Nightly Links: Lopez, Kay, Valentine

  • The biggest news today, the 10 playoff system will begin this year. Though Cashman might blame himself, this is really Selig’s money making idea. I really dislike the decision, in fact I hate it, but I’m sure the next week will be filled with more opinions than one needs to read.
  • This offseason, FanGraphs held an ongoing poll asking fans who were the best TV broadcasters. The Yankees came in at 22, with pretty average charisma and analysis, but got extra points for David Cone’s FanGraphs love.
Click here to read the rest

The Competition That Isn’t

January twelfth of 2012 is undeniably a day that will live on in the hearts and minds of Yankees fans. It was that evening that the balance of power in Yankee-land shifted for the foreseeable future. Since then the picture of what this rotation will look like next season has crystalized. With Cy Young candidate CC Sabathia at the top, Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda following him up, Ivan Nova in the fourth spot and one of Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia rounding things out. Except, like he always says, like all managers always say, Joe Girardi claims there is competition. He claims Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia are not guaranteed rotation spots. They have to earn them. In Girardi’s words:

I’m just trying to make sure that when we leave spring training, we’re taking what we feel is the five best. And to be fair, there’s no guarantees.

Of course no one believes that Pineda, the centerpiece of the perhaps the biggest trade of last winter, will be on the outside looking in as the Yankees head north.… Click here to read the rest

Future Free Agent Classes and the Impact of Long-Term Extensions

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

Because free agency is often expensive and unpredictable, baseball teams have become more amendable to negotiating long-term extensions with players already under contract. Earlier in the week, I examined this trend from the perspective of the Yankees and smaller market teams, but what about the players who have not yet signed or been offered an extension?

The charts below provide the contract status for the “best” young position players and pitchers in the game. Among the position players listed, only four will be free agents after this season (assuming Yadier Molina’s extension is consummated and the Yankees and Braves pick up their respective club options on Robinson Cano and Brian McCann). Although the remaining eligible players are far from elite, Michael Bourn, Erick Aybar, B.J. Upton and Howie Kendrick should each draw considerable interest on the open market, especially because of the up-the-middle defensive positions they play.

Contract Status of Top Young Position Players
Note: Includes players currently under 30 entering 2012 with an average bWAR of at least 3.0 over the past three seasons.Click here to read the rest

Yankee Top Ten Relief Prospects (Part 1)

As I’ve said before, the Yankees have been the best organization at developing relief pitchers over the last decade. With all these top prospect lists heading our way, I rarely see much loving handed out to the relief pitchers, so I figured we could focus on an impressive group of guys that could become the team’s future. Who knows, one of these guys might be the next Mariano Rivera. While guys like Dellin Betances might ultimately become relievers, this list is for players that currently project out of the bullpen. While closeness to the majors was a factor, upside was primary, which pushed LOOGYs and many older AAA relievers off this list. Without further ado, the top ten relief prospects.

Manny Barreda, Courtesy of Tug Haines

10. RHP- Manuel Barreda (23)
Drafted in the 12th round of the 2007 draft, Barreda was a small pitcher with velocity to gain and a potential plus changeup. Through his first season and the beginning of 2008, the right hander saw a lot of early success with the GCL Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

A bit more about the new rule regarding maple bats

Wendy Thurm: Can you tell me how the rule came about (i.e., was it a compromise between owners and players, what other changes were considered)?

Jason@IIATMS: Nearly everything in the CBA represents a compromise of some sort. Heck, if one side wanted to mandate that the sun rises in the East, the other side would try to negotiate that away. I am sure it was the only compromise the MLB, MLBPA, USDA, and equipment manufacturers could come up with to show due diligence in an attempt to improve or search for a solution.

As for the exact circumstances of the genesis of the rule change, I am not sure, but certainly this is an issue of importance for MLB. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is mostly cosmetic to show us that they are trying to do something about the problem. However, I don’t believe it is enough. The Tyler Colvin incident could have been worse, far worse, and it just might take that worst case scenario to occur (to a fan or a player) to really get this problem fixed.… Click here to read the rest

TYA Roundtable: Overrated prospects

While we all love our Baby Bombers, we try to temper our expectations or rein in our enthusiasm. This morning, we’re going to tell you which Yankee prospects we think are getting a little too much love.

E.J. Fagan: Ravel Santana. I love a true 5-tool guy who hit .298/.361/.568 as a 19 year-old in the Gulf Coast League as much as anyone, but Santana has two major knocks against him. His ankle injury was truly horrible to end last season. Although his prognosis has been relatively optimistic and the ankle isn’t as much of a problem area as the elbow, shoulder, or knee, I would urge a lot of caution. We saw with David Adams that brutal injuries are brutal injuries, and recovery timetables are always uncertain. Couple that Santana’s extreme inexperience and distance from the major leagues and you have yourself a very risky prospect. Publications that rank Santana in the top-10, ahead of someone like Austin Romine, are failing to account for this risk.… Click here to read the rest