Yankees Could Look At Cuban Players To Fill Needs

They turned Chris Stewart into Brian McCann, Curtis Granderson into Jacoby Ellsbury, Vernon Wells into Carlos Beltran, Boone Logan into Matt Thornton, and a 41 year old Andy Pettitte into a 25 year old Masahiro Tanaka. For the most part, I’d call that a successful offseason, but this overlooks some obvious loses. Going from Robinson Cano to Brian Roberts is one of the biggest downgrades a team could possibly make, and losing Mariano Rivera without a replacement back-end bullpen piece will take a major toll on the relievers. The bullpen and the infield look far from finished, but despite this, word from Brian Cashman is that the team is done with the majority of their spending.

“I think clearly a lot of heavy lifting needed to take place this winter, and it has taken place,” Cashman said. “I think we’re always looking to improve. I don’t think it’s realistic to think that there will be more heavy lifting that can take place.

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How Hal and Hank Revitalized The Brand Without Increasing Spending

The Yankees have blown past $189 million, and Hank Steinbrenner wants you to know about it. The Associated Press spoke to the two Steinbrenner brothers following the Masahiro Tanaka signing, and Hank had some very interesting quotes. Andrew Marchand of ESPN passes them along.

“We’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win. Anybody that questioned our commitment to winning is going to have to question themselves.”

“There has been criticism of myself and my brother the last couple years that, gee, if our dad was still in charge, we’d be spending this and spending that and doing whatever it takes to win.”

“He didn’t have revenue sharing, at least for most of his time. That’s what these people in the sports media don’t seem to get. If it wasn’t for revenue sharing, we’d have a payroll of $300 million a year if we wanted to. So we’re doing this despite having to pay all that revenue sharing.”

Considering ownership was last talking about building a winning team around a $189 million, it seems that they’ve had a change of heart.…

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State of the Budget: BUSTED!

Since our update last week, the Yankees have settled on contracts for their arbitration eligible players. They also signed the biggest remaining free agent, Masahiro Tanaka. Unfortunately for you budget lovers, (if any of you still exist) this brings the Yankees budget to some deep and dark places.

25-Man Roster

1- C: Brian McCann (5/$85MM) $17.000MM
2- 1B: Mark Teixeira (8/$180MM) $22.500MM
3- 2B: Brian Roberts (1/$2MM) $2.000MM + $2.600MM Bonuses
4- 3B: Kelly Johnson (1/$3MM) $3MM
5- SS: Derek Jeter (1/$12.81MM) $12.810MM + $7.000MM Bonuses
6- LF: Jacoby Ellsbury (8/$169MM) $21.125MM
7- CF: Brett Gardner (Arb 3) $5.600MM
8- RF: Alfonso Soriano (8/$136MM) $17.000MM*
9- DH: Carlos Beltran (3/$45MM) $15.000MM
10- BN: Brendan Ryan (3/$5MM) $1.667MM
11- BN: Eduardo Nunez (Min) $0.511MM
12- BN: Ichiro Suzuki (2/$13MM) $6.500MM
13- BN: Francisco Cervelli (Arb 1) $0.700MM
14- SP1: CC Sabathia (5/$122MM) $24.400MM
15- SP2: Hiroki Kuroda (1/$16MM) $16.00MM + $0.500MM Bonuses
16- SP3: Masahiro Tanaka (7/$155MM) $22.143MM
17- SP4: Ivan Nova (Arb 1) $3.300MM
18- SP5: Michael Pineda (Min) $0.511MM
19- CL: David Robertson (Arb 3) $5.215MM
20- RP: Shawn Kelley (Arb 2) $1.765MM
21- RP: Preston Claiborne (Min) $0.511MM
22- RP: David Phelps (Min) $0.511MM
23- RP: Adam Warren (Min) $0.511MM
24- RP: Matt Thornton (2/$7MM) $3.500MM
25- RP: Cesar Cabral (Min) $0.511MM

Guaranteed: $204.291MM
Bonuses: $10.100MM

40-Man Roster

26- SP: Manny Banuelos (Min) $0.041MM
27- SP: Nik Turley (Min) $0.041MM
28- SP: Vidal Nuno (Min+) $0.082MM
29- SP: Jose Ramirez (Min) $0.041MM
30- SP: Shane Greene (Min) $0.041MM
31- SP Jose Campos (Min) $0.041MM
32- RP: Dellin Betances (Min+) $0.082MM
33- RP: Bryan Mitchell (Min) $0.041MM
34- C: Austin Romine (Min+) $0.082MM
35- C: Gary Sanchez (Min) $0.041MM
36- C: J.R.

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Why The Yankees Should Eye Players That Carry Draft Pick Compensation

Despite signing Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury to long term deals, the Yankees are trying their very best to acquire young talent for the future. With relatively new spending restrictions on prospects for winning teams, the Yankees have tried to crack the limitations of the new CBA. This season they acquired three first round picks, landing Eric Jagielo, Ian Clarkin, and Aaron Judge, as well as a big bonus second rounder in Gosuke Katoh. The organization also signed another top prospect in Leonardo Molina, a center fielder that was ranked by Baseball America as the 5th best international prospect for 2013.

While 2013 proved successful in acquiring top young talent, the Yankees did so by allowing Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano to depart. The organization again lost Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson in 2013, but the team has already given up their three first round picks by signing McCann, Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran. To limit the impact of losing out on prime picks in the 2014 Rule 4 draft, the organization plans to break the international bonus pool restrictions for the 2014 class.…

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Rotation Upgrades: Sign ‘Em, Trade For ‘Em, Or Wait For ‘Em?

Cash Year End Presser

“Gosh. This free agent pitching market is sooooo boring.”

It’s been a somewhat quiet first 2 days at the Winter Meetings for the Yankees, at least compared to last week.  Many of Cash’s comments to the media yesterday were indicative of a team still trying to figure out its strategy for this week, trying to identify the best opportunity to upgrade the roster.  The bulk of the early buzz has been around next year’s outfield: who’s playing where, who’s not playing where, who’s on the trade block, and who’s not.  There’s also been a little talk about the open infield spots and the players currently on the radar as free agent targets, most notably Omar Infante and Mark Reynolds.

What there hasn’t been is much activity on the rotation front.  The Yankees locked up what they hope will be half of the 400 innings they’re looking for when they re-signed Hiroki Kuroda last Friday, and one of the major goals of this week was thought to be securing that other half.  …

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Goodbye Operation 189

Joker Money Slide

I’d like to imagine Hal is doing this in his office, maybe even in Joker facepaint

It’s been a fun last couple of weeks, huh?  The Yankees have plucked the second and third best free agents off the market, the top 2 players available at premium up-the-middle positions, and they’ve done in relatively sneaky fashion.  While everybody else was assuming their primary focus was on Robinson Cano and Carlos Beltran, they pushed harder than many of us realized to get Brian McCann and then called an audible for Jacoby Ellsbury.  McCann will finally be formally introduced this afternoon at a 2 PM press conference, and once he passes his physical Ellsbury won’t be far behind.

After the slow, stagnant, predictable, and painful offseason of last year, this year’s has already been full of fireworks and we aren’t even to the Winter Meetings yet.  With wheels still turning on the Cano front and the signing of Ellsbury reportedly not stopping the Yanks from pursuing Shin-Soo Choo, I guess the most important question right now is who’s next?…

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Looking At The Yankees’ Current 2014 Budget

Over the next few months, there will be a ton of speculation on potential free agent signings and trades. Prepare yourself for rumors and musing from fans, the media, and ourselves.

To best make sense of what’s possible, we must start with what we know. The Yankees want to remain under the $189 million luxury tax cap in 2014. As it stands, the Yankees have quite a lot of money on the books, but they believe they can invest up to $300 million this offseason without breaching the budget. Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran are just a few names that have already been linked to the club.

As I dug deeper into the numbers, it’s clear that the only way the Yankees could possibly invest $300 million for the future and remain under $189 million for the 2014 season is to assume that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended. Alone, Rodriguez’ average annual salary is worth $27.5 million plus a $6 million bonus which kicks in if he hits just 6 more home runs.…

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The Problems With Jeter’s New Deal

Jeter July 2013

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

I don’t think there are many out there who thought Derek Jeter wouldn’t be playing for the Yankees in 2014.  I also don’t think there are many out there, myself totally and completely included, who thought Jeter would be playing for the Yankees on a new, higher-dollar contract in 2014.  The announcement of Jeter’s new 1-year/$12 million yesterday Friday afternoon was confusing to the say the least, as there seemed to be little real reason for it to happen.  The subsequent discussion and differing information on the luxury tax implications of the new deal made the situation even more confusing, and the latest reports on those figures make the deal look like a poor decision on the part of the Yankees.

Regardless of average annual values or luxury tax implications, the move to re-sign Jeter to this new deal wasn’t a good one Friday and still isn’t today.  It has nothing to do with money and nothing to do with Jeter’s production potential next season.  …

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Yankees To Extend Qualifying Offers To Cano, Kuroda, But Unsure On Granderson

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees will make qualifying offer to Robinson Cano and Hiroki Kuroda, and will consider sending one to Curtis Granderson. This is unsurprising, but it does verify that the team wont be sending an offer to Phil Hughes. Though Hughes hardly performed well enough to receive an offer, the pitching market isn’t in great shape, and I find it hard to imagine that he’d want to return to the Yankees in 2014.

The Yankees have until November 4th to issue the 1 year $14.1 million qualifying offer to departing free agents. In the end, Granderson will likely receive one, but I wouldn’t expect any other offers after that.

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