Kerry Wood joins the bullpen; this should be interesting

I liked the Berkman and Kearns acquisitions a whole lot more than this last one:

The New York Yankees acquired pitcher Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, the third deal in less than 24 hours for the World Series champions as they beefed up for the stretch run.

Wood, a hard-throwing, 33-year-old righty, gives the Yankees another setup option alongside Joba Chamberlain for closer Mariano Rivera.

The Yankees sent Cleveland a player to be named or $500,000, and the Indians gave New York $2,172,131. New York will pay $1.5 million of the $3,672,131 remaining on Wood’s $10.5 million salary this year. His contract includes an $11 million team option for 2011.

OK, the only true cost was cash and clearly the Yanks have enough free cash to toss $1.5 million at a pitcher who throws hard but carries a poor injury history and a recent spotty performance history. If his name wasn’t Kerry Wood, would we even be remotely excited? This is a guy fresh of the DL with just 20 IP this season. He’s got a nice K rate but a lousy BB rate, which sounds like some of the current Yankee bullpen staff. The team loses essentially nothing if he flops –aside from cash- so for the most part, it’s a riskless transaction. That doesn’t mean it’s a good one.

Maybe Wood will form a three-headed monster with Joba and Robertson to successfully bridge to Mo, or as I fear, he will simply be an expensive accelerant. He still carries a strong reputation from his early Cubs days, but that pitcher is long gone by this point. What we have now is just another reliever with a big, fat (6.30) ERA (5.21 FIP, 5.04 xFIP), who has control problems and a high home run rate. Sounds like the guy the team just DFA’d to make room for Wood.

Meh.

(click “view full post” for some Park vs. Wood comparisons) Continue reading Kerry Wood joins the bullpen; this should be interesting

A look at the newest Yankees: Lance "Big Puma" Berkman and Austin Kearns

Sometime this afternoon the Yankees will officially announce that they have acquired Lance Berkman from the Astros for Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes. In a separate deal, the Yankees traded for the Indians’ Austin Kearns for a player to be named later, who will obviously be of little consequence. Both of these are solid upgrades to the Yankees’ league-leading offense. The big catch is obviously Berkman — though many of us in Yankeeland were hoping for the Yanks to reel in Yankeeist favorite Adam Dunn in, clearly the cost was far too prohibitive for a player who will be a Continue reading A look at the newest Yankees: Lance "Big Puma" Berkman and Austin Kearns

Yanks adding firepower with Berkman, Kearns

There’s something eminently wonderful about the Yanks trading for a star player AND the other team kicking in millions in “salary relief” and taking only marginal prospects back in return:

Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman has waived his no-trade clause and a deal is in place to move him to the New York Yankees, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Friday.

The Berkman deal likely will be completed before Saturday’s trade deadline. The Astros will pick up $4 million of the $7 million owed to Berkman this year and in his 2011 option, sources said.

The Yankees will send two prospects to the Astros: reliever Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes.

The Yanks get the Big Puma to serve as the primary DH the rest of the season, also giving Teixeira a day off (the field) every so often. Berkman is due about $7 million for the rest of 2010 and has a large $15 million option for 2012 or a $2 million parting gift. And, in the Yanks favor, Berkman has asked that that option NOT get picked up, making him just a rental. Even better. The Steinbrenner family purportedly gave approval to expand the payroll (limits, what limits?) to accomodate lodging for the Big Puma.

What’s going to be interesting is if Posada’s knees continue to act up, keeping him from behind the plate. That DH role is going to be a crowded one, but with Berkman another switch hitter, this lineup is all the more imposing. Berkman, Posada, Swisher, Teixeira…all switch hitters. Guessing Berkman or Swisher will be batting second or sixth going forward.

Now it’s true that Berkman has been sliding the last few years and was not very good for the first half of this season, but like his first base counterpart Teixeira, he’s been heating up the last few weeks.

Split G PA AB R H HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 Totals 85 358 298 39 73 13 49 60 .245 .372 .436 .808
Last 28 days 18 81 62 13 17 6 14 19 .274 .444 .613 1.057

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 7/31/2010.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Yanks adding firepower with Berkman, Kearns

Yanks acquire Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Yanks have acquired 1B/RF Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros and OF Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians. Kearns was traded for a PBTNL, Berkman (aka Big Puma and Fat Elvis) will head to New York in exchange for AAA reliever Mark Melancon and low-A second baseman Jimmy Paredes. The 5 mil remaining on Berkman’s 2010 salary will be picked up by the Astros, along with the 2 mil buyout of his 2011 option. Berkman’s having a down year, but has maintained relatively good production (123 wRC+) and has been better of Continue reading Yanks acquire Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns

Wade Davis and Matt Joyce beat Phil Hughes and Nick Swisher 3-2

Man, this was a tough one. Phil Hughes was pitching rather well until he ran into trouble in the sixth. Armed with a scant two-run lead on a Nick Swisher home run, Hughes gave it all back and then some as Matt Joyce pumped a three-run bomb with two outs. Though Hughes ended up tossing a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER), the outing was a bit tarnished. Not to take anything away from Joyce, but a veteran starter probably doesn’t surrender a go-ahead bomb with two outs. As the Yankees decided to take one of their patented nights off Continue reading Wade Davis and Matt Joyce beat Phil Hughes and Nick Swisher 3-2

Dustin’s Night

Yesterday, I penned (typed?) a post about how I wasn’t expecting much out of Dustin Moseley during last night’s game. Well, during the game against the Indians last night, I was very, very pleasantly surprised. After a rocky first inning during which he threw 31 pitches, Moseley settled down and ended up throwing six solid innings, allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. He also had a .261 WPA, the highest of the game. Way to go, Dustin. That’s a hell of a spot start. Let’s jump into the Pitch F/X and see Continue reading Dustin’s Night

All Quiet on the Transaction Front?

Yesterday, we learned that the Yankees are considering themselves out on Adam Dunn. The price on Scott Downs is ridiculously high. They offered the Diamondbacks Joba and two others for Dan Haren, but the Diamondbacks didn’t bite (which is surprising, considering the package they did get back from the Angels). The Yankees have been linked to utility guys Wes Helms and Willie Bloomquist, but those guys aren’t very attractive and I’d assume that the Yankees would sooner try out Eduardo Nunez than ship prospects off and spend bigger money for guys who are vets. I’ve been saying this all trade-season Continue reading All Quiet on the Transaction Front?