Pierzynski and Texas are close to a deal

According to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal, the Texas Rangers are close to making a deal with A.J. Pierzynski.

Sources: Pierzynski, #Rangers closing in on one-year contract. Deal will be pending a physical, not yet done.

It’s not like the Yankees were ever really in on the “Pierzynski” sweepstakes but this news seems to lend some crendence to the “the Yankees are going to find their catcher from within the organization” items we have been hearing and reading about all Winter.

Of course, there is always a possibility that Brian Cashman has something up his sleeve and that he may pull off another trade simliar to the one he made last January when the Yankees acquired Michael Pineda and Jose Campos for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.

It’s still December so there is plenty of time for the Yankees to get something done but there is always a chance they take a gamble and go into Spring Training with guys like Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart and Austin Romine competing for the starting catcher job.… Click here to read the rest

The Yin/Yang of a returning Raul

The Yankees are still talking with Raul Ibanez about a return to pinstripes and I don’t think I could be more lukewarm about it. My first thought with regards to Lord Voldemort’s look alike–and this dates back to when he was brought on in the first place–is that he’s a guy you let go a year too early rather than a year too late. The Yankees took this approach with fan-favorites (and more accomplished players) Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, and I don’t think they regret it in the least. But the more I think about this situation, the more I warm up just a little bit.

Last year, Brett Gardner‘s injury–and Nick Swisher‘s two week-long absences–forced Raul into the field much more than we cared to see. Now, with a healthy Gardner and an officially re-signed Ichiro Suzuki to go along with Curtis Granderson in the outfield, the Yankees should discover it–much to their delight–rather hard to find time for Raul Ibanez to play at any position other than DH.… Click here to read the rest

The end of #toomanyhomers?

The 2013 Yankees are going to look very different from the 2012 version of the franchise. There will be different faces in the starting lineuo, a familiar face returning in Brett Gardner, and no Nick Swisher. But it might not just be the players who aren’t around anymore, we may be bidding adieu to the hand-wringing over “too many homers” as well.

The 2012 Yankees hit a lot of home runs, more than any other Yankees team has ever hit. As such, the exodus of 3-5 lineup regulars means that a lot of those long balls will go with them. Swisher, Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, and Eric Chavez, all of whom will be playing elsewhere next season, combined to hit a total of 75 home runs last year. Add in the 19 the as un-signed Raul Ibanez hit, and that’s a reduction of 94 total long balls. Some of that production will be made up for elsewhere, don’t get me wrong, but with two outfielders and a catcher who may not combine to hit 20 home runs between the three of them penciled in to the Opening Day lineup right now it’s pretty much a given that this year’s team will be hitting many fewer balls into the stands than we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Finding Undervalued Pieces In Old Players

In Moneyball, Billy Beane uses a number of advanced statistics to find undervalued players on the market. His rival, the New York Yankees, don’t need Sabermetrics, since they have wagons full of cash. While that’s partially true, (the part about all the money) the Yankees were one of the first organizations to implement advanced statistics, well before the story took place in 2002. Now that the Yankees have a budget, we’re starting to see them take a step forward in finding undervalued players.

Most recently, the Yankees have signed Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Kevin Youkilis, and Ichiro Suzuki. The average age of these players is 39 years old, and for a team that just finished 2012 with the oldest average age in baseball, fans are worried about regression. That doesn’t bother Brian Cashman.

Two months ago, I took a look at the age of teams in comparison to their overall fWAR. While teams like the Nationals represented a young team that played well, older teams were much more likely to outperform younger teams.… Click here to read the rest

It’s official: Ichiro is back

Word of this deal has been around for a week or so, but today the Yankees officially announced that they have reached an agreement with outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to return to the team in 2013 and 2014. The 39 year old Ichiro will indeed be getting a two year contract that will pay him a $6.5 million salary in both 2013 and 2014, for a total of $13 million. One of the best contact hitters in recent memory, Ichiro is just 394 hits shy of 3,000 in his MLB career, despite getting a late start in the states due to beginning his career in his native Japan. … Click here to read the rest

Yankees Sign Ichiro Suzuki

Finally. The Yankees have finished wrapping up their contract with outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. The deal is exactly what we thought it was, 2 years and $13 million. Once his physical is completed, Ichiro Suzuki should be the new right fielder for the New York Yankees.

(Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

Ichiro hit .322/.340/.454 in his time with the Yankees last season, and I wrote a bit about how we can project him for 2013. Though I think it’s good to be optimistic about Ichrio successfully replacing Nick Swisher next season, I agree with Brad’s recent post about 2 years being too much.

The Yankees now have 3 left handed outfielders, one of which is 39, and another one that missed almost all of last season. The current backup outfielder is Chris Dickerson, another left handed batter, so you can expect the Yankees to obtain a right handed corner outfielder. You can also expect the team to target a left handed infielder to back up Kevin Youkilis and Derek Jeter when the team faces a right handed pitcher.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees considered moving Austin backed to third

Well this is interesting: Chad Jennings reports that the Yankees considered moving top prospect Tyler Austin back to third base in the wake of the Alex Rodriguez injury news.

This winter, the Yankees at least considered the idea of moving Austin back to third base, but they ultimately decided to keep him in right field for the time being.

“He’s a better defender in right,” vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said. “But (putting him back at third) is something we’ve thought about. It’s a possibility.”

Austin played third base in 2011, his first full season in the Yankees’ system, but shifted to right field last year and took off on a tear that took him from Low-A Charleston on Opening Day to a cup of coffee with Double-A Trenton to end the season. He drew surprisingly positive reviews for his work in the outfield, certainly better than the scouting reports on his third base defense. He’s definitely a bat first player though, so the defense just needs to be passable so long as he keeps raking at the plate.… Click here to read the rest

2012 Statistical Trends: Joba’s Comeback

Courtesy of Getty Images

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

2012 was a rough year for Joba Chamberlain.  After being shut down in 2011 and undergoing Tommy John Surgery, he was in the process of working himself back to full strength to make a summer 2012 return when he suffered his now infamous trampoline accident that resulted in a dislocated ankle.  When reports first came out on that injury, it sounded potentially career-threatening, but follow-up examinations and surgery made it much less so and Joba was able to return to a Major League mound in August.  Joba pitched to a 4.35/4.01/3.55 slash line in 20.2 innings pitched this past season, a small sample size to be sure.  But within that small sample size there are some interesting splits and trends that could point to a very strong 2013 campaign for Joba.

The first thing worth mentioning is Joba’s velocity, simply because it’s always been looked at as a barometer for how well he’s pitching and it’s more important to Joba’s success than say D-Rob’s or Mo’s because he doesn’t throw a fastball with movement like theirs. … Click here to read the rest

What’s next? What’s left to do?

Though they haven’t exactly filled the back pages along the way, the Yankees have very methodically gone about keeping some very key players this year, plus signing Kevin Youkilis to replace the injured Alex Rodriguez. A lot of people seem to be waiting for the next big move, however, this year’s equivalent to the trades that brought Curtis Granderson and Michael Pineda to town and seemingly came out of nowhere. While I won’t say that nothing like that will happen this year (though I don’t expect to see it happen), I will note that one impediment to such a move is the simple fact that the Yankees don’t have that many open spots on the roster right now. For the sake of illustration, here’s a rundown of the players the Yankees currently have who would seem to be a lock for the 25 man roster.

Starting pitchers

C.C. Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes
Ivan Nova/David Phelps


Mariano Rivera
David Robertson
Joba Chamberlain
David Aardsma
Boone Logan
Clay Rapada


Francisco Cervelli
Chris Stewart


Mark Teixeira
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Kevin Youkilis


Brett Gardner
Ichiro Suzuki
Curtis Granderson

There’s a little bit of wiggle room here around the margins (Phelps or Nova could go to Triple-A, different relievers could enter the picture), but the overall picture is pretty much the same either way.… Click here to read the rest