliner. Possibly a team could substitute a first baseman for a third baseman but you'd figure the Cubs would have to get a corner infielder.
For the Yankees, that might translate into a young pitcher not named Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances, and young infielder Eduardo Nunez. Cashman, of course, has said Nunez is not being traded. You have to believe, though, that for the right pitcher the general manager would re-consider.
Is Garza the right guy? Your thoughts, Yankees fans.
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says the team in not interested in pursuing a trade for Atlanta Braves’ starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens, citing the pitcher’s history of knee injuries.
“Don’t waste your breath. Number one, we’re not trading [Eduardo] Nunez, and number two, there’s concerns that Jurrjens has a serious knee injury,” Cashman said.
Jurrjens went 13-6 last season with a 2.96 ERA, but missed the final month of the season after having trouble with his surgically repaired right knee. Jurrjens, 25, had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in October of 2010.
A story had floated to the surface that the Braves were offering Jurrjens to the Yankees in exchange for Nunez, who would play shortstop for Atlanta, and outfielder Nick Swisher.
Cashman has made no secret of his desire to improve New York’s starting pitching, thus giving the story legs when it was first reported. It seems, however, that the Yankees will look elsewhere for a quality starter to add to their rotation.
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