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Posted by: Patrick
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Utilizing the Pitch f/x technology, ESPN's Tom Haberstroh (insider only) talks about the statistically nasty pitches in baseball since the 2008 season when the system was launched. CC Sabathia's slider in 2008 ranks among the 3 nastiest, as does Mariano Rivera's cutter. Here's what he had to say about Mo:

This isn't a lifetime achievement award; Rivera's cutter is about as consistently good and destructive as any pitch anyone has seen. Somehow, the pitch has showed zero signs of age. The 92-to-94 mph cutter still treats lefties' bats like dry twigs with right-to-left movement suitable for a slider and velocity more appropriate for a fastball. It's not "see ball, hit ball" as much as it is "see ball, pretend ball exists four inches away, swing at air, hopefully hit ball." Simply put, the human brain cannot react quickly enough to adjust for the lateral movement. The pitch's most dominant stretch of the Pitch f/x era came in July of this past season, when Rivera threw the patented cutter 141 times and didn't give up a single hit, with only two balls leaving the infield.

Via Mike Axisa.

Posted by: Patrick
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Joel Sherman of the Post and Mark Feinsand of the Daily News have reports relating to Johnny Damon. He spoke to both about his current situation:

I am going to start looking around. Teams are getting better and there are teams interested, Damon told The Post yesterday. I cant wait forever and I am sure [the Yankees] are trying to figure things out. I have to be ready.

"Players out there are getting multi-year deals," Damon said. "(Andy) Pettitte got a raise at 37, even though it was only one year. Cameron is 37 (he turns 37 in January) and he got two years. We're not going to know much until we start negotiating with teams, but that should happen soon."

This seems like fairly normal talk when it comes to free agents. Buster Olney says that Damon "indicated through a conduit to team that he doesn't want the Yankees to make an offer if it's for less than $13 million per.

Meanwhile, Feinsand says that the Yankees appear to be good with an offer of 2 years, $19 million total, which matches what Bobby Abreu received from the Angels. But, another source, he says, will give him an offer of $22 million for 2 years with a third year option that includes a buyout that would bring it to approximately $26 million total for the 2 years, if it was exercised.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Patrick
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Baseball America has their top 10 Yankees prospects for 2010, announced today along with various best tools rankings, a 2013 projected lineup and more. Catchers Jesus Montero and Austin Romine come in first and second with pitcher Arodys Vizcaino third. Four of the top 8 are catchers.

Via Chad Jennings.
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Chad Jennings reports that the press conference where Curtis Granderson will be officially introduced is set for Thursday at 11 AM ET.
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MLB.com's Gene Duffey reports from Aroldis Chapman's workout for MLB teams today. In short, it went well and he touched 96 MPH on the radar gun while his agents maintain he wasn't throwing as hard as he could. Eddie Bane, the director of scouting for the Angels, compared him to former Yankees first round pick Brien Taylor whose career shockingly and unfortunately ended due to a fight.
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Ryota Igarashi: David Waldstein at the Times reports that the Mets are close to signing Japanese pitcher Ryota Igarashi to a two year contract. The Yankees were said to be among the teams interested in him. Via Jon Heyman.

Jason Bay and Matt Holliday: Though the Yankees may have made contact with Jason Bay, Buster Olney of ESPN quotes an "official with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking" as saying that there is "not a chance" that a move is made on either. Mark Feinsand of the Daily News says that the team has no interest in signing Bay to a long term deal. Via Joseph Pawlikowski.

Ben Sheets: A source told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Yankees are "very interested" in Ben Sheets, but they think that he is not feeling any pressure to sign soon.
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ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. reports that the Red Sox have offered Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman $15.5 million dollars. Chapman will work out for teams today, including the Yankees.
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With Hideki Matsui and Mike Cameron joining new clubs, John Tomase and Michael Silverman of the Boston Globe report, according to a source, that the Yankees have been in touch with the Jason Bay camp to express interest in the former Red Sox outfielder.

The interest may not be strong, but they're keeping tabs on him nonetheless, especially with the Johnny Damon negotiations reportedly going slowly. Bay, 31, is said to be looking for a five year contract.

Via Joseph Pawlikowski.
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Howard Ulman of the AP reports that the Red Sox and Mike Cameron have come together on a deal, pending a physical. Ken Rosenthal says it's in the 2 year, $15.5 million dollar range.

Via Zach Links.
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With Roy Halladay all but gone to the Phillies, Buster Olney says that some in the Yankees organization feel that the Blue Jays received less in the package deal than they would have required from them. Jon Heyman reports that they were willing to offer Jesus Montero in a "big package," but it wouldn't have included Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes.
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