Happy New Year!

Manhattan NY

2013 is almost over, and with that, a season of Yankee baseball that should probably be forgotten. We have another year ahead of us to look forward to, one without Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, or Robinson Cano. Instead, we’ll have Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann to join the future core of the team. Yankee baseball will be quite different in 2014, but hopefully they’ll return to their winning ways.

We’d like to thank all of you for making 2013 a great year for the community here at IIATMS/TYA. Have a safe and happy New Years! Continue reading Happy New Year!

Where Does Zoilo Fit In Now?

Zoilo Almonte 2013

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

It was an up and down 2013 for Zoilo Almonte.  He hit .297/.369/.421 (.361 wOBA) in 293 Triple-A plate appearances in his first experience at the level, showing improved plate discipline and on-base skills that had yet to be part of his offensive repertoire.  When the barrage of injuries struck the Major League club, he got called up to the show in the summer and the results weren’t nearly as good, .236/.274/.302 (.257 wOBA) in 113 PA.

A hamstring injury ended his season early, but he picked it up back in the Dominican Winter League this offseason.  If you haven’t been following the comings and goings of that league closely, and I don’t blame you if you haven’t, Zoilo hit .316/.343/.454 out there and has seen time at all 3 outfield positions.  What does that mean as far as his Major League standing for 2014 goes?  Probably not much.  Almonte has hit in this league before, and with the new acquisitions made by the Yankees to upgrade their outfield it’s not a stretch to say he’s the 7th outfielder on the 40-man right now behind Ellsbury, Beltran, Gardner, Soriano, Ichiro, and Wells. Continue reading Where Does Zoilo Fit In Now?

Alex Rodriguez, Randy Levine and the email trail from hell

In case you wanted a belated holiday gift, here it is: A story from the New York Magazine that exposes emails between Yankees’ President Randy Levine and Alex Rodriguez.

The thing that amazed me the most was the fact that Randy Levine sends emails like a teenage girl. Would it kill him to actually spell out the word you? Good gracious.

Here are a few highlights:

May 17, 2011
Rodriguez hits two home runs, leading the team to a win over Tampa Bay.

Levine: Way to go, welcome back … enjoy start of a roll.
Rodriguez: Yessir!! Our team needs me to hit and lead us.
Levine: U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.

Apparently typing out the word you is too taxing for Mr. Levine.
Continue reading Alex Rodriguez, Randy Levine and the email trail from hell

Quick Hits: Romine, Jimenez, International Spending

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Austin Romine is “very much available”. Even after trading Chris Stewart to the Pirates, the Yankees find themselves with five catchers on the 40-man roster. Brian McCann and Francisco Cervelli project to be on the 25-man roster, while Gary Sanchez will likely return to Double-A in 2014. This leaves the team with both JR Murphy and Austin Romine competing for a spot in Scranton. The Yankees still have a number of needs to address this winter, so if one of Romine or Murphy can help them obtain an infielder or pitcher, a trade makes a ton of sense.

In that same report by Cafardo, he links Ubaldo Jimenez to the Yankees. He hears from GM’s that even if the Yankees land Masahiro Tanaka, Jimenez makes sense for the team and his personality would be a good fit for New York. The team was linked to Jimenez earlier this winter, and Cashman almost traded for Jimenez in July of 2011. After velocity declines and awful 2011 and 2012 seasons, Jimenez returned in 2013 with an incredible rebound, posting a 3.30 ERA and 9.6 K/9 in 32 starts with the Indians.

It’s no secret that ownership is unhappy with the state of the farm system. With the Yankees spending so much money on free agency this offseason, reports say that they will continue this spending and disregard the international spending pools outlined by the new CBA. The team plans on spending between $12 million to $15 million dollars once the international free agent market opens up on July 2nd of 2014. This would be enough money to land a huge chunk of the 2014 class, but it will result in a 100% tax on any money more than 15% of their pool (likely around $2.5 million). It will also prevent them from signing any players above a $300,000 signing bonus over the following 2 years.
Continue reading Quick Hits: Romine, Jimenez, International Spending

What Do The Yankees Still Need To Do This Offseason?

[caption id="attachment_61690" align="aligncenter" width="475"]Beltran Presser Will we get another big introductory presser? Hope so.[/caption]

A week ago today we reached the official halfway point of the 2013-2014 offseason.  53 days had passed since the last out of the World Series was recorded and 53 days remained until pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report to spring camp.  The Yankees headed into the holiday break last week with a lot already accomplished.  They had retooled their outfield, improved their infield depth and bench for next season, replaced their primary lefty out of the bullpen, and brought back one half of the 400 innings Cash said he wanted to add.

Despite losing Robinson Cano to Seattle it’s been a pretty productive offseason thus far.  If I were handing out offseason midterm grades, I’d have the Yankees in the B- to B range.  With the calendar close to turning to 2014 and with the start of next season now closer than the end of last season, there’s still work to be done to improve that grade up to an A level.  The Yankees have a little under 7 weeks until pitchers and catchers report, and here’s what they need to do before then to finish this offseason successfully. Continue reading What Do The Yankees Still Need To Do This Offseason?

Paul Blair – Yankee infielder and post season hero

In 1978, when Derek Jeter was four years old, another shortstop for the Yankees wore the number two on his uniform. That shortstop was Paul Blair. Yes, that is correct, Paul Blair. But before we get to that story, there is another story you should hear about Paul Blair’s Yankee tenure and concerns two pivotal post season games–one in 1977 and the other in 1978. Blair, who passed away this week at the age of 69, should rightly be remembered as one of the best fielding center fielders ever through the glory years of the Baltimore Orioles from 1965 to Continue reading Paul Blair – Yankee infielder and post season hero

Getting Over Igawa

When the Rakuten Golden Eagles announced that Masahiro Tanaka would be posted, Yankees fans everywhere (and fans of most every team, I suspect) rejoiced. This off-season has been tainted by the specter of the $189 MM payroll, and yet Tanaka offers hope that the Yankees may well renege upon their new found frugality (insofar as guaranteeing some $300 MM to Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran can be considered ‘frugal’). Throughout the off-season, there have been rumblings that the Yankees would be willing to break the bank for Tanaka, and Joel Sherman recently revealed that the front office would be willing go “way over” the $189 MM target, rather than brush up against it. Taken hand in hand, that sounds like a recipe for a Tanaka signing.

For all of this, it does seem like the Yankees have gotten over the disaster that was Kei Igawa. After all, Tanaka has been a part of the blueprint for the team’s off-season from the get-go. However, that has not stopped fans and media members alike from making comparisons to the ill-fated import, and hand-wringing over a narrative that begins and ends with nationality. I suppose it isn’t entirely unreasonable, as the Yankees have been burned by two Japanese starters – lest we forget Hideki Irabu – and much of what has been written about NPB expatriates discusses the pitchers as “Darvish, and everyone else.” While I will not entirely fault folks for falling prey to such misinformation, I do feel that it is appropriate to shed a little light on the relative success of Japanese starting pitchers. Continue reading Getting Over Igawa

Masahiro Tanaka Will Be Posted

https://twitter.com/osaki_makkura/status/415601003790995456
So after going back and forth… and back and forth, the Rakuten Eagles plan to announce that Masahiro Tanaka will be posted today, and that negotiations will start as soon as tomorrow. The Yankees should be extremely active in those talks, and they are likely the favorites to land the Japanese pitcher. Kind of an odd timing, with Christmas and all, but the Eagles organization seems a little ticked off with the new posting process, so better late than never. Continue reading Masahiro Tanaka Will Be Posted

Merry Christmas!

yankees2

For everyone that celebrates, the staff here at IIATMS and TYA wish you all a very merry Christmas. It’s been a big year for us, with the merger and all, and we’ve pleasantly expanded our community and family. We’re so thankful for all our commenters, and we like to think that the discussions we start here enhance everyone’s love of baseball. So from the IIATMS/TYA family to yours, enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas.

If you came here looking for baseball, I wouldn’t count on much this week, though we’ll be back with some posts for you as soon as we finish our roast beast and who hash. For everyone that doesn’t celebrate, go see a movie! The theater is loaded with great films for awards season.

Anyway, whatever you celebrate, enjoy your holiday! Continue reading Merry Christmas!