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

Hal Speaks On The Offseason (And Some Other Stuff)

Hal Steinbrenner was on hand for the latest owners’ meeting in Arizona yesterday, and as he usually does when he’s out and about, he held court with the Yankee beat writers on hand to talk about the latest happenings in Yankeeland.  I could bust his balls here for implying that the Yankees don’t have room to spend more money or for pointing out the health risks in the rotation while not addressing the need to address those risks, but I’ll just skip that and let people judge his comments for themselves.  All quotes via Ken Davidoff:

On the team’s offseason goals- “We had numerous goals.  Two of the goals were to get younger and get better defensively. I think we’ve done that. I think our bullpen’s better. I think it’s one of the best in baseball, quite frankly. My opinion.”

On the payroll budget and Cash working within that- “We started out with a payroll that was already high before we did anything.

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Thursday Morning Food For Thought: Would You Trade Brett Gardner To The Cubs?

Let me preface this by saying that there’s nothing out there even hinting that this is a possibility.  The Cubs aren’t trying to acquire Brett Gardner and the Yankees aren’t shopping him.  Rosenthal’s tweet last night reminded me of an email conversation we had on Monday night about this topic though, and I’d like to expand on it in a little hypothetical trade musing if you’d indulge me.

Say the Cubs were interested in Gardner.  That’s a pretty well stocked trade partner in terms of return pieces.  And Gardner’s 4-year/$52 million extensions kicks in this year, so the Cubs would be getting him for the next handful of years at a good price.  That would be worth something pretty significant.  For the sake of this hypothetical, let’s say it’s Addison Russell.  …

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Yanks Agree To 1-Year Deal With Ivan Nova

Didn’t take long for the first arbitration-eligible domino to fall.  The Yankees avoided arbitration with Ivan Nova today, agreeing to a 1-year deal.  As first reported by Joel Sherman, the contract is worth $3.3 million.  The value of the contract matches Nova’s salary from last season in his first year of eligibility, as predicted by MLBTR.  Nova, 28, will not be ready for the start of the upcoming season as he completes rehab from 2014 TJ Surgery, but is expected to return to the rotation before the ASB.

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Report: Yankees “Intrigued” By Johan Santana, Following His Winter League Starts

Johan vs ATL

Courtesy of Getty Images

This would certainly qualify as finding rotation depth on the cheap.  Per a report by Dan Martin, the Yankees were in attendance at Johan Santana‘s first Venezuelan Winter League start last night as he attempts to come back from a torn Achilles tendon.  Santana pitched 2 scoreless innings and looked pretty good by most accounts.  According to Martin, the Yankees are “intrigued” by the idea of signing Santana, and an unnamed source that they “will keep an eye on him.”

Everybody knows Santana’s story by now.  He used to be the best pitcher alive not too many years ago, but a litany of major injuries put an end to that and have all but derailed his entire career.  It’s not just the comeback from the Achilles tear that factors into any decision on Santana, it’s the torn shoulder capsule in 2011, the second torn shoulder capsule in 2013, and the back problems.  Santana has been limited to 21 Major League starts since 2010, and at age 36 it’s hard to imagine his body and its storied injury history holding up to any kind of consistent, regular workload.…

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Quick Hit: Olney On The Yankee Lineup And Bullpen

Bit of a slow start to the day, so I thought I’d point out what Buster Olney is up to this week.  If you haven’t been following, he’s been listing his top 10 MLB team roster groups.  Started with rotations on Monday, bullpens yesterday, and today it’s lineups.

All the posts are Insider-only, but here’s what you need to know from a Yankee perspective.  Olney had the Yanks’ bullpen ranked #2 behind Kansas City, mainly on the strength of the Andrew Miller-Dellin Betances late-inning tandem but also due to the “stacked” depth of left and right-handed middle relief.  He ranked the projected Yankee lineup 10th today, which came as a bit of a surprise to me, and summed them up with this statement:

“The lack of a rock-solid, MVP-type middle-of-the-order hitter will probably prevent the Yankees from climbing among the leaders in run production, but improvement seems inevitable.”

That sounds about right, as does his evaluation of the bullpen depth.  …

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Arbitration Figure Submittal Deadline Coming This Friday

It’s not a huge deal, but it is worth pointing out that the deadline for eligible players to file for salary arbitration was yesterday.  Teams and players have until Friday to exchange salary proposals with each other, and the Yankees are down to 4 eligible players after their run of offseason trades: Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, and David Carpenter.  There were no reports yesterday of any of those 4 not filing for arbitration, so it’s safe to assume that all of them did.

The Yankees started the offseason with 7 eligible players.  They’ve already re-signed Esmil Rogers and there’s no reason to expect that they won’t come to terms with these 4 guys.  They’re saving themselves a few bucks on payroll by shrinking their number of eligible guys, and they’re also saving themselves a few bucks by trading away guys who were in their 2nd or 3rd year of eligibility for guys who are entering their 1st.  …

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Yanks Acquire RHP Chris Martin, DFA Gonzalez Germen

Acquiring a pitcher for cash from the Rockies worked out well the last time the Yankees did it.  Guess they felt it was worth going back to that well again for this minor move.

Martin is a 28-year-old righty reliever who made his MLB debut in 2014, pitching to a 6.89/3.77/2.90 tripleslash with 14 K in 15.2 IP.  He throws fastballs of all kinds and his 4-seamer sits comfortably in the mid-90s, and his primary offspeed pitch is a low-80s curveball.  He’s listed at 6’8’/215 too, so he’s a pretty hyyuuuuuuuge dude.

Germen’s time with the Yankees was brief and over before it ever started.  He had a very small chance of making a significant impact out of the ‘pen this year.  Clearly the Yankees felt that Martin was an upgrade over him.  …

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Resetting The Organizational Catching Depth

As usual, the Yankees are experiencing the pains of a 40-man roster crunch.  They have yet to make a move to open up a spot for the recently-signed Stephen Drew, and when they do they will have to deal with a possible surplus of infielders on the roster.  That’s not the worst problem to have when you’re coming off a year in which your infield was as bad as the Yankees’ was in 2014, and it should work itself out by the time Spring Training comes and goes.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Bombers were going through a similar crunch with their catching depth.  They opened the offseason with 5 catchers on the 40-man and not enough spots for all those catchers.  Francisco Cervelli was traded to Pittsburgh for Justin Wilson, which opened up the backup MLB job for John Ryan Murphy and eased the playing time concerns at the rest of the upper levels.  With that issue cleared up, let’s do a quick review of the team’s current catching depth.…

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Quick Hit: Some Good Hensley News For Your Tuesday Morning Blues

Hope everyone is just as excited for the 2015 season as I am!

A video posted by Ty Hensley (@tyhensley17) on

If the video isn’t playing for anybody, what you’re not seeing is an Instagram video of Ty Hensley throwing in a batting cage.  It was posted by Hensley himself over the weekend, and seeing that he’s OK and already back to baseball activities is a huge visual sigh of relief.  The early reports on his attack and resulting injuries were very serious and the hospital photos were pretty bad, so to know we can go from simply wishing for him to make a full recovery back to wondering how much this will affect the start of his 2015 season is great news.

As for how these injuries will impact Hensley’s season, if at all, I think we’ll have to wait and see.  Missing a few weeks of an offseason throwing program doesn’t seem like it should be a huge deal for a young pitcher, but this year was supposed to be his first in full-season ball.  …

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