Results tagged ‘ Carlos Beltran ’

Day 3: Beltran puts on the pinstripes

Carlos BeltranWhat happened: Well, maybe not the full pinstripes, but close enough. Carlos Beltran stopped by the Minor League complex this afternoon, which is as good a sign as any that the report date for position players is right around the corner. Beltran worked out with Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Eduardo Nunez across the way and told reporters that he is excited to begin his first season with the Yankees.

“I feel great, man,” Beltran said. “Since we were able to agree on signing the three-year deal, I’m looking forward to the team. I think we have a real good team. We have a lineup that — hopefully everyone is healthy, that’s the main thing. I believe the lineup we have is a pretty good lineup. On paper, it looks pretty good. We have to get to know each other and find a way to play the game the right way.”

Beltran also said that he’s looking forward to being a part of Derek Jeter’s final season.

“Of course. Being able to play with a guy that’s a Hall of Famer – a first-ballot Hall of Famer – is a great feeling,” Beltran said. “I’m just looking forward to playing with him and hopefully helping this team win a championship. I know he has a lot of championships, but I don’t have [any]. Hopefully I can win one.”

Michael Pineda, Joe Girardi, Larry RothschildWhat else happened: Michael Pineda threw a 35-pitch bullpen early this morning, and Joe Girardi said that he thinks Pineda looks a whole lot more fluid than he did two springs ago. There’s a long way to go between now and Opening Day, but if Pineda is anything close to the pitcher he was with the Mariners – and he says he is – then the fifth starter battle could be less of a competition than we thought.

“I’m feeling good. Really good,” Pineda said. “I’m throwing the same. Mechanics the same. Everything is the same. All pitches are the same. I’m the same Michael Pineda.”

There was no radar gun on Pineda, but Girardi said that Pineda was hitting 93 and 94 mph last year in the Minors.

“I thought the ball was coming out easier,” Girardi said. “I know he’s had time to clean up a couple things too, mechanically, in this two-year span.  He just looked like it came out free and easy to me; didn’t look like he put a ton of effort into it, or that he was overthrowing it.”

Brian RobertsWhat we learned: It’s a conversation that Derek Jeter probably doesn’t remember, but Brian Roberts will never forget it.

“I think it was maybe 2004,” Roberts said. “I was on second or something and he just said, ‘You can hit .300 in this league.’ That was kind of, to hear it from someone like that, it just kind of opens your eyes. I don’t think it’s just me, I think he does it to everybody, but for some reason when he tells it to you, you think you’re the most important person in the world. He’s just kind of got that personality, and he’s so good with people.”

What we learned II: This shouldn’t be a surprise, but Girardi seems to realize that he can’t count on Roberts to play 150-plus games, since he hasn’t it done it since 2009. Girardi listed Kelly Johnson, Brendan Ryan and Eduardo Nunez as players who will see time at second base this spring, and you can toss Dean Anna into that mix as well.

Mark Teixeira said he plans on playing 150-plus games, and surely that would be wonderful for the Yankees. It’s also quite likely we’ll see Girardi shuffle around playing time at every infield position.

“There’s some age in our infield, as there has been in the past,” Girardi said. “I need to give guys days off and spell them. It’s not the infield that we had in 2009, when you knew who you were going to run out there every day. But we believe that there’s a lot of capable players here that can put up offensive and defensive numbers. When you look at those numbers as a whole, they’re going to be pretty good.”

What else: Beltran was messing around taking ground balls at second base this afternoon. If that gets anywhere close to a game situation, something will have gone horribly wrong. … David Phelps, Adam Warren, Jim Miller, Vidal Nuno and Preston Claiborne pitched live batting practice. … Teixeira took about 90 swings in the cage, including those off the tee, from both sides of the plate. He also fielded ground balls at first base.

What they said: “Of course we have to win. I don’t know how far we will go, but at least we have to do something positive, better than what they did last year, no doubt about that. They went out and spent a lot of money on players to try to improve the ballclub.” – Beltran

What’s next: Another day of workouts for pitchers and catchers. Position players report on Wednesday, with the first full-squad workout set for Thursday.

Mark Teixeira: “I’m close to 100 percent”

Teixeira - MSKCC 2I had a nice chat with Mark Teixeira recently for a holiday feature about his childhood Christmas memories, a story you can read here.  Of course, we also talked a little baseball. Here are some of the highlights:

On the Yankees’ offseason so far:

“I’m really happy with the moves. We had plenty of holes to fill, unfortunately, but when you can go get Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran before Christmas – even guys like Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson, I think can be huge pickups for us. I’ve played against Brian for 11 years; I’ve played with Kelly in Atlanta, so I know what kind of quality guys they are. They’re going to fit in great with our clubhouse. I think they’re going to do a great job on the field as well. I’m really excited.”

On his rehab from right wrist surgery: 

“I’m close to 100 percent. I feel like I’m healed. I wish I was a little bit looser; my wrist is going to be tight for a while because of the way the surgery was performed. They had to kind of tighten everything up to make it secure. It’s still a little bit tight, but that’s why I’m doing rehab every day and doing exercises every day. I’ll start swinging a bat in January and that will also help loosen it up.”

On if there are any doubts about being ready for Opening Day:

“I don’t have any doubts. I have to prove to myself that I’m 100 percent and I hope I’ll be 100 percent next month. You won’t really know until you go out and play that first game in Spring Training. When someone throws a 95 mph fastball in on your hands, if I can turn on that pitch and have no tightness or no pain, then I know I’m OK.”

On his Yankees wishes for 2014:

“I would love for us to round out our pitching staff, both in the starting rotation and the bullpen. If we add a couple more pieces, I think we go into 2014 with a great shot. I know Cash has worked really hard and I give him a lot of credit for what he’s done so far. I wouldn’t mind unwrapping a present after Christmas with a couple more guys on the pitching staff and we’ll be ready to roll.”

On expecting the ’14 Yankees to be a championship-caliber club:

“That’s obvious. Even based on last year, I don’t think anybody’s expectations have changed. I’d be remiss to talk about the last time the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs, what happened in that next season. Hopefully that happens again. I’m very confident that we’re going to go into the season with high hopes and we’ll see what happens.”

Carlos Beltran joins the Yankees on a dizzying day of spending

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Did everyone forget that the Winter Meetings are coming up next week down in Florida? Should I cancel my flight? The Hot Stove is in a full-blown boil, and I honestly cannot remember a 48 to 72 hour period of so much frenzied activity and player movement in December.

If you thought the fun was over on Friday, then Carlos Beltran and the Yankees had something to say about it, agreeing to a three-year, $45 million pact that finally dresses the switch-hitter in pinstripes. Beltran’s arrival comes nearly a full decade after he offered his services to the Yankees at a reduced rate, only to join the Mets when the Bombers said they were sticking with Bernie Williams as the center fielder.

The deal comes as a direct result of Robinson Cano’s decision to accept a 10-year, $240 million pact from the Mariners. Cano finally scored the decade-long deal he coveted and wasn’t going find from the Yankees, who finished with an offer that is believed to have been seven years at $175 million.

I was surprised. I do believe that Cano wanted to stay with the Yankees, and I don’t think he linked up with Jay-Z and this Roc Nation Sports venture to establish his brand in the Pacific Northwest. He will probably talk about all of that at some point in the future, but few people would leave $65 million on the table. He had made it clear that there would be no hometown discount, and the Yankees weren’t budging. So, Seattle it is.

This was a day that started by watching the sun come up over Connecticut, strangely enough. Brian Cashman was on the roof of the Landmark Building in Stamford, practicing his rappelling once again for Sunday’s upcoming ‘Heights & Lights’ holiday event. Cashman checked his cell phone a few times and ducked behind a storage room to make a few calls, but he said that he hadn’t been briefed about any of the developments between Cano and the Mariners.

Twitter filled in the gaps: the Cano deal was reportedly on late at night, reportedly off during breakfast, then reportedly finalized before lunch. Cashman shrugged during the coffee and donut hours — the Yankees had made their proposal and felt comfortable with it, and if it was not good enough, they still had offers out to other free agents. Some of those balls in the air would find their way to the Bronx.

“Everybody is replaceable,” Cashman said. “That’s a team concept. Some people are harder to replace than others, no doubt about it. I don’t think anybody would have the attitude that anybody is going to make or break your future, but you certainly can invest for good reason into players that can try to make your future brighter. That’s what we’re trying to do with Robbie amongst others. If it’s not to be, it’s not to be, and we’ll continue to do business as we have and try to collect as many great players as we can.”

Cashman had said that the Yankees were “on the one-yard line” with more than three players, shaking his head when asked to identify them. We can fill in the gaps: Hiroki Kuroda (one year, $16 million), Kelly Johnson (one year, $3 million) and Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million, still not official). Somewhere in the middle of all this, Curtis Granderson became a Met.

Now Beltran is in the Bronx, and there’s more to come. The Yankees want to add another starting pitcher, bullpen help, support for the left side of the infield and – oh yeah – a second baseman.

No one should be surprised to hear free agent Omar Infante’s name pop up for that last need. No, he’s not Cano – players of that caliber are few and far between. But the Yankees intend to move on, and what’s more, they already appear to be well on their way.

So, yep, I’ll keep that flight to Florida. I want to see what happens next.

Is Carlos Beltran up next for the Yankees?

 (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Now that they have agreed to a five-year contract with free agent catcher Brian McCann, the Yankees’ next move could come with outfielder Carlos Beltran, according to the New York Daily News.

The Yankees would love to make progress with Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka, their other main targets, but those discussions are held up for a variety of reasons. Thus, Beltran may be one of the next names to come off the board. The Yankees would prefer to give Beltran a two-year contract, while it has been reported that Beltran is looking for a three-year commitment.

Beltran turns 37 in April. The switch-hitter posted a split line of .296/.339/.491 in 145 games for the Cardinals this past season, slugging 24 homers and 84 RBIs. He has expressed interest in joining the Yankees before; through his agent at the time, Scott Boras, Beltran pitched his services to the Bombers at a discounted rate before agreeing with the Mets on a seven-year deal. Beltran is now represented by Dan Lozano.

General manager Brian Cashman has said that the Yankees liked Beltran during that ’04-’05 offseason, but they were already locked in with Bernie Williams as their center fielder at the time, and also felt bogged down by big-money pacts with players like Jason Giambi and Mike Mussina.

A Royal hello from Kansas City

Greetings from my hotel room in Kansas City, where the same type of Opening Day clouds that dogged the Yankees have decided to pop up as the Royals prepare to crack the seal on their 81-game home slate at Kauffman Stadium.

George Brett was on television this morning pumping up the Royals fans for a team that appears to be under construction in search of better days, and that’s appropriate, since their ballpark is also undergoing renovations.

The most striking change, and one I’m looking forward to seeing, is the new giant HD scoreboard in center field — the largest of its type in the world, apparently. I always liked the classic shield scoreboard but this one is supposed to be a beauty. By the way, everyone around here is going absolutely nuts for Kansas. So am I … I had the Jayhawks in a pool.

The rain is expected to pass and the Yankees are supposed to get the game in. It won’t matter much to Derek Jeter, though, as he mends a strained left quadriceps that we’ll have to watch closely. Jeter plays through injuries often so I wouldn’t expect this to keep him out of action for too long, but it could affect his productivity.

When I was covering the Mets in 2005, Carlos Beltran (a Kansas City alum, by the way) gave a day-by-day play-by-play of a strained quadriceps that seemed to last for months, and explaining why he wasn’t able to use his speed on the bases anymore. Jeter won’t go into that sort of detail, but that doesn’t mean he won’t wince in pain.

Here’s this week’s Yankees Mailbag in case you missed it.

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