"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Friday, November 30, 2007

Complete top 50 prospects list released

Minor League Baseball has released its complete top 50 prospects list.

Three Yankees are on the list.

Joba Chamberlain was ranked fifth, Ian Kennedy 26th and Austin Jackson 49th.

Yankees make offer for Santana

From Jack Curry:

The Yankees have offered pitcher Ian Kennedy, center fielder Melky Cabrera and at least one minor league prospect, perhaps outfielder José Tabata. In the trade discussions, the Yankees have told the Twins that pitcher Joba Chamberlain is untouchable and that they do not want to deal pitcher Phil Hughes.

Because the Twins are insisting that Hughes must be a part of the package, the Yankees are mulling whether to make that concession. If the Yankees insert Hughes for Kennedy in their offer, they think it could be enough to obtain Santana. Of course, the Yankees, or any team that reached an agreement with the Twins, would then have the challenging task of signing Santana to a huge six- or seven-year contract in a 72-hour window. (The New York Times)

I like this offer in terms of a starting point. I'm happy with the decision to make Chamberlain untouchable and I believe that Hughes will have to come into play eventually.

I am not opposed to trading Hughes but I'd prefer keeping him.

The article later mentions that the Red Sox offered Jon Lester, Coco Crisp and two minor leaguers.

This ride could get bumpy.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Posada: Pettitte leaning towards retirement

Jorge Posada had a conference call this afternoon following the signing of his contract.

He had a few things to say:

Where it got interesting was when he said the Yankees should trade for Johan Santana because they need a No. 1. Posada also said he has been calling Andy Pettitte once a week.

He said Pettitte is leaning to retirement but he hopes that will change given the direction of the team. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

Things have certainly improved this off-season. Hopefully Pettitte can be swayed into returning for one more season. His one-year, $16 million offer is still on the table.

Posada officially re-signs

The Yankees officially announced the re-signing of catcher Jorge Posada this afternoon.

The contract is four years long and is worth $52.4 million.

Mariano Rivera's contract hasn't been made official yet, and Alex Rodriguez is still working on his new deal.

The Yankees continue to wait on Andy Pettitte's decision. He declined his $16 million player option early this off-season and has not decided whether or not he wants to retire.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some Santana red flags

There are two sides to every story. Peter Abraham delves into some troubling Johan Santana stats from last season.

This pitcher was 3-2 with a 5.70 ERA against teams from the AL East last season (not counting the Yankees).

He was 5-7, 4.04 in the second half of the season, allowing 88 hits (16 of them home runs) over 98 innings. The 33 home runs he allowed for the season were nine more than in any other previous season. Scouts have noticed he appears hesitant to throw his slider. (LoHud Yankees Blog)
That is somewhat of a cause for concern for me. He was 15-13 last season. However, if he was on the Yankees, the win total most likely would have been higher.

That said, if the right package is offered, I wouldn't be opposed to a Santana trade.

River Ave. Blues wants to save the Big Three

River Ave. Blues is starting a campaign to hold onto Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

All three have been mentioned in the persistent Johan Santana trade rumors. I am against trading Chamberlain, as I feel he can be valuable either out of the bullpen or as a starter. He is an excitable character, and the team can feed off of his emotion.

I have seen enough of Hughes to like his stuff, but I would certainly trade him for Santana, and only Santana. However, if the demands are too great, I would hold on to everyone and not make the trade.

Kennedy is probably the most expendable of the three, but I don't know how much the Twins like him. A trade of Melky Cabrera and Kennedy won't get it done alone.

Whatever the case, we're in for a long ride and it will be very interesting.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Yankees, Twins discussing Santana trade

From the Associated Press:

Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said Monday that discussions are ongoing but it was too early to tell whether they would lead to a deal. He did not detail how far talks had progressed.

"I don't want to get into that at this point, as far as what they want, what we're willing to give and all that," he said. "It's preliminary right now." (ESPN.com)

As I mentioned on Saturday, I'd be willing to part with Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera. I saw reports today that the Twins are interested in prospect Austin Jackson as well. That is a little steep if you ask me, but Johan Santana is the best pitcher in baseball.

Is it really worth it? Only time will tell.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A-Rod's marketing package

From Ronald Blum:

Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed on a $30 million marketing package based on home-run achievements that could raise the total value of his new contract to $305 million over 10 years.

Under the agreement, which remains to be finalized, Rodriguez could receive $6 million each for tying the home-run levels of Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), and an additional $6 million for breaking Bonds' major league record.

The Yankees could designate each level as a historic event, enabling Rodriguez to receive the added money in exchange for additional personal appearances and signed memorabilia for the club. That enabled the agreement to be allowed by the players' association and the commissioner's office. Baseball generally prohibits bonuses based on statistics such as home runs. (Yahoo!)
This type of agreement wasn't unexpected. However, all of this money is relative when you're making as much as Rodriguez will be in this yet-to-be-signed contract.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Yankees expected to make a "good, strong offer" for Santana

Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana recently declined a four-year, $80 million offer to stay with the team. He will be a free agent after the 2008 season, so he will most likely get traded.

The price, in terms of players, is somewhat coming into play.

From Kat O'Brien:

The Twins are believed to have more interest in Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes than Kennedy, but they also like second baseman Robinson Cano and centerfielder Melky Cabrera. The Yankees have other well-thought-of prospects such as pitcher Alan Horne and outfielder Jose Tabata. Longtime Twins centerfielder Torii Hunter signed with the Angels this week, so the Twins are in need of a centerfielder. (Newsday)
I would give up Hughes and Cabrera before I give up Chamberlain and Cano, even though it is Santana who we are talking about.

The Yankees have young, Major League-ready pitchers aside from Hughes, so I'd be more willing to trade Hughes. I also feel that Cano is too valuable to this Yankee team to be traded. He is part of a solid infield that includes Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

Melky Cabrera can be replaced, either with Johnny Damon or acquiring Aaron Rowand.

If I was Brian Cashman, I'd start with a package of Cabrera and Hughes to gauge the Twins' interests.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hunter signs with Angels; White Sox sign Linebrink

Late last night, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim surprisingly signed Torii Hunter to a five-year, $90 million deal. Gary Matthews Jr. will be in the second year of his five-year, $50 million contract, so this move is rather strange.

There are reports out there that reliever Scott Linebrink has agreed to a four-year, $19 million contract with the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees were rumored to be interested in Linebrink's services. I'm rather happy the Yankees didn't sign him, especially for that contract. He has never pitched in the American League and has been on the decline the last couple of years.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I'd like to take this time to wish everyone out there a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

If you're traveling anywhere tomorrow, have a safe trip.


Girardi feels it's important for Pettitte to come back

Newsday reported that manager Joe Girardi spoke to Andy Pettitte last week and hopes to speak with him again after Thanksgiving. Girardi feels that it's too early to tell where Pettitte's mind is.

From Kat O'Brien:

"I think it's very important that he comes back," Girardi said. "I think that he knows the Yankee way, and he was a big plus in the clubhouse, as well as on the field. I know what Andy Pettitte's all about, and I would love to have him back." (Newsday)
It is indeed important that he comes back. The rotation next year, as it stands now, will be very young. It is hard to trust Mike Mussina and Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are all rookies. The only "sure thing" is Chien-Ming Wang, and he was awful in the playoffs last year. Pettitte has shown no signs of injury and he can stabilize the rotation.

That said, I love Girardi's hands-on approach. He has already traveled to the Dominican Republic to view the young talent and has spoken with Mariano Rivera, which aided in his return to pinstripes. The decision to hire Girardi is looking better and better each day.

Meanwhile, Steve over at Was Watching has introduced Project P46. The idea is to get a mass number of Yankee fans to contact Pettitte and tell him how much he is needed in 2008. It's not a bad idea and it can't hurt, either.

Shelley Duncan's Arm

See what I did there?

Anyway, the Daily News is reporting that Shelley Duncan was hospitalized with an unknown arm ailment last week.

Apparently, it's nothing serious and he should be fine.

Duncan should have a big role with the team this year. He could get a decent amount of time at first base if he hits well and can be a backup outfielder. Hopefully this injury doesn't linger.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Coaching staff made official

This was reported a few weeks ago, but the coaching staff has finally been made official.

For those that need a reminder, here's Bryan Hoch:

Hitting coach Kevin Long and first-base coach Tony Pena will return, while Dave Eiland has been promoted to pitching coach. Rob Thomson becomes the new bench coach, and both third-base coach Bobby Meacham and bullpen coach Mike Harkey -- both members of Girardi's 2006 Marlins' coaching staff -- have joined New York. (MLB.com)

Monday, November 19, 2007

iPod question

Frequent readers of the blog will know that my hard drive crashed on Friday.

The replacement came today and everything is working fine so far.

Anyway, I have a quick question regarding iPods. Does anyone out there know how to get music off of the iPod and onto the computer? I have tried some programs and I have tried searching through the hidden folders inside the iPod folder. However, these haven't worked and I'm getting errors saying that the source files cannot be found.

Rodriguez wins MVP, but not unamimously

It wasn't shocking that Alex Rodriguez won his third MVP this afternoon. What is shocking, however, is that he didn't get all 28 first-place votes.

From Bryan Hoch:

A-Rod, who became the fifth AL player to win the award three times, did not win the coveted honor unanimously. Rodriguez picked up 26 out of the 28 first-place votes, with Detroit's Magglio Ordonez, who came in second place, earning the other two first-place votes. (MLB.com)
My reaction to this story is a lot different than it would have been a week ago. With Rodriguez on his way to returning to the Yankees, Yankee fans can celebrate Rodriguez winning his second MVP as a Yankee.

But we all know that personal accolades haven't brought championship No. 27. Hopefully 2008 will be different.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Caldera: Rivera coming back

From Pete Caldera:

Mariano Rivera has agreed to accept the Yankees' three-year, $45 million offer, according to a friend who spoke with Mo today.

Last night, Rivera returned from giving baseball clinics in the Dominican Republic. He told the friend that he intended to sign when he returned, but that Hank Steinbrenner's comments about his age might have caused some hard feelings that led to a week of speculation about Rivera's pinstriped future.

Either way, Rivera would have returned to the Yankees. "He would have taken two years and an option,'' the firend said, adding that Rivera did not really want a fourth year. Perhaps that was meant to make the Yankees uncomfortable for Steinbrenner's remarks about his age. (Pinstripe Posts)

That whole bit about the two years and an option is interesting. That was my ideal contract for Rivera.

If the Yankees negotiated with Jorge Posada and Rivera during Spring Training, maybe they could have gotten cheaper and shorter deals for both players.

Whatever the case, the Yankees retained both of their major free agents and Alex Rodriguez. Things are really looking up all of a sudden.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Post: Rivera expected to take three-year offer

After returning from the Dominican Republic tonight, Mariano Rivera is going to huddle with his representatives tomorrow and according to several sources is expected to accept the Yankees' three-year, $45 million offer early next week.

The future Hall of Fame closer isn't happy about Hank Steinbrenner talking as much as he has about the contract offer that will make Rivera the highest paid closer by $4 million, but that doesn't appear to be a deal killer. (New York Post)

There isn't much more to say about this issue. The $45 million offer is the best he'll get anywhere.

Girardi visits with Rivera

New manager Joe Girardi met with Mariano Rivera earlier this week.

According to Bill Madden and Anthony McCarron, there are signs that Rivera will accept the previous offer of $45 million over three years as a result of this meeting. Girardi thinks that "there is a good chance that he will return to the team."

This is very good news. A few days ago, I wrote that Rivera wanted four guaranteed years. I think the $45 million offer is the best he'll get by anyone and he is foolish to request anything more.

The sooner they get this done, the sooner they can bring back Alex Rodriguez and figure out the bullpen situation.

Friday, November 16, 2007

That's not going to be good for business

Headquarters for Scott Proctor's Arm (AKA my laptop) is down. My hard drive crashed overnight and the new one will arrive on Monday.

I don't know how much I'll be able to post over the weekend, but I'll try to best to post some news.

Please bear with my this weekend.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yankees, A-Rod agree to contract outline

From the Associated Press:

Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed to the outline of a $275 million, 10-year contract, a deal that potentially would allow him to earn millions more if he sets the career home run record.

The amount of the guaranteed money was revealed by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been finalized. A-Rod met Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., with the Steinbrenner brothers but the parameters of the deal were set in place last weekend. (ESPN.com)

It's rather surprising to hear that they were discussing this last weekend.

The contract isn't terrible, considering the circumstances. Last night, I wrote about the contract being "heavily backloaded," with Rodriguez making less money these next three years, meaning he'll make the most money when he's oldest. However, he'll be nearing Barry Bonds' record around that time, so he'll be earning a lot of money for the Yankees anyway.

I am honestly shocked that Rodriguez is returning. I thought he burned all of his bridges during Game 4 of the World Series.

Now it's time to lock up Mariano Rivera and improve the rest of the bullpen. The outlook for 2008 is very much improved.

Peavy wins Cy Young Award unanimously

From Mike Fitzpatrick:

The San Diego Padres ace received all 32 first-place votes and finished with 160 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Arizona sinkerballer Brandon Webb, last year's winner, was a distant runner-up with 94 points. He was listed second on 31 ballots and third on one. (Yahoo News)
Jake Peavy won the pitching triple crown, so this doesn't come as a shock.

The AL MVP Award will be announced on Monday, and the NL MVP Award will be announced on Tuesday.

Rosenthal: Rivera wants four years

Ken Rosenthal cites Major-League sources, saying that Mariano Rivera wants a fourth guaranteed year.

You have got to be kidding me. Rivera deserves, at most, the three-year $45 million offer. Now he's just being a baby.

Rivera claims that he wants the same contract as Jorge Posada. Rivera, however, is two years older than Posada. Rivera showed a decline last year; Posada had the best season of his career. The Yankees had no viable replacements for Posada; they have a viable replacement for Rivera in Joba Chamberlain.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Star-Ledger: Yankees, A-Rod close to deal

From Ed Price and Dan Graziano:

According to a person who was briefed on the discussions, Rodriguez and the Yankees are already in negotiations on a 10-year contract worth approximately $280 million.

The person, who requested anonymity because he is not directly involved, said the deal would be heavily backloaded, with only about $50 million of it coming in the first three years.

The Yankees made it clear to Rodriguez that the only way they would do the deal is if he agreed to a much lower salary in 2008, 2009 and 2010. When Rodriguez went back to the Yankees and told them he wanted to come back, he agreed to essentially make up for the Texas money by accepting a lower salary for the next three years.

After 2010, Rodriguez's salaries would increase to an average of more than $30 million per year. The deal would also include incentive bonuses that could push Rodriguez salary higher, even in the first three years, if he met certain performance thresholds.

The average annual salary of $28 million would be more than $27 million a year he would have made in the peak-salary years of his previous contract and would match Roger Clemens' record salary of $28 million from 2007.

The person said the deal was complicated and could take a few days to finalize, but that both sides seemed confident it would eventually get done. (Ledger on the Yankees)

It looks like this thing is really going to get done. All of a sudden, 2008 isn't looking terrible, even though I didn't mind the loss of Rodriguez.

Personally, I hate backloaded contracts. See: Jason Giambi. He made $8 million in 2002 and is making $21 million this year. He got paid the least during his most productive years as a Yankee.

However, with Rodriguez's reported contract, it's all relative. I can't see Rodriguez having a "Giambian" decline in the near future.

From the horse's mouth (or fingers)

The article cited in the previous post cites an entry from www.AROD.com.

Here is Alex Rodriguez's official statement:

After spending time with Cynthia and my family over these last few weeks, it became clear to me that I needed to make an attempt to engage the Yankees regarding my future with the organization.

Prior to entering into serious negotiations with other clubs, I wanted the opportunity to share my thoughts directly with Yankees' ownership. We know there are other opportunities for us, but Cynthia and I have a foundation with the club that has brought us comfort, stability and happiness.

As a result, I reached out to the Yankees through mutual friends and conveyed that message. I also understand that I had to respond to certain Yankees concerns, and I was receptive and understanding of that situation.

Cynthia and I have since spoken directly with the Steinbrenner family. During these healthy discussions, both sides were able to share honest feelings and hopes with one another, and we expect to continue this dialogue with the Yankees over the next few days. (AROD.com)

Newsday: Rodriguez wants to return

From Jim Baumbach:

"It appears at this point that he wants to be a Yankee." Steinbrenner told Newsday in a cell phone conversation just a few minutes ago.

Despite so vigorously stating they would not negotiate with A-Rod after he opted out, the Yankees are entertaining this surprising new development because Rodriguez is willing to take sacrifices.

"The reason we didn’t entertain it in the first place is because of the opt out and the loss of the Rangers money and so forth," Steinbrenner said. "But at this point it appears he’s willing to make sacrifices to be a Yankee. Basically that’s it in a nutshell."

In his statement, Rodriguez referenced potential sacrifices -- which would include taking less money to account for the $21 million subsidary from the Rangers he cost them by opting out. (Newsday: On the Yankees Beat)

So there you have it. I honestly can't say I saw this coming.

Wedge and Melvin win Manager of the Year

From the Associated Press:

Eric Wedge received 19 of the 28 first-place ballots and got 116 points, finishing ahead of the Angels' Mike Scioscia (62 points). Joe Torre, who left the Yankees, was next with 61 and Terry Francona of the World Series champion Red Sox got 13.

Bob Melvin was chosen on 19 of the 30 first-place ballots and got 119 points. Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel (76), Colorado's Clint Hurdle (58) and the Cubs' Lou Piniella (25) followed. (ESPN.com)

Wedge was the easy decision in the American League. I would've given the National Manager of the Year to Charlie Manuel.

The National League Cy Young Award will be announced tomorrow.

Daily News: Yankees talking to A-Rod

From Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden:

Despite all of the back-and-forth posturing between the Yankees and A-Rod' camp, the Daily News learned today that the two sides have been discussing a deal for the past few days to keep the two-time MVP in pinstripes, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The biggest catch? The Yankees don't want agent Scott Boras involved in the negotiations.

A high-ranking Yankees source told the Daily News that the team is willing to bring Rodriguez back on a below-market contract, one that would make up for the $21 million subsidy from the Rangers that the Yanks lost when A-Rod opted out of the final three years of his contract. (New York Daily News)

This is yet another installment in the soap opera that is Alex Rodriguez's career.

This source referred to in this article later says that Rodriguez will be a Yankee next year. Rodriguez was disliked by many Yankee fans before this fiasco. If Rodriguez indeed comes back next year, it'll be very interesting to see how he is treated.

Throughout the season, the Yankees were adamant that they would not negotiate with Rodriguez if he opted out. The new front office will come out looking like hypocrites if they bring him back.

Rivera in search of more money?

Mariano Rivera's three-year, $45 million offer wasn't enough?

From Pete Caldera:

But a three-year, $45 million offer is so far unacceptable to the Rivera camp, which is said to be seeking $50 million for the closer's last long-term contract. Rivera turns 38 later this month, and he'd be 41 in the final year of his deal.

According to a person familiar with the contract discussions, Rivera is not seeking a fourth year, but a three-year deal worth north of $16 million annually. And for what Rivera brings to the table, it could be argued that he settled below market value in previous contracts. (The Record)
I thought the original three-year, $40 million offer was a great deal which should've been taken immediately. After paying Jorge Posada $13.1 million per year in this new contract, the Yankees felt they should bump up Rivera's offer $5 million. That's fine.

But to want $50 million over three years at the age of 38? I understand you're mad at the Yankees for not negotiating during Spring Training, Mariano, but to demand this kind of money is absurd.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sabathia wins AL Cy Young

From Anthony Castrovince:

In voting conducted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, C.C. Sabathia beat Boston's Josh Beckett for his first American League Cy Young Award. He is only the second pitcher in Indians history to win the award -- the first being Gaylord Perry, who won it in 1972.

Sabathia was listed first on 19 of 28 ballots cast by two writers in each AL city and totaled 119 voting points. Beckett received eight first-place votes and the Angels' John Lackey received one. (MLB.com)

I thought Beckett would win for sure. Congratulations to Sabathia.

Yankees added a fourth year late last night

The Times is reporting that the Yankees added a fourth year to Jorge Posada's contract late last night. This now makes him the highest-paid catcher in the league, slightly ahead of Ivan Rodriguez.

From the same article, it is being reported that Mariano Rivera's latest offer is three years for $45 million. He is looking at offers from other teams, but the offer from the Yankees will too make him the highest-paid player at his position.

Posada and Yankees agree to terms

On the last day the Yankees could exclusively negotiate with Jorge Posada, the team and the catcher agreed on a four-year, $52.4 million deal.

Peter Abraham has confirmed it.

This is a move the Yankees had to make. The four years could end up being too much, but they couldn't let him walk this off-season.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pedroia and Braun win Rookie of the Year Award

From Ian Browne:

Dustin Pedroia was listed first on 24 of the 28 ballots submitted by two writers in each league city and second on the other four to total 132 points. The Rays' Delmon Young finished second behind Pedroia with 56 points, and the Royals' Brian Bannister tallied 36 to place third in the vote. Pedroia's fellow teammates Daisuke Matsuzaka (12 points) and Hideki Okajima (3) came in fourth and sixth place, respectively. (MLB.com)
From Adam McCalvy:
Ryan Braun was listed first on 17 of 32 ballots, second on 14 and third on one for 128 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. Tulowitzki was first on 15 ballots and second on the other 17 for 126 points. The two-point differential was the closest in the NL since the current system was adopted in 1980. (MLB.com)
No arguments here.

The AL Cy Young Award will be announced tomorrow, followed by the Manager of the Year Awards on Wednesday and the NL Cy Young Award on Thursday.

The AL and NL MVP Awards will be announced on the 19th and 20th, respectively.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Posada: We're really close

Jorge Posada was at tonight's Knicks game and spoke to several reporters. The interview was relayed to Peter Abraham.

Update on his situation: “We’re working on it. We’re working with the Yankees. We’re going to hear from the Mets tomorrow. I have no idea. … I would like to stay with the Yankees. My heart is with the Yankees, so hopefully we can get something done.

Does he want to stay with Yankees? “That would be the first choice, yes.”

When do you want to get this done: “I don’t know yet.”

Are you going to listen to other teams: “Yes.”

Are you in the driver’s seat? “Yeah. Yeah. We’re really close. It’s not about the money. For me, it’s the best situation.”

On Joe Girardi: “I love Joe. You know, Joe’s like a big brother to me. He’s been a big brother to me since like ‘96, so hopefully I’m hopefully looking forward to working with him.”

Are chances better than 50-50 you’ll be a Yankee? “Yes. Right now it’s up in the air, but the chances are good.” (LoHud Yankees Blog)

Looks like he'll be back.

As I said last night, the Yankees need Posada back next year.

Pavano to be released?

Is Carl Pavano's time in New York over?

From Joel Sherman:

There is a strong likelihood the Yanks will release Pavano before Nov. 20 so that they can use his 40-man roster spot for a player valuable to their future. Each team's 40-man roster must be set by that date in preparation for the Rule V draft on Dec. 6 at the Winter Meetings. (New York Post)
That's a shame.

This is a fun stat: Sherman noted that Pavano had as many wins in his Yankee career as Luis Vizcaino had from June 22 to July 21 last year.

A-Rod's been caught stealing

From YouTube (via Deadspin):

Yanks to offer Posada and Rivera deals

Tomorrow marks the end of the period of exclusivity - the period of time teams can negotiate with their own free agents alone.

That said, the Yankees are prepared to offer deals to Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera before tomorrow's deadline.

From Mark Hale:

The players' current offers are comparable. Rivera will be offered a three-year pact for $39 million, while Posada's offer will be for approximately three years and $40 million. (New York Post)
Posada has stated that he wants a four-year deal and wants to field offers from other teams.

I can't see any other teams offering Rivera that kind of deal.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Clemens considering pitching for Team USA

Roger Clemens is considering pitching for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

From MSNBC.com:

“I think, if things fell into place and he felt good, he would be interested,” agent Randy Hendricks told MLB.com. “He loves the idea of representing his country.”
I wonder how much they're going to pay him. I also wonder if Suzyn Waldman will say, "Roger Clemens is on George Bush's mound" (or something to that effect).

The Posada situation

As first reported by Scott Proctor's Arm, Jorge Posada is a free agent. He is also planning on fielding offers from other teams this off-season to gauge how valuable he is. To the Yankees - at least this off-season - he is extremely valuable. Since the Yankees have no catchers in their system that are Major League ready and since there are no overwhelmingly great options in the free agent or trade markets, the Yankees will be forced to overpay for Posada's services.

Posada will be 37 next August. Posada has also played in at least 131 games at catcher every season since 2000.

I know I have gone on record stating my disdain for Posada. He has had a couple of terrible postseasons and is not an extraordinarily clutch player, at least in my opinion. When he comes up to bat in a huge spot, I never feel like something good is bound to happen. For whatever the reason, he's never been one of my favorite players. I know I take a lot of heat for this, but I can't help the way I feel.

This season was arguably Posada's best of his career. He hit .338 with 20 home runs and 90 RBI at the age of 35 in a contract year. I feel that this season may have been somewhat of an aberration.

Can Posada hit over .300 next year? Absolutely. However, he is seeking at least a four-year deal worth over $12 million per. That would take him to age 40, and as a catcher, that is very old. If the Yankees want to make that kind of commitment to Posada, he would probably have to switch positions if his knees start to give out behind the plate.

If this was another other off-season, I'd say that the Yankees could almost let Posada walk. However, the loss of Alex Rodriguez is going to force the Yankees' hand. Posada has all of the leverage in the world and the Yankees will have to give into his demands.

This will be a moot point in four years if Posada miraculously shows no signs of decline. However, his workload suggests that a decline could be in the future.

Posada has played 86 innings at first base in 18 career games. If he signs a four-year deal with the Yankees, that number could increase drastically.

Scott Proctor's Arm on Facebook

So, Facebook has added this cool new feature that allows people to promote their businesses. Me, being the opportunist that I am, decided to make one for Scott Proctor's Arm.

Scott Proctor's Page on Facebook can be found here. If you are a frequent user of Facebook, please add it.

Jeter speaks

Derek Jeter spoke at Joe Torre's Safe at Home Foundation gala last night.

He spoke about the future of Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, as well as Alex Rodriguez.

From Mark Feinsand:

"There's not many people in the game that do the things that he does," Jeter said of Rodriguez, who opted out of the final three years of his contract, leading the Yanks to state that they will not try to work out a deal with him. "We're trying to win, but it takes more than one person. We've had teams that have won and we haven't had numbers like that put up, so you don't necessarily have to have those type of numbers in order to win."
"I'm not worried about it. I think they're coming back," Jeter said. "It has nothing to do with what I've talked to them about, but if you asked me, I think they're coming back."

Rivera and Posada also attended the event last night, giving him an opportunity to convince the two free agents to return to the only team for which they have ever played. Not that Jeter feels they need much convincing.

"I don't have to sell the Yankees to them," Jeter said. "They've been here long enough. There's nothing I can tell them that they don't already know."
Jeter is absolutely right. The loss of Rodriguez will hurt this year, but in the long run, it could be one of the best things to happen to the Yankees this century. It's time to go back to being a team, and not just 25 guys who hit home runs against Tampa Bay in July but can't score runs in the playoffs.

I think Rivera is a lock to return. No other team will offer him as much as the Yankees are prepared to offer. Posada seems more adamant to test the market.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Jeter, Rodriguez and Posada win Silver Sluggers

From Bryan Hoch:

Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez were rewarded with American League Silver Slugger Awards, recognizing their offensive contributions in helping the Yankees to a 94-victory season and the AL Wild Card.

Louisville Slugger's Silver Slugger Award winners were determined in balloting of Major League coaches and managers who were asked to vote for the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in both leagues in 2007. (MLB.com)

Congratulations to Jeter and Posada.

Carlos Pena, Placido Polanco, Ichiro Suzuki, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez and David Ortiz rounded out the American Leaders winners.

Yankees and Posada still far apart

From Mark Feinsand:

Cashman spent roughly an hour late Wednesday night with Seth Levinson, one of Jorge Posada's agents, but a source said the two sides made no progress and don't appear any closer to reaching an agreement.

The Yankees extended their latest offer to Posada, but the catcher has made it clear that he plans to test the free agent market before signing a deal. The Yankees have offered the catcher a three-year contract, but it would likely take four years in the range of $52 million to $56 million to secure the rights of the five-time All-Star, as he believes other teams will offer deals of that magnitude. (New York Daily News)

That contract is ridiculous for a 36-year-old catcher, but the Yankees have to do it. I've never been a huge fan of Posada, but they have no one in the system that could step in and fill Posada's shoes, unfortunately.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Torre to publish memoirs on his Yankee years

From the Associated Press:

The book, currently untitled, will be co-authored by Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci and will include Torre's memories of the Yankees, with whom he won four World Series championships, and general thoughts on the game.

Doubleday, an imprint of Random House Inc., will publish the book in the spring of 2009.

"Baseball has changed dramatically since I began my tenure with the Yankees,'' Torre said in a statement issued Thursday by Doubleday. "It was a wonderful 12 years and I look forward to sharing my thoughts and perspective on how the game has evolved.''

According to Doubleday, Torre will explain his "decision to walk way from the job of manager of the Yankees, but only as the endgame in explaining in unprecedented detail what history will record as the 'Torre Era.'"

"In addition to sharing Torre's knowledge of the game, the authors will examine the rapidly changing baseball landscape, explaining how developments such as revenue sharing and the rise of statistical analysis have made the future existence of dynasties virtually impossible,'' the statement reads. (ESPN.com)

It should be interesting to see what Torre has to say about his Yankee years. I'm not much of a reader, but I may just have to pick this book up.

Orioles interested in Farnsworth

From Tyler Kepner:

The Orioles also need a closer because of injuries to Chris Ray and Danys Báez and are interested in Kyle Farnsworth, who was developed by the Chicago Cubs when MacPhail and Manager Dave Trembley worked there. (The New York Times)
Farnsworth made $5.25 million last year and will make $5.5 million next year. He was barely used down the stretch and was highly ineffective when he was used. If the Yankees can get anything for him, they might as well make the move.

Damon to be the starting left fielder

From Ken Davidoff:

Girardi, the Yankees' new manager, is leading the charge to keep Johnny Damon in pinstripes, a person familiar with the club's thinking said, as part of the team's renewed commitment to pitching and defense. Damon impressed the Yankees last year when he switched from centerfield to leftfield, with a layover at designated hitter.

"They realize how important I am to the team," Damon told reporters, according to WFAN. "The way it looks, I'll definitely be back."

Said Cashman: "Like anything else, you don't rule anything out. But I feel Johnny is an important part of this club. I'd love to see him out in leftfield every day and leading off for us." (Newsday)
Damon seemed to be rejuvenated towards the end of the season after a brutal start. After moving to left, Melky Cabrera was given the everyday center field job. While he remains the topic of trade rumors, Cabrera is a very capable outfielder and should only be a better hitter this season.

This leaves Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi in interesting positions. Matsui would seemingly be the everyday designated hitter, with Giambi occasionally playing first base.

What do you think? Should the Yankees try to play Matsui at first base? I don't really know, but, as Davidoff mentions, it'll be hard for the Yankees to trade Matsui. He has a full no-trade clause and is crucial for marketing purposes.

Base coaches to wear helmets

Major league general managers decided Thursday that first- and third-base coaches will wear helmets during games next season, an action taken four months after Colorado's Mike Coolbaugh was killed when he was struck on the head by a line drive.

Coolbaugh, a coach for the Rockies' minor league team in Tulsa, died July 22 when he was hit as he stood in the first-base coach's box during a Texas League game at Arkansas. (Associated Press)

This is the absolute right move, but it is too bad that someone had to die before they made changes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So, I made Deadspin this afternoon

Deadspin, the premier sports blog on the Internet, linked to Scott Proctor's Arm this afternoon.

I submitted my post on Skip Bayless and Jay Crawford last night and Will Leitch thought it was good enough to be a main article on his site today.

This really means a lot to me. Deadspin is read by thousands of people each day, and to be linked by them has brought in a few hundred more hits today (so far). When I first started this blog, one of my goals was to have something of mine be put on Deadspin.

I am very happy.

What Mets fans are "just sayin'" about A-Rod

My good friend Andrew over at The 'Ropolitans has this take on the Alex Rodriguez situation.

He makes a valid argument. Scott Boras knows what he's doing by trying to get the Mets involved. In the long run, however, the Mets will realize that they don't need him.

Girardi has no issues with Cabrera

Joe Girardi would not be opposed to a trade involving Miguel Cabrera.

From Peter Abraham:

As manager of the Marlins in 2006, Girardi can provide a better report on Cabrera than any scout on Brian Cashman's staff. And Girardi believes Cabrera would be a perfect fit for the Yankees.

"He's a great player and he's a smart player, too. He really understands the game of baseball," Girardi said. "I loved having him.

"I'm very interested in him because he's such a great young player. But obviously everything has to come at the right price. I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion. But at times you wonder how much he is out there (in the trade market)." (The Journal News)
The price that Girardi is referring to with almost certainly involve some of the Yankees' young talent. Brian Cashman said that he is looking to build around the young arms, specifically Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.

I do not want to part with either of them. In fact, I'd be willing to trade Melky Cabrera and Chien-Ming Wang before I trade Chamberlain and Hughes.

However, the Yankees do need a third baseman, so I wouldn't be shocked if the Yankees do indeed end up with Cabrera. Hopefully the trade does not involve the top prospects, because as good as Cabrera is, the young arms are more important.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Jay Crawford: Skip Bayless is bizarre

This is rather off-topic, but this was too good not to share.

Jay Crawford
(right), host of ESPN's First Take, spoke to one of my classes this evening and had a lot of interesting things to say.

His thoughts on Skip Bayless (left), the annoying sports devil's advocate, were especially intriguing. He gave us some insight on Bayless' social life.

At staff parties celebrating the show's anniversary, Bayless would often lock himself in a room by himself and watch games instead of hanging out with his co-workers, according to Crawford.

Also, if Bayless came across a great game, he would TiVo it and watch the game, play-by-play, the next day.

Apparently Bayless isn't all that he seems on television. According to Crawford, Bayless is shy and quiet in person - not his table-banging self. However, he does believe everything he says, no matter how nonsensical it is.

Rivera: 3 years, $40 million?

From Peter Abraham:

Mariano Rivera: By the end of this week, the Yankees could announce a three-year, $40 million deal for their closer. Rivera was dramatically underpaid when compared to some of his teammates, but this would give him an average annual salary of $13.3 million. (LoHud Yankees Blog)

My ideal contract would have been two years with an option, but like with Jorge Posada, the Yankees can't afford to lose Rivera.

Rivera will turn 38 at the end of November and struggled at various points this season. However, he is still one of the best closers in the game, and until he shows otherwise, the Yankees need to keep him if he is willing to pitch.

Posada wants four years

From Mark Feinsand:

After the Yankees opted not to give Posada a contract extension during spring training, the catcher expressed his desire to play out the season and wait until the end of the year to discuss a new deal.

Given last month's events, which included the departure of Joe Torre and Alex Rodriguez's opt-out, Posada will wait to see what offers come in from other teams before making any decision.

The biggest sticking point for Posada may wind up being the length of a deal, as the 36-year-old is seeking a four-year pact, according to sources, who said the Yankees have internally discussed an offer of three years and $40 million. With the Mets expected to be one of the teams in the bidding, Posada plans to see what his market value is, though the Yankees likely will do whatever they must in order to retain the popular 11-year veteran. (New York Daily News)
I'd be extremely hesitant to give Jorge Posada a four-year deal. However, after losing Alex Rodriguez, they can't lose Posada's bat too (at least for this season). He will need to start taking grounders at first base if he starts to decline due to age behind the plate.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pettitte declines player option

From ESPN.com:

Andy Pettitte declined his $16 million option to return to the New York Yankees, still uncertain whether he wants to pitch next season.

"I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season," Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.

"If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time." (ESPN)

Pettitte will not sign elsewhere, so until he says he's retiring, I'm not worried.

Mattingly and Bowa to join Torre in LA

Joe Torre announced at his press conference that former Yankee coaches Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa will be joining his coaching staff in Los Angeles.

Joe Girardi has already named his coaching staff, so this doesn't come as a surprise. Bowa was rumored to join Seattle's staff earlier this month, but I guess that can be put to rest.

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Yanks to pick up Abreu's option

From Ed Price:

The Yankees have picked up the $16 million option for 2008 on right fielder Bobby Abreu. A person informed of the decision, who asked not to be named since the Yankees had not yet made an announcement, confirmed the move today. (Ledger on the Yankees)
This is a good move. If you asked me in May if I wanted Abreu's option picked up, I'd obviously say "no." However, he had a more "Abreu-like" second half and finished with respectable numbers (.283, 16 HR, 101 RBI). If he was consistent all year, he would've hit over .300.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Torre to manage Dodgers

This was reported a few days ago and has been mentioned on this site, but Joe Torre has officially been named manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to SportsCenter, the contract is worth $13 million over three years. The Yankees had offered him one year for $5 million with $1 million for each round advanced to in the playoffs.

Rodriguez wants the door to remain open

From Mark Feinsand:

Alex Rodriguez's career in pinstripes came to an end when he opted out of his contract on Sunday night. Or did it?

The Yankees have made it clear that they have no plans to bid on Rodriguez when free agency gets underway, but a source with knowledge of the situation said Rodriguez is hoping that the Bombers reconsider their stance.

"Alex wants the Yankees to be a part of this, because the opt-out was not done with the intention of saying goodbye to the Yankees," said the source. "Alex wants to see what his market value is, but that doesn't mean he necessarily wants to leave the Yankees." (New York Daily News)

If this were true, Scott Boras wouldn't have given Brian Cashman 10 minutes between voicemails and text messages. If this were true, Rodriguez would control Boras and tell him not to make any moves during Game 4 of the World Series. If this were true, Rodriguez would have negotiated an extension on his own.

I'm not buying this one bit. Rodriguez knew opting out of his contract would result in cutting ties with the Yankees.

Alex Rodriguez is done as a New York Yankee.