About Brad Vietrogoski

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.

Yanks Avoid Arbitration With Didi, Agree To A 1-Year Deal

Three down, three to go.  Via Jack Curry, the Yankees knocked another one off the to-sign list yesterday, agreeing to a 1-year, $2.425 million deal with starting shortstop Didi Gregorius.  Didi filed for a $2.525 million salary last week while the team came in at 2.3, so this final figure is a bit above the midpoint and a small victory for Didi.

This was Didi’s first year of arbitration eligibility and based on service time he qualifies as a Super Two player, so he could be looking at some very nice paydays to come if he can continue to improve on his solid 2015 season.  After a sloppy start in the field and a slow start at the plate, Didi finished the year with a .265/.318/.370 batting line, 9 HR, 57 runs scored, 56 RBI, 5 defensive runs saved at short, and 3.1 fWAR.  His K rate was below 15% and he hit .294/.345/.417 in the second half of the year while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.  … Click here to read the rest

Arbitration Update: Yanks Settle With Two, File Salaries With Four

The deadline for teams to come to terms with their arbitration-eligible players or submit salary figures for arbitration was yesterday, and the Yankees were able to reach new 1-year deals with 2 of their 6 eligible players.  They agreed to a 1-year, $4.3 million deal with Michael Pineda and a 1-year, $3.2 million deal with Dustin Ackley.  Those figures were right in line with the MLBTR projections.

They did not come to a deal with Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi, and Didi Gregorius, although it was reported that both sides exchanged figures in all 4 cases.  The most notable figures were Chapman’s.  Via Jon Heyman, Chapman filed for $13.1 million and the Yankees filed for 9.  I’m sure they will agree to something in between and it won’t be a huge deal, but the idea that the Yankees move in and swung a trade for the best closer in baseball only to turn around and lowball him on his salary is pretty comical.  … Click here to read the rest

Thursday Morning Links: 1/14/16

Good morning, gang.  We’re going to go double efficient and use the intro space to touch on the Anthony Swarzak acquisition from yesterday.  Jon Heyman had it first and it’s a MiL deal with an invite to spring camp that becomes a $750,000 deal if Swarzak makes the MLB roster.  Swarzak has pitched to a 4.45/4.17/4.45 slash in 450+ Major League innings, most of them as a middle reliever.  Have to think he would serve in that role as a Yankee and he could have a twinge of extra value as a guy with starting experience.  Now onto the links.

– On Monday, Chad Jennings had some thoughts from Cash on positional plans for Castro, A-Rod, and Dustin Ackley this season.

– On Tuesday, SG of RLYW commented on the latest W-L projections for the 2016 Yankees.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa explained how the Yanks could use their bench flexibility to support a 6-man rotation.  That would actually be pretty cool, to see them start using the back end of the roster as a flexible spot determined by upcoming schedule and need.… Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Six Yankees File For Arbitration

Last night was the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to file, and as expected all eligible players on the Yankees did so.  Thanks to the recent acquisition of Aroldis Chapman, the Yanks are up to 6 arb-eligible guys.  Here’s the complete list with salary predictions courtesy of MLBTR:

There’s no doubt that the Yankees will come to terms with all of these guys in the weeks to come.  What will be interesting to see is whether they go the extra step and try to sign anybody to an extension.  They’ve got some worthy candidates in Pineda and Eovaldi, and I could see them working something out with Didi.  It would probably save them a few bucks compared to letting him go year-to-year for the next 3 years, especially if he continues to improve offensively.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Fill 40-Man Roster With A 3-Player Trade

The Yankees have been cruising around with 2 open 40-man roster spots for a while, which is unfamiliar territory for them.  They filled those spots yesterday by making a 2-for-1 trade with the Dodgers, bringing in left-handed pitcher Tyler Olson and utility infielder Ronald Torreyes for upper-level MiL third baseman Rob Segedin.  There’s also a player to be named later or cash considerations that the Yankees will send along eventually to complete the deal.

There are obviously better options for filling out those final 2 roster spots, but with the Yankees not showing any willingness thus far to play in the deep end of the free agent pool this wasn’t a bad Plan B .  Olson is a 26-year-old converted starter who actually made the Opening Day roster for the Mariners as a reliever last season.  He wasn’t very good (5.40 ERA, higher BB rate than K rate in 13.1 innings pitched) and then he struggled a bit upon returning to Triple-A before getting worked back in as a starter at the end of the season.  … Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Girardi Names Chapman The New Closer

Joe Girardi was on YES’ “Yankees Hot Stove” show last night with Bob Lorenz and Jack Curry, and he talked a lot about how he plans to utilize his group of new players this season.  Obviously everybody knows what the big story is in there and Joe didn’t waste any time addressing it.  He came out and said that Aroldis Chapman will be the closer going into Spring Training this year, with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances serving as co-primary setup men.

Not exactly earth-shattering news in and of itself, but noteworthy in that the announcement was a major deviation from Girardi’s strategy last year when there was the Betances/Miller closer competition.  As Curry pointed out, Joe waited until May of last season to officially declare Miller the closer.  This season he’s making the call over a month before pitchers and catchers report.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the decision.  It was assumed that Chapman would be taking over the closer role the minute the Yankees traded for him.  … Click here to read the rest

Roster Moves: Yankees Sign 2 More MiLers, Trade For A Pitcher

The replenishment of organizational depth continued yesterday, as the Yankees made a flurry of small moves.  They signed infielder Jonathan Diaz and right-handed pitcher Tyler Jones to MiL deals and acquired righty reliever Kirby Yates from the Cleveland Indians for cash.

Diaz is a 30-year-old Minors lifer with a pretty wild .227/.352/.295 career tripleslash who has played primarily second base and shortstop, although he can also be used at third and fake it in the outfield.  Jones is a 26-year-old Milwaukee native with a 3.81 ERA and 294 strikeouts in 250.1 career MiL innings pitched.  I imagine Diaz will serve as the Triple-A bench infielder while Jones could see time in both the Trenton and SWB bullpens this season.

Yates has pitched over 50 MLB innings over the last 2 seasons for the Rays and was basically given to Cleveland a few months back.  His ERA and FIP numbers aren’t great in the show, but he does boast a 25.4% K rate and his MiL strikeout numbers were even better.  … Click here to read the rest

Saturday Morning Links: 1/9/16

Finally caught my first cold of the winter season.  It usually comes before Christmas, so I guess it’s good that it waited until the new year?  I don’t really know, I’m not a doctor.  Now onto the links.

– On Wednesday, Starlin Castro penned his goodbye letter to Chicago and hello letter to New York for The Players’ Tribune.  Here’s your chance to check that out if you missed it initially.

– On Thursday, Mike Axisa of RAB discussed the need for Michael Pineda to emerge as a consistent top end starter in 2016.  He’s healthy, he’s figured out a third pitch, now’s the time to see if he can be the pitcher they hoped he would be when they traded for him.

– On Friday, Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley reviewed the 3-team Didi Gregorius trade after year one.  Were it not for Robbie Ray, this would go down as an early landslide victory for the Yanks.

– Roey Hadar of Bronx Pinstripes ranked their top 5 prospects, capping off a week in which they plowed through the top 50 in the organization.  … Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Yankees Sign Donovan Solano To MiL Deal

Well it ain’t Juan Uribe, but the Yankees did do something to address their lack of upper level infield depth by signing Donovan Solano to a Minor League deal yesterday.  Solano, 28, is a long-time MiL player in the Cardinals and Marlins systems and has seen small chunks of time at the MLB level over the last 3 seasons.

A right-handed hitter, Solano has a .257/.307/.328 tripleslash in 1,145 career MLB plate appearances and a .263/.314/.323 tripleslash in over 3,000 career MiL plate appearances.  If nothing else, he’s been freaky consistent as he’s worked his way up the ladder to the show.  As a whole, he’s not much offensively.  He can put the bat on the ball, but that’s about it.  Doesn’t draw walks and doesn’t hit for any power.  Defensively he’s much more useful, spending time at second base, third base, and in the outfield corners in his MLB career and some at shortstop back in his MiL days.… Click here to read the rest