As Jimenez Lowers His Asking Price, Yankees Could Land A Bargain

John Gress/Getty Images

John Gress/Getty Images

According to Jon Heyman, Ubaldo Jimenez may have lowered his asking price to 3 years $39 million. Previous reports stated that Jimenez was looking for a multi-year deal worth more than $14 million annually, but expectations have undoubtedly lowered in an oversaturated pitching market where Matt Garza received just $50 million over 4 years. Even with Garza and Masahiro Tanaka off the board, Ervin Santana, A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo, Suk-Min Yoon, and Paul Maholm remain on the free agent market with only two weeks remaining until pitchers and catchers report.

Jimenez’ market has shriveled up to the Blue Jays, Orioles, and possibly the Indians, yet the Orioles and Indians stand to lose a potential draft pick on signing the starting pitcher. Reports are that both of these teams highly value their respective picks, the Orioles’ 17th overall pick and the Indians’ potential compensation pick. The Blue Jays make the most sense, as their 9th overall pick is protected, and they would only lose a second round pick when signing a free agent that carries draft pick compensation.…

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Tanaka Comes Stateside

After a delayed back-and-forth between MLB and NPB to get the new posting rules put in place and a few weeks of waffling by the Rakuten Golden Eagles before they finally decided to post him, Masahiro Tanaka has finally come to the United States to start the meat and potatoes of his free agent courtship and contract negotiations.  According to David Waldstein’s tweet above, he’s in Chicago right now and is expected to meet with both the Cubs and White Sox before presumably jetting off to other stops around the country to meet with other potential suitors.

There’s been no report yet on exactly what his future travel plans are and in what order he’ll meet with other teams, but obviously the Yankees are going to fall somewhere on that schedule.  …

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Concern Over Tanaka’s Workload?

Tanaka WBC

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

There’s not much that can slow down the Masahiro Tanaka train now that the 30-day negotiation window has been opened.  He’s young, he’s strong, he’s very good, and he’s generally regarded as the hands down best starting pitcher available on the FA market this offseason.  If anything could, however, it could be a growing sense of concern over the workload already accumulated on Tanaka’s arm.  Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports posted a story on this very topic on Monday, quoting multiple unnamed MLB front office personnel who expressed varying levels of concern about Tanaka’s arm and the stress that’s already been put on it.

I’m not one to get all worked up over pitch counts and innings counts and how much or little a guy is pitching when he’s younger.  If recent MLB history has taught us anything, it’s that managing young pitchers’ workloads is basically a crapshoot.  For every Matt Harvey who gets managed “correctly” and safely by today’s standards, there’s a Tim Lincecum or Felix Hernandez who come up and throw 200+ innings a year at a very young age with no problems and no repercussions.  …

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What Do The Yankees Still Need To Do This Offseason?

Beltran Presser

Will we get another big introductory presser? Hope so.

A week ago today we reached the official halfway point of the 2013-2014 offseason.  53 days had passed since the last out of the World Series was recorded and 53 days remained until pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report to spring camp.  The Yankees headed into the holiday break last week with a lot already accomplished.  They had retooled their outfield, improved their infield depth and bench for next season, replaced their primary lefty out of the bullpen, and brought back one half of the 400 innings Cash said he wanted to add.

Despite losing Robinson Cano to Seattle it’s been a pretty productive offseason thus far.  If I were handing out offseason midterm grades, I’d have the Yankees in the B- to B range.  With the calendar close to turning to 2014 and with the start of next season now closer than the end of last season, there’s still work to be done to improve that grade up to an A level.  …

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Getting Over Igawa

When the Rakuten Golden Eagles announced that Masahiro Tanaka would be posted, Yankees fans everywhere (and fans of most every team, I suspect) rejoiced. This off-season has been tainted by the specter of the $189 MM payroll, and yet Tanaka offers hope that the Yankees may well renege upon their new found frugality (insofar as guaranteeing some $300 MM to Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran can be considered ‘frugal’). Throughout the off-season, there have been rumblings that the Yankees would be willing to break the bank for Tanaka, and Joel Sherman recently revealed that the front office would be willing go “way over” the $189 MM target, rather than brush up against it. Taken hand in hand, that sounds like a recipe for a Tanaka signing.

For all of this, it does seem like the Yankees have gotten over the disaster that was Kei Igawa. After all, Tanaka has been a part of the blueprint for the team’s off-season from the get-go.…

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A Free Agent Market Waits on Alex Rodriguez

On Saturday, we received a mysterious tweet from Peter Gammons that saidStephen Drew‘s decision is awaiting some further Yankee clarity.” It sounds like Drew and the Yankees have both expressed interest, but serious talks are contingent on Alex Rodriguez‘ suspension. The Yankees obviously need more infield depth if Rodriguez is suspended, and they’ll also have a substantial amount of budget room to work with. Likewise, Drew is probably looking for as much guaranteed playing time and as many suitors as possible, and the Yankees can offer him both if the suspension holds.

It seems that, at this point, a Rodriguez suspension will determine the rest of the offseason for not only the Yankees, but a large portion of the free agent market. If the third baseman is suspended for the entirety of 2014, the Yankees keep $33.5 million off their payroll ($27.5MM AAV and a $6MM bonus).…

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Gammons: Drew Waiting On Yankees

According to Peter Gammons, Stephen Drew is “awaiting some further Yankee clarity.” What does this mean? I assume it means that the Yankees have expressed significant interest in Stephen Drew, and are waiting to hear about the Alex Rodriguez suspension before they make a deal. The Rodriguez decision should be coming within the next couple of weeks, and regardless of Drew’s intentions to sign with the Yankees, having the team with the biggest pocketbook involved in the bidding should help him raise his demands.

If Rodriguez is suspended, Drew isn’t exactly a perfect fit. Drew has never played another position outside of shortstop in the major or minor leagues. Moving from shortstop to third base or even second base isn’t the hardest maneuver in baseball, but there is risk there. Simply, the Yankees need depth in the infield. With Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson signed, the team could use a little more offense in the lineup, and Drew offers a left-handed swing that could work very well in Yankee Stadium.…

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Heyman: Rangers And Choo Agree To 7 Year Deal

According to Jon Heyman, the Rangers and Shin-Soo Choo have agreed to a 7 year deal. No word yet on the money, but it was reported earlier this week that the Yankees offered $140 million over 7 years. After that deal was agreed upon, Scott Boras, Choo’s agent, supposedly wanted $3 million more to beat Carl Crawford‘s contract.

It’s now too late to sign Shin-Soo Choo, obviously. Unless Boras asks the Rangers for $3 million more, the Yankees will lose out on the walk machine that is Choo. Though the team hardly needs another outfielder, the Yankees could have signed Choo and traded Brett Gardner for a player that fills their needs better, such as the rotation or the infield. Although there are still some viable starters left on the market, the Yankees will have to get creative to figure out third base and second base.

UPDATE: (12:31 PM) The deal is worth $130 million. So if reports are right, Boras lost Choo $10 million by getting greedy with the Yankees.…

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Some Cheaper Tanaka Alternatives

Bronson Arroyo 2013

Meh…

Yesterday the news broke that the Rakuten Golden Eagles were not going to post Masahiro Tanaka this offseason.  Then some reports came out that they still hadn’t decided if they were going to post him this offseason.  Then there was a report that they still would post him this offseason.  So as of right now they’re not planning on posting him and they’re going to offer him a record NPB contract to stay, but they might post him because they haven’t decided if they want to post him even though they don’t have to post him and eventually they will post him but maybe not.

As far as the Yankees are concerned, they almost have no choice but to move on assuming that Tanaka isn’t going to be posted.  The process has already dragged out longer than they anticipated or wanted it to and their rotation isn’t getting any better while they wait around for Rakuten to make up its mind.  …

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