The Yankees are nearing an agreement on a 1-year deal worth approximately $5 Million with free agent 1B/DH Nick Johnson.
Johnson was coveted by the Yankees, Giants, and Mariners.
Johnson was a former Yankee that was traded away along with Randy Choate and Juan Rivera for Javier Vazquez back in 2003. The Yankees drafted Johnson in 1996.
Johnson, whose .426 OBP this year leads all free agents, was wanted by the Yankees mainly for the great On Base Percentage, the fact that he hits well against lefties, and the fact that he is a lefty-hitter himself. With Matsui gone and Damon probably leaving, this was the Yankees big chance to sign a lefty-hitter.
INSTANT ANALYSIS: Since it is a one-year deal, I like it. Even if Johnson is injury-prone, he still puts up good numbers when he plays. This move allows the Yankees to stick the Melky/Gardner combo in left.
-BIG trade today. The Phillies acquire Roy Halladay, the Mariners acquire Cliff Lee, and the Blue Jays acquire a boatload of prospects. Updates as they come.
INSTANT ANALYSIS: I don’t really think the Phillies are winners in the trade. Sure, Halladay is better than Lee but not by a landslide and the trade is essentially Cliff Lee and a few top prospects for Roy Halladay AND a 3 year $60M contract.
-Red Sox sign John Lackey to a 5 year $85 Million contract.
INSTANT ANALYSIS: I really am not just saying this because I am a Yankees fan, but I dislike this move in an enormous way for the Red Sox. 5 years for an injury-prone pitcher? More than Burnett? Sure, Lackey is a clutch pitcher but he should not be getting paid that much.
-Angels sign Hideki Matsui to a 1-Year deal.
INSTANT ANALYSIS: This came as a surprise to me. He is essentially the new Vlad Guerrero for the Angels. I like the move but it all depends on the amount he is getting paid. He will be missed in New York.
HOW ALL THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE YANKEES:
-Roy Halladay is out of the AL East!
-The Yankees have to deal with Lackey in the AL East, however, and also the fact that they do not have much leverage on free agent pitchers.
-The Yankees have much less leverage on Johnny Damon. Hideki Matsui was basically the second-option for the Yankees. He is now gone.
UPDATE: 6:50 PM: Do you know the answer to this? (Hint: do not look in comments or you will find the correct answer, 99% sure)
UPDATE: 9:55 PM: Hideki Matsui signed for a 1 year $6.5M deal. Mike Cameron signed with the Boston Red Sox.
“Hello Seattle, I am a mountaineer
In the hills and highlands
I fall asleep in hospital parking lots”
I don’t know if Chone Figgins falls asleep in parking lots but I do know Mr. Figgins is now a member of the Seattle Mariners. Figgins has signed a 4 year $36MM preliminary deal with Seattle. Not a huge change of scenery for Figgins, a new town, a new jersey, and a lesser club, but he will be playing the same opponents he always face with the Angels (except now he gets to verse his old club). In his career Figgins has hit over .290 and averages 48 SB per year and is a sparkplug to the Seattle lineup behind the biggest sparkplug in baseball, Ichiro. Figgins will be replacing Adrain Beltre, who posted five decent seasons in a Mariner uniform. Seattle is the 3rd organization Figgins will play for after spending about five years in the Rockies System, and all his time with the Angels. Im sure Angel fans will miss him greatly and he will get an overwhelming reception when he returns to Angel Stadium this coming season.
Many teams have been linked to top free-agent pitcher John Lackey. Among those are the Mets, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and, of course, the Yankees.
Last year I pleaded to the Yankees that they should NOT sign A.J. Burnett. I was wrong so far and I will admit that.
What Yankees fans should be afraid of is that the Yankees could be paying their third starter equally or more than their second starter. While the rotation would be great for the upcoming years and the Yankees do have the money, why not spend the money on various holes, rather than one?
John Lackey was 11-8 with a 3.83 ERA last year. His career ERA is 3.81. Those are some average numbers for someone commanding $82M or more. Meanwhile, Lackey is also an injury risk having pitched in less than 30 games each of the last two seasons.
The Yankees can use that $82M over the next five seasons ($16.4M per year) and sign either a top outfielder (Jason Bay or Matt Holliday) OR one pitcher (Rich Harden, Jason Marquis, Erik Bedard, Justin Duchscherer) AND one outfielder (Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Marlon Byrd, Jermaine Dye)
Don’t you think you would rather have the latter of the two? Thoughts? Send em’ along in the comments.
1. Joe Mauer C- Minnesota Twins
2. Derek Jeter SS- New York Yankees
3. Mark Teixeira 1B- New York Yankees
4. Kendry Morales 1B- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
5. Kevin Youkillis 1B- Boston Red Sox
6. Ben Zobrist SS- Tampa Bay Rays
7. Alex Rodriguez 3B- New York Yankees
8. Michael Young SS- Texas Rangers
9. Aaron Hill 2B- Toronto Blue Jays
10. Ichiro CF- Seattle Mariners
Big question: Why no Miguel Cabrera?
You may have heard that he had a fight with his wife the night before one of the last games of the season. He was busy getting drunk while the rest of the teammates were working hard to make the playoffs. I don’t care about stats, that is the poorest excuse of a teammate I have ever seen and that shows no respect for your teammates or your team. No value in that at all.
All I have been hearing for the last couple of days is that this is completely like the 2004 collapse and that the Yankees are gonna blow it again. Really? In 2004 did the Yankees have CC Sabathia? Mark Teixeira? Was Alex Rodriguez actually clutch? This is nothing like 2004. The Yankees pitching is much improved and the Yankees hitting is equal if not better. All the Yankees need is one more win and they are in the World Series, just like in 2004. In 2004 the Yankees were playing the Redsox, not the Angels. In 2004 the Yankees had Javier Vazquez pitching in game 7, not CC Sabathia.
This is nothing like 2004. Even if the Yankees do lose the series, it is nothing like 2004. Not at all.
Ok I wasn’t supposed to post anything today based on my schedule but you know what I don’t care. A video has surfaced on the internet that accuses Mariano Rivera of cheating. It says that he spit on the ball to get the three outs in yesterdays game.
A. Mariano Rivera wouldn’t cheat. He got his powers (yes he is a superhero) from a freak accident as reported by Sports Illustrated.
B. The accusers are BLOG WRITERS who blog guess who? The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
C. No one would even consider for a second that Mariano Rivera would do this AND he was facing the umpires (outfield and 2nd base) when he did this so called action.
D. He spit. So what? 99.9% of baseball players spit during the game. Rivera just happened to spit near the ball.
This isn’t a newsworthy story. This blog doesn’t deserve publicity and the video should be erased. MLB has investigated and found no evidence. I guarantee you if you ask any person with any remote knowledge of baseball you will find out that Mariano Rivera is the classiest player in baseball. He did not speak to reporters after blowing a save one day…..what happened the next day? He apologized, spoke to reporters, and said he had a family matter to take care of.
If the Angels bloggers feel any bit better for writing this garbage story that doesn’t deserve to be linked to by me, great for them.
This is a pathetic situation that should not be taking up your time but I am writing about it because I am furious that someone would accuse the best closer of all time of cheating the game.
Its a cutter. A cutter involves movement. It’s a spit. People spit. It was near the ball OH NO. Grow up and write a reasonable story next time that maybe-just maybe-will have an ounce of credibility.
UPDATE 4:43 THANK YOU! SOMEONE GETS IT!