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Archive for the ‘Yankees Transactions’ Category

Via Ken Rosenthal:

“BREAKING: Tanaka to #Yankees, seven years, $155M, opt-out after fourth year.”

“Tanaka contract with #Yankees is fifth-highest for a pitcher. Kershaw, Verlander, Felix, CC, Tanaka.”

More to come…

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Brian McCann

Brian McCann

Sign on the dotted line! Brian McCann is headed to the Bronx for $85 million over 5 years. His contract will include a 6th year option, bringing the grand total to $100M if he so chooses.

Don’t worry Yankees fans. You’ll no longer have to worry about whether Chris Stewart or Francisco Cervelli will be starting behind the plate. McCann will be the first offensive force behind the dish since Posada left the team back in 2011.

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Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Jack Curry broke the story via Twitter:

The Yankees have signed Andy Pettitte to a 1-year minor league deal worth $2.5 million. The team is thrilled to have 240-game winner back.

Who saw this coming? I can’t say I did, although when I first heard he was retiring I thought he would have an itch to come back. The man is only 39 years old, and that’s not so “out there” considering how many pitchers play into their 40’s these days.

The Yankees rotation looks like this as of now: Sabathia-Kuroda-Nova-Pineda-Hughes-Garcia. When, and IF Pettitte makes it up to the major leagues, someone is going to have to bepushed out of the rotation. Obviously, we can’t predict the future (injuries, trades, etc.), so there might even be a spot available depending on how the season plays out. It’s going to take some time for him to get in playing shape, so he won’t be joining the team anytime soon.

Yankees Universe has a really great love and admiration for Andy. The outpouring from fans in response to this news clearly shows how happy we all are to have #46 back. The man came to spring training this year as an instructor, and he clearly got that itch to put the pinstripes on again. Welcome Back, Andy.

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AJ Burnett‘s time in pinstripes seems to be approaching its end, and the cost to jettison the enigmatic righty looks to be around $13 million. While AJ failed to deliver on his $82.5 million contract, his biggest problem was never attitude or talent: it simply is that AJ remains as inconsistent today as when he first broke into the big leagues. While he certainly can’t be a signing that Brian Cashman considers a success, AJ is far from a total flop. After all, he did actually contribute to a World Championship, and his stand-up attitude and shaving cream pies were welcome additions to the clubhouse. No, the Yankees have made their share of horribly awful deals over the years and I thought it might be fun to remember some of them. Here are the five most miserable transactions, and excuses for baseball players, in Yankee history – at least during the Steinbrenner Era.

#1: Tim Leary (RHP, 1990-92). 18-35 record, 5.12 ERA. The skinny: Originally acquired in a trade from Cincinnati for Hal Morris, nobody expected Leary to be the staff ace. Nobody expected him to lead the league with 19 losses, either. The mystifying part is why, after that, the Yankees signed him to a 3 year, $5.95 million deal. He was so terrible that midway through the ’91 season, he was sent to the bullpen – and the boos were so loud at Yankee Stadium that he ceased pitching at home. Before the ’92 season was over, the “Six Million Dollar Man” was exiled to Seattle. In return, the Yankees received the utterly forgettable Sean Twitty, who never made an appearance in the majors. Morris, however, went on to  a 13 year career in which he hit .304, won Rookie of the Year and was a key member of the Reds 1990 Championship team. Oops.

#2: Steve Kemp (OF/DH, 1983-84). .264 BA, 19 HR, 90 RBI. The skinny: Steve Kemp is the poster child for why guaranteed contracts aren’t necessarily a good thing. A two-time All-Star who averaged 21 HR and 98 RBI from 1979-82, Kemp was supposed to bring a left-handed power bat to Yankee Stadium. After two seasons in which Kemp seemed happier striking out than hitting home runs, the Yanks sent him packing to Pittsburgh for Dale Berra and Jay Buhner (yes, that Jay Buhner). Of course, Kemp’s 5 year, $5.45 million deal was guaranteed, so for the next three seasons the Bombers paid him to ride the bench in Pittsburgh, San Diego and Texas. I realize that in today’s baseball economy, middle relievers make more than a million bucks a season, so the money may not sound outrageous. But this was in 1983 – Kemp’s deal was worth more annually than Dave Winfield’s.

#3: Dave Collins (1B/OF, 1982). .253 BA, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 13 SB. The skinny: remember the Go-Go Yankees? Signed to a 3 year, $2.5M contract, Collins was supposed to team up with Rickey Henderson and Ken Griffey at the top of the line-up and let the Yanks steal a WS title. After stealing 79 bases in 1980 for Cincinnati, Collins only ran 21 times for the Yanks (and got caught 8 times, a miserable 61% success rate). He was traded prior to the 1983 season to Toronto and the Blue Jays demanded Fred McGriff as ransom. George’s attempts at recasting the 1982 Yankees as the 1959 White Sox cost the team more than a lost year and $800,000. It also wound up costing 493 career home runs. And it led to the Yanks signing Steve Kemp.

#4: Kenny Rogers (RHP, 1996-97) 18-15 record, 5.11 ERA. A classic example of a guy who simply couldn’t handle Broadway’s bright lights. When he pitched in small markets, Rogers was a four-time All Star, 5 time Gold Glover and a fixture in the postseason. For the Bombers, the Gambler just couldn’t get the job done, and he and his 3 year, $15M contract were shipped off to Oakland after only two years for the infamous Player to be Named Later. At least the PTBNL turned into Scott Brosius, who was anything but a dud for the Yanks.

#5: Carl Pavano (RHP, 2005-08) 9-8 record, 5.00 ERA. When Pavano hit free agency after the 2004 season, teams were lining up for his services. The Yankees outbid everyone and landed the former Marlin for 4 years and $38 million. We all know how that turned out. Pavano only made 26 starts over those four seasons as a myriad of strange injuries kept him off the pitching rubber (including the now infamous bruised butt). He probably would be more fondly remembered if he had done anything memorable in those starts, but he spent most of his time getting his ego as bruised as his tailbone. Like Rogers, once he left for smaller pastures he became a decent pitcher again, averaging 13 wins and 214 innings over the last three years for the Twins and Indians.

There are some notable honorable mentions who didn’t make the cut; guys like Raul Mondesi, Doyle Alexander, Jeff Weaver and Roy Smalley. AJ Burnett will undoubtedly join this list as a player who failed to live up to expectations, but he is a long way from being considered a flop on this scale.

So, what do you think? Are there any glaring omissions – or would you include AJ in the top 5? Let us know in the comments below. Fire Away!

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Chris “Mad Dog” Russo reunited for a segment on Mike Francesa’s show on Radio Row in Indianapolis. It’s almost as if the two never split up. I don’t know about you guys, but I wish these guys were still back on the air together. It just seems so right.

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Not an unfamiliar look for Javy

One year ago, the Yankees decided to bring back Javy Vazquez. I, like many people was certainly surprised at the move and the players they gave up for him. I originally hated the deal — and still do at this point — but there were many on the other side of the fence that indicated that things had changed for Javy and to mearly look at his stats. From 2000 through 2009, Javy pitched 200 innings and struck out more than 184 in 9 seasons out of 10. In those seasons between 2000 and 2009 Javy averaged a 3.9 WAR and had a cumlative WAR of 39. Initially, the trade seemed to be a decent trade and most Yankees fans expected a decent year out of Javy who was going to slide into the 4th slot in the rotation.

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From the NY Daily News: (Christian Red)

According to a source familiar with the negotiations between the Yankees and future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera, the 41-year-old will sign a two-year deal believed to be worth $30 million by Friday night.

While the Yankee winter has been dominated by the negotiations between Yankee captain Derek Jeter and the club’s front office, Rivera’s free agent status went quietly under the radar, although his importance is immeasurable.

Thursday night, Rivera’s agent Fernando Cuza – who was one of the many guests at Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s celebrity golf tournament kickoff dinner – had said the Yankees and Rivera’s camp were “a little far apart” on getting a new deal done for Rivera, and that “hopefully we’ll be able to work it out.” But within hours, a deal came together, perhaps expedited because Rivera had recently received a three-year deal and more money (believed to be in the neighborhood of $17 million per year) from another team, according to the source. The source added that Rivera wanted to maintain his ties to the only team he has ever played for, and went with less money and fewer years to continue wearing pinstripes.

“He wanted to stay loyal to the Yankees,” the source said.

I didn’t see this going any other way. It would be hard to imagine Mo retiring when he still remains the best closer in all of baseball, and I never thought he would ever leave the Yankees organization for some other club.

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Courtesy: AP/Seth Wenig

As the 2011 preseason is now officially underway for the Yankees, it’s time for Yankee fans to fire up the hot stove and begin contemplating what the team will look like next Spring. But before you can take the first step forward, it helps to know where you are. After all, every destination has a starting point. It just happens that 2011 and #28 begins from the rubble of what was a once promising season in 2010.

So, where are the Yankees right now?

Front Office: The Yanks front office appears more stable than at any time in more than a generation. Gone are the days when Mount Steinbrenner might erupt at any moment, causing the Yanks management team a severe case of angina and filling the back pages of NYC’s tabloids. Brian Cashman, love him or hate him, seems certain to retain the General Manager’s position for the foreseeable future. While the Steinbrenner sons seem to have placed their faith in Cashman, I wouldn’t advise him to repeat last year’s disastrous offseason. While they strike me as the polar opposite of their Dad in the way they approach running the team, I also can’t imagine that the Steinbrenner demand for winning is sublimated to profits under their watch. Cashman is excellent at the operations side of the baseball business – but more player moves on par with Nick Johnson and Javy Lopez will end his run.

Field Management: Cashman already announced that bringing back skipper Joe Girardi is “job 1” this offseason. That probably says more about the lack of available managerial talent than Girardi’s skill in guiding the team, in my opinion. The only other decent manager available right now is Bobby Valentine. Somehow, I can’t see Bobby V’s penchant for grabbing the spotlight and the current front office’s desire to avoid controversy co-existing. Joel Sherman
made an interesting point about the skipper needing to loosen up a bit and have fun in an earlier column today. It’s a point that hopefully Girardi will take to heart in 2011. Oh, and hopefully he loses that infernal binder along the way, too.

Earlier today, the coaching staff shake-up began in earnest, as Dave Eiland was jettisoned. No real reason was given, but I suspect Eiland wanted out as much, if not more; than the brass wanted him gone (he did disappear for nearly a month during the regular season, for reasons nobody has ever explained). Regardless, the Yankees now need a pitching coach. I imagine with AJ Burnett due back and the real possibility of having a rookie in the starting rotation, the Yankees will look for somebody with not only pitching expertise, but a psychiatry degree. With Cliff Lee an obvious target of Yankee affection, expect a pitching coach Lee respects to be targeted.

Otherwise, don’t expect major changes on the bench. Kevin Long is still regarded as one of the best hitting coaches in the business and 3B/IF coach Rob Thompson is widely regarded as helping Robinson Cano realize his potential in the field. Bench coach Tony Pena seems likely to stay – but I’m certain if a managerial job opens up for him, he’ll jump on it.

Coming tomorrow: Core Four

Coming Wednesday: Pitchers

Coming Thursday: FIelders

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On Thursday, Lance Berkman was placed on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. He was 7-for-39 with no homers and 4RBI’s as a Yankee. “We just felt that it hadn’t progressed quite as quickly as we wanted it to,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We just felt that it was probably in his and our best interest to DL him and that way he’s not rushing back. He still lacks some stability and has not had a chance to run yet.”

Frankie Piliere of Fanhouse gave full-length scouting reports of Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos.

On Betances: The bottom line here is this: keep Dellin Betances on the mound and healthy and his talent is as good as anyone at the minor league level. Health is the only thing that can hold him back.

On Banuelos: Look around the big leagues and find the left-handed starting pitchers that average 93 mph or better with their fastball. It’s a very short list. Throw in the fact that Banuelos is a consistent strike-throwing machine with two above-average secondary pitches and you have a very rare commodity….If he can remain healthy and keep his shorter frame in check, he is a true front-of-the-rotation type pitcher.

Yankees prospect, Zach McAllister, was sent to the Indians as the player to be named later in the Kearns trade.

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Lance Berkman

Houston Astros first baseman, Lance Berkman, was not in the lineup posted outside the clubhouse today.

Via Twitter:

Joelsherman1: “Hearing Berkman deal from Astros to Yankees is on verge of completion.”

Buster_ESPN: “Heard this: The Steinbrenners have given pre-approval to the acquisition of a large salary such as Lance Berkman or Adam Dunn.”

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  Starting Pitcher Cliff Lee #36 Of The Seattle Mariners PitchesFrom MLB Trade Rumors.com: (Ben Nicholson-Smith):

The Yankees were ‘on the brink’ of acquiring Cliff Lee last night in a deal that would include top catching prospect Jesus Montero, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik wants to move quickly and has been in ‘constant contact’ with Yankees GM Brian Cashman over the course of the last week, according to Sherman. Other clubs remain involved, but the Yankees are the heavy favorite to acquire the lefty.

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Talks are intensifying between the Yankees and Mariners, Jon Heyman of SI.com confirms. Discussions between the Yankees and Mariners appear serious and it’s ‘quite possible’ that a deal will be completed.

Sabathia-Lee-Burnett-Pettitte-Vazquez-Hughes…could it be?

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From The LoHud Yankees Blog:

Randy Winn has been designated for assignment to make room for Curtis Granderson.

“It’s the worst part of my job,” Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees chose to keep Kevin Russo for his versatility.

It’s about time the guy was DFA. Hitting .213, with 1HR and 8RBI’s just doesn’t cut it in this town.

  Randy Winn #22 Of The New York Yankees Runs

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