A new thought about Sparky Lyle

The writing brain is a funny thing. This post was going to be all about Kevin Youkilis and how a hated enemy is suddenly a Yankee. The feelings of this signing were so mixed up and tangled that any attempt at staying on the journalistic side and not the fan side were impossible. The deal led to thoughts of other enemies that were hated and then suddenly Yankees and that was what the topic here was supposed to be. It was all planned out with a list that included Reggie Jackson, Wade Boggs, Johnny Damon and Sparky Lyle. The research led to the stats pages for all of those players, but once Lyle’s pages were under the microscope, all thoughts of the original topic got blown up. The more Lyle’s numbers were put together and considered, the overwhelming thought became, “How come this guy is never talked about as a Hall of Fame candidate?”

Sparky Lyle certainly fit the original topic to a tee.… Click here to read the rest

Where there’s demand, there’s a way

We talked about the StubHub thing here yesterday, and the only real defense, offered both here and at Pinstriped Bible by William Juliano, was that the move is in the best interests of season ticket holder. Juliano’s claim is that StubHub is unfair to sellers, who are seeing the value of their tickets (to non-premium games they overpaid for in the first place, mind you) eroded by the secondary market. However, as Wendy Thurm gets at over at Fangraphs, that’s pretty much nonsense, and wouldn’t you know it, it all comes back to demand:

Not all teams disliked the StubHub arrangement. The Giants loved it because they made money twice on the same tickets. Beginning in 2010, and continuing through last season, the Giants have played to sell-out or near sell-out crowds. Strong demand and limited supply for Giants tickets meant higher prices on StubHub. It also meant the Giants didn’t lose many same-day ticket sales to bargain-basement prices on StubHub.Click here to read the rest

The Young Guys Most Likely To Contribute In 2013

Opening Day catcher? Don't rule it out. Courtesy of the AP

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

There’s still the possibility of a blockbuster trade, something I think almost all of us are secretly hoping for after the excitement-less Winter Meetings.  But with the Yankees holding firm on their free agent signing plans for this offseason, and with that plan assuredly continuing into the next offseason when the payroll goal will loom largest, the likelihood of the Yankees having to use their top-level Minor Leaguers as more than just emergency filler or roster expansion fodder is very high.

We all know the Yankees don’t have much high-impact, high-level talent in their system, but that’s not to say they don’t have players capable of contributing as useful bench or bullpen pieces or even winning a starting job if it comes to that.  The only “top” prospect with a shot at making the show in 2013 is Tyler Austin, and even that is a longshot, but here are some other guys who could see some significant PT at the Major League level next season.… Click here to read the rest

Signing Youk a potential boon to Yanks

Though it’s seemed like yeoman’s work at times, the Yankees have spent the offseason methodically checking off nearly all of the names on their Hot Stove wish list. With the notable exception of Russell Martin, the Yankees have landed nearly all of their principal targets, from Hiroki Kuroda through, reportedly, Ichiro Suzuki. By agreeing to terms with Kevin Youkilis yesterday, the Yankees even landed their first choice for an unexpected opening filling in for Alex Rodriguez while he recovers from hip surgery. The move may also prove to be just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees’ offense.

Yes, yes, I know that not everyone is fond of the move, and many of the complaints are fair. Youkilis isn’t actually that old at just 33 years old, but he’s fairly injury prone at this point in his career, and he had a down year in 2012 with some fairly nasty splits. That said, it’s important to remember that the Yankees didn’t enter the offseason anticipating a need for a third baseman, and that they weren’t necessarily looking for any more than an interim starter to keep the seat warm for A-Rod.… Click here to read the rest

Projecting Kevin Youkilis

Finally, we can admit that Kevin Youkilis was a good player. Once upon a time, the third baseman could guarantee you a nearly .400 OBP, he could hit homeruns, and he could play some respectable defense. At 33 years old, Youkilis is now crossing sides of a staunch rivalry, he’ll now be a New York Yankee. It’s hard to imagine the guy with the ridiculous facial hair and batting stance heading over to the Bronx, but the Yankees, nor Youkilis, have much of a choice.

Youkilis has regressed over the last year, which was part of the reason he was so available to the Yankees on a one-year deal. There’s some hope that 2012 was a fluke. In 2011, Youkilis hit for a .258/.373/.459 slash, good for a 126 wRC+, as well as a 3.7 fWAR. His value plummeted in 2012, when he had just a 1.3 fWAR and a .235/.336/.409 slash, split between the Red Sox and White Sox.

With the Red Sox, the righty slumped considerably in the first 3 months of baseball.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees will re-sign Ichiro

I’m not really sure how to frame this report. According to multiple sources, first coming from WFAN’s Craig Carton and confirmed by both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman, the Yankees will re-sign Ichiro Suzuki, but do not have a deal yet. Apparently the contours of the deal are still under negotiation, and Heyman reports that Ichiro might get as much as a two year contract from the Yankees, which would be really strange. I guess the best way to put it is that the two sides apparently have an agreement in principle, and one thing that does appear clear is that Ichiro will be roaming the Yankee Stadium outfield in 2013.… Click here to read the rest

Report: Youkilis to the Yankees for $12M

Ken Rosenthal just tweeted:

Source: #Yankees sign Youkilis, one year, $12M.

Well, well, well, it looks like Kevin Youkilis finally made up his mind and has signed with the Yankees. I guess he really didn’t have much of a choice in the matter and a one-year/$12M contract is nothing to sneeze at especially for a guy who has been on the decline the past three seasons and has been injury prone.

Youkilis hit .235/.336/.409 in 122 games split between the Red Sox and White Sox. He posted a .328 wOBA and a wRC+ of 102.

Wait, this is supposed to be a positive post because the Yankees finally signed someone this offseason who wasn’t previously on the team. Hooray?

Update from Buster Olney: Youkilis verbally agreed, hasn’t actually signed anything yet and he still has to take a physical.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees To Sign Kevin Youkilis

(AP Photo)

The Yankees and Kevin Youkilis have agreed to a one-year $12 million deal. The ex-Red Sox will take over for Alex Rodriguez while he spends the first few months of the season on the disabled list for a hip injury.

Last season, Youkilis hit .235/.336/.409 between the Red Sox and White Sox. His BABIP fell dramatically during that time, so the Yankees are hoping that the signs of regression for the 33 year old are mostly a matter of bad luck. Over his career, the third baseman has a 128 wRC+, and his fielding at the hot corner is just about average according to UZR.

Losing Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, and Alex Rodriguez has left the Yankees with very few right handed bats to counter a left handed pitcher. Youkilis’ bat fits the Yankees needs, however he showed a tremendous platoon split last season.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees announce 2013 Spring Training schedule

I don’t know about you guys but I am dying for baseball. And I realize, it’s only December and we have a while before things get started but the Yankees announced some dates today so now we know just what numbers to use for our countdowns. (Oh come on, you know you do a countdown to Spring Training. We all do it.)

February 12th – Pitchers and catchers report to camp

February 13th – First workout

February 17th – Position players report to camp

February 18th – First full squad workout

Apparently February 12th is the earliest date they’ll ever report to camp, in part because of the World Baseball Classic. And speaking of the World Baseball Classic, the Yankees will be playing the Dominican team in a Spring Training game on March 6th. Why is this important? Well, our very own Robinson Cano is playing for the Dominican team.

The whole Spring Training schedule can be found here.

Countdown: Two months!… Click here to read the rest