On Hot Stove Rumoring For The Sake Of Rumoring, Or “Hey, Did You Hear About The Yankees And Max Scherzer?”

Scherzer vs TOR

BREAKING: Still not a Yankee. Not even close

Has everybody had a chance to check around the Yankosphere and baseball blog circuit yet today?  If you have, you were no doubt bombared with stories about the Yankees and Max Scherzer kinda, sorta, maybe, possibly being linked.  Via Jon Heyman:

“So far this offseason, there hasn’t been much that’s new and interesting tied to the Yankees– baseball’s most storied franchise and usually among its most active winter players.

And there has been very little, if anything, that’s been linked to right-hander Max Scherzer — baseball’s top free-agent pitcher.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there’s a chance that the Yankees and Scherzer may start becoming tied together, at least in terms of talk. It’s a match that might make sense.”

At face value, no.  That wouldn’t be a surprise.  Big money players are always linked to the Yankees during hot stove season, and they have a very apparent and widely-known need for starting pitching.  …

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Group Chat: Would You Sell Half the Farm for Tulo?

Scott: Matt’s Yankees Shortstop Options post was depressing, and rumors are flying about possible trades for Elvis Andrus or Troy Tulowitzki, with one rumor suggesting that the Yankees could have Tulo for something like Luis Severino, Greg Bird, and Manny Banuelos. Would you take that deal, or something like it? I absolutely would. (1) Severino is great, with no red flags to date, but has only 25 IP at AA; it’s a long road yet to being a real MLB starter, much less the sort of #1-#2 starter you might regret giving up for a Tulo. (2) Bird has real holes in his game – rough at 1B (1 error every 10 games) and striking in 23% of PA in the low minors (bad but more a yellow than red flag); his 7 HR in 95 AB at AA, and great AFL showing, may signal exciting improvement, but to regret trading him for Tulo, he’d have to show continued progress.…

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Friday Morning Food For Thought: A New Hitting Coach Candidate Emerges

Via George King:

“There was serious speculation running through Kauffman Stadium before the Giants’ 3-2 victory over the Royals in Game 7 of the World Series that the Yankees were waiting for the end of the Series on Wednesday night to contact the Royals’ Raul Ibanez to gauge his interest in becoming their hitting coach.

While Ibanez was not on the active roster against the Giants, he was with the team serving as a wise head for the younger Royals to bounce ideas off and listen to. Royals manager Ned Yost has praised Ibanez’s leadership qualities throughout the postseason.”

Raul Ibanez, huh?  OK, I can get on board with that.  The Yankees have already lost out on what we have to assume was their top 2 candidates for the vacant hitting coach job.  If the silence since then has been them biding their time and waiting to talk to somebody who was still involved in the postseason, that would be much better than them stalling because they didn’t really have a backup plan.  …

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Rumor: Yanks Considering Omar Minaya For Front Office Position

This came out late-ish last night, and it may not be welcome news to some who are seeing it for the first time this morning.  Former Mets GM Omar Minaya’s name started floating around yesterday as one the Yankees were considering for a possible front office position.  Erik Boland reported that it was “strong consideration for a high-ranking position,” but Andy Martino later tempered that by tweeting that the role would be something in scouting or an advisory position and not a major one.  With Mark Newman leaving as Senior VP of Baseball Ops and Minaya currently holding that spot in San Diego, there is a potential lateral opening.

Just the name “Omar Minaya” is enough to make some Mets fans’ skin crawl, and his tenure as GM there was not a good one.  But he does have a very good track record of building strong farm systems wherever he’s been.  With the Yankees putting improving their farm system as a primary goal going forward, Minaya could be useful as someone to help guide the efforts.  …

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Report: Yanks Don’t Have “A Serious Interest” In Yasmany Tomas

Well this isn’t good news:

“According to an industry source, the Yankees don’t appear to have a serious interest in Cuban defector Yasmani Tomas.”

This report by George King cites an anticipated price tag in the $100 million range as the primary reason for the Yanks passing on Tomas, which I don’t and will never understand.  I don’t care how much money they spent last offseason or on whom.  The Yankees still possess the greatest financial advantage over the rest of MLB and they should not be afraid to use it.  If the goal really is to put a “championship-caliber” team on the field, how can you pass on a 24-year-old with grade 70 right-handed power and a plus outfield arm?  Where is that guy in your farm system right now that allows you to say you can’t afford that player?

“What’s that?  Potentially the next Jose Abreu and we can lock him up through the best years of his prime without sacrificing a draft pick?  

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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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