Around the Horn: Jeter, Lee, Vazquez

Although the offseason has not been very exciting yet, I would expect that to change within the next few weeks so let’s try to sum up what’s happened so far, regarding the Yankees.

  • The negotiations with Derek Jeter have apparantly soured. The Yankees have likely made a contract offer of 3 years worth $45 million, an acceptable overpay in my opinion, and are even willing to up the offer to somewhere within the range of 3 years worth $50 million according to Jon Heyman. The latest news is that Jeter desires a contract for 4 to 5 years worth $23-24 million a year. I have no doubt that any team would offer him such a contract, and perhaps no team would even offer him the 3/45 contract. If Jeter’s agent Casey Close, a horrible lawyer in name, does not make his asking price a little more reasonable, I could easily see these negotiations stretching in January.
  • Cliff Lee has been reportedly shopping around to several teams this winter, but nothing has yet to come of it. But according to Buster Olney, the Lee talks are expected to heat up next week with the winter meetings coming up. Buckle up!
  • Javier Vazquez has agreed to a one year deal worth $7 million with the Florida Marlins. I would not be surprised to see him have a good season, I don’t know why he couldn’t keep it together with the Yankees, and I still don’t buy the ‘he can’t handle New York’ storyline. Oh well, I guess some things are not meant to be.
  • Jonathan Albaladejo will be playing next season with the Yomiuri Giants, Hideki Matsui’s old team, after requesting to be released by the Yankees. I, for one, was looking forward to the chance that he would finally get the opportunity to impact the Yankees next season, but fortunately the Yankees have been compensated with $1.2 million by the Giants.
Advertisements

Around the Horn: Call-ups, Javy, Jeter, Ted Lilly…

A few interesting items to cover during this edition of Around the Horn.

  • As reported last night, Jonathan Albaladejo, Chad Moeller, and Greg Golson have been called up as “September call-ups”. Furthermore, Lance Berkman has been activated. That’s gives Joe Girardi four new players to manage with, and more should be on their way, especially after the minor league playoffs are finished. Despite the hate he gets from many Yankee fans, Berkman should be a nice addition to this team, and when/if Marcus Thames cools down, “The Big Puma” should be able to get regular at bats at the DH position. I look for Jon Albaladejo to possibly have a huge impact with this team. I would say more about Albie, but Mike Axisa of RAB already has it covered with a post about the righty reliever.
  • After two very good relief appearances following his removal from the starting rotation, Javier Vazquez will be returning to the rotation. Earlier today Joe Girardi told reporters that Javy would be taking Dustin Moseley’s spot in the rotation and will be starting on Saturday. This seems like the perfect time to do this because Javy has been pitching well lately, and unfortunately it looks like the real Dustin Moseley has shown up.
  • We all know Derek Jeter has struggled immensely this year. It hasn’t become a huge issue yet for several reasons, a couple of them being that Derek Jeter is well, Derek Jeter, and the Yankees are winning without his contributions. The issue was, however, brought up during a pregame session with Joe Girardi today. Via Chad Jennings, we learn if Joe has considered moving Jeter down in the lineup, a move I would fully advocate for and support. Unfortunately, Girardi’s answer was, “I don’t see that happening.” Sure, it’s not a huge deal now to have Jeter at the top of the lineup, but when the postseason rolls around will the Yankees still be set to having Jeter at the top of the lineup if his struggles continue? I’m not so sure I would be comfortable with him up there. I love Jeter as much as the next guy, but I really would like to something done. If his name wasn’t “Derek Jeter” he’d be batting eight or ninth for the Yankees now. If the Yankees don’t have the guts to move him down in the lineup, will they have the guts to offer him a reasonable contract this offseason? Or will they overpay him for his past performances? I can only imagine.
  • Last night we got news that the Yankees won the waiver claim for Dodgers pitcher, and former Yankee, Ted Lilly, but the Dodgers pulled Lilly off waivers. Oh well, end of story. But wait, there’s more! The rules state that in order for a player to be eligible for the playoffs they have to be in the organization before September 1st, so while the Yankees could technically still acquire Ted Lilly, he wouldn’t be able to pitch in the playoffs. Here’s where it gets interesting. According to a Daily News report, the Yankees believe that because they had a waiver claim in for Lilly before September 1st, there is a loophole which would allow Lilly to pitch in the playoffs if they were to acquire him. Interesting. I don’t know what to make of it, so let’s just wait and see.
  • Alfredo Aceves has been on a rehab assignment in the minors for a while now, but has yet to be called up. Joe Girardi said, “he’s just not up to where we believe he can be yet [performance-wise].” Back problems are a tricky thing to recover from.
  • The Arizona Fall League rosters were recently announced, and Frankie Piliere says the Yankees will be sending Austin Romine, Brandon Laird, Corban Joseph, Craig Heyer, and George Kontos to Arizona this year. He also says there are a couple of open roster spots, so the Yankees could opt to send more players.

2010 September Call-ups

It’s that time again. In a few hours the calendar will turn to the month of September and for baseball that means roster expansions. All teams will be able to carry their entire 40-man roster at the major league level, not that any team will. But, there will be call-ups. There has been much speculation as to who the Yankees will call up. Perhaps the biggest question has been whether Jesus Montero will get a taste of the majors in 2010? All along I’ve thought the answer would be no because Montero is not on the 40-man roster and he’s probably better off getting playing time with Scranton rather than riding the bench in the majors. Chad Jennings all but confirms that Montero will not be called up tomorrow with reports that Greg Golson, Jonathan Albaladejo, and Chad Moeller are on their way to New York. Jennings says nothing is official, but I tend to feel that these three players will be heading to the Bronx. And with Moeller, a catcher, being called up, I think anybody who wanted to see Montero in the majors this year will have to wait. In addition, Lance Berkman is expected to rejoin the team after playing two rehab games in Trenton. More to come later on September call-ups.

Albaladejo to join Yankee bullpen

Jack Curry reports that right handed reliever Jonathan Albaladejo will be called up today when Andy Pettitte is placed on the D.L. I’ve been waiting for this move for a long time as it just seemed inevitable. In fact, I was starting to get annoyed that the Yankees had not called him up earlier. However, all is well now. Hopefully he can stick around this time around in the majors, he has to better than Chan Ho Park, Chad Gaudin, or Dustin Moseley. You may remember Albaladejo from his previous stints in the majors, but he is a different pitcher now. Mike Axisa did a nice write-up about the “new” Albaladejo about a month ago, but it still is helpful if you want to know why Albie is a new and better pitcher. I highly recommend checking it out.

Photo Credit: The Scranton Times-Tribune

Game 75: Yankees at Dodgers

The Yankees have split the first two games in this series against the Dodgers (which has been way overblown by the media) and tonight they look for the series win against Clayton Kershaw. Here is the starting lineup via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

CF Curtis Granderson

LF Brett Gardner

LHP Andy Pettitte

"Joe Girardi and the Yankees will say farewell to Joe Torre and the Dodgers tonight." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Interleague coming to an end…

Tonight the Yankees will play their final game against a National League team in 2010 except of course if they make it to the World Series. Since the Yankees will be returning to American League style baseball and rules, I’d have to imagine we will see a roster move coming up. The Yankees could of course stick with their current bench of Colin Curtis, Chad Huffman, Kevin Russo, Ramiro Pena, and Francisco Cervelli. However, it wouldn’t be out of proportion to think that a move may be made. In addition, I’d love to see Mark Melancon or Jonathan Albaladejo brought up to help out the bullpen.

Eiland returning…

Marc Carig reports that pitching coach Dave Eiland will return to the team on Tuesday after taking time away for personal reasons. It seems many people have liked blaming any recent pitching issues on Eiland’s absence so I guess that is finally over. Anyway, I hope all is well with Dave’s personal life and I am glad to have him back.

Brackman makes AA debut…

Just the other day I mentioned that the Yankees planned to promote Andrew Brackman to Double-A in the near future and it has happened. Brackman made his Trenton debut yesterday and pitched respectably, not that numbers mean much in the minors. Mike Ashmore has excellent coverage of Brackman’s start which includes over 1000 words worth of info, 5 exclusive photos, and 12 exclusive videos. You really should check it out.

Culver debuts

2010 draftee, Cito Culver, already has two games of professional baseball under his belt (and one hit). How’s that for signing extremely quickly? Anyway, the Daily News has a great article on Culver. It’s definitely worth the read.

"A-Rod will have to say goodbye tonight to Manny for the forseeable future." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Off Day Musings (2nd Edition)

It’s been a while…

State of the Yankees

  • Since June 8th, the Yankees have gone 10-5 against the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Mets, and Diamondbacks.
  • The Yankees are in first place in the AL East with Boston and Tampa Bay tied for second place at 2.5 games behind the Yankees.
  • The Yankees have the best record in baseball at 45-27. That’s a .625 winning percentage and at this rate the Yankees would win about 101 games.

Brackman Rules!

Andrew Brackman, one of the Yankees top prospects, is finally starting to meet expectations. The Yankees drafted Brackman knowing that he would need surgery and he pitched poorly in his first full professional season last year. This year, however, he seems to be improving. He’s been throwing a nasty slider at 87 mph, and has improved his BB/9 from 6.4 in 2009 to 1.4 in 2010. In addition, he has kept up an impressive 8.4 SO/9. According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees plan to promote Brackman from High-A Tampa to AA Trenton before the All-Star Break.

Hughes Rules?

In order to keep Phil Hughes’ innings under control, the Yankees are skipping his next start on June 29th. So far the Yankees have handled Hughes’ innings much better than they handled Joba’s innings. The general feeling is that Hughes is capped at 170-180 innings, so expect for him to be skipped a few more times around.

Albaladejo Reinvented…

You remember Jonathan Albaladejo, don’t you? Well he’s been reinventing and improving his game down in AAA this season and has really become a new and better pitcher. I truly hope the Yankees give him an opportunity to prove himself again at the big league level, it’s not like Chan Ho Park or Boone Logan are blowing the world away. Make sure you check out Mike Axisa of RAB’s post about Albaladejo.

Happy Birthday!

Phil Hughes turns 24 years old today, it’s hard to believe he is still so young.

What’s Next?

The Yankees should be enjoying this off day in Los Angeles and tomorrow they will take on Joe Torre and the Dodgers.  You can bet the media will blow this series way out of proportion. It should be fun!

Game 81: Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8

The Mexican Gangster was amazing for the Yankees today.

The Mexican Gangster was amazing for the Yankees today.

I’m not going to have a long recap this time. The story of the game was Alfredo Aceves, but I’ll get to him a little later. As you know, Joba Chamberlain started this game, and through 2 innings he didn’t look that bad, although he was getting into deep counts. The third inning was a different story, he gave up 3 runs. Then things got even worse in the 4th, Joba gave up 5 runs and could not get out of the inning, making way for Jonathan Albaladejo who was recalled earlier today. Albaladejo went a scoreless 1.1 innings. Enter Alfredo Aceves. When Aceves came in the 6th, most people didn’t think he was going to finish off the game. But he proved them wrong, throwing shutout ball for 4 innings, and picking up the save as the Yankees won 10-8.

On the offensive side, the big hit was a 2 run home run by Derek Jeter which came at a time when the Yankees were down 8-7. Hideki Matsui also helped the offense, picking off 4 RBI’s, three coming off a homer. Jorge Posada had three RBI’s one day after his big walk-off hit.