Offseason questions: Will the Yankees trade A-Rod?

I’ll be taking a closer look at the biggest questions facing the Yankees in the offseason over the coming days, and I figure there’s no better place to start than with the unexpected topic that’s come to dominate the early offseason. Following the Yankees pitiful offensive performance in their nine postseason games and the benching of Alex Rodriguez in seven of them, the once unthinkable possibility of the Yankees trading their third baseman has dominated the media discussion around the team. There was even a “report” by Keith Olbermann than the Yankees had worked out a deal to send Alex to Miami, but that was quickly shot down, and the Marlins have since traded Heath Bell to Arizona. Yet, the possibility of A-Rod being run out of town unceremoniously continues to be discussed incessantly, so is it possible that there may be something brewing here?

The biggest hurtle to moving A-Rod, besides his full no trade clause, anyway, is obviously the huge remaining balance of his contract.…

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Pushing Back Pineda’s Recovery Timetable To Prevent Super Two Status

There was some discussion in March that the Yankees might hold off on putting Michael Pineda in the major league rotation immediately. By optioning the right handed pitcher down for the first month, they’d prevent him from adding up the necessary service time to earn Super Two status. The idea was absurd at...

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Losing v. Loss: Postseason Pariahs, Viral Anxiety, & Behavioral Sabermetrics

It was meme of the month: even before they lost, the Yankees were lost. They were lost without Derek Jeter. Nick Swisher looked lost at the plate. Curtis Granderson appeared to have lost his eyesight. Robinson Cano had lost his mojo. Joe Girardi lost his father. According to Donald Trump at least, A-Rod “didn’t have a clue.” The Yankees offensive collapse was historic and, as such, inspired hyperbole. “Lostness” was the metaphor of choice, not only on Twitter and the message boards, but, increasingly, in mainstream outlets like the New York Post, New York Magazine, and ESPN. Will Leitch’s conclusion following Game Three of the ALCS included a line which took the trope to its inevitable extreme: “They look lost; they look like they’re carrying their bats upside down.”

Especially at the lunatic fringe, as represented by Trump’s typically opportunist rant, the implication was clear: What the team was suffering was more than just a slump. It testified to some greater, probably moral, failing.…

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Jones blames finger injury for second half woes

Andruw Jones had a rough year, and was especially bad in the second half of the season, hitting just .142/.256/.255 after the All-Star break. Indeed, he was so bad that the Yankees left him off of their postseason roster entirely, even though he had been brought back to the team to carry the lesser end of a DH platoon with Raul Ibanez. According to Jones himself, however, he’s far from done, and blames that second half on a finger injury he suffered just after the break. “I did it diving for a ball against Toronto at home,’’ Jones told reporters yesterday. “Hands and fingers are tough.’’

Jones claims he wants to play for four more years, and at 34 years old that’s not terribly unreasonable if he’s still capable, but I wouldn’t bank on the Yankees bringing him back on anything but a minor league contract for 2013. He simply didn’t get the job done against lefties like he did in 2011, and he’s old and slow to boot.…

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The Big Question for the Offseason

I think that people get too locked into the little details when thinking about the offseason. “Cashman should trade Alex Rodriguez and then move Derek Jeter to third base and then let Nick Swisher go and and then move Gardner to center field and then sign a right-handed power reliever and then find a new...

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The last time the Yankees were swept in a seven game series

Getting swept in the American League Championship Series by the Detroit Tigers in that seven game series was an inglorious way for the Yankees’ season to end. The fact that the Yankees never put up a serious fight after that ninth inning in the first game of the series was unsettling. After such a shocking and upsetting end to the season, I wanted to look back and see the last time the Yankees were swept in a seven game series in the post season. And once such an occurrence was found, see if there were any comparisons or anything to be learned by such a happenstance. It turns out that the last time was in 1976 when the Yankees lost four straight World Series games to the Cincinnati Reds. As most of you know, the Yankees rebounded from that blowout of 1976 to win two straight titles in 1977 and 1978. The circumstances behind that 1976 team and this 2012 team’s post season failure could not have happened to more dissimilar teams and therefore, such a glorious rebound looks far less possible.…

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Does trading Curtis Granderson make sense?

I’m fond of writing “what a difference a year makes” on this site, but in the case of Curtis Granderson you have to ask what a difference a few games make? Granderson had an odd season. He hit a career high 43 homers, but he also had a career worst .319 on base...

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Uncertain outlook for Pineda

When Michael Pineda had surgery for a torn labrum back in May, he indicated that, if all went well, he hoped to be ready to go at the beginning of Spring Training in 2013. Given the nature of the injury, however, that was always a touch unrealistic, and general manager Brian Cashman said as much yesterday. Appearing on ESPN Radio with Ian O’Connor, Cashman said of the man he traded Jesus Montero to acquire: “We have to keep him off our radar for now. … We’re talking June of next year … the second half of next year.”

Given Pineda’s stature and the controversial nature of his acquisition, I have a feeling that there’s going to be some anxiousness to get him on the mound in a Yankees’ uniform, but the Yankees are actually fairly well suited to take it easy with their young righty. They have C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and David Phelps under control for next season, and if they can bring back Andy Pettitte and/or Hiroki Kuroda, they should be perfectly fine where starting pitching is concerned on Opening Day.…

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