BREAKING NEWS: Yankees Sign Randy Winn

Via Chad Jennings at LoHud and RAB, the Yankees have signed outfielder Randy Winn to a one year deal worth about $2 million.

Winn had a career down year last year, sporting a career low 75 OPS+ and a career low .318 on base percentage. However, this year and his down year in 2006 seems like the outlier. Winn doesn’t bring much power to the plate but his career OBP is .344. He is also a seemingly good defender, posting a 3.0 UZR/150 in LF for his career (437 games), a -1.3 UZR/150 in CF (687 games) and a 16.4 UZR/150 in RF (516 games).

I’ll have more on Winn later tonight or tomorrow morning.… Click here to read the rest

Damon and Cincy

According to a report via ESPN, “a baseball source told’s Jerry Crasnick” that “[Scott] Boras and [Johnny] Damon are trying to engage the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds as possible alternatives” to the Yankees. Though the Tigers-Damon connection is not new – Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated offered the possible marriage a few weeks ago – the Reds-Damon item is the first report I have read which explicitly links the two parties. It was only a matter of time before the Reds and Damon were connected, however, as Cincinnati has a clear need given their unsettled left field situation (they currently have Chris Dickerson lined up to start). Unlike the Damon to Oakland rumors, Damon to Cincy makes a lot of sense, although, according to the ESPN report, the Reds “don’t appear to have much money left in the budget,” and would “probably have to get creative to make a run at Damon.”

Photo by the AP
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They said it: Steroids in baseball

  1. “If I took steroids, I could dunk. Never mind baseball, I could play in the NBA.”
  2. “I don’t know if steroids are going to help you in baseball. I just don’t believe it. I don’t believe steroids can help eye-hand coordination [and] technically hit a baseball.”
  3. “There is no evidence andro does anything bad or good.”
  4. “If you want privacy go play semi-pro ball. drug use hurts baseball. Why should we pay millions of dollars to these guys and have them go on the disabled list?”
  5. “Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy.”
  6. “I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period.”
  7. “Who would do the testing? Will results be kept private? Or will they be leaked to the media? What about false positives? You think it’s going to be confidential? I laugh at that.”
  8. “Steroids don’t help you hit a baseball.”
  9. “I have never used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other type of illegal performance enhancing drugs..”
  10. “The national past-time is juiced.”
  11. “My body was torn up and broken down but it felt good [on steroids].
Click here to read the rest

Why Hal Steinbrenner should open the books a little for Johnny Damon

The common line is that right now, the Yankees have about 2 million dollars left in their budget for the 2010 season. I think that this is entirely plausible. Hal Steinnerbrenner gave Brian Cashman a hard number, and said that he would have to approve any spending over that number. He did so last year with Andy Pettitte, and I think we’re going to see the same thing with Johnny Damon.

On one hand, the Yankees needed a budget. In both the free agent market and the draft, they often found themselves taken advantage of by free agents. I would probably put Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera in this category (both received over market value contracts), I would probably expect Derek Jeter to sit there after this season, and I definitely think that Johnny Damon expected the same thing to happen to him.

Think of it this way: Andrew Brackman got almost 5 million dollars guaranteed from the Yankees even though everyone in the world knew he needed Tommy John surgery.… Click here to read the rest

Holy crap I'd forgotten how long the offseason truly is

Another day, another non-story about Johnny Damon.

While I’ve been very pleased with Yankeeist’s output (big ups to Mike and Jason), it’s been a bit of a challenge to come up with content given that the Yankees haven’t done anything for over a month since trading for Vazquez, and this late-January lull is starting to really rear its ugly head.

A few newsworthy items:

Interesting move by the A’s picking up Ben Sheets. Despite the Yankees having no room for him, I’ve been coveting Sheets forever, and am definitely jealous to see him on another American League team. Feels like a bit of an overpay for a team like the A’s, but hey, Billy Beane probably knows what he’s doing.

The Cubs added Xavier Nady as a fourth outfielder on a contract that could be worth as much as $5.3 million in incentives. If that’s the kind of deal a guy who played all of eight games last season is getting, you have to figure Damon is worth at least that much.… Click here to read the rest

Piliere Puts Yankee System In Middle Of Pack

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AOL Fanhouse writer Frankie Piliere recently ranked baseball’s farm systems, and the Yankees came in at 15:

15. New York Yankees | Players in Top 100: 4
The Yankees have plenty of depth. What they don’t have right now is a great deal of impact talent behind Jesus Montero. They have a lot of potential in the low levels, and it’s a solid system, but at the moment much of their high-upside players are early in their development.

It is hard to argue with anything Piliere says, as he succinctly sums up the state of the system. They would likely rate closer to 10th or so if they had not traded a number of their more highly regarded prospects this offseason, so 15 is a fairly solid placement for them at this team. I do think that the system has the potential to take a leap forward over the next few seasons, as much of the Yankees impact talent is at the lower levels.… Click here to read the rest

Alex Rodriguez, pioneer?

Over the weekend Alex Rodriguez received the Babe Ruth Award for his dominant postseason. Alex hasn’t received much attention for winning an award meant to celebrate the best player in the playoffs, but he should have, and not for the reason many fans might think.

A list of players with legitimate Hall-of-Fame resumes whose association with steroids might prevent their election would look roughly like this:

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Sammy Sosa
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Manny Ramirez
Alex Rodriguez

The above list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, but at a moment’s notice that is the list of players most fans would probably think of whose accomplishments on the field would get them elected into Cooperstown on the first ballot, except for the steroids implications.

All but two of these players are retired. Of them, Sosa is the only one who didn’t either lie to Congress (really, never a good idea) or put himself into a legally treacherous position. And if you believe his “me no speak English” excuse then I have a bridge in Alaska I’d like to sell you.… Click here to read the rest

Happy Anniversary To Us!!

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One year ago today, The Yankee Universe opened its doors (we actually had a soft opening on the 24th, but the official start was the 26th), with the goal of becoming the best Yankees blog on the internet. One year and one cease-and-desist letter later, TYU is still going strong, and we would like to believe that we are on our way to achieving our goal. We would like to thank all of our readers for sticking with us, as a sports blog is only as good as the discussion it fosters. Thanks to you guys, this has become a fun and informative place to talk about the Yankees.

I would also like to give a tip of the hat to the writers of the Yankee blogosphere, for linking to us and engaging in some extremely interesting debates. In particular, the folks over at RAB were an invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience for me as I started the blog, and really helped our growth in highlighting some of our better content.… Click here to read the rest

And you blame the Yanks for payroll escalation?

[UPDATE: What I tweeted long before this posting:

A’s must be afraid of big bad Michael Weiner. Gotta spend that money. Mets outbid again. First Molina, then Sheets, then Saab.

A tweet complete with a dig at the Mets and a Saab sale reference…]

And I really like Sheets.

Yes, we can all joke that Sheets will be gone mid-year, or on the DL. Your best jokes below, please. Let’s hear ’em!… Click here to read the rest