Lunchtime links: Martin, Overbay and Wells, oh my!

Good afternoon, it’s Wednesday March 27 and we’re only five days away from Opening Day at the Stadium.

Usually, Yankee fans would be ecstatic about the start of a new season, about the pagentry of Opening Day, the excitement of seeing the team lined up along the first base line as their names are introduced, only this year, most of those names will be new and most fans will be thinking of what could have been before the first pitch even leaves CC Sabathia‘s left hand. Did that depress you to read as much as it depressed me to write?

Speaking of names that make you go, “Him??” the Yankees signed Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal yesterday after he was dropped by the Boston Red Sox. As Forrest Gump used to say, “Stupid is as stupid does,” or in this case it’s “desperate is as desperate does.”

Let’s backtrack a moment to talk about a player whose departure in a way, helped the Yankees get to this desperate state they’re in right now, Russell Martin. Late yesterday afternoon, Ken Rosenthal published a piece trying to explain the Vernon Wells‘ deal, you know, the one that dominated the news yesterday? In it, Rosenthal explains how the Wells move doesn’t really have an economic downside but then goes on to question why the Yankees didn’t re-sign Martin who said he was willing to sign a one-year deal in the $9-10M range.

Say what?

Well, this caused some Yankee fans to go a tad ballistic. Not that Martin is a world beater by any means, his .211 average was abysmal but if he could have been had at $9M for one year, what the heck were the Yankees doing this Winter? And we can’t blame Brian Cashman’s painkillers for this one because he didn’t break his leg until a couple of weeks ago.

Which brings us to the Overbay move. As was reported late yesterday, Overbay’s with the Yankees for three days. He has an out on Friday which means he’d have to make a hell of an impression in the next three days to make the team. He’d also only be a short-term solution until Mark Teixeira returns.

Wells, who was said to be elated to be a Yankee, made his Spring debut with the team in last night’s 4-4 tie with the Houston Astros. He finished 0-3 with an RBI. Wells was issued #56 for the Spring but will be given an lower number for the season since 56 is coach Tony Pena‘s number. Wells told reporters before the game yesterday, “This is special. It’s obviously a huge commitment to put the pinstripes on. But this is baseball. This is the center of it all. This is just a fun way for things to go toward the end of my career.”

In other news, CC Sabathia made his last start of the Spring last night and while it wasn’t too impressive, he was able to settle down after a bad first inning in which he allowed the Astros to score three runs. After that, he only allowed two more hits in four more innings of work. He struck out four and walked three in five innings.

Curtis Granderson has been cleared to run on the field and he’s allowed to shag fly balls during batting practice, but he can’t go after any balls that are more than a few feet away from him and since he can’t throw, he’s been rolling the balls back to the infielder like a bowler. I’m trying to picture that in my head and it sounds like how I’d be playing an outfield position.

Someone else who won’t be on the field Opening Day is Derek Jeter who is very disappointed that he didn’t meet that goal. Truthfully, I’m glad the Yankees are putting him on the DL to start the season. I think we’d all rather him miss a few days in the beginning of the season than be out for an extended period of time over the summer.

“As hard as it is sometimes, you’ve got to look at the big picture,” he said. “My goal was to be ready for Opening Day. But my goal also was to be ready for the season. I pushed it to try to get there Opening Day, and it didn’t work out.”

MLB Network sent out a press release about tonight’s game:

The New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Spring Training game Wednesday, March 27 at 7:00 PM ET will be available live on MLB Network in the New York television market. David Phelps is scheduled to pitch against Jair Jurrjens of the Orioles.

MLB Network is available in NY on Cablevision, DirecTV, DISH Network, FAVE, RCN Cable, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS. So if you have any of those providers, you’re in luck! The “in case you missed it” IIATMS edition:

And coming up at 2:30, I take a look at how the NL Central will shape up in 2013 and at 5:00, Michael Eder will be taking a look at Vernon Wells‘ new swing.

You can follow Stacey on Twitter at @StaceGots

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

7 thoughts on “Lunchtime links: Martin, Overbay and Wells, oh my!

  1. David in Cal

    I don't understand why the Yanks couldn't negotiate the price down. If Wells hits like the last 2 years or worse — which likely at his age — then he's worth nothing.

  2. jay_robertson

    Question – I see the team just signed Demel and dfa'd Otero – so he was on the team less than 24 hours?

    Anyway – just wondering – how much expense is there to all these scrap heap pickups and throw-aways? I realize its all cheaper than signing Wells – but like I tell my boy, like I tell my wife – if you spend a few bucks here, a few there, and you're doing it all the time – IT ADDS UP.

    It just occurred to me that the team may have spent enough on junk out of petty cash, so many times, that if they'd just exercised a bit of forethought and restraint, perhaps they could have bought ONE real player. Plus – then they wouldn't have had to play 40 man roulette, and Adams might have still been a Yankee.

  3. mikefoxtrot

    .

  4. mikefoxtrot

    it's surely didn't seem as if Martin was available for one year unless you would be comfortable paying him about the sum of his two-year deal with the Pirates for one year.

    what's more, Martin's offense last year was pretty much the same as Posada's in his last season with the team…..and not too many people complained that Posada should have been re-signed.

    • Chris

      Posada was also a DH with absolutely no ability to play catcher anymore. Martin on the other hand was by all accounts a plus on the defensive end just by normal catching standards, add in his ability to frame pitches and he was one of the best defensively catchers in the AL. Trying to compare Martin last year to Posada in his final year is beyond ridiculous.

      • mikefoxtrot

        I compared their offense, Chris. nothing else….. defensively, the Yankees lose little with Stewart.

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