Results tagged ‘ Marcus Thames ’
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has decided that the team will not surrender its top Draft pick as compensation, effectively taking them out of the running for free agent Rafael Soriano, the top reliever on the remaining free agent market.
Here are some of the latest Yankees notes and quotes on a chilly Saturday afternoon in New York City, no doorbuster sales required:
Maybe the Yankees and Derek Jeter are coming closer to sorting this all out, but there is still work to be done. The latest New York Daily News report suggests that Jeter has suggested a five-year deal worth between $22 to $24 million per year.
That’s a step down from the six-year, $150 million figure that was reported earlier and shot down by agent Casey Close as inaccurate. (If you want to know more about who Close is, check out this New York Times profile).
The Yankees’ offer is said to be holding steady at three years and $45 million.
It bears repeating just because every other question I seem to be asked – online and offline – is about Jeter. So it goes with the Hot Stove. There are variations of my answer, but it basically boils down to this: the Yankees want him and he wants the Yankees. How can they not eventually figure this out?
Let’s even pretend there are other teams out there that want Jeter as their Opening Day shortstop: he’s not the same presence if he’s not ‘Derek Jeter, Captain of the New York Yankees.’ He knows it, the Yankees know it, we all know it. And the Yankees know their fan base will be irate if Jeter gets hit No. 3,000 elsewhere and Eduardo Nunez is at shortstop when the schedule begins.
Yet are we surprised that the very proud Jeter didn’t jump at the first offer the Yankees presented – especially considering it represents a pay cut from what he made this year? The Yankees have fair points to consider in their concerns about his age (37 in June) and production not only in 2011, but 2012, 2013, and onward. It’s a fascinating drama, but it can’t go on forever. Right?
Jonathan Albaladejo, who was released by the Yankees last week, has cashed in with a $950,000, one-year deal to pitch for the Yomiuri Giants. Also, it flew under the radar, but Darrell Rasner re-upped with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles this month. This all comes while Marcus Thames is reportedly weighing offers to sign for some quick, guaranteed money in Japan instead of waiting out the free agent process in the Majors.
The Yankees have signed right-hander Brian Anderson and left-hander Andy Sisco to Minor League deals with invitations to Spring Training, Ken Rosenthal reports via Twitter.
Taking the mound as the confirmed fifth starter felt a whole lot like his previous spring starts for Phil Hughes, as it turned out. The Yankees gave Hughes the ball for 71 pitches on Friday and he burned through them in three-plus innings, but he was pitching on three days’ rest and felt as though he was only missing by a little bit.
“I didn’t really feel like I was wild,” said Hughes, who walked four, threw two wild pitches and struck out five. “It was just adjustments I needed to make. Overall, I felt pretty good.”
Hughes liked testing his mettle and his changeup against the tough Phillies lineup, which serves as a good indication of where he is with regards to competition. His next start should come on Wednesday against the Twins, and after that it’s still up in the air.
He might be selected to pitch the Yankees’ fifth game on April 10 at Tampa Bay, but probably not because CC Sabathia would already be on an extra day of rest then.
The Yankees are planning to go Sabathia-A.J. Burnett-Andy Pettitte-Javier Vazquez in the first four days of camp, but need to further discuss their planning with regard to Hughes because of all the days off the Yankees enjoy in April.
We’re back at you bright and early on Saturday morning, so here are some quick notes before we hit the road:
- Amaury Sanit was sent to Minor League camp after the game. Sanit was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in six spring appearances, spanning 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. The Yankees are down to 32 players in camp.
- The Yankees could wait until April 1 or April 2 to sort out the last touches of their bullpen mix, Joe Girardi said.
- Marcus Thames stroked a solid single in his first at-bat off Jamie Moyer, and the Yankees want to see more of his hitting against left-handed hurlers. Expect him to be in the lineup Saturday as the Yankees see the Tigers’ Nate Robertson in Lakeland.
- Mike Rivera (right hamstring) will not take batting practice until Monday. He tweaked his leg running the bases in an intrasquad game this week.
- Francisco Cervelli will have an excused absence from camp on Saturday and Sunday.
While most of the news was coming out of Sarasota, there was this ugly tidbit of a pitching line filtering in from the Himes Avenue complex back in Tampa, where CC Sabathia pitched in a Triple-A game against the Phillies’ top farm club:
Sabathia: 3.2IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 2 HR – 88 pitches, 58 strikes
Joe Girardi didn’t have any details, but upon hearing the results, he said: “That’s not what we’re necessarily looking for.” Maybe it’s a good thing that Sabathia’s facing the Red Sox on Opening Night and not the Triple-A Lehigh Valley club.
Following the outing, Sabathia threw an additional 12 pitches in the bullpen. He was caught in the game and bullpen by Jorge Posada, who went 2-for-3 (two singles) off the Phillies’ Roy Halladay.
- Once again, Alex Rodriguez found a side door at Ed Smith Stadium, walking past the autograph seekers and into a waiting luxury car to leave the Yankees. He was apparently headed for his reported meeting with federal investigators regarding his possible connection to a Canadian physician under investigation. A-Rod did not comment to reporters, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not know if Rodriguez would be available to play on either Friday or Saturday.
- Back in Sarasota, Girardi thought that Sergio Mitre (2 IP, 1 ER) looked pretty good, but Alfredo Aceves (2 IP, 6 ER) was up in the zone and paid for it. Girardi said that he thought both pitchers were dealing with some emotions after learning they wouldn’t be the Yankees’ fifth starter.
- Earlier we mentioned that the Yankees might find it difficult to carry two situational lefties, and they consider Damaso Marte as one. Boone Logan’s changeup is an intriguing pitch for Girardi, and one they want to keep looking at. It’s a pitch that might elevate him past just the left-on-left battles.
- One explanation for Marcus Thames’ struggles this spring, from Girardi – he’s going to primarily be on the roster to bat against left-handed pitching, and the Yankees haven’t seen much this spring. They’ll draw Jamie Moyer tomorrow, and you can bet Thames will be in there. Girardi wants to see him get going.
- Chan Ho Park (2 IP, 0 ER) was “exceptional,” the skipper said.
That didn’t seem like a good consolation prize after he was charged with five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla. on Saturday, though, leaving a bases-loaded mess for Mark Melancon and watching the carousel progress.
“I just missed pitches,” Aceves said. “They’ve got good hitters. … I’m not happy with that.”
Regardless, this shouldn’t torpedo Aceves’ chances of helping the Yankees in 2010, at least not based upon Girardi’s glowing scouting report of the righty pre-game.
“He knows how to change speeds, he knows how to change eye level, read
swings,” Girardi said. “He knows how to pitch. He was a big part of our success last
year – 10 wins out of the bullpen. He held teams down and gave us a
chance to come back. I’ve always had a lot of confidence in him.”
Next up in the great fifth starter pitch-off is Phil Hughes, who throws in relief of A.J. Burnett tomorrow. Joba Chamberlain gets a start Monday against the Phillies in Clearwater, and then it’s really time to start hashing things out. Joe Girardi isn’t surprised that the decision is receiving so much attention.
“I think people are interested, that’s why,” Girardi said. “Once that’s set, then you
iron out your bullpen from there. There’s a lot up in the air because
you don’t know exactly who’s going to be in your bullpen because of the
fifth starter [competition].”
A-Rod on the scene: Alex Rodriguez had two doubles and two RBIs in three at-bats Saturday, continuing to heat up in Grapefruit League play.
“He’s starting to swing the bat,” Girardi said. “He’ll play again tomorrow. I talked to him today and physically he feels good. That’s obviously good to hear.”
Go, speed racer: Brett Gardner’s wheels earned him a bunt single on the first pitch of the game, and in the third inning, he tripled to the left-field corner – someplace you don’t usually see three-base hits from.
“That’s what speed does for you,” Girardi said. “I tell him all the time, just get on base, you can make things happen. He has that ability. We see him hitting the ball on the ground a lot harder, bunting for base hits. It’s great.”
The only minus to Gardner’s day was a pickoff after that bunt single, as Astros catcher Humberto Quintero made a snap throw to first base behind the left-handed hitting Nick Johnson and caught Gardner leaning.
- Notes & quotes: Assistant trainer Steve Donohue’s report on OF Curtis Granderson was “minor stiffness” in his right hand. He’ll play Sunday vs. Detroit … It’s still too early on a decision for OF Jamie Hoffmann (3-for-23, .130) vs. OF Marcus Thames (3-for-28, .107) in that battle to be the right-handed hitting 25th man on the bench. “We’ve still got time with that,” Girardi said. “That we’re not in such a big hurry to make.”
Alex Rodriguez knew it as soon as ball met wood. This one was headed a long way.
Rodriguez’s shot off the Tigers’ Rick Porcello cleared the left-field scoreboard at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday, letting the Yankees slugger glow a little bit about it: “That one felt good, because it wasn’t an everyday home run.”
Actually, for A-Rod, it was the first home run in 2010, leaving the Yankees hoping there will be many more to come. He said that he has been spending more time in the cage now after focusing on conditioning early.
“I’ve been swinging OK,” Rodriguez said. “My emphasis the first part of Spring Training is to make sure I get all my work in, and that [begins] early in the morning. As you get closer to Opening Day, you want to make sure you hone in on your swing, and so far so good.
“I had a really good session with Kevin Long and Reggie [Jackson] on one of the back fields a couple of days ago, and we’re on schedule. … You just make sure that your legs are under you and you’re in
great condition to play six or seven days a week every day.”
Rodriguez said that there are still some limitations to what he can do one year after right hip surgery, but it is not that he can’t do certain things – he’s just trying for quality over quantity, as prescribed by Dr. Marc Philippon.
“You’ve just got to work a little bit more diligently,” A-Rod said. “Overall, it
was good to get back a full winter of training. You just cut your
swings in half and ground balls, you just can’t go and do all the crazy
things you did before and take 100 swings a day. Every swing, you’ve
got to make it count.”
Asked if that’s hard for him to swallow after doing it so many years his own way, Rodriguez said that these are the ‘Philippon Rules’ and he has to stick to them.
“He didn’t give me an option,” Rodriguez said. “Philippon was very specific about the
workload and I thought it was a plan that I put into play last year. It
worked and I’m very comfortable with it. I’m used to it now.”
- Notes & quotes: Mariano Rivera said “everything was good” in his 10-pitch inning and he’ll take the mound again on Sunday … Girardi said that he’s OK with Marcus Thames’ performance so far in a small sample size (3-for-25, .120), saying that he’s had good at-bats and some line-outs. He’s competing with Jamie Hoffmann (3-for-22, .136) to be the right-handed bat off the bench … Jon Weber (10-for-17, .588) is having a “great spring” and it would have been “very possible” that he could have been considered if he wasn’t left-handed, Girardi said. Termed a “survivor” by the skipper, Weber is slated to open at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Now that the door has finally closed on all speculation of Johnny Damon’s return to the Yankees, it appears that GM Brian Cashman has completed the majority of the workload of the offseason, with only minor tweaking heading into the spring.
Randy Winn turned out to be the right-handed outfield bat that Cashman had been talking about, though he’s actually a switch-hitter. While Winn is coming off one of the most disappointing seasons of his career and was actually horrid against left-handed pitching (.158), he provides the Yankees with a good defensive option to complement Brett Gardner in the outfield as well as a veteran option and sharp baserunning instincts.
He could share time with Gardner in left field or center field, depending on where the Yankees decide to play him, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that Winn might beat out Gardner for a job outright (be it left field or center field).
The Yankees haven’t officially announced the Winn move – he took his physical on Thursday in New York – but it’s only a matter of time. Even Joe Girardi acknowledged the transaction in an interview on Thursday with WFAN.
Cashman popped on with the Yankees Hot Stove crew Thursday night and went over a variety of issues in a 10-minute interview, noting that the book closed on Damon “a long time ago,” though the he-said, he-said drama between Cashman and agent Scott Boras continues to percolate.
Though no one can really be sure of everything that transpired, I have to imagine that Damon was genuine in his desire to return to the Yankees, based upon all of his conversations with the media. Certainly, the Yankees’ players were hoping he’d work something out, and on some level Cashman would have liked him back as well – but at his price, which they never really got close to.
“We had a strong desire to have Johnny back, but not at all costs,” Cashman said on YES.
The latest rumors have the Blue Jays and Rays among the clubs that could provide soft landing spots for Damon, and while I’m sure Damon would absolutely love playing for the Rays and commuting from his Orlando, Fla. home (as he did during Spring Training), 81 games on artificial turf at either stadium probably isn’t the ideal setting for a player who has been hampered by painful calf issues.
Remember, Damon even had to leave the clinching game of the World Series because of the calf problems, limping to the pile after Mark Teixeira caught the final out to end the Fall Classic.
Here’s a few other links from around the Yankees blogosphere that might be of interest:
- Baseball Prospectus has picked the Yankees to finish third in the American League East at 93-69, behind the Rays (96-66) and Red Sox (95-67). While I have some debate with that prediction, if the top three teams in the division are separated by three wins when the season comes to an end, buckle up for one heck of a pennant race.
- Cliff Corcoran compares Randy Winn to Melky Cabrera – just a decade older and on the wrong side of the production curve.
- Joel Sherman notes that the Yankees are still in play on Jonny Gomes, as well as considering Rocco Baldelli and Marcus Thames. If they do really go after Gomes, it’s a good thing Shelley Duncan has moved on to a new home.
- This isn’t Yankees-related, but former Bomber Tim Redding is calling out Mike Bacsik for – he believes – intentionally giving up Barry Bonds’ 756th home run. I covered Bacsik a little bit with the Mets (including his first big league win) and he was one of the nicest guys in that clubhouse, but it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he could have missed his location with a meaty fastball to Bonds.