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


Pregame notes: Switching sides

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 08, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A lot of familiar faces in unfamiliar uniforms today.

Travis Hafner is back in Cleveland for the first time since coming to New York. Nick Swisher is playing his first home game for the Indians after four years with the Yankees. Terry Francona is managing Cleveland after eight years in Boston.

“I think (the fan response) will be good,” Hafner said. “The fans have always treated me great. At the same time, I play for the Yankees now, so we’ll see. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be good to be back here playing.”

Swisher and Hafner are each hitting cleanup today.

“I’m so excited to see these guys,” Swisher said. “These guys were a major part of my life for the past four years. I’ve got a lot of friends over there. Still doesn’t mean I don’t want to give it to them, but either way, those guys over there, the city of New York, the New York Yankees organization, I could not have been more honored to be a part of that. The last four years have been amazing, and just trying to take everything that I’ve learned from over there and bring it in here.”

Frankly, the writing was on the wall late last season that neither Swisher nor Hafner would be back with their old teams (and it was more unusual to see Francona in a broadcast booth than in an Indians uniform), so this day — one way or another — was simply a matter of time.

“Not every roster can have a full-time DH,” Hafner said. “There was some interest on both sides but I wasn’t exactly sure how it would play out, if there would be space or whatever. The opportunity with the Yankees came up, I talked to a lot of people and it seemed like a great fit for me with the ballpark and the franchise and having a chance to play with Hall of Famers and really good leaders. It’s something I was looking forward to.”

• One more familiar face will be in uniform tomorrow when the Indians activate Jason Giambi from the disabled list.

• Eduardo Nunez was able to throw when he got to the ballpark today, and at that point, the Yankees put him in the lineup. He still had to try hitting, but early results in the cage were promising. “Little bit (of pain),” Nunez said. “Not 100 percent yet, but I think I can make it today.”

• Similar story for Hiroki Kuroda, who’s said he’s still not quite 100 percent but should be good enough to pitch today. “I think you’ll know fairly quickly if the finger (issue) arises,” Joe Girardi said. “I feel pretty good about it, but I’ll watch his command and that will probably be the telling tale.”

• If Kuroda has trouble early, Adam Warren — not David Phelps — will be the long man. Phelps threw too many pitches on Saturday. Warren is fully rested after pitching five days ago.

• Why Chris Stewart over Francisco Cervelli, especially after Cervelli’s good day yesterday? “Just keeping them both involved,” Girardi said. “I think that’s important. As I said, the first month I’ll play it out. Stewart’s at-bats have been pretty good too. Stewie’s hit the ball pretty hard too. This first time through, I’m kind of giving them the same guys twice so there’s some consistency and you can build off that.”

• Girardi said he still hadn’t gotten a report on what Derek Jeter did today.

• The weather report is a bit spotty here. Could rain right around first pitch, perhaps a little earlier, or it might not rain at all. It’s pretty cloudy here right now. Both teams got through batting practice with no issues.

• This will be the Yankees third Opening Day, having already gone through the ceremonies in New York and Detroit. “We get excited for our home opener,” Girardi said. “Not necessarily somebody else’s.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

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45 Responses to “Pregame notes: Switching sides”

  1. blake April 8th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    blake says:
    April 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm
    It’s hard to understand why the Yankees are willing to break the all time payroll record for 2013 but weren’t willing to spend for more long term options ….230 million bucks is a lot of money too…..why are they ok spending for now but not the future? Do the taxes mean that much?

    The funny thing is that some of the guys they passed on could have actually helped them get the payroll down …..

  2. Mike in Harrisburg April 8th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Kinda surprised the Yanks didn’t move to acquire Giambi…

  3. Bo knows April 8th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Repost

    Either it was a financial decision or the Yanks talent evaluators aren’t very good

    ——————————
    You can’t have it both ways. If Eppley and the troops are bright enough that they can scrounge all these leavings. Make chicken soup out of chicken feathers, then they should be bright enough to assess world class talent.

    I vote the suits. Too many short term decisions.

    Small minds focus on small problems. (Hey, that’s a keeper)

  4. bruceb April 8th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Seems silly risking a less than 100% Nunez today when Nix is the hot hand. OK, so in the long-term he’s going to be the better hitter, but why not wait another day?

  5. Madrugador April 8th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Anyone know how much salary comes off the books at the end of the season?

  6. joecembrale April 8th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Between 70-80M, I think.

  7. Madrugador April 8th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    So that would leave enough to sign Cano only and still get below the $189M self imposed cap?

  8. Russell Munson April 8th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    “You can’t have it both ways. If Eppley and the troops are bright enough that they can scrounge all these leavings. Make chicken soup out of chicken feathers, then they should be bright enough to assess world class talent.”

    I really think they’ve just become way too risk-averse after the Igawa signing and it’s asinine.

  9. Doreen April 8th, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Not just Igawa. Daisuke also did not perform as advertised (and was apparently high maintenance).

    But now that Kuroda has been here and done well, perhaps the next time Japanese pitching phenom becomes available, they’ve got a more balanced outlook.

    too bad ARod’s contract can’t be renegotiated. Sigh.

  10. joecembrale April 8th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I say No to Cano………..

  11. Russell Munson April 8th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    “Anyone know how much salary comes off the books at the end of the season?”

    According to Cot’s baseball contracts they have $232 milllion in obligations this year and $106 million in obligations next year with the following arbitration eligibles.

    Robertson, David
    Gardner, Brett
    Boesch, Brennan
    Kelley, Shawn
    Nix, Jayson
    Nova, Ivan
    Pineda, Michael
    Cervelli, Francisco
    Stewart, Chris

    If Jeter exercises his player option add $5 million as well.

    Not sure how much to give the arbitration guys they tender, maybe $25 million. So they should have closer to $100 million available and no one to spend it on except Cano.

  12. Hassey April 8th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    http://www.nj.com/yankees/inde.....isher.html

  13. Doreen April 8th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    And really if you think about what they’re trying to do with getting under the 189 “cap,” they really can’t take on any injury prone guys, either. We can certainly debate the term, but I think you could agree that there are players that would have been nice to have, but who have had some recent injury history (Beltran, Hamilton).

    Because if they are signed and get injured, then there is an additional cost of replacing them. Like Granderson’s injury has cost them money in Vernon Wells, for instance; ARod’s injury has cost them money in Youkilis; Teixeira’s injury has cost them money in Overbay. And poof, they went from not being the top salaried team to being way over the top yet again.

    So for them to give multiyear contracts to guys who have a possibility of not being to play out their contracts without missing significant time to injury would have been way too risky in terms of the cap.

    You can’t predict injuries to a “t,” of course. Even the healthiest guy can get hit by a pitch on the third pitch of spring training at get their arm broken. But chances are if a guys has missed time over that last several seasons, they’re gonna miss it again. You can’t do anything bout the guys you already have under contract, but you can avoid signing guys who might add to that particular risk.

  14. blake April 8th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    It doesn’t really matter as much what comes off as it does what an actually going to be on and what it’ll cost to fill out a decent roster.

    If the Yanks sign cano then they’ll have around 50 million or a little less to play with most likely….but they’ll have to fill out a whole bunch of roster spots with that money …..like most of the team

  15. Shame Spencer April 8th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Great posts in the last thread, G.Love.

    This is rather sobering, “For under 20 million on the books you could have had Darvish, Soler, & Cespedes. For 25 million total you could add Puig to that. For 30 million you could have all of the above & Aroldis Chapman setting up Mo or in the rotation.”

  16. Mike in Harrisburg April 8th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Yeah that’s a serious chunk of lineup you have to fill out with less average money per spot than a lot of teams.

  17. Shame Spencer April 8th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Also, since GB isn’t here to make the comment.. I’ll go ahead and call that very statement ‘voodoo math’ just for old times sake!

  18. Russell Munson April 8th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    “It doesn’t really matter as much what comes off as it does what an actually going to be on and what it’ll cost to fill out a decent roster.”

    But I don’t think they can plan on filling out their roster via free agency because the free agent markets are getting weaker and weaker.

    I have no idea what their plan is. I’m not sure they really even have one.

  19. joecembrale April 8th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Agree Blake. Figuring it 6 or 7 players making up the 106 and Cano gets 25, that leaves about 58M for 17 or 18 other players.

  20. blake April 8th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Consider that to get under the cap….the actual payroll will need to be closer to 170 than 189….and given its 233 this year that’s lopping 60+ million off…..the players that go have to be replaced so it won’t be easy….and if you want to bring back guys like Kuroda or Pettite then you’ve just made a right situation even tighter unless they are willing to play for a fraction of what they made in 2013 (I doubt players are going to care about Hals budget)

  21. joecembrale April 8th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Yep.

  22. Nick in SF April 8th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    “This is rather sobering, “For under 20 million on the books you could have had…”

    Don’t feel completely sobered by that statement, because we don’t know how factual it is.

  23. Mike in Harrisburg April 8th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Anyone want to take a crack at the 2014 starting lineup with and without Cano?

  24. Madrugador April 8th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Do they really think they are going to fill out the roster with their minor league players next year?

  25. Nick in SF April 8th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Either “Bozos Row and Cano” or “Bozos Row sans Cano” is my fear.

  26. Russell Munson April 8th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    “Do they really think they are going to fill out the roster with their minor league players next year?”

    I’m sure they’re planning on also using next year’s versions of Travis Hafner and Raul Ibanez.

  27. blake April 8th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    With:

    Gardner CF
    Jeter DH
    Cano 2B
    Tulo! SS
    Tex 1B
    Musty 3B
    Austin RF
    Ichiro LF
    Cervelli C

    Without

    Gardner CF
    Jeter DH
    Tulo! SS
    Tex 1B
    Somebody
    Anybody
    Who
    What
    Where

  28. joecembrale April 8th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    You could spend the Cano Money on 3-4 FAs or trades for guys under the age of 30 who hustle at all times, play situational ball and field their positions.

  29. ron April 8th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Arod will be the dh.Jeter does not produce enough to dh.

  30. Nick in SF April 8th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    blake, how did you make Arod disappear for 2014 and have you shared that trick with the FO?

  31. blake April 8th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Arod will be traded and Jete will DH some and play somewhere else after we get Tulo! Of course this is all make believe ….

  32. joecembrale April 8th, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    2014 FAs
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....gents.html
    this is a lot thinner than I thought it would be.

  33. Shame Spencer April 8th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Nick in SF April 8th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    “This is rather sobering, “For under 20 million on the books you could have had…”

    Don’t feel completely sobered by that statement, because we don’t know how factual it is.

    ——————-

    Figured GLove was just using their current AAVs. It’s ~$21.

  34. blake April 8th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Nick in SF says:
    April 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm
    blake, how did you make Arod disappear for 2014 and have you shared that trick with the FO?

    I traded him to Seattle as they needed another DH

  35. Mike in Harrisburg April 8th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    It’s amazing how popular long term contracts have gotten. I guess guys like the idea of being team lifers. I remember when Ripken retired, pundits were proclaiming we’d never see guys staying with one team ever again.

  36. theREALkevin April 8th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    “Just keeping them both involved,” Girardi said. “I think that’s important.”

    Why? Cervelli is clearly outplaying Stewart so far, why not ride the hot hand? Younger, better hitter, and Stewart’s D (his calling card) wasn’t even that good last season. Maybe Stewart reminds Girardi of himself or something, I don’t know. But as of now Cervelli deserves to be getting the bulk of time at catcher. If he keeps up his production and Stewart continues to be mediocre, they need to scrap this 50/50 crap.

  37. Mike in Harrisburg April 8th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    It’s weird to me that Andres Torres is 36 yet Jeff Francouer is only 30.

  38. blake April 8th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Stewart needs to be involved 1 game a week like other back ups

  39. ron April 8th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Not sure about 3b/dh,,but there is no way we can go with only cc,and the rest,a bunch of maybe’s like nova,phelps,pineda,etc…
    There is going to have to be at least one good pitching addition,and even then,it will be a bumpy ride.

    3b,and a rf,or lf will be the 2 positions of need,and a few pitchers.

    In short.Sign a few pitchers,an outfielder,and a 3b,wether it be free agents,trades,or a combination.Maybe one pitcher,an outfielder,and a 3b.

  40. Carly April 8th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Daniel Barbarisi @DanBarbarisi
    Standing O for Travis Hafner as he is introduced in Yankee uniform. He tips his cap to the crowd.

    nice job Cleveland. Puts some Rangers’ fans to shame.

  41. blake April 8th, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Good one at Fenway….Buttholz and Chen matching zeros through 6

  42. Nick in SF April 8th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    “Figured GLove was just using their current AAVs. It’s ~$21.”

    Of course, but the fallacy lies in transferring thethe dollar amounts and exact contracts to the Yankees.

  43. theREALkevin April 8th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    “Stewart needs to be involved 1 game a week like other back ups”

    Ya exactly…

  44. RMS April 8th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Cervelli is clearly outplaying Stewart so far, why not ride the hot hand?

    =============================================

    Apparently, Girardi doesn’t believe in riding the hot hand.

  45. DocTodd April 8th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Joe Girardi…..The Cooler….benches his hottest hitters…


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