About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Report: Cashman not allowed to make offers

Rumors to this effect were brewing yesterday, but I held off on posting anything on it because it seemed to be coming mostly from agents. Dan Barbirisi just added some details however and, well, read for yourself:

In a situation that highlights how much has changed for the big-budget Yankees, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman came to the winter meetings in Nashville with his hands so fully tied that he lacked the authority to make offers to free agents.

The situation was first brought to light by agent Scott Boras, who quietly suggested Wednesday that Cashman lacked the power to make offers.


On Thursday, people within the Yankees organization confirmed that this was in fact true: Cashman arrived in Nashville unable to make offers to players, and without that power, targets like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez took deals elsewhere.


Another Yankee official downplayed the seriousness of the situation, saying that most general managers would have to go back to ownership to vet potential deals.

“What does Scott Boras know? Are you kidding me?” the official said, arguing that Boras is trying to stir things up because he lacks good markets for his players. “The only reason that Cash didn’t have the authority at that point, if you want to use the word authority, is that he wasn’t making any offers, there was nobody out there that he thought, at these prices, that he should make offers on.”

But another official confirmed that this represents a departure for the Yankees, who have given Cashman more authority in the past.

I don’t know exactly what to make of this, yet, but suffice it to say the idea that this is commonplace is absurd. General managers may need to rope in ownership on major/long term signings or moves hat may be controversial for one reason or another, but the idea that they can’t make mundane acquisitions within their budgetary framework is ridiculous. Far more likely is that ownership is focused on dollars and cents more than anything else right now, even before the 2014 budget ostensibly goes into effect. That is, of course, assuming that this report is accurate. Continue reading Report: Cashman not allowed to make offers

Yankees lose no one to Rule 5 draft

The Rule 5 draft just wrapped up in Nashville, and of the 42 players selected none came out of the Yankees’ organization. That’s probably not as noteworthy as it sounds though, if only because the Yankees have been super aggressive in protecting eligible players in recent years. That’s why they have guys like Zoilo Almonte, Melky Mesa, and Corban Jospeh on the 40 man roster even though they don’t have a ton of usefulness to the big league team at the moment. This year they even protected Nik Turley and Jose Ramirez, even though it seems highly unlikely that they’re ready to stick on a major league roster, and filling up the 40 man roster just means that you have to DFA someone anytime you need to make a move. I don’t really get it, but there you go.

On the other side of the ledger, the Yankees didn’t have an open 40 man roster spot, so they weren’t eligible to select anyone themselves. So…a lot of short-term hype for no meaningful results. Sounds exactly like the Rule 5 draft in general, I guess.
Continue reading Yankees lose no one to Rule 5 draft

Yankees have made a big offer for Youkilis

Yesterday’s theme was potential Yankee targets signing with other teams, including a couple of potential interim third basemen in Eric Chavez and Jeff Keppinger. That’s left the board pretty thin as the Yankees look for someone to fill in for Alex Rodriguez, and apparently they don’t want a repeat of that, to say the least. According to Bryan Hoch, the Yankees have made Kevin Youkilis an offer of $12 million for one year, which jives with the “premium salary” he was supposedly looking for in exchange for a one year deal. That’s pretty strange, I guess, but the Yankees desperately need someone to plug the hole at third base, and if they’re going to insist on signing nothing but one year deals, they’re going to have to lay out more dollars for anyone but true scrap heap projects. I’m not terribly wild about Youkilis at this point in his career, but the alternatives are slim, and not overpaying anyone in 2013 likely means having too many holes to win the remarkably deep American League East. Continue reading Yankees have made a big offer for Youkilis

Who’s ready for the Rule V draft?

It’s the final day of the Winter Meetings, which means the annual Rule V draft will be getting underway shortly. Most of us are familiar with the rough outlines of the unique event, but if you’re not, here’s a quick primer. Players who have sufficient minor league experience to qualify and are not on a team’s 40 man roster can be selected by another team for a mere $50,000 price. The kicker is that you then have to keep that player in the big leagues for an entire season (either on the active roster or the big league disabled list), or you must offer the player back to his original team. There are interesting stories on both ends of the spectrum here, the Twins got Johan Santana in the Rule V draft while the Padres actually selected Ivan Nova and returned him to the Yankees back in 2008, but for the most part nothing particularly interesting comes of most guys who get selected. The Yankees have a full 40 man roster right now, which means they can’t even make a selection and I haven’t bothered to take too much time “scouting” the pool of available players, but here’s MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo’s preview if you’d like to take a look:

Continue reading Who’s ready for the Rule V draft?

IIATMS Radio: 12/5/2012

Tonight, Stacey and I were joined by Mike Silva. We hit up the usual topics: the latest goings on at the Winter Meetings, the state of the economics of baseball as some seemingly ridiculous contracts get thrown out this week and, of course, the fact that the Yankees seemingly might as well be flashing Confederate dollars in Nashville. We even briefly venture into a quick discussion of everyone’s favorite local sports media outlet. Enjoy!

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Continue reading IIATMS Radio: 12/5/2012

The Yankees can’t sign anyone

The theme of the day seems to be that the Yankees can’t close the deal with any of their (few) targets. So far this week, the only two names we’ve seriously heard the Yankees connected to have been Jeff Keppinger and Nate Schierholtz, but now it appears that both of those men will be taking their talents to the Windy City. Keppinger, of course, signed with the White Sox earlier this afternoon, and Jerry Crasnick has just reported that Schierholtz has accepted a one year offer from the Cubs, of all teams. I can’t necessarily say that I’m terribly broken up by the Yankees losing out on either, but for an offseason that’s mostly been defined by who the Yankees are not interested in, this lack of reciprocated interest from a couple of players they were targeting certainly isn’t encouraging.
Continue reading The Yankees can’t sign anyone

A look at potential A-Rod replacements

We knew the Yankees were going to be looking for an outfielder and possibly a catcher at this year’s Winter Meetings, but we didn’t expect the festivities to begin with the announcement that they’d be needing a third baseman as well. That’s exactly what happened when the team confirmed that Alex Rodriguez will miss 4-6 months following hip surgery in January, and the bulk of Yankee related rumors since then have focused on third base. We’ve been covering all of those rumors in real time, and we spent some time talking about a number of them on IIATMS Radio last night, but for your convenience, here’s a quick look at the potential acquisitions the Yankees are being linked to the most.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading A look at potential A-Rod replacements

Olney: Yankees frontrunners for Schierholtz

The Yankees are the early favorites to sign free agent outfielder Nate Schierholtz, tweets ESPN’s Buser Olney. The soon to be 29 year old outfielder was non-tendered by the Phillies last week after hitting .257/.321/.407 in the N.L. in 2012. If the Yankees were to sign him, he would presumably be slotted into right field, perhaps as the left-handed half of a platoon there, though I suppose it wouldn’t be shocking if he was an everyday outfielder either. He actually doesn’t have much of a platoon split in his career (a 90 wRC+ vs. LHP, compared to a 96 mark against righties), he just hasn’t gotten much of a chance to play against lefties, with just 271 career plate appearances against them. Signing Schierholtz would also probably mean not bringing back Ichiro Suzuki, as I highly doubt the Yankees would want to construct a roster with four left-handed hitting outfielders.

Personally, I’m pretty un-enthused about the prospect of signing Schierholtz. The guy is a thoroughly mediocre hitter who’s does everything adequately, I guess, but doesn’t really stand out in any respect, and he doesn’t really ad much in the way of defense or baserunning, either. Given the choice I’d much rather see the Yankees just bring back Ichiro, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers and all that.
Continue reading Olney: Yankees frontrunners for Schierholtz

Rivera to announce 2014 plans in Spring Training

Last season, Yankee fans and local media were kept in the dark regarding Mariano Rivera’s intentions with respect to playing another season until after he tore his ACL in early May. This year, he plans to be much more upfront about his future. “I’ll tell you in spring training,” the all-time saves leader told reporters. “Spring training is going to be the date.” That would certainly be preferable to the way last Spring played out, when every move from arriving to camp on-time, something of a rarity for Mo, to supposedly enjoying the experience more than most, was scrutinized for signs that the beloved Rivera was spending his last March in training camp.

If I had to wager on it, I’d bet that 2013 will be Mo’s final season, and his comments here don’t do a whole lot to change that assumption. “The decision to come back wasn’t easy,” he said. “Once you see the other side, I had almost the whole season to see things and enjoy my family and do all the things I didn’t do for 22 years. [But,] I’m a baseball player. The way I finished the season wasn’t the way I wanted to finish, so that’s why I said I’m going to come back.” That’s all well and good, and I think we can all agree we’re very glad that the image of him laying in the Kaufman Stadium outfield was not the way we wanted to see Mo’s amazing career end, but that also doesn’t really sound like a guy who spent some time away from the game and had the desire to continue to play strengthen.

Update: Here’s Mo talking about his decision to return on Geico SportsNite:

Continue reading Rivera to announce 2014 plans in Spring Training