A Quick Word On All This Relief Prospect Depth

The talking point of the Yankees acquiring more organizational depth this offseason has been hammered home for a while now, perhaps nowhere more than with the bullpen.  There are already a ton of arms that are in competition for the last bullpen spot or 2, and there are going to be a ton of young arms waiting in the wings for their chance to break in and contribute.  I mean really, a ton of arms.  In somewhat of a particular order, here’s a breakdown of the current relief prospect depth:

1) Jacob Lindgren
2) Jose Ramirez
3) Chasen Shreve
4) Nick Rumbelow
5) Tyler Webb
6) Danny Burawa
7) James Pazos
8) Branden Pinder
9) Mark Montgomery
10) Nick Goody

That doesn’t even include guys like Phil Wetherall, Dietrich Enns, and Diego Moreno who have had some success working in relief in the middle levels of the system, and 2014 draft picks like Jonathan Holder, Jordan Foley, Sean Carley, and Jake Kelzer.  …

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Yanks Make Quick Work Of Remaining Arb-Eligible Cases, Re-Sign Pineda, Eovaldi, And Carpenter To 1-Year Deals

The Yankees have a reputation for quickly negotiating deals with their arbitration-eligible players before they even have to go to arbitration.  They showed why it’s a well-earned reputation yesterday by going full Lloyd Christmas and re-signing their 3 remaining arb-eligible guys in a matter of hours.

As first reported by Chad Jennings, they agreed to a 1-year/$2.1 million deal with Michael Pineda.  And as first reported by Andy Martino, they agreed to a 1-year/$3.3 million deal with Nathan Eovaldi and a 1-year/$1.3 million deal with David Carpenter.  Add in the Nova re-up earlier in the week and everybody got what they were projected to get by MLBTR with the exception of Carpenter, who came in 200k over slot.  Good for him.

The arb guys are taken care of, the Drew signing has been made official, and the 40-man roster is filled to the brim.  I’m starting to think the Yankees might be done making roster moves.

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Quick Hit: Yanks Make Stephen Drew Signing Official, DFA Eury Perez

For those of you who were starting to wonder what was taking so long with the Drew signing, there’s your closure.  He’s officially a Yankee, officially on the 40-man roster, and Eury Perez has been future endeavored.

Now all that needs to be made official is Drew’s role.  Will he be the starting second baseman?  Backup shortstop?  Both?  Neither?  We’ll see.

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Yanks Agree To 1-Year Deal With Ivan Nova

Didn’t take long for the first arbitration-eligible domino to fall.  The Yankees avoided arbitration with Ivan Nova today, agreeing to a 1-year deal.  As first reported by Joel Sherman, the contract is worth $3.3 million.  The value of the contract matches Nova’s salary from last season in his first year of eligibility, as predicted by MLBTR.  Nova, 28, will not be ready for the start of the upcoming season as he completes rehab from 2014 TJ Surgery, but is expected to return to the rotation before the ASB.

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Yanks Acquire RHP Chris Martin, DFA Gonzalez Germen

Acquiring a pitcher for cash from the Rockies worked out well the last time the Yankees did it.  Guess they felt it was worth going back to that well again for this minor move.

Martin is a 28-year-old righty reliever who made his MLB debut in 2014, pitching to a 6.89/3.77/2.90 tripleslash with 14 K in 15.2 IP.  He throws fastballs of all kinds and his 4-seamer sits comfortably in the mid-90s, and his primary offspeed pitch is a low-80s curveball.  He’s listed at 6’8’/215 too, so he’s a pretty hyyuuuuuuuge dude.

Germen’s time with the Yankees was brief and over before it ever started.  He had a very small chance of making a significant impact out of the ‘pen this year.  Clearly the Yankees felt that Martin was an upgrade over him.  …

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Resetting The Organizational Catching Depth

As usual, the Yankees are experiencing the pains of a 40-man roster crunch.  They have yet to make a move to open up a spot for the recently-signed Stephen Drew, and when they do they will have to deal with a possible surplus of infielders on the roster.  That’s not the worst problem to have when you’re coming off a year in which your infield was as bad as the Yankees’ was in 2014, and it should work itself out by the time Spring Training comes and goes.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Bombers were going through a similar crunch with their catching depth.  They opened the offseason with 5 catchers on the 40-man and not enough spots for all those catchers.  Francisco Cervelli was traded to Pittsburgh for Justin Wilson, which opened up the backup MLB job for John Ryan Murphy and eased the playing time concerns at the rest of the upper levels.  With that issue cleared up, let’s do a quick review of the team’s current catching depth.…

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Picking Out The Most Realistic Targets From The Remaining Free Agent Starter Pool

Vogelsong vs KC

Not a sexy option, but could pitch more innings than CC next year. Courtesy of Getty Images

However we all individually feel about things like the Stephen Drew signing, the recent bullpen moves, or the overall status and potential of the team, one thing we can all agree on is the need for more starting pitching.  There are serious questions and concerns about each guy in the projected rotation, most of them health-related, and the already thin organizational starting depth was dealt a small blow by the trading away of Manny Banuelos.  Ivan Nova‘s return will help some, but he can’t  be expected to step back into the rotation and pitch like the 2013 2nd half version of himself.

The Maxes Scherzer and Jameses Shields of the world are still hanging there for the taking on the free agent tree of temptation, but all signs point to the Yankees sticking to their word and not inking either of those 2 this offseason.  …

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A-Rod’s Role Continues To Shrink

A-Rod Workout

Possibly the last time we see A-Rod play third base. Courtesy of his Instagram page

 

Despite the team’s unspoken desires and Cash’s public statements to the contrary, there was a time not very long ago when Alex Rodriguez would have been the starting third baseman for the Yankees next year.  That most likely wouldn’t have meant good things for A-Rod’s health or the team’s chances of winning, another example of how flawed their decision making and roster building strategy had become.

Thankfully Cash and the rest of the front office recognized the importance in not allowing that to happen as part of their offseason infield makeover.  Chase Headley was brought back to be the starting third baseman, a handful of Quad-A utility guys have been invited to ST, rookies like Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder are going to get a crack at an Opening Day roster spot, and Stephen Drew was signed on Tuesday as the last bit of depth insurance.…

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Stephen Drew: A $5 Million Bridge, Insurance Policy, Lottery Ticket, and Potential Trade Chip

Drew vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

And the offseason of surprise moves keeps chugging along!  He was arguably the least wanted by the fanbase of all the Yankee free agents when last season ended and the least likely to return when the Gregorius trade went down, but somehow we woke up this morning in a world where Stephen Drew will be a Yankee again in 2015.  Actually it wasn’t somehow, it was the team agreeing to a 1-year/$5 million deal with him last night, but you get the idea.

The response to this move from readers of this site and the Yankosphere in general seems to be mostly negative, and that’s understandable considering how horrible Drew was after the Yankees traded for him last year.  But when you really look at this signing from all angles and remember the roster landscape that Drew will be fitting into, this move may end up being the best one the Yankees made this offseason.

The biggest point of contention among folks who are against this deal is the apparent blocking of the kids at second base.  …

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