The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Back to work after a slow week of vacation

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 31, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Last time I went on vacation, I returned with a day full of posts about the things I’d missed. Today, I’m back on the clock, having missed the normally quiet week of Christmas. And as expected, there wasn’t a whole lot going on last week. Here are a few things I missed, some of which are bigger stories than others.

Hideki Matsui retired
I never really got to know Matsui. I covered him a little bit at the end of 2009, and I’ve been in some group interviews with him the past three years, but my time on the beat didn’t really line up with his time in the Bronx. That said, I’ve been around long enough to know just how thoroughly Matsui was respected as a player and a person. Derek Jeter has always gone out of his way to speak highly of him as a teammate, and my reporter friends have said Matsui was overwhelmingly kind and remarkably generous in the clubhouse. My only in-person memories involve his remarkable 2009 postseason, but that’s honestly not what I thought of when I read about Matsui’s retirement. I thought about all the stories I’ve heard about him, and how fortunate the Yankees and baseball have been that such an international superstar managed to remained such a kind and classy man.

The Yankees signed Matt Diaz
Get this out of the way first: It’s a minor league deal. The risk here is remarkably low, and Diaz isn’t going to keep the Yankees from going after someone else. He’ll come to camp with a chance to earn his way onto the roster. That alone makes it a worthwhile signing. Is it a good signing? Too early to say. Diaz fits as a right-handed corner outfielder — exactly what the Yankees are looking for — but his production has slipped considerably the past two years. That said, his numbers against lefties have continued to show a little bit of promise, and if he can stay healthy and get back to his 2010 form (.510 slugging vLHP) the Yankees could have a valuable platoon bat. In the past few years, they’ve had a lot of success with this sort of signing. Low risk. Solid potential.

The Red Sox traded for Joel Hanrahan
The basics of this deal had been reported for several days, but it became official last week. And former Yankees reliever Mark Melancon was part of the trade (he’s now gone from New York to Houston to Boston to Pittsburgh). It was all part of the on-going rebuilding effort in Boston, where Hanrahan adds some punch to the bullpen. It was also part of the still-looking-for-stability process for Melancon, who could thrive with a move back to the National League. Based on what I saw from him in Triple-A, I’ve always expected Melancon to eventually put things together and find some consistency in the big leagues. It certainly didn’t happen for him in New York or in Boston.

Andruw Jones was arrested
It happened in the early hours of Christmas morning. It was a battery charge, reportedly connected to a domestic dispute with his wife. It’s not a good situation. Every once in a while we get a glimpse into an athlete’s private life, and the view isn’t very good. I only know what I’ve read, so I really can’t add anything, but it’s not the kind of story that anyone enjoys reading or writing.

The Mariners designated D.J. Mitchell for assignment
Half of what the Yankees gave up last summer’s Ichiro Suzuki trade, Mitchell was DFA to open a Seattle roster spot for Raul Ibanez (plenty of Yankees connections in this one!). I don’t know enough about the Mariners 40-man roster to say whether Mitchell should or should not have been the guy to go, but I was somewhat surprised if only because he nice Triple-A numbers after last summer’s trade (and a 2.96 ERA through 48.2 innings of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League shouldn’t be totally dismissed). That said, I can’t imagine the Yankees would be interested in claiming him, if only because their own 40-man is already overcrowded with fringy prospects.

There are new batting practice caps
I know a lot of people really care about this stuff — including a lot of my fellow writers — but I’m actually not one of them. It’s just not my thing. If I buy a cap, I lean toward the more traditional designs, including a go-to University of Missouri cap that’s about as basic as they come. Some of these new designs look cool. Some look terrible. I tend to think any Yankees cap other than the basic looks odd, but that’s just my taste. If you’re into the alternatives, go nuts. I promise not to judge.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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56 Responses to “Back to work after a slow week of vacation”

  1. MTU December 31st, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Happy Holidays Chad.

    Welcome back.

    Thanks for all the hard work.

    :)

  2. Bronx Jeers December 31st, 2012 at 9:23 am

    The new BP Yankee cap is great because when you grab the white bill with your dirty, sweaty hands you’ll pretty much need to buy a new one.

  3. blake December 31st, 2012 at 9:33 am

    “That said, I can’t imagine the Yankees would be interested in claiming him, if only because their own 40-man is already overcrowded with fringy prospects.”

    You might could argue that Mitchell is better than some of the current fringy prospects the Yanks have…..

  4. Shame Spencer December 31st, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I want you all to know my commitment to Team Greedy increased ten fold last night – as I watch mediocrity bound up and down the field, the fire in my belly began to burn anew.

    We now have less than 6 weeks for Cash to make that stealth move many-a-posters are expecting. I would love to have Giancarlo, Upton, or Santana before this season begins.

    In other news, I’ve been watching Mad Men during my vacation and am terribly unsure why I’m supposed to treat this show like one of the greatest to ever air on the television. Thoughts?

  5. Shame Spencer December 31st, 2012 at 9:51 am

    @Faux_TimTebow

    Q: How do you say Tony Romo in Spanish?

    A: Mark Sanchez.

  6. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 10:07 am

    The Marlins say they will listen to offers for Stanton.

    I sure hope Cashman and the Yankees go all out to land a player of this caliber, at just 23, could be a huge player for another 12-15 years.

    Cashman, do whatever is necessary to make it happen, give them Granderson, paying 90% of his salary if necessary, or Hughes plus, just DO IT!

  7. blake December 31st, 2012 at 10:13 am

    The marlins would have no interest in Granderson or Hughes….they aren’t gonna be good for years and both of those guys are FAs to be.

    To have any chance at Giancarlo you’re looking at probably 3 of the top 5 prospects plus maybe a couple of controlled big league pieces like maybe nova or Gardner…..and even that might not be enough.

    Honestly Texas might be the only team with enough to get Stanton…..

  8. Ys Guy December 31st, 2012 at 10:14 am

    On this last day of the year, I want to compliment Chad for en excellent year of blogging. In the past i have been critical of several aspects of the blog, but Chad blew pretty much all of my objections away during the couse of 2012.

    Chad made the switch this year from putting info on the blog to blogging. Posts are full of observations and personal opinions along with all the excellent coverage of the basic stuff which he always covered in his newspaper pieces so well.

    As a former critic, i just want to say thank you for your great work this year Chad and keep it coming!

  9. Frankg December 31st, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Matt Diaz could be the Lou Pinella of this generation, a pure hitter who understands how to play the game. Could be a brilliant move.

  10. Duh Innings II December 31st, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I think the Yanks will be fine going into 2013.

    Their rotation is set: Sabathia (ace), Kuroda (solid #2), Pettitte (#3 closer to #2 than #4), Hughes (solid #3), and either Nova (#4 with #3 potential) or Phelps (#5) where I think it’ll be Nova.

    Their bullpen is set: Rivera, Robertson, Chamberlain, Aardsma, Logan, Rapada, and I’ll say Eppley although it could be someone they already have.

    Romine is a question mark but I think he’ll do fine. Teixiera is more than capable of having a bounceback season. Cano will be a lock for a very good season. Youkilis might surprise us. Jeter is Jeter. Granderson can only do better from his putrid BA and OBP and I’m more than happy with say .260/.340/.5XX with 30-35 HR, 90-110 RBI, and perhaps 20-30 SB from him. Gardner is more than capable of posting a .360-.390 OBP and 50 SB season I would be thrilled with from the #9 slot. Suzuki has a long enough track record where he could post a .280 BA, .350 OBP with 20-30 SB. Nunez makes hits enough, makes enough contact, and steals enough bases where I think he’ll be a good DH to start the season.

    The bench could use some work but it’s closer to solid than bad. Defense, folks. The ’08 team didn’t make the postseason because of their pitching, not a bad bench.

    Alot of you forgot that the Yanks could and most likely will add a bat or two before the trading deadline and who says they couldn’t pull off a trade or two? It’s only New Year’s Eve.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled off a blockbuster trade involving Cano, Hughes, Granderson, or any two of them.

    If the ’08 team could win 89 games with putrid starting pitching outside of Mussina and the 31 starts made by Wang (15), Chamberlain (12), and Aceves (4), the ’13 Yankees will win at least 90 games but I think they’ll win 95-100.

    The loss of Swisher and Martin is overblown. Spare me about Ibanez and Soriano. Mo is Mo until he proves otherwise.

  11. blake December 31st, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Yes …thanks chad for all the work

  12. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Welcome back Chad. You missed little.

    This week will likely be the same. Is the team finished it’s moves for 2013? I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

    The team as constitued could win or it could fade quickly depending upon health. Jeter and Mo have to be up to their usual standards or we’ve got serious problems.

    Expecting Granderson to hit .260? I believe that is more of a wish than an expectation for most of us. Same for Gardner and a .360-.390 OBP.

    Defense? The outfield looks good, but the left side of the infield has little range. Catcher? Who even knows who it will be.

    Many things have to go right to win 95 games. I would say the odds are very much against it.

  13. DonCapone December 31st, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I’m surprised I haven’t heard any rumors about Juan Rivera. He’s a free agent–surely he’s better than Diaz? Plus, Rivera has Yankee roots.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6805

  14. 86w183 December 31st, 2012 at 10:42 am

    My guess is Juan Rivera may have overpriced himself to this point. I’d like him if the $$$ are right.

    Blake, I think the Yankees DO have enough to get Stanton. But would they offer up a package of Gardner and Nova PLUS Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez and David Adams with some pitching to seal the deal?

    I wouldn’t give up that much, but I’d be willing to come close. Maybe 2/3 of that package plus eating the Nolasco contract for 2014.

  15. rickc December 31st, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Welcome back Chad. Hope you had a happy holiday.

  16. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Rivera’s OPS for 2012 was .661, nearly .100 points below average and that is for a corner outfielder. He looks to me like a guy on a big downhill slide. That said, he is about as good as any of the one year guys still out there.

    I’d rather try Mustelier as he might trend in the right direction. I see Rivera as a player likely to be released during the season.

    With respect to Stanton, who wouldn’t love to have him? But, he fills only one spot. They cannot, in my view, trade 4-5 of their better young players and prospects. Those trades players will likely need to fill a number of spots in the next 2-3 years.

    I would change my mind if we could exchange Granderson or even Cano for a good package of young player(s).

  17. blake December 31st, 2012 at 10:58 am

    “I wouldn’t give up that much, but I’d be willing to come close. Maybe 2/3 of that package plus eating the Nolasco contract for 2014.”

    There isn’t much I wouldn’t trade for Stanton to be honest…..

  18. 86w183 December 31st, 2012 at 10:59 am

    It would be a first for the Yanks to deal a proven veteran for a kid.

    I’d be more interested in moving Cano for Espinosa or Rendon and Morse plus maybe a pitcher or Granderson in a deal for Giants’ young catcher Hector Sanchez or something involving Mark Trumbo.

    Those deals could improve the Yanks this year AND into the future.

  19. blake December 31st, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Id probably be willing to say pick 3 prospects….one of Gardner, Nova, Phelps, and I’ll take Nolasco. Still Texas could trump that rather easily if they wanted

  20. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:02 am

    “I’d be more interested in moving Cano for Espinosa or Rendon and Morse plus maybe a pitcher or Granderson in a deal for Giants’ young catcher Hector Sanchez or something involving Mark Trumbo.

    Those deals could improve the Yanks this year AND into the future.”

    Way too outside the box for the Yanks…..if the Nats would gimmi Epinosa, Rendon , and maybe Matt Skole then Id give them Cano….not sure the Nats would give that much and I really don’t think the Yabks would trade cano

  21. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I believe if the Yankees lose out on Stanton, he’ll wind up a Red Sox, and we’ll be very sorry we didn’t make a deal every time we play them.

  22. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:10 am

    BIG AL says:
    December 31, 2012 at 11:08 am
    I believe if the Yankees lose out on Stanton, he’ll wind up a Red Sox, and we’ll be very sorry we didn’t make a deal every time we play them.

    I don’t think Boston had enough either….they’d have to totally hit their system to even have a chance.

    Texas is the only club that can give what it’d take without hurting their future

  23. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 11:10 am

    blake -

    Keep in mind, prospects are just that, not proven MLB players, Stanton is a proven MLB star, and in my opinion, he’s worth giving up 3 top prospects for, plus either a Nova or Phelps.

  24. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:15 am

    “Keep in mind, prospects are just that, not proven MLB players, Stanton is a proven MLB star, and in my opinion, he’s worth giving up 3 top prospects for, plus either a Nova or Phelps.”

    Which is why I kinda doubt either Ny or Boston can get him

  25. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I suspect we fans are the only ones talking about Stanton in Yankeeland. The front office is likely focusing on picking up a possible bench player.

  26. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 11:19 am

    mac -

    It’s been reported the Yankees are talking to the Marlins. I hope it turns out to be more than just talk.

  27. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I’d tell the Marlins, pick any 3 prospects you want, plus either Nova or Phelps and add Gardner, and we get Stanton. That’s a very sweet package, and more than they got in their big fire sale to the Blue Jays.

  28. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Al,

    I haven’t seen that report. Let’s hope it is true. Such an acquisition, which I believe to be a remote possiblity, would transform the level of excitement heading into the season. He could well be the next big thing in NY.

  29. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:28 am

    “I’d tell the Marlins, pick any 3 prospects you want, plus either Nova or Phelps and add Gardner, and we get Stanton. That’s a very sweet package, and more than they got in their big fire sale to the Blue Jays.”

    Problem is that all the prospects are in A ball…..I kinda doubt the marlins would deal him for guys that far away.

    Honestly I think Upton should cost less to aquire and I actually think he has more overall upside than Stanton does.

    Stanton is an offensive monster….but Upton can be as well and he plays plus defense and can steal bases…..plus Giancarlo’s knee concerns me at least a little.

    Of course Giancarlo is very cheap money wise which now matters…..

  30. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:29 am

    If given the choice of trading 2 of the top guys for Upton or all 4 for Giancarlo then is rather deal less for Upton.

    Scott Hairston is more likely than either sadly

  31. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 11:31 am

    austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 11:25 am
    Al,

    I haven’t seen that report. Let’s hope it is true. Such an acquisition, which I believe to be a remote possiblity, would transform the level of excitement heading into the season. He could well be the next big thing in NY.

    ***********************************************************
    Stanton would easily fill the gap when Granderson leaves, (HR) and be an impact player for 12-15 years in NY. If the FO wants to create excitement with the fan base, fill more seats, and increase the overall value of the team, this one player could do just that. Do whatever it takes, if not, that will once more prove this FO is not committed to winning, but rather just being competitive.

  32. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 11:33 am

    blake -

    I disagree, Stanton is, and in my opinion, will continue to be a much bigger force in all aspects of the game throughtout his career.

    JU is a good player, Stanton is a great player.

  33. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:34 am

    If the Yanks aquired Giancarlo or Upton then they’d actually be able to afford to sign Cano and stay on budget most likely…..because their 3/4 hitters would be set for a long time

  34. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:36 am

    “JU is a good player, Stanton is a great player.”

    They both are potentially great players. Upton should cost less to get though

  35. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Blake,

    I presume Hairston is still unsigned because he wants too much money or multiple years. It seems unlikely the Yankees do another multi year deal for a platoon player. Of course, I didn’t think they would do one for Ichiro either.

  36. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Justin Upton is one of the most talented players ever drafted….he has nearly as much raw power as Stanton and he can run and play plus defense as well…..

    I think Stanton will hit more homers….and provide more offensive production maybe….but overall value if they both reach their ceilings should be close…. They are both awesome

  37. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Is like to see them trade for Upton then deal Granderson or Gardner for max return

  38. 86w183 December 31st, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams or Tyler Austin and David Adams plus Nova or Phelps.

    If that enough for Stanton AND Nolasco? Close?

  39. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I honestly don’t think the Yanks have enough to get Stanton….so I really haven’t given him much thought…..I think they “might” could get Upton but I’m not even sure of that and Cashman seems kinda hesitant to make a big trade after the Pineda fiasco (can’t blame him )

  40. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “86w183 says:
    December 31, 2012 at 11:42 am
    Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams or Tyler Austin and David Adams plus Nova or Phelps.

    If that enough for Stanton AND Nolasco? Close?”

    You’re giving two A ball prospect…..a fringe 2B/3B prospect and then a back end starter for a 23 year who has almost already hit 100 big league homers……Id say no

  41. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Cashman seems kinda hesitant to make a big trade after the Pineda fiasco (can’t blame him )

    ****

    I do not get that sense. I think it is certain fans may be hesitant to make a big trade – but I am not sure I get that sense at all – - – -

  42. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Lost .. ?@LostNYY
    #Yankees have become a very frustrating and dull team to watch play. Hustle and grit are more important than 95W’s just ask the empty seats

    *****

    Well – so much for checking on this guy’s twitter account anymore – - – -

  43. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:49 am

    If I was Jon Daniels Id be all over Stanton….they actually have the players to get him and could go so without wrecking their future.

    Stanton would be unreal in that park

  44. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Whatever trade the Rangers make for the bat – I believe they will leave them enough wiggle room to make a play for their big prize – David Price – - – -

  45. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I do not get that sense. I think it is certain fans may be hesitant to make a big trade – but I am not sure I get that sense at all – – – -”

    I’m just speculating…..if you just dealt your best prospect for guy that immediately tore his labrum then had a DUI while rehabbing wouldn’t you be a bit gun shy on making another big deal?

  46. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:53 am

    The Return of Stoneburner says:
    December 31, 2012 at 11:50 am
    Whatever trade the Rangers make for the bat – I believe they will leave them enough wiggle room to make a play for their big prize – David Price – – – -

    Yea…. Id say they have him on their minds as well….the Rays will probably have to trade him within the next couple of years

  47. blake December 31st, 2012 at 11:55 am

    If you’re Texas and you know the marlins would do this trade : Profar, Olt, Perez for Stanton….. Do you do it? I probably would

  48. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 11:55 am

    blake -

    Not all our top prospects are in A ball. The Marlins might want Manny Banuelos, Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin, Cary Sanchez, Mason Williams, Angelo Gumbs (any 3 of them), plus either Nova or Phelps and Gardner.

    How is this not an outstanding offer? It’s a much better package than they got in the trade with the Jays.

    Assit. GM, Dan Jennings has said he’s heard from the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs and Orioles about wanting Stanton.

  49. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I do not get that sense. I think it is certain fans may be hesitant to make a big trade – but I am not sure I get that sense at all – – – -”

    I’m just speculating…..if you just dealt your best prospect for guy that immediately tore his labrum then had a DUI while rehabbing wouldn’t you be a bit gun shy on making another big deal?

    ******

    I would have Cashman resign from his job – and i think he would say the same – he might even compare a bad trade to Mo blowing a save – you move on and do not let it impact your future decisions because you could be passing on moves that will help the ballclub – if such a GM had such trade PTSD – they would not be in baseball – and Cashman is too much of a long tenured GM to be in that position – imo – it is one thing to say – Hey i want to reduce the cost of my bullpen b/c I am tired of guys like Karsay and Hammond and signing them for their prices and volatile market of the relievers to – I am going to be hesitant to enter into big trades b/c there is risk in every deal – - – -

  50. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Rangers ideal would be acquire the bat to stabilize their offense – and still have enough to be in play for the David Price sweepstakes – - – -I think they view Price as Lee 2.0 – - – -

  51. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I do agree that if you can put Upton and Cano 3 and 4 in the lineup that sets matters up nicely – I am just not sure they can get Upton if the Rangers are involved – - – -

  52. 86w183 December 31st, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Stanton would be unreal in any park.

    Miami’s stadium is no band box.

    Knowing the Marlins’ history high ceiling A and AA prospects are right up their alley.

    I think the most valuable things the Yanks have to offer are relatively inexpensive MLB players like Robertson, Logan, Phelps, Nova, Chamberlain, Nunez and Gardner.

  53. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    If you are the Rangers, would you rather have Price or Stanton? I love Price, but prefer a 23 year old power hitter. Price will be traded, but I don’t think this year. Once any of these guys get traded, it significantly reduces the chance for them ever to become free agents.

  54. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I’m done playing GM, besides, the Yankees never listen to me. :)

  55. blake December 31st, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    “Not all our top prospects are in A ball”

    The best ones are

  56. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Al,

    I listen to you. :) Keep it up.


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