Well now what?

Sadly, Russell Martin’s tenure as a New York Yankee is over. The Russ Bus has pulled out of the Bronx and will make port in Pittsburgh now after Martin reached a deal with the Pirates last night. This leaves the Yankees with few options in the catching department and I, frankly, have no...

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So…what now?

The Yankees needed a starting catcher. The Yankees had a starting catcher who’s been worth 5.2 fWAR over the past two seasons (and that probably underestimates the value of his pitch framing abilities), and he’s just signed a two year, $17 million contract. Unfortunately, he signed that contract with the Pirates, not the Yankees, as the latter apparently never got particularly close to a deal with him.

As far as the Yankees’ level of interest goes, details are a little sketchy. Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were working in the $12-14 million range with Russell Martin before he signed his new contract, but most of the New York beat reporters have said that the Yankees never made Martin an offer at all, and in fact haven’t made an offer to any position player yet. David Waldstein passed along the most specific detail: claiming that the Yankees told Martin they didn’t have the cash to match the Pirates’ offer.

So that’s really the rub: Martin is going to Pittsburgh because of the Yankees 2014 budget plans (or the Yankees had no interest in him at all and just used the payroll issue as a cover, but that wouldn’t comport with everything else we’ve heard about the organization’s opinion of Martin).

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Pirates Reach Agreement With Russell Martin

USA Today

Goodbye Russell Martin. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pirates have agreed to signMartin. Although the catcher had a weak defensive and offensive year, his pitch framing has always been regarded as top-tier.

There are few other options...

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Report: Martin to the Pirates

Moments ago Ken Rosenthal tweeted:


#Pirates reach agreement with Catcher Russell Martin, pending physical. #MLB

 

Yes, it was a possibility. Reports were hinting toward that outcome but when was the last time the Pirates outbid the Yankees for a player? It’s been a while, if it’s happened at all. And I’m pretty sure the Yankees were left scratching their heads over this decision by Martin.

So who is left for the Yankees to pursue? Mike Napoli? A.J. Pierzynski? And, no, Francisco Cervelli will not be a starting catcher so don’t even suggest it.

The scenarios presented because of this news are actually kind of frightening.

UPDATE: According to multiple reports, it was a two-year/$17M deal. The Yankees offered two years/$14M according to Jon Heyman.

Really? They couldn’t sign him for $3M more?

Thank goodness it’s only November.

And yet another update: The deal was three years/$24M and reports are coming out that the Yankees hadn’t even presented Martin with an offer.…

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Yankees and Rivera agree to a one-year deal

So it was a Happy Birthday for Mariano Rivera and every Yankee fan who was born on November 29. The Yankees and Mo agreed to a one-year/$10M deal.

Jon Heyman was the first to tweet about it:


#yankees and mariano rivera have agreed on a $10M guarantee for 2013. will also have awards/incentives.

This is good news heading into the weekend before the Winter Meetings. Next order of business, making sure the Yankees have a catcher behind the plate to work with all of the pitchers they re-signed this past week.

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Yankees may not make offer to Martin

It seems like every day brings a new twist in the free agency of Russell Martin, but today the news is not good if you’re a proponent of bringing Martin back to the Yankees. George King reports that, with the Pirates and Rangers showing much interest in the Yankees’ incumbent catcher, Martin may sign with another club without the Yankees so much as making an offer of their own:

With the Pirates increasing an offer from two to three years for upwards of $22 million and Texas showing interest in Martin, the Yankees feel there is a solid chance Martin grabs a deal .

“He could be off the board before they get to him,’’ a person familiar with the situation said of Martin and the Yankees, who made pitching an early off-season priority over catching and right field.. “The Pirates and Rangers have needs at catcher.’’

King further reports that, though Martin likes the Yankees and would like to remain with the team, he’s not necessarily going to wait around and let the other interested teams move on to other options, especially if the Yankees are reluctant to offer him the prevailing market wage.…

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Miley named Manager of the Year

Dave Miley has been named the minor league Manager of the Year by Baseball America. Miley led the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees to a division crown and the second best record in the International League despite being forced to play the entire season on the road due to construction at their own stadium, so the award is certainly a deserved one. Miley was also named the International League Manager of the Year for the second time for his work this past season.

Miley has had one managerial stint in the majors, owning a record of 125-164 from 2003-05, with a 76-86 record in 2004, his only full season. I remember that stint pretty well from being in the area at the time, and in hindsight I think Miley was a pretty average manager all things considered. Those were just some untalented teams, and management was in a period of going through managers like socks hoping to placate a restless fanbase, as I recall.…

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Drug testing program could expand soon

MLB and the MLBPA have been discussing potentially expanding the league’s drug testing policy, and now union head Michael Weiner indicates that an agreement on expanded testing  would seem to be on the way.

Weiner says the union and MLB have spoken about adding in-season tests for human growth hormone next year. There also is discussion about making the tests more sophisticated for all performance-enhancing drugs.

The devil is in the details, I suppose, and though I don’t particularly care much about those scary, scary, arbitrarily banned substances, drug testing is something that’s between the league and the union. If the players want more testing and more “sophisticated” tests (which I find to be rather questionable language, but that’s not really my area of expertise) that’s there business. I do, however, find the apparent reasoning for this to be rather strange:

Earlier this week, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz became the eighth player suspended this year under the big league drug program.

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