Yankees Sign 17-Year-Old Australian Pitcher Brandon Stenhouse

Brandon Stenhouse

Stenhouse and his dad.

Already over their 2013-2014 international spending limit, the Yankees pushed themselves further over by reportedly signing Australian pitcher Brandon Stenhouse to a 6-figure contract yesterday.  Stenhouse, 17, is a right-hander who drew the eye of scouts after pitching in the Under 18 National Championships.  There’s not much out there on him scouting report-wise, but the report from Australia references fastball velocity in the low 90s and the pictures make him look like he’s got a decent frame.

The exact figures of the deal are unknown, but the Yankees’ plan for Stenhouse is not.  He’s going to report to the team’s Tampa complex for a 2-week Extended ST “orientation” in April and then go back to Australia to complete school.  Once that’s done, he’ll return to the US to start his professional baseball career full-time.

Due to the small amount of information available on him, it would be unfair to even try to guess what Stenhouse’s potential is and what kind of ceiling he has.  …

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Keith Law Puts Yanks Farm System 20th Overall

In an insider only piece, Keith Law of ESPN.com put the Yankees farm system at 20th overall. Law includes a few details on why he put them there, noting that most of the top prospects had disappointing seasons. He also points out that their great 2013 draft should help the system in a big way.

In Domenic’s interview with Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks last week, he also looked for a consensus on where the organization ranks. Parks also has the Yankees in the 20′s, though he believes they’re not one of the worst farm systems in the game. The Yankees hold a number of high upside players in the lower levels, though as Parks said, they lack any major league ready impact players.

I agree with both of these assessments, though it’s easy to see how the Yankees could fall in the top 10 next year. They have a number of extremely high upside players at the low levels, which includes Ty Hensley, Ian Clarkin, Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, Rafael DePaula, Jose Campos, Greg Bird, Abi Avelino, Luis Torrens, Luis Severino, and Gosuke Katoh.…

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Report: Yankees Have Expressed Interest In Ervin Santana

The Yankees are one team that has expressed interest in Ervin Santana, and this isn’t the first time. The team was in on Santana before the Masahiro Tanaka signing, and they went on to request his medicals earlier in January.

With CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Tanaka, Ivan Nova, and one of Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren, or Vidal Nuno rounding out the rotation, the team doesn’t have a huge need for another starting pitcher. But at this point in the offseason, the pitching free agents are growing a little desperate, and Matt Garza showed that today by agreeing to a 4 year $50 million deal. Both Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez hold draft pick compensation for their respective teams, dropping their value even further.

Both Santana and Jimenez make sense to the Yankees if they come on a bargain.…

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Yankees Land Two Prospects On MLB.com’s Top 100

It wasn’t a great year for the Yankees’ farm system, but they still managed to land two players on MLB.com’s top 100 prospects.

Gary Sanchez finds himself at 47th overall after placing 27th in 2013. Sanchez hit just .253/.324/.412 while splitting time between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Both ballparks are notoriously pitcher friendly, and despite that, Sanchez combined for 15 home runs at the age of 20. The catcher also showed some improvements with his plate blocking skills, and scouts have been blown away by his arm. Sanchez still has a lot to prove, and hopefully he can find some more success in Trenton in 2014.

Mason Williams, who ranked 37th overall in 2013, placed 75th overall in 2014. Williams hit just .245/.304/.337 between both High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2013. The outfielder’s struggles were exacerbated by off the field issues, which included an arrest for a DUI in April. Williams’ value comes from his raw tools.…

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Heyman: Yankees Looking Closely At Stephen Drew

The Yankees said they were in on Stephen Drew, then they were out, and now Jon Heyman says they’re back in. If you believe that the team was at any point trying to get below $189 million, the reasoning for being back on the Drew bandwagon again is because they no longer have to worry about staying below the luxury tax threshold.

If the Yankees front office believes that Drew can handle an everyday utility infielder type job, Drew is the perfect signing for the club. Drew has only played shortstop over his professional career, but there is some consensus that he could handle third base. Drew’s ability to cover both infield spots on the left side fits in perfectly with Alex Rodriguez absent and Derek Jeter in injury-limbo. He’s a left-handed bat that could re-blossom in Yankee Stadium, perhaps returning to his 20+ home run glory from 2008.

Last season, Drew played in Fenway where he hit .253/.333/.443 while playing an excellent shortstop.…

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Masahiro Tanaka Agrees To Sign With The Yankees!!

AP Photo/Kyodo News

AP Photo/Kyodo News

After a year of speculation, and a month of intense speculation, Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has agreed to sign with the Yankees.

Ken Rosenthal says the deal is seven years/$155MM with an opt out in year four.

Tanaka went 24-0 with the Rakuten Eagles in 2013, posting an ERA of 1.27, a BB/9 of 1.4, and a K/9 of 7.8. His overall numbers are reminiscent of the great seasons we saw from Yu Darvish before his successful move from the NPB to the MLB. Though Tanaka does not sport the same mid-90’s fastball, he sits around 91-92 mph, and has a plus slider and splitter to accompany his high-rising four-seamer.

I wrote about Tanaka earlier this offseason here (GIF’s) and at ESPN. David Schoenfield went into details on the starter earlier this week, as well. There’s a lot to read about the right-hander, but it’ll be impossible to know how well his stuff will translate to the MLB until he starts pitching.…

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Rays To Acquire Logan Forsythe

According to Chris Cotillo, the Rays have acquired Logan Forsythe from the Padres in a 4-player deal. Alex Torres is one of the likely players heading to San Diego.

Forsythe, an infielder, was considered a target for the Yankees, who recently checked in with the Padres about a possible deal. With Forsythe off the board, not only do the Yankees lose one trade target, but they may also lose a second in Chase Headley, who becomes more important to the Padres with Forsythe out of the picture.

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Yankees Avoid Arbitration With Gardner, Kelley, Robertson, And Nova

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have avoided arbitration with both Brett Gardner and Shawn Kelley. In his last year of arbitration, the outfielder settled for a $5.6 million deal with the team, which was $1.6 million more than projected by MLB Trade Rumors. Kelley received $1.765 million with a $25,000 bonus for appearing in 55 games, or $265,000 more than his projection.

If you’re trying to keep track of the payroll, this money increases my Wednesday projections by $1.865 million guaranteed. The guaranteed money now sits at $187.283 million, with $10.125 million in potential bonuses for Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts, Hiroki Kuroda, and Kelley.

UPDATE: (1:11 PM) The Yankees and David Robertson have agreed to a $5.215 million deal in his last year of arbitration. This is a difference of $285,000 less than what was projected, bringing the guaranteed money in the payroll to $186.998 million. Only Ivan Nova remains arbitration eligible for 2014, and I’m sure they’ll come to an agreement soon.…

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Quick Hit: Yanks Make Roberts Signing Officially Official

Stacey had this yesterday when the beat guys were reporting it, but it’s not officially official until the Yankees say it is and they said it was today.  Brian Roberts is now OFFICIALLY a Yankee.  He takes A-Rod’s roster spot and is currently the starting second baseman.

Insert your best “until he gets hurt” jokes in the comments.

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