Report: Trade Talks On Andrus And Ramirez Not Going Anywhere

Everybody and their mother knows that the Yankees are putting max effort into finding a new shortstop this offseason.  The 2 most talked about trade targets for the position have been Elvis Andrus and Alexei Ramirez, and the Yankees have been linked to both players in recent weeks.  Per the latest information from George King, those links don’t appear to be leading anywhere:

“Yet, according to a person with knowledge of the White Sox’s plans, they don’t believe a deal with the Yankees for the 33-year-old Ramirez is any further along than it was at July’s trading deadline, when the Yankees acquired Stephen Drew from the Red Sox…

As for the 26-year-old Andrus, who starts the first season of an eight-year deal worth $118 million this coming April, the Rangers will listen but aren’t in a rush to deal him…

And because they need pitching and catching — perhaps outfield help if they can move Shin-Soo Choo– there is a problem matching with the Yankees.”

Now THIS is a good rumor.  …

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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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Is Something Up With Cash?

Does Cash seem a little different to anybody lately?  Is everything OK with him?  I ask because it seems like he’s been a little… off, so to say.  And I’m not even talking about doing the “sleeping in the street” thing he’s participating in later this week to raise awareness for homeless children, even if raising money for them would be infinitely more helpful than awareness and the Yankees more than likely have a few bucks laying around somewhere.  I’m talking about the other stuff.  I can’t be sure, and if this is another classic Cashman smokescreen then it’s the greatest one of all time, but I can’t shake the feeling that he’s going full Costanza on us here and doing the opposite.

Think about it.  The Yankees have a stuffy outdated silly strict “no facial hair below the lip” policy; Cash shows up at the GM meetings last week rocking a goatee.  Instead of saying the usual, and in this case very applicable, company line of “we’re always looking to improve our team and upgrade where we can” at the GM meetings, he comes right out and declares that shortstop is the top priority.  …

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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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Monday Afternoon Food For Thought: Does Howie Kendrick Do Anything For You?

We heard last week about the Yankees putting in a call to Anaheim to check on the availability of second baseman Howie Kendrick, and while there’s been little indication thus far that the Angels are seriously considering moving Kendrick, he’s a player worth pondering.

31-year-old player going on 32; .292/.332/.424 career hitter; .297/.347/.397 in 2014; inconsistent power, but good average and a relatively low K rate; almost universally regarded as an above-average defensive player by all kinds of metrics; noted Yankee killer.  He’s entering the final year of a 4-year deal that will pay him a modest $9.5 million and will become a free agent after the 2015 season.

There’s a lot to like in Kendrick, least notably the “Yankee killer” status.  To even suggest that the team should pursue a player simply because that player has performed well against them is preposterous.  There’s also the team’s current situation with Martin Prado and Rob Refsnyder to consider.  While second base is a position of need this offseason, the Yankees have multiple internal options to address it.…

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Report: Yankees Had “A Large Contingent” At Yoan Moncada’s Workout Last Wednesday

Moncada Workout 11-12-14

Moncada at last week’s public workout. Courtesy of SA & UACUTE; L MART & IACUTE; NEZ EFE

The announcement that 19-year-old Cuban prospcet Yoan Moncada was officially declared a free agent by MLB created some serious buzz on the international free agent circuit last week.  Moncada is highly-touted, with some scouts seeing him as a legitimate 5-tool talent, and he held his first public workout for MLB scouts last Wednesday in Guatemala.  There were 60+ scouts in attendance, and according to a report by Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com, the Yankees were out in full force.  Here’s the money quote:

“The Yankees were reported to have a large contingent at his workout last week.”

Quick-draw reaction?  Good.  They should have a large contingent there.  They played it safe and missed out on the last few big Cuban free agents, and Moncada comes with a much better scouting report attached to him at a much younger age than any of those other players.  …

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Greg Bird Wins AZFL MVP

He didn’t have as dynamite a regular season as he did in 2013, but Greg Bird put an exclamation point on his stellar Arizona Fall League season by being named MVP of the league yesterday.  Bird got off to a hot start in the first 2 weeks and kept his performance up over the length of the season, finishing with a .313/.391/.556 slash line in 99 at-bats.  He led the league in home runs (6), runs scored (21), and hits (31), and was second in RBI (21). and total bases (55).  Among hitters with at least 70 at-bats, his .947 OPS was best.  He also did this.

Bird has been on the offensive upswing ever since the Yankees moved him out from behind the plate to first base prior to the 2013 season.  He’s still nothing special defensively at the position, but he’s shown an ability to hit for plus average, plus power, and draw a ton of walks over the last 2 seasons, and he’s worked himself into serious consideration for a spot on the Major League roster in the near future.  …

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Back After Another Slow Week In Yankeeland

I made it back safe and sound from my week in Germany yesterday afternoon.  It was a good week, as I expected it to be after my first training trip out there in July.  But to be honest, I was pretty nervous about heading out there again.  Nervous as a Yankee fan.  For the last few years I’ve had a personal trend of big things happening when I’ve been away from blogging.  In April of 2012 I missed A-Rod’s homer against the Red Sox to put him into sole possession of 5th place on the all-time home run list when I was attending a friend’s bachelor party.  In September of that year, I missed the back-to-back extra-inning wins against the A’s participating in a bachelor party for another friend, and I was in the wedding for that same friend on October 13th when Derek Jeter broke his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS.  I was celebrating my anniversary in Madison on April 20th this year when Ivan Nova suffered his season-ending elbow injury, and the Masahiro Tanaka injury and Brandon McCarthy trade both happened while I was in Germany in July.…

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Yankees Shortstop Options

It’s no secret that the No.1 thing on Brian Cashman’s winter to do list is to find a replacement for Derek Jeter. Whether that is a short term or long term replacement remains to be seen. The good news is that it will be easy to improve on Jeter’s 2014 season.

The bad news is that the free agency crop of shortstops isn’t very good and full of players who may have to move off the position. The good news is that there are a good number of trade candidates available, but that would of course mean giving up prospects when the Yankees are trying to rebuild their farm system. Lets take a look at the candidates:

Free Agents

Hanley Ramirez- Ramirez represents what might be the greatest risk of any free agent on the market let alone the shortstop market. His bat is still extremely productive and that is huge in this day and age of baseball when offense is limited.…

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