Mo to start throwing next week

Via Bryan Hoch, Mariano Rivera says his surgically repaired knee isn’t yet 100%, but it’s close. “It’s not 100 percent. It would be, I would say, 95 percent,” Rivera said at a clinic for children yesterday. “By the time Spring Training starts, it’ll feel 100 percent.” Rivera tore the ACL back in early May, and had the surgery delayed by susbsequent blood clot, so the schedule here isn’t much of a concern with six weeks left until pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report (and perhaps a bit more time until Mo is expected to arrive in Tampa).Rivera also said that he expects to begin throwing next week, and anticipates having a “normal” Spring Training schedule.

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Yankees have reached out to Berkman

Via Dan Martin, the Yankees “have been in contact” with free agent Lance Berkman about joining the team for the upcoming season. Berkman, who had a rather astounding bounce back season back in 2011 when he hit .301/.412/.547 with 31 home runs for St. Louis, was limited to just 32 games thanks to knee surgery in 2012, and was reportedly contemplating retirement as a result. Puma is said to prefer staying close to his Texas home, and the Rangers do have a standing offer out to him, so it’s not clear the Yankees are even doing much other than perhaps making the Rangers’ life a little bit more difficult (especially since Berkman is pretty much just a DH who hits better from the left-side of the plate which, though they have an opening for that, is not their top priority at the moment).

Berkman is notoriously not a fan of the American League nor the designated hitter, and with the exception of a few months spent with the Yankees back in 2010, his entire career has been spent in the senior circuit.…

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Dickerson designated for assignment

In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Russ Canzler, the Yankees designated Chris Dickerson for assignment. They have 10 days to trade, release or waive him.

Dickerson batted .266/.352/.407 in 599 plate appearances. He walked a lot, he had speed on the bases and played pretty good defense.

I hope if he does clear waivers and elects to go the free agent route that someone scoops him up. He seemed like a cool dude who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and who stood on the wrong side of the plate. Too many left-handed outfielders, no room in the lineup.

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Yankees claim Russ Canzler off waivers

And now for the most exciting news of the offseason, via Buster Olney:

Yankees have claimed 1B-DH Russ Canzler on waivers from the Cleveland Indians. A right-handed hitter, as they’ve been looking for.

Okay, Buster, I don’t honestly believe that Canzler is the right hander the Yankees have been looking for and neither do you.

So far this Winter, Canzler has given poor Eli Whiteside a run for his money in the “Who can be passed around the most before Spring Training?” contest having been claimed off waivers three times. First by the Blue Jays then the Indians and now the Yankees.

Canzler has a .270/.304/.396 line in 102 MLB plate appearances the past two seasons with Rays and Indians.

Brien: Like Stacey, I don’t really think that Canzler is the right-hander the Yankees have been looking for, which makes it even more interesting that they’re willing to potentially DFA someone in order to claim him. They have a full 40 man roster right now, and thanks to filling the roster with middle tier prospects they don’t have that many obviously disposable pieces there.…

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Counting the Days

Countdown: 39 days

Is it just me or does December seem like the slowest month of the year? Maybe it’s because it’s usually cold, dreary and dark. Or maybe it’s because we’re in that limbo period right smack in the middle between the two baseball...

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Francisco Cervelli is terribly gritty, but mostly terrible

You guys aren’t going to believe this, but someone is praising Francisco Cervelli for being gritty! That someone is Yankees’ Triple-A hitting coach Butch Wynegar, who told ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand that he’d like to have a team made up of 25 Cervellis. The piece is mostly about how Cervelli spent last season working hard and setting a good example for his teammates after being unexpectedly optioned to Triple-A after the Yankees traded for Chris Stewart at the end of Spring Training, but it just wouldn’t be an article about Cervelli without at least gobsmacking exaggeration of the guy’s ability. “There is no doubt he is a big league catcher,” Wynegar said. “My only thing is offensively.”

For the life of me, I have no idea how Cervelli got a reputation for being a defensive specialist, in large part because his offensive numbers (a .271/.339/.353 slash line and 88 wRC+ in 562 career plate appearances) actually aren’t that bad. Sure he doesn’t hit for power, but the average and ability to draw a walk give him a certain amount of usefulness, especially for a backup catcher.…

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No date set for A-Rod’s surgery

Sometime in the near future, Alex Rodriguez is going to have surgery on his left hip, but the exact date of that operation still has yet to be selected. Dan Martin of the Post reports that the surgery likely won’t happen until the middle of this month, at the earliest, and that general manager Brian Cashman would not speculate on a targeted return date for A-Rod. It was reported when news of the injury first broke that Alex would need 4-6 weeks of “prehab” work leading up to the surgery, so this sounds as though he’s still right on schedule, actually.

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A Lot On The Line For Phil Hughes In 2013

How much can Hughes make for himself in 2013? Courtesy of Getty Images

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

After a 2011 season that could only be called a complete disaster, Phil...

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Why I Deserve To Be In The Hall Of Fame

(LERA.com)

All the votes are in, and when the ballot results are released on January 9th, we’ll finally know if I’ve been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. After much anticipation, and six weeks of long and tedious debates, the Baseball Writers Association of...

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