Yankees Not Valuing Their Own Free Agents

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees may be willing to go to four years for free agent reliever Andrew Miller since it will surely take that to sign him. Meanwhile, they are still resistant to make that same commitment to their own free agent reliever David Robertson.

There are some legitimate reasons for this. Miller will cost less because he has less of a track record and the Yankees would gain a draft pick for losing Robertson to another team. However, should a few bucks and a pick really stop them from choosing a guy with a one-year track record over a guy who has been one of the best players on their team over the last six years?

Starting with Robinson Cano last year, this would be the second straight season in which the Yankees let a great homegrown player go, instead choosing outside guys to fill positions of need. These are the Yankees, they’re not supposed to be letting their best guys leave via free agency with their money.…

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Shopping the Non-Tender Market, or “How I was given an excuse to write about Juan Francisco”

In the wee hours between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the free agent pool was deepened by the walking non-tendered. These are players who, in short, were arbitration-eligible, yet unwanted by their current (now former) teams – unless, of course, you’re the Toronto Blue Jays merely saving a few shekels. The Yankees are no strangers to finding value among the non-tendered, having plucked Russell Martin from the crop a few winters ago to replace and/or depose Jorge Posada (who became the full-time DH that year). It is rare for a team to find such great value among these players, as precious few quality starters are released from team control early, yet that should not stop the Yankees – or any team, for that matter – from trying. And it will not stop me from speculating as to who could be the next big find for Cashman & Co.

At this point in the off-season, the Yankees clearly need a second baseman and/or third baseman, a shortstop, and depth at the corners on offense, and, to be blunt, anything they can get anywhere on the pitching staff (though the bullpen may receive an upgrade shortly, with Andrew Miller expected to sign shortly).…

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Quick Hit: Yanks Make All Of Yesterday’s Big Moves Official


There it is.  Esmil Rogers is officially BACK, baby!  And Campos, Heathcott, and Huff (attorneys at law) have been officially non-tendered.  The last man in the bullpen is in position and 3 shiny, new roster spots are ready to be filled.  Oh, and Chris Young has already been locked up as the new 4th outfielder/mid-season “DFA him because he’s so terrible” candidate.  Just call the Yankees Team Clorox, because they are straight cleaning up this offseason.  It isn’t even fair.

Can I pop the champagne yet?



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Imagining How The Infield Rotation Would Work Without Upgrades (Except For Shortstop)


Photos courtesy of Getty Images, MiLB.com, and NY Daily News

Despite having no starting shortstop, no definite starting second or third baseman, and a starting first baseman who’s physically devolving into a part-time player, the Yankees have made no significant moves to improve their Opening Day infield so far this offseason.  Most of what we’ve heard about with regards to their infield plans involves what they’re NOT doing.  They’re not pursuing Chase Headley as aggressively as they were and they’re apparently not willing to give him more than a 3-year deal.  They’re reportedly not interested in Asdrubal Cabrera or Jed Lowrie, and they weren’t interested in Pablo Sandoval or Hanley Ramirez before they signed.  They’re not making much progress on the shortstop trade market, and there has been virtually no talk connecting them to Stephen Drew.

We’ve become conditioned to expect that most of what makes its way into the Yankee rumor mill during hot stove season is not the complete truth.  …

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Non-Tender Deadline Wrap-Up: Yanks NT Huff, Heathcott, and Campos

After doing the unexpected and re-signing Esmil Rogers to a 1-year deal earlier last night, the Yankees kept that trend going with a pair of unexpected non-tender decisions.  As first reported by Joel Sherman, the team chose to non-tender Slade Heathcott and Jose Campos in addition to David Huff to open up a few more roster spots.  They now have 36 players on the 40-man.

While the decisions on Heathcott and Campos were unexpected, they’re both more than understandable.  Heathcott has been a walking injury problem since the day he signed, and this latest knee re-injury/surgery has him looking more destined to go down as a bust than an MLB contributor.  Campos, who was Rule 5 protected last offseason, missed all of 2014 after having TJS and has had a ton of arm problems since being included in the infamous Pineda-Montero trade.

The good news is that the decision to non-tender those 2 does not mean they are automatically goners.  …

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Report: Yankees Agree To 1-Year Deal With Esmil Rogers

Didn’t see this one coming.  As first reported by Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Yankees have agreed to a 1-year contract with right-handed reliever Esmil Rogers.  Rogers pitched to a 4.68/4.17/4.05 slash line in 25.0 IP over 18 appearances for the Yanks in 2014 and was expected to be non-tendered today after earning $1.8 million this past season, The details of his new contract explain why the Yanks ended up going the other way.  Per Jon Heyman, the contract is worth only $750,00 guaranteed.  It can be worth a total of $1.48 million if various incentives are met.

This decision now gives the Yankees 4 guaranteed arms in next year’s bullpen: Rogers, Betances, Warren, and Wilson.  With Shawn Kelley a likely candidate to receive a new contract offer as well and D-Rob and Andrew Miller dominating the rumor mill right now, that number could grow to 6 very quickly.  The Yanks will announce their decision on Kelley and their other 4 arbitration-eligible players tomorrow.…

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Matthews: Yanks Cooling On Signing Headley

According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, the Yankees are cooling on the idea of signing Chase Headley. The reason? The five-year deal he’s reportedly seeking.

According to a baseball source I spoke with Tuesday, the Yankees are not willing to give Headley five years, considering his age (31 in May), so-so offensive production the past two seasons, and lingering lower back problems, which could lead to surgery at some point over the length of a five-year contract.

So are the Yankees finally learning their lesson by not signing “older” players to “long” contracts or are they just trying to get Headley to accept a smaller deal?

One possibility Matthews also touches upon in his article is that if the Yanks don’t sign Headley they could try Martin Prado over at third base, which would give Rob Refsnyder the chance to win the second base job. Of course, that could be a long shot because Refsnyder has only played a half season at Triple A.…

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Non-Tender Deadline Coming Later Today; Yanks Have A Few Candidates

The next important roster date is less than a day away, as teams have until midnight tonight to decide whether to tender or not tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players.  The Yankees have more than a handful of those guys, albeit fewer than they did at the start of the offseason now that Francisco Cervelli has been traded.  Three of the 6 AE players are no-brainers to be tendered contracts: David Phelps, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova.  It’s the other 3 that will be the real story later tonight.

The 3 players in question are David Huff, Esmil Rogers, and Shawn Kelley.  With 39 players on the 40-man roster and plenty of holes to fill, Huff and Rogers both seem like surefire goners.  Huff has been plucked off the DFA heap in each of the last 2 seasons, so he’s really not a high-value commodity.  The additions of Justin Wilson and Jose De Paula, and the presence of prospects Lindgren and Webb in Triple-A makes Huff far less needed now than he was in August.  …

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Miller Time? No Thanks

Miller vs KC

Courtesy of Getty Images

My response to the news Brad discussed, with some disbelief, that the Yankees are in “serious pursuit” of Andrew Miller: At best, I might be ok with Miller as a break-glass-in-emergency fallback for losing David Robertson. Like I wrote in October, I think D-Rob is easily worth $50m, and possibly $60m, over 4 years, and that’s probably enough to land him. But there’s always some chance some random team pulls a Cano and offers 25% more than everyone else, in which case I’d pass on beating an $80m offer, and settle for Miller.

But if the question is which guy we’d rather have for a relatively similar price (and I don’t view a difference of $2-3m a year as enough to tip any scales), I don’t think it’s even close. Yes, Miller had a great 2013 and 2014. But the peripherals and the consistency aren’t nearly enough to expect a similarly great next 3-4 years.…

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