Mariano Rivera’s deal is official and other Yankee signings

It’s official, the Yankees announced that Mariano Rivera has signed a one-year contract to pitch in 2013. The terms of the deal are as follows, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

Rivera contract with #Yankees: One year: $10M plus following incentives. $500K for LCS/MVP, $1M for WS/MVP, $1M for winning Rolaids award.

Rivera said in his statement: “I feel like we have…a team that can compete for a championship. I’m not just coming back to play. I’m coming back to win.”

Also coming across the wires otherwise known as Twitter as I was writing this post, the Yankees designated both Mickey Storey and Jayson Nix for assignment to make room for Rivera and righthander Jim Miller on the 40-man roster. Miller was picked up a short time ago from Oakland.

Nix was signed to a $900,000 major league contract and immediately designated for assignment. He agreed to accept the assignment in Triple A and if he clears waivers, he will report to camp in the Spring.… Click here to read the rest

Report: Yankees to tender contract offers to everyone

From the Chad Jennings of the Lohud Yankees Blog:

A team spokesman just announced that the Yankees “do not anticipate having any non-tenders” before tonight’s deadline. Obviously something crazy could change between now and then — thought I honestly have no idea what that would be — but for now, go ahead and count on everyone on the roster being tendered a contract offer.

Also, from the YankeesPR Twitter account:

Yankees also claim RHP Jim Miller off waivers from Oakland; next up, Winter Meetings in Nashville

Today’s been a quiet day especially compared to yesterday’s events. And speaking of yesterday, the Pirates’ twitter account tweeted a picture of their newest acquisition, Russell Martin, who seems to be sporting a mustache for Movember. Or maybe he just forgot to wash his face.… Click here to read the rest

Cashman: New catcher “likely” already with organization

I don’t want to say I told you so, but:

With Russell Martin heading to Pittsburgh, GM Brian Cashman has another player to replace, although he doesn’t anticipate making a big splash.

“It’s possible our catchers are on our roster right now,” Cashman said. “That is very well possible and more likely than not, but we’ll see.”

There could, of course, be better options, but that’s not necessarily likely to be the case if the Yankees don’t intend to make a push for Mike Napoli or A.J. Pierzynski. Truth be told, as annoying as it would be I don’t think there could be a better public face for the “new” Yankees than Francisco Cervelli (or Chris Stewart) starting at catcher.… Click here to read the rest

Why Do I Not Like Shane Victorino?

Double ear flaps. So stupid. GAH!!! Courtesy of the AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

In addition to muddying the waters of the Russell Martin contract situation, Jon Heyman also listed the Yankees as one of several teams interested in free agent outfielder Shane Victorino. Victorino, 32, is coming off a down year that saw him traded from his longtime team in Philadelphia out to Cali to finish the season with the payroll-bloated Dodgers. I’m just going to get right to the point and say that I want absolutely no part of Shane Victorino on the 2013 Yankees. And here’s the kicker, I have absolutely no reason why. I’m not sure what it is about him, because it’s not like he’s a bad baseball player, but I’ve just never been much of a Shane Victorino guy. It’s completely irrational and I’m the first one to admit it, because Victorino could actually be a good fit for the Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

ATHLETE WHO CAN’T RUN ADDS LOTS OF WEIGHT!

Gotta hand it to the Post, they’re always bringing you the big breaking stories. Today they have the shocking news that, brace yourself…Derek Jeter has put on some weight!

Okay, I can’t snark too hard because they did get me to click on the story straight away, and once you get past the headline and picture there’s no attempt to stir up any controversy or anything. It’s just a straight up attempt to get clicks, and it worked on me, so job well done. There’s obviously no meat to this, though: just a case of a recently injured athlete who can’t do any lower body exercises, or even run, putting on some weight. Once he’s cleared to work out, I have little doubt that Jeter will be in great shape in short order.… Click here to read the rest

Dreaming About Zack Greinke

Over the last 8 years, no other pitcher has ever gotten close to touching Zack Greinke‘s 2009 season. His 9.3 fWAR was a full win ahead of Justin Verlander‘s highest mark, 1.5 fWAR higher than C.C. Sabathia’s, and 1.6 fWAR higher than Cliff Lee‘s. His 2.33 FIP was the second lowest to just Roy Halladay‘s 2011 season, and his 2.16 ERA was second to Roger Clemens‘ 2005. As great as his 2009 season was, he hasn’t stopped producing, putting up 5.1 fWAR in 2010, 4.0 in 2011, and 5.1 again in 2012. At just 29 years old next season, Greinke is one of the best right handed pitchers in baseball, and although he’s a free agent at this very moment, the Yankees have shown no interest.

(Diane Weiss/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

With the types of numbers he puts up, you’d think that a player’s makeup issues from 8 years ago would mean very little, but to a team like the Yankees, who play in the biggest market in the MLB, makeup is one of their biggest concerns.… Click here to read the rest

Well now what?

Sadly, Russell Martin’s tenure as a New York Yankee is over. The Russ Bus has pulled out of the Bronx and will make port in Pittsburgh now after Martin reached a deal with the Pirates last night. This leaves the Yankees with few options in the catching department and I, frankly, have no idea what they’ll do.

I would think that not signing Martin means they won’t sign A.J. Pierzynski. Everything was set for a Martin/Yankees reunion. His price would be reasonable and the Yankees needed a catcher. But, that didn’t happen for whatever reason. Either the Yankees didn’t like Martin as a player, which I doubt, or they found the price tag too high. While it’s not the most reasonable thing in the world, I have to think it’s the latter. And if the Yankees thought a 2/$17MM deal was too much for a catcher of Martin’s talents, then they sure aren’t going to go after Pierzynski, whose tag is likely to be much higher as he’s probably a) got a little more name value and b) is coming off of a career year.… Click here to read the rest

So…what now?

The Yankees needed a starting catcher. The Yankees had a starting catcher who’s been worth 5.2 fWAR over the past two seasons (and that probably underestimates the value of his pitch framing abilities), and he’s just signed a two year, $17 million contract. Unfortunately, he signed that contract with the Pirates, not the Yankees, as the latter apparently never got particularly close to a deal with him.

As far as the Yankees’ level of interest goes, details are a little sketchy. Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were working in the $12-14 million range with Russell Martin before he signed his new contract, but most of the New York beat reporters have said that the Yankees never made Martin an offer at all, and in fact haven’t made an offer to any position player yet. David Waldstein passed along the most specific detail: claiming that the Yankees told Martin they didn’t have the cash to match the Pirates’ offer.

So that’s really the rub: Martin is going to Pittsburgh because of the Yankees 2014 budget plans (or the Yankees had no interest in him at all and just used the payroll issue as a cover, but that wouldn’t comport with everything else we’ve heard about the organization’s opinion of Martin).Click here to read the rest

Pirates Reach Agreement With Russell Martin

USA Today

Goodbye Russell Martin. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pirates have agreed to signMartin. Although the catcher had a weak defensive and offensive year, his pitch framing has always been regarded as top-tier.

There are few other options the Yankees have at catcher now, so it’ll be interesting to see what the team does. The Yankees budget may have had something to do with failing to re-sign Martin, but perhaps the team has a better player in sight.

Last week I suggested that the Yankees target Geovany Soto as a possible right handed DH and backup catcher. Though the once rookie of the year’s defense is average, he’s failed to reach his offensive upside over the last few years. Assuming he’s non-tendered by the Rangers, he’s one of the few options aside from the controversial AJ Pierzynski. It’s very unlikely that the team will rely on Austin Romine for the entire season, but they do have some depth with backup caliber catchers.… Click here to read the rest