How Far Behind Are The Yankees?

The 2012 Blue Jays finished with a 73-89 record, and a 74-88 Pythagorean Expectation. Offensively, they ranked 24th in baseball with a 15.8 fWAR, and 28th in pitching behind a 7.6 fWAR. Theoretically, a team like this would need to add at least 22 additional wins to start thinking about a playoff run, and that’s exactly what GM Alex Anthopoulos did. They’ve arguably had the biggest offseason, thus far. They’ve lost Yunel Escobar (1.8 fWARin 2012), Jeff Mathis (0.8), Kelly Johnson (0.7), Carlos Villanueva (0.6), Henderson Alvarez (0.5), Brandon Lyon (0.4), Jason Frasor (0.2), Adeiny Hechavarria (-0.2), Yan Gomes (-0.2), Continue reading How Far Behind Are The Yankees?

Derek Jeter's Player Option and $189 Million

Update: William did this issue a much better service on his own blog earlier this month. Definitely take a look. It appears that some of my assumptions are wrong, particularly about how a Jeter opt-out would affect the 2014 cap hit. It looks like the better scenario is to take my same logic, but extend Jeter right now, before the season starts. An interesting thought came to my mind during an otherwise slow baseball week this morning. After the 2010 season, Derek Jeter signed a 3-year, $51 million contract with a player option or buyout for the 4th year. That Continue reading Derek Jeter's Player Option and $189 Million

Hideki Matsui to retire

Hideki Matsui has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. He will be holding a press conference in New York to make it official.

Matsui, who signed a deal in 2002 to join the Yankees, played in New York for seven seasons, winning one World Series in 2009 and earning the World Series MVP with an 8-13 performance against the Phillies. He hit three home runs and led the Yankees to their first title in nine years.

He batted .282/.360/.462 with 175 homers and 760 RBI in his MLB career.

After leaving New York, Matsui played with the Angels, A’s and he was released by the Rays last season after a disappointing 34 games.

Personally, I always liked Matsui. He was a solid player, his teammates loved him and he provided Yankee fans with a lot of great moments. From the aforementioned World Series MVP to his double in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS to his grand slam against the Twins in his Yankee Stadium debut, Matsui thrived in the spotlight.

I was at the game on Opening Day in 2003 when he hit that grand slam against the Twins. It was a great introduction into Yankee lore for Matsui and his performance in the 2009 World Series was a nice bookend to close out his career in Pinstripes. Continue reading Hideki Matsui to retire

Punt to Win?

As we all collectively awake from our holiday-induced food stupors (or our Airings of Grievances or Feats of Strength), the baseball world marches (painfully) slowly towards Opening Day. And as baseball marches, so do the Yankees and their sometimes confusing construction of the 2013 roster. While the Yankees brought back Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, they also let Nick Swisher and Russell Martin go and appear willing to do the same with Rafael Soriano (though I don’t really have a problem with this). The team also brought in Kevin Youkilis in light of Alex Rodriguez‘s hip injury and Continue reading Punt to Win?

Are sign and trades coming to baseball?

On Monday, Buster Olney devoted his column to wondering if the qualifying offer had proved to be a big disaster for free agents who declined the offer sheet from their teams. Olney starts by noting that the market for Nick Swisher was apparently a bit thin, as teams other than Cleveland were hesitant to forfeit a first round pick to sign Swish (the Indians have a protected first rounder, so they’re giving up a mere second round pick), and also points out that Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse, and Rafael Soriano are all also seeing their markets come together slowly after declining qualifying offers from their teams.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Are sign and trades coming to baseball?

What To Expect With The Matt Diaz Signing

Yesterday, the Yankees agreed to a minor league deal with 34 year old Matt Diaz. The right-handed outfielder spent six of his last seven seasons with the Braves, and hit .294/.341/.433, while averaging around 270 plate appearances a year. He now has an invitation to Spring Training with the Yankees, and will compete for the fourth outfield position against Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte. Though Diaz is an average defensive corner outfielder, he provides an interesting bat to a lefty dominated position. Over his career, Diaz has mashed left handed hitters for a .324/.364/.498 slash, and a 127 wRC+. He Continue reading What To Expect With The Matt Diaz Signing

Matt Diaz signed to a minor league deal

Matt Diaz, a right-handed outfielder the Yankees have been searching for, has apparently agreed to a minor league deal with the Yankees with a Spring Training invite. The news was reported by Marc Carig and Mark Feinsand as sourced by this Major League Trade Rumors post. Diaz fits the Yankees’ needs in several ways. He is old (35 in March). He is cheap and he will only be around for a season.

Seriously, Diaz has a career .770 OPS in parts of ten seasons, but more importantly, has a career .863 OPS against left-handed pitching. He can play left or right field and isn’t a total disaster at either but has not shown the ability to throw out runners over the course of his career.

Diaz could be useful in small doses against left-handed starters and to face those tough lefties out of the bullpen late in the game. But this is hardly heady news.

In other news, the Mariners DFA’s old friend, D.J. Mitchell when they signed Raul Ibanez. Continue reading Matt Diaz signed to a minor league deal

Don’t Move Tyler Austin To Third Base

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) Give the Yankees credit for leaving no stone unturned in their search to find a long-term replacement for Alex Rodriguez at third base.  Earlier this last week, Chad Jennings of LoHud had some Minor League news bits, and one of them mentioned Yankee brass giving thought to moving top prospect Tyler Austin back to third.  By the sounds of Chad’s report, we aren’t going to be seeing Austin back at the hot corner next season, but it also didn’t sound like the idea of was ruled out completely. “’He’s a Continue reading Don’t Move Tyler Austin To Third Base

Yankees Believe In Austin Romine’s Defense

Up until last week, the best offensive free agent catcher was begging for a contract from someone. If considering A.J. Pierzysnki, teams saw his 2012 offensive production, but also had to consider his defensive metrics, his  age, and his character issues. Personally, I was completely against the idea of  the Yankees signing him, but now that he’ll be a Ranger on a modest one-year deal, Yankee fans are free to second guess the club’s non-interest. The organization has already signed four major league players to one year deals, and A.J. Pierzysnki would have been a similar low risk signing. At the age Continue reading Yankees Believe In Austin Romine’s Defense