Yankees and Damon Talking

The Yankees and Johnny Damon are talking about a possible return. Damon was a good offensive player for the Yankees last year and his most memorable moment in 2009 was his long at-bat against Philadelphia closer Brad Lidge that drug out 9 pitches and ended in a single. After that at-bat, Damon succeeded in a double steal against the shift in Philly.

If Damon returns, I would have him as the DH and as of now the outfield would probably be Melky Cabrera in left, Granderson in center, and Swisher in right. Everything could change because rumors are saying Melky could be traded to another club.

In other news the Mets have reportedly offered free agent deals to OF Jason Bay and C Bengie Molina. Boston fans you may lose another player to New York, but to the Senior Circuit club. Though I wouldn’t be to worried of Bay going to the Mets. If they do lose out on Bay they will probably make a huge puch for Matt Holliday.

The AL East is getting stronger too. The Rays acquired Rafael Soriano from the Braves for Jesse Chavez.

The Baltimore Orioles acquired Kevin Millwood from Texas for RP Chris Ray.  

The Red Sox and Texas have reached an agreement on a trade that would send the 2007 World Series MVP, Mike Lowell, to Texas and C/1B Max Ramirez to Boston.

Photos: AP

Yankees Still in on Aroldis Chapman

According to Chapman’s agent, the Yankees are going to attend Aroldis Chapman’s throwing session. Chapman defected from the Cuban national team in July. He was clocked at throwing 100 mph at the World Baseball Classic in March. Chapman’s agent also said that the Red Sox, Orioles, Phillies, and Tigers are interested in the left-handed pitcher.


Yankees and Pettitte Agree to Deal

The New York Yankees and Andy Pettitte have agreed to a one-year, $11.75 million contract on Wednesday. This season will be Andy’s 13th season in Yankee Pinstripes. According to Bryan Hoch, GM Brian Cashman met with Pettitte’s agent more than once yesterday to discuss the possibility of the south paw’s return to the Bronx.

Andy Pettitte was huge for the Yankees last year becoming a dominant pitcher later and later into the season. He posted a 14-8 record with a 4.16 ERA in the regular season. Pettitte was dominant in the postseason for New York also. He was 4-0 in 5 postseason starts. He clinched the ALDS, ALCS, and the World Series against familiar-foe Pedro Martinez in New York.

This move is great. The first three spots in the starting rotation will be a bit easier to fill out now.

Winter Meetings Round-Up: Day 2

There were other moves than the big 3-team trade that sent Curtis Granderson to New York and Edwin Jackson to Arizona.

Brad Penny signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract with St. Louis

Chone Figgins signed a four-year, $36 million contract with Seattle

There were some rumors going around also.

The Cubs are shopping Milton Bradley

San Diego’s Kevin Kouzmanoff is drawing interest from other teams

Atlanta’s Rafael Soriano is available

Photos: AP

Granderson Traded to Yankees

The New York Yankees have reportedly acquired Curtis Granderson in a 3 team trade involving the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, and Detroit Tigers.

Yankees get: CF Curtis Granderson (DET)

D’Backs get: RHP Edwin Jackson (DET), RHP Ian Kennedy SP (NYY)

Tigers get:
OF Austin Jackson* (NYY), RHP Max Scherzer SP (ARI), LHP Daniel Schlereth (ARI), LHP Phil Coke (NYY)

The headline piece is obviously Curtis Granderson but the other pieces are keys to see how good of a deal this is.

Granderson is good defensive outfielder who can make plays in the outfield and has power in his bat. He can help out the Yankees in the line up at the top of the order. He hit 30 HR’s for the Tigers in 2009.

The Yankees do lose on top outfield prospect Austin Jackson who could develop into a Curtis Granderson type player. He spent last season mainly in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

Ian Kennedy was traded to the D’Backs and has the potential to mold into a decent pitcher. He had injury problems with an arm injury. If he molds into the pitcher he can be, he will be very serviceable for Arizona.

Phil Coke was a good reliever for the Yankees in 2009. He was able to be put in key spots and prevail. Coke is a south paw and has a high ceiling.

What are your thoughts on the trade? I believe this is a good trade for all teams involved and as a Yankees fan, I think Granderson can help out in extraordinary ways in 2010.

Photos: AP  

Yankee Review: Derek Jeter

In this Yankee Review we will look at the season of phenomenal shortstop #2 Derek Jeter #2.

In a year that Derek Jeter won SI’s Sportsman of the Year, The Roberto Clemente Award, Silver Slugger, the Hank Aaron Award, a Gold Glove, and a World Series Title, you would say Jeter did it all for the Yankees in 2009. Well he did.

Jeter was named the lead off hitter for the Yankees in Spring Training to spark the line up like he did in the past.

Jeter excelled in the roll as a lead off hitter from the start of the season and into the playoffs. The Yankee Captain scored 107 runs (4th in AL), hit .334 (3rd in AL), and had a .406 OBP (3rd in AL)

Jeter proved that he is a productive player still on both sides of the game.

In the 2009 postseason Jeter showed why he is the captain.

In the ALDS vs the Twins he batted .400 in 10 AB’s. He had 2 RBIs, 4 Runs, and 1 Home

In the ALCS against the Angels he batted .259 in 27 AB’s. He had 3 RBI on 7 hits.

In the World Series he batted .407 with 11 hits. After it was all said and done, Jeter and the 2009 NY Yankees celebrated a 27th World Series title.

Yankees Reducing Payroll?

While my first instinct when I saw this was, “So we are not going to be getting any FA’s?” While many fans may think this, that is not entirely the case.

While the Yankees have been despised for spending loads of many on big name players such as Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, they have set their budget for the 2010 campaign. The Yankees ended their final day of organizational meetings in Tampa, FL on Friday, December 4th.

While the budget is smaller than last years spending spree, GM Brian Cashman has said that rotation help is in the plan for this off-season.

As a fan, this is still good news, whether it’s a trade to land a pitcher (Roy Halladay) or signing a Free Agent starter. While we’re on the topic here the Free Agent starters out there.

Brandon Backe (32)
Cha Seung Baek (30)
Miguel Batista (39)
Erik Bedard (31) – Type B, not offered arb
Kris Benson (34)
Paul Byrd (39)
Daniel Cabrera (29)
Aroldis Chapman (22)
Bartolo Colon (37)
Jose Contreras (38)
Doug Davis (34) – Type B, not offered arb
Lenny DiNardo (30)
Justin Duchscherer (32) – Type B, offered arb
Adam Eaton (32)
Shawn Estes (37)
Josh Fogg (33)
Jon Garland (30) – Type B, not offered arb
Tom Glavine (44)
Mike Hampton (37)
Rich Harden (28) – Type B, not offered arb
Mark Hendrickson (36)
Livan Hernandez (35)
Rich Hill (30)
Shawn Hill (29)
Jason Jennings (31)
Jason Johnson (36)
Randy Johnson (46) – Type B, not offered arb
John Lackey (31) – Type A, offered arb
Braden Looper (35) – Type B, not offered arb
Rodrigo Lopez (34)
Noah Lowry (29)
Jason Marquis (31) – Type B, offered arb
Pedro Martinez (38)
Eric Milton (34)
Mark Mulder (32)
Brett Myers (29)
Vicente Padilla (32) – Type B, not offered arb
Carl Pavano (34) – Type B, offered arb
Brad Penny (32)
Odalis Perez (33)
Andy Pettitte (38) – Type B, not offered arb
Joel Pineiro (31) – Type B, offered arb
Sidney Ponson (33)
Mark Prior (28)
Horacio Ramirez (30)
Jason Schmidt (37)
Ben Sheets (31)
John Smoltz (43)
Brett Tomko (37)
Jarrod Washburn (35)
Todd Wellemeyer (31)
Kip Wells (33)
Randy Wolf (33) – Type A, not offered arb 

The Yankees also said that they will look for a LF also. Some more encouraging news as a Yankee fan. Listed are the Free Agent outfielders listed by LF, CF, and RF.

Left fielders
Garret Anderson (38) – Type B, not offered arb
Marlon Anderson (36)
Jason Bay (31) – Type A, offered arb
Emil Brown (35)
Marlon Byrd (32) – Type B, offered arb
Johnny Damon (36) – Type A, not offered arb
David Dellucci (36)
Cliff Floyd (37)
Joey Gathright (28)
Matt Holliday (30) – Type A, offered arb
Reed Johnson (33)
Laynce Nix (29)
Greg Norton (37)
Wily Mo Pena (28)
Dave Roberts (38)
Gary Sheffield (41)
Fernando Tatis (35) – Type B, not offered arb
Marcus Thames (33)
Randy Winn (36) – Type B, not offered arb

Center fielders
Rick Ankiel (30)
Rocco Baldelli (28)
Marlon Byrd (32) – Type B, offered arb
Mike Cameron (37) – Type B, not offered arb
Endy Chavez (32)
Coco Crisp (30)
Darin Erstad (36)
Jeff Fiorentino (27)
Ryan Freel (34)
Joey Gathright (28)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (34)
Reed Johnson (33)
Corey Patterson (30)
Scott Podsednik (34)

Right fielders
Jermaine Dye (36) – Type A, not offered arb
Brian Giles (39) – Type B, not offered arb
Vladimir Guerrero (35) – Type B, not offered arb
Joey Gathright (28)
Eric Hinske (32)
Geoff Jenkins (35)
Austin Kearns (30)
Jason Michaels (34)
Xavier Nady (31) – Type B, not offered arb
Randy Winn (36) – Type B, not offered arb

Even though the Yankees have announced a payroll decrease, that doesn’t mean they won’t go after any players this winter.

Bob Sheppard Retires

The voice that made games in The House that Ruth Built what they were has now retired.

Bob Sheppard announced his retirement this week and he will be missed by Yankee fans and all of baseball. He was the voice of Yankee Stadium from April 17, 1951 til the last game at Yankee Stadium.

Here are what some fans on MLB.com are saying about Bob Sheppard.

I still remember an article done on Bob in which he said that his all time favorite player to announce was…

“Now batting…for the New York Yankees….# 7….Mickey Mantle…..#7”

But he gave the SAME treatment to EVERY player (Yankees AND opponents) that made ANY visit to the old stadium memorable!

Enjoy your retirement Bob…YOU EARNED IT and You will be missed! – 7Mantle7

I recall that when Jason Giambi first came to the team, Sheppard used
to pronounce his name like it had only two syllables: “Jom-by”. I heard
a story where word got back up to Sheppard that this pronunciation was
considered peculiar, so he went down to the field during practice and
hunted Giambi up to clear up that issue. Giambi told him; “Mr.
Sheppard, you’re the voice of this house. You say it the way you WANT
to.” One thing Sheppard didn’t believe in was the bellowing delivery of
announcers in many other stadiums, as if it was a wrestling event (the
way one Toronto announcer used to say Orlando Hudson’s name comes to
mind–the last “o” in the first name drawn out more than five seconds).
Sheppard believed in just saying players’ names clearly, a practice I
hope his successors stick to. – careeryankfan

I know I was blessed to be chosen to fill in the large shoes of long
time Yankees Organist, Eddie Layton.. Little did I know the real
blessing was that I would have the priviledge to get to really know Bob
as I drove him into the stadium for the last few years of his career. A
place, I know, any Yankee fan would have changed places with me in a
heartbeat! The man is a true gentleman. HIs wife, an absolute
sweetheart. We need more people like them in this world. God bless Bob
and his wife.. good health to both of them.. You are and will continue
to be missed….
Paul Cartier

There are many more great fan comments and you can check them out at yankees.com.

Hot Stove Season Begins

Some people think baseball is over after the final out of the World Series, some think it’s done after the victory parade in the winning teams city, and some don’t care.

Across this great nation there is a large group of devoted baseball fans that know baseball is never over.

While I sit here on this Thanksgiving Day I was thinking about how hot the stove was getting.

Here is my 2009-2010 Hot Stove wish list for the New York Yankees. It’s a short one.

1. Bring back Johnny Damon: He has proved that he can still play. He was the best player for the Yankees in the later part of the ALCS vs LA and he was THE most consistent player in the World Series. He was the team’s leader in runs scored at 107. His 2009 season was what fans wanted when he first came to the Bronx.

2. Get Andy Pettitte back. This all relies on whether he wants to pitch again in 2010. Andy was a staple for the rotation. His clutch pitching in the World Series is a must have for this team. I know he is getting older but he has good stuff and he may have one more season left in the tank.

3. Solve the cluster in the outfield. Currently the Yankees have too many outfielders. Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, and maybe Austin Jackson. If they execute wish #1 they will have 6 potential outfielders on the Major League club.