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 and An A-Blog for A-Rod, 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

What We Learned From The GM Meetings

As expected, the GM meetings wrapped up yesterday without any major deals being made or news being broken.  The biggest stories were about things that didn’t happen or aren’t happening, like Masahiro Tanaka still not being posted, no market coming together for Robinson Cano yet, and a potential David Freese trade not materializing.  Still, the Yankees were the most active club of the bunch this week, showing up in full force and scheduling meetings with all their top free agent targets.  They didn’t come away with any commitments but they did position themselves as the favorites for more than a few of the available big names.  Along with establishing that favorable position, here’s a few other things this week’s meetings taught us.

1) Hal Is Leading The Charge

He’s still banging the “committed to a championship-caliber team” drum and hitting all his “goal not a mandate” catchphrases when discussing the team’s payroll plans, but he was doing it on location at the meetings rather than from his office.  …

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The Most Important News Of The Offseason So Far

I know sometimes I write things here that may come across as a bit ridiculous, and I’m the first to admit that there are instances where I intentionally add a dash or 2 of hyperbole to my posts to spark a reaction and discussion in the comment section.  But believe me when I tell you that I’m being 100% honest when I say this.  The idea of Brian Cashman and Jay-Z working together directly, 1-on-1, to negotiate Cano’s new deal is the most fantastically entertaining possibility in the history of MLB hot stove season and if you don’t agree then you have no sense of humor.

Just picture it.  Cash sitting there in his khakis and team polo shirt, Jay in a $10,000 suit and a pair of designer sunglasses with Memphis Bleek and Beanie Siegel flanking him, one of those giant bottles of Spades champagne on ice and a few Cuban cigars on standby to celebrate the new deal when it’s reached.  …

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If D-Rob Isn’t Capable Of Handling The Closer Role Now, When Will He Be?

David_Robertson_Firefighter

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

The most surprising thing to come out of Cash’s session with the media yesterday was his statement on David Robertson‘s status as the heir apparent to Mo for next year’s closer role.  Cash reiterated that the Yankees haven’t decided to officially name D-Rob the closer yet, which is fair considering it’s still early in the offseason and the Yanks are in the market for relief help, but he raised my eyebrows with this line about D-Rob’s ability to handle the job:

“I’m not sure if Robertson is capable yet. He’s never done that before.”

If by “done that before” Cash means “never had a full-time closing gig” before then I fully agree.  D-Rob has never been an official closer tasked with regularly pitching the 9th inning and saving wins and that’s because he’s had Mariano Rivera pitching in front of him every year of his career.  The preceding statement about Robertson’s capability leads me to believe Cash didn’t mean that, however, and that questioning of D-Rob’s capability of being a regular closer raises some questions as to just how the Yankees are making that determination.…

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The Yankees “Absolutely” Bringing Back Cervelli Has To Mean The End Of Chris Stewart … Right?

Cervelli Hand

With things heating up at the GM meetings and the Yankees being reported as the early favorites to land Brian McCann, Cash shed a little light on where the team’s thoughts might be relative to the backup catcher position next year.  Talking to reporters yesterday, Cash said the Yankees will “absolutely” tender a contract to Francisco Cervelli this offseason.  Cervelli is in his first year of arbitration eligibility and MLBTR pegged him at an even $1 million for his projected salary next year, hardly a drop in the Yankee payroll bucket.

Whatever new deal the Yankees offer Cervelli will be in that range and Cash’s stated commitment to make the offer should end any speculation about his future with the team after an injury and PED suspension-plagued 2013.  It should also come as a sign that the Chris Stewart era behind the plate is over, and regardless of what happens with McCann or any of the other free agent catchers on the market, that’s great news.…

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How Will The Kuroda-To-Japan Rumors Impact The Yankees’ Offseason Approach?

Kuroda vs BAL

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Post has been updated to reflect yesterday’s qualifying offer rejections)

Yesterday we got confirmation of what we expected to happen when all 3 Yankee qualifying offer recipients rejected the offers.  There’s been some early indication that C-Grand will look for a multi-year deal elsewhere and the Yankee remain the only team so far that has made a contract offer to Robbie Cano, but there hasn’t been much talk about Hiroki Kuroda.  He’s a very quiet guy in the media by nature and there isn’t anybody in the mainstream Yankosphere who’s gotten a word out of him on what his thoughts might be.

The few reports that are out there right now make it sound like Hirok is leaning towards returning to Japan to pitch next year.  That’s always been part of his retirement plan and it stands to reason that he would want to be able to go back there and pitch while he could still be effective.  …

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Should The Yanks Take The Plunge On Ubaldo Jimenez?

Ubaldo Jimenez

The Yankees tacked another top free agent name to their ever-expanding target list this week when George King name dropped righty pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez in an article for The Post.  You might remember Jimenez as a potential trade target for the Yankees a few years ago when he was in Colorado, a trade the Yankees ended up not pulling the trigger on.  Jimenez landed in Cleveland, where things really unraveled for him in 2012 in his first full season in the AL (5.40/5.06/4.98 in 176.2 IP).  He rebounded in 2013, posting a 3.30/3.43/3.63 slash line in 32 starts and a 1.82/2.17/2.99 line after the All Star break.  On the strength of that 2nd half, Jimenez is looking to land his first big contract after declining his option for 2014.  The Yankees need starting pitching, but Jimenez is such a jumble of inconsistencies that he might scare them off.

Jimenez is on the right side of 30 right now at age 29, but that will change in a few months.  …

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Searching For Some Free Agent Backup Plans

Brian Wilson

Free agency is just over a day old, and while the Yankees haven’t signed or re-signed anybody yet they’ve definitely been among the most active teams so far.  They’ve reached out to a few teams to inquire about possible trades, they’ve built a long list of free agent targets to address the many holes on their roster, and they’ve set themselves up to possibly recoup some compensatory draft picks by making qualifying offers to 3 of their own free agents.  The activity is only going to increase from here and I expect the Yankees to start getting aggressive soon.

But what about players who haven’t been connected to the Yankees yet?  There are a lot of guys out there who could be good fits for what New York is trying to do this offseason, at the very least solid backup options in case the Yanks don’t hit on their primary targets.  Keep in mind that my mentioning of these names is not my way of saying I think the Yankees should or will go after these players.  …

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And So Ends A Sad Chapter In Yankee Pitching History

Hughes-Chamberlain

17.8.  After 14 combined seasons filled with injuries, bad luck, bad developmental decisions, and just plain bad pitching, that’s what the Yankees have to show for their years of team control over Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.  17.8 fWAR.  Or if you prefer the BR version, 13.4.  That’s over the course of 442 appearances and 1,225.1 innings pitched, and you don’t have to be a sabermetric genius to figure out that’s not exactly prime bang for your buck in terms of value.  Hughes and Chamberlain never lived up to the hype as pitching prospects and as of 12 o’clock this morning, with no qualifying offers in their hands, they were free to leave the Yankees and pursue a fresh start with a new ballclub.  Chances are microscopically slim that either will return to the Yankees next season.

This is probably the final time I’ll have to write about either of these guys, and this isn’t meant to be a final kick in their asses on their way out the door.  …

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The Problems With Jeter’s New Deal

Jeter July 2013

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

I don’t think there are many out there who thought Derek Jeter wouldn’t be playing for the Yankees in 2014.  I also don’t think there are many out there, myself totally and completely included, who thought Jeter would be playing for the Yankees on a new, higher-dollar contract in 2014.  The announcement of Jeter’s new 1-year/$12 million yesterday Friday afternoon was confusing to the say the least, as there seemed to be little real reason for it to happen.  The subsequent discussion and differing information on the luxury tax implications of the new deal made the situation even more confusing, and the latest reports on those figures make the deal look like a poor decision on the part of the Yankees.

Regardless of average annual values or luxury tax implications, the move to re-sign Jeter to this new deal wasn’t a good one Friday and still isn’t today.  It has nothing to do with money and nothing to do with Jeter’s production potential next season.  …

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