It’s Still Important To Stay Grounded With Ichiro & Gardner

Can this trio carry enough offensive weight? Courtesy of Getty Images

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

ESPN NY’s Spring Training countdown series got off to a pretty crummy start, but he’s been a little better lately.  Earlier this Sunday morning, Wally Matthews took a break from handing out fictional punishments on Alex Rodriguez to discuss the 2013 outfield, which is actually a worthwhile topic.  The Yankees are looking at a serious offensive downgrade from that group this year, and the ability of Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki to be productive in their ways could be a big determining factor in the level of success this season’s team can have.  Wally, to his credit, thinks Ichiro and Gardner can get the job done, and maybe they can.  But Wally’s reasoning for why leaves much to be desired.

Matthews gave reasons to be optimistic about the slap-hitting duo, citing their strengths.  But in doing so, he made the mistake of looking at Ichiro from a high level, where the overall numbers are still very good.  … Click here to read the rest

Lack Of Logic In The Ichiro Situation

Hank and Hal just looking to cash in... Courtesy of Getty Images

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

While most of the baseball world was buzzing about the Josh Hamilton signing yesterday afternoon, there was a significant development in the Ichiro Suzuki case, one that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the Yankees in terms of how they’ve approached and executed their offseason plan to date.  After multiple reports of Ichiro receiving 2-year offers from other teams came out, Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees were “resigned” to the fact that they now HAD to make a guaranteed 2-year offer as well in order to bring Ichiro back.  I know this isn’t going to sit well with my man James on the AB4AR Page, but that line of thinking and decision making by the Yankee brass is questionable at best, and borderline ludicrous at worst.

First of all, the Yankees aren’t resigned to anything. … Click here to read the rest

Looking Forward To Brett Gardner’s Return

You might need that helmet, dude. Courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Newsday

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Brett Gardner became the first of the Yankees’ 5 remaining arbitration eligible players to avoid it yesterday and sign a new deal for 2013, guaranteeing that no matter what warm body the Yankees stick in right field next season, they’ll at least have their 2 returning starters in center and left.  As it was with Michael Pineda and Mariano Rivera, 2012 was basically a lost season for Gardner.  He had just 37 plate appearances in 16 games before suffering the elbow injury that eventually ended his season.  But Gardner swung the bat well in those 37 PA, hitting .323/.417/.387 and scoring 7 runs.  The figures of Gardner’s new deal have yet to be disclosed, but with him playing so few games last year I can’t imagine he’ll get much of a raise from the $2.8 mil he made, if he even gets a raise at all.  … Click here to read the rest

Why Do I Not Like Shane Victorino?

Double ear flaps. So stupid. GAH!!! Courtesy of the AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

In addition to muddying the waters of the Russell Martin contract situation, Jon Heyman also listed the Yankees as one of several teams interested in free agent outfielder Shane Victorino. Victorino, 32, is coming off a down year that saw him traded from his longtime team in Philadelphia out to Cali to finish the season with the payroll-bloated Dodgers. I’m just going to get right to the point and say that I want absolutely no part of Shane Victorino on the 2013 Yankees. And here’s the kicker, I have absolutely no reason why. I’m not sure what it is about him, because it’s not like he’s a bad baseball player, but I’ve just never been much of a Shane Victorino guy. It’s completely irrational and I’m the first one to admit it, because Victorino could actually be a good fit for the Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks Have Interest In Torii Hunter And So Do I

Courtesy of Getty Images

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

It was nothing more than a basic report from the infamous unnamed source that the Yankees are interested in free agent to be Torii Hunter, but when it’s coming from Mark Feinsand you can put a little extra faith in it.  The Yanks don’t appear to be wasting any time in seeking out a replacement for Nick Swisher in right field, and if they aren’t going to get seriously involved in any kind of trade discussion for Justin Upton, Hunter would be an ideal 1-year stopgap signing.  Even at age 37, turning 38 next summer, Hunter brings a lot of things to the table that the Yankees need and a lot that meshes well with their team makeup and organizational culture.

First and foremost, Hunter is still a very productive two-way player, something the Yankees could definitely use in their outfield.  He’s probably not as good as his .313/.365/.451 line from 2012 would lead one to believe; that slash was boosted by an abnormally high .389 BABIP this past season. … Click here to read the rest