Born in Dover, Delaware and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Brad now resides in Wisconsin, where he regularly goes out of his way to remind Brewers fans that their team will never be as good as the Yankees. When he’s not writing for IIATMS, he likes to spend his time incorporating “Seinfeld” quotes into everyday conversation, critiquing WWE storylines, and drinking enough beer to be good at darts.

Author Archives: Brad Vietrogoski

To Re-Sign Or Not To Re-Sign: Brandon McCarthy

McCarthy vs DET

Courtesy of Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another free agent case to consider.  Yesterday it was Chase Headley, the crown jewel of Cash’s position player haul from the 2014 trade deadline.  Today it’s Brandon McCarthy, the equally shiny jewel of the pitching acquisitions.  McCarthy was outstanding in 14 starts for the Yankees this season, at times pitching like an ace.  That performance was surely enough to earn him a new deal somewhere next year.  Was it enough to convince the Yankees that they should be the ones to give him that new deal?

Case For:

  • Sneaky Goodness- Pitched to a 2.89/3.22/2.85 slash line in 90.1 IP as a Yankee in 2014; has 4 straight seasons of 3.76 FIP values or lower; has averaged 2.775 fWAR per season since the start of 2011; career 5.9% BB rate.  He ain’t Lester or Scherzer, but he ain’t some bum either.
  • Mid-Rotation Uncertainty- Nova won’t be ready for the start of 2015, Sabathia might not be.  
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Quick Hit: MLBTR’s Arbitration Projections Are Out

MLB Trade Rumors posted their “Offseason Outlook” post for the Yankees yesterday.  If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.  It’s basically everything that every Yankee blog is going to talk about for the entirety of the offseason condensed into 1 long post.  As part of the outlook, they included the list of arbitration-eligible players and their projected salaries.  Let’s take a look.

- Shawn Kelley- $2.5 million
Francisco Cervelli- $1.1 million
Esmil Rogers- $1.9 million
Ivan Nova- $3.3 million
Michael Pineda- $2.1 million
David Huff- $700k
David Phelps- $1.3 million

Kelley is slated for a nice pay boost in his final year of eligibility.  Once again he pitched better than his ERA indicates in 2014, and as a high strikeout guy with late-inning experience he’s a good deal at $2.5 mil.  Nova and Pineda’s injuries are almost blessings in disguise for the Yankees when it comes to money.  …

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Report: Yanks Will Name Gary Denbo New VP Of Baseball Ops

While we wait patiently for the new hitting coach to be named, the Yankees are reportedly set to fill an important front office hole with this move.  Denbo was considered a front runner for this position based on his longstanding history as a scout and MiL hitting coordinator.  He’s been around the organization for a long time, so take that as a good or bad thing depending on how much you wanted to see an outside voice take over for Newman.

Also via Feinsand, the Yankees have let Pat Roessler go as VP of player development.  Expect to see a replacement announced for that job soon.

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To Re-Sign Or Not To Re-Sign: Chase Headley

Headley vs TEX

Courtesy of Getty Images

In addition to their 2 qualifying offer candidates, the Yankees have a handful of free agents to be who are either not eligible for or not worthy of QO consideration.  Some of these players could be and probably should be high priorities for the Yankees this coming offseason, and they’ll warrant serious consideration for being re-signed, especially since they don’t come with draft pick compensation attached.

Since the format for the QO case posts stimulated a lot of good debate, I think we’ll stick with that to break down the rest of these free agent cases.  First up from this list of non-QO guys is Chase Headley.  He shined in 58 games after being acquired before the trade deadline and was the first consistent above-average producer at the position for the Yanks since 2011-2012.

Case For:

  • Major Defensive Upgrade- Headley was an elite-level defensive player in 2014.  His 13 defensive runs saved was 3rd best among qualified third basemen and his 28.0 UZR/150 was tops.  
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Could Marcus Thames Be The Sleeper Hitting Coach Candidate?

Thames Trenton

He definitely passes the “early season hat style” part of the interview. Courtesy of Martin Griff/The Times of Trenton

We’re less than 2 days from the reported team-set deadline for hiring a new hitting coach.  We know the Yankees interviewed Dave Magadan last Wednesday, we know they interviewed Chili Davis on Thursday, and via Rob Bradford and Alex Speier, we know that Davis was hired by the Red Sox to be their new hitting coach last night.

The Yankees were scheduled to meet with a few other candidates on Friday and this past weekend, but as of yet we have not found out the names of those other interviewees.  One of the names that was connected to the job was Marcus Thames, most recently the hitting coach at Double-A Trenton and former Yankee player.  While Magadan appears to be the front runner for the job based on the reports that are out, I can’t help but think that Thames could be the surprise sleeper candidate from the rest of the pool.…

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Report: Yanks Could Have New Hitting Coach By Tuesday

George King continues to dominate the new hitting coach coverage.  He had an update on the search on Friday afternoon in which he talked to Dave Magadan and got word from Magadan that a decision could be made on Tuesday.

“I interviewed Wednesday in New York with the Yankees. They told me they were going to interview a couple of other candidates. I don’t know if that was going to happen Thursday or Friday. They said they would make a decision shortly thereafter.’’

The belief is that the Yanks want their new hitting coach in place before the start of the World Series.  We already know they were interested in a few other candidates, although it has not been confirmed if any of them were part of the late-week interview schedule.  According to King’s report, Chili Davis was interviewed on Thursday.

Seems like Magadan is the front runner based on these reports.  We’ll find out if that’s enough to get him the job soon.…

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 10/17/14

The guy who cuts my hair is from New York.  I’ve been going to him for a while, mainly because I was still a snotty tri-stater when I moved out to Wisconsin and felt much more comfortable letting a fellow tri-state member handle my hair than a mouth-breathing midwesterner.  It really doesn’t make a difference because I get my head buzzed, but that’s neither here nor there.  The point is I’ve been a regular customer of his for years now, and because of this he usually hooks me up with a beer or 2 or a free hair wash or whatever when I come in.  And I gotta tell you, there’s a certain power move feeling that comes with strolling across an entire salon full of women getting their hair and nails done with a beer in hand to get a hair wash they know you’re not paying for.  For that handful of seconds, I’m the belle of the ball.

I’m getting my hair cut after work this afternoon and I can guarantee you that feeling that feeling today will be the highlight of my week.  …

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Quick Hit: Greg Bird Off To A Hot Start In The AZFL

The Arizona Fall League is a little over a week underway and so far it’s been mostly uneventful for the Yankee reps.  Tyler Austin and Dante Bichette Jr. are both off to slow starts with the bat and Aaron Judge has only appeared in 3 games.  None of the 3 pitchers are doing anything special in their first few appearances.

The one player who is making headlines is Greg Bird.  He’s gotten the most burn out of the 4 position players, playing in 8 of the 9 games so far, and he’s been a fixture hitting in prime middle-of-the-order spots and playing first base.  In 36 plate appearances, Bird has a .394/.444/.758 batting line with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 9 R scored, and 9 RBI.  His 25 total bases are almost double the next highest total on his team.

About the only thing Bird hasn’t done well is limit his strikeouts.  He’s K’d 10 times in his 36 plate appearances.  …

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The 2014 IIATMS End-Of-Season Awards Post

I know I said last Sunday that the 2014 season was over and we’d be moving on, but the season isn’t really over until you do your year-end team awards post.  Staff voting was held over the last 2 days and the results have been tallied.  Without further ado, I’d like to announce the winners of the 2014 IIATMS end-of-season awards.  The envelopes, please…

MVP- 3-Way Tie (Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner)

The vote: Betances 3 (Scott, Matt B., Tamar), Ellsbury 3 (Katie, Stacey, Dom), Gardner 3 (Matt I., William, Kenny), Masahiro Tanaka 1 (Brad)

In what will surely go down as one of the most controversial votes in IIATMS history, the team MVP award will be split 3 ways.  Betances’ gaudy numbers, the league-high workload in which he accumulated them, and the consistency with which he pitched lights out in big situations all combined to garner him a sizable chunk of staff support.  Ellsbury and Gardner, as the 2 best and most consistent hitters for the whole season and the top 2 WAR guys on the team, did the same.  …

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