Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yankees Reportedly Acquire Javier Vazquez From Atlanta

The Yankees have reportedly acquired Javier Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves. The pieces reportedly being sent to Atlanta are Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, and Arodys Vizcaino. The Yanks will also reportedly get Boone Logan. When I heard the rumors this morning that the Yankees were close to landing a starter, Vazquez wasn't who I was hoping for (Josh Johnson) but he'll do. The Yankees didn't really give up much so for me the deal is a win. And at least it's not Derek Lowe or Aaron Harang. I was really hoping they weren't the target.

I have no problem whatsoever with the Yankees dealing Melky Cabrera. I've always maintained that he's nothing more than a 4th OF. I like him, sure, but I've never been high on him. His career OPS is .716. I'm definitely not a fan of that. He has a great arm, which will be missed, but losing that isn't the end of the world. I think Cashman was smart to deal him now because his value is as high as it's going to get. Cash was smart to deal him now.

Trading Melky now opens up a hole in the OF. The OF as it stands now is Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Brett Gardner. There is no chance whatsoever that the Yankees will run those 3 out there on opening day. The door for Johnny Damon's return has been reopened. Or perhaps the Yanks will go big and go after Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. I think it's a safe bet that the Opening Day LF will be one of those three.

Mike Dunn was a promising young left-handed RP, but that's easily replaceable. I'm fine with him being dealt. And I'm not real familiar with Vizcaino. No loss there. I have no problem with dealing prospects. You never know what you're going to get from them. They could easily bust.

Speaking of not knowing what you'll get, I wonder what Javier Vazquez the Yanks just got. The bum that was traded after 1 season or the guy who's excelled in recent years? I hope it's the latter. As I said above, he's not the guy I preferred, but acquiring him definitely upgrades the rotation. We're now looking at a rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Javier Vazquez, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. That's definitely better than it was yesterday. It looks like one of those last 2 is definitely pitching out of the pen in 2010. I hope it's Joba. I think Hughes is the better pitcher and has the tools to succeed as a SP. I think Joba is better suited for the bullpen. Something tells me though that Joba-mania will be the 5th SP coming out of Spring Training. Unless of course, Cashman has plans to deal one of the two. I don't think it's wise to do that at this point. In all likelihood this is Pettitte's last year. Whoever isn't in the rotation this year should be able to fill that role. We'll see.

Next up: signing a LF. I'd expect this to happen next and happen soon. If it doesn't happen today, I think it will happen by Christmas. I'm predicting they'll resign Johnny Damon. I wouldn't mind seeing Holliday come to town, but I think for payroll reasons, it'll be Damon.

Thoughts anyone? Good deal for the Yanks? Bad deal? What do you want to happen next? Lay it on me.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas Wish:Yankees Trade Nick Swisher & Sign Johnny Damon

According to the NY Times' Tyler Kepner (via Twitter), Johnny Damon asked the Yankees about a 2 year deal for $20 million bucks on Thursday night. The Yankees though had the Nick Johnson deal in place so signing Damon apparently wasn't an option. As I wrote earlier, the Johnson signing probably ends Damon's time with the Yankees. I hope it doesn't.

The reason people think Damon's time with the Yanks is over is because the Yankees already have 4 OFs (Melky Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner) and Nick Johnson has no option but to DH since he's not playing over Mark Teixeira. Basically, there's no room for Johnny. I say make the room. Here's how: trade Nick Swisher.

Nick Swisher is under contract for 2 more years. He's slated to earn $6.75 million in 2010 and $9 million in 2011. Do the math and that works out to $15.75 million for 2 years. I'll gladly take Damon for 2 years @ $20 million than Swisher for 2 years @ $15.75 million. That's an extra $2 million and change per year for Damon. Sign me up.

The Yankees OF with Damon would be Damon in LF, Granderson in CF, and Melky in RF. With Swisher, it would likely be Melky in LF, Granderson in CF and Swisher in RF. The Yankees would benefit by having Melky's arm in RF as opposed to LF and more ground is going to be covered with Damon in the OF than with Swisher. The defense would be improved with Damon in and Swisher out.

I also think Damon is better offensively than Swisher. I can't get past Swisher's inability to hit with runners on. It's why I call him "The Rally Killer." Swisher was a .227 hitter last year with RISP. With RISP and 2 outs, Swish hit .163. With the bases loaded he hit .158. That's brutal. You have to go back to 2007 to find some respectable numbers for Swisher in the situational stats department.

Damon was pretty clutch last season, hitting .299 with RISP, .254 with RISP and 2 outs, and .375 with the bases loaded. He was even better in 2008 and every year before that was definitely respectable.

Damon hits for a much higher average (.288 career to Swisher's .245). They both hit for similar power (Damon career SLG = .439, Swisher career SLG = .460) and the OBP is similar as well (.355 career for Damon to Swisher's .357) Damon strikes out less (2009: 98 to 126) and hits into fewer DPs (2009: 9 to Swisher's 12). Damon is also faster. No matter how you break it down, JD gets my vote.

I know pulling this off isn't as simple as it sounds. The biggest obstacle is finding a trading partner for Swisher. And it has to be one that's willing to take on the whole contract. I'm not sure who out that has interest but I'd have to think someone would be willing to take him on. It would also depend on what Damon's final salary would be. If it were much higher than the $20 million, I might change my tune. My Christmas wish is to see Johnny return and to see Swisher get the boot. I doubt it will shake down that way, but one can hope.

So what say you? Swisher or Damon? All things considered, who do you prefer and why? I'm curious to know if there are any Swisher supporters out there. You definitely won't find one here.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Welcome Back Nick Johnson? So Long Johnny Damon? Trade Nick Swisher?

There are various reports out floating around out there that the Yankees are on the verge of signing former Yankee Nick Johnson to a 1-year deal for a reported $5.5MM. I didn't see that coming but I can get behind it, sort of.

Johnson is a first baseman. The Yankees already have one of those in Mark Teixeira and he isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Johnson's role would have to be as a DH with the occasional spot start at 1B to give Tex a little breather. Hmm, interesting. The Yankees let Hideki Matsui walk and they bring in Nick Johnson. Matsui signed a 1-year deal with the Angels for $6.5 million and the Yanks sign Johnson for $5.5 million. I'm sorry but for the extra million, I'm taking Matsui. I know Matsui has bad knees and can't really play the field anymore, but it's not like Nick Johnson is the poster boy for being healthy. Nick missed all of 2007, played in 38 games in 2008, and in 133 in 2009. Both bring a lot to the table offensively. I think Matsui is capable of bringing a little more. He hits for a higher average and has a little more pop in his bat. I like Godzilla swinging for the fences in Yankee Stadium than I do Nick Johnson. Johnson gets on base a lot (career OBP of .402) and that's awesome, but I still prefer Matsui, especially if we're only talking about a million bucks. i think the Yanks made a mistake here.

If the Johnson signing goes through, which it probably will, Johnny Damon's time with the Yankees may be coming to an end. The Yankees have their OF right now (Granderson, Melky, Swisher, Gardner) and Johnson would be the DH. Sorry Johnny, but right now, the inn is closed. I suppose there's still a possibility that Johnny returns. I would love to see Cashman trade Nick Swisher and resign Damon. Damon could play LF and Melky could play RF. I have to think Cash is at least kicking the tires on this. There was a rumor floating around that Damon was seeking at least $13 million per year and that claim is now being denied by Scott Boras. If the money works out, I hope they find a way to bring Johnny back. Sign Johnny and trade "The Rally Killer" aka Nick Swisher. Swisher is due $6.75MM this year and $9MM in 2011. If you can get Damon for 1-2 years at $10 per, I jump all over it. Assuming of course that Cashman can find a home for Swisher. God, I hope this happens. I'm not a Swisher guy. Deal him.

Is it time for pitchers and catchers to report yet?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Busy Day In Baseball And The Yankees Aren't Involved

Wow. Talk about a flurry of Hot Stove activity. Yesterday was a pretty busy day in MLB. The Yankees weren't involved but the major moves all impacted the Yankees in some way shape or form.

Hideki Matsui signed a 1-year deal with the Angels. After the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson at the Winter Meetings, it was pretty clear that the Yankees weren't going to bring back both Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. The majority of people out there , myself included, thought of the two, Damon was preferred over Matsui. There really wasn't much talk out there about the Yankees having real interest in Matsui. I'm not at all surprised by that. Matsui's role would have been as a pure-DH. I'm not a fan of that. I like the flexibility of having a guy who can play the field. I'm definitely sad to see Matsui go, but it's definitely time for the Yankees/Matsui union to end. All the best Godzilla. Thanks for many years of valuable contributions.

We can all cross Roy Halladay off our Christmas wish-lists as the Blue Jays have dealt him to the Phillies. It would have been nice if Cashman Claus could have stuffed Doc in our stockings but I guess it wasn't meant to be. It would have been nice to land Halladay but the acquisition price was going to be steep, probably too steep. It's tough to pony up some MLB-ready players, top prospects and a boatload of cash for a guy. I'm definitely OK with the Yankees holding on to what they have. I'm really looking forward to Jesus Montero in Pinstripes. If Halladay came to town, odda are said that wouldn't have happened. I'm glad that Halladay was sent to the NL. The East just got a little easier. And at least he didn't go to Boston. Works for me.

the rival Red Sox had a bust day, signing Mike Cameron and John Lackey. I could care less about the Cameron signing. He's been linked to the Yankees for years now and I'm sure he was a target of Cashman's, but I've never been a fan of his. I'm glad he's not a Yankee. The signing works into the Yankees favor as it takes another team of the list of possible destinations for Johnny Damon. It should give the Yankees better leverage in those negotiations. The Lackey signing came out of nowhere, didn't it? It's huge for Boston. Their rotation is now arguably one of the best in the game. Beckett, Lackey, Lester, Dice-K, Wakefield, and Buchholz. Not too shabby. I wouldn't be surprised if Buchholz gets dealt soon. The Sox could definitely afford to deal him. The East just got a little tougher. I'm curious to see if this causes the Yankees to do anything impulsive. I really don't see Cashman doing anything rash, but who knows? The division is pretty much a toss-up right now.

After a busy week last week, the Yankees hot stove has cooled off a little bit. I think we'll know whether or not Damon is coming back by Christmas. I hope the Yankees wrap that up soon. I'd hate to see Jason Bay and Matt Holliday sign before Damon as it'll give Johnny a little more leverage in contract negotiations. I think the Yankees next signing is going to come in the form of a RP. I'm not even sure who I want to see them go after. My head is still spinning from yesterday. It was definitely a fun day.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, December 14, 2009

Wrapping Up The Week That Was In The Yankees Universe

I think when I last left off the Yankees had just resigned Andy Pettitte. I can't believe that I haven't blogged since Wednesday. I think the horrible weather we had up here in Buffalo (24 inches of snow in about 36 hours--I spent 4 hours shoveling) and the weekend took me out of it. So please, allow me to catch up:

The rest of the Winter Meetings were pretty uneventful. The Yankees got to pick 1st in the Rule 5 draft (pick acquired from Washington in Bruney trade) and they selected Jamie Hoffman, an OF I've never heard of from the Dodgers. From what I've gathered, Hoffman is projected to someday be an everyday player but right now he's targeted for the bench. I wish I had more to say on him but something tells me he's not going to hang around the Yanks and I wouldn't be surprised if he's not with the team when they head north.

Chien-Ming Wang was officially non-tendered by the Yankees, while Melky Cabrera, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre were issued contracts. I understand why the Yankees didn't offer CMW a deal. The uncertainty over the health of his arm coupled with the salary CMW would get didn't make it a smart business move. I'm a little disappointed that CMW, for the time being, is no longer a Yankee. I'm not a fan of just letting him go. CMW has pitched exceptionally well in the past and there's no reason to think he can't replicate that success if he's truly healthy. His poor performance can directly be tied to his injuries. I hope there is a way that the two sides can come together. You can never have enough pitching and I'd prefer CMW to Gaudin, Mitre or any Yankee farmhand. The Yanks always seem to find these horrifically bad reclamation projects (Sidney Ponson comes to mind) that just don't work out. So why not Wang? It's all about the benjamins. I totally get not paying him close to what he earned last year. I hope they get creative (incentive-laden contract) and figure out a way to bring him back as I think he'd do really well, if he's healthy. I'd really hate to see him go.

Am I missing something? Not much comes to mind to discuss other than the run-of-the-mill rumors that surround every free agent. That's for a different entry. Overall though last week was pretty good for the Yankees. I think they definitely came out of the Winter Meetings as the biggest winner. I don't think that can be disputed. If you'd like to try, let me know.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Official: Pettitte's Back With The Yankees

Well that didn't long. Andy Pettitte is officially back with the Yankees. The team signed him to a 1-year deal worth a reported $11.75mm. It's a very smart signing. AP earned himself the contract. He had a solid year for the Yanks last season, earning a little more than $10mm one all was said and done. The contract is definitely fair and both sides should feel good about the deal.

Andy was one of the better FA pitchers on the market and bringing him back definitely strengthens an already improved team (Granderson). The rotation is shaping up but still could be improved. As of now the rotation is Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte. As of now, I'd think Hughes and Chamberlain would round out the rotation. I don't think the Yankees are ready to roll with that. I don't think Cashman is done wheeling and dealing. There's been a few names floating around that the Yankees have interest in (Ben Sheets, Jason Marquis, Rich Harden, Kelvin Escobar, John Lackey, Roy Halladay), but nothing substantial is developing. There's still plenty of time.

It's been a pretty active few days for the Yanks. I wouldn't be surprised if Cashman has another move or two he drops on us before the WM conclude tomorrow. Next up: Johnny Damon perhaps?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Andy Pettitte Come On Down, You're The Next Contestant On "Play In Pinstripes"

Jon Heyman is tweeting that the Yankees will reach a deal with Andy Pettitte by the end of the day. If true, and I believe it is, this is great news for we Yankee fans. Andy had a rock-solid year last season and bringing him back is the right move.

More later, once it's official.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Yankees Deal For Curtis Granderson

Well, that didn't take long. The reported 3-team blockbuster deal that's been swirling around the rumor mill all day is apparently a done deal. The deal as it's being reported is as follows:

From Yankees to Detroit: Phil Coke and Austin Jackson
From Yankees to Arizona: Ian Kennedy
From Detroit to Arizona: Edwin Jackson
From Arizona to Detroit: Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth
From Detroit to Yankees: Curtis Granderson

I think I have the moving part right. From a Yankees standpoint, the deal breaks down to be Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke for Curtis Granderson. The Boogie Down gives the deal a thumbs-up.

I wrote in mid-November that if the Yankees had the chance to make a deal for Granderson they should go after it. I wrote that I wouldn't give up Hughes/Joba and Austin Jackson. Kennedy and Jackson is definitely a downgrade over that tandem. Phil Coke is garbage so throwing him in to get it done works for me. But, I also wrote in November that I didn't want them to give up Jackson at all. Apparently, I re-thought that stance this morning when I saw the proposed deal.

As I wrote this morning, I'm ok with dealing unproven prospects for proven players. You never know what is going to become of a highly touted prospect. A lot of them flame out and never amount to anything. That possibility exists with A-Jax. He could be a HOFer. He could be nothing more than a AAAA OF. Who know? Time will tell on that. With Granderson, we know what to expect. He has speed, has a good bat with some pop, struggles against LHPs, and plays a great CF. He has a few shortcomings, but I like what he brings to the table and I think the pluses out weight the minuses.

So it looks like the OF right now is Swisher in RF, Granderson in CF, and Melky in LF. The question now becomes what to do with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. I'd have to think that the Granderson deal means Matsui is as good as gone. I think if the Yankees wanted to still bring back one of them, Damon makes more sense. I think there's still a good chance that the Yankees will bring back Damon. Personally, I would prefer to see Damon in LF, Melky in RF, and Swisher can DH. Damon brings flexibility to the team because he can play the field and can DH. I also think the Yankees need him at the top of the lineup. Granderson whiffs too much and has too low an OBP to hit 2nd. I think the Yankees are still in on Johnny Damon.

I think this deal also probably closes the door on dealing for Roy Halladay and rules out signing Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. There's a chance they could still be in play for Halladay but I think without A-Jax and IPK to deal, it means that Hughes or Joba AND Jesus Montero would have to go. They'll have to get creative though. I'd like to see them hold onto Montero and Hughes. i'm more than OK with them dealing Joba. We'll see. Ideally, Doc stays in Toronto and the Yanks nab him as a FA next year. Fingers crossed.

So what do you guys think? Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Granderson deal? Any other thoughts about how things are shaping up? Still 2-plus days left until Winter Meetings wrap up. I'm sure there's still a lot to come.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Granderson To Yankees Picking Up A Little Steam

According to the most current updates over at MLBTradeRumors, the deal to bring Curtis Granderson to the Yankees is picking up a little steam. Both Jon Heyman and Mark Feinsand seem to agree. It sounds like the Tigers are willing to come down a little on the price, meaning, as Feinsand writes, the Yanks could probably "downgrade" one of the pitchers, likely Dunn. Buster Olney "confirms" the talks are continuing and "sources" say the odds of something happening are in the 20-30% range. Head spinning yet? No? There's also mention on ESPN's site is that the Yankees could get both Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson. I don't see that happening so I'm not even going there.

Jon Heyman has a new tweet since I started writing this post. The Yanks would get Granderson and would give up Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke. No more Mike Dunn. No more prospects to the Yankees. At least that's how I'm reading it. I wrote earlier today I thought the Yanks were giving up too much and could get more. I could get behind the deal as it was this morning. I could get behind it as Heyman has it. Time will tell what's going to happen. Gut feeling says it'll get done and it'll get done soon.

Ah, the Winter Meetings. You gotta love it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Yankees Involved In A Potential Big Trade

I went to bed last night around 10:15 and woke up today around 6:30. Within 5 minutes from waking up, I was on MLBTradeRumors, checking to see if any late-night action went down at the Winter Meetings. Apparently, the Yankees were involved in a potential 3-team "blockbuster" that would have landed the Yankees Curtis Granderson. It's being reported today that the deal is unlikely and it mentions that the Yankees felt the price was too high. I'm all for bringing in Curtis Granderson, but the reported "blockbuster" was a little too costly in my opinion.

If you break down the "rumored" deal, the Yankees were getting Granderson from Detroit and some unnamed prospects from Arizona in exchange for Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Mike Dunn. It's a little costly for the Yankees. Not much, but a little. I'm a little on the fence but my initial reaction was that the price is too high. I'm all for dealing prospects for proven talent. With Granderson you know what you're going to get. Despite his shortcomings against lefties, CG is a really good, and proven, player. Coke and Dunn are expendable middle relievers. Kennedy has the stuff but hasn't been able to put it together on the big league level. Austin Jackson is probably the best prospect the Yankees have but again, he's just a prospect. He could easily prove to be a big bust.

So it'd be Curtis Granderson ( a good and proven player) for 4 guys that may or may not ever really contribute at the big league level. If the deal happened, I'd be fine with it. But if you ask me, the Yankees should be able to get a lot more for that package than Curtis Granderson and some prospects. I'm sure if you pulled out Kennedy and added in Joba, you might have something decent in terms of a Halladay offer. I doubt Coke and Dunn are of interest to the Jays but the foundation of a deal (Joba and Jackson) is there. Who knows? I think the Yanks could get a little more for those guys if they're truly willing to part with them.

If the Yanks happen to bring in Granderson, it's a safe bet that Damon and/or Matsui won't be back. Maybe one will to DH (I prefer Damon), but there would be no chance that both would return. With Granderson, the OF would be Swisher in RF, Granderson in CF, and Melky in LF, with Gardner likely being the 4th OF. Trading for Granderson also likely means no Matt Holiday or Jason Bay. But who knows? Last year we all thought there was no chance they'd sign Mark Teixeira after signing A.J. and CC, but they did.

Buster Olney is on XM radio right now. He didn't call the trade talks dead, but refereed to them as "dormant." I wouldn't be surprised if this deal picks up some steam. It's not a horrible deal. Perhaps they'll rework it. Stay tuned.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, December 7, 2009

Brian Bruney Has Been Traded & Andy Pettitte Update

The winter meetings started today. This is always a fun time of year if you're a baseball fan. I pretty much live on MLBTradeRumors, checking about 40 times a day, as there's always some new rumor about a free agent signing or a potential trade. Joel Sherman, Jon Heyman, and Ken Rosenthal seem to always duke it out for who can get the big scoop. The winter meetings are fun and this week promises to be chock full of basebally goodness.

This morning I saw that the Atlanta Braves were interested in trading for Brian Bruney. I have a buddy I work with who is a big Braves fan and neither of us understood why the Braves had interest. It ended up being all for nothing as Bruney has been traded to the Washington Nationals for a PTBNL (player to be named later). I have no problem with the Yanks letting Bruney go for what will probably end up being nothing. He's good but he's too inconsistent to be anything more than a middle reliever. MRs are a dime a dozen and Bruney can easily be replaced and probably by an in-house candidate that won't cost as much money. The trade in my opinion was a salary dump, albeit not a large one as Bruney only made $1.25 million. I'm sure Cashman is probably looking to bolster the bullpen and this deal frees up that spot on the 40-man and also frees up a little cash. There was probably no room at the inn for BB, which is probably why he was dealt. Good luck Bru.

There was a rumor from Joel Sherman this morning that Andy Pettitte rejected a one-year offer from the Yanks. It came as no surprise to me, because I think Sherman makes a lot of stuff up that's loosely based on some small nugget of truth, that Mark Feinsand shot down that rumor, tweeting that the Yankees have made no official offer but will do so today. He also writes, "They don't intend to low-ball him." I think there is zero probability that AP pitches for anyone other than the Yankees. The question to me remains, "when will he sign?" I feel pretty confident that by the end of the week, Andy Pettitte will be officially back in Pinstripes. Stay tuned.

As of right now there's not a lot buzz out there about Roy Halladay. I thought there would be, but right now, all is pretty quiet on the Halladay front. We should learn soon though who's going to be a major player for Doc's services and what it's going to cost. I have to think the Yankees are going to be heavily in the mix. They definitely better be.

Stay tuned. The fun should just be starting.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, December 4, 2009

My 2009 Predictions (Revisited)

I've been meaning to post this for a few weeks now but am only now getting around to it. Time to take a look back at the predictions I made for the 2009 season.

Here's how I predicted each division, along with their W/L records:

AL East:

  1. Boston Red Sox 95-67 (win head-to-head vs. Yankees 10-8) - finished 2nd 95-67
  2. New York Yankees 95-67 -finished 1st 103-59
  3. Tampa Bay Rays 89-73 - finished 3rd 84-78
  4. Toronto Blue Jays 82-80 - finished 4th 75-87
  5. Baltimore Orioles 65-97 - finished 5th 64-98

AL Central:

  1. Cleveland Indians 86-76 - finished tied 4th 65-97
  2. Chicago White Sox 84-78 - finished 3rd 79-83
  3. Minnesota Twins 84-78 - finished 1st 87-76
  4. Kansas City Royals 79-83 - finished tied 4th 65-97
  5. Detroit Tigers 78-84 - finished 2nd 86-77

AL West

  1. LA Angels 98-64 - finished 1st 97-65
  2. Oakland A's 83-79 - finished 4th 75-87
  3. Texas Rangers 77-85 finished 2nd 87-75
  4. Seattle Mariners 66-96 finished 3rd 85-77

NL East:

  1. New York Mets 92-70 -finished 4th 70-62
  2. Philadelphia Phillies 91-71 - finished 1st 93-69
  3. Atlanta Braves 86-76 - finished 3rd 86-76
  4. Florida Marlins 80-82 - finished 2nd 87-75
  5. Washington Nationals 55-107 - finished 5th 59-103

NL Central:

  1. Chicago Cubs 99-63 - finished 2nd 83-78
  2. Milwaukee Brewers 88-74 - finished 3rd 80-82
  3. St. Louis Cardinals 81-81 - finished 1st 91-71
  4. Cincinnati Reds 81-81 - finished 4th 78-84
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates 74-88 - finished 6th 62-99
  6. Houston Astros 72-90 - finished 5th 74-88

NL West:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers 89-73 - finished 1st 95-67
  2. Arizona Diamondbacks 83-79 - finished 5th 70-92
  3. San Fransisco Giants 80-82 - finished 3rd 88-74
  4. Colorado Rockies 77-85 - finished 2nd 92-70
  5. San Diego Padres 63-99 - finished 4th 75-87

I didn't do so hot, eh? I only had 2 records right (Boston and Atlanta). I only had 9 teams in their correct spots (Tampa Bay, Toronto, Baltimore, KC, LA Angels, Atlanta, Washington, Cincinnati, and the LA Dodgers). Most of those 9 were givens. I guess the best prediction I made was with the Atlanta Braves. I totally missed the boat on a bunch of 'em (Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle, NY Mets, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Colorado, and San Diego). I was within 5 games up or down on 11 teams. I have no idea if that's good or bad. I had 2 division winners correct (LA Angels and LA Dodgers).

I didn't too much better with the playoffs:

ALDS: Yankees over Angels in 5, Red Sox over Indians in 4
NLDS: Cubs over Phillies in 5, Dodgers over Mets in 3
ALCS: Yankees over Red Sox in 6
NLCS: Dodgers over Cubs in 7
World Series: Get the Canyon of Heroes ready, Yankees over Dodgers in 5

I had 2 division winners correct (LA Angels and LA Dodgers) but they didn't finish in their correct playoff spot. I had 5 of the 8 teams right albeit none were correct. I did get the World Champion right though! Yay me. Here's what I had said at the time: I'm not trying to be a Yankee homer. I think they have a great offense and the best rotation in MLB. I think in the end they'll outlast the Sox. Nailed it.

I also predicted who I thought would win the major postseason awards:

AL MVP: Kevin Youkilis (finished 6th in voting)
ML MVP: Manny Ramirez (no votes)
AL Cy Young: Mariano Rivera w/no blown saves an an ERA under 1.00. (No votes, 44 of 46 in SV opportunities)
NL Cy Young: Cole Hamels (wrong wrong wrong wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong)
AL ROY: Rick Porcello (finsihed 3rd in voting)
NL ROY: Cameron Maybin (no votes - only had 176 ABs)
AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona (no votes)
NL Manager of the Year: Lou Pinella (no votes)

Man, I suck at this, don't I? I also made 2 other predictions:

There will be 2 no-hitters this year and no perfect games. (So close. Jonathan Sanchez = no hitter & Mark Buehrle = perfect game)
The AL will (again) beat the NL in the All-star game. (Nailed it!)

Overall, I didn't do too well. Hopefully I'll do a little better next year. I did get the most important one right though. Yankees = World Champs! That one makes the rest forgettable.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yankees Don't Offer Arbitration To Anyone

The Yankees declined to offer arbitration to any of their free agents yesterday. No real surprise there. I originally thought they might offer something to Damon or even Pettitte, but it makes sense that they didn't. If anyone is offered and accepts arbitration, they're guaranteed to come back to the team. I think if the Yankees offered them arbitration they would have probably ended up paying them more than they wanted to, and I think that goes for all of their free agents.

Offering arbitration is kind of a gamble. If the guy accepts you get him back but possibly at a dollar figure above what you want to pay. If he declines and signs elsewhere, you get compensatory draft picks. It would be nice to land a draft pick or two, but I think in the case of the Yankees, it wasn't worth the gamble as Damon, Matsui, and Pettitte would all likely receive decent raises. Those raises would probably bring their salary to an amount above what the Yankees want to pay.

The Yankees have a lot of shopping to do this offseason. I read that Cashman was meeting with the powers that be to discuss payroll allotment later this week so I would think that we'd start to hear some rumblings early next week. The winter meetings kick off on Monday the 7th and that's usually a very active time for trades and free agent signings. Crank up the rumor mill and turn up the heat on the stove. It should be a fun week.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,