December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from lenNY’s Yankees

Less than three hours away until the ball drops and a new year begins … But not for the Yankees — that’s another 45 days away.

I’m with my fam tonight in my cozy New Hampshire home about to watch “The Town,” which I heard was excellent.

I hope everyone enjoyed following the Yankees this year as much as I enjoyed blogging about them.

The Yankees didn’t win this year like they did in my first year of blogging, but they made a nice run. Right now it looks like next season will be a bit tougher of a ride, but I like being the underdog.

Have a Happy New Year!

December 30, 2010

Underlying Yankees storyline of 2010: They didn’t win

Bryan Hoch’s version of the Yankees’ top five storylines of 2010 didn’t include the fact that they lost. Winning is everything with the Yankees, and whether they won it all or not is always their top storyline.

Putting that aside, it’s tough to disagree with his top five.

5. Robinson Cano breaks out, chases his MVP dreams
4. A-Rod becomes baseball’s youngest to 600 homers
3. The Yankees miss out on Cliff Lee … twice
2. Iconic shortstop Derek Jeter and the Yankees ‘get messy’
1. The Yankees mourn the passing of ‘The Boss,’ George M. Steinbrenner

Hoch goes into more depth on each storyline here.

10 hilarious reactions to Bartolo Colon being linked to Yankees (the news is true)

When I heard the Yankees had joined the “sweepstakes” for free agent Bartolo Colon, my reaction was: “a sweepstakes implies there will be a prize. Bartolo Colon is no prize.”

The reactions to this news on Twitter were too good not to post.

CAIRO Projections: Red Sox to win East, but Yankees fans need to relax

Likely due to major upgrades on offense, the Red Sox are going to win the AL East — by nine games over the Yankees — according to the early CAIRO projections. Nine!

The author repeatedly said the projections were too early to be taken seriously, but I’m not so sure I buy that.

December 29, 2010

Mike Mussina Featured Card of the Week

Mike Mussina is one of my all-time favorite Yankees. In 2008, his final season, his fastball averaged just 86.4 mph but he still won 20 games. Let me rephrase that:

A professional pitcher threw a tad harder than yours truly and reached a milestone he spent 18 seasons trying to achieve.

December 28, 2010

Letter to Rothschild: A.J. Burnett pitching analysis

Dear Mr. Larry Rothschild,

I think you know by now that fixing A.J. Burnett will be your primary goal in your first year as the Yankees pitching coach. In the winter of 2008, the Yankees were confident enough to sign Burnett to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. But his past postseason they wouldn’t even let him pitch in the first round.

December 27, 2010

Heyman: Yankees have shown interest in pitchers Kevin Gregg and Kevin Millwood

The Yankees have shown interest in free agent reliever Kevin Gregg and starter Kevin Millwood, according to Jon Heyman. Both pitchers were listed in Heyman’s “best values to be found in the free-agent bargain bin.”

The Yankees pitching staff needs some help, especially if Andy Pettitte chooses to retire, and either Kevin might do the trick. Let’s take a closer look at Gregg and Millwood.

Poll Results: Jesus Montero should start 2011 in Scranton [Depth chart]

poll results54

The Yankees signed ex-Dodgers catcher Russell Martin to replace Jorge Posada. Without Martin, the Yankees would have relied on uber prospect Jesus Montero for the starting catching duties. Now that Martin is officially signed, Montero will likely start 2011 in Triple-A. The majority of voters agreed.

But Montero isn’t the only highly touted prospect in the Yankees’ system. Yankees catching prospect Austin Romine played all of last year in Double-A and is said to have better defense than Montero and a solid bat. Here’s what Yankees Vice President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman had to say about the catching situation.

December 25, 2010

'Tis the Season

December 24, 2010

Three reasons why Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon will not be Yankees

If you haven’t heard, the Yankees have been linked to both over-the-hill outfielders. Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon just don’t fit with the Yankees.

December 23, 2010

Yankees Sporcle: Can you name all 43 Yankees of 2010?

If you’ve never heard of Sporcle, you may consider killing me after clicking that link. It is the ultimate procrastination tool. Sporcle is a trivia quiz website that can trip you up on anything from sports to geography.

So what do you think, can you name all 43 Yankees of 2010?

You think that was hard? Try naming all 45 Yankees from 2009.

December 22, 2010

A.J. Burnett practices throwing at his barn in Maryland [Cartoon]

Via Bryan Hoch:
A.J. Burnett knows his rebound is important. He's remodeled a barn at his Maryland home into an indoor pitching facility and is expecting new pitching coach Larry Rothschild to drop by for about a week next month.
I think this news is better understood visually.

2010 baseball salaries & wins correlation [Charts]

The Yankees led the majors in luxury tax for the eighth year in a row (every year in its existence), but they’ll pay more than $7 million less than they did last year.

The Yankees and Red Sox were the only two teams hit with the competitive balance tax this year, and thus will have to send the commissioner’s office checks for $18 million and $1.49 million, respectively.

Nick Swisher Featured Card of the Week

Some people mentioned Nick Swisher’s name as possible trade bait this offseason, but, thankfully, he’s still a Yank and will be back in right field next year.

In my latest lineup projection, I have him hitting eighth. Perhaps against left-handed starters he could swap with Curtis Granderson, who I have hitting second.

December 21, 2010

Baseball Hall of Fame voting

Like baseball’s yearly awards, Hall of Fame voting standards are vague. Jon Heyman revealed the world his Hall of Fame standards in an article yesterday, and I’m a big fan of what he had to say. This is the key:

In filling out my ballot, I go more by impact than career numbers.

Heyman details how the Internet community will base its vote purely by stats, making Bert Blyleven a shoo-in. But in Heyman’s 14 years of voting, not once has he voted yes. After reading his article, Blyleven doesn’t sound like a Hall of Famer to me.

December 20, 2010

Poll Results: Jeter’s contract negotiations should have been private

poll results53 The majority of fans voted Derek Jeter’s contract negotiations should have been private. The next two highest choices voted were “Jeter is selfish” and “private negotiations next time.”

I voted for those exact three choices.

Just when I started bashing all athletes for never taking less money than they are offered — cough, Jeter — Kerry Wood signed with the Cubs for far less money than he could have earned with the Yankees or White Sox.

December 19, 2010

Yankees starting pitcher prospects could see major league bullpen time

Maybe the Yankees don’t need to sign any reliever this offseason. Yankees Vice President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman said it wouldn’t be difficult for starting pitcher prospects to make the transition.
“When they get to Triple-A, they don’t need a full year doing that,” Newman said. “They need a month or two of adjustment. They still need innings. You don’t want to limit innings by putting them prematurely in the bullpen.”
Click through to see who Newman might be referring to.

Greinke wasn’t the answer for Yankees

Zack Greinke is now a Brewer after reporters confirmed last night’s rumor. With the Red Sox catching every free agent they cast their line at, fans were looking for the Yankees to make a splash of their own. But Greinke was not the answer, as Jon Heyman tweeted last week.

KC trying to involve #yankees in greinke but nyy hesitant to risk him in NYC.

So who is the answer? You might be disappointed.

December 18, 2010

Red Sox add Dan Wheeler to bullpen mix

Another day, another reliever signed by the Red Sox.

Two days after locking up White Sox closer Bobby Jenks for two years, the Red Sox signed ex-Rays reliever Dan Wheeler.

December 17, 2010

LeBron James on NY Post: ‘LeCHICKEN’

It’s not Yankees, but it’s too good not to post. I present, on behalf of the New York Post, the “LeCHICKEN” back cover.
LeBron“The Decision” was probably the biggest event in sports this past summer when I was in New York. I despise LeBron James for it, and I hope Amar’e Stoudemire dunks on him tonight at the Garden.

Photo courtesy of Caleb Gindl

Yankees sign Feliciano for 2 years, $8MM

The Yankees signed LOOGY (Lefty One-Out GuY) Pedro Feliciano for two years, $8 million with an option for a third year. Feliciano pitched the first eight years of his career with the Mets, and he led the majors in appearances the last three years.

Yankees free agent rumor roundup

While I was on the road headed back home from college, the Yankees were linked to a lot of free agent pitchers and some of their targets signed with other teams. Here’s a quick rundown:

December 16, 2010

Jorge Posada Featured Card of the Week

Jorge Posada
Finally, a new Featured Yankee Card of the Week. Meet your starting DH in 2011, Jorge Posada.

Russell Martin will take over full-time catching duties next season possibly with Jesus Mntero backing up.

December 15, 2010

Carlos Zambrano, Rafael Soriano present pitching options for Yankees

Bill Madden of the Daily News said Carlos Zambrano is a “likely target” for the Yankees to pursue in the trade market this offseason, and ESPN’s Andrew Marchand cites one scout saying “it would make sense” for the Yankees to go after Rafael Soriano.

Yankees and Red Sox projected 2011 lineup, take 3

With the latest free agent signings by the Yankees and Red Sox in the past week, I wanted to compare their lineups. This is my first glance at Boston’s lineup and take 3 with New York’s.

Red Sox Yankees
Dustin Pedroia 2B 1. Brett Gardner LF
Carl Crawford LF 2. Curtis Granderson CF
Kevin Youkilis 3B 3. Robinson Cano 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B 4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
David Ortiz DH 5. Mark Teixeira 1B
J.D. Drew RF 6. Jorge Posada DH
Jed Lowrie SS 7. Derek Jeter SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 8. Nick Swisher RF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF 9. Russell Martin C

Click through the jump for my reasoning on these projections and to find out which one I believe is better.

December 14, 2010

Cashman: ‘A.J. Burnett’s going to turn it around’

From USA Today’s Stephen Borelli:

Does Brian Cashman believe his current rotation is championship worthy?

“I think so,” the GM said. “I think A.J. Burnett's going to turn it around for us. I don't think you're going to see him have another year like that.”

Cashman goes on to not supply any supporting evidence of that idea, despite hiring new pitching coach Larry Rothschild almost a month ago.

A’s sign Hideki Matsui for 1 year, $4.25MM

Hideki Matsui A'sThe 2009 World Series MVP for the Yankees signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract with the Oakland A’s today, according to Buster Olney.

Hideki Matsui, 36, posted a solid offensive year for the Angels this past season, hitting .274 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs. He played 119 games at DH and 18 in left field.

I think Godzilla likes the west coast; it’s closer to home.

Yankees add catcher Russell Martin

The Yankees have “responded” to the Phillies acquiring Cliff Lee, as they’ve agreed to a deal with (soon-to-be) 28-year-old free agent catcher Russell Martin. The contract is unknown at this time, but if I had to guess I’d say something like one year, $5.5 million (purely a guess).

Phillies snatch up Cliff Lee, Yankees left hanging

According to multiple sources, Cliff Lee is returning to the Phillies. Lee rejected a seven-year, $150 million deal from the Yankees to sign with the Phillies for five years, $100 million (approximately).

This gives the Phillies one of the best rotations I’ve ever seen on paper.

December 13, 2010

Phillies join hunt for Cliff Lee

Via Fox’s Ken Rosenthal:

The Phillies are still bidding for free-agent left-hander Cliff Lee, according to a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

However, Rosenthal goes on to say the Phillies’ assistant GM said earlier this month “that ship has sailed” in regards to the hunt for Lee. And here is what their GM had to say on the matter:

“If I were in or out, I wouldn’t be commenting at all, on or off the record,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said, citing his personal policy on free agents.


Poll Results: Cliff Lee most important free agent to Yankees (Sans Mariano Rivera)

poll results52 In my latest poll results, Yankees fans voted Cliff Lee as the most important free agent left to the Yankees’ success next year. Remember, this did not include Mariano Rivera.

December 8, 2010

Mariano Rivera’s son is looking to pitch at Quinnipiac [Photo]

rivera and sonMariano Rivera and his son Mariano Rivera III toured Quinnipiac University today. Mo told me his son is looking to pitch.

UPDATE: Full interview with Quinnipiac head coach Dan Gooley on Mariano Jr.

December 6, 2010

Blog vacation, school comes first

I’ve been blogging for almost two years now. Some of you may not know it, but I’m also a college student.

It’s that time of year, folks. Finals week.

December 4, 2010

Jeter agrees to 3-year deal with Yankees

We don’t know exactly how much it’s worth, but we know the deal is done.

UPDATE: Now we do.

Derek Jeter has agreed to return to the Yankees for three years with a fourth-year vesting option.

Jeter’s new contract is worth between $45-51 million, or $15-17 million per season.

December 3, 2010

Yanks free agent watch: Crawford, Martin

The Yankees are in contact with outfielder Carl Crawford and attempted to trade for catcher Russell Martin yesterday.

Martin represents a rare breed of catchers who can actually run. Yes, I mean steal bases — he’s averaged more than 12 per season in the big leagues. He is 27 years old, turning 28 in February, and ranks as a solid catcher. He threw out 39 percent of would-be base stealers last year, while the major league average is 27 percent. I could see a Martin-Jesus Montero combination at catcher in 2011.

As for Crawford, I think he is a great, great player but just not a fit for the Yankees. Here’s why.

Poll Results: Rivera was most valuable FA, but who’s important now?

poll results51

My poll results this week strongly favored Mariano Rivera as the most important free agent to the Yankees’ success next year. After hearing the report last night that he’ll re-sign with the Yankees, I thought it was time to re-launch the poll sans Rivera.

So who is it gonna be now? Who is most important free agent to the Yankees’ success next year among these three stars: Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte or Cliff Lee?

Mariano Rivera to re-sign with Yankees for $30M/2yrs

Mariano Rivera is expected to sign a two-year, $30 million deal with the Yankees by Friday night, according to the Daily News.

No surprise he’s back with the Yankees, but it’s just one less thing to worry about now that both parties have reached an agreement.

December 2, 2010

Yankees sign up for another Meat-tray

meat trayIn other words, the Yankees have re-signed spot starter/long reliever Sergio Mitre. Don’t worry, it only cost the Yankees $900K.

Mitre posted a 3.33 ERA last year in 54 innings, striking out 29 batters and walking 16. I don’t mind having him in the back of the bullpen.

Photo credit

December 1, 2010

Yankees injury updates: Surgery for Gardner, Aceves

Alfredo Aceves underwent surgery yesterday to “repair a fractured left clavicale sustained in a bicycle-riding accident in Mexico,” according to the Daily News. Aceves may miss the start of spring training.

Brett Gardner will undergo surgery on Tuesday for “right wrist tendinitis.” He’ll be recovered before spring training.

These surgeries are worth noting, as we often see players reinjure parts of their bodies during the season.

A.J. Burnett Featured Card of the Week

Burnett A.J. Burnett is this week’s featured Yankee card.

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