Trade Target: Lonnie Chisenhall

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Brian Cashman has made it clear that getting younger is a priority, but it doesn’t necessarily make a team better. 2013 might have changed Cashman’s thought process. Where an older player once represented an overlooked market, the Yankees grew too dependent on this type of player last season. The Travis Hafners and Kevin Youkilis of the baseball world surely could have been bargains, but they also showed why the potential of older players is often undervalued in free agency. The combination of fluke injuries and age regression caught up to the Yankees in 2013, and instead of Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, or Andruw Jones-type contributions, the team had Lyle Overbay starting at first base, Ichiro Suzuki in right field, and Vernon Wells in left field. Older players are still an overlooked market, and as bench players or platoon partners, they still represent low-risk and high-reward acquisitions.

But the Yankees’ infield doesn’t need a bench player or platoon partner, they need starters.…

Read more

Projecting 2014: CC Sabathia

ccweight
Even with Hiroki Kuroda re-signed and Masahiro Tanaka headed to the Bronx, CC Sabathia will be the ace and leader of this Yankee rotation. Though the team survived a year with Sabathia performing poorly, it took a miraculous final season by Andy Pettitte and a breakout year by Ivan Nova to keep the rotation intact. Sabathia will likely remain the Yankees’ opening day starter in 2014, and it’ll be his chance to prove that 2013 was a fluke season.

We’ll start this analysis by going back to Sabathia’s first season with the Yankees. In 2009, the southpaw put up a 3.37 ERA with a 3.39 FIP and a 3.77 xFIP. Perhaps worried about how his flyball rate could translate into Yankee Stadium, Sabtahia not only added a sinker into his repertoire, but he began to lower his arm angle. The results put a nice additional vertical drop on his pitches, and Sabathia’s ground ball rate rose from 42.9% to 50.7% in 2010.…

Read more

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.…

Read more

Can Russ Canzler Be Of Any Use?

Russ Canzler 2013

As the Yankees wind down their offseason spending spree, the position players are coming back into focus as the group most in need of a boost.  Third base, second base, a true backup at first base, and a bench bat that’s actually league average are all still big areas of need and areas unlikely to get any more help than they already have.  In digging through the collection of third base platoon candidates and trying to make sense of the DH rotation, there was one name I skipped over that could be another option in camp if nobody stands out.  That name is Russ Canzler, 27-year-old righty bat who’s back for his second go-round with the Yanks.

If you don’t remember Canzler, it’s because his first tenure as a Yankee lasted a little over a month.  They claimed him off waivers from Cleveland last January, then lost him to the Orioles via waivers when they had to make more roster moves in February.  …

Read more

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.

Read more

What Could A-Rod Have Done For The Yankees This Season?

A-Rod BOS HR

Barring a highly improbable decision by the federal courts, Alex Rodriguez will not play a single Major League game this season for the Yankees or any other team.  His playing career as we know it looks like it could be over and if he does try to come back in 2015 he may be on the receiving end of a beanball targeting that would make what Ryan Dempster did last August look like a walk in the park.

While the Yankees know that A-Rod will not be their starting third baseman this season, they’ve still yet to figure out who will be.  We know that they’re bringing a small army of replacement level competitors to Spring Training.  The most likely scenario is that 2 of those players split time at the hot corner as part of a replacement platoon, at least until one of them gets hurt or sucks so badly that someone else needs to replace him.  It’s a risky strategic decision given how much money the Yankees have spent to upgrade the rest of their lineup this offseason, and one that could backfire if they’re unable to get consistent production and value out of the position.…

Read more

Nova better beat his projections

I was thinking about starting a series called, “Things that have to go well.” The idea was to talk about certain Yankees players and how they have to stay healthy and play well if the Yankees are to compete in 2014. But you can probably see the obvious problem with such an idea. EVERYTHING has...

Read more

Not A Prospect Yet (But Worth Watching): Dietrich Enns

Dietrich Enns

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

We continue our slow build towards the start of AB4AR Prospect Week with another look at a young player starting to make some waves in the Yankee MiL system but not enough waves to warrant full prospect status in my eyes.  Today’s player is Dietrich Enns, left-handed A-ball pitcher.  You might remember Enns from my profile post on him last June, and since that post there have been some developments in his development that make him one of the more intriguing fringe guys in the system.

Quick refresher on Enns for those who were too lazy to click the link.  He’s 22 years old, average sized, and was an unheralded 19th round pick out of Eastern Michigan in the 2012 draft.  He boasts a solid 3-pitch mix of a low-90s fastball, plus changeup, and an OK curveball.  He worked almost exclusively as a reliever at EMU and built up a well-earned reputation as a pitcher who will attack the strike zone with all of his pitches and mix up his pitches and speeds well from batter to batter.  …

Read more

A Quick Word On The Idea Of Moving Derek Jeter To Third Base

Jeter vs CHW

The Yankee infield is a hot topic right now and rightfully so.  On Opening Day the Yanks will have a starting infield that’s entirely different from the one that opened the 2013 season.  They’ve got 2 old/older players in Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira returning from serious injuries at first base and shortstop, they’ve lost Robbie Cano at second base and Alex Rodriguez at third base, and their current plan to replace the 2 of them appears to be the old “throw as much stuff at the wall as we possibly can and see what sticks” method.

An idea that I’ve seen mentioned multiple times in various blogs across the Yankosphere, and one that’s really been gaining steam in the comments section here is moving Jeter to third base and making Brendan Ryan the starting shortstop.  In theory it makes a lot of sense and I totally understand why people are thinking this way.  Jeter’s biggest defensive weakness is lateral movement.  …

Read more