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Posts Tagged ‘John Heyman’


John Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports the Yankees have reached an agreement with Andruw Jones:

The Yankees have reached an agreement with veteran outfielder Andruw Jones on a one-year deal worth $2 million plus $1.2 million in performance bonuses.

Jones, 33, is a veteran of 15 seasons in which he has made five All-Star teams and won 10 Gold Glove awards. Jones spent the first 12 years of his career with the Braves and has since spent one year each with the Dodgers, Rangers and White Sox. He batted .230 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs for Chicago in 2010.

The Yankees interest in Jones has been reported for the past several weeks, so the deal isn’t a shocker. The current plan seems to use him as a right-handed power bat off the bench, largely filling Marcus Thames‘ role from last year. Jones is a definite improvement over Thames in the field – heck, my grandmother would probably be an improvement. While he doesn’t have Gold Glove type range any longer, he has played to a positive UZR (defensive rating) the past few seasons. With the stick, Jones’ career .863 OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) compares favorably to Thames’.838 mark against left-handed pitching. Last year, Jones’ OPS against lefties was an astounding .931, 125 points higher than Thames’ .806. He had a terrible May and June, hitting only .168, but was a solid contributor every other month of the season – including producing a .385/.515/.615 slash line down the stretch. Of course, as Yankee fans we all remember Jones as a 19 year old center fielder with the Braves in 1996, when he .400 with a pair of bombs in the Fall Classic.

This isn’t the kind of move that will win you a pennant, but it is a solid move that strengthens the Yanks bench. So, welcome to the Bronx, Mr. Jones!

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Are the Yankees posturing for what may turn into a nasty contract fight with Derek Jeter?

After the Yankees finished their off-season meetings Tuesday, Hal Steinbrenner made a few comments. Undoubtedly, his comments regarding the organization’s initial stance regarding the upcoming negotiation with the team captain are what has most of baseball abuzz. As quoted in the NY Daily News, Hal said:

“He’s [Jeter] one of the greatest Yankees in history; no doubt about it,” Steinbrenner said on WFAN. “But at the same time, I’m running a business. I have responsibilities.

“Hank and I are responsible to our partners, so we have to remain somewhat objective. I want to get a deal done that he’s happy with, but also that I’m happy with.”

Bill Madden reported that the plan is to move Jeter, perhaps to 3rd base, in 2012 and install Eduardo Nunez as the everyday shortstop:

“Though no one in the Yankee high command is ever going to even speculate about the future after 2011 – especially with the very sensitive contract negotiations with Jeter about to get underway – but it’s becoming increasingly clear the plan is to phase out Jorge Posada next season when his contract expires, opening up the DH slot for Alex Rodriguez,thereby allowing Jeter to move to third, making room for a more athletic shortstop, which would be the 24-year-old Venezuelan, Nunez, who hit .289 with 50 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 118 games at Triple-A Scranton this season.”

And then earlier today, John Heyman wrote this:

“There are early indications the talks with Jeter may take awhile. Some industry sources still say they wouldn’t be surprised if he initially sought to obtain a six-year deal to match the expiration age of Alex Rodriguez’s contract, which would put Jeter at 42. The Yankees haven’t opened talks yet with his agent, Casey Close, and while it’s unconfirmed, there are a few early hints that the team may be thinking about a deal of about half that length, perhaps three guaranteed years.”

Add it all up, and what you get is the feeling that the Yankees are at least posturing for a potential Johnny Damon-ish repeat of last offseason. We all know Jeter’s pride in his performance, and hopefully this is simply a way to try and motivate the 11 time all-star to regain his form after posting career worsts in virtually every offensive category last season. If not, then the messge the Yankees front office is sending is, “You’re not the player you were 10 years ago; we have no place for over-the-hill shortstops in the long run and we refuse to reward for your years of loyalty to this organization. Besides, you need us more than we need you.” Personally, I would be devastated if this is anything more than a negotiating ploy pulled from the George M. Steinbrenner playbook for negotiating with aging stars. The mere prospect of seeing Jeter get #3000 in another uniform is unfathomable to me, and I suspect to many other Yankee fans, too. I was forced to witness Reggie Jackson clubbing his 500th homer for the Angels, and that memory still hurts.

Here’s hoping Hal and Hank remember what their dad said about basically forcing Reggie to walk 30 years ago – “It was the dumbest mistake I ever made.”

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OK, Yankees Fans: we are now in the home stretch of the 2010 trade season and so far the Bronx Bombers have… well, they’ve bombed on getting any fresh blood, much less an impact type of player. That being said, neither have the Red Sox or the Rays so the status quo in the AL East remains. It seems rather hard to believe that July 31 will come and go without one of the premier teams in the East doing something to try to separate themselves from the others. So here’s a quick link dump on what’s being whispered about by various sources:

*Jayson Stark reports that the Yankees tried to pry away Joakim Soria by offering Jesus Montero. That seems to confirm a report from John Heyman, but I remain doubtful. As much as I’d love to see Soria wearing Pinstripes, that simply is a trade that doesn’t match up well. KC’s farm system is well stocked at catcher and first base, so as big a bat as Montero looks to be; he would have nowhere to play in KC (unless the Royals could move Jose Guillen to another team and slide Billy Butler to the primary DH role, or jettison Jason Kendall).

*Heyman also mentions in the same report that the Yankees seem more intent on picking up bench help, mentioning Ty Wiggington, Cody Ross and Jhonny Peralta by name. Personally, I wouldn’t Peralta anywhere near this team, even as a bench player. His defense is suspect at both short and third; and his bat is now slider-speed, at best. I still like Ross as a fourth outfielder. Wiggington would be interesting; he has a reputation as good clubhouse guy and immediately seems to go on a tear whenever he joins a new team. But I doubt the Orioles will trade him within the division.

*There are numerous reports, including from Heyman, Stark and Bob Klapisch, about Adam Dunn, and they all say basically the same thing: the Nationals asking price is beyond exorbitant.

*One final note from Heyman: he tweeted earlier today that he thought the Yankees have interest in Ted Lilly, but not Roy Oswalt. For our sakes, I hope he’s wrong and the Yanks don’t even bother asking about Lilly. And from everything we’ve heard, the Astros price for Oswalt is typical Drayton McClane; which is to say it’s a lot like those old “Crazy Eddie” commercials – INSANE!!!

*Klapisch also wonders what it will take to fix Joba Chamberlain. I think most Yankee fans are wondering what it will take to convince Brian Cashman to trade Joba Chamberlain, especially after he nearly blew an 8-run lead yesterday. Even Joe Girardi sounded exasperated after Joba’s latest meltdown. (You got me. It’s not really a trade rumor. But even long-time Joba supporters like me are starting to think it might be time for him to go.)

*Yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi suggested that the Yanks and Red Sox are bidding against each other in pursuit of Scott Downs. I wonder if Toronto is trying to inflate Downs’ price, though. Although, Downs would be a significant upgrade over Chan Ho Park.

That’s all that seems to be percolating in the Bronx today. I suppose we can only hope that the reports about the Rays interest in Chad Qualls is more than speculation. J

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Jon Heyman just reported this on Twitter:

SI_JonHeyman: joba is out of #yanks rotation derby. RT @JackCurryYES: No Joba-Hughes showdown Mon. Hughes will face Phils. Joba will work intrasquad game

So, does this mean Phil Hughes has won the 5th starter competition? Let’s not forget that the Yankees were considering Alfredo Aceves and Sergio Mitre for the job as well. If Hughes has the job, I think they made the right decision.

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