The Twitter machine is abuzz with word that Andy Pettitte could be close to formally announcing his decision to return for another season and signing a contract with the Yankees. Buster Olney reported it first, and the speculation is that the deal would likely pay Pettitte $10-11 million in 2013. Yesterday, Mark Feinsand reported that Pettitte was already starting his offseason routine, which would seem to indicate that Pettitte has a desire to return, and just needed to see how his body would hold up.
In additional news, Jon Heyman passes along that the Yankees also expect to have a new contract with Mariano Rivera in the “next few days.” Combine that with having Hiroki Kuroda (and possibly Ichiro) already re-signed, and a big chunk of the Yankees’ offseason to-do list could be checked off before the Winter Meetings even begin.
According to a report from Japan’s Nikkan Sports, the Yankees have re-signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one year contract worth $5 million plus incentives. There’s no confirmation of this yet, but the terms make sense, and we’ve heard since the end of the season that there was mutual interest in Ichiro returning to the Yankees in 2013. Stay tuned.
Update: Or not. Sweeney Murti checked up on the story, and was told that a deal is not done with Ichiro as of yet, but confirmed yet again that the Yankees have “strong interest” in re-signing Ichiro.
This weekend, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Yankees were interested in Jeff Keppinger. Today we learned from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that Keppinger had surgery to repair a broken right fibula. The injury occurred after he suffered a fall down some stairs in his house. Can someone tell these guys to be a little more careful in the offseason? Or better yet, tell them all to build one-story mansions to prevent these stair mishaps from happening again.
Of course, I’m kidding. Keppinger probably doesn’t even have a mansion.
Keppinger batted .325/.367/.439/.806 in 115 games with the Tampa Bay Rays this past season and finished with with nine home runs and 40 RBI. The report said that Keppinger is expected to be ready by the start of Spring Training.
We don’t do these things very often, but there was a request for one today, so here you go. This is a thread for you to talk about any topics you want. Raise them yourself, ask us questions, request a post on a topic, share your best recipes so that I may poach them and make them, and so on. Anything you want, just keep it friendly.
MILB.com has released their picks for the Yankees’ 2012 minor league All-Stars, a list you can see here. It really doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a pretty fun read if only because prospect status doesn’t enter into the equation at all. Thus the list includes a range of minor leaguers going all the way from top prospects Gary Sanchez, Mason Williams, and Tyler Austin to middling prospects like Corban Joseph and all the way down to total fringe guys like Ronnier Mustelier and Vidal Nuno. Plus there’s video of Mark Montgomery. That alone is worth a click through.
The Yankees have agreed to terms on a one year contract with Eli Whiteside, avoiding arbitration with the catcher, the team just announced. This isn’t terribly surprising news, given that they just claimed him off of waivers recently, but Whiteside was a non-tender candidate in theory, given that the Yankees already had a couple of MLB backup caliber catchers in Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart, plus a desire to bring back free agent starter Russell Martin. Still, you have to figure that, with three catchers not including Martin already on the 40 man roster, they wouldn’t have claimed him in the first place if they had no intention of tendering him an offer.
The 33 year old Whiteside is a career .215/.273/.335 hitter in 537 career plate appearances, and spent the bulk of 2012 in the minor leagues with the Giants organization.
Probably the biggest development in Yankeedom this offseason has been the sale of YES to News Corp, a move that could eave Rupert Murdoch’s company owning as much as 80% of the Yankees’ broadcast partner in the near future, and commits the Yankees to having their games televised on the network through the 2042 season. Now we’ve got some details on the specifics of the deal, thanks to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times. Here are the big points:
- While Fox will be bringing some programming to the network, not much will change on this front. YES’ lineup of programs will continue to be anchored by staples like Yankeeography, Yankees’ Classics, and (obviously) coverage of live games.
- The unabashed pro-Yankee slant the network employs will also not be changing anytime soon, according to no less an authority than team President Randy Levine himself. “We tell our people if you want to be bipartisan and fair, don’t work for YES,” Levine said. This is something of an obsession for the rest of the local sports media, but for the life of me I don’t know what the big deal is supposed to be. The fact that YES is owned by the Yankees is hardly a secret (it’s even in the name!) and the network makes no pretense of being an unbiased media outlet covering the team. They don’t even have much in the way of a news department outside of Jack Curry.
- On that last point, don’t expect anything like Geico SportsNite on YES anytime soon. “News is a loser,” said YES honcho Tracy Dolgin. “If you want news, watch ESPN.”
- On to the financials, which are pretty darn juicy. YES will pay $85 million in rights fees to the Yankees this year, a figure which will rise by 4% annually at first, before bumping up to 5-7% in annual increases.
- The most important point, however, seems to be this: in exchange for the extended agreement, News Corp will pay Yankees Global Enterprises, the holding company that owns the Yankees and a share of YES, $420 million in a sort of signing bonus. Half of that payment will be delivered now, and the other half will be paid in three years. I think this is the part where I’m supposed to make a crack about the team’s payroll slashing plan, right?
I intend to say more about this tomorrow, but as a teaser I’ll leave you with this: to echo the sentiments Larry shared when the deal was first announced, this feels a lot like the basic framework of the deal Frank McCourt tried to sign with Fox, an arrangement that Bud Selig nixed using the best interests of baseball clause as a pretense for forcing McCourt to sell the Dodgers.
I’d like to interrupt this edition of catching up on all of the latest hot stove rumors for a quick bit of shameless self-promotion. Specifically; making you aware of all of the different ways you can get IIATMS outside of just the main blog here.
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About three years ago, just after winning the 2009 World Series, the Yankees traded Austin Jackson, an up and coming prospect in the team’s farm system, for Curtis Granderson, an established commodity in Detroit. The Yankees were trading potential for performance. Jackson wasn’t developing as quickly as a hitter as the Yankees wanted, while Granderson [...]