Quick Hits: Draft, Boras, Injuries

Jim Callis at Baseball America has a copy of the 2013 Bonus Pools. The Yankees, who have 12 picks in the first 10 rounds, have a total of $7,957,400 to spend on. This amount ranks 8th in all of baseball, behind the Twins, and in front of the Diamondbacks. Most of this money is due to owning the 26th, 32nd, and 33rd overall picks, which should each be worth a little less than $2 million each. The point of this new system is to deter big market teams from spending big money on players later in the draft, and thus increasing the prices of amateur free agents altogether. This year, the Yankees have found a way to match the bonus pool of small-market and losing teams, but at the price of losing Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano.

Scott Boras isn’t very happy about Robinson Cano switching agencies. One unnamed agent had some unkind things to say about Cano’s decision, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Boras’ team that released this, as he has a strong grip over the media.…

Read more

Quick Hit: Ty Hensley Out 2-3 Months After Hip Surgery

If you were getting tired of all the positive news on the gaggle of injured Major Leaguers, here’s something negative on the MiL front to balance things out.

As first reported by George King of The Post, 2012 1st round pick Ty Hensley will be out for 2-3 months after having surgery today to correct a bone impingement in his right hip.  You might remember that Hensley was reported to have an abdominal strain earlier in spring camp, and according to Senior VP of Player Ops Mark Newman this was the cause.

The good news is that this injury has nothing to do with the shoulder abnormality that was discovered during Hensley’s pre-draft physical last year, and with Hensley likely ticketed for SS Staten Island or the GCL it may not have much of an effect on his ability to pitch this season.  But it’s still disheartening to know that the injury bug isn’t done biting in the organization.  Mike Eder will have more on this story later today.…

Read more

MLB Needs To Tweak Free Agency

Almost under our noses, the economics of baseball profoundly changed. The most overt changes came during the 2011 CBA negotiations, where two big developments happened: draconian amateur spending caps were implemented, and a $189 million salary + other stuff soft cap was implemented. But more importantly, the success of MLB Network, MLBAM, and other negotiated TV deals brought scores of millions of dollars of equally-divided revenue to major league teams.

The result is something that looks like a fairly level playing field. Roughly half of MLB teams now have payrolls over $100 million, and several others have the capacity to spend more if need be. Teams are taking that extra payroll room and spending on big extensions for home-grown players. You know who these players are, but some recent monster extensions include Justin Verlander, Joey Votto, Elvis Andrus, etc.

The bloodbath (from a Yankee perspective) week of extensions prompted Jonah at Grantland to declare that free agency is on a “march toward irrelevance.” The 2014 free agent class after Robinson Cano, who may be extended himself, is incredibly weak, and is comprised mostly of players on the wrong side of 30.…

Read more

How Does Brennan Boesch Fit Into This Team?


There was a brief period of time after his signing on April 15th where things were looking pretty sweet for Brennan Boesch.  He had hooked on with a team in desperate need of help in the outfield, signed a guaranteed Major League deal with that team, and because of the circumstances surrounding the rest of the outfield competition, looked to be a lock for a starting spot in that team’s outfield for at least the first month of the regular season.

Then Boesch missed a few games with a strained rib cage, watched as the Yankees traded for Vernon Wells and signed Lyle Overbay, and ended up being one of the final players selected for the Opening Day roster, now in the 4th outfielder spot instead of the starting lineup.  He was on the bench to start Monday’s home opener as Joe elected to go with right-handed hitters Wells and Ben Francisco against southpaw Jon Lester, and there he stayed for the entirety of the game.  …

Read more

Sabathia’s Struggles Due To Control, Not Velocity

The results of yesterday’s start by CC Sabathia weren’t great, but the left-hander didn’t look as bad as the box score indicates. He gave up 8 hits, 4 walks, 4 earned runs, 5 strike outs in 5.0 innings. Allowing 12 men on is not a good way to show the fans that you’ve recovered from elbow surgery. Half of these eight hits came off ground balls, and half of these came off infield singles. If Jayson Nix had held on to a line drive in the 2nd inning, Sabathia might not have given up any of the 4 runs in that inning.

While the amount of groundballs going for hits were unlucky, he also struggled to locate his pitches. His fastball and slider were wild, and without that, he was forced to live off his changeup. The walks are inexcusable, but for what’s only his third start of the year, there was bound to be an issue somewhere. Since Sabathia is coming off his surgery, and his velocity started especially low, there was a subsequent panic over the Yankees’ ace.…

Read more

Opening Day provides clues on approaching Cano

Little, if anything, on Opening Day is predictive. The Astros probably aren’t going to beat the Rangers many more times this year and I don’t think there are going to be many innings when CC Sabathia coughs up four runs at a time. To break my own rule, though, there are things that may give us a bit of an indication as to how something will unfold over the course of the season. In the case I’m about to present, it has much more to do with process than it does with results.

As time has passed and the other big name players on the Yankees have waned in terms of talent or health–think Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira–and with Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson injured to start the season, Robinson Cano is, even more obviously (if possible) the focal point of the offense. And even though there are (semi) brand names backing him up–Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis, and Vernon Wells–they’re not shining like they used to.…

Read more

Olney: Cano has fired agent Boras

Per Buster Olney, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano has fired his agent, Scott Boras. This definitely comes as a shock and out of no where, especially considering that Cano fired his previous agent before signing with Boras. We’ll have more on this situation as it develops.

I’m not trying to speak for Cano, but this could signal that he wants to sign an extension with the Yankees. Scott Boras’s clients generally avoid extensions, opting for the big money of the free-agent market.


Per a Ken Rosenthal source, Cano is going to be represented by CAA, in part because of the firm’s connection to Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment/marketing company:


Joel Sherman tweets that Brody Van Wagenen will be Cano’s primary agent:


Here’s Robinson Cano, from his own Twitter feed, signing his deal:

Read more

Opening Day Observations From A First-Time 2013 Yankee Viewer

CC Sabathia

For those of you who don’t know, I live and work out in Wisconsin, where a combination of geographic location, available regional TV selections, and lack of money/motivation to pay for an MLB.tv subscription leaves me without access to the YES Network and the bulk of the televised Yankee games.  For those of you who do know from reading AB4AR, you’re probably tired of hearing that excuse but whatever.  A nationally televised Yankee game is always like an early birthday present for me, and yesterday’s broadcast on ESPN gave me my first chance to actually SEE this year’s version of the Yankees play.  It’s one thing to analyze and comment on the goings on of the club based on secondhand information like scouting reports and FanGraphs stats; it’s another to actually watch players in action and evaluate their performance based on what you see.  I jotted more than a few notes down while watching yesterday’s home opener.  Here are some of my observations.…

Read more