Quick Hits: Prospects, Michael Young, Hughes

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Sunday Links: Garza, Rivera, Cano, YES

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At least something is going on in Yankee Stadium

  • The Brewers have come to an agreement with starting pitcher Matt Garza. It’s a four-year deal of $50 million guaranteed ($12.5MM AAV) with $1 million in incentives for every season and a $13 fifth year million option. As they did with Kyle Lohse last season, the Brewers waited out the pitching market to get a bargain on a desperate free agent. Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez still remain on the free agent market, two players that the Yankees were connected to before signing Tanaka. Both players also carry draft-pick compensation, which Garza did not. The Yankees would only have to give away their second round pick to sign any of them, and Jimenez makes some sense for the Yankees on a one-year or similar short term deal. At 29 years old, Jimenez had a rebound season in 2013, but could use another year of success to reestablish himself as a top of the rotation pitcher in free agency.
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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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Quick Hit: Vernon Wells DFA’d

It was only a matter of time before this move came and it appears that time has come.  Vernon Wells has been designated for assignment by the Yankees to open up a roster spot.  He hit .233/.292/.349 (.279 wOBA) in 458 PA this past season, taking on a much bigger role than the team anticipated after the C-Grand injury.  After looking like an All Star in April and early May, Wells hit the wall and was pretty much useless for the rest of the season.  The Ellsbury and Beltran signings made him expendable and an easy target for a roster crunch casualty.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t celebrating this move.  I was against the decision to bring Wells in last year and would much rather see whatever playing time he would have gotten this season go to Zoilo Almonte.  …

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Quick Hits: Romine, Jimenez, International Spending

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Austin Romine is “very much available”. Even after trading Chris Stewart to the Pirates, the Yankees find themselves with five catchers on the 40-man roster. Brian McCann and Francisco Cervelli project to be on the 25-man roster, while Gary Sanchez will likely return to Double-A in 2014. This leaves the team with both JR Murphy and Austin Romine competing for a spot in Scranton. The Yankees still have a number of needs to address this winter, so if one of Romine or Murphy can help them obtain an infielder or pitcher, a trade makes a ton of sense.

In that same report by Cafardo, he links Ubaldo Jimenez to the Yankees. He hears from GM’s that even if the Yankees land Masahiro Tanaka, Jimenez makes sense for the team and his personality would be a good fit for New York. The team was linked to Jimenez earlier this winter, and Cashman almost traded for Jimenez in July of 2011.…

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Masahiro Tanaka Will Be Posted

So after going back and forth… and back and forth, the Rakuten Eagles plan to announce that Masahiro Tanaka will be posted today, and that negotiations will start as soon as tomorrow. The Yankees should be extremely active in those talks, and they are likely the favorites to land the Japanese pitcher. Kind of an odd timing, with Christmas and all, but the Eagles organization seems a little ticked off with the new posting process, so better late than never.

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Quick Hits: Marshall, Balfour, Teixeira

The Yankees have lost right-handed pitcher Brett Marshall to waivers. The 23 year old Marshall pitched in 12.0 innings of relief for the Yankees in 2013, and looked extremely hittable. He wasn’t much better in the minor leagues, where he struggled with the Rail Riders with a 5.13 ERA and 1.529 WHIP in 25 starts. Despite his awful 2013, Marshall showed promise in previous seasons, but command and hard hits caught up to him in Triple-A. Marshall is still young, and he can figure things out, but he never showed an outstanding ability to locate his pitches or generate strikeouts. More than likely, Marshall succeeded as a contact pitcher due to the pitcher friendly environment in the Yankees’ system. In Wrigley Field, with the Cubs, Marshall has a much better shot of succeeding in a large ballpark. It is young pitching depth lost, but Marshall never showed anything other than back of the rotation upside for the Yankees.

I mentioned Grant Balfour in my post yesterday, and although he probably won’t sign anytime soon, the Yankees are back in the race for him.…

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Quick Hits: New NPB Posting System Official and Tanaka Will Be Posted

The new NPB posting system is now official, and thanks to Chad Jennings of LoHud, we have the specific rules. NPB clubs set a “release fee” of up to $20 million, and any team that is willing to pay the fee has the rights to negotiate with the free agent. This allows small market teams to be more involved, but really screws over the NPB teams, specifically the Rakuten Eagles, who could have received well over $50 million for posting Masahiro Tanaka.

Speaking of which, the Eagles have decided that they will post Tanaka. The Yankees are said to be very interested in the right-handed pitcher, and the team did a ton of scouting earlier in the season. In the old rules, Tanaka made perfect sense for the club, but now with more teams allowed in contract negotiations, Tanaka will undoubtedly cost more towards the luxury tax. Either way, many see the Yankees as favorites to land Tanaka, and after he’s officially posted, teams will have 30 days to make their best offer.…

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Quick Hits: Nathan, Hanigan, Wilson, A’s And Rangers Trade, Gordon, Beltran Offer

Next week is the Winter Meetings, but I think the GM’s forgot that. So much happened yesterday, and today has picked up in the same way.

The Tigers have agreed to sign Joe Nathan to a 2 year deal. The Yankees were said to be interested in the closer, and now they’re believed to be interested in Grant Balfour. I don’t see that at all, considering Balfour’s character issues.

Speaking of closers, the Dodgers are nearing a 1 year deal with Brian Wilson. The Yankees were interested in Wilson, until he refused to shave his beard. He’s gotta keep that brand intact.

The Rays will acquire Ryan Hanigan from the Reds, in what is thought to be a three-way deal. There’s no word yet on the third team or what will be heading to the Reds. The Rays are notorious for not trading within the division, so I doubt the Yankees are involved.

The Athletics and Rangers are swapping Craig Gentry and Michael Choice/Josh Lindblom.…

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