Soriano finds his mark, er, team

Put that next article about how Bud Selig and baseball’s ownership collective have finally figured out how to stymie Scott Boras on hold for now, because the uber-agent just pulled another rabbit out of his hat, and one that will have an impact on the Yankees. According to Jeff Passan, Rafael Soriano has agreed to a two year, $28 million contract with the Washington Nationals. The deal also includes a $14 million option for 2015 that will vest if Soriano finishes 120 games in the first two seasons, meaning that if Soriano is healthy and closing over those years, he’ll not only make more money than he would have by picking up his 2013 option with the Yankees, but this new contract will be even larger than the one the Yankees signed him to back two offseasons ago.

As far as the Yankees are concerned, Soriano signing with the Nationals means that the Yankees will pick up a supplemental first round pick as compensation.…

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Countdown To Spring Training: 28

So, here we are, into the 20’s in our Spring Training Countdown. The other day I focused on a home run total, today I will be writing about uniform number #28.

The easiest thing to do would have been to focus on Joe Girardi and the Yankees’...

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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...

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Ichiro sounds really happy to be a Yankee

The Yankees made an exception to their apparent policy of only signing one year contracts this winter when they agreed to give Ichiro Suzuki a two year deal, and the single season hit king told Japanese media that he feels a “fresh determination” as a result. “It is an absolutely unique team,” said Ichiro. “Being able to take my place alongside such players has been something I have thinking about.”

The Yankees and their fans are now left hoping that that determination leads to continued production, on the level they saw out of him after being traded to New York, as opposed to the level at which he played in his final year and a half with Seattle. At least for now, Ichiro is being asked to bridge the gap between Nick Swisher and their talented trio of outfield prospects, and with age, injury, and diminishing productivity affecting much of the lineup, there’s precious little room for mishaps for this team.…

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Upton and the 2014 Budget

Over the last few days, there’s been a lot of talk about the Yankees trading for Justin Upton and how they don’t mind paying the prospect price, but are wary of picking up the three years and $38MM remaining on Upton’s contract. I’ve long said that a trade for Upton...

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Long already working on Youk’s swing

The Yankees are clearly hoping that Kevin Youkilis can hold down the third base fort while Alex Rodriguez is on the shelf, but more than that they’ve also got to be hoping that Youkilis’ 2012 season was something of an aberration, and that Youkilis can return to being a very productive hitter who can help lengthen a lineup that’s taken a hit due to age, injury, and the departure of Nick Swisher. In the same article in which he discussed A-Rod’s injured hip, hitting coach Kevin Long revealed that he’s already working on Youkilis’ hitting mechanics, and that he hopes he can make major strides with the former Boston star.

“We looked at old film and compared it to 2012,” Long told Dan Martin of the Post. “We saw some considerable differences, mainly in his stance and it looked like the adjustments had an impact. … I think we can get him back to being an all-star caliber player.”

Youkilis had his worst year as a professional last season, and particularly struggled against right-handed pitchers, against whom he posted a wRC+ of just 89.…

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Fixing Youkilis’ Hitting Mechanics

It’s still hard to believe that he’s a Yankee, but Kevin Youkilis is now our problem. Not that he’s a bad player, but before 2012, Youkilis was one of the best third baseman in the game. His regression in 2012, his age 33 year, isn’t something to take lightly. Teams recognized that,...

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On the Money 1/14/2013

For tonight’s show we were joined by Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, who talked about Justin Upton, the messaging coming out of the team’s front office, and whether Yankee fans would rather see Carl Pavano, Javier Vazquez, or an IRS agent in a Yankee uniform in 2013. In the later part of the show our own William Tasker joins us to check in ahead of a crushing defeat for his Patriots on Sunday from the Northern reaches of New England. He sounds off on the Yankees’ offseason, brings a bit of historical perspective to the discussion, and joins Stacey and I for a rousing round of making fun of Javier Vazquez. We also mention the just passed anniversary of the Michael Pineda trade, and my laughably terrible ability to guess the proper pronunciation of names. You weren’t totally spared the effects of my football (and cough syrup) induced delirium either, though I contented myself with a brief musing on the emotional difference between watching football and baseball, and only for a minute or two, I promise.…

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Interpreters on the mound among proposed rule changes

Via Jayson Stark, the owners have approved a trio of proposed rule changes that will now be sent to the union for ratification. The biggest of those changes is likely a proposal to allow interpreters to join pitchers and coaches for mound visits with non-English speaking pitchers. The owners would also like to expand the number of coaches allowed in uniform to seven, in order to accommodate the growing number of teams who are hiring an assistant hitting coach, and to eliminate the fake to third throw to first “pickoff” play. The owners can actually implement that one immediately on their own, but they want the union to ratify it. There’s really no good reason to allow the move, especially since it would be illegal for a left-handed pitcher to do the opposite, and it’s a huge waste of time, so I hope they get that done promptly.

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