Quick Hit: Teix Gets Back On That Grind

I should hate everything about this story by Dan Barbarisi on Mark Teixeira’s early offseason workout plan, but I don’t:

“Now, a week since the Yankees’ season ended, Teixeira is back at work. Normally he would take close to a month off and shut his body down to recover from the season. But at age 34, he no longer has that luxury; coming off the worst season of his career, he has to make things right again.

‘I’m doing light workouts right now, and when I start hitting the weights heavy here in a couple weeks, I’ll be prepared,’ he said. ‘I’m not shutting it down for a month like I usually do.’”

I want to say this is stupid.  And somewhat surprising.  I didn’t know Teix usually took a month off at the end of the season every year.  If he’s been taking a month off and then getting hurt the way he has the last few years, I should shudder at the thought of him working out already.  …

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The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees (The Bullpen)

Betances vs CIN

The Beast. Courtesy of Getty Images

It was a different kind of year for the traditionally strong Yankee bullpen.  They came into the season with higher turnover and more role uncertainty than they had seen in years.  It was going to be an unfamiliar feeling not having the security blanket of Mo out there for the 9th inning.  His replacement was known and more than capable of handling the closing task.  It was the rest of his supporting cast that was up in the air.  A few roles changed and ironed themselves out early, with 2 more homegrown arms elevating themselves to “plus” status, but overall the bullpen as a group might have taken a step back this year.

Best- The 2-Man Wrecking Crew

The best thing about D-Rob becoming the outstanding pitcher he’s become is the elite level 1-2 punch it gave Joe in his bullpen.  Between D-Rob and Mo, the Yankees had the 8th and 9th innings (and sometimes more than that) on lockdown 99 times out of 100.  …

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Qualifying Offer Price Bumped Up To $15.3 Million

Almost missed this one.  Via a report by the AP on Tuesday, the price for qualifying offers this offseason has risen to $15.3 million.  This is an 8.5% increase for the $14.1 million value for last year’s qualifying offers.

The Yankees have a pair of intriguing QO candidates in David Robertson and Hiroki Kuroda.  Robertson is eligible for free agency for the first time this offsfeason and is coming off a year that saw him replace Mariano Rivera with 39 saves, a 3.08 ERA, and a buttload of strikeouts.  15.3 mil is a high price to pay for a reliever, but D-Rob will probably command a big offer on the open market with multiple big budget teams in serious need of relief help.  The Yankees absolutely have to make him the offer to ensure they don’t lose him for nothing.  Kuroda makes sense simply because he’ll get a 1-year deal on somewhere between $15-16 mil if he decides to stay in MLB for another year and that will most likely come from the Yankees.  …

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The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees (The Rotation)

Tanaka Smile

I’d be smiling too if I had $155 mil in my pocket and kicked that much ass. Courtesy of the AP

From the position players to the pitchers.  Today’s season review post tackles the starting rotation, the foundation of any and almost all success the Yankees had this season.  There was high turnover, from the projected starting 5 to the rookie replacements to the deadline pickups.  That turnover did not come with much deviation in performance, however, and the Yankee rotation ended up being the biggest positive storyline in a season of disappointment.

Best- The Upside

For the first time since the championship teams of the late 90s, the Yankees entered this season with a projected starting 5 that was not only a strength, but potentially one of the best top-to-bottom rotations in baseball.  They had ace potential in Tanaka regardless of the tempered public expectations they set for him, a legit #2 in Hirok and #2 starter potential in Pineda, #2-3 starter potential in Nova, and, if he could show that he had learned to work with diminished velocity and his body held up, the reasonable hope was that CC could settle into a reliable #3-type of guy.…

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Report: Yanks Don’t Have “A Serious Interest” In Yasmany Tomas

Well this isn’t good news:

“According to an industry source, the Yankees don’t appear to have a serious interest in Cuban defector Yasmani Tomas.”

This report by George King cites an anticipated price tag in the $100 million range as the primary reason for the Yanks passing on Tomas, which I don’t and will never understand.  I don’t care how much money they spent last offseason or on whom.  The Yankees still possess the greatest financial advantage over the rest of MLB and they should not be afraid to use it.  If the goal really is to put a “championship-caliber” team on the field, how can you pass on a 24-year-old with grade 70 right-handed power and a plus outfield arm?  Where is that guy in your farm system right now that allows you to say you can’t afford that player?

“What’s that?  Potentially the next Jose Abreu and we can lock him up through the best years of his prime without sacrificing a draft pick?  

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Headley And McCarthy’s Reported Interest In Returning Should Not Be Ignored

McCarthy vs KC

B-Mac says he wants to come back. Courtesy of Getty Images

With the divisional round done and the league championship series starting later this week, the time draws closer to when the Yankees can be active in the baseball world again.  Dom started laying out their list of offseason needs yesterday in preparation for the start of hot stove season, and 2 guys who will be very important in determining how those needs are addressed are Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley.  The trade deadline pickups were among the best players on the team post-acquisition.  Their performances in New York set them both up to earn pretty nice free agent paydays, and given that aforementioned list of needs, there’s a fair-to-good chance those paydays comes from the Steinbrenner checkbook.

The local media has already started covering these upcoming free agent cases and the stance coming from both Headley and McCarthy is that they would want to return to the Yankees next season.  …

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Sizing Up the Market: Second Base

In 2013, Yankees second basemen – which may be more accurately referred to as “Robinson Cano & Friends” – batted .318/.385/.521, with 43 2B, 27 HR, and a 154 sOPS+ (meaning that the team’s production at the position was roughly 54% better than the average). For comparison’s sake, the average second baseman hit .263/.323/.387 in 2013 and, yes, that includes Cano’s robust production.

This past season, the much less catchy “Brian Roberts & the Infinite Sadness” combined for a slash line of .246/.303/.390, with 34 2B, 13 HR, and a 101 sOPS+. All things considered, that isn’t too shabby when compared to the MLB-average of .256/.313/.373. Of course, that line is probably a bit skewed by Martin Prado slashing .403/.413/.661 in 63 PA as the second baseman – but, on the whole, the disappointing production at the position may well have been a result of Cano’s offensive dominance of the position for the previous half decade or so. The defense of Messrs Roberts and Kelly Johnson is a story for another day.…

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The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees (The Outfield)

OF vs TOR

Not pictured: The starting right fielder. Courtesy of Getty Images

The 2014 season review series began yesterday with a look back at the infield.  They were a sad, slow, frustrating group for most of the season.  They didn’t hit well or field well.  The best contributions came from players who weren’t expected to do anything or weren’t on the roster at the start of the season (Solarte, Headley, Prado), and the biggest letdowns came from the players who had the highest hopes/expectations attached to them (Teix, McCann).

While the general expectations for the infield were low from the beginning, they were much higher for the starting outfield.  That group was rebuilt in the offseason, with 2 big outside free agent signings joining an extended homegrown talent to form one of the potentially most balanced and talented outfields in baseball.  It didn’t quite work out that way, as team-wide injury problems prevented this group from ever performing in the roles they were expected to.…

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R.I.P. “Gus” Gotsulias

Friends of the site, as many of you know, Stacey’s dad, Constantine “Gus” Gotsulias, had been fighting some pretty serious illness the last few weeks. Which, understandably, is why you haven’t seen or heard from her much. She’d been too busy by her Mom’s and brother’s sides, trying to nurse Gus back to health. Unfortunately, this weekend (10/3/14), Gus succumbed and passed away. Although, Stacey told me they watched Jeter’s last game together in the hospital and was able to point up at the TV when Jeter doubled in the first inning, before falling asleep before the end of the game.

I’ve been reluctant to write about this out of concern for Stacey’s privacy, but at the calling hours last night, Stacey told me it was OK to post something. It’s worth noting that Stacey and her brother had a tremendous “NY” flower arrangement last night, and her brother James had on display a 1941 style Yanks cap in honor of the year of Gus’ birth.…

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