May 29, 1995

The game on May 29, 1995 between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners was anything but your average baseball game. Held at the Kingdome in Seattle, it was Memorial Day and thus the game started at one o’clock in the afternoon (Pacific Time). Not only was it Memorial Day, but the game featured two teams that would later square off in one of the most memorable American League Divisional Series ever held. The game was also memorable because so many players who played that game had future and past ties to the Yankee franchise.

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Yankees, Martin, table extension talks

Via ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand, the Yankees and catcher Russell Martin have put talks about a contract extension on hold until after the 2012 season. The two sides were apparently too far apart in terms of desired compensation to make any discussions productive, with the Yankees only offering Martin $20 million over 3 years, according to Jon Heyman. That seems like a pretty reasonable price to me, but the AAV of that contract would be less than what Martin will make in 2012, so it’s not hard to see why he didn’t want lose his first opportunity at the open market for such an offer. Personally I think letting Martin play out the season before offering a multi-year contract is the best idea anyway, given his general trend towards less productivity with the bat. In the not unlikely event he can’t replicate his power numbers from 2011 it could very well make more teams leery of a long-term commitment to Martin and make the price even cheaper. Of course, if he has a big year you risk having the price driven way up, but it doesn’t sound like Martin is interested in taking much of a discount right now anyway. Continue reading Yankees, Martin, table extension talks

Nightly Links: Martin, Flores, Pineda

Extension talks between Russell Martin and the Yankees have ended, the sides were too far apart. They plan to continue discussions at season’s end, but the Yankees will probably be more apt to playing the market than overpay for Martin. Mike Newman at FanGraphs covered under-the-radar prospect Ramon Flores today. Newman finds the 19 year old’s plate discipline his most outstanding tool, and boasts about his baseball IQ. We already knew that Pineda planned on devoting his preseason to his changeup, but now we learn that he’ll be under the wing of CC Sabathia. Sabathia stated that the most difficult Continue reading Nightly Links: Martin, Flores, Pineda

More prospect lists released

Prospect Week is nearly here, and the Internets have been kind enough to share some more assessments of the Yankee farm system with us.  Once again, we get some interesting and differing perspectives on the Yankee farm that illustrates the lack of consensus about the ranking of the top prospects in the Yankee farm, and how they fit in with the best prospects in the minor leagues.  We have lists from two sources that are thought of as being more statistically focused, though the rankings don’t necessarily seem to reflect that bias. John Sickels over at SBN’s Minor League Ball Continue reading More prospect lists released

Completing a Bullpen

Yesterday we heard that David Aardsma had signed a one year deal with the Yankees, along with an option for 2013, a deal that will play him at least $500K to rehabilitate following elbow surgery last year. We also heard that Joba Chamberlain was throwing off a mound and that Joe Girardi expects him to contribute in 2012. There was also news late last week that Hideki Okajima had failed his physical and would not be joining the team. Despite possessing one of the best bullpens in baseball, led by Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Boone Logan, Continue reading Completing a Bullpen

Russell Martin v. The Free Agent Market

The 2013 free agent market projects to be one of the richest in years. A team like the Yankees can find a plethora of young starting pitchers, outfielders, and catchers who could draw Cy Young or MVP votes. Russell Martin is on his way to free agency, which means the team will have yet another position to replace. Though one of their strongest organizational positions is catching, the team’s only immediate option in 2013 appears to be Austin Romine. News of an extension proposal to Russell Martin sheds evidence that the front office doesn’t view Romine as an everyday catcher. Continue reading Russell Martin v. The Free Agent Market

Now, for what’s really important

Ryan Braun successfully challenged his positive drug test on appeal and won’t be suspended now, eh? That’s nice, but let’s focus on what’s really important: the all-knowing opinions of our leading baseball writers! They’re the ones who really matter, you see, because they’re the ones who get to fall all over themselves to write the most over the top screed about how THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! So far, the early front-runner for the most ridiculous take on the mess is moralizer extraordinaire Jeff Passan, who starts his column out this way:

The program failed Bud Selig.

And that’s as far as I got. Seriously, I haven’t read anything beyond that sentence. What’s the point, when your premise is so flawed from the outset. To point out the obvious, the person who was “failed” here is Ryan Braun, who had his rights violated by an illegal leak before the appeals process could complete itself and now will have to deal with people who insist he’s guilty even though the test was found to be invalid (and to point out the even more obvious, claiming this is a “technicality” or a “loophole” is beyond moronic, given that the test result is literally the only evidence against Braun). Secondly, the program didn’t fail in this case, an individual broke protocol and invalidated the testing specimen. If you want to be mad at anyone, you should be mad at the collector who failed to properly do his job. But, of course, like blaming police officers who cut corners with respect to suspects’ rights, doing that would mean taking the bad guy’s side, and we can’t very well have that now can we?

Honestly though, the most puzzling behavior in the situation is that of Major League Baseball, who put out a statement denouncing the decision last night and are now talking about suing in federal court over the matter. And that’s on top of the initial leak. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost think they were deliberately trying to force the union into a fight with the league over drug testing. Continue reading Now, for what’s really important