Catching up on some Yankee news

To say things have been slow this offseason is a bit of an understatement but it is still November, we have months of offseason to go and let’s face it, not everyone can be the Toronto Blue Jays who are in full-on revamp mode.

So until the Yankees announce some more signings – namely Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera who will hopefully be signed soon – we are left to read stories about Jeff Keppinger being a possible free agent target for the Yankees. The thought is that he could play the Eric Chavez role – to start third base when needed and also as a fill-in Derek Jeter who more than likely won’t be at 100% at the start of the season coming off his season ending ankle surgery. Keppinger who batted .325/.367/.439/.806 for the Rays in 2012 made starts at first, second and third base. He hit nine home runs, collected 40 RBI and played in 115 games. This also isn’t the first time he’s appeared on the Yankees’ radar. Maybe this time, he’ll be scooped up, pun intended.

Another story making the rounds on this quiet Saturday in November is about Russell Martin voicing an interest in playing shortstop for the Canadian team in the World Baseball Classic. Yes, you read correctly, I wrote shortstop.

The reasoning behind this request is because George Kottaras of the Oakland A’s is also on Canada’s roster. I guess Martin wants to give Kottaras a chance to play – Martin played in the 2009 WBC.

This isn’t the first time Martin stepped aside to help another player out. In the 2011 All-Star Game, he was the only Yankee to remain on the bench in the American League’s 5-1 loss to the National League in order to allow Matt Wieters to appear on the field in his first All-Star game.

Ichiro Suzuki said he’s willing to wait for the Yankees to sign the aforementioned Pettitte and Rivera and according to an article by George King of the New York Post, Suzuki would love to play for the Yankees again.

“There has been a lot of interest [from teams], but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it’s hard for him to say no to the Yankees. His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we will wait and see.’’

Ichiro played in 67 games for the Yankees and batted .322/.340/.454/.794 with seven home runs – I saw him hit two in one game against Josh Beckett in August. It was both hilarious and spectacular.

Now, the one caveat with Ichiro is his price tag. He made $17M last year and the Yankees will most likely not be willing to pay that price for a 39-year-old outfielder. Then again, you never know, Ichiro may take less money to remain with the Yankees.

Hopefully we’ll find out soon.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money and is co-host of the It's About The Yankees, Stupid podcast. When she's not blogging about baseball, she's blogging about the New York Knicks and when she's not doing either of those things, she's tweeting about General Hospital and her cats.

9 thoughts on “Catching up on some Yankee news

  1. uyf1950

    I’ve been on the Jeff Keppinger bandwagon since the trade deadline. I think depending on the right deal he’s an ideal player for the Yankees. There in lies the the question “depending on the right deal”. For me that means 2 years/$8 to $10MM total. Having said that I don’t think that will get a deal done. It would not surprise me to see some team offer him a full time position and more money which he can’t/won’t get from the Yankees. I think ultimately the Yankees will re-sign Chavez who surprisingly was very healthy in 2012 and very productive and Nunez and they may wind up holding on to Nix via arbitration for about $900K or maybe go with Stephen Drew. It’s not the worst thing the Yankees could wind up with. Just my opinion.

    • I agree with going after Stephen Drew, could be a breakout guy after being injured last year. And he certainly would provide some more consistent defense than Nuneeeeeeeez.

  2. baseballss2

    If they were to get Keppinger, would it have to be on a slightly front loaded contract to help get under $189 million next year?

    • Based on AAV, not in-year cash flows.

      • baseballss2

        oh yeah, forgot that. thanks

  3. uyf1950

    Keppinger's salary even if the Yankees signed him wouldn't impact the Yankees ability to get at/under the $189MM luxury tax threshold for 2014. What will effect it is the contracts of Granderson, Cano. In my opinion they can NOT afford to re-sign Granderson. Also if they think about re-signing Martin it can't be for a lot of money. I think 1 year is the most they can go with. And a #2 starting pitcher is almost out of the question.
    The way I see it the Yankees have to limit themselves in 2014 to:
    A starting outfield AAV Payroll of: $25MM = 3 players
    A starting infield AAV Payroll of: $85MM (assumes re-sign Cano for $22MM per) = 5 players
    A starting rotation AAV Payroll of: $40MM = 5 players (CC's the largest expense, obviously)
    A Bullpen AAV Payroll of: $15MM = 7 players
    A DH and balance of 25 man roster AAV Payroll of: $9MM = 5 players
    Balance of players that fill out the 40 man roster AAV Payroll of: $5MM = 15 players
    MLB charge to MLB teams for benefits, etc of: $10MM

    That comes to exactly $189MM and hope to God that A-Rod hits 13 HR's in 2013 and reaches Mays milestone incentive of 660 HR's and the Yankees get the $6MM incentive charge in 2013.

    • Wow, that’s pretty sad when you “hope to God that A-Rod hits 13 HR’s in 2013.” Was he that pathetic looking in the post season? I’ve blocked it out of my memory…

      • uyf1950

        Don't get me wrong. I think he can hit 15 to 20 HR's if he can give the Yankees 130 to 140 games. But there in lies the question can he give the Yankees that many games and the corresponding PA's?

        • OK, that doesn't sound nearly as pathetic. For me, I'm guessing that he goes into the offseason with the bad taste of benching in his mouth and works his ass off. I think next season will be a killer one for him.

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