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?…

Read more

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.…

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.…

Read more

The Yankees have scouted Vazquez

Nick Cafardo passes along a tidbit of information likely to send many Yankee fans into apoplectic fits: The Yankees are among the teams who have scouted Javier Vazquez as the former Yankee contemplates a comeback. Scouts are apparently raving about what they’re seeing from Vazquez, who’s reportedly throwing his fastball in the 92-95 MPH range, but that probably doesn’t matter to many of the pinstriped faithful after Vazquez’s two, um, less than stellar tours with the Bombers.

For what it’s worth, I really don’t expect the Yankees to sign Vazquez, even though he probably won’t get any more than a minor league contract after sitting out all of 2012. Aside from the PR problems a reunion would bring, and the immense pressure Vazquez would likely be under if he did indeed take the Yankee Stadium mound again, the Nationals are said to be particularly interested in him at this point, and seem like a likely landing point for the guy who apparently just doesn’t mesh with the Bronx.…

Read more

Morosi: Upton too expensive for Yankees

Less than a week after Hal Steinbrenner assured Yankee fans that his team’s mandate to get below the luxury tax threshold before next season would not get in the way of assembling a championship caliber team, a report comes out that seriously puts those assurances in doubt. According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Yankees are “reluctant” to enter the Upton sweepstakes, and Morosi fingers the 2014 budget plan as the reason.

As those of you who know me might have expected, I spent most of the weekend in a football coma and didn’t get around to writing about this yesterday, which I thought might mellow my opinion on this story a little bit. It didn’t. There’s a lot of variables that could be in play here, namely that I still have trouble seeing the Yankees matching up with the Diamondbacks on a package, especially with other teams with deeper organizations involved, but if they really are passing on Upton simply because he’s owed roughly $10 million per year on his current contract, that’s just completely indefensible for the richest team in the league.…

Read more

Yankees have “nothing alive” on Morse

The Yankees are looking for a right-handed power hitter, but they have “nothing alive” in terms of trading for Washington 1B/OF/DH Mike Morse, according to Chad Jennings. Morse is going to be traded by the Nationals this winter after being left without a position by the acquisition of Denard Span and Adam LaRoche re-signing with the team, and the Yankees reportedly do have interest in acquiring him, but it’s far from clear that the Yankees are any sort of favorite to acquire the big righty.

When we asked Mark Feinsand about Morse on Wednesday night’s episode of On the Money, he was fairly bearish on the Yankees’ chances of acquiring Morse, noting that the Yankees didn’t exactly have a wealth of the sort of major league ready talent Washington would likely seek in return. The Nationals would like to add a left-handed reliever, but an offer centered around Boone Logan isn’t likely to get anything done given the level of interest there’s likely to be in Morse around the league.…

Read more