You expect a few slow news days in the offseason, especially on the weekends, so this winter I thought Sunday mornings might be a good time to do week-in-review posts. It would be a chance to look back before starting a new week, a chance to make sure you didn’t miss anything significant.
But until now, those week-in-review posts haven’t had much to review.
Last week, the winter changed for the Yankees. It started like any other week, with some vague speculation and not much substance. Then we were all hit with a double dose of pitching, with the Yankees trading for Michael Pineda and signing Hiroki Kuroda. Suddenly the team’s thin rotation is overflowing, and it’s full lineup has room for another bat. Things have changed for the Yankees, and they have one bold night to thank for that.
Before we get into the rest of last week, a quick programming note:
I’m going to start doing these week-in-review posts on Sunday nights because our Pinch Hitters series is starting tomorrow morning. I still haven’t contacted all of the people chosen to contribute, but keep an eye out for those emails in the next week or so. As you can imagine, Friday’s moves forced some people to do some significant re-writing of their Pinch Hitter posts, but we’ve got some good stuff lined up. Thanks to everyone who emailed ideas, and to those of you who have already done some fine work.
That’s what’s coming up next week, here’s what happened last week:
• For offseason news, nothing trumps last week’s trade. Brian Cashman has admitted that giving up Jesus Montero will only be worth it if Michael Pineda develops his changeup and becomes a legitimate top-of-the-rotation starter.
• Only a trade as significant as the Montero deal could make a $10-million deal with Hiroki Kuroda seem secondary.
• Before the Pineda and Kuroda moves, Edwin Jackson was briefly the biggest Yankees story of the week. His agent, Scott Boras, met with Hal Steinbrenner, but the Yankees obviously had their eyes elsewhere.
• Minor news that was hard to miss: The Yankees signed Don Mattingly’s son to a minor league deal without an invitation to big league camp.
• Hard to imagine the Yankees making a push for him, but Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes started playing in the Dominican Winter League playoffs to showcase himself to interested big league organizations. The Marlins are reportedly very interested.
• After a few days of speculation, Bartolo Colon finally chose a team, agreeing to a one-year deal with Oakland. That one just happened today.
• The Yankees brought back Rick Down to be their roving minor league hitting instructor. That job opened when James Rowson took the same position with the Cubs.
• YES Network was once again named the most-watched regional sports network in the country, and the numbers are fairly overwhelming. Once again, congrats to everyone over there. They do a terrific job.
• Kevin Long came up to Westchester this weekend to give a hitting clinic for kids in Port Chester. No truth to the rumor that every single kid asked for the “Granderson treatment.”
• Baseball-wide, Bud Selig’s contract extension was one of the biggest news items of the week. He’ll continue running the league through at least 2014.
• Lastly, one more word of congratulations to Barry Larkin for becoming the newest member of the Hall of Fame. Bernie Williams got only moderate support in his first year on the ballot, and Mattingly did not take a significant step forward.
Associated Press photos