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Yankees spring: The good, the bad and the uncertain

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 10, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Yankees Astros Spring Baseball

Two reminders…

1. We’re doing a chat today at noon, so stop by.  Plenty to talk about.

2. Today’s an off day here in Yankees camp, so things have just stopped. Nothing to do.

Without so much as a simulated game to cover this afternoon, let’s start the day with a look at the good, the bad and the uncertain of Yankees camp so far. And for the time being, let’s acknowledge that — as a general rule — things are going pretty well in Yankees camp so far. There’s been no devastating realization. At this time last year, the first baseman and left fielder were already hurt, the shortstop wasn’t moving very well, and even the general manager was in a wheelchair. By comparison, this spring has been ideal.

Derek JeterTHE GOOD

Ankles and wrists are still attached
Derek Jeter has already played seven spring training games. He’s running the bases without any sort of limp, and he’s moving in the field without hesitation. Jeter’s been saying since camp opened that his health was a non-issue, but he was saying the same thing at this time last year, so he’ll have to forgive us for being a little slow to believe him. But the early results back his claims. Jeter seems to be healthy. It’s basically the same for Mark Teixeira, who’s been taking more than 100 swings a day while reporting no setback in his surgically-repaired wrist. He’s been eased into playing games, but the early progress seems promising. There are no other major health problems on the major-league roster, either.

New league, new country, new team — no problem
The attention on Masahiro Tanaka has been overwhelming. There’s a massive amount of Japanese media in Yankees camp, and the American media is also providing intense coverage of the player with the largest international free agent contract in Major League Ballball history. But Masahiro Tanaka seems perfectly unaffected. He’s been friendly and available off the field, and he’s been effective and occasionally terrific on the mound. Teammates seem to like him, and Tanaka seems to have already adjusted to his new life. The early results suggest his talent is major-league ready, but the more definitive analysis is that his personality seemed suited for this situation.

Competition bringing out the best
The Yankees have to choose a fifth starter, they’re filling several spots in their bullpen, they have an infield bench job up for grabs, and they are — at least in theory — sorting through three backup catcher candidates. It seems that each of those competitions has brought out the best in the candidates. Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno have pitched well, as have various young and old bullpen candidates. Yangervis Solarte has stood out among several infielders off to a strong start, and both Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine have hit pretty well (especially Cervelli). Every roster spot that’s up for grabs has plenty of options making a strong case.

CC SabathiaTHE BAD

Minor leaguers banged up early
So far, health is a real plus on the big league roster, but the minor leaguers in camp have had a little more difficulty. It’s likely Slade Heathcott won’t play in a major-league spring training game because he’s being eased in after last year’s knee surgery. Tyler Austin also has yet to play because he experienced a return of the same wrist problems that bothered him last season. And right-handed pitcher Jose Ramirez became one of the first cuts after oblique issues returned, robbing him of what seemed like a decent chance to make the team as a reliever. Nik Turley and Francisco Rondon have also missed time because of injuries, and Jose Campos is still being eased with without having pitched in a game yet. No huge injuries or overwhelming setbacks, but a little bit of disappointment for some young guys who would have been interesting to see.

No miraculous winter for the big man
If you were holding out hope that CC Sabathia would show up this spring having somehow rediscovered a mid-90s fastball, his first spring start was a disappointment. Not sure this really qualifies as a “bad” sign for early spring training, but Sabathia topping out at 88 mph certainly wasn’t the best-case scenario. Essentially, the situation is exactly what we thought it was. Sabathia’s going to have to transition into a new phase of his career, learning to be effective without a huge fastball. He’s working on a cutter, and he believes added strength and fitness will help him deal with some fatigue issues that affected him last season. Nothing at all saying Sabathia can’t be a very good pitcher this season, but any hope for a sudden velocity spike seems to have faded away completely.

Reinforcements heading elsewhere
Spring training was just getting started when the Orioles signed Ubaldo Jimenez. Didn’t take long for the Orioles to also add Nelson Cruz. Now Ervin Santana is said to be choosing between one-year offers from the Orioles and Blue Jays, meaning he too is likely heading into the American League East as a late addition to either further boost Baltimore or give some help to Toronto. Just yesterday, Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz signed with the Cardinals. The Yankees, meanwhile, seem set on making no further additions until absolutely necessary. They’ve added Andrew Bailey, but there’s a chance he won’t be ready this season. To be fair, the Yankees did commit nearly a half-billion dollars this winter, but it seems unlikely that someone like Stephen Drew is going to be a surprise addition at this point.

Joe GirardiTHE UNKNOWN

How much do they have left?
Health is one thing. Production is another. Jeter, Teixeira and Sabathia are healthy, but 12 games isn’t nearly enough to know how well they’re going to perform this season. Jeter’s moving around just fine, but he’s still had only 17 at-bats. Teixiera’s played in only two games, and he’s taken live batting practice only twice before those games. Sabathia’s pitched in one actual game, plus one sim game, and this spring is going to be a process of strengthening and refining. Early spring has also done little to inform us about the durability of Hiroki Kuroda, Jacoby Ellsbury or Brian Roberts.

Which surprise should we take seriously?
At this very moment, a guy named Yangervis Solarte — who I’d literally never heard of until he signed with the Yankees this winter — is hitting .588/.632/.941 while playing second base, third base, shortstop and left field. He’s been the best hitter in camp, and he’s never played in a single big league game. Out of the bullpen, the pitcher with the lowest WHIP and lowest ERA among pitchers with at least three innings pitched is Yoshinori Tateyama, a 38-year-old who last pitched in the big leagues in 2012 and spent last year as just one of several quality veteran relievers in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Cesar Cabral, Chris Leroux, Matt Daley, Fred Lewis and Jim Miller also have a sub-1.00 WHIP so far this spring. Adonis Garcia, Jose Pirela and Dean Anna are also hitting better than .350 while playing multiple positions. Which of these has enough staying power to actually earn some roster consideration? Early games won’t tell us that.

Where do they line up, one after the other?The lineup isn’t the only one-after-another order in baseball. There’s the rotation; the plan for the bullpen; the pecking order in the minor leagues. So far this spring, we’ve seen Brian Roberts bat fourth several times (just to get at-bats) and we’ve seen Mark Teixeira hitting third (also to get at-bats), but we don’t yet know how exactly Girardi is planning to stack the middle of the order (we can safely assume Roberts will be near the bottom, and it seems Teixeira is going to be no higher than fourth). We also don’t know a rotation order, and although we could try to guess, Girardi has said he’s planning various amounts or rest for different guys, so things could change in the next few weeks. A go-to reliever in the sixth, seventh and eighth? Bullpen usage in March isn’t particularly indicative. And when the Yankees inevitably need help from the minors, we’re still a long way from knowing who’s going to stand out in those times of need.

Associated Press photos

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88 Responses to “Yankees spring: The good, the bad and the uncertain”

  1. blake March 10th, 2014 at 9:00 am

    “The best way for the Yanks to get cheaper at the big league level was to spend more an better in the draft and IFA before the rules changed. They didn’t and now they are paying for it.”

    yup….but they passed on the best international guys like Soler and Cespedes etc because they required big league deals and Hal wouldn’t spend any 2014 money.

    It was all so penny wise pound foolish……in essence they made it impossible to every get under 189 and contend…..had they made smart decisions then maybe they could have done it.

    For example….had they signed Darvish 2 years ago then maybe they don’t need Tanaka now…..Darvish is like 13 million less in AAV than Tanaka ended up being.

  2. MTU March 10th, 2014 at 9:07 am

    “The good, the bad, and the uncertain”

    A new Eastwood flick. A spaghetti western revival.

    ;)

  3. MTU March 10th, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I’m glad Hal decided to blow thru 189 for Tanaka.

  4. mick March 10th, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Speaking of photos. I love the one above with the 3 gloves atop the fence.

  5. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Didn’t take long for the Astros to also add Nelson Cruz.

    ————————-

    The Astros…? :P

  6. mick March 10th, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I would love for Solarte to stay on fire thru ST and force the Yanks to bring him along for the ride.

    But….can he field?

    (He does play every position like Nix)

  7. mick March 10th, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Tanaka tweets like a m*****f******r but since I don’t understand a word he says and he gives the peace sign, he is forgiven.

  8. sjb23 March 10th, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I’m obsessing over a couple of things:

    1 – The setup role. I hope Phelps gets it – I don’t trust anyone else, although I like Betances for the 7th inning & Thornton for situations (at least 2 out of 3 LH hitters in the inning), and hope for a 2nd lefty (Nuno, Cebral, or Fred Lewis, since he seems to be getting Girardi’s attention)

    2 – No backup for Teixeira @ 1st – the uncertainty is driving me crazy. I’d love to see Soriano play @ 1st during spring training. Johnson seems able, but I think the team is spreading him too thin, covering 3rd, 2nd and 1st.

    3 – How many infielders should the club carry? Any more than six could be stifling. Yet it feels better to have seven. Ichiro’s spot on the roster seems to be limiting the club’s flexibility.

  9. Hankflorida March 10th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Shame, it was the O’s who signed Cruz, and Cano was imploring his new team to go that route, but he probably does not realize that he broke the bank or does he have ideas of grandeur.

  10. blake March 10th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    So did this Malaysian plane crash on Lost Island or something?

  11. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    2 – No backup for Teixeira @ 1st – the uncertainty is driving me crazy. I’d love to see Soriano play @ 1st during spring training. Johnson seems able, but I think the team is spreading him too thin, covering 3rd, 2nd and 1st.

    —————

    I feel the same.. Johnson would be better as a backup 1B, but his splits don’t compliment Tex’s.

  12. Cashmoney March 10th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    some want the yanks to spend a few dollars more to fix the unknowns, others prefer a fistful of dollars in farm development.

  13. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    What Cano thinks about the construction of the M’s is irrelevant to me. I get talking about Cano in the context of the Yankees, but I don’t know that there’s much to say regarding his relationship with the M’s. I read someone on here wrote Cano should have thought about protection in the lineup before he ‘fleeced’ the Mariners lol… that team made their own bed. Would anyone be surprised if they promised Robbie another bat when they made their deal? Jack is just a mess. He makes me warm and fuzzy for Cash and Co.

  14. blake March 10th, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Reasons to feel good this morning (besides that Spring is on her way)

    1. Jeter: looks about as good so far as anyone could hope for
    2. Nova: really impressed with him so far
    3. Tanaka: looks as advertised
    4. Pineda: big X factor…..great debut
    5. McCann: gonna get MVP votes if stays healthy
    6: Roberts: “so far” looks pretty good
    7. Betances: may work his way into set up role if he keeps pitching like this
    8: Ellsbury: still healthy
    9: Beltran: sweet swing and bat speed still there
    10: tex: wrist still attached

  15. Cashmoney March 10th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Cano was hoping the Ms had signed Cruz before the stealthy Stros stole him away from the Os.

  16. austinmac March 10th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Blake,

    I think you have it figured out. The Dharma Initiative did it. I hope this ends better than the show.

  17. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    blake – 8 and 10 had me cracking up.

    But I agree with your list. There’s a lot to feel good about right now. I’m still hesitant to make evaluations as it still is so early, but I like how things are breaking for us so far.

  18. sjb23 March 10th, 2014 at 9:59 am

    As much as I like Kelly Johnson & think he’s going to be a very productive player, I’m a bit worried about him getting 500-600 ABs – that’s too many for a .250 hitter. His weaknesses will be exposed. I think he should get 400 ABs, Sizemore or Solarte need to step into the picture to back up 2nd & 3rd, and Ichiro needs to be “cropped out”. (I am hoping that Sizemore and/or Solarte can be better than Nunez.)

  19. MTU March 10th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    “but I like how things are breaking for us so far.”

    I think you meant how “they are [not] breaking for us so far”.

    ;)

  20. pkyankfan69 March 10th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    7. Betances: may work his way into set up role if he keeps pitching like this
    ——
    Add Burawa and Montgomery to this also (Burawa in particular has been really impressive)… Neither is going to make the big club out of camp but I wouldn’t be surprised to see either or both pitch meaningful innings for the Yanks at some point in the season.

  21. Cashmoney March 10th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    OT, slightly sadden with the fact of True Detective closed curtain on season one… one of the best crime drama series ever produced by a network imo.

  22. pkyankfan69 March 10th, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Cash,

    Don’t say a single thing that happened on the finale last night… My HBO GO account wasn’t working so I have to wait till tonight to watch it… Completely agree, awesome show

  23. blake March 10th, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I think it’s pretty clear it was a terrorist attack of some sort….fake passports….plane just disappears. I wonder if there is some way they blocked the radar and just landed the thing somewhere

  24. MTU March 10th, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Blake-

    Sounds like the 777 may have disintegrated in flight.

    It was not even able to get off a distress signal.

    That implies something sudden and catastrophic.

    Terrorism is certainly a possibility.

  25. Cashmoney March 10th, 2014 at 10:06 am

    JFru got me wise on Burawa, he has been very impressive (even with his command), Montgomery i don’t know what to make of him. I could see him get outs in the big but also gets tattooed if his location is off. His stuff looks very average to me.

    Mitchell and Burawa has been the surprises to me, stuff wise.

  26. Cashmoney March 10th, 2014 at 10:07 am

    copy that, PK.

  27. blake March 10th, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I don’t see any way a plane could disintegrate to a point where they’d be no wreckage at all…..

  28. MTU March 10th, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I’m a Fred Lewis fan.

    I hope they take him North.

    We could use a 2nd lefty to BU Thornton.

  29. MTU March 10th, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Blake-

    It’s a big ocean out there.

    Might take some more time.

  30. Hans Davenport March 10th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I thought it was Baltimore that signed Nelson Cruz. When did Houston come into the picture?

  31. mick March 10th, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Houston, we have a problem…

  32. Chip March 10th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    2 – No backup for Teixeira @ 1st – the uncertainty is driving me crazy. I’d love to see Soriano play @ 1st during spring training. Johnson seems able, but I think the team is spreading him too thin, covering 3rd, 2nd and 1st.

    —————

    I feel the same.. Johnson would be better as a backup 1B, but his splits don’t compliment Tex’s.
    ———————–

    Joe Maddon said yesterday that they tried Johnson out at 1st out of necessity last year but he just didn’t look comfortable there.

    As I’ve said, in an ideal world the Yankees will make a couple of additional moves and one of them will net someone for the bench who has a little more experience at 1b (like Danny Valencia)

  33. mick March 10th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    How good can Andrew Bailey be and do we have him locked up for next year? brb

  34. Chip March 10th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Hans Davenport March 10th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I thought it was Baltimore that signed Nelson Cruz. When did Houston come into the picture?
    —————-

    It was a typo

  35. Chip March 10th, 2014 at 10:27 am

    mick March 10th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    How good can Andrew Bailey be and do we have him locked up for next year? brb
    ——————-

    He probably won’t be in the picture until rosters expand in September and yes, the Yankees hold an option on him for next year.

  36. Chip March 10th, 2014 at 10:27 am

    MTU March 10th, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I’m a Fred Lewis fan.

    I hope they take him North.

    We could use a 2nd lefty to BU Thornton.
    —————

    Cabral has been very solid and is already on the 40 man roster.

  37. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 10th, 2014 at 10:29 am

    “yup….but they passed on the best international guys like Soler and Cespedes etc because they required big league deals and Hal wouldn’t spend any 2014 money.”

    blake, I want to respond to this only because these names have been mentioned more times than I can count. This isn’t a response to you personally. And you know that Soler and Cespedes were recruited here heavily by some posters.

    It seems that when posters want players signed, it never matters whether or not the Yankees have any actual positions for them, the Yankees should just go out and sign them. Same thing with Darvish. And when they don’t, the Yankees are always accused of not signing them because they won’t spend the money.

    It doesn’t ever matter that players have not played a day in the majors of course. Sign them anyway. We’ll find a position for them. Yes, they can platoon.

    Sorry, but to me that’s entirely specious argument.

  38. UpState March 10th, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Danny Valencia:

    May become increasingly available…struggling this spring.

    Hitting about 60 points below his weight.

    (Not sure who he’s competing against in Kansas City)

  39. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 10th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Latest update.

    Additions/changes taken up to 1st pitch of Ys opening game.

    2014 YANKEE PREDICTION CHART

    1/23 Cashmoney 163
    1/24 RayVT 108
    1/23 Trisha 101
    1/24 Hunger Games 101
    2/4 Mottsx 99
    1/22 Kelvin 98
    1/24 Blojaldo 97
    1/22 Poetkiosk 96
    1/23 bbb1 96
    1/24 Howler 96
    1/29 Mike-Boston 96
    2/4 DaSaint007 96
    1/23 Chicken_Stanley 95
    1/23 nettles9nc 95
    1/25 Melkman is in hotlanta 95
    1/29 rm 95
    2/4 Hanks Bar 95
    2/25 Tyler 95
    1/23 tomingeoriga 94
    1/23 GregD 94
    1/25 Yanksinvegas 94
    1/30 Munson15 94
    2/20 Charleston Chew 94
    2/21 Felix Unger 94
    2/25 The Straw 94
    1/22 Rhapsody in Blue 93
    1/23 Pete2 93
    1/24 Jmills 93
    1/28 blake 93/147
    2/4 Doc Todd 93
    2/13 Abe Peterham 93
    1/23 Austinmac 92
    1/24 kd 92
    1/24 MichelleB 92
    2/4 Iron Horse 92
    2/8 Yanks 61 92
    1/23 FS48 91
    1/23 Locke 91
    1/23 Tabbert 91
    2/4 Oscar Madison 91
    1/23 Upstate 90
    1/25 Y’s Guy 90
    1/29 Deal With It 90
    1/30 longtime 90
    2/5 Your Name Here 90
    3/2 mortl 90
    1/24 Chambliss 89
    2/3 Bronx Zoo 89
    1/23 JimK 88
    1/29 Baby Ruth 88
    3/4 Vineyard Yankee 88
    3/7 joeman 88
    1/30 Your Worst Nightmare 87
    1/24 Comet 86
    1/29 Can of Corn 86
    1/24 PKyankfan69 69

  40. blake March 10th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    “It seems that when posters want players signed, it never matters whether or not the Yankees have any actual positions for them,”

    They did have positions for them.

  41. mick March 10th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    It seems that when posters want players signed, it never matters whether or not the Yankees have any actual positions for them, the Yankees should just go out and sign them. Same thing with Darvish.
    ============
    …never have enough.

  42. Hankflorida March 10th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    MTU and Cashmoney, to continue the parody on Spaghetti Westerns “the Good was that “Once Upon A Time in The West” the Mariners needed a star and spent “A Fistfull of Dollars” for Cano. The Bad was that “for A Few Dollars More,” that they didn’t have enough to give him protection, and The Ugly was that they could not win when they had Griffey and A-Rod.
    To quote Sterling, “don’t you know Robbie Cano!”

  43. MTU March 10th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Hank-

    Good job !

    :)

  44. Cashmoney March 10th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Re:Cano, Hank, Leone probably would have directed Once Upon a time in Seattle starring Cano.

    “There is no man…however wise, who has not at some period in his youth said things, or lived a life, the memory of which is so unpleasant to him that he would gladly expunge it. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man…”

    Cano will be a remembrance of things past…

  45. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    blake March 10th, 2014 at 10:34 am
    “It seems that when posters want players signed, it never matters whether or not the Yankees have any actual positions for them,”

    They did have positions for them.

    ————–

    Yep, they did.

  46. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I keep seeing Once Upon a Time and did not realize the ABC show was so popular on LoHud. :D

  47. DONNYBROOK March 10th, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Ray’s Madden saying the Yanks Best move this offseason was the signing of McCann, is also an Indictment of the Yankees allowing Martin to walk without a legit 1st stringer to fill the hole a year ago.

  48. GregD March 10th, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I am intrigued with Solarte…..he seems to have some hitting ability…..too early in ST and too small a sample size to get too excited though

  49. DONNYBROOK March 10th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    The only “Once Upon A Time” I enjoy seeing is the one with Charlie Bronson in it.

  50. blake March 10th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    “Ray’s Madden saying the Yanks Best move this offseason was the signing of McCann, is also an Indictment of the Yankees allowing Martin to walk without a legit 1st stringer to fill the hole a year ago.”

    Cashman basically said Hal wouldn’t let him spend any money

  51. RadioKev March 10th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    blake March 10th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    “Ray’s Madden saying the Yanks Best move this offseason was the signing of McCann, is also an Indictment of the Yankees allowing Martin to walk without a legit 1st stringer to fill the hole a year ago.”

    Cashman basically said Hal wouldn’t let him spend any money
    —————–

    That was absolutely the angriest I’ve been with the franchise. It was inexcusable to not have a starting catcher.

  52. DONNYBROOK March 10th, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Martin signed for P-Nuts in Pitt. We all know about the Yankees having a sort of fluid budget figure. I seriously doubt that Hal gave Cashman that figure and added, “NO Martin.”

  53. Ys Guy March 10th, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I think Cano is going to be a very different person moving forward. I think he wants to be loud and opinionated and in the public eye, like his buddy Ortiz. I think he’s going to find that difficult unless the M’s become relevant again, but I think that’s what he’s going for and I think that’s why he left the Yankees.

    With guys like Jeter and Posada around, Robbie kept his personality under wraps. Now he’s gonna be all out there and sometimes in your face. That’s what switching to Jay-Z was all about.

    I think alot of the Yankee Fan-Cano fans are going to come to not like the new Cano as much as they liked him before he left.

  54. Ys Guy March 10th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Martin was pretty much despised her until he left.

  55. bbb51 March 10th, 2014 at 11:16 am

    If you have Martin you don’t get McCann.

  56. Ys Guy March 10th, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Sorry Martin was despised HERE, not her.

  57. PacoDooley March 10th, 2014 at 11:17 am

    @trisha –

    I am guessing 86 – higher than what I had before camp opened – could be good enough to slip into the post season, but probably not. Oddly, I can see then going anywhere from around 75 to 95 wins! So many question marks this year…

  58. DONNYBROOK March 10th, 2014 at 11:17 am

    We all know Cashman used the name Martin and Munson in the same sentence, so I don’t believe Martin was run out of NY on a rail.

  59. Ys Guy March 10th, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I’m interested in what’s going to happen when Jeter’s gone next year.

    I expect alot more Yankees speaking out in the press and some of the rancor and discord that comes from that.

    Perhaps the Yankees brought in McCann to address the clubhouse post-DJ

  60. Mike_Boston March 10th, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Cashmoney March 10th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    some want the yanks to spend a few dollars more to fix the unknowns, others prefer a fistful of dollars in farm development.
    —————————————–

    Cash, if they don’t do one or the other it will be unforgiven ;-)

  61. DONNYBROOK March 10th, 2014 at 11:20 am

    In regard to “have Martin=No McCann”, I do know with “certainty” we tied for 3rd Place in the Division.

  62. UpState March 10th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    RadioKev March 10th, 2014 at 11:09 am
    blake March 10th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    “Ray’s Madden saying the Yanks Best move this offseason was the signing of McCann, is also an Indictment of the Yankees allowing Martin to walk without a legit 1st stringer to fill the hole a year ago.”

    Cashman basically said Hal wouldn’t let him spend any money
    —————–

    That was absolutely the angriest I’ve been with the franchise. It was inexcusable to not have a starting catcher.
    ==============================

    Cervelli was slated/earned the starting catcher position.

    Yes – an almighty ‘homegrown’ and cost-effective catcher.

    Then — he got caught with PED’s.

    …and as bbb51 stated :

    If you have Martin you don’t get McCann.

  63. blake March 10th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    “That was absolutely the angriest I’ve been with the franchise. It was inexcusable to not have a starting catcher.”

    Was always ridiculous for them to think they could win without a big league starting catcher

  64. blake March 10th, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I think they absolutely brought in McCann to lead post Jeter…..and part of the reason they let cano go IMO was because they didn’t want him leading the team into this next generation

  65. CountryClub March 10th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Let’s not forget that the Yanks offered Martin an extension and he turned it down (and it was for more money than a lot of fans were comfortable with).

    I’d much rather have McCann this year. Yanks weren’t winning anything if Martin was on the team last yr. It worked out well at the end of the day.

  66. Revenge of Stoneburner March 10th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    10:17am: The Braves haven’t completely ruled out Santana in the event of a serious Medlen injury, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, but the financial and draft pick costs are definite factors. Atlanta would very much like to strengthen its crop of top prospects, and sacrificing the No. 26 selection in the draft would go against that thinking.

    ****

    Total bunk Atlanta – you already have the McCann pick – you need to keep him away from the O’s.

    The Yanks need to sign Santana. Let him start until Pineda gets some more time in the minors. This will keep Phelps in the pen and strengthen that area. Then, around mid-season, you trade Santana to some desperate team in need of pitching and make out with a Matt Garza type haul. I think you could get a better return that way than just going with your second round pick that would be forfeited with the signing of Santana.

  67. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:29 am

    bbb51 March 10th, 2014 at 11:16 am
    If you have Martin you don’t get McCann.

    —————

    Martin was ready to accept a one year deal.

  68. Revenge of Stoneburner March 10th, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I’d much rather have McCann this year. Yanks weren’t winning anything if Martin was on the team last yr. It worked out well at the end of the day.

    ****

    Agree +1

  69. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Right now I see this team as a 90-97 win team.. I just haven’t decided on my final number and those 7 games are probably the difference between missing and making the playoffs.

  70. UpState March 10th, 2014 at 11:30 am

    blake March 10th, 2014 at 11:26 am
    I think they absolutely brought in McCann to lead post Jeter…..and part of the reason they let cano go IMO was because they didn’t want him leading the team into this next generation
    =============================

    …oooooooo….a bit harsh – but probably ‘spot-on’.

  71. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Martin AND Cash talked about a one year deal for Martin. In no way would keeping him have excluded them from signing McCann. Even on a reasonable 3 year deal you can trade Martin easily in this market (assuming they didn’t hand him a NTC like they have been with everyone else but Gardner).

  72. blake March 10th, 2014 at 11:33 am

    If they are gonna sign somebody else Id rather it be Drew than Santana….they need him a lot more

  73. austinmac March 10th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Cashman said yesterday the 189 cap affected how they have done business over the last couple of years. It is no longer an issue that is why the Yankees were not all in on Cespedes, Darvish and the others.

    Simply stated, they hoped the minor leaguers would perform and things would work out. They didn’t, and that resulted in the big spending this winter.

    Any argument to the contrary has no basis. That said, that is the past. Just like I no longer worry about Cano, I no longer worry about Darvish. Water under the bridge.

  74. bigdan22 March 10th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    “Nothing at all saying Sabathia can’t be a very good pitcher this season, but any hope for a sudden velocity spike seems to have faded away completely.”

    —-

    A more accurate statement would be “Nothing at all suggests CC will be any better than he was last year.”

    Assuming CC will re-invent himself at 86-88 is extremely optimistic. It is still early in ST and while there are still many uncertainties, so far CC is the biggest negative for 2014.

  75. Revenge of Stoneburner March 10th, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Any argument to the contrary has no basis. That said, that is the past. Just like I no longer worry about Cano, I no longer worry about Darvish. Water under the bridge.

    ****

    Very perceptive/good attitude. +1

  76. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    ephemeralization March 10th, 2014 at 11:20 am
    “Jack is just a mess. He makes me warm and fuzzy for Cash and Co.”

    the seattle infield has a projected 12 WAR for 2014.

    what’s the yankees’ projected WAR? 5-6 maybe?

    i’m not sure what you’re warm and fuzzy about.

    ———————-

    He couldn’t spend, randy. We all figured as much and he finally copped to it. He worked with what he had and Hal let Levine influence way too many roster decisions. The M’s aren’t projected to be a playoff team, I wouldn’t trade rosters even with the INF issues we’re facing.

  77. trisha - true pinstriped blue March 10th, 2014 at 11:49 am

    austinmac March 10th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Major league ditto!

  78. Jerkface March 10th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    On a totally unrelated note – Tanaka sure does use twitter a lot – what the hell is he saying??!!

    Well lately he is tweeting about a US article that says he didn’t know who Richard Gere was. What he meant is that he never watched a movie with Richard Gere in it, but he did know who he was.

  79. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Any argument to the contrary has no basis. That said, that is the past. Just like I no longer worry about Cano, I no longer worry about Darvish. Water under the bridge.

    —————-

    It’s good to not worry about it but I still find it annoying that they undermined three potential Championship teams so they could try to get under a budget goal they never reached.

  80. RadioKev March 10th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    “I’d much rather have McCann this year. Yanks weren’t winning anything if Martin was on the team last yr. It worked out well at the end of the day.”

    According to Fangraphs, Russell Martin was a 4.1 WAR player last year. Cervelli/Stewart/Romine add up to a 1.1 WAR last year. In theory Martin tallies you something like 3 more wins.

  81. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Every time I see Richard Gere I think about gerbils.

    Can’t help it.

  82. Shame Spencer March 10th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    :arrow:

  83. austinmac March 10th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    CC re-inventing himself with a cut fastball in March is not encouraging. If he no longer can throw in the low 90s at least, it will be a tough year for him in all liklihood.

  84. Jerkface March 10th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    According to Fangraphs, Russell Martin was a 4.1 WAR player last year. Cervelli/Stewart/Romine add up to a 1.1 WAR last year. In theory Martin tallies you something like 3 more wins.

    Think about how bad Stewart was. You put Martin into all of his games and maybe they pull an extra bundle of wins out of their butt. Then suddenly last years team makes the wild card. Their whole budget plan was stupid. Obviously stupid.

  85. bigdan22 March 10th, 2014 at 11:53 am

    The overall health of the major league roster is the biggest positive so far. Next is the “new” infield. Both Roberts and Johnson and well as the AAA depth (Solarte and Anna). Reports of the infield’s imminent demise seem a bit exaggerated.

  86. rl1856 March 10th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Absent significant injuries, this is a 95+W team. But as we found out last year, injuries are a variable that is hard to account for. At the very least our pitching should be as good or better than last year. Our offense is improved and our defense will be ok. OF better / infield slightly worse. Overall, this is a much improved team compared to last year.

    Does anyone know if Montgomery came to camp in shape (unlike last year) and if he regained the velocity he lost last year (as a result of being out of shape) ? The guy rocketed through the system and has the potential to be an elite late inning pitcher. My prediction is that Betances and Montgomery become the bridges to D-Rob.

    I would like to see Pineda emerge as the 5th starter, but there is a lot of merit in having him start at AAA so he can pich on a regular schedule and have his innings limited early in the season.

    I’m excited about this season !

  87. Hankflorida March 10th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Assuming CC will re-invent himself at 86-88 is extremely optimistic. It is still early in ST and while there are still many uncertainties, so far CC is the biggest negative for 2014.

    Bigdan, Lefty Gomez, Marius Russo, Eddie Lopat, Whitey Ford, Jimmy Key and Andy are reasons why we have to give CC some slack. As long as he does not have to emulate Al Leiter who extended every batter in order not to be near the center of the plate once he lost his velocity, then CC may not be an uncertainty.

  88. UnKnown March 10th, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    HELL YEAH THE UNKNOWN

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