Rivera and Jeter Re-up with New York

"Mo and Jeter will be back with the Yankees next season." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

In the past few days the Yankees have re-signed two career Yankees in Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.

Mariano was the first of the duo to re-join the Yankees by signing a 2 year contract worth $30 million. I cannot say I have any reason to complain about this contract, I think he can hold up for at least another two years and at $15 million per season this doesn’t seem like a gross overpay.

Derek Jeter and the Yankees agreed to a contract yesterday which is somewhat more complicated. The deal will pay him $51 million over the first three years of the contract ($17M per season), and then there is a player option for a fourth season. Since the option is a player option, this is basically a four-year deal. The option is apparently worth $8M and Jeter can earn an additional $9M that year based on incentives. While this seems to be an unnecessary overpay (especially giving Jeter the 4th year), this deal could have been a lot worse, so I can’t say I’m overly upset.


  • With Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera off the board, the Yankees can head into the winter meetings this Monday focussed on Cliff Lee and any other pursuits, knowing that there really is no rush to sign Andy Pettitte because he will either be going to the Yankees or retiring.
  • Lance Berkman has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and will be playing left field. Yankee fans never really seemed to warm up to Lance, but I really liked him and although there was no real chance he would return to the Yankees, I’m kind of sad to see him gone. Good luck Berkman!
  • People have been wondering what the chance is that the Yankees sign both Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford. While Crawford would make the outfield defense otherworldly (assuming Swisher would be traded), I think signing the outfielder would be a misuse of resources.
  • We recently heard that the Yankees had a trade set up to send Francisco Cervelli to the Dodgers in exchange for Russell Martin. However, it didn’t go through but now Martin is a free agent so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees go after Martin as a possible backup catcher. He would certainly be an upgrade over Cervelli.
  • The Yankees have non-tendered Dustin Moseley and Alfredo Aceves. While the Moseley decision was not surprising, I was surprised that Aceves was non-tendered. I guess the Yankees are not confident in his health, especially after his recent bike-induced injury.
  • Sergio Mitre has been re-signed and should serve as the long man and a spot starter.
  • The Red Sox have agreed to a trade for Adrian Gonzales in exchange for three of their top prospects. The deal has not been completed yet and is waiting due to a physical and contract extension talks. I’ll analyze this deal further if the trade is finalized. Update 2:50 – According to Jon Heyman the Red Sox could not reach an extension deal with Gonzalez and the deal has fallen through. Still, I could see the Red Sox revisiting the trade.


Off Day Musings (7/19/10)

State of the Yankees

  • Through their first 91 games the Yankees are 58-33, which is the best record in baseball, and it puts them on pace for about 103 wins.
  • The Yankees are atop the AL East with a 3 game lead on the Tampa Rays after taking 2 out of 3 games from the Rays this past series.

Andy Pettitte’s injury

"Pettitte leans over in pain." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Andy Pettitte had to leave his start prematurely yesterday with what has now been diagnosed as a Grade I left groin strain. Via Erik Boland, GM Brian Cashman expects Pettitte to be out four to five weeks. I’m hoping Brian Cashman is just being conservative considering Pettitte is 38 years old, however, if he is out four to five weeks (in addition to rehab time), the Yankees will have a good number of starts to fill. Cashman told Boland that Sergio Mitre will take Pettitte’s next start on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at further options for following starts. My suggestion would be to give Ivan Nova a shot and if he doesn’t work out, I believe Mitre is a solid option. There is no sense in making a trade unless the Yankees could get someone, without giving up any top prospects, who represents a true upgrade over Mitre . And that probably won’t happen so in my opinion the Yankees should stay internal in replacing Pettitte. Pettitte’s injury is obviously debilitating to the Yankees, but on the bright side his elbow will be kept fresh during the time off and that may prove beneficial come October. In the end, I see no reason to panic. Pettitte will be missed, but Mitre, Nova, or another internal option could be quite valuable. Remember, the 2009 Yankees won the World Series last year and Sergio Mitre made nine starts for that team. Every team, even the best teams, have to deal with injuries to the starting rotation.

Upcoming Angels series


RHP Phil Hughes vs. TBA

  • Scott Kazmir was scratched from the start with shoulder fatigue.
  • Phil Hughes has not pitched since July 9th not counting the All Star Game.
  • The game will be on My9 with a 7:05 p.m. start time. I will be at the game and I’m excited to see Hughes pitch!


RHP Javier Vazquez vs. RHP Joel Pineiro

  • In his two starts against the Yankees this year, Pineiro has had mixed results. On April 14th he dominated the Yankees allowing only one run in seven innings. However, on April 24 he allowed six runs in six innings to the Yankees.
  • Javier Vazquez’s last start came on July 10th when he carried a no-hitter into the sixth against the Mariners. He would go on to throw seven shutout innings while only allowing three hits, but Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees could not get Javy the win.
  • The game will be on YES with a 1:05 p.m. start time.

"Hopefully Hughes mixes in some more changeups and curveballs in his start tomorrow." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Awards and Notes


  • Congratulations to Zack Greinke for winning the AL Cy Young Award. In case you are wondering CC finished 4th in the voting.
  • Congratulations to New York (Staten Island, to be precise) native, Andrew Bailey, for winning the AL Rookie of the Year award.
  • Congratulations to Chris Coghlan for winning the NL ROY.


  • The Yankees declined Sergio Mitre’s 2010 $1.25 million option, but he is still eligible for arbitration with the Yankees.
  • Recently there have been a lot of rumors linking the Yankees with Curtis Granderson of the Tigers. Personally, I think he would be a good fit, but only for a good price, which probably won’t happen. River Avenue Blues has a good read about the subject. What do you guys think?

Game 107: Yankees at Blue Jays

Last night the Yankees defeated Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays, and the Red Sox lost to the Rays in 13 innings. Tonight the Yankees look to take the final game of this short 2 game series in Toronto before they head back home to face the Red Sox. Here’s the starting lineup (which by the looks of it, it seems like Girardi is resting some guys for the Boston series) via Peter Abraham:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

DH Alex Rodriguez

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

CF Melky Cabrera

3B Jerry Hairston Jr.

C Jose Molina

And on the mound, Sergio Mitre

Welcome Back Anthony, goodbye Cody

RHP Anthony Claggett has been recalled from Scranton, I assume this is because the Yankees don’t really trust Mitre and they want another bullpen arm. You may remember Claggett from his one day in the bigs back on April 18th when he allowed 8 runs in 1.2 innings…let’s just hope that doesn’t happen again. And to make room for Claggett Cody Ransom was designated for assignment. I know there will be many people glad to hear that! However, regarding Claggett, I can’t imagine he will be here for long. The Yankees could send Claggett down tomorrow and call up another position player (Ramiro Pena?).

Game 98: Athletics at Yankees

After having their 8 game winning streak snapped yesterday afternoon by a strong pitching performance by Gio Gonzalez, the Yankees look to go out today and start a new streak. They will have to do it against Oakland’s young left hander, Dallas Braden, who carries a 3.40 ERA coming into this game. The Yankees will send out the following lineup via PeteAbe to oppose Braden:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

C Jorge Posada

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

CF Melky Cabrera

3B Cody Ransom – you have to see the picture and caption that noMass.org made for Cody

And on the mound, Sergio Mitre

Gardner has a broken left thumb

According to PeteAbe, Brett Gardner broke his left thumb yesterday while sliding into 2nd base, and is going on the 15 day DL. Amazingly, he played the rest of the game, and even hit an RBI triple. Gardner will be in a cast for 2 weeks then he will rehab. Jonathan Albaladejo has been recalled to take Gardner’s roster spot, but the move is only temporary as the Yankees will need another outfielder. PeteAbe says the early candidates are Austin Jackson, Shelly Duncan, John Rodriguez, and Ramiro Pena (who has been playing some center field for Scranton). However, if the Yankees want someone who can play center field, the choices are narrowed down to Austin Jackson and Ramiro Pena (and he has only been playing center for a short amount of time). We will just have to wait and see.

“Never in a million years”

If you are a follower of baseball, you probably know that Roy Halladay is on the trading block. You also probably know that he is coveted by several teams, and he has a high asking price. There are many Yankee fans who say they would be willing to do anything it takes to acquire Halladay, well consider this…Jon Heyman tweeted that the Jays suggested to the Yankees that it would take Joba, Hughes, and 2 others to get Halladay. I can’t imagine any right minded Yankee fan would want to make that trade.

Further exploring the options for the 5th starter spot…

In a previous post about Chien-Ming Wang’s injury, I slightly touched on the issue on who will take Wang’s spot. Today, I will explain a bit of a hybrid option

Phil Hughes

It sounds like most Yankee fans want Phil Hughes to take Wang’s spot in the rotation. While I don’t disagree, I am surprised that so many Yankee fans feel this way. Right now Hughes is in a similar situation that Joba Chamberlain was in back when he was the 8th inning man. And when Joba was in the eight, not many people wanted him out (myself not included). Now Phil Hughes has become a lights out reliever and has turned a decent bullpen into a very good bullpen.

Right now I am in favor of putting Hughes back into the rotation where he belongs. They can let him start on Thursday, and have Aceves and Tomko back him up, knowing that Hughes isn’t stretched out. Then during the All Start break they can send Hughes down to get further stretched out, and by the time a 5th starter is needed again he should be able to go around 90 pitches.

Hughes is on a innings limit this year which is supposedly around 180 innings. Right now he is at 49.1 innings pitched and in order to reach his innings limit he would need to pitch exactly 130.9 innings. While Hughes was in the rotation earlier this year he was averaging 5.0 innings a start, if he was to go back into the rotation and average 5 innings a start, he would need about 26 starts to reach his innings limit. I think it’s safe to say he would not get 26 starts, but let’s say he finishes the year in the rotation (don’t worry I have a plan for Wang, I’m not leaving him out), Hughes could probably get 15 starts. If he got those 15 starts, and he averaged 5 innings each start, he would be at 124.1 innings at the season’s end. Well, it’s not that crazy to assume that Hughes could average more than 5 innings a start, if he was able to average 6 innings a start, he would be just under 140 innings (assuming he gets 15 starts). While that still doesn’t sound great, it’s better than how many innings he could reach out of the pen.

Now the question you ask is, “If Hughes is going to stay in the rotation for the rest of the season, what will happen to Wang when he returns?” Let’s consider this, Joba Chamberlain has been averaging 5.4 innings per start this season. He is on a 150 innings pitched limit, if he continues to average 5.4 innings he will reach his limit after about 12 more starts. I don’t know how the Yankees are going to handle Joba with his innings limit, maybe they put him in the bullpen a little while before he reaches the limit, maybe they let Joba pitch over 15o innings as a starter. Anyway, while Joba nears his innings limit, let’s say Chien-Ming Wang rests rehabs. This time around Wang should stay in the minors until it is clear that he is ready, last time he was clearly rushed up. Once Joba reaches his innings limit, or the Yankees put him in the pen (if they do plan on it), then Wang can come up and take Joba’s spot. It’s an unorthodox plan, and it probably won’t happen, but I feel it’s worth considering.

What is likely to happen, is that Sergio Mitre gets called up from Scranton to take the one start before the All Star break, and then the Yankees will re-evaluate the situation.

How about you? Do you have any creative plans? Who do you want to take the rotation spot? Please feel free to comment all you want.

Call me crazy, but I'm allowed to make suggestions.

Call me crazy, but I'm allowed to make suggestions.