Crawford Plan B?

Ken Davidoff wrote yesterday that the Yankees may see Carl Crawford as “Plan B” if the Yankees do not get Cliff Lee in free agency.

I’m rather dubious of this plan, even if the Yankees have contacted Crawford’s “representative.” If Cliff Lee doesn’t become a Yankee, signing an outfielder isn’t a wise move. While the Yankees could trade one of their current outfielders for a starting pitcher then replace said outfielder with Carl Crawford, there are a lot of things that have to be assumed. And we don’t like assumptions now do we?

The first thing we have to assume is that the Yankees don’t sign Cliff Lee. Then, we have to assume that one of the teams that’s heavily in for Crawford–the Angels or the Tigers–doesn’t sign him. After that, we have to assume that the Yankees would have a taker for one of their starting outfielders. In that scenario, the Yankees would be desperate to move a player, which would put them at an incredible disadvantage during trade negotiations.… Click here to read the rest

The lines are being drawn in L’Affaire Jeter

Jeter has long been the golden boy in NY and most of it is well deserved.  Doesn’t get into trouble, nothing embarrassing like kissing mirrors or getting caught with washed-up singers and muscle-y women, or being dragged into any PED discussion.  He refers to his managers as “Mr.”, showing respect.  He’s more of the lead-by-example type, it seems, than the fiery type.  Posada’s that guy.  Jeter hasn’t done some things well, like supporting ARod a few years back when a simple word or two in the papers might have gone a long way*. 

* Please note that while ARod has led the team in embarrassing moments, his last two years have been scandal-free. I’ve been criticized, fairly, for being unduly harsh to ARod over the years. No, I have never been a huge fan of him personally, but I do root for him if for no other reason than he’s on my favorite team. His 2009 season was a revelation.Click here to read the rest

2010 Season in Review: A.J. Burnett

The Yankees’ fortunes always seem to be linked to A.J. Burnett. In 2009 he was the x-factor in the postseason rotation. Every Yankee fan had confidence that CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte would show up for October. A.J. was a different story. If the unpredictable righty could harness his stuff then the team was set. If bad A.J. took the mound the Bombers were in trouble. Fortunately, we got enough of a taste of good A.J. for the rest to be history.

That same scenario played itself out, in microcosm, in the 2010 ALCS. If the Yankees had won the pivotal Game Four they would’ve evened the series, with CC Sabathia taking the mound in game five. And who was starting that critical game? None other than Arkansas’ own Allan James Burnett. Once again, he was the ingredient to determining the team’s eventual success or failure. I sense a trend here.

The Yankees signed A.J. to be their number-two starter.… Click here to read the rest

Yankee Notes-November 19 edition

Joel Sherman nails why the Yanks won’t go the extra mile to acquire a budding star like Justin Upton

It is tempting. Upton is just 23. He is locked into a reasonable contract (five years at $49.5 million left). But if the Yanks use prospect assets on Upton and there is a breakdown somewhere else would the Yanks beat themselves up for upgrading a relatively strong position and then not having the elements left to fix a weakness?

I would add that with the Yankee payroll becoming increasingly top heavy over the next few years, having good, cheap options to fill out the roster will become more valuable than ever. Trading off your high-end depth is something you’re likely to regret. We all love the stars, but you need most of the 40 man roster to get through a season. Given the age at some key spots, it’s even more of an imperative.

WFAN’s Sweeney Murti discusses the ramifications of breaking the bank for Derek:

What if Jeter hits .250 next year and you’re locked into him for the next three years at $20 million a year?Click here to read the rest

Yankees Sign Rafael DePaula

Melissa Segura is reporting that the Yankees have come to terms with 19 year old Dominican righty Jose Rafael DePaula on a deal with a bonus of $700,000. You may recall that DePaula was suspended from signing last year due to age fraud issues, as he was suggesting that he was 17 when he was almost 19. Segura notes that DePaula throws 97 and likely would have attracted more interest if not for the age scandal last offseason. $700,000 is a fairly high offer for the Yankees to make to an IFA righty pitcher, and I wonder whether they will be relatively aggressive with him due to his being almost 20.

Courtesy of Blake Bentley, here is some video:

Rafael DePaula from Blake Bentley on Vimeo.… Click here to read the rest

Wins are dead, long live the King!

Here are the BBWAA votes:

Interestingly, the BBWAA shows some transparency in identifying who each voter picked as their #1 choice:

  • Hernandez: Ken Rosenthal, Fox; Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe; Michael Silverman, Boston Herald; Erik Boland, Newsday; Joe Smith, St. Petersburg Times; Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune; Lynn Henning, Detroit News; John Lowe, Detroit Free Press; Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star; Joe Posnanski, SI.com; Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star Tribune; John Shipley, St. Paul Pioneer Press; Hirokazu Higuchi, Chunichi Shimbun (LA); Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports; Jorge Ortiz, USA Today; Ray Ratto, At Large (SF/Oakland); Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald; Larry Stone, Seattle Times; Richard Durrett, At Large (Dallas-Fort Worth); Anthony Andro, Fort Worth Star Telegram; Morgan Campbell, Toronto Star.
  • Price: Mel Antonen, USA Today; Tony Fabrizio, Tampa Tribune; Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune; Chris Assenheimer. Elyria (OH) Chronicle.
  • Sabathia: George King, New York Post; Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun; Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon Journal.

Our own Mark thought Cliff Lee should get it but acknowledged that Felix would indeed win it:  

My guess is that the big debate will be CC versus Felix, and I’ll also guess that Felix has received enough media attention to wrestle what will be a tight race away from CC.

Click here to read the rest

Felix Wins Cy Young, CC Finishes 3rd

From the BBWAA:

Seattle Mariners righthander Felix Hernandez may have had trouble posting victories in 2010, but he was a convincing winner in the voting for the American League Cy Young Award. Hernandez, known as “King Felix,” was crowned despite posting a victory total that was the lowest for any winner in either league among starting pitchers in a full season and matched the lowest for a winning starter in any season.

Pitching for a team that averaged only 3.2 runs per game, Hernandez compiled a 13-12 record with a league-leading 2.27 ERA in 34 starts. He also led the league in innings (249 2/3) and finished second in strikeouts with 232, one behind Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim righthander Jered Weaver.

CC Sabathia finished in 3rd place, right behind David Price of the Rays. Felix won the award fairly comfortably, receiving 21 of 28 first place votes, with Price nabbing 4 and CC the remaining 3. The remaining pitchers to receive votes were, in order of finish: Lester, Weaver, Buchholz, Lee, Soriano, Cahill, Soria, Liriano, and Verlander.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Trade Juan Miranda For Scottie Allen

Via MLB Trade Rumors:

It’s no blockbuster, but Kevin Towers and Brian Cashman made a deal today. The Yankees acquired right-hander Scott Allen from the Diamondbacks for infielder Juan Miranda, according to a team press release.

The Diamondbacks chose Allen, 19, in the 11th round of the 2009 draft. In 95 2/3 innings over two seasons, he has a 3.95 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9.

The deal was definitely made possible through Cashman and Towers relationship, and his short term in the Yankee front office. The Yankees had no use for Miranda. He could very well be the starting 1b for the Diamondbacks this year. Farewell, Juan.

This is the “small player move” that Cashman has been hinting to recently. I can’t complain. And yes, he is listed as “Scottie” Allen on BR.… Click here to read the rest