Trade Talk: Byrd, Danks, Ruggiano, Masterson

Another day, another batch of rumors.  The silence on the Yankee front is deafening today.  Maybe that means a deal is getting announced soon.

- Via George King, Marlon Byrd has no problem being traded to the Yankees, who reportedly “have prospects the Phillies like enough to get a deal done.”  Not that it would matter if he did have a problem since he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but those extra years on his deal are almost assuredly what’s keeping Cash away.

- Via the same King article, the White Sox have a scout following the Trenton Thunder right now and they are still very much interested in the Yanks’ catching depth.  John Danks is the name that continues to come up in connection with the Yankees and my personal stance on him has not changed.  Do. Not. Want.

- Yesterday it was a pitcher, today it’s an outfielder that the Yanks are interested in acquiring from the Cubs in the form of Justin Ruggiano.  …

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Trade Talk: Capuano And Kennedy

It appears Cash hasn’t wasted any time getting back to the more work he said he had to do on Tuesday.  If you missed it yesterday afternoon, the Yankees announced that they had acquired lefty pitcher Chris Capuano from the Rockies for cash considerations.  He was working as a starter for their Triple-A affiliate after spending the first 3 months of the season in the Red Sox bullpen.

Capuano’s time there was a tale of 2 extremes.  He didn’t allow a run in 14.1 April innings while putting up a 15/2 K/BB ratio.  In 4.0 June innings he got pounded for 10 ER on 14 hits and 4 walks and was let go.  His total line for the season as a Major Leaguer is 4.55/4.06/4.15 in 31.2 IP.  His K rate is decent (20.3%), his BB rate is not (10.5%), and he’s actually been hit harder by lefties (.384 wOBA against) than righties (.303).  I’m not sure how the Yankees intend to use him, but his arrival might not be good news for the Davids Huff and Jeffs Francis of the world.…

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Yankees kick off international free agent signing with a bang

Just as Katie told us yesterday, the Yankees broke out the checkbook in a big way for this year’s international free agent signing period, including all four of the players she wrote about. While the Yankees have yet to confirm any of these signings, reports have them picking up ten players yesterday, for a total of $14.25 million in signing bonuses, far surpassing their assigned 2,193,100. Here is a quick look at the signings so far.

Dermis Garcia (SS): The Dominican power hitter will likely outgrow short, but with his big arm he could look nice at third. He was ranked at the top of MLB.com’s rankings and ninth for Baseball America, earning him $3.2 million from the Yankees.

Nelson Gomez (3B): Another Dominican infielder, Gomez was widely considered the top offensive player in this year’s class, fetching him $2.25 million from the Bronx Bombers. He was ranked second by MLB.com and sixth by BA.

Juan De Leon (OF): De Leon is a very toolsy player who was second on BA’s list and fifth on MLB.com.…

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Seriously, now the Yankees decide to spend money?

The Yankees are about to acquire Alfonso Soriano. They will pay some significant portion of the $25 million remaining on his contract, but will structure the deal so the deal costs them nothing in luxury tax next season. Great! The Yankees need bats, and being right-handed doesn’t hurt. Alfonso will immediately become the 2nd or 3rd best hitter in the Yankee lineup, even though he’s basically an average MLB hitter right now.

But god damn, this makes me angry. The Yankees are already spending $11.5 million on Vernon Wells this season. They are now deciding to open the piggy bank again to take on another salary dump, and spend likely about the same money on Alfonso Soriano. Let’s use a round number and say that the Yankees are spending $20 million on both.

If Hal Steinbrenner knew nine months ago that he was willing to open up and spend an additional $20 million on one horrible baseball player and one deeply flawed baseball player, how the hell was he not able to spend a little bit of money on Russell Martin, Nate Schierholtz, Eric Chavez, or whomever?…

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Rangers Not Trading Andrus

Despite Jon Heyman’s report that the Rangers were planning to trade their short stop Elvis Andrus, GM Jon Daniels says otherwise.

Last week, we found out that the Rangers were scouting Joba Chamberlain. We know that a Yankee scout attended last Thursday’s Rangers game, which narrows down a  trade to a few possible players. David Murphy, Mitch Moreland, Craig Gentry, Elvis Andrus, and Mike Olt all played. Since then, we’ve learned that the Yankees have no interest in Gentry, and that Andrus is not available. The Rangers probably can’t afford trading away Murphy, and at this point it looks like discussions were likely around either Moreland or Olt.

On Monday, in an interview with Mike Francesa, Brian Cashman said that he does not have any trades brewing at the moment, but is looking thoroughly into options in other camps.…

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Yankees “on verge” of deal with Hafner

Rumors started swirling yesterday that talks between the Yankees and Travis Hafner were getting serious, and today Chad Jennings reports that the two sides are so close that the agreement could be announced as early as today. In fact, he says that an agreement has already been reached, and it’s now all about haggling over the contractual language. No salary figures have been disclosed, but it’s believed the deal will be close to the $1.1 million salary the Yankees gave Raul Ibanez last winter.

According to Jennings, the plan is to use Hafner strictly as a platoon DH.

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Yankees could be close with Hafner

According to Rob Bradford, the Yankees may be close to a deal with former Cleveland DH Travis Hafner. Hafner, who hit .228/.346/.438 in 263 plate appearances in 2012, fits the Yankees’ profile as a power and patience slugger, but health is a major concern, to say the least. Hafner has appeared in at least 95 games just once since the 2007 season, and he’s more or less incapable of being anything but a designated hitter at this point, even on an irregular basis. Still, the Yankees have a pretty significant need for a DH right now, and the left-handed Hafner owns a 117 career wRC+ against southpaws, so a reasonably priced deal would seem to be a great fit.

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Yankees have “no interest” in Kottaras

Well this is certainly…interesting:

Oakland designated Kottaras for assignment when they acquired John Jaso in the Michael Morse swap, and he seemed like a perfect fit for the Yankees. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a world beater, but he’s a career .226/.315/.436 hitter against right-handed pitchers and he plays okay defense. Best of all, I guess, he’s got a non-guaranteed contract that will only pay him about $1 million in 2013, so you’d think that might have piqued the team’s interest. Apparently not.

I honestly don’t know what to say about the catching situation, at this point, except that it appears as though it may simply be the case that Brian Cashman is really fond of someone on the current roster.

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Rosenthal: Plan 189 could be less lucrative than anticipated

I’m not sure if this is reporting anything that we didn’t already know, but Ken Rosenthal passes along that the Yankees’ ownership group may not gain as much financial lucre from their rapid budget cutting plans as they anticipated, because adjustments by other teams could reduce the amount of revenue sharing refunds available to them:

The revenue-sharing funds that would have gone to those clubs then would be redistributed to payors such as the Yankees. The idea is to motivate certain big-market clubs — the Toronto Blue Jays, for example — to increase their revenues, knowing that they no longer would qualify for revenue-sharing money.

 From that perspective, the plan appears to be working — the Blue Jays, Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves are among the big-market clubs that anticipate higher revenues next season, according to major league sources.

Such developments would reduce the size of the market-disqualification pot — and in turn reduce the percentage of that pot the Yankees would receive.…

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