Happy Thanksgiving From IIATMS

I’m a big Thanksgiving guy.  It’s my favorite holiday by far.  Any holiday built around the idea of eating and drinking as much as you can while you watch football all day is A-OK in my book, and I’ve been fasting since my birthday dinner on Tuesday night in preparation for today’s festivities.

Whatever everybody else’s plans are for today, I hope they involve family and friends along with the aforementioned food and drink.  Today is about that more than anything else, certainly more than baseball, so this post will be the only thing on the site today.  On behalf of the entire IIATMS staff, I’d like to wish everybody a safe and happy Thanksgiving today and thank you for your support in making this site what it is.  It’s a personal pleasure to be able to write and talk about the Yankees on a regular basis in this setting, and to have the opportunity to do that every day is something I’m truly thankful for.…

Read more

Do The Yankees Really NEED Chase Headley? (UPDATED)

Headley vs TEX II

Courtesy of the AP

So here’s a confession.  I’m scared to death by what the Red Sox are doing right now.  Terrified by it.  It was only 13 months ago that they pulled off the 1-year rebuild to perfection and now they look like they’re fixing to do it again.  They’ve added the 2 best bats available on the FA market to deals that are more team-friendly than people are giving them credit for, they have a big time offer out to Jon Lester, they have a ton of trade assets to use in a variety of ways to add more top-tier starting pitching, and they have a pretty good lineup core still in place.  They’ve put themselves in prime position to pull off another worst-to-first in 2015.

In response to their signing of Pablo Sandoval, the hot stove chatter on Chase Headley has picked up big time.  He’s regarded as the next best third baseman on the market after Sandoval, and with Sandoval setting the bar and the Giants now needing a third baseman of their own, competition is expected to heat up for him quickly.  …

Read more

Shawn Kelley Discusses The D-Rob Situation

Cool little story by Bryan Hoch over at Bombers Beat yesterday.  He got to talk to Shawn Kelley and asked him for his thoughts on David Robertson‘s contract situation.  Kelley tossed out the typical “gotta do what’s best for you” line that anchors any venture into free agency, but did offer up a preceding statement that should be encouraging to everybody in favor of the Yanks retaining D-Rob:

“I know he loves New York, I know he’s close with Mariano (Rivera) and wants to kind of follow in Mariano’s footsteps.  I’m sure there’s a big part of him that probably wants to stay in New York, but he’s got to do what’s best and see what’s out there.”

I get wanting to see what’s out there.  Every free agent should look to get himself the biggest deal possible.  That’s the beauty of free agency in an uncapped sport.  But there’s a lot to be said for playing in New York and loving playing in New York, and the personal connection D-Rob has to the Yankees and Mo is something that no other team is going to be able to replicate.  …

Read more

Report: Yankees Have Made “A Series Of Trade Offers” For Shortstops

At face value, this doesn’t register on the “big news” needle.  The Yankees need a shortstop and everybody knows they’ve been actively pursuing multiple avenues to finding one.  But the way this particular nugget was written, hidden deep inside Joel Sherman’s article about the Yanks not being influenced by Boston’s recent moves, makes it newsworthy:

“Also, I sense talking to Yankees people they are more galvanized to find a shortstop than a third baseman, and have made a series of trade offers to teams for shortstops. The Yankees could play Martin Prado at third and use either Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder at second.”

You see what I mean?  What does “a series of trade offers” mean?  What kind of timeframe has that series of offers taken place in?  The last few days?  The last week??  Last we knew, it sounded like the talks for guys like Elvis Andrus and Alexei Ramirez had stalled, and I don’t think I’ve read anything yet about New York making an offer for Tulo.  …

Read more

A-Rod’s Prospects After Steroids, Injury, Time Off, and 40: An Interview with an Expert Athletic Trainer and Champion Bodybuilder

Dos Equis commercials peddle their fictional man-of-many-feats as the “most interesting man in the world,” but my old friend Stu Yellin can give that old beer drinker a run for his money. I met Stu when we were 5; we spent much of the next decade getting each other in trouble in school, usually when one of us tried to make the other laugh in class by drawing pictures like Spider-Man beating up the teacher (an actual example of a drawing Stu showed me in 12th grade). My art skills never grew past middling (though I did just draw a decent Groot for my kids), but Stu became a major TV cartoonist, drawing the Colbert- and Carrell-voiced “Ace + Gary, The Ambiguously Gay Duo” for SNL, The Tick, and Lizzie McGuire. He then became an art teacher — before becoming a pro bodybuilder too. He got a very late start, competing only as of his early/mid-30s, yet won Pro Cards in various drug-tested federations (most notably the WNBF, the strictest one on substance abuse), and won first place as a middleweight in several “natural bodybuilding” competitions with tough drug testing.…

Read more

Quick Hit: Yankees Sign MiL Utility Man Jonathan Galvez

galvez2

Courtesy of MiLB,com

Props to Mike Axisa for noticing this before anybody else did.  In addition to their Rule 5 protection moves last Thursday, the Yankees also signed 23-year-old utility player Jonathan Galvez to a Minor League contract.  Galvez, formerly of the Padre organization, has never played in a Major League game.  He spent the last 2 seasons in Triple-A and he hit .280/.354/.449 with 10 HR, 55 R, and 52 RBI in 103 games (389 PA) this past season.

Because the deal is a MiL one, Galvez did not have to be added to the 40-man roster, although it’s a safe bet that he received an invitation to Spring Training.  The Yankees are in dire need of help at multiple infield positions and Galvez could sneak up and steal a bench job with a strong ST.  He started his career off as a second baseman/shortstop, but he’s played more third base and corner outfield recently.

There’s a lot of Yangervis Solarte in this situation.  …

Read more

Offseason Roster Update: 11/24/14

Two months ago, before the regular season even ended, I looked ahead to the 2015 Opening Day roster and what it would look like were it comprised of only players who were guaranteed a 40-man roster spot at the time.  The exercise illustrated how much work the Yankees had to do this offseason, with almost every roster area showing some kind of weakness.  Now 2 months later, the regular season and postseason have ended, the offseason is in full swing, and not much has changed.  The Yankees made some 40-man roster changes last week, but not any that would seriously help next year’s team.  Today’s 2015 Opening Day roster would only be slightly better than September’s.

C- Brian McCann
1B- Mark Teixeira
2B- Martin Prado
SS- Brendan Ryan
3B- Alex Rodriguez
LF- Brett Gardner
CF- Jacoby Ellsbury
RF- Chris Young
DH- Carlos Beltran

SP- Masahiro Tanaka
SP- Michael Pineda
SP- CC Sabathia
SP- Shane Greene
SP- David Phelps

Bullpen- Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, Justin Wilson, Preston Claiborne, Jose Ramirez, Jose De Paula

Bench- John Ryan Murphy, Jose Pirela, Ramon Flores, Eury Perez

The only new face in the lineup is the only new face the Yankees have added to their group of position players so far, and Young really only gets in because of the lack of infield depth.  …

Read more

Sunday Morning Rumors: Ibanez, Grilli

A pair of hot stove stories from late Friday on the hitting coach and bullpen situations.

– First the hitting coach.  There were reports earlier in the week about Raul Ibanez being one of the 3 finalists for the Tampa Bay managerial job.  According to George King, if Ibanez doesn’t get that job, he has no interest in becoming the Yankees’ hitting coach.  Sounds like it’s manager or bust for Raul and I can’t really blame him for that.  We’ll have to wait until next week to see who this mystery interview candidate is.

– Now the bullpen.  Via Sweeny Murti, the Yankee front office has discussed right-hander Jason Grilli as a hypothetical replacement for D-Rob should they fail to re-sign him.  Grilli, 38, was really good as the Pirates closer in 2013, less so last year before he was traded to Anaheim.  He bounced back post-trade and could be worth the minimal cost it will take to sign him.…

Read more

Putting This Year’s IFA Haul in Perspective

Much has been written about the Yankees signing ten of the top thirty international free agents this season. But how much talent have the Yankees landed, really?

I’m not going to pretend to know more about the specific players that the Yankees signed than what I’ve read on MLB.com and Baseball America. I did, however, go back and look at Baseball America’s top international free agent list five years ago, and checked in on the status of the top-25 players. The result:

2 really great signings (Sano and Profar), 6 players with varying prospect potential (including Gary Sanchez, probably the bet of the group), and 17 busts. If the Yankee haul follows the same pattern, they’ll emerge five years from now with roughly half that–a top-10 prospect, two or so top-100 prospects, and a fringey player or two.

Not bad, huh? Obviously, we’re looking at a sample of one year, but a quick glance at 2008 and 2010 show similar bust rates.…

Read more