Building a bullpen without Mo

The Yankees got their first taste of life without Mariano Rivera this year, after the greatest closer of all time tore his ACL in Kansas City in early May. That was supposed to be something they didn’t have to repeat in 2013, but yesterday we learned that Rivera is having “second thoughts” about a return to the mound, even going so far as to share those thoughts with Brian Cashman. Having Mo call it quits would definitely be an emotional and psychological gut-shot for Yankee fans, but would would it mean for the team’s bullpen? Maybe not as much as you’d think.

Now, to be clear, the Yankees are obviously better with Rivera than without him, and the difference between Mo and the guy who would take his roster spot is enormous. The Yankees should absolutely hope that Rivera returns for at least one more season, I’m just saying that it wouldn’t be a catastrophe for the unit as a whole if they don’t have Rivera anchoring them next season.…

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How Much Money Does Rivera Deserve?

(Bob Leverone 2012)

Yesterday, there were some grumbles about Mariano Rivera retiring this offseason. This comes after he stated, “I’m coming back. Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I ain’t going down like this.” There’s...

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World Series Game 2: Doug Fister v. Madison Bumgarner

Despite the loss for the Tigers last night, I still think they have the upper hand in this series. Their rotation has incredible depth, and I’m not sure how much longer the Giants can keep up this offensive luck. Here are tonight’s lineups.

Austin Jackson CF
Omar Infante 2B
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Sabathia has surgery to remove bone spur

When it was announced that C.C. Sabathia would be seeing Dr. James Andrews to look at his pitching elbow, the “comforting” report was that there was no suspected structural damage in the elbow, and that it was thought to be a bone spur. And indeed, Sabathia had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow today. Apparently everything went well, and all indications are that the Yankees’ ace should be ready to go by the time Spring Training rolls around.

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UPDATED: Is Rivera Having Second Thoughts?

An unnamed source told ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand that Mariano Rivera may be having second thoughts about playing in 2013 and could possibly retire this winter.

Now, before everyone begins to have a conniption fit, remember that Mo usually gets the urge to want to spend more time with his family then it passes and he shows up with the rest of the pitchers in Tampa for Spring Training.

Also, in my humble opinion, I really don’t think that Mariano Rivera wants to end his Hall of Fame career with one of his last moments in a Yankee uniform being footage of him writhing in pain and grabbing his knee, on the warning track of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, do you?

And considering how hard he worked to rehab his knee after his surgery, I can’t see him hanging it up just yet. (Let’s hope I’m right.)

So everyone take a deep breath, remember that this sort of story comes out every offseason and that until we hear the words, “I’m going to retire from the game of baseball,” from Rivera’s mouth, to remain calm.…

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Offseason questions: Should Hughes get an extension?

It’s hard to believe this, but Phil Hughes will be eligible for free agency just one year from now. It doesn’t really seem possible given how young Hughes is, and how much development he still has left ahead of him, but assuming he plays in the majors for all of 2013, he’ll have a full six years of service time accrued at the end of the year, making him eligible to hit the open market. Unfortunately, that puts him right in the middle of the Yankees’ financial crossroads.

If you asked most people, I wager that they would assume Hughes would absolutely be a part of the Yankees’ austerity plans, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. Hughes really hasn’t been able to establish himself as a consistent r, reliable starter over the course of multiple seasons yet, and the Yankees had something of a stockpile of young pitching behind him. But now, with Manny Banuelos out of the question entirely following Tommy John surgery and Dellin Betances doing his best impression of Andrew Brackman, a 2014 rotation of only players under the Yankees’ control would be C.C.…

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What’s The Deal With Eduardo Nunez?

Hey! Nunez in the outfield was fun, huh? Courtesy of the AP

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

Eduardo Nunez is a strange case.  He reminds me of a joke that Patrice...

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Ichiro wants to stay a Yankee

My guess is that, if the Yankees had their druthers, Ichiro Suzuki would be their starting right fielder when Openin Day rolls around this spring. According to Joel Sherman, that would be just fine with Ichiro himself. Sherman reports that someone close to Ichiro told him that the Japanese superstar loved his time in New York, particularly “playing in a professional, winning atmosphere.” He also expresses doubt that money would be an impediment to a deal if the Yankees want him back, noting that Ichiro deferred money on his last contract to make staying in Seattle possible.

On the other hand, Sherman also noted that the Giants are likely to have a lot of interest in acquiring Ichiro, and that they tried very hard to trade for him back in July. He also expresses skepticism that the Yankees would really have both Ichiro and Brett Gardner starting in the outfield, as they’re still a team built around power. My guess is that, thanks to the difficulties of complying with ownership’s austerity dictates, that won’t really be an issue now.…

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