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Wang Becomes Free Agent

December 13, 2009 2 comments

The Chien-Ming Wang era in New York has finally ended (*mixed boos and cheers*). The Yankees decided on not tendering Wangs contract before the 11:59pm deadline Saturday. New York opted to tender contracts to outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitchers Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. The decision basically came down to starters/trade bait. Cabrera is the current left fielder (and trade bait), and Gaudin and Mitre are current candidates for the back of the rotation. Had the Yankees tendered his contract, arbitration would have given him 20% less than his $5 mil. contract for this season.

photo by AP/Franklin II

In 104 career starts as a Yankee, he went 55-26 with a 4.16 ERA in 5 seasons as a Yankee. Of course, his two 19-win seasons were considered his best, and his accuracy was pin-point. He started 2008 8-2 and everyone remembers that one June day in 2008 in Houston when he tore a muscle in his foot and sprained his ankle rounding third base causing him to be out until September. Then this past season came, and he got knocked around and had a record of 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA before he was shut down for the season due to shoulder surgery.
Wang and his agent expect to get offers from other teams very soon, and if it would be from the Yanks it would be for much less money.

Free Agent Spotlight: Jason Marquis

December 7, 2009 6 comments

Let the Winter Meetings begin ! And since we’re on the free agent topic of starting pitchers, let’s stick with Jason Marquis.
Marquis was drafted in 1996 by the Atlanta Braves. His debut was in 2000, and he spent the following 3 years in the ATL. These years were rough for Marquis, as he never really showed improvement stats wise, going 14-15 with a 4.45 ERA. He lost his starting job for nearly all of 2003. In 2004, the St. Louis Cardinals took the risk of signing Marquis and naming him a starter. That year, Marquis broke out with a 15-7 record and a 3.71 ERA in 200+ innings. In his 3 seasons in St. Louis, he gave up 26, 29, and 35 home runs, which is a ridiculous amount. Marquis’ worst year in STL was in 2006, in which he went 14-16 with an awful 6.02 ERA, as the Cards went on to win the World Series. He spent the next two seasons in Chicago with positive records, and this past season in Colorado, where he was 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA; people thought he was the mid-season MVP before his ERA shot up.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Now, the question: should the Yanks sign him? While his career record is 94-83, his ERA is 4.48, which is very high for a longtime starter. His home runs allowed have gone down dramatically since his 3 years in STL. Marquis could be a good fit as the Yankees fourth or fifth starter, definitely not third. His inconsistency can be scary, and you know Yankee fans would jump on him if he does poorly as the 3rd starter. He isn’t a strikeout machine, but he does have accuracy. Another concern would be expecting him to jump into the AL, considering his entire career has been in the NL. He’s 31 years old and has good stuff. Look for a 4 year, $41 MM deal (around $10.2 mil/year) if he should get one.
Marquis grew up in Manhasset, NY, on Long Island. He went to the Little League World Series in 1991, where he pitched two no-hitters in the quarterfinals and 3rd Place game. He grew up a huge Yankee fan, and a Don Mattingly fan. This could effect his decision to play in pinstripes if the Yankees pursue…

Free Agent Spotlight: Erik Bedard

December 3, 2009 2 comments

With Justin Duchscherer being reviewed with his mental problems, we turn to another high-risk, high-reward type pitcher in Erik Bedard. Yes, we all remember him as the guy who was traded from Baltimore to Seattle for soon-to-be All-Star Adam Jones and reliever George Sherrill, but obviously the trade didn’t go so well for the Mariners. Why you ask? Bedard started just 15 games in each of his two seasons in Seattle, going a combined 11-7 with a 3.24 ERA. In 2008, his season ended in June after tearing his labrum, an injury many doctors say a pitcher will never be able to return to true form from. The labrum is the joint that basically connects the arm to the shoulder and allows movement, so you can only imagine the pain. He had surgery in September and returned for Spring Training. In 2009, he left in June again after inflammation in the very same shoulder, and he missed the rest of the year. Note: He has been on the DL 6 times in the last 3 seasons.
photo from Getty Images

So, let us look back to the good old days when he was a strikeout machine. For the Orioles from 2004-2007 (and .2 innings in 2002) he went 40-34 (remember how below average the O’s have been this decade). A 3.94 ERA over that span; 658 innings, 639 strikeouts, including a team record 221 in 2007 (10.93 KPG) and walking just 254 [just over a 2.5-1 K-BB ratio]. He is a career 5-4 vs. Boston, 11-3 vs. Tampa Bay, but only 1-3 at Yankee Stadium as an opponent.

Now, seeing this, do we take the risk and go after the lefty? There’s a chance he could be a stud again, and there’s a chance he could get hurt again. Let’s face it..we need a starter for next year (more like two or three or four). Personally, I would rather go after someone like a Duchscherer, with Bedard next in line. Harden and Sheets (more Harden to me) are too great of risks to take, unless they remain free agents until late in the off-season. But if we want him, we better hurry, his drafter Baltimore is looking to sign him for some good money…

Jeter wins Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year

November 30, 2009 2 comments

*Photo Courtesy of SI*


Derek Jeter was named the SI Sportsman of the Year today. Jeter is the first Yankee in the awards 56 years to win.

Derek batted was third in the AL with a .334 avg, second with 212 hits, and led the league with reaching base 289 times. He also won his 4th Gold Golve, Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron Award, Roberto Clemente Award, and of course passed Lou Gehrig as the Yankees all-time hits leader. Congratulations Derek!

Categories: Dan Reiner, Derek Jeter

Montero and McAllister named Top Organizational Players

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

RHP Zach McAllister and C Jesus Montero were named the Yankees’ top organizational players of the year. Montero had an outstanding year at FSL Florida and Double-A Trenton, hitting .317 with 17 HR and 70 RBI, along with a .562 SLG and .951 OPS. McAllister went 7-5 in 22 starts at Trenton, and had an organization-best 2.23 ERA. In 121 innings, he allowed just 98 hits, 33 walks and 4 home runs. McAllister was called up to the Triple-A SWB Yankees for their playoffs. Both players were named EAS All-Stars this year.

photo from MiLB.com

Also a quick congrats: Class A Charleston RiverDogs manager Mike Williams was named South Atlantic League Manager of the Year.

Yankees Finalize 40-Man Roster for 2010

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

MLB teams finalized their 40-man rosters Friday. Only teams with spots still remaining can partake in the December 10th Rule 5 Draft, where teams can basically steal players from other organizations that are not on their 40-man roster, to give these players a fair chance. In this case, the Yankees filled up 7 of their 8 remaining spots on the 40-man, leaving one empty, giving them one selection in the Draft. The 7 players added to the 40-man from the Minor Leagues were OF Austin Jackson, right hander pitchers Ivan Nova, Romulo Sanchez and Hector Noesi, and 2B Reegie Corona, SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B Kevin Russo; keeping them all safe for another year.

Austin Jackson is now safe, which is most important, because it would ensure him a spot on the 25-man roster in the event that the Yanks don’t sign another long-term outfielder. Note: DH/OF Shelley Duncan was dropped from the 40-man roster, making him eligible to be drafted by another team. After winning IL MVP with 30 HR and 99 RBI, it is likely that we can say goodbye to Shelley.

Minor Leaguers Filing for Free Agency; Who to Re-sign and Who to Look Into

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Key Yankee Organizational Players That Filed

-RHP Humberto Sanchez (AAA) [acquired in Gary Sheffield trade] Good stuff, possible MLB future
-C Chris Stewart (AAA)- Backup catcher, hit .280 with 18 RBI
– 3B Eric Duncan (AAA)- 2003 1st-Round draft choice, a fan favorite who can field the ball and can also hit for power.
– IF Cody Ransom (AAA)- Backup for most of the 2009 season for the MLB Yanks, but also filled in for Alex Rodriguez at 3B for the first month of the season until he hurt his own quad. In 122 at-bats in the MLB in 08 and 09, he has a .230 avg, 4 HR and 18 RBI, and can also play the field.
-OF Freddy Guzman (AAA) [if you consider him a SWB Minor Leaguer, acquired from the Orioles at the ’09 deadline], extremely fast, can cover ground in the field. However,very little power. Solid player off the bench.
-OF John Rodriguez (AAA)- Signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1996. Spent time with the Cardinals, Mets and Rays. Good power.

I would re-sign Sanchez and Duncan, because they still have MLB futures ahead of them.
My Players to Watch that Filed from Other Teams

RHP Clint Everts (*WAS)- Picked by the Expos (Nationals) 5th overall in 2002 draft. Good stuff, went 8-1 with a 1.65 ERA, 68 Ks, 26 BB in 60 IP in the minors in 2009. Just 23 years old.
LHP Rich Hill (*BAL)- With the Cubs and Orioles, a career record of 21-20. Nasty curveball. Would make a good long relief man or spot starter.
LHP Chris Capuano (*MIL)- Another lefty with a good curve. Has been hit by some injuries in recent years, but the Yankees could take their chances. I like him as another long reliever/spot starter.
OF Chris Denorfia (*OAK)- Good all around player, can come off the bench if needed.
LHP Gustavo Chacin (*PHI)- You may remember him as the guy with the glasses from the Blue Jays a few years back. 25-15 in his MLB career, went 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA for AAA Lehigh Valley.
RHP Chad Cordero (*SEA)- Longtime Expos/Nationals closer, led the league in 2005 with 47 saves. Career 20-14 with a 2.78 and 128 saves. Could be a great pickup to pad the back end of the bullpen.
Other players to watch: 3B Travis Metcalf (*TB), LHP Javier Lopez (*BOS), RHP Phillip Humber (*MIN), C Eliezer Alfonzo (*SD), 3B Joe Thurston (*STL), 3B Dallas McPherson (*SF), OF Tim Raines Jr. (*KC), 2B Josh Barfield (*CLE).
*=Former team

How Are the Kids?

November 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Hey readers, my name is Dan Reiner; I did a couple posts late in the season covering the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. I’m a die hard Yanks, Giants, Knicks, Rangers, Sentinels and PSU Nittany Lions fan. Though I am only in high school, I have complete knowledge of the MLB, and hope to someday study journalism in college, and follow my dream to be a sports writer. I’ll continue to write about the minor league teams and players on here, so read up to see how the kids are doing, as well as all of the posts!

Well first off, I’d like to say that DH/OF Shelley Duncan and 2B Kevin Russo were named to the 2009 TOPPS Triple-A All-Star team for their great seasons. Duncan led the International League with 30 HR and 99 RBI, and Russo was third in the IL with a .326 batting average.

And now with the IL season finished and players needing to improve to try to take the next step in the organization, the Fall Leagues come around. I’ve been following the key players in the Yankee organization that are taking part. So..how are the kids doing?

RHP Ian Kennedy (AFL) has 6 games and starts with a record of 1-1 and a 4.74 ERA; In 24.2 IP hes allowed 25 hits 23 K and the key.. just 5 walks.
RHP Josh Schmidt (VWL) hasn’t looked good. 7 games, 5 starts 1-3 4.63 ERA. In 23.1 IP, 22 H and 20 K
LHP Mike Dunn (AFL) has looked shaky. In 8 games, a record of 0-2 4.32 ERA with 1 save. In 8.1 IP, 8 hits but a remarkable 15 K.
RHP Romulo Sanchez (VWL) has looked solid. 11 G 2-2 3.83 ERA 14.1 IP, 10 H, and a very good 20 K with only 4 walks.
LHP Zach Kroenke (AFL) has pitched 10 games. A record of 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA. 14.1 IP 13 hits 12 K and 4 BB
RHP Ivan Nova (DWL), who we saw get a few postseason starts in AAA, has 5 games, 4 starts with a 1-0 record. A 1.05 ERA in 25.2 IP, with just 17 hits 4 walks and 17 Ks is exactly what scouts are looking for.
-1B Juan Miranda (DWL), just joined the league, and in 13 at-bats already has a 5 hits, 1 HR and 4 RBI
-C Jesus Montero (VWL) has been extremely disappointing to say the least. In 9 games, just 3 hits, a .115 BA, and 1 RBI.
-3B Brandon Laird (AFL) is tearing up opponents right now. In 20 games, he has a .313 BA, and is tied for 2nd in the league with 6 HR and 24 RBI
-2B Reegie Corona (VWL) has played 17 games, with a .314, 0 HR and 5 RBI
-OF Colin Curtis (AFL) has played 17 game, with a great .388 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI, and 2 SB

AFL= Arizona Fall League, VWL=Venezuela Winter League, DWL=Dominican Winter League

Look for some of these guys in trade talks or even on the big club come next season.

Minor League Recap (Final Week)

September 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Season Ends- Duncan MVP, Jackson ROY

The final week of the season was successful for the SWB Yanks, after sending up their top players to the MLB. They finished with an 81-60 record, winning the INT North, and will take on the wild card winning Gwinnett Braves, who were 81-63.

Shelley Duncan won International League MVP for the first time.
Final Stat line: .277 AVG 30 HR (LL) 99 RBI (LL) .370 OBP .546 SLG 2 SB 85 R (LL)

Austin Jackson won the IL Rookie of the Year. The 22-year-old lived up to his title of best Yankee prospect.
Final Stat line: .300 4 HR 65 RBI .354 OBP .405 SLG 24 SB

LL= League Leader

The Yankees will have home field advantage, starting away at Gwinnett on 9/9.

*This post was written by Dan Reiner*

Minor League Recap (8/27-8/31)

September 1, 2009 2 comments

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees had a strong week to improve their lead in the division to 3.5 games as the season begins to wind down.

(8/27) Romulo Sanchez probably threw his best game of the season on Wednesday. Sanchez went 7 innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. Juan Miranda provided the offense for the game with his 2-run (78) home run (19) in the fourth to lift the Yanks to a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Chiefs. Zach Kroenke pitched an inning in relief, allowing a run (unearned) and Jon Albaladejo recorded his 10th save.

(8/28) The game was postponed due to rain against the Pawtucket Red Sox; rescheduled for the following night.

(8/29 [day]) The Yankees, behind Josh Towers, shut out the Red Sox in the day portion of the doubleheader. Towers went 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 3. Mark Melancon went 2 scoreless, and Jon Albaladejo saved his 11th. Kevin Russo hit a solo home run (4) (25) in the 4th. Juan Miranda drove in RBI number 79, while Chris Stewart drove in number 16. The Yankees won 3-0. (There was a 2:19 rain delay during the game.

(8/29 [night]) The game was postponed due to rain, and was a makeup for the night before. The game for 8/28 was now moved to 8/30.

(8/30 [day]) The Yankees lost the day portion to the PawSox 5-3 on Saturday in a 7-inning game. Ivan Nova continued to show struggles as a starter, going just 4 innings and getting roughed up for 8 hits and 5 earned, falling to 1-4. Shelley Duncan hit home run 28 (88) and Yurendell de Caster hit number 5 (21). Kevin Russo also drove in RBI number 26. Amaury Sanit and Anthony Claggett combined for 3 scoreless innings in relief.

(8/30 [night]) Shelley Duncan and the Yankees took the game, and the series against the PawSox in 7 innings. Duncan’s grand slam (29) (92) in the 6th gave the Yankees a lead to hold. Jason Hirsh had another strong outing, going 5.1, allowing 2 hits, 0 earned and fanning 5. Edwar Ramirez went 1.2 to get save number 4.

(8/31) The Yankees took the opener of yet another series against the Syracuse Chiefs on Sunday by a 6-4 final. Kei Igawa got spanked for 11 hits in just 6.1 innings, but only allowed 3 runs (2 earned). Ramiro Pena (9), Francisco Cervelli 2 (7), Colin Curtis (25), and Juan Miranda (81) all drove in Yankee runs in the victory.

Transactions: The Yankees acquired outfielder Freddy Guzman from the Orioles for a player to be named later or cash. Guzman will be sent to AAA.

Performer of the Week: Shelley Duncan (.353 [6-17] 2 HR 5 RBI 1 GS).

*This post was written by Dan Reiner*