Could Marcus Thames Be The Sleeper Hitting Coach Candidate?

Thames Trenton

He definitely passes the “early season hat style” part of the interview. Courtesy of Martin Griff/The Times of Trenton

We’re less than 2 days from the reported team-set deadline for hiring a new hitting coach.  We know the Yankees interviewed Dave Magadan last Wednesday, we know they interviewed Chili Davis on Thursday, and via Rob Bradford and Alex Speier, we know that Davis was hired by the Red Sox to be their new hitting coach last night.

The Yankees were scheduled to meet with a few other candidates on Friday and this past weekend, but as of yet we have not found out the names of those other interviewees.  One of the names that was connected to the job was Marcus Thames, most recently the hitting coach at Double-A Trenton and former Yankee player.  While Magadan appears to be the front runner for the job based on the reports that are out, I can’t help but think that Thames could be the surprise sleeper candidate from the rest of the pool.…

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Rumor: Yanks Considering Omar Minaya For Front Office Position

This came out late-ish last night, and it may not be welcome news to some who are seeing it for the first time this morning.  Former Mets GM Omar Minaya’s name started floating around yesterday as one the Yankees were considering for a possible front office position.  Erik Boland reported that it was “strong consideration for a high-ranking position,” but Andy Martino later tempered that by tweeting that the role would be something in scouting or an advisory position and not a major one.  With Mark Newman leaving as Senior VP of Baseball Ops and Minaya currently holding that spot in San Diego, there is a potential lateral opening.

Just the name “Omar Minaya” is enough to make some Mets fans’ skin crawl, and his tenure as GM there was not a good one.  But he does have a very good track record of building strong farm systems wherever he’s been.  With the Yankees putting improving their farm system as a primary goal going forward, Minaya could be useful as someone to help guide the efforts.  …

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Hal Speaks On The Season

Hal Stein

Courtesy of USATSI

Joe didn’t waste any time issuing his post-mortem on the season, holding his end-of-season press conference the day after the final game.  Hal Steinbrenner followed suit yesterday, talking to Michael Kay on his radio show at length about the season that was and what things he thinks the team needs to address to prepare for next season.  You can check out the entire interview here, but since Chad Jennings was nice enough to compile the money quotes, I’m going to cherry pick from those and highlight some of the more important/strange things Hal had to say.

“The hitting coach is responsible for the hitters, the pitching coach is responsible for the pitchers, and we’ve got an infield coach responsible for defense and fielding.  That comes with any position in life. You are liable for what goes on. We have not made any decisions yet as to what we’re going to do with any of the coaches.

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Health Not All That Ails Yankees

All signs point to Brian Cashman returning as New York Yankees general manager. My feelings about that are mixed. You cannot deny Cashman’s overall success over a long period of time, and he did make several key pickups this season to keep the Yankees in contention.

On the other hand, his farm system has been not been good enough for awhile and it’s clear that the Yankees have to change the way they do things in order to compete in MLB’s new world. Cashman has been GM since 1998, which may be too long for anybody. Sometimes you just need a new voice and new ideas.

If the Yankees did try to replace Cashman there’s no guarantee they would find someone better. However, a recent Cashman quote is concerning to me.

“I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times you would not get this result,” Cashman said to John Harper of the New York Daily News

“You’ll see the real Carlos Beltran next year,” he said.

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Report: Yanks And Cash Working On A New Deal

Well that didn’t take long.  Via Buster Olney, the Yankees and Brian Cashman have “begun the process of constructing a new contract” only a few days after the end of another disappointing postseason-less season.  There had been reports for a while that the Steinbrenners were committed to bringing Cash back and this newest report certainly confirms that.

Cash’s current contract was not up until the end of October, so there was time for ownership to explore other options if they felt the need.  The quickness with which they are beginning talks for a new deal suggests they support Cash fully and are more interested in getting down to the real offseason business.  I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing considering how poorly constructed these last 2 teams have been, but we’ll have to wait and see about that.  The Yanks can’t do anything this offseason without a GM and it sounds like they’re on their way to locking their incumbent one up.…

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Are The Yankees Trying To Avoid Paying Brian Roberts?

Roberts E vs TEX

In case you were wondering, yes. That was a play he should have made. Courtesy of Getty Images

This was supposed to be a post asking how much longer the Yankees could afford to keep trotting Brian Roberts out as their everyday second baseman.  It was supposed to be posted on Tuesday, but Mike Axisa beat me to the punch and said everything I was going to say so I scrapped the idea.  That’s blog life.  It happens.  But then I was struck with a new Roberts-centric idea based on what’s transpired over the last few days.  Buried in Mike’s post was this point about Roberts’ contract that I had totally forgotten about:

Roberts is about to start making some decent bucks through bonuses — he has already banked $350,000 in incentives and is two plate appearances away from another $250,0000 — so there is a financial incentive to make a change as well. The Yankees would pay Refsnyder through the end of the season less than the bonus they’d owe Roberts if he gets those next two plate appearances.

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Should The Yankees Try To Trade For David Price?

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

We’re still far enough away from the trade deadline for it to not officially be “trade season” quite yet.  Those winds don’t start really blowing ’til the All-Star break.  But business is already picking up on the David Price front.  Arguably the best player who will be available and the type of difference maker in the rotation that any contending team could use, Price is the talk of the trade town both locally and nationally.  TB beat writer Marc Topkin wrote over the weekend that there are already some teams with scouts following him and the Rays’ preference is to trade him to the NL, and earlier today yesterday Buster Olney suggested (Insider-only) that a trade could materialize as soon as this week.

The Yankees have not been involved in any of the early rumors, outside of Jim Bowden’s trade proposal from last week.  Price would fill a huge need for them though, and it will come down to how serious the Yankees are willing to get about what they’ll have to give up to get Price.  …

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Expecting A Wild Trade Season

Charles Rex Arbogast, AP

Charles Rex Arbogast, AP

Though it’s too early for the expected teams to begin their annual fire sale, we’re a month away from the All Star break, and it’s time for front offices to start considering whether they’ll be buyer or sellers next month. While a few teams like the Twins and White Sox have taken surprising leaps this season, and will likely become buyers if the standings hold up, teams like the Diamondbacks and Rays have taken an unanticipated downturn. We’ll still see the expected trade market open up around guys like Jeff Samardzija, but there could be some unforeseen names hitting the trade block.

A month of baseball can change a lot of records, but teams like the Rays, Cubs, and Phillies are starting to separate themselves from the rest of baseball as the worst of the worst. I suppose we could see a run from teams like the Padres, Diamondbacks, and the Astros, but these three teams are likely to be sellers at the trade deadline as well.…

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Shaking Things Up With Pirela Or Refsnyder

I’ve been an avid fan of moving Brian Roberts to a bench position, or perhaps even off the active roster, in favor of Kelly Johnson. Roberts hasn’t been good in five years, and despite limited playing time and learning new positions, I’ve preferred Johnson’s power potential this season. On the other hand, the Yankees seem to like Roberts’ ability to switch-hit. Being able to hit for both sides is really all he’s got going for him at this point, but that point is moot when the numbers continue to show that he can’t hit anyone.

Roberts is now batting .239/.317/.350 in 203 plate appearances this season. He’s started 49 games, and he’s shown that his age and injury troubles have hurt him both defensively and offensively. 2009 was the last time Roberts had an OPS over .800, and it was the last time he played a full season. I’d love to see Johnson get a chance at his true position of second base, but the team seems unwilling to give Johnson the torch.…

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