Yankees Sign Ichiro Suzuki

Finally. The Yankees have finished wrapping up their contract with outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. The deal is exactly what we thought it was, 2 years and $13 million. Once his physical is completed, Ichiro Suzuki should be the new right fielder for the New York Yankees.

Yankees considered moving Austin backed to third

Well this is interesting: Chad Jennings reports that the Yankees considered moving top prospect Tyler Austin back to third base in the wake of the Alex Rodriguez injury news.

This winter, the Yankees at least considered the idea of moving Austin back to third base, but they ultimately decided to keep him in right field for the time being.

“He’s a better defender in right,” vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said. “But (putting him back at third) is something we’ve thought about. It’s a possibility.”

Austin played third base in 2011, his first full season in the Yankees’ system, but shifted to right field last year and took off on a tear that took him from Low-A Charleston on Opening Day to a cup of coffee with Double-A Trenton to end the season. He drew surprisingly positive reviews for his work in the outfield, certainly better than the scouting reports on his third base defense. He’s definitely a bat first player though, so the defense just needs to be passable so long as he keeps raking at the plate.…

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What’s next? What’s left to do?

Though they haven’t exactly filled the back pages along the way, the Yankees have very methodically gone about keeping some very key players this year, plus signing Kevin Youkilis to replace the injured Alex Rodriguez. A lot of people seem to be waiting for the next big move, however, this year’s equivalent to the trades that brought Curtis Granderson and Michael Pineda to town and seemingly came out of nowhere. While I won’t say that nothing like that will happen this year (though I don’t expect to see it happen), I will note that one impediment to such a move is the simple fact that the Yankees don’t have that many open spots on the roster right now. For the sake of illustration, here’s a rundown of the players the Yankees currently have who would seem to be a lock for the 25 man roster.

Starting pitchers

C.C. Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes
Ivan Nova/David Phelps

Bullpen

Mariano Rivera
David Robertson
Joba Chamberlain
David Aardsma
Boone Logan
Clay Rapada

Catchers

Francisco Cervelli
Chris Stewart

Infielders

Mark Teixeira
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Kevin Youkilis

Outfielders

Brett Gardner
Ichiro Suzuki
Curtis Granderson

There’s a little bit of wiggle room here around the margins (Phelps or Nova could go to Triple-A, different relievers could enter the picture), but the overall picture is pretty much the same either way.…

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Calculating 2012 Offensive Consistency By Team

On Monday, E.J. discussed recent work published by Bill Petti at FanGraphs. For over a decade, we’ve tried to best objectify a part of baseball that Bill James‘ failed to address with his Pythagorean Expectation. Using his method, we use runs scored and run allowed to estimate the amount of games...

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Swisher’s tour continues

After visting Cleveland this morning where he was greeted by his image on the Progressive Field scoreboard and where he was also greeted with a standing offer from the Indians, Nick Swisher, bid adieu and headed off to another mystery city.

Where do you think Swish could be heading? Could he be heading south and west of Cleveland? The Texas Rangers need an outfielder. Or maybe he’s heading way out west and visiting Seattle. The Mariners have been in the mix for other outfielders and Swisher is the best one left in the market.

It certainly will be interesting to see how the other teams choose to court Swisher.

Maybe Seattle will fly a “SWISH” banner from the top of the Space Needle. Or they’ll take him on a tour of the city and out for a nice seafood dinner.

I’m also interested in seeing what the offer from Cleveland is.

(I hope it’s interesting beacuse I’m bored out of my mind by what constitutes as baseball news these days.)

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Tigers listening to offers for Porcello, Smyly

With Anibal Sanchez re-signed, the Tigers have a deep starting rotation to say the least. That, predictably, has led to other teams calling them to inquire about taking some of that pitching off of their hands, and Danny Knobler tweets that that interest the Tigers are “taking calls” on both Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly.

Porcello has been around since 2009 and hasn’t really stood out in terms of performance yet, with an ERA/FIP of 4.55/4.26. That said, he’s actually nine days shy of turning 24 years old, so there’s still probably upside here, and he’s made 31 starts in three of the past four seasons, so he’s already pretty durable, especially for his age. As far as the Yankees go, it’s Smyly who really intrigues me. The 23 year old made his big league debut against the Bombers in 2012, and went on to pitch to a 3.99/3.83/3.97 ERA/FIP/xFIP line over 99.1 innings. His peripherals are also quite strong, though he is a bit of a fly ball pitcher.…

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Report: Yankees not interested in Bourn

On Sunday, Nick Cafardo reported that the Yankees were “quietly interested” in free agent outfielder Michael Bourn. Today, ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews reports that that most certainly is not the case, and that there is “no chance” the Yankees even pursue the speedy center fielder. As Matthews relays, the Yankees don’t like Bourn’s price tag, the fact that he hits left-handed, and feel that they already have a full starting outfield.

We talked kind of a lot about Bourn last night, and while I’m not sure I’m wild about it, there is a pretty interesting case to be made for signing Bourn (for the right price, naturally) and then trading Curtis Granderson, but that’s the sort of thing we can talk ourselves into when we’re starved for baseball action, and not generally the kind of thing that actually happens in real life. So as interesting as it may be to consider the potential machinations, or what the Yankees would look like with three elite defensive/no-power outfielders, my strong inclination is to think that this report is accurate, and the Yankees will not even really consider such a move.…

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The Rangers are interested in Ibanez

Raul Ibanez delivered a disproportionate amount of the Yankees’ biggest home runs in 2012, and now a team that could have used a few of those shots themselves is apparently showing interest in acquiring the 40 year old “outfielder.” Via The Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are apparently interested in Ibanez’s services for the coming season, presumably as a platoon DH/reserve outfielder. The Rangers have a lineup that’s heavily tilted to the right, and obviously lost their best left-handed hitter in Josh Hamilton, so Ibanez would be a reasonably good fit if they can find a place to play him.

In addition to the clutchitude, Ibanez hit .248/.319/.492 against right-handed pitchers, and even filled in surprisingly well in the outfield as a bridge between Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. The Yankees still need a DH, particularly one who can handle right handed pitchers, so a reunion with Ibanez certainly makes sense if all parties are amicable, though I would be surprised if Ibanez didn’t have his fair share of suitors after remaining productive this past year.…

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