Trade Deadline News And Notes: 7/27/15

Deadline’s right around the corner.  Here’s the latest:

– The big weekend trade was Johnny Cueto going to the Royals for a trio of lefty arms.  From what I read, it sounds like the return for Cueto wasn’t that great.  Makes you wonder what the Yanks could have done if they had a full complement of healthy pitching prospects.

– Via George King, the Yanks scouted Cueto for 5 weeks and at one point had “limited discussions” with the Reds about a deal involving Ivan Nova.  King says the Yanks are now waiting to see what the Tigers do with David Price.

– One pitcher they don’t seem interested in pursuing is Cole Hamels.  According to Joel Sherman, they aren’t interested in trading top prospects (Judge, Severino, Bird, Mateo) or taking on big money, both of which they would have to do to acquire Hamels.

– Via Jon Heyman, the Yanks “have discussed just about every available top starter and reliever”, so Cash is definitely doing his due diligence.  …

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Trade Deadline News And Notes: 7/24/15

Well it happened.  The trade deadline activity finally kicked into gear yesterday.  With a week to go now, things should really start to pick up now that the first moves have been made.

– The first notable trade was Scott Kazmir going to the Astros for a pair of low-level prospects.  I was a little surprised to see him go for that little in return considering the way he’s been pitching, but maybe leaving that start with an arm injury killed some of his value.  I would have liked him in the Yankee rotation.

– The other major move was Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez going back to Pittsburgh, where he started his career, to get a shot at chasing a ring before he retires.  He was never a target for the Yankees.

– As for the home team, they will reportedly “listen to offers” for Gary Sanchez, according to Buster Olney.  I’m not sure how many teams are going to be calling up and proactively asking for him so much as making him a required piece in a trade package for one of their players, but this isn’t a surprising stance considering the Major League catching depth in Big Mac and JRM.  …

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Report: Refsnyder To Stay With The Big League Club After The All-Star Break

Take this with whatever quantity of salt you desire, but according to John Harper of the Daily News, the Yankees are not planning on sending Rob Refsnyder back down to Triple-A after the All-Star break.  Instead they will keep him up with the Major League club, presumably as their new starting second baseman and bare minimum as part of a second base platoon with Stephen Drew.

This report comes on the heels of the Yankee decision makers speaking in vague, non-committal tones about Refsnyder’s future over the weekend.  Cash said there were no plans for him beyond last weekend when he was called up, and Joe told reporters after Sunday’s game that the team would use the break to discuss options and make a final decision.  If this report is indeed true, then it would appear as though the team liked what they saw from Refs on Saturday and Sunday and are finally coming to the realization that they can’t continue to trot Drew out at second base every day.…

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Report: Yankees Among Several Teams “Looking At” Jeff Samardzija And Clay Buchholz

Interesting tidbit of trade rumoring from Nick Cafardo today.  Buried in a larger article of mostly Red Sox-ian topics, Cafardo included the Yankees in a group of teams who are reportedly “looking at” right-handed starters Jeff Samardzija and Clay Buchholz as we inch closer to next month’s trade deadline.

These are new names as far as the Yankees and their potential deadline targets are concerned.  We’ve been hearing a lot more about Cueto, Leake, and Cole Hamels lately.  But both Samardzija and Buchholz would be upgrades over the guys currently occupying the back end of the Yankee rotation.  Samardzija has seemingly taken a step back this year (4.56 ERA, 123 hits, 19.0% K rate in 108.1 IP), but he’s still a workhorse and his velocity hasn’t dropped so presumably he’s healthy.  Buchholz has actually been one of the best starters in the AL and the only full-time starter in the Boston rotation who’s been any good.

Samardzija is a true 2-month rental while Buchholz has a few team options years attached to him, so the asking prices could vary a little.  …

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ARod’s ‘marketable milestones’ take away his rights

The Yankees brass has made its intentions known without having to show it off on their high-def scoreboard.

When Alex Rodriguez hits home run No. 660 to tie Willie Mays for fourth all-time, their celebration will be tame. No red carpet. No champagne bottles. No commercials or special t-shirts. No, he will not get the “DJ3K” treatment.

Several outlets have reported how the Yankees are going to fight back against Arod’s special contract where he is supposed to receive what can be an extra $30 million for his milestone home runs – $6 million for each. Just don’t call them milestones. Seems the Yankees aren’t interested in that.

However, the New York Post story left me a bit baffled. According to their very special sources with knowledge of the situation, ARod would sign over his image rights and associated branding for $6 million a home run.

Really? Why?

I’m not thrown back by the Yankees wanting to keep the money in the battle over the contract.…

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Monday Morning Rapid-Fire Reactions To What I Missed Over The Last Week


There was a Hank sighting and I missed it?? Damn

Good morning, dear IIATMS readers.  How’s everybody feeling this morning?  It feels good to be back after a week off, and it feels even better to have had nothing go majorly wrong in Yankeeland while I was away.  It was a bummer to miss pitchers and catchers report day last Friday, but that disappointment is overwhelmed by the excitement that comes with the start of Spring Training and the return of baseball to our lives.

Last week was not an inactive one, and naturally I have my own opinions on the comings and goings of that last week.  Before proceeding with what’s going on in the present and getting back to business as usual around here, I wanted to circle back and give my quick takes on the major stories I missed last week.  I promise this won’t take long.

A-Rod’s Apology Letter

Loved it.  Loved everything about it.  He was obviously in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation when it came to the public apology, and I think he made the right decision to handle it the way he did.  …

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Report: A-Rod And Yankees Agree To Meet

Well well well.  I guess some of those earlier reports about the Yankees turning down A-Rod’s request to meet and clear the air were nothing more than shoddy reporting/typical anti-A-Rod rumor mongering.  According to this report by Nick Cafardo earlier this morning, the Yankees and Alex have agreed to meet and talk before the start of the upcoming season.  Cash went further to say that those previous reports were untrue, and that this was the first time A-Rod asked to have a sit down with the team.

Between Cash shooting down that earlier report, him saying the Yanks are “more than happy to meet with him [A-Rod]” and Alex seemingly trying to do everything the right way, it appears as though all the A-Rod haters might not get the drama and shame they were looking for this season.  I shudder to think at what’s going to become of the Daily News I-Team when that happens.  …

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Report: MLB Holding Up The Yoan Moncada Proceedings, Not US OFAC (UPDATED)

Here’s an interesting new wrinkle in the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes.  According to this report by Ben Badler, the holdup in getting him unblocked and eligible to sign does not reside with the US Dept. of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as many believed, but rather with MLB itself.

“Any Cuban national who presents documents showing permanent residence in a country outside of Cuba qualifies for OFAC’s ‘general license,’ which is not a written document. As far as OFAC is concerned, that should make him unblocked, and that’s good enough for the government to allow him to sign.

The holdup is that MLB won’t let Moncada—or any Cuban player, for that matter—use the general license any more. That wasn’t always the case. Yasiel Puig, for example, signed using the general license. It’s not clear what exactly changed, but at some point in 2012 after Puig signed in June that year, MLB no longer allowed Cuban players to sign using the general license and instead required them to apply for the specific license, which is a written document from OFAC…

“MLB issued the following statement to Baseball America on Sunday: ‘MLB is confident with the current plan we have in place regarding signing foreign born players and will abide by the guidelines of the OFAC requirements.’

Except, by the OFAC guidelines, Moncada has met the criteria of the general license to be considered unblocked, and he is not alone.

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Report: Yankees “Intrigued” By Johan Santana, Following His Winter League Starts

Johan vs ATL

Courtesy of Getty Images

This would certainly qualify as finding rotation depth on the cheap.  Per a report by Dan Martin, the Yankees were in attendance at Johan Santana‘s first Venezuelan Winter League start last night as he attempts to come back from a torn Achilles tendon.  Santana pitched 2 scoreless innings and looked pretty good by most accounts.  According to Martin, the Yankees are “intrigued” by the idea of signing Santana, and an unnamed source that they “will keep an eye on him.”

Everybody knows Santana’s story by now.  He used to be the best pitcher alive not too many years ago, but a litany of major injuries put an end to that and have all but derailed his entire career.  It’s not just the comeback from the Achilles tear that factors into any decision on Santana, it’s the torn shoulder capsule in 2011, the second torn shoulder capsule in 2013, and the back problems.  Santana has been limited to 21 Major League starts since 2010, and at age 36 it’s hard to imagine his body and its storied injury history holding up to any kind of consistent, regular workload.…

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