The Free-est Free Agents

With the new-ish MLB Draft slotting system, teams are oftentimes forced to choose between signing a noteworthy free agent and a few million dollars in pool money. Signing a free agent that received a rejected a qualifying offer requires a team to forfeit their top pick (unless they are picking in the top-ten) – in the Yankees case, that would mean eschewing somewhere between $2 MM and $2.3 MM in the upcoming draft, in addition to the pick itself. To say that that would serve as a detriment to the team’s draft would be an understatement, given the team’s lingering IFA penalty that already limited the team’s activity this year.

Luckily for the Yankees, there are at least a dozen players that would fill the team’s needs for 2016 without any repercussions (besides the whole decline and injury potential thing, but that’s another story entirely) as they cannot receive a qualify offer due to being dealt at mid-season. We’ll known on Saturday what players were offered and rejected qualifying offers, as well.…

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Quick Hit: When, If Ever, Will The Eppler Effect Take Place This Offseason?

We’re a few days away from free agency really opening, so it’s not surprising that the biggest offseason news in Yankeeland is still coaching and front office staff-related.  The Yankees just announced their new pair of hitting coaches for 2016 earlier this week, and prior to that they officially replaced the departed Billy Eppler by announcing that Tim Naehring is the new VP of Baseball Ops.

The impact from those moves won’t be felt until next season, but one move that could have an effect earlier is the departure of Eppler.  He’s settling in as the new GM of the Angels, with a new batch of concerns about building and rebuilding a roster to help get that club back to the playoffs.  Coming from the position he was in with the Yankees, having heavy involvement in both the Minor and Major League parts of the organization, I can’t help but wonder if that may influence some of the moves he tries to make this offseason.…

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Yankees Decline Their 2016 Options, Brendan Ryan Exercises His

As expected, the Yankees declined their pair of $2 million options for next year on Andrew Bailey and Brendan Ryan.  Also as expected, Ryan exercised his $1 million player option for next year, keeping him on the 40-man roster and for the time being in the plans for 2016 as the backup shortstop.

Despite declining the option on Bailey, the Yankees do retain control over him as an arbitration-eligible player.  Nifty little job of contract/team control work there by Cash.  The Yankees very clearly like Bailey and wanted to give him as much time as possible to come back from his shoulder problems and prove he can still be an effective Major League pitcher.  He did the former this past season, throwing 30+ MiL innings and 8.2 innings in 10 MLB appearances.  The latter, not so much.  Bailey posted an 8.31 ERA in his small comeback sample with 10 hits, 5 walks, and only 6 strikeouts in his 8.2 IP.…

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Roster News And Notes: 11/3/15

The offseason still has that fresh new offseason smell to it, but it’s already been an active one for the Yankees as far as the roster is concerned.  Here’s a quick catchup on yesterday’s happenings and a look ahead to what’s in store for the rest of the week.

– Free agency kicked in at 9 AM yesterday, so Chris Young, Stephen Drew, and Chris Capuano are all no longer Yankees.  I think there’s a decent chance the Yanks bring Young back if he’s willing to do another 1-year deal, a miniscule chance they bring Drew back if somebody gets hurt in the offseason or early ST, and negative infinity percent chance they bring back Cap.

– In addition to those 3 opened roster spots, the Yanks cleared 2 more by activating right-handers Sergio Santos and Diego Moreno off the 60-day DL and outrighting them to Triple-A SWB.  Santos refused the assignment and elected free agency.  I believe Moreno will become a MiL free agent this offseason.  …

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Yankees Announce Alan Cockrell As New Hitting Coach, Marcus Thames As New Assistant

After waiting for a while to replace the departed Kevin Long last offseason, the Yankees wasted no such time this year in replacing Jeff Pentland.  As first reported by George King and since confirmed by the team, the Yankees have promoted assistant hitting coach Alan Cockrell to the “head” hitting coach position and promoted former player and Triple-A SWB hitting coach Marcus Thames to Cockrell’s former assistant position.

This was the most logical move in following the dual hitting coach format that the team took on this season, and one I predicted 100% correctly on October 18th (look it up).  Cockrell was reportedly productive in working with the team’s older veteran hitters in 2015 and Thames has earned a sparkling reputation in the organization for the way he works with young hitters, so this tandem is a good fit for what the Yankees are going to look like in 2016.  They’re going to need production from their veteran bats to win games and they’re likely going to try to work in the kids even more.  …

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Quick hit: Happy Anniversary, Joe Torre!

20 years ago today, this happened:


Well, the cover was printed the next day, but the Yankees announced the hiring of Joe Torre on November 2, 1995.

It’s amazing to think of what was to come and how his tenure would turn out considering all of the negativity that surrounded the news of him taking the Yankees managerial job.

Here’s how Torre did, in case you forgot:

  • 4 World Series titles
  • 6 World Series appearances
  • 2 Manager of the Year awards
  • Leading the team to the playoffs every year he was manager
  • 1173-767 record

Was his time with the Yankees perfect? Nope. But he did have a hand in providing a lot of us with many special memories and considering the tone of that back cover, Torre definitely got the last laugh.

He’s now in the Hall of Fame and even more importantly (just kidding) his number was retired by the Yankees and he has a place in Monument Park!

Happy Monday.…

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154 Days…

The 2015 Major League Baseball season officially ended last night, which means the 2015 offseason has officially started.  The clock is already ticking on teams to make their decisions on whether to make qualifying offers to their eligible free agents, and we’ll find out those decisions by the end of this working week.

The offseason being underway also means the countdown to the start of next season is officially underway, and including today that countdown stands at 154 days.  154 days until the 2016 Opening Day edition of the Yankees takes the field at home against the Houston Astros, and presumably gets shut out by Dallas Keuchel for 8 innings in a 3-0 loss.

I’m only half-kidding about that last part.  If the Yankees show up with the same crew that finished this year, that’d be a pretty likely outcome.  We’ve spent the past few weeks since their season ended dissecting that crew, its strengths and weaknesses, what it needs to do better, and what changes have to occur to help it be better next year.  …

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Sunday night open thread 11/1/15

It’s November! How the heck did that happen? Doesn’t it seem like this year is flying by?

It feels like just yesterday when we were all lamenting the end of the Yankees’ season.

Anyway, I figured I’d post an open thread for the night, just in case you wanted to talk about some stuff, like baseball, because that’s actually still going on. Although, the season may end tonight if the Royals win, but on the flip side, it may actually be extended if the Mets and Matt Harvey can get their act together, not make any silly errors, and win which would take the series back to K.C. for Game Six.

Either way, it should be a good one tonight.

So feel free to post your thoughts in this thread.

Oh, and in case you missed it last night, Kevin Millar is really creepy and he freaked out poor A-Rod during last night’s FOX pregame show. Here’s a link to the video.…

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Flashback: October 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Andy Pettitte! On this day, back in 2009, you hit an RBI single and helped the Yankees win Game 3 of the World Series!

Oh, and happy Anniversary to you as well, Nick Swisher! You also had a nice night six years ago in Philly when you returned to the lineup after being benched in Game 2 and went 2-4 with a home run!

And to you too Hideki Matsui, you hit a pinch hit home run in Game 3 to give the Yanks an 8-4 lead.

I was at a Buffalo Wild Wings watching this game with my brother. It was a fun night.

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