Monday, December 31, 2012


Almost one year ago to the day, I began my Yankees blog. In just under one year, I have 345 posts, 4,007 page views and a drive to make 2013 an even better blogging year. I have slacked after the Yankees season ended, mostly because not many things have happened since the Yankees were knocked out of the ALCS by the Detroit Tigers. In 2013, expect my player evaluation, more technological integration (videos) and deeper analysis. I also hope to have 10,000 views by this time next year.

January is a new start for my blog. I can't wait to experience the 2013 with my loyal readers. I promise, I will not disappoint and hopefully, neither will the Yankees. Stay tuned in January where I will begin my player analysis and predictions, position by position. Thank you all for reading what I write and I hope to garner even more readers in the coming year. Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yanks sign Matt Diaz, Matsui Retiring

Yesterday, the Yankees signed outfielder Matt Diaz to a minor league deal. He has an invite to spring training camp and will compete for a bench role. Diaz played the 2012 with the Atlanta Braves before suffering a thumb injury in August that required surgery and sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Diaz, 34, has hit well against lefties in his career. He has a .291 lifetime average and his .269 against southpaws in 2012 in limited at bats. Diaz will earn $1.2 million if he makes the club, plus performance incentives. This signing doesn't mean the Yankees can stand pat and be done with their righty hitting outfielder search. They could still be in on Scott Hairston, who is reportedly seeking a two year deal.

In other news, former Yankee Hideki Matsui will be announcing his retirement in a press conference this evening. Matsui, most known as the 2009 World Series MVP, spent seven seasons with the New York Yankees. He was always a force in the lineup, first as their left fielder and later as the DH. He then spent three seasons with three different clubs but was never the same player he was in New York. He briefly played for the Tampa Bay Rays this season, hitting .147 in 95 at bats and hitting only two home runs. Matsui is an accomplished player who played the better part of his career in Japan. He will always remain a Yankee icon.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

BREAKING: Swisher inks deal with Indians

Nick Swisher has officially agreed to terms with the Cleveland Indians on a four year, $56 million contract with a vesting option for a fifth year at $14 million that can potentially make the deal worth up to $70 million. The right fielder was a fan favorite during his tenure with the Yankees, always interacting with fans in right field and doing his famous "Swisher Salute"during every roll call. However, the Yankees are trying to get under the luxury tax threshold for the 2014 season and by paying a player like Swisher $14 million per season, they wouldn't have been in a great position to do so.

Swisher feasted on bad pitching. He had great regular seasons with the Yankees, averaging 26 home runs and 87 RBI over his Yankee career. However, he was historically bad in the postseason. Whether it was because of the better pitching, or the bright lights, Swisher was horrendous in October with the Yankees. At one point, Swisher was 0 for his last 34 with RISP. That is not a formula that will amount to success when it matters most.

With Swisher gone, the Yankees will now receive the Indians supplemental first round pick in compensation for Swisher. If the Yankees are going to produce players out of their system, this is a good first step for them. They can get a player with ample potential who can play a key role for them in 3-4 years. With players like Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, Dante Bichette Jr, and Ty Hensley in the lower level of the minor leagues, the Yankees can possibly build themselves a new core in the coming years.

I wish Swisher the best but the way he went out, by blaming the fans for his troubles, will never be fully forgiven.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ibanez Signs with Mariners

Looks like another 2012 Yankee will be settling out west, as Raul Ibanez and the Mariners have agreed to a one year, $2.75 million contract with performance incentives. Ibanez was a fan favorite because of his October heroics and his personality. It hurts to lose a guy as good as Ibanez, but the Yankees decided that they didn't need another lefty outfielder. Raul Ibanez was the only Yankee who hit in the clutch, saving the Yankees from ALDS elimination twice and sending game 1 of the ALCS into extras when his home run off Valverde tied the game. The other guy who came up clutch, well he is teammates with AJ Burnett over in Pittsburgh now.

Are the Yankees putting all of their eggs in one basket? With Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, AJ Pierzynski, Russell Martin, and Josh Hamilton off the board, where do the Yankees go from here? They need to sign some bench players, as their current bench consists of characters such as Chris Dickerson and Chris Stewart. They have no definite Opening Day catcher and their shortstop is recovering from major knee surgery. Will the Yankees make a big January trade? It seems like Cashman knows what he's doing, and I have to say that I trust him to make a credible move that will improve the New York Yankees.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


The Yankees seem like they are standing firm on their goal to not exceed the new hard cap of $189 million in salary starting in 2014. So far this off-season, the Yankees have only handed out one year contracts to players who can make a large impact in the 2013 season. However, the Ichiro deal that is in the works is rumored to be a two year pact at a relatively low annual salary.

With big name free agents off the board like the recently signed outfielder Josh Hamilton and starting pitcher Zach Grienke, it leaves the Yankee fan wondering what the Yankees front office will do this winter. They let Russell Martin and Eric Chavez get away, they passed on MVP Josh Hamilton to fill their right field void, and don't have many contracts that go into 2014. Are the Steinbrenners not committed to winning anymore? They sold a majority share of the YES Network to News Corp last month, making them even more wealthy and still do not want to surpass the luxary tax threshold in 2014. How will the Yankees possibility field a contender beyond 2014 by not signing free agents and lack of depth in their farm system? I don't know the answer to that one, folks.

However, I do know that Brian Cashman is always talking to other clubs about potential trades. He wants to field a championship caliber team every year, and he can only go as far as the Steinbrenners are allowing him to go. With no right fielder (as of this moment), no real starting catcher and questions on the left side of the infield, the Yankees have a lot of work to do if they want to compete in the AL East in future years.

Robinson Cano will be a free agent after the 2013 season, and he wants to make Alex Rodriguez money. With Scott Boras as his agent, I am sure that Cano will sign a huge deal next winter, however I don't think the Yankees are willing to spend that kind of money on another player on the wrong side of 30. This may be a tough pill to swallow, but I think the Dodgers will go hard after Cano after the 2013 season. If Cano signs elsewhere and the Yankees do not sign any free agents, this will be a tough team to watch in 2014.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

BREAKING: Yankees sign Kevin Youkilis

Looks like the "YOUK" chants will be coming to Yankee Stadium next summer. The Yankees and Youk have agreed to terms on a deal that will pay him $12 million to play third base for the injured Alex Rodriguez. This is a big deal for the Yankees to finally obtain a viable third basin who can also play first.

Any Yankee fans who don't like the move are ignorant and stubborn. The Yankees don't have a third baseman until at least, June. Youkilis loves New York and the bright lights and critical fans won't be anything that Youk hasn't already heard in Boston. This should be an interesting season for the Yankees. I'm excited.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Waiting on Youk, Ichiro contract

Late last week, the Yankees reached out to 3B Kevin Youkilis and offered him a one year contract valued at $12 million. The only real competition the Yankees had since then were the Cleveland Indians, where Youkilis would reunite with his former manager, Terry Francona. Youkilis wants to be in a winning environment, and his friends are telling reporters that Youkilis is leaning toward signing with the Yankees. The third baseman has been mum on the topic, stating that he has many options that are alluring. Since last week, the Indians signed Mark Reynolds to play third base for them, likely meaning the Indians are out of the Youkilis sweepstakes. He supposedly has offers on the table from the Dodgers and a couple of other teams aside from the Yankees. Signing him to a one year deal would be a financial victory for the Bombers, who stand firm on their efforts to get payroll under $189 million for the 2014 season.

Earlier this afternoon, Buster Olney reported that the Yankees are going hard after Ichiro Suzuki in order to sign the right fielder to a one year deal. Apparently, the Yankees and Ichiro are closing in on a deal that would keep him in pinstripes for the 2013 season. Signing Ichiro would give the Yankees flexibility if they want to trade Granderson in an effort to make a late run at Josh Hamilton. As it stands, the Yankees outfield comprised of three lefties, assuming Ichiro signs. Either way, they will need to sign a right handed hitter in the outfield.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eric Chavez off the board

Eric Chavez, who had a remarkable season for the Yankees in 2012 while filling in for Alex Rodriguez at third base has agreed to terms with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as reported by Jon Heyman. This leaves the Yankees with one less option for their third base role. Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez are both off the table, leaving scrap heap guys for the Yankees to choose from.

Then of course, the Yankees may have something up their sleeve. I know the Padres have been firm on their decision to not trade Chase Headley, but I have to think that if the Yankees offer them the farm, the Padres will be inclined to trade their star third baseman to the Yankees. Also, the Yankees have been in talks with Kevin Youkilis over the last couple of days but sides are far apart on dollar figures. Youkilis is open to a one year contract to re-gain some value for next off-season, but he wants to be paid well in his one year deal to make up for the fact that he will only be with his respective club for one season.

Mark Reynolds is another option to play third base, but he was so bad defensively at the position last year that the Orioles moved him to first base where he played Gold Glove caliber defense. The Yankees, of course, do not need a first baseman. They are set in that department for the next few years with a different Mark.

Monday, December 3, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: A-Rod headed for surgery

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Alex Rodriguez was playing at least part of this season with a torn hip. This is the same hip that A-Rod had surgically repaired before the 2009 season. Sherman states that this will cause Rodriguez to miss part of the 2013 season.

In accordance with this announcement, the Yankees desperately need to sign a player or players who can play shortstop and third base. As of right now, the Yankees may not have a left side of the infield to open the season. Rumors have the Yankees very interested in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.

The torn hip is different from the one originally operated on in 2009. His left hip will be operated on. Recovery time will be 3-6 months. That would put A-Rod on track to return in June, if everything heals well.