Prepare For Aledmys Diaz

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According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees don’t plan on issuing anymore major league contracts this offseason. This is typical for mid-February, but with Stephen Drew still on the board, there is no doubt that many Yankee fans are scratching their heads at their reluctance to pick up another free agent infielder. In fact, last week I wrote about how how the team ought to just spend the money, as Drew’s contract will look like a drop in the bucket compared to the half a billion they’ve already spent. Despite some major issues with their 2014 infield, and the middle infield depth in their entire system, the Yankees refuse to deal with a desperate Drew. But Brian Cashman isn’t exactly ignorant of their infield, he acknowledges the team’s weaknesses in Sherman’s article.

“In some cases we are still looking for positions if we can. The second and third wave is a developing storyline. I don’t have obvious answers for this.

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Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon Jumps To Cano’s Defense

New Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon made it be known that he did not appreciate Yankees’ hitting coach Kevin Long’s comments about Seattle’s shiniest new acquisition Robinson Cano.

In case you’ve been out in space for the past two days, Long said about Cano’s habit of not running hard to first on a routine ground out, “We all talked to him. I’m pretty sure Jeter talked to him a number of times. Even if you run at 80%, no one’s going to say anything. But when you jog down the line, even if it doesn’t come into play 98% of the time, it creates a perception.”

Well, that comment, along with others made in the Daily News story didn’t sit well with McClendon who was quoted in a story on ESPN.com, “Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees.” He added that he was surprised by the comments and said, “I was a little pissed off, and I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way.…

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Crossing the Queensboro Bridge: On the Idea of Masahiro Tanaka

“Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge,” I thought; “anything at all…”
Even Gatsby could happen, without any particular wonder.”

Here we see narrator Nick Carraway and title character Jay Gatsby crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. In the pages prior, Gatsby “cleared up” some misconceptions and rumors about himself and Nick comes away with an idea of Gatsby. The idea, not the man, is the possibility Nick speaks of.

Now that we’ve crossed the bridge of his acquisition, it’s clear that anything is possible when it comes to Masahiro Tanaka.

The idea of Tanaka is invariably familiar to us as Yankee fans. He is the big-ticket “free agent” that has been long coveted by the Bronx faithful. Like countless others before him, we’ve wanted him. Badly. For the last year, his name had hung over the baseball season, spoken in a “low, thrilling voice” that had us counting down the days until he was posted and had us axiously passing time, waiting for hi to sign.…

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Honest Post-Offseason Roster Evaluation: The Outfield

New York Yankees Introduce Jacoby Ellsbury

As it does with the starting infield, the 2014 season marks a transitional period for the Yankee outfield.  Even more than the infield, the outfield transition has been a major one and, unlike the infield, one that actually started last season.  After 3 years of primarily Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher patrolling left, center, and right, the Yankees made the decision last offseason to let Swisher walk and hitched their cart to Ichiro Suzuki.  Ichiro had impressed the front office with his .322/.340/.454 slash line after being acquired in 2012 and he was rewarded with a 2-year/$13 million deal.

The Yanks found out what many of us feared and predicted after the signing, that Ichiro was essentially cooked as an everyday player, and their outfield production suffered as a result.  When C-Grand went down and joined the likes of Jeter and Teix on the DL for the bulk of the season, the situation became even more dire and the attempts to patch up the outfield with Vernon Wells were comical at best.  …

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Presidents Day Open Thread: 2/17/14

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(Picture courtesy of Eric Lipsman)

Happy Presidents Day, everyone.

As you can see from the picture above, Rookie, who will one day take over the job of Trenton Thunder batdog from his father Derby, was plum tuckered out after spending all day in the office with team President Eric Lipsman. Say it with me now, “Awwwwwww.” That is one cute puppy. Okay, so all puppies are cute but Retrievers are especially cute.

So that’s what’s happening in Trenton, what’s happening in that other place that begins with a “t” and is in a state that is a heck of a lot warmer than New York?

  • Joe Girardi thinks that Michael Pineda is looking better. Pineda threw 35 pitches today and Girardi said, “I thought the ball was coming out easier,” He added, “He just looked like it came out free and easy to me. It didn’t look like he put a ton of effort into it, or that he was overthrowing it.” Good news!
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Projecting 2014: Brian McCann

Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News

The Brian McCann signing was one of the biggest bargains of the offseason. He signed relatively early, which made it hard to tell where the free agent market was going, but after monster signings by Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, and Masahiro Tanaka, McCann’s deal pales in comparison. On a 5 year $85 million contract, the catcher offers the Yankees a huge amount of value defensively, offensively, and as a leader.

With Joe Mauer moving to first base and Carlos Santana to third base, there’s an easy argument to make that McCann will be the best catcher in the American League. Yan Gomes and Salvador Perez could give him some good competition, and even Jason Castro could continue his breakout performance, but McCann has proven his value for a much longer period of time. He has some of the best power and best eyes among catchers in the game, and his pitch framing is regarded as one of the best in the league.…

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Quick hit: Do the Hustle

If you thought that Robinson Cano bolting for the Mariners would curb the talk about his not hustling down the line, you were wrong.

In a story published yesterday in the New York Daily News, hitting coach Kevin Long brought it up, again, because we hadn’t heard about it enough already.

“If somebody told me I was a dog, I’d have to fix that. When you choose not to, you leave yourself open to taking heat, and that’s your fault. For whatever reason, Robbie chose not to.”

The article wasn’t entirely negative, in fact, Long was singing Cano’s praises and talking about how hard he worked to get better throughout the years he was with the Yankees. Of course, the one thing everyone is focusing on is the comments about Cano not hustling.

Hey, it seems I’m doing the same thing but there was one positive to Cano not hustling down the line on routine groundouts, no pulled/strained quads or hammies.…

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Quote of the Day: Brian Roberts on Derek Jeter

I thought this quote from Brian Roberts was nice and worth posting, per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

““He’s meant a ton to me even though I only played about five games with him in the WBC as teammates. He’s just always been that guy that encouraged me from the other side. I played against him obviously a ton. One of those guys that early in my career really actually helped me believe that I could play here at this level and play well.

 

“I think it was maybe 2004. I was on second or something and he just said, ‘You can hit .300 in this league.’ That was kind of, to hear it from someone like that, it just kind of opens your eyes. I don’t think it’s just me, I think he does it to everybody, but for some reason when he tells it to you, you think you’re the most important person in the world.

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