Phillies catcher Ruiz suspended for a positive drug test

I realize it’s not Yankees news but here’s the statement from Major League Baseball Carlos Ruiz’s suspension:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has received a 25-game suspension without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Ruiz is effective at the start of the 2013 regular season. He will be eligible to participate in Spring Training, including in Spring Training games.

Some people were surprised to find out that the suspensions vary according to the drug found in your system. Since Ruiz tested positive for Amphetamines and not steroids, his suspension is only 25 games. Still, it’s not a good situation for him or the Phillies.

33-year-old Ruiz batted .325/.394/.540/.935 in 114 games for the Phillies in 2012.

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To Sign Ichiro or To Not Sign Ichiro?

*My apologies to Bill Shakespeare for the title.

There were conflicting reports this morning about the status of Ichiro Suzuki and the Yankees. One report from Japan claimed he signed a one-year deal worth $5M plus incentives while writers here in the States said the Yankees and Ichiro haven’t even discussed a deal yet.

Frankly,...

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Report: Martin is seeking a four-year deal

According to a tweet from Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Russell Martin is seeking a four-year contract at $9-10M per year. Marchand doesn’t think the Yankees would be inclined to sign Martin under those terms and frankly, I’m not sure they would either. Does that mean I think the Yankees won’t re-sign him? Not necessarily. If David Ross can get a two-year/$6.2 M deal as a backup, Martin should probably get more as a starter. Plus, the catcher FA market is thin with only Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski as the other high ticket items and few guys who weren’t starting catchers for their teams in 2012 as the other choices.

Martin as highly coveted as he is – reports have said that he has met with multiple teams – had a rough year at the dish in 2012. Even though he belted a career-high in home runs (21), Martin batted an abysmal .211 while spending the majority of the season under .200.…

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Russell’s contract

A little less than a year ago, I crowd sourced a possible contract extension for catcher Russell Martin. Obviously, no such extension was offered or signed. Now, though, Martin is a free agent, probably the best free agent catcher on the market. The Yankees have seemed to like Martin in...

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Marvin Miller dies

The world is a slightly worse place today than it was yesterday, as former union head and trailblazing sports pioneer Marvin Miller has passed away, according to multiple reports. Miller, 95, is best known for being the man who unionized the baseball players and won their first collective bargaining agreement with the owners. He presided over the MLBPA while the reserve clause was overturned and the players won the right to salary arbitration, among numerous other changes to the economic landscape of the game that made it the sport we know today. He has yet to be officially elected to the Hall of Fame, though that says far more about the Hall’s various institutional failings and the pettiness of the owners who sit on the Veteran’s Committee than it does about the contributions Miller made to the game.

Our condolences go out to Miller’s friends and family, the MLBPA, and sports fans everywhere. We lost a great one today.

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Yankees Interested In Shane Victorino

(AP)

The chance that Nick Swisher returns to the Yankees is extremely slim and there remains an obvious need in the outfield for the Yankees this offseason. With Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner already penciled...

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Pettitte could be close to returning, signing contract with Yankees (Mo too!)

The Twitter machine is abuzz with word that Andy Pettitte could be close to formally announcing his decision to return for another season and signing a contract with the Yankees. Buster Olney reported it first, and the speculation is that the deal would likely pay Pettitte $10-11 million in 2013. Yesterday, Mark Feinsand reported that Pettitte was already starting his offseason routine, which would seem to indicate that Pettitte has a desire to return, and just needed to see how his body would hold up.

In additional news, Jon Heyman passes along that the Yankees also expect to have a new contract with Mariano Rivera in the “next few days.” Combine that with having Hiroki Kuroda (and possibly Ichiro) already re-signed, and a big chunk of the Yankees’ offseason to-do list could be checked off before the Winter Meetings even begin.

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(UPDATED:) Report: Yankees re-sign Ichiro

According to a report from Japan’s Nikkan Sports, the Yankees have re-signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one year contract worth $5 million plus incentives. There’s no confirmation of this yet, but the terms make sense, and we’ve heard since the end of the season that there was mutual interest in Ichiro returning to the Yankees in 2013. Stay tuned.

Update: Or not. Sweeney Murti checked up on the story, and was told that a deal is not done with Ichiro as of yet, but confirmed yet again that the Yankees have “strong interest” in re-signing Ichiro.

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Keppinger has surgery to repair a broken fibula

This weekend, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Yankees were interested in Jeff Keppinger. Today we learned from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that Keppinger had surgery to repair a broken right fibula. The injury occurred after he suffered a fall down some stairs in his house. Can someone tell these guys to be a little more careful in the offseason? Or better yet, tell them all to build one-story mansions to prevent these stair mishaps from happening again.

Of course, I’m kidding. Keppinger probably doesn’t even have a mansion.

Keppinger batted .325/.367/.439/.806 in 115 games with the Tampa Bay Rays this past season and finished with with nine home runs and 40 RBI. The report said that Keppinger is expected to be ready by the start of Spring Training.

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