Heathcott among best in Arizona

Baseball America has a list of the top 20 prospects from the Arizona Fall League out today, and one Yankee makes an appearance. That would be outfielder Slade Heathcott, who comes in just shy of the top five in the sixth place spot after tearing up the league to the tune of a .388/.494/.612 batting line. Heathcott, who BA just ranked as the second best prospect in the Yankees’ farm system, comes in ahead of some pretty familiar names, including Seattle’s Mike Zunino (7th), Detroit’s Nick Castellanos (8th), Cincinnati’s record setting speedster Billy Hamilton (10th), and Washington’s Anthony Rendon (11th), which is pretty awesome. Obviously this is no guarantee of future success, but Heathcott’s resurgence is certainly a welcome bright spot in a year that has included so many other setbacks for the farm system.… Click here to read the rest

This time, Yankees avoid disaster

With Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda safely back in pinstripes and Mariano Rivera likely to follow sooner rather than later, a very big chunk of the Yankees’ offseason to-do list has already been checked off. While re-signing familiar faces is never as fun as acquiring new ones, given the Yankees’ present circumstances and the state of the market it’s probably the best thing they could have done for themselves this year, and now the starting rotation looks like a strength of the team heading in to 2013.

It may all seem like things were always in hand now, but as I said in our podcast last night (which you can listen to here, by the way), there were a few too many parallels to the 2010-11 offseason for total comfort. You remember that winter, right? When the Yankees were going to sign Cliff Lee to join Pettitte, C.C. Sabathia, and Phil Hughes to form a killer rotation that would certainly yield a World Series winner?… Click here to read the rest

2012 Statistical Trends: Robinson Cano’s Hitting Against LHP

Looks like a GB out reaction to me. Courtesy of Getty Images

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

In hopes that this will become a running series for the rest of the offseason, I want to take a look at some of the big statistical surprises from the season that was.  There was a large handful of significant statistical shifts this season, some good and some bad, and I want to try to figure out what caused them, what they mean, and what to expect moving forward.  For the first installment, I want to investigate Robinson Cano‘s awful year against left-handed pitching.  It’s almost crazy to think of a hitter of Cano’s caliber as a platoon bat, but that’s just what he was this year.

Cano finished the 2012 season with a career .290/.338/.453 line against LHP (.344 wOBA), and that’s after the down year he had this season.  Entering 2012, Cano was coming off a season in which he hit .314/.354/.525 against lefties, a result we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Robbie and the type of L-on-L production that makes him one of the best all-around hitters in the game. … Click here to read the rest

IIATMS Radio

In our never ending quest to conquer the internet media world (not really) IIATMS has launched our own BlogTalkRadio program, and Stacey and I just finished recording the pilot episode. If podcasts are your thing and/or you’d just like to listen to us chat about the Yankees, baseball, and Jason Giambi (yes, the Giambino makes an appearance) you can check out our BTR page, or listen on the player below.

Topics include:

-The Yankees re-signing Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda, and how we all averted a nasty case of deja vue.
-The case for giving Russell Martin the market rate to return as the team’s starting catcher.
-Why are the Yankees just letting Nick Swisher walk away from them?
-And a brief look at the free agent market as a whole, including the strange case of Josh Hamilton.

Listen to internet radio with IIATMS Radio on Blog Talk Radio… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Re-Sign Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte and the Yankees have finally agreed to a one-year deal worth $12 million plus $2.5 million in award bonuses. Although the lefty seemingly retired after the 2010 season, Pettitte returned in 2012 with a $2.5 million contract. In 75.1 IP last season, the un-retired Pettitte put up a 2.87 ERA, a 3.48 FIP, and a career high 22.8 K%. He also posted a career high GB% thanks to a career high two-seam fastball usage.

Unless there is a major trade that sends Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, or David Phelps to another organization, the Yankees starting rotation is now identical to last year’s. This likely means they are done on the starting pitcher market, but they have also mentioned looking at Freddy Garcia-type options.

This marks the second big one year deal that the team proposed, second to Hiroki Kuroda‘s $15 million contract, and the team will likely do the same with Mariano Rivera.… Click here to read the rest

UPDATED: Pettitte finalizes deal to pitch in 2013

According to reports on Twitter from various writers including Buster Olney and Ken Davidoff, Andy Pettitte and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year $12M deal plus award bonuses for 2013.

Pettitte came back to pitch in 2012 after retiring prior to the 2011 season. Pettitte posted a 5-4 with a 2.87 in an abbreviated season which was interrupted by a broken ankle suffered at the end of June. He was able to return to the rotation in September and pitch in the playoffs.

Updated: In order to make room for Pettitte on the 40-man, the Yankees designated Eli Whiteside for assignment. … Click here to read the rest

Colbrunn named Red Sox hitting coach

The Red Sox who were rumored to have been in talks with Tino Martinez for their hitting coach position before he landed the gig with the Miami Marlins got their man today. Greg Colbrunn, who has been the hitting coach for Low-A Charleston since 2007 was named to Boston’s staff.

Colbrunn was the Riverdogs’ hitting coach from 2007-2009, managed the team in 2010 and went back to being hitting coach in 2011 and 2012.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman had this to say about Colbrunn:

“Greg is more than qualified for that job and in our estimation no better hitting candidate in the marketplace than him. We were lucky to have him for as long as we did.”

Colbrunn played with the 2001 Diamondbacks and won a World Series title with them.… Click here to read the rest

BBWAA announces Hall of Fame ballot

It’s officially Hall of Fame season, as the BBWAA has released the official ballot for the Class of 2013. The Yankees are certainly well represented in terms of nominees with Bombers ties, a list that’s headlined by Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, David Wells, Mike Stanton and Bernie Williams. Alas, there’s a better than even chance that none of those five players will be giving remarks in Cooperstown next July.

Of course, the big Hall related story this year is going to be steroids, as we finally reach the point at which the voters’ collective blacklist of players “connected,” a term I use extremely loosely, to PEDOTTUBHA* has created a drastic bottleneck of worthy inductees on the ballot, a fact that’s exacerbated by a uniquely deep class of players elgibile for the first time. Just in that category, I would say that Clemens, Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, and Sammy Sosa have pretty clear Hall of Fame players, and they’ll be joined in that group by as many as 12 other candidates who either have a very good case for enshrinement or will likely garner a solid level of support from voters, whether deservedly so or not.… Click here to read the rest

Russell Martin Joins The Waiting Game

Pictured: Not Russell or Ichiro

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

Well it looks like Ichiro isn’t alone in holding out for the tall, handsome Yankees to ask him to dance before settling on another suitor.  George King of The Post had the deets on Russell Martin also being sweet on the Yankees and reportedly being willing to wait his turn for a contract offer while they sort through things with Mo and Andy before pursuing other options.

This is an interesting situation for both Martin and the Yankees.  On the one hand, Martin is coming off a 1-year deal where he didn’t hit the ball particularly well after turning down a 3-year offer from the Yanks before the season, which does reduce his negotiating leverage with the team.  On the other hand, he still hit 21 HR, played solid defense, and is still just 30 years old in a year where the catching market is thin and other teams that can spend with the Yankees are in need.  … Click here to read the rest