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You are currently viewing archive for December 2006.

Posted by: James
Dan Benton over at Off The Facade is reporting that the oft-rumored Randy Johnson trade is done.

Apparently the agreement was for two prospects (Nippert & Owings) but there were no further details on the money situation. The two teams have agreed but it is pending a contract extension. The D-Backs will have a 72 hour window to negotiate with Johnson. If that falls through [and I hope it doesn’t] the entire trade will fall through.

He's thrown in some updates (specifically a Connor Jackson update...which made my heart skip a beat) since then so I would recommend heading over and checking it out. While I liked Nippert the least of the three prospects mentioned earlier, I will be eagerly waiting to see what the official word is. Of course, the commissioner's office is closed until Tuesday so this might be a little bit of a wait. Commence
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

Bobby Murcer emerged in good spirits yesterday from six hours of surgery to remove a brain tumor and, according to close family sources, the Yankee legend's doctor was "completely happy" with how the operation went. ...

It will take a few days before doctors can fully analyze the pathology reports on the tumor, but initial signs all appear to be positive. Kay Murcer said, "Bobby fully expects to be in spring training in March."

Great to hear.
Posted by: James
From Bill McFadden and Anthony McCarron over at the Daily News, there are now reports that the Yankees and Arizona could complete a trade to send Johnson back to the desert before next week.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have their eyes on a package of Arizona pitching prospects. The Diamondbacks are loaded with young talent and if the Yankees send Johnson home to Arizona - Johnson's home is in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley - they'd like to get at least two of the following three pitchers: Dustin Nippert, Micah Owings and Ross Ohlendorf.

Update: From D.A. Humber's baseball Central, Nippert was on the Top 10 Over-Rated Prospects List, coming in at #8. Worth the read.

I'll believe it when I see it but with Zito signed and off the market, doesn't the landscape of available pitchers become even smaller? I mean, think about all the teams out there that could use a starter who would give you 200 pretty good innings. If you were to account for a positive impact for a power pitcher going back to the weaker NL...Randy does look tempting, especially for the D-Backs who would love to have the publicity of his 300th win to help bolster sales (though how much it would is debateable).

Also in the article are the following notes about the 1B situation.

A source said the Yankees are zeroing in on Doug Mientkiewicz to play first...

Also, the source said, Mark Loretta may be the Yankees' first choice to be a utility infielder.

To which I can only reply BOOOOOOOO! Give me Andy Phillips over these guys any day. A mediocre hitter whose rep with the glove exceeds his recent production and an aging and quickly turning mediocre hitter who hasn't played first in years (you can find a good discussion on Loretta at WasWatching). What a choice to make. If you're gonna spend a couple of million, take another shot with Craig Wilson - at least he's younger and has a history of hitting.
Posted by: James
It looks like Barry Zito is off the table as ESPN's Peter Gammons is reporting that Zito has agreed to a seven-year contract from the Giants.

The $126 million deal averages approximately $18 million per season.
The deal, agreed to late Wednesday night, includes an $18 million option for 2014 that could increase the value to $144 million, an unidentified source told The Associated Press.
In addition, sources told Gammons that the Yankees never made a formal offer.

Wow. I was surprised by the money being thrown around and now, I've gotten to the point where I'm just dumbfounded. That's a lot of money for Zito and not only that, it's a ton of years. Heck of a risk the Giants are taking, don't you think?
Posted by: Patrick
From Bill Madden:

Murcer, 60, a Yankee institution as a player and broadcaster for 40 years, had been experiencing headaches and a loss of energy in recent days and, after an MRI on Christmas Eve, the tumor was discovered. It was then decided that he would seek treatment at the MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, one of the foremost cancer facilities in the country.

"I'm feeling OK and we're just going to have to see what this surgery will bring," Murcer said by phone last night. "I'm hopeful that everything will turn out OK and I'm thankful to have so many friends who are rooting for me."

Out thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Get well.
Posted by: Patrick

As the Yankees kept talking about trading Randy Johnson, they finalized their $20 million, five-year contract with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa on Wednesday.

The Yankees had until Thursday to complete an agreement with Igawa after bidding $26,000,194 last month for the right to negotiate with him. The left-hander went 14-9 with a 2.97 ERA and 194 strikeouts for the Hanshin Tigers last season.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

One of the Yankees' potential options at first base came off the market yesterday when Shea Hillenbrand agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Angels with an option for a second year.
Posted by: James
The Daily News is reporting that it's not just the Diamondbacks who are taking a long, hard look at Randy Johnson.

The Yankees are talking to several clubs about possibly trading Johnson and are inclined to make a deal, according to baseball officials.
San Diego right now appears to be the most likely destination for the five-time Cy Young Award winner, but the Dodgers, Angels and Diamondbacks are all said to be in the mix. One of the officials, familiar with the ongoing discussions, used the phrase "several bona fide offers" to describe what the Yankees are mulling and said the Yankees probably would not have to include any money. (I'd throw in some money in order to get some better players back.)

That's A-OK with me - the more teams get into this little fracas, the more options Cashman has to chose from.
Posted by: James
We started off the day with more credible sources adding to the rumors of Randy Johnson being traded back to the Diamondbacks. As the day has gone on, we have the following from an ESPN report:

In need of starting pitching -- and a marquee name that will draw more fans -- the Diamondbacks have offered a package of at least three players, including a major-leaguer. They would also want a 72-hour window to negotiate an extension with Johnson, who is owed $16 million in the final year of his contract. The Yankees, according to the official, don't want to pick up any of Johnson's salary.
The official said the San Diego Padres are also involved in trade discussions. It's believed that right-handed reliever Scott Linebrink could be the centerpiece of a deal.

MMmmnn - that's good hot stove. More on this as it develops but my initial thoughts are that if they really plan on trading Johnson, they'd better have something else cooking on the pitching front. I know that the guy put up a 5.00 ERA last year but he also tied for the team lead in starts and Ks and was close to first in innings pitched and limited opponents to a .251 AVG and a FIP of 4.32. I wonder what would happen if you take that away from the team and just move everyone else in the rotation up a slot (though to be fair, RJ is the #4 guy so not that many guys move up). It'll be interesting to see what various scenarios are thrown out there as this trade develops.
Posted by: Patrick
After some conflicting reports a couple weeks ago, Juan Miranda is officially signed:

General manager Brian Cashman does not consider Miranda as part of the first-base competition this spring, although he doesn't think Miranda is "very far from the big leagues." The 23-year-old left-handed hitter will begin the 2007 season with Class A Tampa in the Florida State League.

The deal is for 4 years at a little more than $2 million dollars.
Posted by: Patrick notes that Pettitte passed his physical, making him officially a Yankee once again.

Pettitte was re-introduced by the Yankees on Thursday afternoon in a conference call, kicking off his second tour of duty with the Bronx Bombers.

The team announced Pettitte's return via a conference call rather than with a Yankee Stadium press conference, as the left-hander had to fly back to Houston on Wednesday for a family holiday commitment.
Posted by: Patrick
From the Bangor Daily News:

The Husson College baseball team will hold its annual Hot Stove Banquet and Sports Memorabilia Auction on Jan. 14 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Dickerman Dining Commons on the Husson campus. ...

Along with Husson head coach Dr. John Winkin, headlining the event will be Carl "Stump" Merrill, who is retiring after a 30-year career with the New York Yankees.

Via Steve.

12/20: Mark Loretta

Posted by: Patrick
The New York Daily News reports that we're considering Mark Loretta as a first baseman.

One baseball official with knowledge of the situation acknowledged the Yanks also have discussed "in passing" the possibility of pursuing former Red Sox second baseman Mark Loretta to fill their void at first base. Holdover Andy Phillips and Rule V pickup Josh Phelps are the only names listed on the depth chart at that position, with Jason Giambi slated to assume full-time DH duties next season.

Loretta was an all star last year? I kinda remember that...

He played for Boston last year, hitting .285 with a .345 OBA. For his career, he is a .299 hitter with a .363 OBA. He's a 2 time all star, finished 9th in MVP voting in 2004, the year he was given a Silver Slugger. He's played 731 games at second, 328 games at short, 171 games at first, 171 games at 3rd, 13 games at DH, 1 game in left and 1 game at... pitcher. As a pitcher, he finished a game for the Brewers in 2001, pitching 1 inning of scoreless ball.

12/19: Simmons

Posted by: James
More often than not, if I'm quoting a Bill Simmons article, it's because he bad-mouthed the Yankees or A-Rod and I wanted to set the record straight. Today is an exception. I thought the following note to his mailbag column was hilarious and bore repeating:

Q: What did Bono say to the Yankees fan after hearing about the J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo signings?

"Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you!!!!!"
--Michael Rupp, Fairfield, Conn.

SG: Now that's comedy. Well done. It's just a shame that Michael Rupp was overshadowed by Sly Cooley this week.

Hats off to Michael Rupp for bridging two of my favorite topics: U2 and the baseball offseason. I just found it amusing that after several years of the Yankees being the prime example of overspending (to be fair, they've spent their share of dollars this offseason), they've easily been outpaced by several teams. And yet, they're looking all the better for their (relative) financial restraint. As a Yankee fan, that's an interesting, and relatively new, feeling to have.
Posted by: Jason
Thanks to Cliff C. at Bronx Banter, we have some stats to compare the recent acquisitions of two Japanese pitchers in the AL East:

             Igawa   Matsuzaka   Delta %
ERA 3.15 2.95 M +7%
K/9 8.49 8.70 M +2%
BB/9 2.86 3.23 I +13%
K/BB 2.97 2.70 I +10%
HR/9 0.84 0.72 M +17%
H/9 8.31 7.07 M +18%
WHIP 1.24 1.14 I +9%
Interesting. The average differential between these two pitchers across all seven categories is just shy of 11%. Now take the total price for each pitcher, and then amortize the posting fee over the life of the contract for the "all-in" price:
Total          46m        103m   M +124%
All-in/year 9.2m 17.3m M +88%
Is it always true that the value of something equals the price that you paid for it?
Posted by: Patrick
From the Daily Yomiuri:

The New York Yankees and Kei Igawa both played second fiddle in the posting sweepstakes. Igawa, though, got a first-rate deal it was learned on Monday, agreeing to a five-year, 20 million dollars contract with the Bronx Bombers.

Via Steve.
Posted by: James
The NY Times has an article up discussing an updated scenario that now includes the Braves where Melky Cabrera makes his way out of New York.

The Yankees are in discussions with the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates about a three-way deal that would send outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Braves from the Yankees, reliever Mike Gonzalez to the Yankees from the Pirates, and first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Pirates from the Braves, according to a baseball official.

I'm not real sure what to make of this. I like Melky a lot but am uncertain about his future with the Yankees and while I think Mike Gonzalez is a good pitcher, he has had elbow problems in his past and has been known to be erratic. Hat tip to Baseball Musings.

12/17: Melky Cabrera

Posted by: Patrick
I just wanted to mention that we are now sponsoring his page. Now, watch him get traded...
Posted by: Patrick
From George King:

Despite the buzz leaking out of the desert, Randy Johnson hasn't asked the Yankees to deal him closer to his Arizona home.

"He hasn't called me officially and asked me to trade him, no," GM Brian Cashman said yesterday when asked if the Big Unit requested the Yankees move him.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
From The New York Times:

“I don’t really see myself playing past this contract,” Rodriguez said on “Costas on the Radio,” a weekly program that is heard on 120 stations, but not in New York. The interview was conducted toward the middle of September and began airing Sept. 16.
Posted by: Patrick
From George King:

Before the Yankees make Doug Mientkiewicz a contract offer they want to see the medical report from Dr. Robert Watkins who operated on the first baseman's back.

Via Dan Benton.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Jeter was named the top hitter in the Majors, beating out 11 of the game's top sluggers, including AL MVP Justin Morneau and NL MVP Ryan Howard.

Wang was voted the game's top starter, edging out Cy Young winners Johan Santana and Brandon Webb, as well as nine other starting pitchers.

Two other Yankees captured TYIB awards as well, as Mariano Rivera earned his third consecutive Closer of the Year Award and Melky Cabrera captured Play of the Year honors.
Posted by: Patrick
From the press release:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that New York Yankees minor league player Hector Noesi has been suspended for 50 games, effective at the start of the 2007 season, for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Noesi, a 19 year old RHP, was 0-0 with an ERA of 1.29 in 5 games for the GCL Yankees this year.
Posted by: Patrick
From The Star-Ledger:

In their unending search for pitching depth, the Yankees are believed to have interest in right-handers Chris Reitsma and Joel Pineiro, who became free agents this week when their previous teams declined to tender a contact.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Jason
You may have heard/read recently about an AL East team signing a pitcher from Japan. The media blares: 6 years, 8.5m per year!! This is completely incorrect, for it ignores the posting fee, which must be factored in.

There are 2 cost accounting ways to look at this contract.

1) Load the posting fee over the life of the deal, or
2) "Take the hit": Reflect the posting fee in the first year of the contract.

Scenario #1: 17+ million per year over 6 seasons. This accounting method means that he would have been the 8th highest paid player in MLB in 2006.
Scenario #2: 59+ million in year one, then 8.5m/year after that. Using this accounting method means that what the Red Sox must pay for DM's services (in year one) crushes the record for the highest annual salary in the history of sports, easily surpassing current recordholder David Beckham (not including endorsements, Tiger).

Also remember: If Matsuzaka leaves the Red Sox at some point before the deal's end, then one should load the posting fee over the time he was with the Red Sox. For example, DM is traded in 3 years: 51m/3: 17m + 8.5m per year = total annual contract price of 25.5m (or the second highest salary in MLB).

Cashman learned his lesson well as he moved through the ranks in the Yankees organization and seems to have changed the 15+ year culture of brute force expenditures.
Posted by: James
Brad Wilkerson wasn't non-tendered so my post from yesterday is moot. Oh well.

If you'd like to see a full list of the players that actually were non-tendered, The Baseball Digest has a list up. Some of the notable names include:

-Joel Pineiro, RHP (remember how good he was back in 2003 and how much the Yankees coveted him?),
-Marcus Giles, 2B (I know the Braves are cutting costs but I think that is a mistake. Whoever picks up Giles will be making a very good move. Marcus had a bad first half but slick fielding, good hitting second basemen are hard to find),
-Chris Reitsma, RHP (this might be someone the Yankees actually consider),
-Rick Ankiel (I still feel bad about how it all went down for Rick),
-Toby Hall, C (for a backup catcher, you could do worse),
-Victor Zambrano, RHP (man, if I was a Mets fan, I'd be pretty annoyed at Jim Duquette),
-Brandon Claussen, LHP (with the way the pitching market has been and considering Claussen's age, I'm surprised at the Reds giving up on him).

12/12: Mike Gonzalez

Posted by: Patrick
From George King:

Ideally, the Pirates would like Atlanta first baseman Adam La Roche, but the Braves have Bob Wickman to close and would likely spin Gonzalez. Enter the Yankees and Red Sox.

The Braves, who have Scott Thorman to replace La Roche, were very interested in Scott Proctor at last summer's trade deadline and haven't changed their opinion. However, since they would be giving up a 32-homer, 90 RBI bat it's likely they would want more than Proctor. Like everyone, they are high on Melky Cabrera but would the Yankees trade Proctor and Cabrera for a 28-year-old reliever who has never pitched a meaningful game after May and has spent his entire four-year career in the NL?

Gonzalez's numbers are very good. Career: 155.2 IP in 168 games, 7-9, 28 saves, 2.37 ERA. With that said, you can't trade Proctor and Melky for him. A deal with Proctor is entertainable to me (even though it doesn't help our bullpen depth, i.e. RP for RP) being that Proctor is older than him and, as much as I like him, has only had one good year. But, I'm not down with dealing Melky in such a deal.

Via PSD.

12/12: Wilkerson

Posted by: James
Man, those guys at NoMaas beat me to the punch. In their discussion of some players that could be possibly non-tendered today, they brought up Brad Wilkerson. Now, Wilkerson is a guy that I've I was going to mention as a good option for the Yankees for a couple reasons but first, I want to point out a salient point made by Nomaas:

He's a lefty and all the news outlets have reported the Yankees are in the market for a right-handed first baseman. However, have a look at this. Wilkerson has actually hit lefties better than righties during his career:

vs. LHP: .266 BA / .367 OBP / .446 SLG / .813 OPS
vs. RHP: .247 BA / .355 OBP / .449 SLG / .804 OPS

On top of that, according to the Rate2 stat, Wilkerson actually plays a good first base, or at the very least, has played well in his 161 games there over his career. Now, all those games are spread out over several seasons so it would be a risk to assume he can do the same over the course of an entire season. Still, if he is available and cheap, it becomes a question of who do you think can outperform over the course of a full season, Andy Phillips or Brad Wilkerson.
Posted by: Patrick
Our 2007-2008 Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere series kicks off with Jim Baumbach of On the Yankees Beat.

When you aren't doing something related to or depending on the Yankees, what are you up to?

My main goal when I'm off is to forget about the Yankees and it is hard. This job really takes over you when you're working - I owe it to my wife and myself to put it away in a small box during the little down time we get. As for hobbies, we bought an older house a year ago and we're doing a lot of work on it. That's really taking up whatever free time we have.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
According to Jim Baumbach, the Cardinals have requested what will henceforth be known as "The Pavano Files."

The Cardinals have asked to view Carl Pavano's expansive medical records, according to a report in yesterday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a sign that the Yankees might be able to get out from under that albatross of a contract.

I can't believe that we could actually fill our need at 1B with Albert Pujols!

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a happy, healthy and successful 2007.

I appreciate everyone who has contributed to in 2006 and I look forward to 2007!

Thank you for reading. :)
Posted by: Patrick

The New York Yankees signed Cuban prospect Juan Miranda to a four-year contract worth $2 million, the player told ...

"In Cuba I grew up dreaming of playing in the big leagues, but I never thought it would be possible, much less with the Yankees," the 23-year-old Miranda said.

The article notes that it's a major league deal, meaning that Miranda has to be on our 40 man. He's a lefty 1B/OF.

Update: Or not? Peter Abraham says the deal isn't done yet, just in the works. Thanks Chris.

Via Cliff.
Posted by: James
Hmmm... according to ESPN and the Boston Herald, as of Saturday night, the Red Sox and Matsuzaka weren't close to getting a contract done. Actually, the term used was that they were "close to finding a common ground".

Negotiations between the team and the Japanese star pitcher have nearly broken down, the Boston Herald reported Sunday. A source familiar with the situation told the Herald late Saturday that unless "there is an abrupt change of course," the Red Sox will not strike a deal with Matsuzaka before the deadline midnight Thursday.

Even with the uncertainty surrounding what Matz (due to my own laziness, I choose not to write out his whole name so that's what I call him), taking him out of the equation changes the outlook for the Red Sox considerably. The Herald's source admitted that there is time for the outlook to change and with this much money on the table, there may yet be a last minute deal. Still, if there's no deal, I'd have to say that Toronto becomes the consensus #2 pick in the division.
Posted by: Patrick
Now that we've got Pettitte, everyone is going to be talking about the possibility of signing Clemens. And why not? It's a fun possibility to consider. Randy Hendricks, understandably, gave a nice quote leaving the door open:

"Roger has yet to decide what he will do next year," agent Randy Hendricks said. "But he has followed Andy's negotiations very carefully."

Emphasis mine, of course.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
Apparently, if Pettitte gets injured, he will not exercise his player option for 2008. Randy Hendricks:

"Both teams know that if Andy gets hurt, he won't take the option," Hendricks told the Chronicle. "The Astros flat turned me down."

Some info on what Houston offered:

Nevertheless, Pettitte still felt the tug of home, though the Astros, who had nearly acquired starter Jon Garland from the White Sox on Thursday, didn't seem as interested in the lefty. Hendricks wrote in an E-mail that he proposed a one-year deal at $14 million with a player option for $14 million in 2008 to Houston. "The Astros declined," Hendricks wrote. Houston offered $12 million.

Also, there is talk that the Orioles made a late run at him, as well:

A recruiting call might have helped, too - Torre called Pettitte to tell the lefty how much the Yankees wanted him. The Orioles apparently made a late, unsuccessful run at Pettitte, offering four years and $66 million, according to a baseball official. Hendricks would neither confirm nor deny any Baltimore involvement.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
George King reports that we're considering 1B Doug Mientkiewicz and RP Dustin Hermanson. Mientkiewicz's BR page has an interesting nickname listed - Eye Chart.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham:

Just received an e-mail from Randy Hendricks. $16 million for one year, player option worth $16 million in 2008. Slick move by Cashman. Gets no worse than the third-best FA starter on the market for far less of a financial commitment than Zito or Schmidt.


Via Alex.
Posted by: Patrick

The left-hander and the Yankees have reached an agreement on a one-year deal with an option, sources close to the negotiations told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Friday.

Can't get too excited, yet... just sources...

Thanks Chris.
Posted by: Patrick
It looks like Dotel has found a home in Kansas City. From the Boston Herald:

According to sources, right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel turned down an offer from the Sox to accept a one-year deal worth an estimated $5 million in guaranteed money from the Kansas City Royals. The deal also is believed to include up to $2 million incentives, which could make the deal worth as much as $7 million.

Villone turned down our offer of arbitration:

"To decline it was the best option I had," Villone said in a telephone interview. "Closing my doors too quickly on a possible multi-year deal didn't make sense." ...

"If you're asking me today, New York is the only place I'd consider a one-year deal," Villone said. "But a two-year deal is still my preference."

Finally, the New York Post mentions that we've been talking with Pittsburgh about reliever Damaso Marte.

The Pirates and Yankees have talked about a trade that would bring lefty reliever Damaso Marte to the Yankees for outfielder Kevin Thompson. If Thompson is dealt, Bernie Williams could return as the fifth outfielder. Marte, 32 in February, is owed $4.7 million for 2007 and 2008. He could be protection against the Yankees losing Ron Villone and not signing Scott Schoeneweis.

Marte would be a nice addition, I think. 7 years into his career, he's performed well, and he is the holder of a 3.28 ERA in 362.1 IP. He pitched 1 and 2/3 innings for the White Sox in the postseason in 2005, failing to allow a run.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
From George King:

“Some (teams) have asked me about playing,’’ said the 42-year-old Leyritz, who last played in the big leagues in 2000 with the Yankees and Dodgers and toiled for nine years with the Yankees. “The reason I was home was the (three) kids. But if I have to go on the road I might as well try to play.’’

That's... surprising.

Via SG.
Posted by: Patrick
The official site reports:

The Yankees signed Raul Chavez to a Minor League contract on Wednesday, setting up a competition with Wil Nieves this spring for the backup catcher's job.

Chavez has been around the block a bit, getting into 9 professional seasons with breaks in 1999 and 2001. In those 9 seasons, he's only played in 170 games or 18.8 games per season. Lifetime, he's a .212 hitter with a .253 OBA. He'll be 34 on opening day.

Also, Jim Baumbach reports that we selected Josh Phelps in the Rule V draft. It's the first time the Yankees have made a selection in the draft since 1996. As per the draft rules, Phelps will go back to the Orioles if he doesn't make the major league roster.

After a solid rookie campaign in 2002 (74 games, .309 AVG, .362 OBA), Phelps hasn't produced much. For his career, he is a .268 hitter with a .336 OBA.
Posted by: Patrick reports that Andy Pettitte will return in 2007. The only question now is who for.
Posted by: Patrick
Ted Lilly signed a 4 year, $40 million dollar deal and is headed to Chicago to pitch for the Cubs. Jim Baumbach mentioned that reported (I'd link to it, but a quick scan of the site didn't yield one) that Lilly told the Yankees that he would sign with them over the Cubs for the same deal. reports that we didn't make a bid.

The left-hander eliminated a return to the Blue Jays earlier in the day and had narrowed his possible destinations to the Cubs and New York Yankees, O'Brien told But the Yankees informed the 30-year-old Lilly on Wednesday night they would not bid for him, choosing to concentrate their efforts on Andy Pettitte, who said earlier in the day that he plans to pitch next season.

Works for me.

12/06: Richie Sexson

Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

While the Yankees aren't going to give up Chien-Ming Wang or Phil Hughes for Sexson, a package headed by Melky Cabrera could entice the Mariners if they are willing to eat some of Sexson's money. If they don't pay part of the money, they can't expect much back.

I wouldn't mind Sexson necessarily, in the right deal (assuming his D is respectable), but not for a package that includes Melky. My thinking is that if we trade Melky, it should be in a package, yes, but for a good/great player whose age begins with a number less than 3.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

The Yanks also put out feelers to Jason Giambi's camp to see if the slugger was willing to be moved, a person familiar with the Yankees operations told The Post. However, as with A-Rod, the Yanks were told Giambi has no desire to waive his no-trade provision because he wants to stay and win in New York.

Via Pro Sports Daily.
Posted by: Patrick

Bronx return or Houston send-off?: Pettitte, who is considering retirement but has offers from the Yankees (one year, $15 million) and Astros (unspecified) is expected to make a decision before Christmas, but multiple sources indicated Pettitte could decide soon, perhaps within a week.

Via Pride of the Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
From Tom Verducci:

The Yankees' search for a starting pitcher that will keep them from having to bank on a healthy Carl Pavano and Randy Johnson is narrowing. As Vicente Padilla came off the free-agent board, Ted Lilly and Barry Zito get little more than cursory interest from New York and Jason Schmidt still doesn't see East Coast dollars to override his West Coast preference, the Yankees have found the ideal solution: Andy Pettitte.

The free-agent left-hander, who is strongly considering retirement, is said to be intrigued with the idea of returning to pinstripes and "could possibly have a deal by the end of the week" with New York, according to a baseball source familiar with the negotiations.

Information from a "source" is always fun, but hey... at least the source isn't saying we have no chance. Interesting in any case.

Via Dan Benton.

12/05: Perfect

Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Daily News:

As one rival AL scout observed in the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel: "What's with the Yankees? Are they even here? Everybody seems to be going crazy this winter and they're just sitting back watching it all."

"I'm patient," said Cashman, "but I'll be aggressive if it's something that makes sense. At the same time, I'm more than willing to go into spring training with what I've got."

One rival AL scout = Ted Lilly's agent?
Posted by: Patrick
From George King:

Jeffrey Maier knocked on Brian Cashman's door at the Dolphin Hotel yesterday armed with an impressive booklet containing scouting reports he compiled this past summer in the Cape Cod League. ...

Maier, who set the career hits record (189) at Wesleyan (Conn.) this past season, is looking for a job in baseball operations.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
From the New York Post:

"From Day 1, I've said time and time again, 'Alex is going to be fine.' When he was going through it, I said, 'He's going through a slump every player goes through, I don't care how good you are.' I said, 'He's a big part of the team.' I said, 'It's one of those things, and at the end of the year he's going to be exactly where he is all the time.'

"That's exactly what I said," Jeter calmly explained. "I said the only thing I wasn't going to do was tell the fans who they should boo and who they shouldn't boo." ...

"I got booed, Mo got booed, Tino got booed the first half of the season. Jason got booed," Jeter said. "Everyone got booed, but it's not your job to say, 'Hey, everybody should stop booing.'
Posted by: James
Mike Plugh over at the always entertaining Canyon of Heroes takes a long look at Julio Zuleta, formerly of the Fukuoka Hawks. It's a detailed post and certainly worth a look at for anyone who would like to get a better understanding of Mr. Zuleta.

Personally, I'm one of the guys would like to see if the Yankees could get Craig Wilson back at a reasonable rate. I mean, look at what's out there and tell me you see any better options. Let's not judge him on last year but instead, let's see what he can do with the job full-time. As an added bonus, Wilson's pretty versatile and can play the outfield as well as catch in an emergency. Still, if that is an impossibility, then I'd rather take a shot with Julio than overpay for an overrated Shea Hillenbrand.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees have released their schedule for the 2007 season. The schedule is highlighted by their season opener at home against the Devil Rays on April 2 and six games against Boston in the first two months. The most disappointing part, to me anyway, is that this will be the 3rd year since interleague play started that the Yankees will play against NL West opponents, and it will be the 2nd time out of those 3 years that the Dodgers are off the schedule.
Posted by: James
David Pinto at Baseball Musings points out a handy-dandy list from of the Type A & Type B free agents that are out on the market, who signed them and what draft picks the new team will lose. He's right about one thing - those Angels really love giving up supplementals. Something else I didn't know was that the Mets had to give up a first rounder for Moises Alou. Also, Ron Villone is a Type B free agent and nets the Yankees a draft pick (2nd round supplemental) if they lose him after offering arbitration. Honestly, after the implosion at the end of last year, I'd rather have the pick.