Greinke, SAD, and big markets

If you only read one thing today (though really that’s a pretty damn phrase, isn’t it: if you only read one thing a day you’re missing out on the world and really ought to be reading more, but anyway…) you should really make it this piece over at Baseball Prospectus by Russell Carleton. Carleton has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and he puts that expertise to use in examining some of the free agents with so-called baggage this offseason. Included in the piece in the commonly held belief, peddled by no less than the Yankees’ organization themselves, that Zack Greinke‘s social anxiety issues would make pitching in New York a particular challenge for him. Carleton’s take? Poppycock:

I want you to memorize this sentence: social anxiety disorder (SAD) is not about being overly sensitive to what other people say about you. Social anxiety is about the irrational fear that you will do or say something horribly embarrassing in front of others.

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Building a worst case scenario rotation

In a perfect world, tha Yankees’ 2013 rotation is all but set. In a perfect world, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte both return for another season on one year deals to form a formidable top of the rotation while Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and David Phelps compete to round out the back end of what should be a point of strength for the team.  This plan is far from set in stone, however, and a good chunk of it is outside of Brian Cashman’s control. It certainly doesn’t take much to imagine Andy Pettitte deciding to return to the land of retirement and/or another team coming along to offer Hiroki Kuroda a contract that the austere Yankees are unwilling to match. So let’s assume that that’s exactly what happens, and try to figure out where the Yankees go from there. We can assume that Sabathia, Hughes, Nova, and Phelps all get rotation spots, but that still leaves us one starter short of a full five man rotation.…

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From A WAR Perspective, Yankees Are In Surprsingly Good Shape For 2013

A little over a decade ago, the offseason was more subjective than objective. During these days, the Yankees would likely look at the departure of Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, and Russell Martin, and figure that they’d need to replace the position with equally competent players. That’s one way to...

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Will CC Sabathia hold up in 2013?

He still makes his way through lineups like a box of Captain Crunch.

The conventional wisdom is that CC Sabathia had his worst season in pinstripes in 2012. That conventional wisdom is correct, but only because Sabathia gave the Yankees...

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Lee MacPhail’s life interwoven in Yankee history

Lee MacPhail passed away today of natural causes at the age of 95. MacPhail’s life work of baseball brought him recognition in the Hall of Fame. But his long legacy also leaves good and bad memories for long-time Yankee fans.

The son of another Hall of Fame executive, Larry MacPhail, Lee MacPhail got his start in baseball working for his father when the elder MacPhail was an executive with the Brooklyn Dodgers. When Larry MacPhail became an executive and part owner of the Yankees, Lee followed him there.

Lee MacPhail is given much credit as he rose to become the farm system director of the Yankees in the late 1940s for many of the World Series champions. Larry might have signed the checks, but Lee and his staff found the talent and brought it along.

His success in the Yankees’ organization led to him becoming the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles who took over from the Yankees as the powerhouse of the American League.…

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Red Sox to sign David Ross

The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a two year contract with free agent catcher David Ross, reports Ken Rosenthal. Ross, probably the best backup catcher in the game, was previously loosely connected to the Yankees, mostly through a bit of speculation by Rosenthal, and would have made a solid Plan B to re-signing Russell Martin for the Yankees, but a two year deal probably would have been excessive from the Bombers’ perspective, given Ross’ history of sparse playing time. Rosenthal reports that Ross will be “more than a backup,” but not really a starter in Boston, which I assume means that he’ll slide into a catching platoon with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

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Rivera throws from a mound, sort of

Mariano Rivera was back on a mound for the first time since tearing his ACL on Friday, but don’t get too excited, he’s not going to be throwing simulated games next week. Via Bryan Hoch, Mo took to the mound and tossed some “prop baseballs” as part of a commercial shoot yesterday. Still, it was Rivera’s first time on a mound in six months, and the Yankees’ closer told Hoch that he felt good about it all the same. “I’m feeling good,” said Rivera. “The rehab has been great; it’s been tough, but at the same time, I’m seeing good results.” And though he said he hasn’t “discussed anything” in terms of a new contract, he reiterated that he’s absolutely coming back for another season. “Like I told you guys before, I didn’t want to go out like that.”

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Kuroda rejects offer

You can add Hiroki Kuroda to the list of players who rejected their qualifying offers. He had until 5 p.m. tonight to decide.

In fact, every player who received the $13.3M qualifying offer from their respective teams, B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Kuroda, Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano, Kyle Lohse, Adam Laroche, and Josh Hamilton, rejected them.

If Kuroda, Soriano and Swisher all sign elsewhere, the Yankees will get draft picks.

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Swisher, Soriano, reject offer

Obviously not a surprise, but now it’s official: Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano have both turned down their qualifying offer from the Yankees, and will remain free agents. The Yankees are not expected to make an attempt to keep either player on a multi-year contract, but they will receive a supplemental first round draft pick for each if/when they sign with another team.

The Yankees are also waiting for Hiroki Kuroda’s decision on his offer. That’s not such a foregone conclusion as the other two, but the Yankees expect Kuroda to reject his offer as well.

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