Yankees Acquire Steve Pearce (Again), DFA Brandon Laird

Per MLB Trade Rumors:

The Yankees have acquired Steve Pearce from the Astros for cash considerations, the teams announced. Pearce, who played for the Yankees’ Triple-A team earlier this year, will provide New York with a right-handed bat for the final month of the season.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported that the sides were nearing a deal (Twitter link).

The Yankees have designated Brandon Laird for assignment, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The move creates roster space for Steve Pearce, who was acquired from the Astros today.

Steve Pearce has been moving around a lot this year. He started off playing for the Yankee Triple-A traveling circus, hitting an impressive .318/.419/.568, and eventually was given away to the Baltimore Orioles. He spent time in Baltimore and Houston, before completing the circle in New York. He’s a career .277/.347/.484 against left-handed pitching, and is the perfect September bench player. With Alex Rodriguez still out of the lineup, the Yankees could bat him pretty high in the order against tough left handed pitchers.… Click here to read the rest

Eric Chavez is back. Why?

Last night, news we all knew would probably break broke. Eric Chavez re-signed with the Yankees for the 2012 season, agreeing to a small, incentive-laden deal to backup Alex Rodriguez and DH on occasion. In doing so, he unofficially closed the book on an exciting 2012 off-season. Per MLB Trade Rumors:

The Yankees have agreed to terms with third baseman Eric Chavez on a one-year, Major League contract, pending a physical, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). The deal is worth $900K and also includes incentives, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

The deal isn’t bad. A number of us here at TYA, myself included, have expressed varying degrees of contempt towards Eric Chavez’s future with the team. Chavez is an injury prone, weak hitting, average fielding corner infielder on a team with Eduardo Nunez. His presence is somewhat redundant, even at his present best. Fortunately, like another recent signee in Raul Ibanez, Chavez was signed to a small contract for next season.… Click here to read the rest

Brandon Laird: Forgotten Infielder

Courtesy of The AP

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

A little over a year ago things were looking sunny for Brandon Laird.  He was fresh off an MVP season in the Double-A Eastern League thanks to a .291/.355/.523 line (.383 wOBA), 47 XBH, 23 HR, 90 RBI in 454 PA, and got a late-season bump to Triple-A (.270 wOBA in 127 PA).  He had elevated himself to the top half of most Yankee top prospects lists, and heading into 2011 Spring Training he had an outside shot at nudging his way into the discussion for the utility infielder role with a good performance.  Since then, however, things have taken a downturn for Laird and he finds himself heading into Spring Training this year dangerously close to falling off the prospect radar and the Yankees’ radar as a legit 25-man roster candidate.  How did this happen so quickly and should it even be happening?

The simple explanation for Laird’s prospect status decline is his poor 2011 showing. … Click here to read the rest

A Little Bit of a Big Problem

I’m going to come right out and say it: the Yankees have a glaring hole on their big league roster and have for quite some time. No, this is not a new weakness, but it is a weakness that has become increasingly noticeable and yet one this organization does not appear ready to deal with. There have been whispers. Inquiries into availability. They even made a run at a Japanese import. But as we stand on Friday the 13th of January it looks like Brian Cashman is perfectly willing to head into this season with the same flawed group as he did last season. He’s perfectly willing to trust his guys, the team’s fortunes be damned.

I’m talking of course about the infield bench.

Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez are all former All-Stars. All four are signed through the 2013 season and it is practically impossible to imagine any of them losing their starting jobs in the intervening two seasons.… Click here to read the rest

TYA Mailbag: Mike Aviles and Adam Kennedy

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. Glad you all survived Monday and are joining us bright and early here at TYA. Today’s mailbag question comes courtesy of Travis:

Matt mentioned Casey Blake as a potential backup infielder. What about if the Red Sox non-tender Mike Aviles? I know his 2011 wasnt stellar, but his 2010 seemed a bit more interesting. What is the real Aviles and would the younger player be an option for the backup spot? And what about Adam Kennedy or even bringing up a youngster, like David Adams (if he’s healthy)?

Let’s start with David Adams. Adams definitely has shown a nice bat, but he hasn’t exactly been a model of health since he joined the Yankee organization. With the exception of a .325 wOBA this year in A+ ball, Adams has hit well everywhere. The problem is that he’s only played in 68 games since the start of 2010, while only racking up 294 plate appearances in that time.… Click here to read the rest

Looking back on all the things I was wrong about

As a blogger, I have to spill a lot of internet ink almost every day. Most of the time I write, I’m writing in retrospect; I’m analyzing some situation that’s already happened or some numbers that are indicative of past events. Naturally, a lot of predictions flow from this. If I notice a certain trend, I try to take a guess at what future performance will be. Sometimes I’m right and sometimes (probably more often than I think), I’m wrong. There are a few “narratives” that I definitely got wrong this year, so I thought I’d own up to them now.

First off is something that I’d been saying for a long time. I thought there was no chance that both Brandon Laird and Austin Romine would be in the organization this long. The way I saw it, at least one of them would be gone via trade, and likely both of them. Hell, I was shocked that the Yankees didn’t flip Laird in the offseason after his strong showing in 2010.… Click here to read the rest

With Chavez back…

The Yankees expect Eric Chavez back today and that means they will have to make a roster move at some point. The obvious move is to send Brandon Laird back to Scranton so he can play every day while Chavez and Eduardo Nunez split time at third. If the Yankees are confident in Chavez’s health, I assume he’ll play third against righties while Nunez takes time against lefties. Like I said, this is the obvious move. I’m not one for always making the obvious move, so I’ll offer the same suggestion I did when Derek Jeter returned from the DL:

Call me nuts, but I think the Yankees should send Eduardo Nunez back to AAA to get some more seasoning. He clearly has more of a shot at being an every day player than Pena does and he could use some more pressure-free work on his throwing and on his approach at the plate. While he may get a good deal of guidance at the Major League level, I think it would be more valuable for him to get consistent plate appearances and time in the field at AAA

The names and positions could be changed around but I think the point still stands.… Click here to read the rest

A brief musing on process and results

We talk a lot about process and results when it comes to baseball. Obviously, the process is what you do and the results are what happens as a result of the process. The term can be applied a few ways.

We can apply the term when we talk about trades. A trade can be the result of great process–great statistical evaluation, great scouting, include the right players/pieces–but still fall flat because someone ends up performing differently than expected. I like to think of the second Javier Vazquez trade when I talk about a trade that represents good process with bad results. While it hurt a lot to give up Arodys Vizcaino, the trade was still, at its barest bones, good process: a young pitcher who, to that point, hadn’t pitched in a full season league, an outfielder who’s development had stalled and didn’t appear to fit on the team anymore, and a wild lefty reliever for an incredibly durable and effective starting pitcher.… Click here to read the rest