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Yankees to sign Nick Johnson

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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.

Trades and Signings from Across the League

December 14, 2009 2 comments

Courtesy of Midwest Sports

Lots and lots of news today.

-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.

Andys Back in Pinstripes!

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment
Photo by Getty Images

Brian Cashman was a busy man yesterday acquiring Curtis Granderson, and today he finalized a deal to bring Andy Pettitte back to the Bronx. The contract is rumored to be a one year deal worth $11.75MM. We are all glad to see you back Andy!

UPDATE: 1:38 PM: Brandon here. I like the move for both sides. Pettite gets a ton of money to return to the Bronx and the Yankees get a solid #3 or #4 starter. I was sort of hoping that he would give the Yankees some kind of a discount….but no.

Prediction: Pettite goes 12-8 with a 4.35 ERA. He does not go on the DL at all.

Yankees Acquire Curtis Granderson

December 8, 2009 2 comments

The New York Yankees have acquired Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers in a three-team trade.

Here’s the trade:

Yankees Receive: Curtis Granderson (Tigers)

Arizona Diamondbacks Receive: Edwin Jackson (Tigers) and Ian Kennedy (Yankees)

Tigers Receive: Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from the Diamondbacks, and Phil Coke and Austin Jackson from the Yankees

Analysis: Love the move for the Yankees. The Yankees are essentially getting a better version of Jackson and giving up Ian Kennedy, who has been often injured but still has a bright future, and Phil Coke. Coke is not a necessary piece for the Yankees, of whom have Damaso Marte, Mike Dunn and Zach Kroenke.

OTHER NEWS:

-Jack Curry has left the NY Times.
-Peter Gammons has left ESPN.
-Ivan Rodriguez has signed with the Washington Nationals.
-The Mariners are “unlikely to get involved” in the Jason Bay sweepstakes.

UPDATE: 3:30 PM: Looks like each team got a fair amount in the trade. Jackson will most likely have a solid MLB career, as long as he can get some of his power back. Kennedy will likely be a 4th starter or 5th starter in the MLB if he can heal from his injuries. Coke will make a good lefty specialist for the Tigers.

As for Granderson, with the short porch in right field, he could hit up to 35 HR. Add about 20-25 SB and 70-80 RBIs, I’ll take it. If Jackson can hit better against lefties (.183 Batting Average, .239 Slugging, .245 On-Base) he can prove to be a nice acquisition.

Don’t forget Granderson hit .302 as recently as ’07 and hit .280 in ’08.

Prediction: Granderson hits .268 with 32 HR and 75 RBI in ’10.

Brian Bruney Traded

December 7, 2009 9 comments


Brian Bruney has been traded to the Washington nationals for a player to be named later. Updates to come.

UPDATE: 4:50 PM: Sorry for the late update, I was working when I heard the news. If Mark Feinsand’s report is true, and the Yankees get the first pick overall in the Rule 5 Draft, that is one heck of a deal. Getting rid of an arbitration pitcher that would have rotted in the back of the bullpen for a potential MLB ready prospect…nice deal in my opinion even if it is just a player to be named later and NOT the rule 5 pick.

UPDATE: 5:25 PM: Mark Feinsand confirms it. Great pickup considering the Yankees could have just let Bruney become a free agent.

Photo Courtesy of the Boston Globe. (Left to Right: Nick Swisher, Brian Bruney)

Impact of the Marco Scutaro Signing

December 6, 2009 2 comments
Photo by AP

♫ The Rooters showed up at the grounds one day
They found their seats had all been sold
McGreevey led the charge into the park
Stormed the gates and put the game on hold
The Rooters gave the other team a dreadful fright
Boston’s tenth man could not be wrong
Up from “Third Base” to Huntington
They’d sing another victory song ♫
–Dropkick Murphys

On Thursday the Red Sox agreed to a 2 year $12.5MM deal with middle infielder Marco Scutaro, who spent the last two seasons with Toronto. When analyzing exactly how much will Scutaro impact Boston’s upcoming season one major aspect has to be looked at. Since Nomar left Boston after the ’03 season Boston has had 5 different starters at SS over the last 6 seasons (Pokey Reese, Edgar Renteria, Julio Lugo, Alex Gonzalez, and Nick Green + Jed Lowrie spliting time with Lugo in ’08 makes it 7). Scutaro gives them a reliable SS who now at 34 years old is actually seemingly improving, last season he had the most ABs of his career and put up the best stats. Scutaro’s power is not overwhelming but his 12 HR equal the HRs put up by Lugo, Green, and Gonzalez last season combined. Scutaro may be able to use the wall to his advantage and put up another double digit HR season which would be the first by a Boston SS since Nomars 28 HRs in 2003. Scutaro can also fit into many spots in the lineup and actually started in 5 different spots in the lineup during his time with the Blue Jays (led off all of ’09). He is also a very polished defender who rarely makes costly mistakes in the field. Overall I consider this a very intelligent pick up by Theo Epstein and this could even wind up being a major steal.

Figgins Signs with the Mariners

December 5, 2009 Leave a comment
Getty Images

“Hello Seattle, I am a mountaineer
In the hills and highlands
I fall asleep in hospital parking lots”

–Owl City

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.