Author Archives: Brien Jackson
It’s never a bad time for prospect hype, so here’s the latest such bit for the Yankees’ organization: MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has ranked Gary Sanchez as the third best catching prospect in the game, behind the Mets’ Travis d’Arnaud and Seattle’s Mike Zunino. Those are a couple of stud prospects and the consensus top two prospects at the position, so in effect, Mayo is calling Sanchez the leader of the rest of the pack in the minor leagues, which is really something. That said, though I’m fairly bullish on Sanchez myself, I think Mayo might be a little bit overly optimistic in his evaluation of Sanchez, especially his defense. Sanchez has made gains there, but most of the people who give him better than average reviews for his defense still see him as an adequate at best backstop, while Mayo seems to be saying that he could be an asset behind the plate as well as in the batter’s box.…
Via Sweeney Murti, the Yankees have signed corner infielder Dan Johnson to a minor league contract. Johnson isn’t an all-world talent or anything, but he’s achieved a certain level of notoriety lately for his heroics on the final day of the regular season, most notably his game tying home run off of Cory Wade back in 2011 that helped propel the Rays to the wild card/ruin the Red Sox. Normally I wouldn’t think much more of a signing like this at this point, but Johnson is a 1B/3B type and, well, the Yankees are notably lacking one of them on their bench, so there may actually be a reasonably decent chance Johnson makes the team out of camp. If not, though, it’s just a minor league contract, which is always fine.
The Braves have reached an agreement to acquire outfielder Justin Upton from the Diamondbacks, according to multiple reports from the usual suspects. After shopping him around for what seems like an eternity, the Diamondbacks have walked away with a package that includes Martin Prado and Randall Delgado, as well as infield prospect Chris Ahmed and pitching prospect Zeke Spruill. The Braves will also get infielder Chris Johnson in the trade, and won’t have to give away their top pitching prospect, Julio Teheran. Upton will join Jason Heyward and his brother B.J. Upton in a revamped Atlanta outfield, and Washington may not be looking at a cake walk to the top of the N.L. East after all.
Despite being a good fit on the surface, the Yankees never really seriously got in on Upton, either because they didn’t want to commit 2014 money to him or because they simply don’t have the pieces in their system. Without knowing exactly what Arizona was looking for I have no idea if the Yankees could have put together a realistic package, but after losing a chance to get Taijuan Walker it appears that they at least weren’t insisting on getting an elite pitching prospect after all.…
I know I’m getting into dead-horse territory with this point, but as long as people keep not getting it I feel like I’m going to have to keep saying it. Here’s Tanya Bondurant of Pinstriped Bible, talking about Plan 189 in light of Ken Rosenthal’s report on the revenue sharing refund pool yesterday:
If the team realizes that they may not end up with as much financial relief as they thought, could they be willing to just scrap the plan all together? A potential 50% luxury tax penalty is incredibly high, and the team would be smart to do everything they can to avoid throwing that extra money away, but would the money saved be worth it if they field a team that fails to be competitive? I don’t think the goal of $189 million is a myth, but I do think it could easily be thrown out and forgotten if the front office doesn’t see enough monetary benefit from suddenly needing to pinch their pennies.…
So much for being in a New York state of mind. After being linked primarily to the Yankees and Mets for pretty much the duration of the winter, Scott Hairston has agreed to a two year contract with the Chicago Cubs, as reported by Ken Rosenthal. Hairston was the Yankees’ primary target for the role of right-handed hitting fourth outfielder, but it doesn’t appear as though the two sides were ever necessarily close, as Hairston reportedly held out for a multi-year deal and more playing time. He’ll get both of them with the woeful Cubs, though I can’t say I understand their logic here at all. Hairston won’t help them win many more games, and though there’s something to be said for a professional franchise to keep trying to sell tickets rather than just bottoming out before the roster is competitive again, I don’t know how for towards that goal Hairston gets them either.
Either way, he’s off the market now, and barring some really unforeseen development, the Yankees will likely select their fourth outfielder from a competition between Matt Diaz, Russ Canzler, and whomever else they can wrangle up for a song.…
On tonight’s program, former IIATMS contributor Chip Buck joined Stacey and me to talk about the offseason goings on of the
93 loss also-rans Yankees’ bitter rivals in Boston. Here’s a preview: none of us see the Red Sox competing for a playoff spot this upcoming season. We also discuss the possibility that the Yankees have their Opening Day roster in place already, spend a little bit of time laughing at Boston sports fans, and I finally get enticed into a legitimately angry monologue directed at the Yankees’ ownership group. Enjoy!
Well this is certainly…interesting:
Was told today that the Yankees have no interest in C George Kottaras, who was recently DFA by Oakland.
— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) January 23, 2013
Oakland designated Kottaras for assignment when they acquired John Jaso in the Michael Morse swap, and he seemed like a perfect fit for the Yankees. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a world beater, but he’s a career .226/.315/.436 hitter against right-handed pitchers and he plays okay defense. Best of all, I guess, he’s got a non-guaranteed contract that will only pay him about $1 million in 2013, so you’d think that might have piqued the team’s interest. Apparently not.
I honestly don’t know what to say about the catching situation, at this point, except that it appears as though it may simply be the case that Brian Cashman is really fond of someone on the current roster.
Derek Jeter sat down with Harold Reynolds of MLB Network for to talk about his injured ankle, the Yankees, and the picture in the New York Post that made it appear as though Jeter had been packing on the pounds while on the shelf:
Some choice quotes from The Captain:
On preparing for the season after surgery:
“My target’s the season. My target’s always the season. Spring Training is so long. You start playing games. You don’t play all the games to begin with. You start playing a little bit more towards the end of Spring. I haven’t talked to our trainers. I don’t know what my schedule is like, but I’ll be ready for the regular season.”
On the Yankees’ lack of impact acquisitions in the offseason:
“I like when we bring teams back. We were pretty successful in the regular season last year. We won the most games in the American League last year, which didn’t translate into the playoffs, but we had a good team and we have an opportunity to bring a lot of guys back.…