Report: Rakuten Won’t Post Tanaka


Maybe next year, guy.

It seemed like things were starting to move in a positive direction on the Masahiro Tanaka front.  The new posting system between MLB and NPB was agreed upon and officially announced, and earlier this week Tanaka told his team that he wanted to pitch in MLB in 2014.  Despite their waffling on the decision to post him and their clear desire not to, it was reasonable to expect that the Rakuten Golden Eagles would eventually give in and honor Tanaka’s wishes, not wanting to set a bad precedent for future players who would want to make the jump to the top level of competition.

But in the immortal words of Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend!  A report by Ken Belson of the NY Times, citing multiple Japanese newspaper sources, states that Rakuten has decided not to post Tanaka and instead will retain control over him for the 2014 season.  Rather than limit themselves to the $20 million max posting fee and risk losing more in stadium and merchandise revenues by not having Tanaka next season, the Eagles appear to prefer maintaining their team control over Tanaka, as is their right, and maximizing their own revenue potential.…

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If D-Rob Isn’t Capable Of Handling The Closer Role Now, When Will He Be?


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

The most surprising thing to come out of Cash’s session with the media yesterday was his statement on David Robertson‘s status as the heir apparent to Mo for next year’s closer role.  Cash reiterated that the Yankees haven’t decided to officially name D-Rob the closer yet, which is fair considering it’s still early in the offseason and the Yanks are in the market for relief help, but he raised my eyebrows with this line about D-Rob’s ability to handle the job:

“I’m not sure if Robertson is capable yet. He’s never done that before.”

If by “done that before” Cash means “never had a full-time closing gig” before then I fully agree.  D-Rob has never been an official closer tasked with regularly pitching the 9th inning and saving wins and that’s because he’s had Mariano Rivera pitching in front of him every year of his career.  The preceding statement about Robertson’s capability leads me to believe Cash didn’t mean that, however, and that questioning of D-Rob’s capability of being a regular closer raises some questions as to just how the Yankees are making that determination.…

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Surprise, Surprise. Yankees Still The Most Valuable MLB Franchise By A Wide Margin

Quick, how much money do you think this down year cost the Yankees in terms of franchise value?  If you answered any amount of money, you’re wrong.  According to Bloomberg’s latest calculations, the Yankees are valued at approximately $3.3 billion.  That’s $1.2 billion more than the next most valuable MLB franchise (the Dodgers), and almost $1 billion more than what Forbes valued them at back in March.  Despite the scaled back payroll and subsequent failure to reach the postseason, stadium attendance that was down from 2012, and TV ratings that were the same, the Yankees are still the gold standard when it comes to professional baseball value and are still practically printing their own money.

While it is good news in the grand scheme of things – I’d much rather the Yankees be the most valuable franchise instead of one of the least – it does present an easy opportunity to revisit the topic of Hal’s plans for the team.  …

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Not The Way Andy Should Have Gone Out

Andy vs SF

I got nothing this morning, gang.  I’m still bummed about the way yesterday’s game went down.  I know I shouldn’t be.  If anything, I should have expected the Yankees to lose in the fashion they did because it’s what they’ve done all year long.  Sure, there have been a few flashes of offensive competency here and there, but overall this has been a painfully bad offensive team incapable of doing anything – get a hit, put the ball in play, make contact – when they really needed to and they saved the worst for last yesterday.  The fairytale ending was laid out for them from about the 5th inning on and they gagged on their chance to write it time and time again.

Obviously the biggest and most important story yesterday was Mo and the spectacular pregame ceremony put on for him.  The Yankees don’t do much right as an organization anymore, but that’s one area where they’re still the best and yesterday’s ceremony was no exception.  …

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Do People Really Still Think Eduardo Nunez Is A Thing?


When the Yankees traded for Brendan Ryan earlier this week, the reaction was decidedly positive and it should have been.  Ryan gave the Yankees what they most lacked at the shortstop position and his weak offensive makeup was more easily covered by the rejuvenated middle of the order than it would have been months back.  But I still saw some people who thought Eduardo Nunez should still be the starter, as always citing his tools and “good hitting” as reasons to keep him as the primary shortstop while Jeter was out.  I don’t want to make a big thing of this, so to those people I just to have to ask, what Eduardo Nunez are you watching?

Because the one I’m watching is barely worthy of an MLB roster spot let alone a starting job – albeit an injury-aided one – at a premium up-the-middle position.  Offensively, defensively, pick one and there’s nothing Nunez has done this year to earn any kind of praise or pass from anybody.  …

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Hal Late To The Party Again With His Minor League Meeting Of The Minds

Hal S

Earlier in the week, Hal Steinbrenner made the news when it was reported that he called some of his baseball people together in Tampa to discuss the team’s lack of upper-level Minor League talent.  The Yankees have been patching holes in their roster since before the regular season started, and they’ve used a fair amount of rookies as part of the patchwork plan, with little offensive success to speak of.

The Yankees not developing much homegrown talent is hardly a new talking point.  The last batch of real prospects was the Hughes-Kennedy-Joba trio that in a matter of months might all be on different teams, and the last batch of real prospects to stick and make a positive impact at the Major League level was the Core Four.  The Yankees being stuck between the marginally competitive rock and the 2014 payroll budget hard place has just as much to do with their failure to scout, draft, and develop Major League talent as it has to do with any of the other organizational missteps they’ve made in years past.…

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Do Not Do The Hustle

kayBetween a number of different personalities, lately I’ve noticed how drastically different the YES network’s booth can sound between series. In recent years, I’ve grown to enjoy Ken Singleton‘s play-by-play, his stories, and his analysis of the game. Meanwhile, David Cone has added an objective voice to many of the old-school opinions present from ex-players like Paul O’Neill, Singleton, and Al Leiter. By no means do I wish to be inundated by sabermetrics though, I enjoy hearing all sides of the game. Hell, I can even enjoy the subjective views of John Sterling and Hawk Harrelson. But over this latest White Sox series, YES has been without that counter-opinion, and it feels to me that Michael Kay has used the Yankee broadcasts as a continuation of his daily radio show.

Of the many ridiculous points Kay has been pushing over the last few days, he started this series by showing a bias against Alex Rodriguez on Monday. Statistically, he’s been spouting the importance of win/loss records for pitchers like Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Sale, as well as how unproductive Adam Dunn and his low batting average have been.…

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