Rafael Soriano To The Nationals

Last year’s Yankees closer has just agreed to a two-year $28 million deal with the Washington Nationals, that includes a third year option. Though there was a bit of speculation that Rafael Soriano was desperate for a contract, the reliever certainly got his money.

With Nick Swisher in Cleveland, the Yankees now have the 27th, 31st, and 32nd round draft picks for 2013. These picks can move up a bit depending on where Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn sign, but at the moment, the Yankees are in good shape for next year’s draft. Last season, these picks were worth $1.675 million, $1.575 million, and $1.55 million. That’s $4.8 million to spend on the first round of draft picks, or anywhere else they desire, and it’s $3.2 million more than they had to spend last season. The slot bonus amounts should go up in 2013, but so should the market.

#untuck… Click here to read the rest

Soriano not a necessity, but a reunion should be welcomed

Yesterday, we heard news that Scott Boras, agent for free-agent reliever Rafael Soriano, approached the Yankees about a one year contract for the righty pitcher. Boras and Soriano were apparently, “flatly denied” per Bob Klapisch. Buster Olney hinted that the Yankees are choosing the draft pick/draft pool money over Soriano and his services. I like the draft and I like prospects as much as the next guy, but if I’m forced to choose between a draft pick in 2013 and another year of Rafael Soriano, I’m taking Soriano every time.

The Yankee bullpen is definitely well stocked for 2013. Mariano Rivera is coming back from injury, but if there’s one guy you’re going to have faith in, it’s him. David Robertson is more than capable as a set-up guy and with Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and David Aardsma falling in line behind him, the Yankees should be fine in late game situations. However, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be more fine in late game situations.… Click here to read the rest

The Best Laid Plans

As the blackout last week rolled on, the conversations between my father and me inevitably rolled to baseball. One thing he kept bringing up was how this upcoming Hot Stove season would be the most challenging for Yankee GM Brian Cashman. While I think there may have been more pressure to reload after missing the playoffs in 2008, I’m more or less in league with my dad on this one. With the 2014 budget in mind, it’s hard to know just exactly what the Yankees will do this winter. We know they won’t get younger for the sake of getting younger, and that’s something I agree with. In that vein, though, the Yankees are set up to get young for 2014/2015 with the chance for some actual impact players like Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, and Mason Williams. But with regards to the Yankees’ actual plan, I’m not ready to say I know what their exact strategy will be.… Click here to read the rest

The 2013 bullpen

First off, how is everyone? I know a large portion of our readership is certainly in the Tri-State Area and I hope you and yours are doing well. Now, let’s get onto some baseball matters as a nice distraction.

As you probably could’ve guessed by midseason, Rafael Soriano has officially opted out of his contract with the Yankees. ACcording to that same link, the Yankees will give Soriano a qualifying offer (which he likely won’t accept) and are willing to give him a two year contract. In the simplest of terms, there are a few ways that this can shake out:

1. The Best Case Scenario:

In this scenario, the Yankees get their cake and eat it, too. They get Mariano Rivera back on a one year deal and Soriano takes the qualifying offer. That would give the team two dynamite back-end bullpen options and keep them free, moneywise, for 2014 and Plan 189. Short term commitments to relief pitchers are more than desirable; a one year commitment each to a duo of two great relievers would be downright fantastic.… Click here to read the rest

The Replacements

All five AL East teams have lost significant pieces, many for a majority of the season. On paper, the Red Sox were supposed to be neck and neck with the Yankees in August. I’ve heard an innumerable amount of injury excuses for teams this year, but 12.5 games now stand between the first place Yankees and the fourth place Red Sox.

At this point, it’s obvious that organizational depth set the two teams apart. As fans joked about the Yankees signing and trading for old players, Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Freddy Garcia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki, Eric Chavez, and Andy Pettitte stepped up and became integral parts of the team. This might be one of the most injured Yankee teams in some time, but thanks to the front office, the team was well prepared. In some cases, the replacements have been better than the allstars they’ve covered.

CL Rafael Soriano (1.71 ERA, 2.42 FIP, 9.13 K/9, 29 SV)– In to replace the almighty Mariano Rivera, and then the injured David Robertson, Soriano didn’t miss a beat.… Click here to read the rest

But I Thought The Yankees Always Lost To The Angels?

For a while now, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have been a thorn in the side of the New York Yankees. We all remember the early playoff exits in 2002 and 2005 and we were elated when the Yankees finally beat them in 2009 to advance to the World Series. So even though it’s always seemed like the Yanks have had trouble beating Mike Scioscia’s team, they haven’t lately, especially at home. In fact, the Angels are now 5-15 in the regular season at the new Stadium.

I know, right?

Freddy Garcia, who has been stepping in for the injured Andy Pettitte, may not have had a quality start this time around but he still lasted five innings, scattered five hits, gave up three runs, walked five and struck out four. He did give up two quick runs in the first after giving up a bases loaded, two-run single to Alberto Callaspo and after a wild pitch, got Howard Kendrick to fly out to center to limit the damage.… Click here to read the rest

Beat writing at its best

The relationship between the blogosphere and members of the traditional sports media has historically been a strained one.  Among many old-school journalists, contempt existed toward bloggers who hadn’t paid their dues by going to journalism school, often wrote in a more informal (and sometimes profane) fashion, and made no attempts to feign objectivity toward the team they covered.  On the flip side, bloggers tended (and have continued) to mock journalists for their reliance on narrative and emotion at the expense of empiricism, and criticize them for not making the best use of their access to players, coaches, and management.

Over time, this conflict, while still present, has mitigated somewhat.  A new generation of beat-writers and journalists have embraced blogging and other forms of new media to interact with fans, and have incorporated statistical analysis concepts popular in the blogosphere.  Bloggers have also gotten the opporutnity to contribute to more mainstream publications, getting the opportunity to show their writing chops in a medium with more inherent credibility, and often getting the opportunity to improve their access to the team.… Click here to read the rest

Correction coming for Soriano?

Rafael Soriano has a 2.01 ERA in 24 appearances. (Photo: Getty Images).

Rafael Soriano, interim closer with Mariano Rivera out for the season, blew his first save of the year on Sunday. Entering a 4-3 game in the top of the ninth inning, Soriano allowed a lead-off double to Lucas Duda and a game-tying single to Ike Davis, though the Yankees took the lead and the win in the bottom of the inning. Unable to return to action on Monday with a blister, Soriano did convert a save on Tuesday – his tenth of the season – and maintains a 2.01 ERA on the year.

By all accounts, the right-handed reliever who struggled so mightily in his first season after signing a three year mega-deal has been great this season, filling in admirably for the injured Rivera and for David Robertson. But while, as Soriano says, “nobody’s perfect in this game,” longer term skill deterioration remains on Soriano’s resume.… Click here to read the rest

Six run 8th propels Yanks to series win

This one most definitely had an annoyingly hopeless feel to it, didn’t it? From the get-go, it was readily apparent that Yankee starter CC Sabathia had absolutely nothing. His slider? No. Changeup? Not so much. Fastball? Not in the least. The Braves went up almost as quickly as possible.

After the Yankees put runners on in the top of the first, the Braves put three runners on in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a Michael Bourn single (followed by a Martin Prado fly out), a ground-rule double by Brian McCann, and a walk by Dan Uggla. Certified lefty-killer Matt Diaz then made Sabathia pay for his lack of sharpness by doubling to right and clearing the bases. While Sabathia never fully gained his stuff or command, he battled through seven innings and only gave up one more run (a bases-loaded RBI groundout by Jason Heyward in the bottom of the seventh) en route to his eighth win of the season.… Click here to read the rest