Cashman: Jeter will be ready on Opening Day

From bad news on the injury front to good news: Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that things are going well with Derek Jeter‘s rehabilitation from ankle surgery, and that the Yankees’ captain is on track to be back for Opening Day. “It’s all in the doctors’ hands right now,” said Cashman. “But he’ll be ready on Opening Day.” As far as I know, this is the first time anyone in the Yankees’ organization has issued such a definitive statement on Jeter’s schedule, which is a good sign.

Though Jeter hsan’t been cleared to resume baseball activities, he is out of a walking boot and has been running on an underwater treadmill and biking. Casey Close, his agent, says that this won’t be a big deal, as Jeter typically doesn’t begin preparing for Spring Training until late January anyway. “His timetable would have been relatively the same as it is now,” Close said.

Now the Yankees just have to hope there are no significant lingering effects on Jeter’s production as a result of the injury.…

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Don’t Count On Heathcott In The Bronx This Year

No need to rush the kid. Courtesy of

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Prospect huggers everywhere were rejoicing last Friday when they got wind of scouting director Damon Oppenheimer’s latest comments on...

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A-Rod’s doc blames hip for bad October

Joel Sherman has an exclusive in today’s Post with Dr. Bryan Kelly, the doctor who will be performing Alex Rodriguez‘s hip surgery (hopefully) this month. The main takeaway: A-Rod’s left hip is a total mess, and is absolutely the reason that he was so dreadful in the postseason this past season. “I was more surprised that he was able to play at all with a hip that looked like that,” Kelly told the Post. “Most people would not be able to play with a hip function like this and the imaging that looked like his.”

Alex has officially been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left hip and an underlying impingement, and according to Kelly is still 2-4 weeks away from an operation. That’s because the doctors want to treat the inflammation around the injured hip and begin building strength in the leg in order to make the rehab process easier for A-Rod, making a successful comeback more likely.…

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On the Money: 1/7/2013

For tonight’s edition of On the Money, John Sickels of Minor League Ball joined us to talk about his list of the Yankees’ top twenty prospects. Topics included why Mason Williams is just a smidge below Gary Sanchez and Tyler Austin in Sickels’ eyes, the state of the system’s pitching talent, whether there’s any hope remaining for Dellin Betances, and why you shouldn’t get too discouraged by Dante Bichette Jr.’s disappointing debut in full season ball. For the latter part of the show, our own Tamar Chalker joined us to talk about prospects, non-prospects, and idiosyncratic regional weather patterns. I won’t lie, we run a bit longer than originally planned, but it was great to catch up with Tamar as we prepare for a new season, and great to get a chance to talk about the guys who show up in The Farm Report far more often than they do on the top prospect lists. Enjoy

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Yankees not interested in Thome

The Yankees are looking for a DH to help round out their roster, but according to Mark Hale they aren’t interested in Jim Thome‘s services. Thome has always been a little bit of a white whale for me, as his pull-side power profiles beautifully for the short porch at Yankee Stadium, but that ship has probably sailed due to age. Injuries limited Thome to 58 games between Philadelphia and Baltimore last season, and Thome hit just .257/.348/.396 for the Orioles. He’ll be 42 this season, assuming he doesn’t retire, so I can’t say I blame the Yankees for passing on him, even if I am disappointed that he never got to play in pinstripes.

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Yankees to Boras: Thanks but no thanks

So this is interesting news about Rafael Soriano. Bob Klapisch just tweeted:

Told Scott Boras asked #Yankees last month if they’d consider taking Rafael Soriano back on a 1-yr deal. Request flatly denied.

That tweet was followed by one from Buster Olney:

The Yankees want the draft pick/draft dollars they’ll get when Soriano signs elsewhere more than they want him back, no matter the contract.

It’s interesting to me that Scott Boras asked the Yankees if they would consider a one-year deal for Soriano because I take that to mean that Soriano really liked his time in Pinstripes and/or that he hasn’t gotten any good offers from anyone else. I’m leaning towards the latter. I guess opting out hasn’t worked out the way he thought it would.

Earlier in the offseason, the Tigers were a possible destination for Soriano but since then, things have been pretty quiet. So where do you think he’ll end up now that the Yanks have told him “Thanks but no thanks?”

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Changing the Hall of Fame Voting Process

We’ll get the latest Hall of Fame results from the BBWAA this week. We’re all preparing to be disappointed. How disappointed? We’re not sure yet, but the range could be anywhere from mild shock that your borderline PED user HOF candidate like Rafael Palmeiro gets snubbed to, as Jon Heyman speculated in a...

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Sosa is a marginal Hall candidate

When we devoted an entire episode of On the Money to talking about the Hall of Fame, I mentioned late in the show that I regarded Sammy Sosa as a borderline candidate, and that I’d be unlikely to support him over Kenny Lofton or Larry Walker if only allowed to vote for 10 candidates. That got a little bit of push back, both from Mike Bates at the time and others since, so allow me to expound upon my case against Sosa.

First of all, it should be noted that Sosa’ overall body of work makes him a borderline case, statistically, to begin with. Even with the prodigious home run totals and the fact that he was a much better defender than most people probably remember, Sosa finished his career with a total fWAR of “just” 64.1, good for 120th all-time amongst position players, and wedging Sosa directly in between Norm Cash and Bill Dickey on the all-time leaderboard. I’m not saying that WAR should be the end all be all of the discussion, or even a vital part of it, but as far as starting points go, that’s pretty damning for a guy in the 600 home run club.…

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Sickels’ top Yankees’ prospects

It doesn’t get the same amount of attention that the lists put out by Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus do, but John Sickels’ annual prospect rankings may well be the most unique of all of the prospect rankings that come out annually. That’s because, in addition to his own unique perspective and preferences on prospects, Sickels assigns a traditional letter grade to prospects, adding an additional level of depth and context above a simple stacked list of players. He put his list of the Yankees’ top twenty prospects out back before Christmas and, as always, it’s worth a once-over if you’re into the prospecting thing. The top of his list is fairly non-controversial, but there’s some interesting selections in the 8-15 range.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Sickels will be joining Stacey and I on On the Money tonight to talk about his rankings, as will our own minor league editor Tamar Chalker. The show goes live at 9:00 P.M. EST, and can be listened to here.

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