These Derek Jeter Contract Predictions Are Outrageous

Mark Polishurk on MLB Trade Rumors did a little speculation today on what kind of contract Derek Jeter will command one year from now. A quote:

Something in the neighborhood of a six-year contract that pays Jeter around $22MM per year (a nod to his uniform number) might be a total more to the liking of both parties.  Jeter gets a slight raise from his previous contract, is locked up until he’s 42 years old, and is amply rewarded for his contributions to the team while still leaving the Yankees with a bit of flexibility to sign other players (like, for example, fellow Yankee legend Mariano Rivera, whose deal is also up after 2010)

Polishurk labels this as a reasonable contract after reading Tyler Kepner’s quote:

After Rodriguez defied the Yankees and opted out of his contract in October 2007, the Yankees talked tough but eventually gave him what he wanted: a 10-year, $275 million contract that locks him up through his 42nd birthday.

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Adeiny Hechevarria Targeted By Yankees?

From George King:

“The Yankees have been on him for a while,” said a scout who saw the 21-year-old shortstop work out recently in the Dominican Republic. “Two weeks ago, about 50 scouts watched him work out and the Yankees were there. They also have seen him in smaller workouts.”
Because the Red Sox gave 19-year old shortstop Jose Iglesias $8 million, industry sources expect the right-handed-hitting Hechavarria to command a $7 to $8 million signing bonus.
“Maybe more because his bat is better than Iglesias’,” a scout said.

The article goes on to quote another scout, one who believes Adeiny is ticketed for CF and could be a BJ Upton type player. A third scout noted that Hechevarria likely would have been a first round pick in last season’s draft. All of this seems a bit overblown. This is something that seems to happen a lot with international free agents, usually because there are a lot fewer independent scouts viewing these players and the players often limit their exposure to controlled workouts.… Click here to read the rest

Dave Eiland-‘Hughes Rules’ not like Joba’s

In an interview yesterday with WFAN’s Ed Coleman and Yankee beat reporter Sweeney Murti, Yankee pitching Coach Dave Eiland cleared up some of the confusion surrounding the restrictions that will be placed on Phil Hughes this season. I transcribed that portion of the interview, which can be listened to in it’s entirety here. He said:

Sweeney Murti-“Joba made 31 starts last year, and a lot has been made in the previous two years about the restrictions on him, and they’re gone now. But Hughes is going to be on some sort of innings limit this year as well. So should he be the guy who ends up in the rotation? You’re going to be dealing with things in that regard, too. First part of it Dave, does having the training wheels off for Joba him any sort of advantage or leg up? Or is everybody even?”

Eiland-“No, everybody’s even. There’s no clear favorite. There’s nobody that’s out in front right now.… Click here to read the rest

MLB Needs To Get In On The Olympics

[image title=”london-olympic-logo” size=”full” id=”15036″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]I really enjoyed watching the Olympic opening ceremonies last night. The cultural show was a let-down, perhaps because I’m comparing it to Beijing but also perhaps because Canada seemed to overemphasize parts of its culture to the point of caricaturization at times. I’m ethnically Canadian, though I don’t have a lot of connection to my past, and nothing in the show made me all that interested in forming a connection, though I did like what they did with projection on the stage. But that’s all for another blog.

There is something special about watching the Olympics that I have trouble describing. Watching the athletes walk in so obviously proud to represent their country, or seeing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson fly to Vancouver so that he could make the opening ceremonies even though he has a game to make in California today, has resonance. More and more of these Olympians are highly-paid, highly-endorsed stars, but you don’t sense it watching them.… Click here to read the rest

State Of Yankee Starting Pitching Depth

Not that long ago, the Yankees had more pitching depth than they could have dreamed of. The Triple-A rotation was so full that qualified pitchers had to move to Double-A, and the team even let a few go in the Rule V draft. An impressive amount of pitching has left the organization over the past two years. Off the top of my head, the Yankees have traded, let loose, or seen the (maybe temporary) demise of: Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen, Ian Kennedy, George Kontos, Kei Igawa, Eric Hacker, Jeff Marquez, Steve White, Tyler Clippard, Matt DeSalvo and Phil Coke, while Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Alfredo Aceves sit comfortably in the major leagues.

While there’s not a ton of major league success there, that’s the nature of depth pitching. A lot of it won’t work out, so having many options is necessary to ensure a not-so-disastrous outcome if a starter goes down. I’m going to separate Yankee depth into three categories: ready now, ready potentially some time this year, ready potentially some time next year.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes’ fastball confidence

In a FanHouse piece in which Frankie Piliere outlines a handful of former prospects with something to prove in 2010, Piliere cites the Yankees’ young starter/reliever, Phil Hughes. “Bullpen or no bullpen, we saw the real Hughes start to shine through in 2009,” writes the former Texas scout. Piliere attributes Hughes’ newfound success to him seeming “more aggressive and comfortable in every way” last season, as these traits allowed the 23-year old to look like a “different pitcher” on the mound when compared to the discernibly diffident version we saw in 2008. Much of this aggressiveness, notes Piliere, was derived from Hughes’ confidence in one pitch, in particular—his fastball.

In 2009, working primarily as Mariano Rivera’s setup man, Hughes’ fastball averaged 93.7 mph. In 2008, as a starter, Hughes’ velocity averaged nearly 3 mph less at 91.2 mph. The noticeable uptick in velocity can help to explain the changes in Hughes’ demeanor from 2008 to 2009 as he was simply working with more gas last year, in a relief role (he could let it “fly”), as opposed to two years ago.… Click here to read the rest

Which Minor Leaguers Will Impact The Yankees in 2010?

Each year, USA Today creates a list of minor leaguers/rookies that all baseball fans should know and watch for in 2010. This is not a top prospect list, but is a list of the 100 players most likely to reach the majors for more than a cup of coffee, and make some sort of impact. Last year’s list included Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, and David Robertson, with Gardner and Robertson scoring regular roles on the 2009 Yankees. This year’s list includes 2 former Yankees (Jackson and Jose Tabata), and 4 current Yankees:

52. Mark Melancon, RHP, Yankees: Next in line to continue the run of success the Yankees had last season with young pitchers setting up in front of closer Mariano Rivera, Melancon, 24, should fill one of the openings. He’s a hard thrower with a sharp-breaking curve. Groomed as a reliever since turning pro in 2006, he has bounced back well from missing 2007 after Tommy John elbow surgery.

56.

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Cashman: “They have to reconcile why they are not here, not me”

“If people want to be here and be a part of something, then find a way to work it out. Of course we want (Jeter, Rivera and Girardi) back, but we choose to delay that until the end of the year.”

Yeah, Mo and Jeter will be back.  Might cripple the team’s financial flexibility for a few more years, however. We discussed that already…

Just remember Catfish’s lesson, OK?

The most interesting thing that came out of this review of Cashman’s talk was how, prior to a World Series game, he was already talking about 2010 and that’s how the Granderson deal roots took hold:

“Dave Dombrowski (the Detroit Tigers’ GM) was like, ‘What are you calling me for? You have first pitch at 8,’” Cashman said. “I said, ‘Dave, we set our roster, so there’s nothing left for me to do now except for turning the page and talk about next year.’ That’s when he first mentioned Curtis Granderson might become available.”

[…]

“If you ask everyone in the room if they would rather not have Curtis Granderson because he costs X amount of dollars and Andy Pettitte because he costs X amount, that gives you more money to sign the left fielder who is dear to your heart in Johnny Damon,” Cashman said.Click here to read the rest

TYU Fantasy Baseball!

Hey all; I’ve put together a fantasy baseball league for the writers and readers of TYU and I’d love for you to join. Right now, E.J. and I are in and the maximum for the league is 12. The draft is currently scheduled for March 15th (Monday). It’s a league from Yahoo! and the ID# is 171636 and the password is simply “tyu” without the quotes.

The hitters’ categories are: R, RBI, HR, AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS, SB%.

The pitchers’ categories are: IP, W, L, S, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, BS.

If you’re interested, join on up, we’d love to have you!

While we’re on the subject, I’d like to talk about fantasy baseball. Some people may think that Fantasy Baseball is more of a detriment to the game, that it takes people away from the “reality” of the game and puts the focus on the numbers rather than on the players. There is nothing farther from the truth in my experience. Fantasy Baseball has done a ton to help me get even more into baseball.… Click here to read the rest