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You are currently viewing archive for January 2009.

Posted by: Patrick's Anthony DiComo, Tyler Kepner of the Times and the Post report on Joe Torre's appearance on "Larry King Live" on Friday evening, discussing "The Yankee Years."

"It certainly wasn't my intention to shock anybody with this book," Torre said. "I just wanted to put a heartbeat on some of these players that people think are robotic." ...

"I don't think this book is doing anything but really retracing the history of my Yankee years, which is what I wanted to do," Torre said. "I'm shocked by the initial reaction, and the only reason I'm not upset by it is the fact that I know once people read the book, I think it will be more in perspective and they'll have a better idea of what it's about."

“I did not burn any bridges,” Torre said. “When I talk about what went on in the clubhouse, I don’t think there was any sensitive material that was in there that I felt shouldn’t have been in there.”

Torre also confirms that the "A-Fraud" nickname wasn't used behind A-Rod's back - it was in jest.

Meanwhile, SI's Alex Belth interviewed co-author Tom Verducci, making for a great read. Here's just a small portion: It's often been said that Torre was the right man at the right time for the Yankees. He had a core group of players early on who policed themselves. I thought it was amusing that even though he made mistakes on the field, as a rookie, Jeter didn't allow the veterans an opportunity to razz him. Can you talk about his strong, but quiet leadership?

Verducci: I can't think of a player in baseball who is more universally respected within the game than Jeter. And all of the best attributes that make it so -- his desire to win above all else, his respect for people, his unfailing optimism and his comfort and ease in the most pressurized spots -- were all there from Day 1 with this guy. He was a born leader because others take their cues from how he acts, less so from what he says. You take those attributes and then add the influence of Tim Raines, his friend who lockered near him, and you had a young player with a veteran's presence and understanding of how to be a professional. That is a highly unusual combination. As Cone said, that the Yankees would look to a rookie to lead them in big spots was a most unusual arrangement. ... It's no surprise that the stuff about Alex Rodriguez made the tabloids in New York. The tabloids threw out the "A Fraud" line and many readers first assumed that Torre called Rodriguez by that name. Immediately, Johnny Damon and Andy Pettitte claimed not to know about the term, though Larry Bowa did admit that it was something said in jest. But it was a specific reference to Rodriguez during his first year with the team. Do you think that in spite of his ego Rodriguez is more comfortable in the Yankee locker room these days?

Verducci: Yes, definitely so, and it started two years ago. It was funny to see the tabloids misrepresent the "A-Fraud" reference and still then chase down Pettitte and Damon about it; the term appears in the book in a very specifically defined manner: only in regard to guys in the clubhouse (not Torre) noticing that Alex was trying too hard to fit in, only in 2004, his first season in New York. Pettitte was playing in Houston and Damon in Boston that year! I do think Alex is far more comfortable in the clubhouse and in New York now. He worries far less about what is said and written about him than when he first appeared on the scene. It's hard for anyone to make that transition, but it was especially hard for Alex because he is so smart, so aware, so curious and such a deep fan of the game. He has a more sensitive radar than most players, and the chatter in New York is relentless. I think he has learned to tone down the sensitivity of that radar to reduce potential distractions.

Via Alex.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that the collective bargaining agreement would prevent confidentiality clauses in player contracts, which the Yankees are reportedly considering. In addition, the MLBPA is set to fight any such attempt. This says nothing for managers, though.
Posted by: Patrick
Updating a story posted earlier today, it turns out that the Yankees are not at their limit for Type A or Type B free agents.'s Barry M. Bloom, the source of the original story, has come back to correct the report.

Under rules stated in the Basic Agreement, an exception was made this offseason because of the high number of free agents on the market -- a combined 216 between six-year free agents filing before Nov. 14 and players who weren't tendered contracts on Dec. 12, said Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations and human resources. ...

The Yankees have already signed five Type A free agents -- CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira and their own Andy Pettitte and Damaso Marte. The quota, as defined in the collectively bargained rules established by management and the Players Association, state, "if there are from 39 to 62 players [filing], no team can sign more than three."

Peter Abraham reported this as well, after speaking with Brian Cashman.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that the Yanks have signed Brian Bruney, avoiding arbitration. Abraham mentions that Troy Renck of the Denver Post said that Bruney signed for $1.25 million. The Yankees have no remaining players to sign - there will be no arbitration hearings this year.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
From's Barry M. Bloom:

The most commonly held misconception of this offseason is that the Yankees could have signed pitcher Ben Sheets or could still sign left-fielder Manny Ramirez if only there were a few million dollars remaining in the Steinbrenner bank.

Both assumptions are incorrect. According to the Basic Agreement, and confirmed by a top Major League Baseball official, once the Yankees signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, they had signed their quota of Type A or Type B free agents under the collectively bargained rules established by management and the Players Association. ...

"If there were more than 62 this year, we should have agreed on an increased quota," Manfred said. "We did not. I think if [the Yankees] were contemplating signing another Type A player, they would've read the agreement and asked us what we wanted to do. They would've said they wanted to sign a fourth player and we would've had to do something with the union."

Mabfred went on to say that the Yankees have not asked.
Posted by: Patrick
From Jayson Stark:

After trying to push Xavier Nady as the outfielder they'd most prefer to trade, the Yankees are telling teams they're softening to the idea of dealing Nick Swisher. The Braves head the list of clubs who prefer Swisher because of his versatility and because he's three years from free agency, not one.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
Harvey Araton of the New York Times reports on Derek Jeter's admission to being the one who took the clubhouse sign featuring the famous "I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee" quote, attributed to Joe DiMaggio. I'm fine with this - if any Yankee was going to get it, it should be Derek.
Posted by: Patrick
Tyler Kepner discusses more experts from
Alex Belth shares a portion on Roger Clemens and his preparation for the 2000 World Series. I would have been fine not knowing this. Neil Best relays a pair of stories about Bernie Williams, who the book "poke[s] gentle fun" at. Apparently, Bernie drove home without his kid one day and, after a World Series clincher, he left without his wife.

Both Graig Nettles and Larry Bowa have come out in defense of Torre, with Bowa also providing support for A-Rod.

At a charity event for his Turn 2 Foundation, Derek Jeter didn't have a comment. He feels that it is best to allow people to read it and then ask Torre about it. Jorge Posada, who also attended the event, had a similar response.

Finally, Alex Belth has an A-Rod centric look at the book. Worthwhile reading as I expect Alex's take to be fair and not sensationalized.

Via Steve and Alex.
Posted by: Patrick
Newsday's Wallace Matthews reports that, in response to the Joe Torre/Ken Rosenthal book, the Yankees are considering including confidentiality agreements in their contracts, to help ensure that former managers and players cannot write books that would portray the organization in a negative light. Apparently, they are calling it a "non-disparagement clause."

As Matthews notes, these sorts of clauses aren't terribly uncommon in business relationships, such as those that celebrities have with their staff or assistants or that companies have with a CEO. He also mentions that the Mets are believed to have included this sort of language in the contracts they held with former manager Willie Randolph and former pitching coach Rick Peterson.

There is no freedom of speech issue. Freedom of speech is tied to Congress. They can't create laws that limit your freedom of speech. But, private citizens and organizations, if they give you access to their home, to their clubhouse, to their company... they are welcome to require what they feel is appropriate. This isn't just tied to speech, either. Take, for example, the Yankees facial hair policy. (Which I am a fan of).

I don't know how I feel about this. I can understand it. But, I don't know if it's something they should do. As an aside, is there any way that these clauses could represent a competitive disadvantage for the Yankees? i.e. if you have an offer from the Yankees and an offer from another team you are interested in, and one team won't allow you to talk about negative experiences in the clubhouse - ever - and another will, would that impact your decision? I would have to think that the answer would be no, generally, that money would trump all. But, I don't think that would always be the case. People generally consider speech to be a little more important than facial hair.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
From Buster Olney:

Dunn might draw interest from the Yankees, a team for which he is perfectly suited, if they could shed the contracts of two of Xavier Nady, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Jack Curry of the Times spoke with Joe Torre on - what else - "The Yankee Years".

“I heard the word betrayed and I knew that it wasn’t part of the actual book,” Torre said in a telephone interview from Hawaii early Tuesday morning. “I can tell you this much: I know there’s stuff Brian and I disagreed on, and I had one perception and he had another, which, to me, there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re obviously two different people.”

Torre added: “As far as the betrayed thing, that’s the reason I called him. I knew there was no word betrayed in there in regards to feeling that he left me out there somewhere.” ...

“I don’t think I said anything about A-Rod that I didn’t say already,” said Torre...

Mike Mussina, who is quoted in the book, spoke to the Post. Basically, he stressed that A-Rod is a great player and a hard worker and though it is possible he was called "A-Fraud," it would have been done in jest.

Ron Blum of the AP shares excerpts relating to Kevin Brown, David Wells, Carl Pavano and Randy Johnson, while the Daily News has some excerpts where David Cone is quoted, talking about steroids in the Yankees clubhouse. In so many words, some players suspected that people working with Brian McNamee were not just taking multivitamins.

Commentary wise, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports and Joel Sherman of the Post both have an interesting perspective.

Honestly, I don't know how I feel about the book right now. I haven't read it, so that makes sense, but also, I'm just not sure how I feel about the general context. I like Joe Torre, he was a phenomenal manager who I feel that too many people and, especially, Yankees fans, do not have the proper appreciation for. That doesn't make him perfect.

Unfortunately, I think most feelings tied to the book will boil down to this: if don't like Torre, this will be a reason to dislike him more. If you like him, you'll sympathize with what he says. As usual, I think the truth lies somewhere between.

Maybe he felt he needed to get this off his chest and set the record straight, in his eyes. But, perhaps selfishly, a good part of me wishes this book hadn't been written, even though I haven't read it. Maybe that's unfair. But at the same time, that perspective is not always realistic. This sort of book, in baseball, is rare. A look behind the scenes, not from a reporter, but from a credible source who lived it. Whether or not that's a good thing is probably a matter of your perspective.

Via Bryan Hoch and Frank Della Femina.
Posted by: Patrick
With Andy Pettitte returning, someone needed to give up their spot on the 40 man roster. That someone is Chase Wright, reports's Bryan Hoch. Wright was designated for assignment yesterday, and other teams will now get a crack at claiming the lefty.

Chad Jennings highlights the fact that the Yankees opted to keep Dan Giese. He pitched well last season - maybe he'll factor into our bullpen plans this season, as a long reliever/spot starter.
Posted by: Patrick
With Andy Pettitte agreeing to a $5.5 million dollar base salary, with incentives that will raise the deal up to as much as $12 million, Peter Abraham details how, exactly, those incentives will work.

He receives $500,000 each time he hits the 150 innings, 160 innings and 170 innings marks. He receives $750,000 each time he reaches the 180, 190, 200 and 210 innings plateaus.

There are also bonuses tied to him simply being on the active 25 man roster. He'll get $100,000 for 120 days, $200,000 at 130 days, $250,000 each at 140 and 150 and $400,000 each at 160, 170 and 180.
Posted by: Patrick
Updating today's earlier story, from the AP:

"Heck, the bottom line is I'm a man, and I guess it does take a shot at your pride a little bit," [Pettitte] said. "But when you put all that aside, I wanted to play for the New York Yankees and, you know, that was the bottom line. I wanted to be there. I wanted to play in that new stadium."

After months of stalled negotiations, Pettitte and the Yankees agreed Monday to a $5.5 million, one-year contract. While the guaranteed money is less than half New York's original $10 million offer, he can make an additional $6.5 million in bonuses: $4.5 million based on innings and $2 million based on days on the active roster.

Welcome back.
Posted by: Patrick
John Harper of the Daily News reports that our long national nightmare may finally come to an end. Andy Pettitte will "apparently" be coming to terms with the Yankees, according to a pair of baseball sources, on a deal that will have a base salary of somewhere between $5-6 million dollars with incentives that could take it up to $12 million. So, he turned down a flat $10 (or $10.5) million for $5-$6 guaranteed where he could earn as much as $12 million? Seems strange to me.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick has an interview with Tom Verducci of, you wouldn't believe, Sports Illustrated. Verducci is the co-author of "The Yankee Years, a book due out soon that turned New York newspapers and sports television a flutter yesterday, with reports of Joe Torre (the other co-author) bashing A-Rod and others. In reference to these reports, Verducci says the following:

I think it's important to understand context here. The book is not a first-person book by Joe Torre, it's a third-person narrative based on 12 years of knowing the Yankees and it's about the changes in the game in that period. Seems to me the New York Post assigned this third-person book entirely to Joe Torre and that's not the case. In fact, if people saw that Post story they probably noticed there are no quotes from Joe Torre in it. Joe Torre does not rip anybody in the book. The book really needs to be read in context.

Anybody who knows Joe, especially during his time in New York, knows he's a very honest man and he is very honest in the pages of this book. People also know Joe Torre doesn't go around ripping people and he doesn't do that in the pages of this book. There is a lot of information in this book over a tremendous period of baseball history. It's been reported out by me as well as informed by Torre's own insights into that period.

He also says that the book is not a tell-all book and that Torre will not be surprised by any of the contents, because he has read it multiple times.

As an aside, Torre called Brian Cashman to talk about the reports, and ESPN mentions that briefly:

When reached by ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Sunday, Cashman said that he had spoken to Torre by phone. He said that the manager told him to wait for the book to come out, that they are friends and will always be friends.

"Joe was a great manager for us," Cashman said. "I'm glad he called me. I'm very comfortable with my relationship with him."

Via John Shabe and Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
For the most part, following that final press conference, Joe Torre has been pretty quiet about his feelings after leaving the Yankees. That's about to change. On February 3, Doubleday is set to release "The Yankee Years," a new book co-authored by Torre and veteran baseball writer Tom Verducci. The contents of the book are the subject of media frenzy today. See reports by ESPN, the Daily News and the Post.

Among the contentions is that Torre claims that Brian Cashman betrayed him, that A-Rod was called "A-Fraud" by his teammates and had an unhealthy obsession with Jeter and that, in 1999, Yankees doctors told George Steinbrenner that Torre had prostate cancer, even before they told Torre. But, there is a cautionary message, as well, to consider when reading into the "juicy" details. From the Daily News report by Bill Madden:

According to a source familiar with the book, Torre does not step out of character. He simply recites the facts as he saw them and does not unfairly disparage the Yankees...


The source said some of the controversial angles being reported in the New York tabloids have been taken out of context or "overblown.''

"Joe is very honest in the book,'' the source said, "but he doesn't make any personal attacks. In terms of him name-calling, that's not his style.''

I guess we'll have to wait and see exactly what is said.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are still talking with both Andy Pettitte and Ben Sheets as they try to fill that final rotation spot. How many times should we mention that the Yankees are still talking to Pettitte? Until we hear directly from Brian Cashman or Andy Pettitte (and not a anonymous source report) that the talks are over and finished, they are talking.

I've had enough of this. Let's trade for Jake Peavy and get it over with.

Via D.J. Blatter.
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN's Keith Law recently released his list of the top 100 prospects in the game. Now, on his ESPN blog, he names who he feels could make the leap to the top 100, from each organization. Here is what he said, for the Yankees:

Righty Arodys Vizcaino (Rookie) is among the Yanks' top prospects already, despite turning 18 after the 2008 season ended. He has easy velocity, hitting 94 repeatedly and sitting at 90-92 with good deception and a plus curveball. He's athletic and should sit closer to 94 when he's fully developed.

Via Diane Firstman.
Posted by: Patrick
The Grand Island Independent has a (mostly) non-baseball interview with Joba Chamberlain. It's a good read.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Today, the Yankees officially moved all of their belongings from the old Yankee Stadium to the new Yankee Stadium. For photos, check out and, for a video, watch below.

Via Mike.
Posted by: Patrick
Newsday's Kat O'Brien reports that Freddy Garcia has opted to sign with the Mets.
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN's Keith Law has released a flurry of Minor League rankings, profiling all organizations and the top prospects in the game. Keeping it Yankee related, he put 3 Yankees in his Top 100 prospects. The highest one is Austin Jackson, who comes in at number 46. Jesus Montero (83) and Andrew Brackman (95) follow.

He ranks the Yankees system as a whole at 15, saying:

For the first time in several years, the Yankees' system is light on impact talent, with major question marks on each of the top four prospects. The 2008 draft class doesn't offer much hope -- the Yankees' first pick reversed course on them midsummer and decided to go to college; their third pick had a medical issue and didn't agree to terms; and the resulting crop of players doesn't offer much upside.

His top 5 prospects for the club, in addition to Jackson, Montero and Brackman, are pitchers Dellin Betances and Zach McAllister.

Via Peter Abraham, Ben and Mike.
Posted by: Patrick
From the AP:

Bill Werber, who was the oldest living ex-major leaguer and a teammate of Babe Ruth, died Thursday. He was 100.

Werber, a career .271 hitter who led the American League in stolen bases three times, played with Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove in stints with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. He hit .370 as the third baseman on the 1940 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds.

Werber played a grand total of 7 games with the Yanks, over two seasons. Oddly enough, he was purchased by the Red Sox, from the Yankees, on May 12, 1933. He came up big in the 1940 World Series, hitting .370 as his Reds beat the Tigers, 4 games to 3.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees agreed to one-year deals with both Melky Cabrera and Xavier Nady to avoid salary arbitration. Nady, who made $3.59 million last year, will get $6.65 million in 2009. Cabrera, who had a rough 2008, still ended up with a $1.4 million contract, a raise of roughly 200% over the $461K he made last season.

I also declined in job performance in 2008 and would like to triple my salary.

Via NoMaas.
Posted by: Seamus
Teams released their provisional 45-man rosters for the World Baseball Classic on Monday, and according to Peter Abraham, nine Yankees were selected. Six of the nine are on the Dominican roster: Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Damaso Marte, Edwar Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Jose Veras. The other three are Alfredo Aceves (Mexico), Francisco Cervelli (Italy), and Derek Jeter, who was the only Yankee selected for Team USA (could be kind of odd to see Jeter and Dustin Pedroia patrolling the middle infield together). Bernie Williams was selected to Puerto Rico's squad, and four minor leaguers in the Yankee farm system (no major prospects) were also selected. Teams will announce their final rosters, consisting of 28 players, on February 24.

Complete provisional rosters can be found here.
Posted by: Seamus
Hall of Fame electee Jim Rice blames the Steinbrenners for his team's misfortunes in his days as a member of the Red Sox. Rice pointed to the advantage the Yankees have had in the free agency era as the reason the Sox never won a World Series in his tenure.

From Newsday's David Lennon:

"During that time, Steinbrenner spent more money than the Red Sox," Rice said. "He had more free agents. So when you get the best free agents, and you get the superstars from other ballclubs, that's what made you have a better team. The more money you can spend, the better you should get."

Gee, I wonder how much money Bucky Dent was making when he doomed the Red Sox' season in 1978? I wonder who was blaming Steinbrenner when the Sox had a 14-game lead in August of that year. Oh, and I bet it was George Steinbrenner's fault that Bill Buckner couldn't handle a routine ground ball, or that the Red Sox couldn't hold a 2-run, nobody on lead with one out to go against the Mets.

Let's be realistic here. During Rice's 16-year career in Boston, the Yankees won the American League East five times ('76, '77, '78, '80, '81). Of those five years, the Red Sox finished 2nd only once (1978). I don't know why the Yankees' spending machine should be to blame for the Red Sox finishing 3rd or 4th almost every time the Yankees won. Second, Jim Rice played all throughout the 80's, in which the Yankees made the playoffs only twice. I don't see the beef here.

Rice goes on to whine about the Steinbrenners' influence on today's game:

"The Yankees haven't won in the last eight years. What do they do? They go out and buy high-priced players in the hope to get back the winning percentage they had 10 years ago."

While ignoring the fact that the Yankees have actually decreased payroll this offseason, Rice also had nothing to say about his $133 million Red Sox machine losing the ALCS to a team with a payroll of $43 million. I bet he wouldn't have had anything to say about any "unfair advantage" should the Sox have won that series.

I just don't get it. If a Pirates fan wants to complain about the economics of baseball, that's one thing. But enough from these Sox fans and players already. This is like Donald Trump crying poverty because Bill Gates suddenly decides to move into town.

Maybe Rice should point more to his .225/.313./.366 career in the postseason. And you thought A-Rod was bad...
Posted by: Patrick
From Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The asking price the New York Yankees set for second baseman Robinson Cano when the Cardinals called about a deal: Adam Wainwright. The conversation did not last long.

As it really shouldn't. The Yankees have no reason to trade Cano and even if they did, now isn't exactly a great time to do so, given last year's performance.

Via Nat Boyle.
Posted by: Patrick
Pete Caldera reports:

Is there any room for Andy Pettitte to re-up with the Yankees? Apparently. But a person with knowledge of the situation said that it's up to Pettitte to initiate the discussion. If so, there might be a willingness on the Yankees part to take the offer from $10.5 million to $12 million.

01/17: Todd Drew

Posted by: Patrick
Being on the road, I was slow to read that Bronx Banter's Todd Drew had passed away. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Drew, but I can tell from reading the words of others that he was a special person. Mr. Drew's family, friends and everyone who was close to him are in our thoughts and prayers.

For more on the man, read his final blog posts and read tributes by Alex, Peter Abraham, Curt Schilling, Andrew, Tyler Kepner and Ben.

If you are so inclined, Alex has posted details of the memorial service.
Posted by: Patrick
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Don Zimmer is recovering from a "small" stroke that he sustained last month. The good news is that Zimmer is improving and hopes to be at Spring Training. Zimmer turned 78 today. He'll be in our thoughts. Get better, Zim.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
On January 14, Peter Abraham passed along this press release, where the Yankees announced that they had invited 20 players to Spring Training. You'll note that Shelley Duncan is included, which probably means that he has cleared waivers and is back with the Yanks in the Minors.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
The agent for free agent starter Freddy Garcia told 1050 AM ESPN Radio that his client is choosing between the Yankees, Mets, White Sox and Rangers. However, Ken Rosenthal says that the Yankees "don't appear very serious" about the pitcher.

Via Peter Abraham and Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports:

Jorge Posada's hopes of playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic may be dashed by the Yankees, who would prefer to have the catcher physically prepared for Opening Day. ...

"I am sure he would love to play [in the World Baseball Classic], but he is currently rehabbing from surgery and would not be ready," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. ...

Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo also confirmed that Posada will not play in the tournament. ...
Posted by: Patrick
From Bryan Hoch:

The Yankees' Brian Bruney, Melky Cabrera and Xavier Nady joined a group of 111 Major League players who filed for salary arbitration on Thursday. ...

Salary arbitration figures are scheduled to be exchanged on Jan. 20, with hearings taking place from Feb. 1 through Feb. 21.
Posted by: Seamus
Sony has released a new video on the MTV website of it's upcoming game, "MLB '09: The Show," featuring footage of the new Yankee Stadium in action. This is, as far as I know, the first footage of what an actual game being played at the stadium might look like. I think I'm at the point now with technology that I'm no longer going to interest myself in how any of this is done and just pretend it's all magic. The game is due to be released on March 3.

Being the video game geek that I am, I'm getting giddy like a schoolgirl waiting for this to come out.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Seamus
Former Yankee Rickey Henderson was elected into the Hall of Fame today, receiving 94.8% of the votes to lead all eligible candidates. Henderson played for the Yankees from 1985-89 and is still their all-time stolen base leader with 326.

Former Yank Tommy John (1979-82) fell a bit shy of the 75% needed in his final year of eligibility. David Cone received 21 out of a possible 539 (3.9%) votes in his first year of eligibility, falling short of the 5% needed to remain on future ballots. Don Mattingly received 11.9% of possible votes. Other former Yankees who fell short include Lee Smith, Tim Raines and Jesse Orosco, who some may forget pitched 15 games for the Yanks in 2003.
Posted by: Patrick
From Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Yankees still have interest in acquiring Brewers centerfielder Mike Cameron after talks broke off in late December. They recently floated the idea of swapping first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher for Cameron.

Acquired earlier in the winter from the Chicago White Sox, Swisher was targeted to play first base for the Yankees before they signed Teixeira. He has approximately $21 million left on his contract over the next three seasons and is not considered a top-notch centerfielder despite seeing considerable action there last year in Chicago.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Patrick
Kevin Kernan at the New York Post spoke with Don Mattingly about Mark Teixeira and the former Yankees captain had nothing but great things to say about the new Yankee.

"Teixeira's a great player, there's no question about that and I appreciate the way he plays and I think the Yankee fans are going to enjoy him," Donnie Baseball said. "I had lunch with him a few years back, so I knew he was a fan. He seemed like a really good kid." ...

As for the fact that the young Teixeira would wear a Yankee cap when he would come to watch Mattingly play at Camden Yards, Mattingly laughed and said, "That shows he's a little crazy too, that's always good for New York."
Posted by: Patrick's Bill Ladson reports that, according to a baseball source, the Yankees and Nationals are talking trade right now, in relation to Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher. It is unclear what the Nationals would be prepared to send back in return.

Via Alex Walsh.
Posted by: Patrick
From an article in the Times on September 10:

Andy Pettitte, who starts on Wednesday, said he does not know if he will pitch next season but has no interest in playing for any team but the Yankees. "Obviously anyone else would say, 'I'll go wherever I want to,' because people want to try to get the most money," Pettitte said. "But, I mean, I'm not going anywhere, you know what I'm saying? The Yankees know me enough, it's not like I'm going to hold out. I guess if I had spent all my money or whatever, it might be different. But it's not about that, really, anymore." Pettitte said he would talk with his wife and oldest son in hopes of making a decision sooner than he did last winter, when he waited until December to tell the Yankees he would return.

I mean, he could have said this with the mind set that he would make the same amount of money again, so he wouldn't hold out for more, but still...

Posted by: Seamus
That was a rough estimate, but I just came home to find this quote given by Carl Pavano to

"When you're down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you're down," Pavano said. "I've had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years."

Just in case anybody was unfamiliar with the whole Carl Pavano fiasco, the article followed that quote up by referencing to the fact that he made almost $40 million to pitch in 26 games over four seasons.

It seems what Pavano really wanted in his contract with the Yanks was $40 million in tissues. Gee Carl, all you had to do was ask!

Via noMaas.
Posted by: Patrick
From Ken Davidoff:

Andy Pettitte is extremely unhappy with how his negotiations have gone with the Yankees, and the lefthander might be softening on his opposition to rejoining the Astros.

What once seemed a fait accompli - Pettitte returning to the Yankees for a 12th season in pinstripes - now appears increasingly in jeopardy, although the two sides continue to communicate and they ultimately rank as each other's first choice.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
Ken Davidoff reports that the Yankees have received more interest in Nick Swisher, than Xavier Nady, but he is the player that they prefer to keep, according to "a person familiar with the club's thinking." Even so, Jon Heyman feels that Nady is the easier one to deal, due to Swisher's contract, which lasts until 2011. He's owed $20 million dollars.

Via Andrew and Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
Reports from Sam Borden, Joel Sherman and Ken Rosenthal indicate that the Yankees have inked a trio of veterans to Minor League contracts.

Pitcher Jason Johnson was a Dodger last year, going 1-2 with a 5.22 ERA in 16 games, including 2 starts. Outfielder John Rodriguez signed with the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1996 and remained with the club until 2004. He last played in the majors in 2006 for the Saint Louis Cardinals. He hit .301 with a .374 OBA and .432 SLG in 102 games that season.

You may remember shortstop Angel Berroa from the American League Rookie of the Year controversy of 2003, where some writers decided that Hideki Matsui wasn't worthy of consideration, due to his playing time in Japan. Berroa took home the honor, but has taken a sharp turn down from there. He played with the Dodgers last year, seeing action in 84 games and hitting .230. Interesting, Baseball Reference says that the most similar batter to Berroa through age 30 is one Billy Martin.

Via Chad Jennings.
Posted by: Patrick
From Jack Curry of the Times:

Thirteen days before Christmas, Mark Teixeira, the Yankees’ $180 million man, was having dinner with his wife, Leigh, when he pleaded with her for insight about the future. If everything was equal among Teixeira’s suitors, he said, where would she rather see him play? Leigh admitted to preferring the Yankees.

Once Leigh chose the Yankees, Teixeira instructed Scott Boras, his agent, to try to make the deal happen. Eleven days later, after a strained meeting, in which the Boston Red Sox walked out on Teixeira, he agreed to an eight-year contract with the Yankees.

Via Jonathan.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that pitcher Phil Coke, who threw out of the bullpen for the team last season, has been told to prepare to come into spring training as a starter. It's possible that he may compete for the final spot in the rotation.
Posted by: Patrick
As rumored, Mike Puma of the Post reports that Jason Giambi has signed a one year deal with the Athletics that will pay him $4.5 million. It also includes a $5 million dollar team option for 2010, with a buyout of $1 million.
Posted by: Seamus
Peter Abraham reports that the Yankees designated Shelley Duncan for assignment. The Yanks had to drop a player off the 40-man roster to make room for Teixeira.

It's a bit unfortunate, but there's no room for Duncan any longer. The guy's got talent, though, especially if he can learn to hit right-handed pitching, so hopefully some other team grabs him soon.
Posted by: Seamus's Jerry Crasnick reports that Carl Pavano has agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Indians. No truth to the rumor that the pen he used to sign the contract caused a career threatening callus on his middle finger.

Hopefully the door doesn't hit him on the buttocks on his way out of the Bronx. He could end up on the 60-day DL.
Posted by: Patrick
Ken Rosenthal shares some interesting information today at

Despite his rejection of the Yankees one year, $10 million dollar offer, a source says that the Yankees stillw ant him. Rosenthal suggests that an incentive laden deal might be the answer.

Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady, potentially expendable with the acquisition of Mark Teixeira, have both been drawing substantial interest from other clubs. The Yankees are not under any time crunch to deal the players. If we can't get a really good deal, I don't see a reason to trade either player. Let's just keep the depth.

Finally, Rosenthal reports on a pair of pitches that player agents made to the Yankees. The agents representing new Angels closer Brian Fuentes proposed that the Yankees sign him as a set up man for Mariano Rivera and then, in two years, if Mo is ready to retire, he would then take over the closer duties. Though the Yankees had interest in him, the team's unwillingness to pay him closer money stopped them from being a player.

The other pitcher was from Orlando Cabrera's agents. Cabrera is apparently willing to move to second base and his reps communicated this to the Yankees. But, of course, we have Robinson Cano and the team declined with that in mind.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
Major League Baseball has suspended both Yankees pitcher Sergio Mitre and Phillies pitcher J.C. Romero for 50 games, after violating the league's drug policy.

Both Mitre and Romero contend that the contaminant came from a supplement that was legally obtained through a GNC store.

"Although being suspended for 50 games is tough to accept, I think that it is important to understand that I am in full support of drug testing in baseball," Mitre said in a statement. "I did take the supplement in question and accept full responsibility for taking it. What has been difficult for me to understand is that I legally purchased this supplement at GNC and had no intention nor desire to cheat or to circumvent the system in any way.

Mitre will serve his suspension during a period of time in which he was not expected to pitch anyway, due to injury. Romero is a little more outwardly angry.

Via Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox have signed former Yankees infielder Nick Green to a Minor League deal and have invited him to spring training to compete for a roster spot.

In other news, Jason Giambi appears to be headed to Oakland, according to an report:

An industry source told on Monday afternoon that Oakland could sign Giambi this week, likely to a one-year deal with a possible second-year option.

Via Ken Davidoff and Chad Jennings.
Posted by: Patrick
From Tyler Kepner:

A reunion seemed inevitable at the start of the off-season, but now it is uncertain. Pettitte has rejected the Yankees’ one-year, $10 million offer, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, and there is no standing offer for now.
Posted by: Seamus
After a one-week holiday hiatus taken by the Yankees as well as most other MLB front offices, the Yankees are about ready to hold a press conference for Mark Teixeira sometime this week. The Daily News reports that it may happen on Tuesday.

Thank God for spell check.

UPDATE: The Yanks' official website confirms that a press conference will be held Tuesday (tomorrow) at 1 p.m.
Posted by: Patrick
Steve at WasWatching is hosting a poll, asking you what Yankees blogs you read. If you have a second, please check it out!
Posted by: Patrick
KevinF279 on Shuttlerfly has some great new pictures of the new Yankee Stadium, inside and outside.

Via Ben via Greg Cohen.