Quick Hit: Baseball America’s 2014 Top Prospects Lists Are Rolling Out

I’m a little late on this, but Baseball America is in the process of releasing its 2014 “Top 20 Prospects” rankings for each Minor League.  They posted the top 20 for the Gulf Coast League last week and the NY Penn League earlier this week.  Yankee farmhands nabbed 2 spots on the GCL list, shortstops Jorge Mateo and Angel Aguilar at #4 and #15 respectively, and catcher Luis Torrens came in at #4 on the Penn League list.

Mateo is a 19-year-old shortstop who hit .276/.354/.397 with 14 R scored and 11 stolen bases in 15 games for the GCL Yanks 1 team (65 PA).  Aguilar, also 19, hit .311/.373/.536 with 7 HR, 34 R, and 31 RBI in 39 games for the GCL 2 team (167 PA).  Torrens hit .270/.327/.405 in 202 PA for the Staten Island Yanks after an early appearance in Low-A Charleston and a shoulder injury.  He’s still only 18 years old and arguably the Yankees’ best low-level prospect.…

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Report: Yanks And Cash Working On A New Deal

Well that didn’t take long.  Via Buster Olney, the Yankees and Brian Cashman have “begun the process of constructing a new contract” only a few days after the end of another disappointing postseason-less season.  There had been reports for a while that the Steinbrenners were committed to bringing Cash back and this newest report certainly confirms that.

Cash’s current contract was not up until the end of October, so there was time for ownership to explore other options if they felt the need.  The quickness with which they are beginning talks for a new deal suggests they support Cash fully and are more interested in getting down to the real offseason business.  I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing considering how poorly constructed these last 2 teams have been, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.  The Yanks can’t do anything this offseason without a GM and it sounds like they’re on their way to locking their incumbent one up.…

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The End Of Mark Teixeira

Teix vs BAL

The perfect visual representation of Teix’s 2014 campaign. Courtesy of Getty Images

I don’t know how I missed this, but holy crap did Mark Teixeira have a terrible final month of the season.  I have no excuse for missing it, since I wrote a post at the beginning of the month about how awful his August was, but I really didn’t realize he was THAT bad in September.  82 plate appearances, a .178/.256/.301 slash line, a 28.0% K rate, only 5 extra-base hits (2 HR), 4 GIDPs, and -0.3 fWAR.  Perfectly healthy or completely beat up, that’s bottom-of-the-barrel bad.  It’s the type of production that usually gets guys DFA’d.

Obviously Teix was not going to suffer that fate, not when he has multiple years and $45 million remaining on his contract.  But looking back at those numbers, it’s fair to say he probably should have been shut down for the year much earlier in the month.  All the evidence I referenced in the earlier post that suggested his body had had enough came to even greater fruition this month.  …

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The Yankees Free Agents to Be

As of Sunday evening, the Yankees season was over, yet several weeks of baseball remain on the slate. Free agency will not begin until November, and so the Yankees are in a holding pattern, left to reorganize cupboard until holiday shopping season officially commences. While the front office waits to touch base with players currently occupying other uniforms, they will have to determine the best course of action for those players that ended the season in pinstripes – players with whom the Yankees will have an exclusive negotiating period after the World Series ends.

The following are the players that are eligible to head for greener pastures this off-season – an asterisk denotes that the player is eligible for a qualifying offer.

The name that jumps out here is, of course, Heath Bell. Remember when the Yankees signed the Heath Bell Experience in June and released him a scant eleven days later?…

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Monday Night “No More Games” Thread

Tonight is the first of what will be a long string of nights and days without Yankee baseball, and it’s the only night without any baseball for the next month before the Wild Card play-in games begin tomorrow night.  With that in mind, I figured tonight was a good time to lay out some plans for the blogging offseason.

The next few weeks will be spent looking back at the disappointing season that was for the Yanks.  I’ll be doing a roster group-by-roster group season review, we’re kicking around the idea of going back and looking at some of the most winnable games to see how close the Yankees really were to making the postseason, and we’re going to go back and review our predictions to see who did the best and worst.  I’m sure we’ll also dive into discussions about which players to re-sign, which guys to let walk, and who the best FA targets are heading into the real offseason.  …

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Monday Afternoon News And Notes: 9/29/14

Still playing catch-up from the weekend and earlier today.  Here’s some stuff:

- While the results of his final start weren’t pretty, it sounds like Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t feeling any negative physical effects in his elbow the day after or today.  His health was always the most important takeaway from those last 2 starts.  If he has that for the offseason, that’s good news.

- As first reported by Joel Sherman, top prospect Eric Jagielo got hit in the face/head by a pitch in an instructional league game on Saturday.  Via Kiley McDaniel, he did not suffer any serious injuries.  Hopefully this doesn’t affect his ability to play in the AZFL.

- Via Brendan Kuty, Ichiro said he plans to keep playing next year, but was unsure if he’d be returning to the Yankees.  He also had this to say about what was happening behind closed doors in the clubhouse:

“Obviously there’s a lot of things that go on that the fans and the media can’t see, that goes on inside (the club).”

Like I said.  …

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Are There Issues In The Yankee Clubhouse?

Joe Presser vs BAL

The old “rip your team after they’ve already been eliminated from postseason contention” move, eh? Courtesy of Getty Images

Aside from Derek Jeter‘s final few games and the last honorary send-off he was given by the Red Sox and their fans this past weekend, the only other bit of noteworthy Yankee news came in the form of a possible locker room controversy.  On Saturday, Wally Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY filed a story detailing a reportedly “scathing” locker room speech given by Joe to his team before Thursday’s home finale.  You can read the full story here if you haven’t already, but the overall gist is that Joe was “angry” and called his players out for lack of effort.  Here’s the money pull-out quote:

“According to clubhouse sources who were present for the critique, and backed up by interviews with more than a half-dozen players, most of whom spoke to ESPNNewYork.com not for attribution for fear of angering their manager, Girardi chided some players for being overweight and others for not being ‘hungry’ enough.

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Thoughts After The Final Series

I paid very little attention to the final 3 games.  Between birthdays and weddings and the subsequent recovery time, I wasn’t even near my computer all that much.  I caught up on what I missed last night and now that I’ve had a chance to sleep on it, here are some of the thoughts I would have expressed.

- The send-off for Derek Jeter over the weekend was nice, even if the idea of Boston fans and players showering him with this much applause seems a little weird to me.  The level of “Re2pect” being paid to him throughout Fenway Park came off as little more than Red Sox ownership making their attempt to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the Jeter retirement teat, but the sentiment of the players on the field was genuine and that’s the coolest part anyway.

- Nice to see Jeter do something positive in his final at-bat yesterday too.  It wasn’t as dramatic as the walk-off hit on Thursday night, but it set the stage for the final applause and that’s really all that matters.  …

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Yankeemetrics: The Final Series

The final hit of The Captain's career. (Photo: Steven Senne/AP)

The final hit of The Captain’s career. (Photo: Steven Senne/AP)

A rare meaningless Red Sox-Yankees game
Following Thursday’s dramatic Yankee Stadium finale, the Yankees rested most of their regulars on Friday night at Fenway Park in the opener of the final series of 2014, but still managed to beat the Red Sox, 3-2.

This was the first time since October 2-4, 1992 that the Yankees and Red Sox played a series with both teams eliminated from playoff contention; that date was also the last time both teams entered a head-to-head series at least 13 games out of first place in the division.

The Yankees started five rookies and all five got at least three at-bats. Since rookie rules were established in 1958, the only other time the Yankees had five rookies get at least three at-bats in a game vs Red Sox was on Sept. 10, 1966, a 5-1 Yankees win at Fenway Park.

Chris Capuano finished his season with a strong outing, allowing just one unearned run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings.…

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