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Winter Leagues--YANKS NEWS - RUMORS
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 5:59PM #381
Posts: 65,295

The pursuit of Curtis Granderson

By Joseph Pawlikowski

For the Yankees, the last log on the hot stove has turned to ash.  The team appears completely set as players begin reporting to the Tampa  camp. We’ve reflected on the 2009 season, reflected on the moves the  Yankees made in an attempt to repeat, and even reflected on the moves  they didn’t make. There doesn’t seem much left to do before spring  training begins.

Still, we can find some tidbits about the off-season to fill the gap.  For instance, when Brian Cashman spoke at the University of New Haven  last Thursday he /www.nhregister.com'revealed  something about his pursuit of Curtis Granderson. The conversations  that led to the Yankees acquiring the All-Star center fielder actually  began before they won the World Series — began, in fact, just before the  first pitch of Game 1. It might sound like odd timing to you and me,  but not to Brian Cashman.

“I said, ‘Dave, we set our roster, so there’s nothing left for me to  do now except for turning the page and talk about next year.’ That’s  when he first mentioned Curtis Granderson might become available.”

At that point, 28 general managers had nothing to worry about except  rebuilding their teams for 2010. It’s nice to hear that Cashman started  working on the 2010 Yankees once his obligations to the 2009 team  ceased. In that type of competitive landscape, he can’t really afford to  fall behind.

After the jump, as to hide it from everyone who’s sick of the story, a  bit about Damon.


Here’s Cashman on the endgame with Damon. He’s talking about the  one-year, $6 million contract the Yankees floated in January.

“I told (Damon and Boras), ‘I don’t know if Hal  (Steinbrenner, the team’s part owner) would approve it, but I’m not  going to fight for it unless we know you will do it,” Cashman said.  “Scott Boras said, “Bobby Abreu’s (new) contract is $9 million a year  right now on the table so why would we do that? So I expect to see a  Bobby Abreu contract.’ … I hope he does not sign for something less than  our offer. That means he should have been a Yankee and that’s not our  fault.”

Posted on Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at 4:07  pm in Hot Stove  League.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 6:01PM #382
Posts: 65,295

These Rules belong to Phil

By Benjamin Kabak

For much of the last three years, we’ve heard more than we ever  wished to about the Joba Rules. First, these rules dictated how often  Joba could pitch out of the bullpen. Then, they dictated how many  innings he would pitch in preparation for becoming a starter. Then, they  dictated how many innings he could pitch in a single season as a  starter. Then, they dictated how many pitches he could throw in one  outing as the Yanks tried to keep him under his innings count. It was  quite the process.

In 2010, Joba will no longer have rules. He’s passed all the tests,  some with better results than others, and the Yanks are prepared to let  him go this year. He’ll throw as many innings as the Yankees need him  to. However, one of the Yanks’ other young guns — Phil Hughes — won’t  be as lucky. As the Joba Rules exit stage left, the Hughes Rules enter  stage right.

In an interview on WFAN '/outbound/article/www.wfan.com'available  here, Yanks’ pitching coach Dave Eiland spoke about the Hughes  Rules, and Steve S. at The Yankee U offers up a /www.theyankeeu.com'transcription  of the interview. First, Eiland noted that Joba’s lack of innings  limit does not give him a leg up in the fifth starter race this spring,  and then, he addressed the Hughes question.

“You’ve got to remember,” Eiland said, “Joba had restrictions because  he never had a full season in professional baseball as a starter. Phil  Hughes has had several minor league seasons as a starter. So there’s  going to be restrictions, but they’re not going to be as strenuous as  Joba. And I’ll just leave it at that, right there. There’s restrictions,  and we’re on the side of caution with all our guys.”

As Steve notes at TYU, Hughes’ career innings high came in 2006 when,  as a 20-year-old, he threw 146 innings, all at the minor league level. I  doubt the Yanks will let Hughes exceed that total by 30 innings, the  generally accepted increase for a young starter, because he hasn’t  reached that level in three full seasons. However, the Yanks would  probably allow Hughes 150 innings. It’s tough to see him reaching that  as a sixth starter/bullpen guy, but he’ll have to outpitch Joba in Spring  Training to earn that rotation spot.

In the end, the Yankees have a problem many teams would love to have.  They have too many good young pitchers and not enough rotation spots.  Somehow, I imagine, this will all work out in the end but not after we  hear about the Hughes Rules over and over again.

Posted on Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at  12:48 pm in Pitching.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 6:04PM #383
Posts: 65,295

Love in the air for all-time Valentines

From Rose to Valentinetti, a lineup that is  fit for Feb. 14

02/14/10 12:00 AM EST

It's Valentine's Day, and since there are still at least 72 hours  before we hear about pitchers and catchers reporting to some Spring  Training camps in Florida, it's time to think about your valentine ...  and our national pastime, of course.

Yes, we heart baseball, no matter what the holiday, so take your honey  out to the yard, play catch, enjoy the day and get ready for the  upcoming season.

In the meantime, here's an MLB.com all-time All-Valentine's Day Team:


Pete Rose, 1B: Charlie Hustle kicks off this lineup in a big way,  with his last name representing the perfect Valentine's Day gift.  Despite his controversies, Rose's main gift to baseball is his all-time  hits record of 4,256.

Bo Hart, 2B: Hart's Major League career didn't last very long. He  became popular with Cardinals fans as a rookie in 2003, batting .277 in  296 at-bats, and he only appeared in 11 games the next season before  fading out of the big leagues. He does, however, leave us with a perfect  Valentine's Day name on several levels. There's the Bo (or Beau, or  bow-and-arrow) angle, and the hopefully strongly beating Hart.

John Valentin, SS: He's missing the "E" that would spell out  Valentine, but when a shortstop doesn't have an E, that's a very good  thing. Valentin had some nice offensive years, particularly 1995, when  he hit .298 with 27 homers and 102 RBIs while putting up an OPS of .931  for the first-place Red Sox.

Jose Valentin, 3B: The "Stache" was primarily a shortstop, but  we're going to move him to third on this team, and he did play 181 big  league games at the hot corner. Valentin had a very solid career from a  power standpoint, with 249 homers and a stretch, from 2000-04, all with  the White Sox, in which he averaged 27 long balls a season. No E on the  end here, either.

Beau Allred, OF: One of the better Valentine's Day names you'll  ever find, even if he hit only .230 in 165 at-bats spread out over parts  of three big league seasons (1989-91).

Ellis Valentine, OF: His career tailed off, but he was a physical  specimen at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds and had three good years in a row.  From 1977-79 with the Expos, Valentine hit over 20 homers each season,  drove in more than 75 runs, made an All-Star team and picked up a Gold  Glove.

Sandy Amoros, OF: The stats weren't overwhelming, but he'll  forever be remembered for his spectacular catch in the sixth inning of  the decisive Game 7 of the 1955 World Series when the Brooklyn Dodgers  finally beat the Yankees. Oh, and his last name derives from the word  that means love in just about every language.

Tyler Flowers, C: Somebody's got to sit behind the plate on this  club, even if it's a White Sox rookie with only 20 big league at-bats to  his credit. And his last name is the tried-and-true Valentine's Day  icebreaker and argument-solver.

Starting rotation

John Candelaria, LHP: Any guy nicknamed "Candy Man" has to make  this team, with visions of the little heart candies with messages of  love on them. Candelaria often broke the hearts of big league hitters,  particularly in his watershed 20-5 season of 1977. He won 177 games in a  19-year career.

Tom Candiotti, RHP: Here's the other "Candy Man," a right-hander  with a baffling knuckleball that enabled him to win 151 games in 16  years and pitch until he was 41. Random and possibly fun fact: Candiotti  played for Cleveland from 1989-91, which means he was a first-hand  witness to then-Cleveland and now-Valentine's Day teammate Beau Allred's  entire big league career.

Ron Darling, RHP: He was a Darling on the Mets' World Series  staff in 1986 and continues to be a Darling on national baseball  broadcasts.

Slim Love, LHP: Nice to get another southpaw in the mix, and this  is one fantastic -- and fitting -- Valentine's Day name. Mr. Love had  one impressive season on the bump for the Yankees in 1918, going 13-12  with a 3.07 ERA while starting 29 games -- and finishing 13 of them.  Coincidental and very cool fact: He was born in a town called Love,  Mississippi.

Hal Goldsmith, RHP: Judging by his last name, this man who made  20 starts and pitched six complete games in a four-year career  (1926-1929) in Boston and St. Louis comes from a long line of tradesmen  who have some of their best days on Feb. 14.


Buddy Lively, RHP: Not only is your valentine often your  liveliest buddy, but this reliever, who appropriately pitched for the  Reds from 1947-49, is the only guy on this list who was actually born on  Feb. 14 (in '25). And get this: His nickname was Red.

Joe Valentine, RHP: Here's another guy with the name of the day and a pitcher who spent every minute of his 42 career games from 2003-05  with the Reds.

Vito Valentinetti, RHP: Don't worry. Take a long look at that  long last name and you can find a Valentine inside. He pitched from  1954-59 and ended up wearing five different uniforms.

... And in the dugout

Bobby Valentine, manager: Bobby V., the former skipper who took  the Mets to the World Series in 2000 and won the Japan Series with the  Chiba Lotte Marines in '05, is full of love for the game, just like his  name.

Doug  Miller is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not  subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 6:06PM #384
Posts: 65,295

Odds  & Ends: Red Sox, Cardinals, Mauer

Some links for Sunday...

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 6:07PM #385
Posts: 65,295

Week  In Review: 2/7/10 - 2/13/10

Happy Valentine's Day, baseball lovers. Let's take a look back at the  past week:

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 6:36PM #386
Posts: 65,295

State of the Yankees: Outfield corners


iFrame Removed

Nick  Swisher is the Yankees right fielder, but everything else about the  Yankees outfield is subject to change. Curtis Granderson will be in  there somewhere — for this post, we’ll assume center field — and Brett  Gardner is the favorite for the other starting role, but the Yankees  have added a long list of candidates for bench jobs and possibly regular  time in the lineup. The outfield corners are perhaps the most volatile  part of New York’s lineup because of the lack of a big-name left fielder  and no obvious replacements in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

Starters: Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher
Backup: Randy Winn
Veteran insurance: Marcus Thames
Almost ready: Jamie Hoffmann, David Winfree
Low Rising: Melky Mesa, Kelvin DeLeon

For a series like this, it’s much easier to lump the outfield corners  together, because so many outfielders can handle both spots (including  several Yankees minor leaguers who I didn’t list). For the Yankees, Winn  seems best positioned to be the immediate backup in left and  right – assuming he doesn’t win the everyday left field job — while  Thames could very easily win a platoon role by beating out Rule 5 pick  Hoffmann in spring training (you have to wonder if the Yankees are  willing to let Hoffmann develop at the big league level when they have a  proven option like Thames in the mix). The starting job remains  Gardner’s to lose, but there are enough pieces to mix and match if  necessary. Mesa and DeLeon are both quite raw, with a long road between  them and the big leagues.

Worst-case scenario: Look back at 2008, when Swisher  hit .219 for the White Sox and Gardner stumbled in his first big league  exposure. That’s where the worst-case scenario starts. We know Swisher  is going to hit for power and Gardner is going to steal some bags, but  they have to make consistent contact and reach base for those things to  matter. If Winn repeats 2009, Hoffmann falls flat and Thames falters  against left-handed pitching, the Yankees won’t have another experienced  outfielder to turn to. They’ve signed and traded for an interesting  group of Triple-A outfielders to put around Colin Curtis, but no one in  the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre outfield is a sure thing.

Best-case scenario: Throughout the minor  leagues, Gardner always improved in his second attempt at a given level.  If he can raise his on-base percentage to around .370 – which is still  19 points lower than his career minor league OBP – the Yankees will have  no need for those veteran backups they signed this winter. If Swisher  finds his power stroke at home, where he had just eight home runs last  season, he could easily top 30 homers for the year. A return to form  from Winn and solid splits from either Thames or Hoffmann would give the  Yankees a valuable outfield bench, and Winfree could hit his way into  the major league conversation with a nice power showing in  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. If Mesa and DeLeon could cut back on the  strikeouts in A-ball, that would be gravy.

The future: The outfield corners could change  drastically in the next few years, but that volatility could go away if  Gardner proves himself and Swisher remains productive. Winn and Thames  are on one-year deals, so they don’t factor into this discussion, but  Gardner is still two years from arbitration and Swisher is signed  through 2012 (the Yankees can buyout the last year). The Yankees could  ultimately stick with those two — and save their free agent money for  Jeter, Rivera and a starting pitcher or two – or they could dive into an  upcoming free agent market that could include Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn,  Michael Cuddyer, Brad Hawpe and David DeJesus.

An attempt at the complete depth chart
An educated guess, but just a guess
Scranton: Colin Curtis, David Winfree
Trenton: Edwar Gonzalez, Dan Brewer
Tampa: Taylor Grote, Melky Mesa
Charleston: Neil Medchill, Zoilo Almonte
Extended: Kelvin DeLeon
Several things could happen in the lower levels. Medchill is a  college draftee with power, so he could jump all the way to Tampa.  DeLeon is young but very talented, so he could prove himself ready for  full-season ball. As is usually the case, there will be some mixing and  matching going on in the minor league outfields. Trenton’s outfield is  fairly wide open for anyone who earns at-bats. 

Posted by Chad  Jennings on Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 8:31PM #387
Posts: 65,295

Pedroia: Red Sox can  score more runs than last year


By Rob Bradford

Appearing  on the Mut and Bradford Show, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia  said he was tired of hearing criticism of the team’s offense, saying  the Sox not only won’t be solely about pitching and defense but can  “absolutely” score more runs than in 2009.

“I’m excited. I’m definitely excited this year. I think it’s a  challenge because everybody out there are saying all we can do is pitch  and play defense,” Pedroia said. “I think a lot of guys are going to  take that personal and as an offensive unit we need to score a lot of  runs and I have a lot of confidence we’re going to do all kind of good  things.

“It gets to you a little bit. Every time I’m on the show somebody is  calling asking about that. It kind of gets to you a little bit. A lot of  guys take pride in having good at-bats and doing everything we can to  score runs. We have a lot of very good offensive players. I’m confident  in our team and I’m confident that we’re going to be great.”

When asked if the 2010 lineup had the capability to surpass the 872  runs (third-best in the American League), Pedroia didn’t hesitate.

“Absolutely. The additions we made to our team I think have a lot of  guys that will fit well together,” he said. “I don’t know what’s the  lineup is going to be, but if you look up and down our lineup, guys can  find ways to score runs. We can hit home runs, we can steal bases, we  can bunt guys over, we can do a lot of things to score runs. You look at  other teams’ offense, yeah, they might have more power, but one through  nine we’re going to work the count and do a lot things to win games.”

Pedroia, who plans on flying into Fort Myers Friday, also touched on  one of the biggest story-lines for the Red Sox coming into spring  training, the value of Josh Beckett, who is in the last year of his  contract.

“I always viewed him as the leader of the pitching staff,” Pedroia  said of Beckett. “He’s a workhorse. He takes the ball, goes out there  and gives everything he’s got, and that’s all you can ask from a  starting pitcher. He never shows weakness, he wants to win more than  anybody I’ve ever seen. This guy is intense and I think the fans and  everybody love that about him. He’s shown a lot of the younger guys on  the pitching staff how to go about their business, and that’s huge. How  he’s helped Jon Lester and how he’s helped Buchholz and some of the  other guys … I’m pretty sure everybody wants Josh around for a long  time.”

To  hear the complete interview click here.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 8:35PM #388
Posts: 65,295

Deferred money could trip up Mauer talks

Joe Mauer could save millions if his new  deal defers some of his salary, but the Twins are against the idea.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 8:40PM #389
Posts: 65,295

A spring guide to what is new under the sun

By               Nick  Cafardo February 14, 2010

Boston Globe


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 8:41PM #390
Posts: 65,295

Did  Boras Fail Damon, Washburn, & Lopez?

Last offseason, the  Scott Boras Corporation brokered approximately $341MM worth of free  agent deals.  It was a strong showing, with three of the four big-money  contracts already looking regrettable (Derek  Lowe, Manny  Ramirez, and Oliver  Perez).

This time around, Boras will not reach even half of last year's  total.  That fact doesn't necessarily reflect on Boras' abilities as an  agent, and he did find favorable contracts for Matt  Holliday, Mike  Gonzalez, Adrian  Beltre, Ivan  Rodriguez, and Alex  Cora in a down market.  But we must ask: did Boras  clients Johnny  DamonJarrod  Washburn, and Felipe  Lopez get screwed?

ESPN's  Buster Olney suggested that in November, the Yankees discussed  internally the idea of approaching Bobby  Abreu's two-year, $19MM extension with Damon.   Boras always aims high in November contract discussions, but the  superagent read the market poorly this time.  It appears that, more than  once, Damon turned down his best offseason offers from his preferred  team.  Most likely, Damon will ultimately accept an offer inferior to  the contracts signed by Mike  Cameron, Marlon  Byrd, Hideki  Matsui, and Coco  Crisp.

In early January, the Twins reportedly offered Washburn a one-year,  $5MM deal.  Though the Twins are on the lefty's short list, he turned it  down.  Maybe the Twins or Mariners will still sign him at a lower  price.  Perhaps Washburn would've enjoyed playing for the Brewers in his  home state, but they signed a similar pitcher in Doug  Davis for $5.25MM on January 10th.  According  to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, Washburn might even be  considering retirement at this point.

Since Damon, Washburn, and Lopez remain unsigned, we can't label  Boras a failure with these three clients quite yet.  However, they'll  likely illustrate cases where Boras' long-standing strategies of  ridiculous initial demands and signing late cost his clients millions.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
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