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Yankees “close to done” with minor league deals

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 29, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees have yet to release a full list of non-roster invites, but we already know most of the names. Reid Gorecki, Jon Weber and David Winfree in the outfield, Mike Rivera at catcher, Royce Ring and Zack Segovia out of the bullpen.

“There’s always a chance in the final weeks that you’ll see somewhere out there that could help you,” vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said. “I wouldn’t say we’re done, but probably close to done.”

Outfield depth was the most obvious need in the upper levels of the system, and the Yankees addressed that with three free agent signings, plus their trade for Greg Golson. They have enough in-house candidates to fill the Triple-A infield, and Newman said that, as of right now, the Yankees have not signed a Cody Ransom-type veteran to add to that mix. He did acknowledge, though, that the Yankees aren’t as deep at third base as they are up the middle.

• Newman on the Golson addition: “Big run and throw tools. Who knows? We’re going to work at it. When we traded Austin Jackson, we lost our plus run tool at Triple-A.”

• Newman on David Winfree: “We think Winfree has significant upside. We think he’s a prospect. We think he’s still in the growth phase as a player.”

• I get asked a lot about the idea of moving one of the team’s premier catching prospects to the outfield, so I asked Newman about it. “Sometimes if you have depth at a premium position, and quality depth, you can turn those guys into another player by trades,” he said. “Sometimes that’s the way it works out. But I don’t see that with any of our guys because we’re going to need catching in the big leagues.”

• Speaking of catchers, Newman said Gary Sanchez is already hitting and working out in Tampa. “What a tool package,” Newman said. “Wow. Arm strength. Power.” I told Newman that I’ve heard him get excited about Sanchez before. “He’s better now,” Newman said.

• Speaking of power, here’s a name to remember: First baseman Reymond Nunez hit 10 homers in 59 Dominican Summer League games last season. He’s 19 years old, and Newman said he hit a home run a few days ago at the minor league complex that bounced onto the Dale Mabry Highway. For those who have never been out there, trust me, that’s insane.

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75 Responses to “Yankees “close to done” with minor league deals”

  1. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks, Chad!

    How many catchers does Mark Newman think the Yankees are going to need? They think Montero is going to stick at C – sounds like Romine could be trade bait, which would be too bad as I really like him. The other C prospects are way too young to be traded for anyone of any value…It doesn’t sound at all like they are going to move Romine or anyone else to the OF……too bad as I think it’s a good idea (that is, if Montero sticks at C)

  2. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Betsy,

    For one, Newman is smart enough to know if 1 catching prospect works out as a good major league regular and 1 works out as a solid back-up, they’ll sign up for that deal right now.

    It takes a bushel of projects to make in ML keeper. I believe the Yankee strategy is their next (ideally) long-time catcher has a better than average chance of coming from the system.

    Also, projects can read websites too. The Yanks aren’t going to send the message that some of them aren’t likely in their plans. They want them focused on moving up to get to the big leagues as Yankees.

    That’s just the things you have to say publicly.

  3. ksturni January 29th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    el Rey and Sanchez (we need a nickname for Gary) sound like players. 17 in Rookie ball sounds challenging, I know Jesus did it, but wow…

  4. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Stuckey, let’s assume Montero is a keeper at C. Romine is their next best C prospect – he may be their next best prospect in the systeme. Are they going to make him a backup C ? I guess I don’t see why they can’t convert him to an OF?

    Your point about prospects reading websites is well-taken. I was just puzzled as to why Newman threw cold water on the idea of converting any of them to the OF.

  5. 108 stitches January 29th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I’ve learned several times that it’s foolish to try and project the exact 25 players that will travel north when the final exhibition game has been played.
    There is always one bullpen piece and one position player that makes a final decision tough for a manager.
    The best hope is that an injury doesn’t cause a change in plans but competition will keep the eyes open for Joe Girardi and his coaches.
    Almost anybody can make a correct call on who 23 of the players will be but the final 2 are never easy.

  6. ksturni January 29th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    “Also, projects can read websites too. The Yanks aren’t going to send the message that some of them aren’t likely in their plans. They want them focused on moving up to get to the big leagues as Yankees. ”

    the sheer number of quality catchers they sign shouldn’t discourage, either; for they are getting paid to play the game they love

  7. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    “Stuckey, let’s assume Montero is a keeper at C. Romine is their next best C prospect – he may be their next best prospect in the systeme. Are they going to make him a backup C ? I guess I don’t see why they can’t convert him to an OF?”

    Because you can’t assume Montero is a keeper at C. Listen, Montero is the best hitting prospect the Yankees have had in some time, but you don’t alter career arcs of prospects in a assumption, even a seemingly safe one.

    Only time the Yanks might reevaluate their long-term plans for minor league players is when Montero establishes himself as a major league catcher.

    And even then, maybe not, as Newman says plainly, you can spin advanced catching prospects in trades. It makes sense for team’s with needs, to look for a trading partner with depth at their need, as opposed to trying to convert a player.

    “I was just puzzled as to why Newman threw cold water on the idea of converting any of them to the OF.”

    Don’t want them (the prospects) looking over their shoulder, in terms of focus on their given task.

    Nothing more…

  8. Chad Jennings January 29th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    It’s also worth saying that Murphy and Sanchez are very low in the system. A lot can happen between now and their big league debut.

    Also, while there is reason to be optimistic about Montero staying behind the plate, he might never be a good defensive catcher, in which case Romine at C and Montero at DH might make more sense.

    As a general rule, I think it’s easier to find a quality corner outfielder than a quality catcher.

  9. AT January 29th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Romine can still stay with the Yankees as their catcher if Jesus is placed as the full time DH. This is why the Yankees want to go younger and not have to give out lengthy contracts. It gives them room and flexability with the DH slot. Jeter can play right field if he needs to move but A-rod and Teix can’t move and are more likely to be the DH of the future.

    Just like pitching, you can never have enough catchers. Catchers that can hit are an elite group of players. You can demand just about anyone you want in return.

  10. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Also, projects can read websites too. The Yanks aren’t going to send the message that some of them aren’t likely in their plans. They want them focused on moving up to get to the big leagues as Yankees.
    ————————————————————
    Excellent, excellent point.

    I think that Montero, Romine, and Cervelli will be in play for backup and/or starting catcher in 2011 and beyond. And it sounds like the organization is intent on providing good trade pieces to the rest of baseball at that position.

    In the past, we’ve briefly discussed how the Yankees don’t really have a backup at 3B. GB and others mentioned Melvin Mora, which I think would have been a good choice, but Adam Kennedy would be good also, as he plays 3B and 2B leaving Pena for SS. Alfredo Amezaga is versatile, and plays IF and OF. Maybe he could be a signed to a minor-league contract, as he’s coming off injury. And then there’s Nomar.

  11. m January 29th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Newman didn’t really answer your question about converting one of the C prospects to the outfield.

    The Yankees should start cross-training when players have mastered the basics of their primary positions. Flexibility should be the new mantra.

    For that matter, any player with eyes on the bigs should be trying to convince their manager to give them a try in the outfield or other (out of) position.

  12. the phranchise January 29th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Catcher is such a key position for teams the yankees are making a smart move. Some guys move to different spots but think about a guy like mauer and what he bring with the bat after his terriffic defense. Think about the red sox desperation for years to get a varitek replacement. V mart is great offensively but you can run on him all day. How long has it taken for the sox to find a shortstop? Another key position. An offensive catcher who is capable on defense is almsot as valuable a trade chip as a top of the rotation pitching prospect. Salty on texas helped land tex and he has yet to pan out. Konerko, delgado, etc all converted catchers. Why rush moving guys to the of before you see how 19 and 20 year olds learn the position and develop. It’s like a rookie nfl qb, it takes time.

  13. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Stuckey, can’t argue with anything you’ve said.

    Chad, that’s true. Wasn’t Murphy an OF? I wonder what made them convert him to catcher as opposed to keeping him in the OF where they need good prospects?

    I think the Yankees stocking up on good C prospects is a good thing – didn’t mean to sound complaining. ST is going to be exciting just because we get to see some of Montero and Romine. AT, I admit I’m just assuming Montero sticks at C – would the Yankees want to make such a young kid a permanent DH? Still, what happens if Romine progresses defensively to the point where he’s a real asset behind the plate? I suppose there are just too many uknowns at this point to even speculate.

  14. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    AT, Teix has a ungodly long contract yes, but he’s relatively young, is a first baseman and and EXCELLENT fielder.

    I don’t see him needing much time at DH. He’ll be able to man 1st just fine into his later 30′s (assuming the bat is good enough, but that make DH moot anyway)

  15. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Phranchise, good points. M, you too – maybe it’s way too early to try and cross-train any of these kids. I was thinking of Romine, admittedly, but he’s also very young and needs to keep catching at this point

  16. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    the phranchise,

    I was a big Salty fan. Thought he was the next star catcher. So much for that.

  17. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Yanks have good depth to their system, and it’s just getting better year by year.

    Still one more move to make before ST.

  18. Chad Jennings January 29th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I think he answered it as much as he can right now. He’s never going to rule it out completely, but right now there are no plans to stick someone like Romine in left field. And his point about a trade is a good one. Why risk a change of position when the team could just swap it’s premier catching depth for another team’s outfield depth?

  19. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    “The Yankees should start cross-training when players have mastered the basics of their primary positions. Flexibility should be the new mantra.”

    It’s a rare, rare minor leaguer whose glove is so far ahead of his bat (only reason he’d still be in the minors) that he has time to learn a new position.

    It’s an interesting idea, but not sure how practical. The Jerry Hairstons and Chone Figgins of the world do exist, just not i abundance.

  20. Jim M January 29th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Just to add my 2 cents on the topic of converting a quality catcher into an OF, I would think you should be able to get a higher quality outfielder in a trade then the outfield, say Romine, might become.

    To say it differently. high quality catching prospects have more value in a trade then they would might have as outfielders.

  21. m January 29th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Chad,

    Haha. They’ve all been taking pointers from Cashman. :P

  22. Chad Jennings January 29th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Also, the Yankees do a lot of secondary position work with all of their players. Montero takes balls at first base, and I believe — but could be wrong — that Romine has taken some at third, but it doesn’t happen in games because they obviously focus on one spot.

  23. Matt January 29th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Boone Logan’s competition comes from Royce Ring and Wilkin De La Rosa.
    Ramiro Pena’s competition is Kevin Russo.

  24. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Matt,

    I guess I’m partial to having my primary infield utility guy be a veteran, but I’m sure Pena and Russo could do the job. You just can’t teach situational experience.

  25. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    And I have no confidence in Logan (I’m probably being unfair), and sincerely hope that the Marte we saw in the playoffs is the Marte we get during this season.

  26. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    For years, the Yankees used multi-positional catchers, carrying as many as three on a roster. Berra, Howard and Blanchard all caught and played corner outfield spots as well as first base. Munson had quite a few games in the outfield. It’s good insurance to have the versatility, especially in WS and interleague games.

    As far as Romine goes, he has the footspeed and athleticism to pull it off, and, he has a chance to have an outstanding bat. As far as Sanchez, Higashioka and Murphy go, I have no comment because I have never seen them play.

  27. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Filter ate my post.

    Montero, Romine and Cervelli sounds like a good trio to have for 2 catching positions and 1 DH spot for the next several years, starting 2011.

    Cervelli reminds me of a young Girardi.

  28. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    DaSaint007
    January 29th, 2010 at 6:50 pm
    Filter ate my post.

    Montero, Romine and Cervelli sounds like a good trio to have for 2 catching positions and 1 DH spot for the next several years, starting 2011.

    ***************************
    I’m all for that if it means Cervelli is sticking around ;)

  29. Joe from Long Island January 29th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    DaSaint – From what I’ve read, Logan does his best work against LH batters, and gets into trouble when you try to extend him to face RH hitters. Somewhat like Marte in that regard.

    That’s OK, as long as you accept that. Having two guys like that, and righty pitchers in the pen, allows you to mix and match multiple times, late in the game.

  30. S.o.S. January 29th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Why is Chads name not in bold?

    Assuming Montero is that once in a decade special talent at the plate. Why not have him switch positions so he doesnt get that wear and tear that most catchers get. He’s obviously not trade bait, so its not like we are worried about his stock dropping.

  31. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    They should discontinue the “Cody Ransom type.”

  32. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Green Beret 7 -

    Do you think that was because there was no DH at the time, though? In order to keep Berra’s bat in the lineup and give him a rest, he’d have to play another p osition. Also, there were a lot of scheduled doubleheaders, and Berra or catchers in the pre-DH era could catch one game and still play the second game without having to catch if they could play another position.

  33. ko January 29th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    The Yankees won 14 pennants in 16 years with guys like Berra, Howard and Blanchard playing the outfield. It can be done. I’d rather keep a good young hitter like Montero and Romine than roll the dice and start trading them around. Because they catch, you know they have a good arm. Also, you hate to waste good hitters behind the plate. They get heavy legged and hurt and age quickly. (Posada is obviously an exception – who proves the rule and who knows when he’ll start acting his age?). Right field is small in Yankee Stadium. A lot of slower types have done well out there in the past. Montero is worth giving a long look in right. Romine has some speed – he’s a candidate for Left Field – particularly if you don’t sign Crawford. Also, I’d love to see a progress report from Mark Newman on some of the young pitchers: Melancon, McAllister, Nova, Garcia, Horne, Betances, Heredia, Brackman, Bleich, Banuelos and Venditte.

  34. Joe from Long Island January 29th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Watching MLBNetwork while dinner is cooking.

    The panel is hitting it on the head. Teams are NOT going after veteran players with big money, because “the game is changing” and they’re not going to get paid for what they did in the past, but what they can do going forward. Low base salaries and incentive-laden contracts is the name of the game now. Whether it’s Johnny Damon or Jermaine Dye.

    I wonder if that change – which Cash has been talking about for a couple of years now – reflects GM tacit admission that PEDs – whether steroids, HGH, or amphetamines – are a thing of the past.

  35. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:09 pm
    Green Beret 7 -

    Do you think that was because there was no DH at the time, though? In order to keep Berra’s bat in the lineup and give him a rest, he’d have to play another p osition. Also, there were a lot of scheduled doubleheaders, and Berra or catchers in the pre-DH era could catch one game and still play the second game without having to catch if they could play another position.

    ————————————————————

    Doreen, in the late 50s and early 60s, they used left field a lot like the DH spot because they had no real left fielder.

    Berra was ok, but, believe it or not, Ellie Howard was quite good. He started his career in the old Negro leagues and in the Yankee system as an outfielder. Blanchard wasn’t all that great, but, he could hit and filled in a lot in right field. They’d move Mantle to left and use Maris as the center fielder, which was his original position. It worked well enough to win at least 5 WS titles.

  36. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Berra used to catch 145-150 games a year in the early days, including extra inning and double headers. Not unusual, though.

  37. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    GB7 =

    Sounds like they did what they had to do. Offense is king!!!

    Was watching a good part of the Baseball history on MLB last night which focused on Babe Ruth.

    But they also had a bit on the Negro Leagues which I always find fascinating.

    I love that series, but I was saying to my husband that you have to watch it a few times and catch a little bit more each time. It’s so low key, it unfortunately puts me to sleep. :?

  38. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    GB7 -

    150 games out of a 154 game season? Plus WS. Not bad for Yogi.

  39. Matt January 29th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Saint :

    Experience is always good but with Cashman’s budget restictions, the better utility types were not in range.
    I’ll bet that given a choice, Joe Girardi will feel better with Pena or Russo than he would with Ransom and Berroa.
    One year of more AAA experience can make a difference plus the help of infield / 1st base coach Mick Kelleher.
    If it gets to it, the 7/31 trading deadline can be put to use.

  40. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Oh, my point about Babe Ruth. How he changed the focus to offense. I found it interesting that they said in prior times when hitters seemed to have an advantage, or caught up with the pitchers, they would make adjustments so the game could be kept “small.” But Ruth came along in the wake of the Black Sox scandal and his homeruns kept people coming to the parks who might otherwise have been too disillusioned to go to games.

    It put me in mind of 1998 and McGwire and Sosa kind of re-invigorating the game and baseball turning its collective back on possible PEDs (which we now know was for sure).

    So baseball has a history of allowing things to happen which ordinarily they would not have in order to save the profitability and popularity of the game.

    However, even in view of this, what could they possibly have done to stop Ruth from hitting his mammoth HRs short of rebuilding ballparks or putting up walls in the outfield?

  41. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:22 pm
    GB7 -

    150 games out of a 154 game season? Plus WS. Not bad for Yogi.

    ————————————————————

    Berra never really looked like a ball player, much less one that was fast, but, he was a lot faster than he got credit for, and lightning quick behind the plate….as was Howard. Howard just wasn’t fast, but, he could track fly balls in the outfield.

  42. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    GB7 -

    True, Berra looks about as much like a ballplayer as I do! :lol: I wonder how he would be scouted today?

  43. Neil January 29th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    GreenBeret7
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:20 pm
    Berra used to catch 145-150 games a year in the early days, including extra inning and double headers. Not unusual, though.

    ““““““““““““““`
    Back in those days, Charlie Silvera and Ralph Houk were collecting full WS checks almost every year for catching maybe once every 10 days or spelling Yogi late in games.

  44. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Neil,

    Did they do anything else?

  45. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Doreen, Ken Burns’ Baseball series is incredible, even though I’ve seen it 15 times at least. Amazon.com has two other great series called “The Golden Age Of Baseball” and “When It Was A Game”. Both are worth the cost for lovers of baseball history. Of course, few things top the “Yankeeographies” for Yankee fans. I love that stuff. another thing to check out are the books: Yankee Encyclopedia and History Of The New York Yankees. great coffee table books.

  46. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    GB7 -

    I have the Yankee Encyclopedia ( or maybe it’s the History of the New YOrk Yankees – it’s downstairs). I’m thinking it might be worthwhile to purchase Ken Burns’ Baseball for the reason I stated before. I can only watch so much before I fall asleep. (Just iike the Civil War series).

    The research and information is so incredible, but the presentation is, well, low-key. The music, the narration, are very soothing. And they mostly put them on at night. Not a good combo. If I had it in my library I could watch it when I more awake. :lol: :lol:

  47. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:33 pm
    GB7 -

    True, Berra looks about as much like a ballplayer as I do! I wonder how he would be scouted today?

    ————————————————————

    They’d never even talk to him.

    True story: When the scout signed Berra and he first went to Yankee Stadium, he was in his Navy uniform. The scout said to GM Ed Barrow, “I know he doesn’t look like much of a ball player, but, he can hit.” Barrow said, “Ballplayer? Hell, he doesn’t even look like much of a sailor.”

  48. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    GB7 -

    That’s a funny story.

    Didn’t Phil Rizzuto have a similar issue?

  49. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:43 pm
    GB7 -

    I have the Yankee Encyclopedia ( or maybe it’s the History of the New YOrk Yankees – it’s downstairs). I’m thinking it might be worthwhile to purchase Ken Burns’ Baseball for the reason I stated before. I can only watch so much before I fall asleep. (Just iike the Civil War series).

    The research and information is so incredible, but the presentation is, well, low-key. The music, the narration, are very soothing. And they mostly put them on at night. Not a good combo. If I had it in my library I could watch it when I more awake.

    ————————————————————

    I have the Civil War series, too and watch it all the time. There’s one portion in there that will tear you up. It’s a letter from Major Sullivan Ballow of the Rhode Island Volunteers to his wife, Sarah.

    “July 14,1861
    Camp Clark, Washington DC

    Dear Sarah:

    The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days – perhaps tomorrow. And lest I should not be able to write you again I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I am no more.

    I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing – perfectly willing – to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt.

    Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence can break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield. The memory of all the blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me, and I feel most deeply grateful to God and you, that I have enjoyed them for so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes and future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and see our boys grown up to honorable manhood around us.

    If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you, nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name…

    Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have sometimes been!…

    But, 0 Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they love, I shall always be with you, in the brightest day and in the darkest night… always, always. And when the soft breeze fans your cheek, it shall be my breath, or the cool air your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

    Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again…

    Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the 1st Battle of Bull Run.

  50. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Check out Ken Burns’ series on jazz if you like music.

  51. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    GB7 =

    What a letter!

    Now, there’s a lost art.

    I’m not feeling well, and so today I just sat and watched “The Notebook,” the movie. Letters played prominently in that one.

    I remember writing letters to friends and family when I was a pre-teen. I used to love writing them and mostly I loved receiving them.

    Not like e-mail or tweets or whatever. Not just 140 characters saying vapid things. There was something about sitting with a pen and paper and you poored your feelings onto paper.

    That letter that you copied above – that bared his soul.

    I didn’t know Burns did a series on Jazz. Hmm.

  52. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    GB7 -

    That’s a funny story.

    Didn’t Phil Rizzuto have a similar issue?

    ————————————————————

    Not sure, but when Stengel was managing for the Dodgers, Rizzuto went for a tryout and Stengel gave him a dollar and told him to go buy a shoeshine box.

  53. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Well, no, you POURED your feelings onto the paper. Sheesh. I used to know how to spell, I swear it!

  54. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    GB7 =

    What a letter!

    Now, there’s a lost art.

    I’m not feeling well, and so today I just sat and watched “The Notebook,” the movie. Letters played prominently in that one.

    I remember writing letters to friends and family when I was a pre-teen. I used to love writing them and mostly I loved receiving them.

    Not like e-mail or tweets or whatever. Not just 140 characters saying vapid things. There was something about sitting with a pen and paper and you poored your feelings onto paper.

    That letter that you copied above – that bared his soul.

    I didn’t know Burns did a series on Jazz. Hmm.

    ————————————————————

    I can’t remember who did the voiceover when that letter was read, but, it was amazing. You’re right, though, writing real letters for the mail is a long lost art, and, nobody writes letters that reads like poetry as this one does.

    You’ll love Burns’ jazz series. I enjoyed watching “The Notebook”. Great movie. Then, too, I loved “Bridges Of Madison County”. Both book and movie. Robert James Waller, the author, also did of CD and sang the songs from the movie. Really good stuff for a rainy day.

  55. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:00 pm
    Well, no, you POURED your feelings onto the paper. Sheesh. I used to know how to spell, I swear it!

    ————————————————————

    It’ll all come back to you when you aren’t posting replies to me. Something in the filters, I think.

  56. Boston Dave XXVII January 29th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    off topic, but I believe Bryce Harper is going to be in the 2010 MLB draft, right?

    Very wishful thinking (since he’s possibly if not probably the #1 pick overall), but he wants to be a Yankee, I want him to be a Yankee… it works!

    Perhaps Boras will be able to scare off teams so that he falls into the Yanks’ laps at 32.

  57. steveoh January 29th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    # Betsy – Romine wasn’t built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Stuckey, let’s assume Montero is a keeper at C. Romine is their next best C prospect – he may be their next best prospect in the systeme. Are they going to make him a backup C ? I guess I don’t see why they can’t convert him to an OF?

    Your point about prospects reading websites is well-taken. I was just puzzled as to why Newman threw cold water on the idea of converting any of them to the OF.

    It’s best to keep minor league players at the most valuable position they are able to play well. Valuable being P, C, SS, 2B, CF, etc. You don’t turn Romine into a corner OF or 1B if he is good at C. If there is no room for him, then he has the most trade value as a C.

  58. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Boston Dave XXVII
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:10 pm
    off topic, but I believe Bryce Harper is going to be in the 2010 MLB draft, right?

    Very wishful thinking (since he’s possibly if not probably the #1 pick overall), but he wants to be a Yankee, I want him to be a Yankee… it works!

    Perhaps Boras will be able to scare off teams so that he falls into the Yanks’ laps at 32.

    ————————————————————

    Not sure Boras can scare off the other 29 teams that long. All reports is that he is a bigtime hitter, but, catching is weak. I’ll chip in to pay for some of that bat, though.

  59. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Having a right fielder with Romine’s bat would be great to have in two years and a lot cheaper than Swisher’s will be.

  60. Boston Dave XXVII January 29th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    GB7,

    no doubt… I was watching some video of him crushing HR at Tropicana Field, albeit with an aluminum bat, and it reminded me of him.

    He sent one 502 feet to center – and he was 16 years old when he did it.

    From MLBTradeRumors:

    * He hit the longest home run in Tropicana Field history, at 502 feet.

    * He’s reportedly hit balls as far as 570 feet.

    * His throws have been clocked at 96 mph.

    * He’s fast enough to have scored from second on six wild pitches this year.

  61. Phil the Thrill January 29th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    The Yanks may be wrapping up the AAA signings, but they’re not done with the IFA’s.

  62. Boston Dave XXVII January 29th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    For those who don’t know Bryce “the Lebron James of baseball” Harper… here’s a good article on him.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c...../index.htm

    His dream is to be in the Hall of Fame while…. drumroll…

    playing in the pinstripes! :)

  63. Neil January 29th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Doreen
    January 29th, 2010 at 7:37 pm
    Neil,

    Did they do anything else?

    “““““““““““
    Yes. Warming up relievers in the bullpen. Back then the Yankees didn’t hire special bullpen catchers.

  64. Nick in SF January 29th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Bryce Harper can wake up and smell the coffee too. No soup for you! :mad:

  65. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Boston Dave XXVII
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:18 pm
    GB7,

    no doubt… I was watching some video of him crushing HR at Tropicana Field, albeit with an aluminum bat, and it reminded me of him.

    He sent one 502 feet to center – and he was 16 years old when he did it.

    From MLBTradeRumors:

    * He hit the longest home run in Tropicana Field history, at 502 feet.

    * He’s reportedly hit balls as far as 570 feet.

    * His throws have been clocked at 96 mph.

    * He’s fast enough to have scored from second on six wild pitches this year.

    ————————————————————

    I say that the NYYs change his name, teaches him how to speak Spanish and move him to the Dominican Republic and sign him as an International Free Agent.

  66. Abe PECOTA January 29th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    the Yanks have finally decided to stop paying the “New York premium”. Good to hear.

    It was understandable w/CC.

    Damon, though, this go around? Not so much.

  67. Phil the Thrill January 29th, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Sanchez and Nunez the younger, have crazy power. Nunez was a portly kid who worked like crazy to get in better shape and lose the babyfat and it’s really paid off. They have a lot of really intriguing power hitters at the lower levels.

  68. Joe from Long Island January 29th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Back from dinner –

    GB7 – I’ve always loved Civil War history. I remember that segment of Burns’ doc, where that letter is read. It is one of the most riveting moments I’ve seen on TV.

    Just riveting on so many levels. Just like the Civil War itself.

  69. Dave January 29th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    “Speaking of power, here’s a name to remember: First baseman Reymond Nunez hit 10 homers in 59 Dominican Summer League games last season. He’s 19 years old, and Newman said he hit a home run a few days ago at the minor league complex that bounced onto the Dale Mabry Highway. For those who have never been out there, trust me, that’s insane.”

    According to Google Earth, it’s 577 feet from home plate to Dale Mabry Highway.

  70. Rich, Denver January 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    The only way the Yankees sign Harper is if Boris tells teams he wants a 30 million dollar signing bonus. Harper is only 17, so he can go back into the draft for a couple of years, maybe teams will shy away? Hopefully there will be no after affects from the Damon negotiations, but then again when it comes to Boris Inc. money talks and b/s walks!

  71. tom t January 30th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I’m very excited about some of the talent bubbling up from the farm system and I understand why the Yankees are trying to leave a few holes on their roster for the young’uns.

    My read on Montera is that he’s a standout hitting talent, but behind cervelli in terms of defense and game-calling. The last bit is no small matter – as Posada found out when dealing with Burnett – and that begs the question of where Montero will eventually end up. The infield is locked up, so only the corner outfield positions and/or DH are open to him, if he can’t squeeze past Cervelli for the backup spot. Does he have the legs for the outfield?

    I take the Yankees at their word that the DH is where the veterans get a rest, while taking advantage of their bats. With Jeter, Posada, A-Rod, Cano, Teixera, Swisher, Winn, Gardner and Granderson around, who needs a full-time DH?

    If that were the case, Matsui or Damon will still be on the roster, especially after their post-season performances.

    Unless he’s ready to play everyday in the majors – and that means corner outfield while Posada’s around – the Yankees would probably rather Montero stay in the minors a little longer to get his skill set together, rather than leave him on the bench or expose him to cranky, veteran pitchers before his time.

    But if he’s just a killer bat, he’ll eventually end up as trade bait. He’ll hang around long enough to prove he’s a major league hitter, but without the ability to take a front-line, fielding position – on a team of all-stars – he’s ultimately trade bait.

    Yankees are right to want young players who can play in the field. Killer bats that can’t field usually fade out young, unless they the second coming of Gary Sheffield. The majors are filled with good bats who are fielding liabilities and their price is falling like the stock market.

    My guess? Cervelli has proven himself on the major league level as a backup catcher with a semi-decent bat. Romine is a year away. Barring a breakout spring training that forces the Yankees hand, Montero will start in AAA and, unless he’s totally blowing the doors off down there, he won’t come up unless somebody in the outfield or one of the catchers goes down. Even then, someone else may come up if its not one of the catchers.

    All the buzz on Nunez is very exciting, but he won’t see the majors until next september, at the earliest. And all those guys they signed to minor league deals – including draft pick, Jamie Hoffman – are emergency reservists and/or minor league role models for the young’un’s. I wish them all the best in their future coaching careers. They won’t see much time in the majors. Not with the Yankees at least.

  72. RMR January 30th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Chad – I am lapping up all of this information. Many thanks. This blog just gets better.

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  74. TL January 31st, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Any noise at all about a possible Swisher trade? Something to consider would be to trade Swisher, move Winn to RF, and use Swisher’s $ to bring back Damon. Would you rather have an outfield of D Gr W or Gr Ga Sw? I would prefer the former, slightly. That could change with a significant progression by Gardner. It also lengthens the lineup significantly when you can move Johnson down to the 6-7 part of town. Swisher is a below average right fielder and despite his overall stats, he does tend to K meekly in a LOT of big situations. And I think his over the top and needy personality will eventually wear out his welcome there? Which outfield would you prefer and why?

  75. brad rabern January 31st, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    What has become of Humberto Sanchez? Also what international free agents are the Yankees still engaged with? I heard they were interested in Edgar Ferreira, but he has signed with Houston. Any word on the latest two Cubans Yadel Marti and Yasser Gomez?

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