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Former Yankees on the move

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 21, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Last night, when I read that the Houston Astros had signed former Yankees minor league pitcher Jose Valdez, I assumed it was a minor league deal that might be worth a note at some point. Then I read on Mike Ashmore’s blog that Valdez was added to the Astros’ 40-man. Checking the Astros official site confirmed the move. I won’t say this is the most unexpected baseball news I’ve ever read, but it’s close.

Valdez was once fairly highly touted but had fallen into organizational player status with the Yankees. He put up good numbers but was basically a guy who could fill a bullpen role in Double-A and Triple-A. When he came to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, he was the last guy in the pen. Never remotely close to a big league call-up.

“The Valdez kid threw well last season, and he’s lighting up the Dominican Winter League,” Houston GM Ed Wade told mlb.com. “We had a couple of guys see him down there and they felt this kid had a chance to be a real significant contributor to the back end of the bullpen. We gave him a roster spot as a Minor League free agent, which is a rarity.”

Valdez is worth keeping an eye on just to see if the Yankees completely missed the boat.

———

Speaking of former Yankees minor league pitchers, Jeff Karstens has been designated for assignment by the Pirates. Pittsburgh previously let Eric Hacker leave as a minor league free agent. Hacker was traded to the Pirates for Romulo Sanchez, who the Yankees just added to the 40-man, so at least the Yankees got the better of the Pirates in one move.

Chase Wright and Matt DeSalvo, by the way, are also minor league free agents. They were part of that massive group of 2007 rookies who made emergency starts for the Yankees. Another from that group, Tyler Clippard, pitched well out of the Nationals bullpen this year and seems to have solidified a major league job.

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82 Responses to “Former Yankees on the move”

  1. Joe November 21st, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    How come baseball do not have cheerleaders?

  2. Betsy - high on pie November 21st, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Chapman has every right to fire his agent and it doesn’t show any kind of lack of character. He doesn’t owe anyone an explanation – it’s his career and he should go with whomever he thinks will give him the best representation.

    I don’t know much about the draft and overslotting, but it seems to me that the players association will fight him to the death on this……I hope they do. Instead of worrying about large market teams having an advantage, maybe Bum Selig should worry about small-market teams taking in free $$$ from big market teams and pocketing it. THAT is bad for the sport, not the Yankees, not the Sox, not the big-market teams.

  3. Erin November 21st, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Off topic-

    Betsy, I have to tell you-I was doing some early Christmas shopping today at Barnes and Noble, and I noticed they had a big section of discounted movies for $5, so I was looking through and saw a copy of Seems Like Old Times. I got it since it was so cheap. Thanks for the recommendation :)

  4. Betsy - high on pie November 21st, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Ken Davidoff reports that the Yankees’ priority right now is Johnny Damon, with Hideki Matsui on the back-burner.
    Even though Matsui turned heads in the World Series, Damon is the better property going forward considering he can hold his own in the field. Agent Scott Boras is pushing for a four-year deal, but we can’t see anything more than two years. The Yankees and Damon should be able to come to an agreement fairly shortly, freeing up resources to devote to the free agent market.
    Source: Twitter: Ken Davidoff

    *** I don’t think I like this. I think I’d rather sign (or trade for one) a younger OF and go with Matsui for one more year. I do not want to give Damon 2 years……..he’s an atrocious OFer. Not only that, but he had a terrible last month and a half. I don’t get Cashman……He makes a point of saying that he’s not going to judge anyone on their post-season performance……but he’s going to judge Damon? I realize he didn’t say that, but why are they pressing so hard to sign Damon when he struggled so badly the last part of the season?

  5. Betsy - high on pie November 21st, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Also, I HATE the idea of a rotating DH -which is what would happen if Damon signs and Matsui doesn’t.

    Erin, cool! I would love to hear what you think after you watch it!

    I just got back from the Star Wars concert – it was absolutely fantastic. Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO, narrated a montage of highlights from all 6 films – to the sound of the Royal Philharmonic. I tell ya, I’m glad I didn’t go to the parade if the crowds were like anything I experienced today. They had artifiacts from the films in the hallways and it was literally impossible to move – I’ve never experienced a crowd like this. You had to be brutal and aggressive (meaning, pushing and shoving – nicely, of course, lol) in order to make any headway.

  6. JK November 21st, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Betsy,

    I think damon will be a pt OF spending significant time at DH.
    They will still go after an OF.

  7. Erin November 21st, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Betsy, sure thing. I should be able to watch it sometime this week (if I don’t watch it this weekend) with the short work week.

    Sounds like your Star Wars concert was really cool.

    I really hope they don’t go with the rotating DH either. That’s not a good idea, IMO

  8. Betsy - high on pie November 21st, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    JK, this will be a very interesting off-season – I love and hate the hot stove at the same time, lol. I love Damon, but I would still prioritize Matsui over him….

    Erin….that’s right. I love the short work week and I almost forgot about it.

    The concert was neat – I’m so glad I did it. It was nice to get away from the computer for awhile, lol

  9. Joe from Long Island November 21st, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    One thought before I sit down to dinner –

    I wonder if the Yankees are valuing Curtis Granderson over Hideki Matsui? I say this because a)they are reported as prioritizing Johnny Damon over Matsui, per Ken Davidoff; b)there were rumors of them being interested in bringing back Damon for the second half of the season; c)Curtis Granderson is being shopped by Detroit; d)Granderson would be an upgrade over Melky and Brett in CF; e)Melky or Nick Swisher would be an upgrade over Damon in LF, with the other in RF; f)Granderson might be a very nice fit in YS; g)Damon would be the no. 2 hitter, and DH, with Derek, Tex, Jorge and Alex spending time there.

    A nice young AAA arm might swing it.

    Time for dinner.

  10. David November 21st, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I wonder if the Yanks would consider signing Nick Johnson to be DH. He only made $5.5 million last year and had an on-base average of .426. I’d like to see him back in pinstripes.

  11. JK November 21st, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Betsy,

    The problem is Matsui locks up the DH because he can’t play the field and has missed significant time over the past 4 years. He also had to have his knee drained 4 times and will be 1 year older.

  12. vinny-b (lock up Girardi and let Jeter wait) November 21st, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    “I wonder if the Yanks would consider signing Nick Johnson to be DH. He only made $5.5 million last year and had an on-base average of .426. I’d like to see him back in pinstripe”
    ———————————————–

    me too

  13. JK November 21st, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Arod hit piece…

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....ucart.html

  14. crawdaddy November 21st, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Betsy,

    Will you stop believing every article some hack writer puts out. If you’re going to judge Cashman then do so when he actually makes a move not what some baseball writer implies in some article.

  15. damon enjoy 27...think 28 November 21st, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Blue Jays president,CEO Paul Beeston,is quoted in NY Post article:Yankees can wait for Halladay.

    Beeston says they would love to sign Halladay,BUT he isn’t inclined to sign with us,WOW WOW!!

    The way he was jerked around last season,I don’t blame him!!

  16. pat November 21st, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    *Gossip alert* but so cute I had to share.

    A-Rod Takes His Gal Golfing

    http://celebritybabyscoop.com/node/29693

  17. Tala08 November 21st, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I think we can all forgive you for that one Pat. ;) Thats nice.

  18. Rose November 21st, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Nick Johnson is injury prone with not much power.

    Yankees may not sign Matsui. Bad knees and would clog up the dh spot.
    Damon I would say 1 year with an option. Don’t know how much Boras/Damon think he’s worth. Yankees should give him similar money that Abreau got.
    I like both Damon and Matsui but Yanks will not sign both and maybe neither. Who knows what Cashman is thinking.

  19. 108 stitches November 21st, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks so much for the updated information Chad.
    Fortunately, the Yankees have been churning out pitching prospects in recent years so somebody like Jose Valdez that might have been thought of as a close to ready prospect in 2005-2006 sees the low rung of the ladder.

  20. Backbench November 21st, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    According to MLB on XM, NYYs offered JD 2 yrs. Will not offer HM anything because they know there is a lesion on one of his knees. HM is seriously considering Seattle now.

    Also, no offer to CMW, who is in serious talks with LADs.

    Any other reports??

  21. Neil November 21st, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    If Nick Johnson were to be considered over Matsui, he always had a good bat, can give an occasional breather for Teixiera with a better than average glove.
    The best hope would be to keep him injury free.

  22. JK November 21st, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    SS Jeter
    LF Damon
    1B Tex
    3B Arod
    C Posada
    2B Cano
    CF Granderson
    RF Swisher
    DH Miranda

    ^^^^ If they could get Granderson this would still be pretty decent lineup. Could Miranda hit better than Melky in the 9 hole? I think so. Miranda would also give the Yankees flexibility to move him out the lineup for others to DH.

  23. crawdaddy November 21st, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    “Also, no offer to CMW, who is in serious talks with LADs.”

    Don’t believe such rumors because CMW is still the property of the Yankees and the Dodgers would be opening themselves up to tampering charges.

  24. JK November 21st, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Backbench,

    Cashman has not met with ownership yet, so that report is completely bogus and most likely from Boras.

  25. Erica - always OPPC November 21st, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Betsy-

    I am a little out of the loop. Why are you high on pie???

    Also, I am proud to report that after 2 loaves of baked beer bread, all that was left last night was some very sorry crumbs

  26. Erica - always OPPC November 21st, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Ken Davidoff reports that the Yankees’ priority right now is Johnny Damon, with Hideki Matsui on the back-burner.
    Even though Matsui turned heads in the World Series, Damon is the better property going forward considering he can hold his own in the field. Agent Scott Boras is pushing for a four-year deal, but we can’t see anything more than two years. The Yankees and Damon should be able to come to an agreement fairly shortly, freeing up resources to devote to the free agent market.
    Source: Twitter: Ken Davidoff
    *********

    IF this is true all I can say is… WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Erica - always OPPC November 21st, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Betsy-

    Damon was not terrible the last half of the season. Okay, maybe September was rough, but the teams itself was resting up for the playoff road ahead. But to call Damon atrocious in the playoffs is wrong. In fact, many people on here were calling him a World Series MVP candidate

    He is not the best outfielder. I understand that. However, his outfielding is certainly passable. I don’t see any harm in giving him a two year spot if the price is right, and he is a proved Yankee performer. And keep that place ready until one of the prospects is ready to come up

  28. Rose November 21st, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    JK

    Who are you giving up to get Granderson?

  29. gfd November 21st, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I wish the Yankees keep getting younger,the core 4 are older,but good.It’s time for younger players to be added.Damon and Matsui performed like any player in a contract year.Like them both,but Yankees have a title to defend.

  30. Phil November 21st, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Tampering by the Dodgers would be nothing new.

  31. Doreen November 21st, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    pat -

    That was precious! Thanks.

  32. Erin November 21st, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    pat
    November 21st, 2009 at 7:00 pm
    *Gossip alert* but so cute I had to share.

    A-Rod Takes His Gal Golfing

    http://celebritybabyscoop.com/node/29693

    *************************
    That’s adorable. :)

  33. Pat M. November 21st, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Nick Johnson would be a sweet pickup, however he’s not going to protect Alex in the 5 hole and I don’t see Jorge being a solution as well…..If they let Matsui walk, then look for Matt Holliday to fill the 5 hole….Granderson in CF and hitting 2nd and forget the k’s formm this past season…..I think he was asked to do too much…..Maybe Cano in the 5 hole ??? Not to certain about that as well……

  34. Erin November 21st, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Backbench
    November 21st, 2009 at 7:11 pm
    According to MLB on XM, NYYs offered JD 2 yrs. Will not offer HM anything because they know there is a lesion on one of his knees. HM is seriously considering Seattle now.

    Also, no offer to CMW, who is in serious talks with LADs.

    ***************************
    I’ll believe all of this stuff when I see it.

  35. gfd November 21st, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Damon will be 40 in 4 yrs,in the OF has Boras lost his mind?

  36. Pat M. November 21st, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Let Johnny Damon walk….

  37. damon enjoy 27...think 28 November 21st, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Yankees know CMW medical history.There’s a reason Cashman is playing hardball,I believe.Who would release a 2 yrs in a row 19 game winner,unless something’s up?
    5-7 MM is nothing for the Yankees.They have 50mm off the books with the FA so far.Joe Torre should be weary.

  38. Joe from Long Island November 21st, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Young pitching for Granderson – and I don’t mean Joba and Phil. I’m wondering about Kennedy, maybe one of the guys that got placed on the 40-man, that Chad had scouting reports on earlier today and who doesn’t necessarily have a shot at breaking the Yankee rotation.

    What Cash gives up doesn’t have to be our best, it only has to be better than what other teams are offering up. And if it’s true that teams want to limit payroll, then Yankee willingness to take on the the contract may make Cash’s bid the winner.

  39. Backbench November 21st, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    “I’ll believe all of this stuff when I see it.”

    Absolutely. Just reporting in to keep the LoHud community entertained.

    This is all speculation, but there were a number of items (T or F, unknown) including that the LAAs will not deal with any Boras client, period, that they had basically said goodbye to Vlad, etc etc.

    The part about CMW was troubling, and Craw’s input there was very helpful.

  40. Joe from Long Island November 21st, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Pat M – I think you’re onto something. The thing is, none of know the medical info on Matsui. Sure, Dr. Rodeo, the surgeon who operated on him, spoke optimistically. What is he going to do, run down his own work? But, as Branch Rickey once said, better to unload a player a year too early than a year too late.

    I agree, counting on Posada, at his advancing age, to continue to produce well enough to hit behind Alex is expecting a lot. Cano? Depends on how much Kevin Long believes in him. If Long thinks he can, Cash might plan that way. If not, then Cash has to have a plan. Maybe he already does.

    I can see Granderson in CF, Melky and Swish at the corners, Damon as primary DH and 4th OF, holding a spot until AJax is ready. I’m not sure I believe in Holliday.

  41. Erin November 21st, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Backbench
    November 21st, 2009 at 7:48 pm
    “I’ll believe all of this stuff when I see it.”

    Absolutely. Just reporting in to keep the LoHud community entertained.

    ********************
    LOL. All of these “reports” do make for great entertainment. :)

  42. raymagnetic November 21st, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    “I wonder if the Yanks would consider signing Nick Johnson to be DH. He only made $5.5 million last year and had an on-base average of .426. I’d like to see him back in pinstripes.”

    Might not be a bad idea. But man, what happened to Johnson’s power :???:

    Only slugged .413 this year :???:

  43. David McCann November 22nd, 2009 at 7:37 am

    I am in the minority on this one. Matsui will probably keep getting stronger Another year removed from knee surgery.

    As it is he nearly hit 30 homers and offers solid protection for Arod, He hits lefties and is a year younger than Damon. Cheaper too!

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