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

Update On The Moncada Situation: The Wheels Are In Motion, Things Are Happening Even As We Speak

Not sure too many people saw the update to yesterday afternoon’s Yoan Moncada unblocking post, so here’s the full update as of early last night.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the policy requiring native Cubans to apply for and receive a specific unblocking license before they can be let into the United States has been changed by the US Treasury Dept.  Because he had already met the criteria required for the general unblocking license, Moncada has now been declared eligible to enter the US to play baseball, at least as far as the US government is concerned.

The burden now falls on MLB to verify Moncada’s identity and residency paperwork before officially declaring him a free agent.  MLB had been hiding behind the specific license policy as a way to avoid that responsibility and delay Moncada’s entry into the country, for reasons we’ll never be told but I assume I already know.  According to Passan’s report, MLB was working yesterday to set up a meeting with the US OFAC to go over the specifics of the policy change.  …

Read more

Report: MLB Holding Up The Yoan Moncada Proceedings, Not US OFAC (UPDATED)

Here’s an interesting new wrinkle in the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes.  According to this report by Ben Badler, the holdup in getting him unblocked and eligible to sign does not reside with the US Dept. of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as many believed, but rather with MLB itself.

“Any Cuban national who presents documents showing permanent residence in a country outside of Cuba qualifies for OFAC’s ‘general license,’ which is not a written document. As far as OFAC is concerned, that should make him unblocked, and that’s good enough for the government to allow him to sign.

The holdup is that MLB won’t let Moncada—or any Cuban player, for that matter—use the general license any more. That wasn’t always the case. Yasiel Puig, for example, signed using the general license. It’s not clear what exactly changed, but at some point in 2012 after Puig signed in June that year, MLB no longer allowed Cuban players to sign using the general license and instead required them to apply for the specific license, which is a written document from OFAC…

“MLB issued the following statement to Baseball America on Sunday: ‘MLB is confident with the current plan we have in place regarding signing foreign born players and will abide by the guidelines of the OFAC requirements.’

Except, by the OFAC guidelines, Moncada has met the criteria of the general license to be considered unblocked, and he is not alone.

Read more

Covering A Short Rotation With A Deep Bullpen, Or Why I Still Want A 1-Inning Closer

Soriano Untuck

An untuck reunion would be pretty sweet, no? Courtesy of Getty Images

We’re less than 4 weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa for the start of Spring Training 2015.  When they do, the question marks and problems in the rotation will become all too real.  Every picture of Masahiro Tanaka or CC Sabathia throwing long toss is going to be a reminder that each of them may be 1 pitch away from major elbow and knee injuries at all times, and a reminder of how little depth the Yankees have behind them to fill in if/when injuries strike.

The Yanks continue to stand pat on diving into the free agent bargain bin to add an arm.  As much as some of us might want them to do that, the smarter way to upgrade the pitching staff might be to go back to the free agent reliever pool and lock up somebody to work as a traditional 1-inning closer.  The bullpen is already shaping up to be one of the deepest and best in baseball.  …

Read more

Tuesday Morning Food For Thought: A World Without Brendan Ryan

With the Braves claiming Eury Perez off waivers last Friday, the loop was finally closed on the Stephen Drew roster addition. Perez was the most logical choice to be sacrificed, as the Yankees have plenty of 40-man outfield depth in the form of their own young players. Now that he’s gone though, the clock may and should be ticking on Brendan Ryan.

What does he bring to the table at this point? He can’t hit. At all. Statistical metrics have his defense on a major decline from where it was 2-3 years ago.  The money owed to him is a little more than half of the already minuscule number the Yanks are paying to Drew this year.  Drew’s presence on the roster gives the Yankees another solid shortstop option to back up Didi, and the presence of guys like Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder who can play second base makes Ryan expendable there as well.  Ryan serves no purpose on this roster anymore.  …

Read more

Monday Night Open Thread: A-Rod Gossip And Snow

Sorry for the slow day on the site today, gang.  For some reason I could never get my brain to start getting into blog mode, and every time I got close something came up at work.  Blogging equivalent of an 0-5 day at the plate with 2 inning-ending GIDPs and 6 runners left on base.

Not that anybody was short on reading material today.  A lot of local papers were running with more anti-A-Rod stories instead of actually reporting on something that matters.  I’m not going to give any site the pageviews they so desperately want.  If you want to go find the stories on your own, more power to you.  The long and short of it is that A-Rod met with Rob Manfred to try to put last year in the rearview and focus on moving forward.  He reached out to do the same thing with the Yankees and got turned down, and now the team is supposedly gearing up to try to fight having to pay him the HR bonus money that they included as part of his contract that he signed.  …

Read more

Quick Hit: Kiley McDaniel’s Yankee Farm System Evaluation

If you’ve been waiting with hands clenched in anticipation for this since last week like I have, then this morning was a beautiful morning for you.  Kiley McDaniel released his farm system evaluation for the Yankees over at FanGraphs, and it’s an absolute doozy of a post.  I’m talking detailed scouting reports on tons of players, videos, breakdowns of players to watch at all levels, and mentions of a few names that I’ve never even heard of.  If you’re a big prospect person and still in the prospect-y mood from our events here last week, definitely set this aside for your lunch time reading today.

If you want the highlights, McDaniel is higher on both Jacob Lindgren and Jorge Mateo than anybody else I’ve read, down on Gary Sanchez and Domingo German, and thinks Tyler Wade and Juan De Leon will start to make their way up the ladder this year.  Even if you don’t have time today to fully dive into this, I would recommend carving out some at some point to read the whole thing.…

Read more

IIATMS Prospect Week 2015: Final Wrap-Up

I hope everybody had fun reading all of our Prospect Week posts this past week, especially the IIATMS Top 30.  If, for any reason, you missed anything earlier this week, here’s a quick recap post with all the links to the most important stuff.

IIATMS Top 30:

- Positions 35-31
- Positions 30-21
- Positions 20-11
- Positions 10-1
- The Individual Lists

Player Profiles:

- Miguel Andujar
- Jake Cave

Thanks to everybody for reading and thanks to those who commented.  Prospects are always a fun topic to debate.  Now let’s see how this crop does in 2015 and we’ll go back and update the list roughly 1 year from now.

Read more

The 2015 IIATMS Top 30: The Individual Lists

Just thought this might be something a few people would want to look at as an easier comparison of the differences between the individual lists.  Here are the 3 complete lists that made the final composite Top 30:

Brad’s Top 30:

1) Aaron Judge
2) Luis Severino
3) Gary Sanchez
4) Rob Refsnyder
5) Greg Bird
6) Ian Clarkin
7) Eric Jagielo
8) Domingo German
9) Tyler Austin
10) Luis Torrens
11) Jacob Lindgren
12) Ramon Flores
13) Miguel Andujar
14) Bryan Mitchell
15) Jose Ramirez
16) Jake Cave
17) Jorge Mateo
18) Ty Hensley
19) Mason Williams
20) Austin DeCarr
21) Dan Camarena
22) Leonardo Molina
23) Jose Pirela
24) Gosuke Katoh
25) Abiatal Avelino
26) Jordan Montgomery
27) Nick Rumbelow
28) Jaron Long
29) Alexander Palma
30) Brady Lail

Domenic’s List:

1) Aaron Judge
2) Luis Severino
3) Ian Clarkin
4) Gary Sanchez
5) Greg Bird
6) Jake Cave
7) Luis Torrens
8) Miguel Andujar
9) Jorge Mateo
10) Eric Jagielo
11) Rob Refsnyder
12) Tyler Austin
13) Jacob Lindgren
14) Domingo German
15) Ramon Flores
16) Ty Hensley
17) Abiatal Avelino
18) Bryan Mitchell
19) Leonardo Molina
20) Chasen Shreve
21) Jose Ramirez
22) Mason Williams
23) Austin DeCarr
24) Jordan Montgomery
25) Hyo-Jun Park
26) Alexander Palma
27) Tyler Webb
28) Chris Breen
29) Taylor Dugas
30) Jordan Foley

EJ’s List:

1) Aaron Judge
2) Luis Severino
3) Gary Sanchez
4) Greg Bird
5) Ian Clarkin
6) Domingo German
7) Rob Refsnyder
8) Jorge Mateo
9) Tyler Austin
10) Eric Jagielo
11) Luis Torrens
12) Ramon Flores
13) Jacob Lindgren
14) Jake Cave
15) Miguel Andujar
16) Bryan Mitchell
17) Ty Hensley
18) Mason Williams
19) Dan Camarena
20) Jose Ramirez
21) Angel Aguilar
22) Chasen Shreve
23) Alexander Palma
24) Leonardo Molina
25) Austin DeCarr
26) Dermis Garcia
27) Juan De Leon
28) Nelson Gomez
29) Abiatal Avelino
30) Jose Pirela

Read more

Saturday Morning Linkapalooza: 1/24/15

You might not have noticed, but it was a little bit of a busy week around here at IIATMS.  I didn’t have nearly the amount of time I usually do to read around the Yankosphere, and to be quite honest I didn’t want to go through the effort of writing this linkaround just so it could bump our IIATMS Top 10 down the page.  Hopefully everybody has had a chance to read that and the other 2 parts of our 2015 top 30 prospects list this week.  If you haven’t, don’t worry.  I’ll be plugging the hell out of it later this weekend and into the foreseeable future.  If you’re like me and you’ve been so consumed by the Top 30 this week that you didn’t bother to check any other sites out, here’s what you missed.

– On Monday, Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley asked if the Yankees should try to trade for one of the Nationals’ starters.  Yes.  The answer is yes.…

Read more