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

Yankees Undecided On Giving Hirok A Qualifying Offer

Late last week we found out that the Yankees will extend a qualifying offer to David Robertson and that report came as no surprise.  There was no follow-up story over the weekend confirming that the offer had been made, but with today being the deadline for teams to make those offers, it’s practically a certainty that we’ll get that report sometime later in the day.

Another report we haven’t gotten yet is one on the decision to make Hiroki Kuroda a qualifying offer.  Jon Heyman reported yesterday that giving a QO to Hirok was something the team was not “especially likely” to do, and they seem to share many of the same concerns had by the “no-QO” camp of fans.  Hirok has yet to state whether he intends to play next year or not, which has surely added to the indecision on the Yankees’ part.  At age 40, him getting hit with the QO tag would all but ensure that the only MLB team he could play with next year would be the Yankees.…

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Video: Greg Bird’s Moonshot From Yesterday’s AZFL Fall Stars Game

Yeah, that one went a little ways.  Good thing the decision makers smartened up and added Bird to the game.  Prospect hype or not, there’s no reason for the best player in a league to not be in that league’s All-Star Game.

Maybe that homer will start to get Bird some hype on the national stage.  Dude definitely deserves it.

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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 10/31/14

Happy Halloween, everybody.  We had power outages at my office all morning, so clearly the place is either haunted or somebody with good electrical skills is having some fun.  I don’t know when trick-or-treating before Halloween became a thing, but the designated night for it in my new neighborhood was last Sunday.  We bought 3 or 4 bags of candy to make sure we had enough for the inevitable bum rush in the afternoon.  Got no kids.  None.  Didn’t bother me because I hate kids, but it would have been nice to unload some of that candy on them.  I’ve become way too familiar with Snickers Peanut Butter Squared minis this week.  Now onto the links!

– On Tuesday, Mike Axisa of RAB reviewed the Yankees’ team and individual outfield defense in 2014.  Getting better in right should be a priority for 2015, but it won’t be.

– Chad Jennings of LoHud weighed the options the Yankees have to address third base next season.…

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Baseball America Releases Its 2015 Top 10 Yankee Prospects List

Baseball America has moved on to its new organizational top 10 prospect rankings and today was Yankee day.  Josh Norris has the full list and writeup for free right here, but if you’re just looking for the top 10, it is as follows:

1) Luis Severino
2) Aaron Judge
3) Jorge Mateo
4) Greg Bird
5) Gary Sanchez
6) Ian Clarkin
7) Rob Refsnyder
8) Jacob Lindgren
9) Luis Torrens
10) Miguel Andujar

You’ll notice former top 10 mainstays like J.R. Murphy, Slade Heathcott, Tyler Austin, and Mason Williams are gone and replaced by a new and very young crop.  Mateo, Clarkin, Torrens, and Andjuar are all under 20 years old, and guys like Severino, Bird, and Sanchez are young for their level.

My biggest thought here is how surprising it is to see Mateo that high.  I know he gained some support on the scouting circuit with a strong year in the GCL, but he’s still very raw as a hitter.  …

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Friday Morning Food For Thought: A New Hitting Coach Candidate Emerges

Via George King:

“There was serious speculation running through Kauffman Stadium before the Giants’ 3-2 victory over the Royals in Game 7 of the World Series that the Yankees were waiting for the end of the Series on Wednesday night to contact the Royals’ Raul Ibanez to gauge his interest in becoming their hitting coach.

While Ibanez was not on the active roster against the Giants, he was with the team serving as a wise head for the younger Royals to bounce ideas off and listen to. Royals manager Ned Yost has praised Ibanez’s leadership qualities throughout the postseason.”

Raul Ibanez, huh?  OK, I can get on board with that.  The Yankees have already lost out on what we have to assume was their top 2 candidates for the vacant hitting coach job.  If the silence since then has been them biding their time and waiting to talk to somebody who was still involved in the postseason, that would be much better than them stalling because they didn’t really have a backup plan.  …

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Quick Hit: The Important Offseason Date Coming Up This Weekend

In my haste to get to the qualifying offer/5-day exclusive window free agent deadlines early next week, I skipped past another key date before then that has some meaning to the Yankees.  The deadline for teams to pick up or decline their options on players is this Saturday and there is one option for the Yanks to consider.  That option is for Andrew Bailey, the rehabbing reliever New York signed before this past season.

The move to sign Bailey was made with 2015 in mind, and the Yankees have a $2 million option on him that they have to decide on by Saturday.  Bailey did not pitch in any games in 2014 at any level while rehabbing from a torn shoulder capsule.  The last time I heard about his progress was in early August and reports said he had experienced multiple setbacks during his throwing program.

With that in mind, I have to think the Yanks will decline Bailey’s option and free up that couple of mil to use elsewhere.  …

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Was It Worth It?: Mark Teixeira

Teix Face

Seen way too much of this face the last few seasons. Courtesy of Getty Images

The biggest of the big anchor contracts in Yankeeland, the 10-year one for Alex Rodriguez, is cloudy in terms of the juice being worth the squeeze depending on how you factor in extra revenue and championships against all the negative headlines and declining production.  The next biggest deal, CC Sabathia‘s, was a little more clear in its worth.  Signing CC to lead a rotation desperately in need of an ace was the right decision.  It worked out splendidly for the first half of the contract before the decision to extend him was made and the move went sour thanks to injuries.

How about the “smallest” of the 3 contracts, Mark Teixeira‘s 8-year deal?  He signed it in the same offseason as CC, teaming up with him and the pitcher I’ve sworn never to name again to form the biggest Yankee free agent haul prior to last offseason.  …

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Somebody Fire Up The Stove…

… And let the offseason commence!  Madison Bumgarner put the Royals in a diaper last night and now we can finally start fully focusing on what’s really important, what the Yankees are going to do in the next 4 months to get invited back to the big kids’ table and return to the playoffs next year.

Hot stove season becomes official in less than an hour, when all free agents to be become free agents and all 60-day/suspended roster guys get activated.  Per my terrible counting yesterday, the Yankees actually have 10 players who will become free agents and 5 on the 60-day/suspended list (forgot about Slade Heathcott).  When the clock strikes 9 AM, the 40-man roster will be down to 35.

And over the next few days we’ll get an early idea of how many spots might get taken up by returning players.  Monday is the deadline for qualifying offers to be made and the Yankees have a pair of worthy candidates for the QO in D-Rob and Hirok.  …

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Searching For The Eventual 40-Man Casualties

One way or another, the 2014 Major League Baseball season will come to an end tonight.  Once that happens and the champagne starts flowing in one of the locker rooms in KC, the offseason will be officially underway.  The Yankees have plenty to do this offseason, as we’ve been detailing and dissecting for the last few weeks, and there could be a fair amount of roster turnover.

Before we get to that part, it only makes sense to take a look at the current roster situation.  The Yankees always seem to be under some kind of 40-man roster squeeze and it stands to reason that they’ll have another one on their hands at some point over the next few months as they re-sign and/or sign new players.

As of this morning, the Yankees have 45 players listed on their 40-man roster.  9 infielders, 9 outfielders, 5 catchers, and 22 pitchers.  When free agency becomes official, 12 of those players will come off the roster (Capuano, Hill, Huff, Kuroda, McCarthy, Robertson, Rogers, Drew, Headley, Jeter, Ichiro, Young), dropping the Yankees back down to 33.  …

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