It’s almost decision time for Andy Pettitte

It’s been nearly six weeks since the Yankees were swept out of the American League Championship Series and there still has been no word from Andy Pettitte in regards to a possible return in 2013.

As usual, the rumblings have been from “friends of Pettitte” who are the new “Posada’s doorman*,” and according to those friends, Pettitte’s decision will be made soon. Whether that decision will be made before or after the Winter Meetings began remains to be seen.

The New York Daily News reported that Pettitte began his offseason training routine to see how his 40-year-old body would respond. In his abbreviated 2012 season, Pettitte was 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA.

Pettitte, back when the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, said he still has the desire to compete but also added that family responsibilities, including seeing his oldest son off to college, may play a role in his final decision.

The Yankees are looking to sign Pettitte to guarantee a strong front three of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda – who signed last week – and Pettitte to go along with guys like Ivan Nova, David Phelps and Phil Hughes.… Click here to read the rest

Heyman: Martin talks “heating up”

Ah, the joys of hot stove season. As recently as yesterday, the reports on the status of Russell Martin had it that the Yankees wanted to put off talks until after they settled things with Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, and that Martin was willing to wait for them to do so before testing the free agent market. Today, however, those reports have taken a total 180 degree turn, as Jon Heyman relays that “progress” has been made between Martin and the Yankees over the weekend, and that the market for his services are beginning to develop, with the Rangers and Yankees interested in him, at the least. The interest in Martin, as well as the dearth of quality catching on the market, means that he’s likely headed for  a multi-year contract with someone, and the Yankees seem willing to add payroll to the 2014 ledger in order to keep their starting catcher in pinstripes.… Click here to read the rest

Rays extend Longoria

Thinking we were going to ease back into things as we all come out of our turkey comas after Thanksgiving weekend? Think again! It’s not even 10:00 and we have arguably the biggest development of the offseason to date, as the Rays just announced that they’ve agreed to a six year contract extension with star third baseman Evan Longoria. Longoria, already under control through the 2016 season at a price widely viewed as the best bargain in baseball, has signed up for at least six additional seasons in Tampa Bay, at a price of $100 million. That sounds like a lot, especially for the (relatively) cash strapped Rays, but consider that the deal won’t even take effect until 2017, at which point salaries and revenue will probably have taken another big jump, meaning that this is likely still a bargain for the Rays, who now have their best hitter and most marketable player signed to basically a career long contract.… Click here to read the rest

Does Trading Robinson Cano Make Sense?

For the last three years, according to fWAR, Robinson Cano tied Joey Votto as the third most valuable player in baseball behind just Miguel Cabrera(#1) and Justin Verlander(#2). So why has a section of Yankee fans begun to call for trading the second baseman? He’s clearly the best player on the team, but as the Yankees are approaching a $189 million budget in 2014/2015, the team needs to find a way to trim some money. Trading Cano with one year left on his contract would not only save the team money by preventing a major re-sign, but it would also bring in a number of top prospects in to the organization.

Most of these proposals have to do with the Cardinals, who have a very clear need at the middle infield, and a number of prospects to shed. Landing players like Oscar Tevaras, Carlos Martinez, or Trevor Rosenthal could be a great move by the Yankees, and it’s only at the expense of one player’s single season.… Click here to read the rest

Revisiting the blockbuster trade that wasn’t

In January before the 2012 season the Yankees went all-in on their rotation. They announced the signing of free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, a move that was largely expected, and, in bigger news, they announced they had acquired Michael Pineda in exchange for Jesus Montero. Yankee fans knew Montero well. For several seasons he was heralded as the middle of the order bat waiting in the farm system for his chance to impact the Yankees. All of baseball knew Pineda, who had just come off a successful, if uneven, rookie season. The trade was controversial. Montero had raked in his cup of coffee the year prior, but it was clear the Yankees wanted to improve the team through the rotation.

Of course the trade had exactly zero impact on the Yankee season. Pineda suffered a career threatening injury in spring training and will be back in the beginning of the 2013 season at the earliest. Montero, meanwhile, struggled in Seattle.… Click here to read the rest

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.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees have yet to make offer to Martin

Here’s something for the early offseason surprises file: according to George King the Yankees have yet to make an offer to gfree agent catcher Russell Martin. In fact, with Hiroki Kuroda re-signed, the Yankees have yet to make an offer to any free agents, including Mariano Rivera. That they haven’t made any offers to Mo or Andy Pettitte, who has yet to officially declare that he’s even going to play next season, doesn’t really surprise me all that much, given that there’s basically no chance they’re playing for another team in 2013, but you would have thought there would have been more of a sense of urgency with Martin, who could be a relatively hot commodity this winter. Instead, King reports that the Yankees intend to wait to do anything on Martin until they have deals in place with Rivera and Pettitte.

That strikes me as a fairly risky proposition, because the free agent catching market is a veritable dessert.… Click here to read the rest

Projecting 2013 Free Agent’s Average Annual Salaries With WAR

The Yankees kicked off their offseason with the re-signing of Hiroki Kuroda on Monday. The hot stove is officially warming up, and we’re going to see things really kick off the first week of December, when the GM meetings are held in Nashville. Surprisingly, we already have 20 new contracts this offseason. Be it re-signs, extensions, or just plain signs, there is a large enough sample-size to start a discussion on how much players are will be paid in this current market.

Based on WAR, it’s possible to calculate how many millions of dollars a player was paid per the wins above replacement that they produced in the past. In 2012, Robinson Cano put up the second best fWAR in the American League at 7.8. Knowing that he earned $14 million dollars, you can divide his 2012 salary by his total seasonal fWAR and find that he was paid $1.8 million per win. As we’ll see going forward, the Yankees got a steal from their second baseman.… Click here to read the rest

Happy Thanksgiving

Whatever your holiday plans may be, here’s wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving and a delightful holiday season from the entire IIATMS team. One thing amongst many I’ll be giving thanks for this year are all of our readers, and especially the regular commenters here. Every last one of you are awesome, and make this whole enterprise fun. Thank you, and have a fantastic (and filling!) holiday with the special people in your life.… Click here to read the rest