November 22, 2010

Yankees Sign Neal Cotts

Via Matt Eddy, the Yankees have signed LHP Neal Cotts to a minor league contract. Cotts, 31, had pitch surgery last year and did not appear in 2010. He had Tommy John surgery in 2009 and hasn't appeared in a major league game since May of 2009. Cotts has spent his career in the Cubs organization and thus worked with, new Yankee pitching coach, Larry Rothschild.

While the Yankees are looking for a lefty reliever, it is unlikely Cotts is that guy. It's more likely that Cotts will fill the role that Royce Ring did last year and reside mostly in Scranton.

November 19, 2010

Yanks Make Offer to Jeter

Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees have officially offered Derek Jeter a 3-year, $45 million contract. He is expected to turn it down just because that's how these things go. Making progress.

November 18, 2010

Notes: DePaula, Miranda

Yes there haven't been posts for a while, but that's just because I don't think it's necessary to report every time the Yankees and Jeter have a hiccup because we all know the deal will get done. Anyways, onto the news:

According to Melissa Segura, the Yankees will sign Domincan RHP Rafael DePaula later today. The bonus is said to be around $700,000. After lying about his age and identity, DePaula was suspended for a year but was cleared by MLB's verification process earlier this year. The 19-year-old DePaula is 6'3" and his fastball has touched 97 in workouts. Here's some video.

The Yankees also traded Juan Miranda to the Diamondbacks for (not Justin Upton) RHP prospect Scottie Allen. This move not only frees up a 40-man roster spot (for someone like Cliff Lee or Jesus Montero) but Allen is probably the best the Yanks could've gotten for Miranda. Once considered the Yankees' future first basemen, Miranda really fell off the radar once Mark Teixeira was signed. According to Joel Sherman, Allen has an improving fastball (88-93) and is developing an above-average curveball. He has good arm action which speaks to his command and control. Plus, dude's only 19.

And to sum up everything else that's happening in Yankeeland: Jeter wants more years and money which makes Randy Levine angry but not really. Will they work it out...(yes). Justin Upton was made available and he has every GM in baseball drooling, however the Yanks might or might not get him. Huge asking price. And King Felix won the Cy Young.

November 10, 2010

Notes: Lee, Jorge, Jeter, Gold Gloves

A few notes from Yankeeland today:

Brian Cashman and some other Yankee brass members flew to Lee's home in Arkansas to speak to the lefty today. While they did not make an offer, at least not yet, the Yankees wanted to reach out to Lee as they did with CC. When Cash spoke to CC, he told him the Yanks didn't go after Santana the year before because they were waiting for Sabathia. This made CC feel wanted and people believe Cash could be using the fact that they were willing to give up Jesus Montero for Lee in the same way. While a deal won't be getting done in the next few days, look out for this one.

Jorge Posada underwent the same surgery on his knee that CC Sabathia recieved earlier this offseason and Brian Cashman has informed him that he will have to battle it out with Jesus Montero in Spring Training for the starting job. It is likely that Jorge will be the Yankees' primary DH in 2011.

And finally the Yankees and Derek Jeter are starting to make some progress, as talks have begun heating up. The two are still miles apart, but they are getting closer and an offer will most likely be made shortly.

Oh and in-case you missed it, Teixeira, Jeter, and Cano all took home Gold Gloves this past week. Gold Glove voting isn't anything meaningful, the voters basically find the best hitter and if he can field decently, he gets it. Jeter should not get the award but the issue that bugs me more is Brett Gardner. By UZR, Gardner was the best fielder (not just outfielder) in the entire major leagues. Does he get any recognition for it? No.

November 8, 2010

Top 10 Yankee Prospects For 2011

It seems like every time after, right before, or in the middle of the season people start publishing lists of their top 10 Yankee Prospects. Well, now its my turn. Here's my list of the pinstripes of tomorrow:

1. Jesus Montero, C, 20

This one should surprise no one. Jesus is the Yankees' best hitting prospect since Derek Jeter and should rank within the top three prospects in all of baseball this year. Montero's been described as having "the best bat in the minor leagues" and this year, he'll be taking it to the show. While Jesus is a clear number one, it begins to get a bit cloudy from here on out.

2. Manny Banuelos, LHP, 19

ManBan started in the Arizona Fall League Showcase and received a glowing report from Keith Law for his performance. Banuelos ranges from the low to high 90s with his fastball, and compliments it with a nasty change and good curveball. What really sets him apart though is his demeanor and his free and easy delivery. Though there have been questions about his height (only 5'10"), the kid's only 19 and is a lefty. He has future-ace written all over him.

3. Gary Sanchez, C, 17

The second coming of the second coming, Sanchez has been repeatedly compared to Jesus Montero due to his insane bat and not-so-stellar defense. What has been more un-noticed though is that some people actually think Sanchez could be better then Montero. Gary hit .353/.419/.597 in the Gulf Coast League as a 17-year-old. He was then promoted to Staten Island where he had a .759 OPS. Bottom line: kid can mash. Plus he has the potential to improve behind the dish. Lookout.

4. Dellin Betances, RHP, 22

It's all there physically for Betances. He's got a plus, plus fastball and nasty secondary pitches. The huge (6'8") Brooklyn native definitely looks the part of an ace and the only thing holding him back is his injury history. Dellin is a Tommy John survivor, but returned last year to put up career highs in 3 very essential categories: IP (85.1), K/9 (11.4), and BB/9 (2.3). If he can stay healthy and retain good control, he's definitely going to be a number one.

5. Austin Romine, C, 21

The last of the Yankees big-time catching prospects and the battery mate to Banuelos in the AFL showcase game, Romine's got the stuff to catch in the bigs. Austin's bat isn't other-worldly like those of Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez, but he can still hit pretty good. Unlike Montero and Sanchez though, the kid's above-average behind the dish. A lot of people view him as either the Yankees' future starting catcher, or very good trade bait.

6. Andrew Brackman, RHP, 26

The final Killer B of this list, Brackman had never put up great numbers for the Yanks before '10. However in 2010, Andrew shot off the line and pitched so well that he earned himself a promotion to the show during September. While Girardi (annoyingly) never put Brackman in a game, it was a good reward for a kid who's worked hard. Brackman's got the stuff to be a solid #2 or #3 starter in the show as long as he can retain his command.

7. Slade Heathcott, CF, 21

The 2009 first-round pick by the Yankees put up decent numbers in his first season in pro-ball, but the Yankees project him much higher then that. Physically, he very much resembles Brett Gardner. Unlike Gardner however, Slade's predicted to develop much more power and could turn into a good 5-tool outfielder.

8. Hector Noesi, RHP, 24

The lone Yankee rep on the Futures World team, Noesi has great fastball command, however he is lacking a real put-away secondary pitch. He's struggled a lot with his curveball, but it definitely could be improved. A lot of people view him sort of as an Alfredo Aceves type pitcher or trade bait.

9. Adam Warren, RHP, 23

Kid has great control to go along with rising velocity. Highlight of the 2010 season came when he struck out 15 (!!) in one game for AA Trenton. Posted a 2.66 FIP in A Tampa and Trenton combined. Possible 2 or 3 starter but a sleeper prospect for sure.

10. Brandon Laird, 3B/LF, 23

Laird is an interesting case because he is learning to play multiple positions. As a third basemen, he holds almost no value to the Yankees other than maybe a power bat off the bench. However, he is trying to learn to play the outfield in order to make himself more versatile and claim a solid bench job for the Yanks. Plus, dude can rake! Laird won the Eastern League MVP despite getting bumped up to triple-A near the end of the season. He hit .281/.336/.482 with 25 HRs and 102 RBIs overall. Named the Yankees' Minor League MVP by River Ave. Blues.

Yanks To "Overpay" On Jeter

Via a report by Wallace Mathews of, the Yankees are prepared to offer Jeter the big-bucks. While they have yet to make an offer to Jeter, as well as all their other free agent targets, "the Yankees are going to overpay him," said a source with intimate knowledge of the discussions. "The question is, how much[?]"

It was reported that the deal will be for three years, $45-60 million. That's $15-20 million a year, about what was expected. Locking up the captain is one of the Yankees' top priorites this winter, as well as signing Mo, and more pitching (AKA Cliff Lee).

November 7, 2010

"What If?" - Cano/Kemp Trade

This is the first post in our "What If?" series. We will be taking a look at past rumored deals and ask what if they went through? What would the Yankees look like today? What would be different?

Beginning in the 2006-2007 offseason, there was a lot of speculation towards a potential Robinson Cano for Matt Kemp deal between the Yankees and Dodgers. The Yankees were desperate for outfield help with Bernie William and Gary Sheffield leaving, Hideki Matsui's legs going away, and don't even get me started on Bubba Crosby. After the '07 season it made even more sense when Joe Torre and Don Mattingly put on Dodger blue. Cano had a very close relationship to both men and people speculated it was the kind of thing they wanted to maintain. It didn't help things when Cano had a down-year in '08, hitting .271/.305/.410.

To all of us at the time however, this seemed like the usual "one young player for another young player" deal and it sort of felt like it was just going to go away within a few weeks. However, it hung around for a while and didn't actually get cut-off until after the 2008 season.

But what if it had gone through? What if Robby had gone to LA and Kemp to the Big Apple? Well let's talk about the very simplest of details first: uniform numbers. Robby currently wears #24 but switched after '06 from 22. Had he been shipped to LA, he probably would be sporting the double-twos whereas either Kemp or Joe Giardi would have to pick another number. But on to the more pressing matters...

The Yankees would be without a second basemen and would probably have to turn to the free agent market for help. Lets say this deal goes down after the 2007 season, when the rumors reached their climax. The best free agent second basemen that year were Luis Castillo, Jerry Hairston Jr., Kaz Matsui, and Mark Loretta. Now, it doesn't take much to realize how bad those four would pan out. Castillo probably would've been the most appealing out of that bunch, and well, yeah...not even gonna go there. Hairston still had some good years in him and probably could've been productive over there at second. As for Kaz and Loretta, they were at the end of their primes and have both become wash-ups since then. Clearly, none of these players come even close to what Robby has given the Yankees and what he will continue to do in the future.

While the trade would've left a void at second, the Yankees outfield would've been much stronger for the time-being. They would have Damon in left, Kemp in center, and Abreu in right. That is a damn good outfield, however, it isn't built for the long-haul. Abreu seems to be done now with '08 being his last real productive year. Damon, as we all know, was a great contributer for the Yankees, who cut him loose after the 2009 season and at the right time. Kemp too has had his struggles, hitting only .249/.310/.450 this past year.

This star-studded outfield would also have many negative effects besides aging players too. With Melky Cabrera in center, the Yankees definitely had a hole, but that weakness had a silver lining, and its name is Brett Gardner. When Cabrera began to struggle, the Yanks slotted in Gardner, and vice-versa. If the Yankees had Johnny, Matt, and Bobby, it's very unlikely that Gardner would get a real shot in the outfield and thus 2010 could've been a much different year for the Yankees in left field.

Having Kemp in the outfield also means different stories for the rest of the fielders we know and love today. Swisher was acquired after 2008 in hopes of having him as the everyday first basemen, but switched to the outfield once Teixeira came aboard. Before him, Xavier Nady was the rightfielder after having been acquired before the 2008 trade deadline. The Yankees got Nady because of the problems in their outfield which wouldn't of been there had they had Kemp. No Nady, means the Yankees probably would've gone hunting for a new rightfielder come the 2008-2009 offseason. Do they still get Swisher? Maybe, maybe not. We easily could've wound up with Brad Hawpe or maybe even Bobby Abreu for at least one year too many. Curtis Granderson also wouldn't of been acquired because there would be no gap for him to fill. The Yankees' outfield today would probably look as follows: Johnny Damon in left, Matt Kemp in center, and Brad Hawpe in right. Not pretty.

So who won this deal? Obviously the Yankees did. They were able to upgrade their outfield to the point where it stands today as one of the best in the bigs. Plus, they were able to do so without giving up the best second basemen in baseball. That is a win by any standards.

November 6, 2010

2010 All-MLB 25-Man Roster

In my last post, The 2010 All-MLB Team, I picked out the best players at each position from last year. Now, it's time to make a 25-man roster out of all that. *Keep in mind that I had to add some relief pitchers in order to fill this all out.

Starting Lineup:

1. Carlos Gonzalez LF
2. Troy Tulowitzki SS
3. Josh Hamilton CF
4. Joey Votto 1B
5. Robinson Cano 2B
6. Joe Mauer C
7. Adrian Beltre 3B
8. Vladimir Guerrero DH
9. Jayson Werth RF

Starting Rotation:

1. Roy Halladay RHP
2. Felix Hernandez RHP
3. CC Sabathia LHP
4. Adam Wainwright RHP
5. David Price LHP


LRP: Darren O'Day
MRP: Daniel Bard
MRP: Mike Adams
LOOGY: Hong-Chih Kuo
LOOGY: Matt Thornton
SU: Joaquin Benoit
CL: Mariano Rivera


1. Buster Posey C
2. Miguel Cabrera 1B
3. Omar Infante IF
4. Carl Crawford OF

The 2010 All-MLB Team

First off, I would like to apologize for not posting throughout this season, I have been very busy and Bronx Rumors has been put on the back-burner. I'm hoping to step it back up now. So on that note, I would like to present to you the 2010 All-MLB Team:

Catcher: Joe Mauer MIN

As far as choosing players go, this one is a no-brainer. Mauer led all catchers with a .327 BA, a .402 OBP, and .871 OPS. Add to that Mauer's .469 SLG and you have yourself the best catcher in the major leagues for the last 5 years.

Runners up: Buster Posey SF, Victor Martinez BOS

First Base: Joey Votto CIN

As easy as Mauer was, this one was very difficult. Miguel Cabrera by the numbers was the best first basemen last year. However, he and Votto are not very far apart. Cabrera's line was .328/.420/.622 and Votto's was .324/.424/.600. The factor that I think really sets them apart is defense. Votto is a superb defensive first basemen and could even win the gold glove. Cabrera on the other hand is one of the slowest, most awkward first basemen you'll see. Advantage: Joey Votto

Runners up: Miguel Cabrera DET, Albert Pujols STL, Aubrey Huff SF

Second Base: Robinson Cano NYY

I don't think I need to say anything other than "step aside Chase Utley, there's a new sheriff in town."

Runners up: Omar Infante ATL, Martin Prado ATL, Dan Uggla FLA

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki COL

Tulowitzki is a player i'd trade for in a heartbeat. He has all the tools. He hit for a .315/.381/.568 line and complimented that with a .949 OPS, 27 HRs, and 95 RBIs. As far as shortstops go, no one reaches his level of completeness.

Runners up: Hanley Ramirez FLA, Starlin Castro CHC

Third Base: Adrian Beltre BOS

This one may surprise some folks, but Beltre really was the best third basemen in all of baseball last year, not some guy named Evan Longoria. Beltre's line was .321/.365/.553, leading the majors in batting average and SLG. He also was the only 3B to get an OPS over .900 (his was .919). Top that off with 28 HRs and 102 RBIs and you have yourself a winner.

Runners up: Ryan Zimmerman WSH, Evan Longoria TB

Left Field: Carlos Gonzalez COL

Just a quick note, because of the insane depth of left fielders and sheer openness of center fielders, I have decided to call Josh Hamilton a center fielder for simplicity's sake. CarGo had a monster year hitting .336/.376/.598 while leading LFs in BA, SLG, OPS, HRs, Rs, Hs, and RBIs. Needless to say, the dude's a beast.

Runners up: Carl Crawford TB, Brett Gardner NYY, Ryan Braun MIL

Center Field: Josh Hamilton TEX

He's being put here because the CF race was dreadful and he played center throughout the postseason. As for my reasoning, try this: he led all MLB in batting average (.359) and SLG (.633) and led all CFs in pretty much every offensive category: BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, and he led in Hs, HRs, and RBIs despite missing about a month of the season. American League MVP right there.

Runners up: Wouldn't be fair to say anyone was even close

Right Field: Jayson Werth PHI

The soon-to-be-free agent had a monster 2010, leading RFs in SLG and OPS while batting .296, reaching base at a .388 clip, belting 27 HRs and driving in 85. Sin-Shoo Choo was close, but his numbers just weren't as good as Werth's.

Runners up: Sin-Shoo Choo CLE, Nick Markakis BAL, Nick Swisher NYY

Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay PHI

What began as a very close race, Doc Halladay emerged as the easy favorite for the NL Cy Young. He was 5th in the majors with a 2.44 ERA, first in WHIP (1.04), tied for first in wins (21), 5th in Ks, and first in innings pitched. You could definitely make a case for Felix, but i'm gonna go with the Doc. Dude threw a perfect game and a post-season no-hitter in the same year!

Runners up: Felix Hernandez SEA, Adam Wainwright STL, Josh Johnson FLA, CC Sabathia NYY, David Price TB

Relief Pitcher: Mo

Choosing Mariano as the best relief pitcher is like the instant replay rules in baseball: a call can only be changed if there is indisputable evidence. And there is none. Sure, Rafael Soriano had a great year and Brian Wilson became crazy-popular with the "fear the beard" campaign, but none of them can touch the mystique that lies in Rivera's hand, body, number, and name.

Runners up: Rafael Soriano TB, Brian Wilson SF

Designated Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero TEX

'Ol Vladdy can still hit. Guerrero had a .300/.345/.496 line for the Texas Rangers, knocking in 115 RBIs and knotching a .841 OPS. He had a damn good year in the DH spot.

Runners up: Luke Scott BAL, Hideki Matsui LAA, David Ortiz BOS

March 21, 2010

2010 Yankees Roster: Mine vs. Actual

I recently read this post and it got me thinking about how I would put together the 2010 Yankees roster. Note that the *s mean the players definitely will be on the active roster when the season starts.

Pitching Rotation:
1. CC Sabathia*
2. A.J. Burnett*
3. Andy Pettitte*
4. Javier Vazquez*
5. Phil Hughes

CL Mariano Rivera*
SU Joba Chamberlain
MRP David Robertson*
LHP Damaso Marte*
LRP Alfredo Aceves
LRP/MRP/SU Chan Ho Park*

Starting Lineup:
1. SS Derek Jeter*
2. DH Nick Johnson*
3. 1B Mark Teixeira*
4. 3B Alex Rodriguez*
5. 2B Robinson Cano*
6. C Jorge Posada*
7. CF Curtis Granderson*
8. RF Nick Swisher*
9. LF Brett Gardner*

IF Ramiro Pena*
C Francisco Cervelli*
OF Randy Winn*
1B Juan Miranda
OF Greg Golson

  • I decided to go with an extra person on the bench (Golson, who is a speed-demon and solid outfielder) rather then an extra arm in the bullpen (Melancon would be my next pick) because of the flexibility of Chan Ho Park. He can eat up innings, pitch dominant set-up relief, or anything in between. I also felt more comfortable having a dedicated pinch-runner (Golson) and a pinch-hitter (Miranda, who I badly want to see in the majors on a regular basis).
  • I don't really want to get into the whole Hughes/Joba thing, but I will give my 2 cents. After seeing Joba and Hughes in both roles, it seems like Joba is better in the bullpen, and, while he certainly was better in the pen than as a starter, Hughes is a more polished starter, with more then a fastball-slider combination. We saw it last year during the playoffs. Hughes began to struggle in the 8th inning, so Girardi instead handed the ball to Joba who took up his beast-mentality. So, to be clear: In the future, I see Phil Hughes as a Rick Porcello-type pitcher, and Joba Chamberlain as the heir to Mariano Rivera as the Yankees' closer.
  • Some people have been talking about putting Granderson in left and Gardner in center, which does seem like a good idea to me. Joe Girardi called Gardner "one of the best defensive centerfielders in the game." On the other hand, people have been doubting Granderson defensively for years (despite this play) and his production resembles that of a corner-outfielder. That being said however, the reason Gardner's not in center is because he could very easily fall into a slump and have to be replaced. The Yankees do not want to see a Marcus Thames or a Jamie Hoffman rooming around in center field and are just going to stick with the security that Granderson brings. Besides, it can't hurt to have a centerfielder that hits 30 homeruns.