Curtis Granderson Rumors
After 95 regular season wins and two postseason series, the Yankees' year has ended. The Tigers swept the ALCS in four games, which means it's now time for the Bronx Bombers to look ahead to the 2012-13 offseason. Here's the latest...
- Yankees management wants to step away from the disappointment of the 2012 ALCS before finalizing offseason plans, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Yankees will continue relying on power hitters, even after a team-wide slump against the Tigers. “I’m not going to turn myself into the Bronx Bunters because all of a sudden we didn’t hit for this week in October,” GM Brian Cashman said.
- Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte hopes to decide within a few weeks whether he'll return for another season of baseball in 2013, Jeff Bradley and Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger report. “I still have the desire to compete, but there are family things. I just have to try and figure that out,” Pettitte said.
- Nick Swisher would "absolutely" like to re-sign with the Yankees and described his tenure in New York as "awesome," Bradley and McCullough report.
- Ichiro Suzuki said he hopes to be needed and wanted but declined to get into specifics, Bradley and McCullough report.
- Bradley also outlines an offseason to-do list for the Yankees. The possibility of a trade sending Alex Rodriguez to Miami might be tempting for the New York front office.
- Curtis Granderson said he expects to return in 2013, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Unless the Yankees trade the center fielder he'll still be wearing pinstripes when the season opens.
- Cashman said he isn't worried about the age of his team, Hoch reports. "I don't care if it's old; I care if it's good," Cashman said.
Curtis Granderson capped off the 2012 season with a two-home run effort at Yankee Stadium yesterday, as New York beat Boston 14-2 and clinched the American League East title. His season isn’t over yet -- the Yankees will play in the Division Series starting this weekend -- but for most of his peers in the MLB Players Association it’s time to look ahead ahead to the offseason. Granderson, a prominent member of MLBPA's Executive Board, expects this winter to unfold more quietly than last it did a year ago, when the players and owners negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement.
“All the main things that needed to be discussed happened last year,” Granderson told MLBTR this past weekend. “There won’t be any big, major holdups -- just a few things to try to iron out that could start this year that may not finish up for the next couple of years. It’ll just be a lot of discussion.”
The talks will have a different tone this offseason. Though baseball’s players and owners negotiated their current CBA without any of the public bickering that has accompanied recent labor discussions in the NFL, NBA and NHL, tense moments are bound to occur while determining the financial structure of a $7 billion industry. Now that major issues such as the luxury tax, the amateur draft and revenue sharing have been resolved through 2016, the MLBPA can focus on other details.
“Obviously there are always issues each year that arise and different things from new helmet regulations, pace of game, different things with performance enhancing drug issues that we’ve had this year, scheduling with another team going to the American League, Interleague Play starting in the first week of the season,” Granderson said. “So just little things like that, but nothing major.”
Granderson, one of two association representatives for the MLBPA (Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals is the other), will keep in contact with his fellow players via phone calls and text messages over the course of the coming offseason. When a major issue emerges, the MLBPA attempts to reach as many players as possible.
“We have ways of getting in touch with everybody,” Granderson said. “Pretty quickly now, especially with everybody having a cell phone no matter where they happen to be in the world.”
When he’s not communicating with other MLB players, Granderson stays informed on labor unrest in other sports. Former MLBPA Executive Director Don Fehr represents NHL players in the current lockout, and Granderson, who worked a bit with Fehr in the past, has monitored talks with an outsider’s perspective.
“I’m still a fan,” he said. “I like watching those games and whenever they get the chance to go back out there, hopefully everybody’s taken care of.”
For now baseball players don't have major labor concerns of their own, which means fewer distractions for Granderson as the Yankees prepare for another postseason run.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
The Yankees will reach a crossroads with three of their most productive players this offseason when Nick Swisher hits free agency and Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano get a little closer to the open market. Jayson Stark surveyed MLB executives about the value of those Yankees and passed along the results in his latest column at ESPN.com. Here are the details and more notes from Stark...
- Two National League executives had no reservations about spending on Cano. “Pay him what he's worth," one said. The other said Cano has a legitimate case for a $200MM extension.
- The execs praised Granderson as a person but questioned his value on the field. A $100MM contract would be excessive in the view of one executive. Both Cano and Granderson will be eligible for free agency following the 2013 season, assuming the Yankees exercise their '13 club options.
- Similarly, the executives don’t consider Swisher a candidate for a Jayson Werth-type deal (seven years and $126MM). Swisher may look to match Werth’s contract as a free agent this coming winter.
- The Nationals have considered picking up their side of Adam LaRoche’s $10MM mutual option for 2013 and keeping Bryce Harper in center field, Stark reports. Alternatively, they could sign Michael Bourn when he hits free agency, move Harper to a corner spot and trade Michael Morse. I examined LaRoche’s option in detail last week, before his recent hot streak.
- The Phillies are looking at third base and left field options for next year and that search includes players already in the organization. One scout has been impressed by 26-year-old Darin Ruf, who hit 38 home runs at Double-A this year. "He might be Matt Holliday," the scout said, praising Ruf's hitting ability.
- An old friend of Roger Clemens doesn’t believe the seven-time Cy Young Award winner when he says he’s not thinking about playing at the MLB level. The person expects Clemens to sign with the Astros this month.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman spoke with reporters prior to today's game against the Angels and Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger has the goods..
- Cashman implied that the Yankees might break policy and explore contract extensions early this winter with both Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. The Yankees hold club options in 2013 for both Cano ($15MM) and Granderson ($13MM) but may be motivated to extend both before they hit the open market. The Yanks want to get their payroll below $189MM in 2014 to avoid stiff penalties and could make the numbers work if they lock in both players early.
- Cashman doesn't want to overpay to make improvements at the deadline that will only be "marginal." He wouldn't rule out some activity before the July 31 but he's "very skeptical" about the chances of finding something worthwhile on the market.
- The GM said that he wanted to avoid wearing Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones thin by playing them in the outfield but he seems content to wait on Brett Gardner's return rather than overspend for an outfielder via trade.
Nick Swisher hits free agency this coming offseason and Curtis Granderson’s contract expires following the 2013 season, so the Yankees face questions about the composition of their outfield at the same time that they're aiming to lower payroll below the $189MM luxury tax threshold. Joel Sherman discusses what he calls a looming outfield deficiency in his latest column at the New York Post. The highlights:
- There is “pretty much zero possibility” the Yankees will retain Swisher if they are serious about lowering payroll below $189MM by 2014, Sherman writes. Swisher has “done a hell of a job” in New York, GM Brian Cashman told Sherman.
- The Yankees’ best outfield prospects still need minor league seasoning. Immediate solutions are “not coming from within,” Cashman said.
- Sherman suggests the Yankees don’t want to reunite with Melky Cabrera, the former Yankee outfielder who’s now enjoying success in San Francisco as he approaches free agency.
- Cashman said the Yankees are not looking to address future outfield issues at the upcoming trade deadline, however. “You would like to have security and a comfort level. But we are not going to find that now, so why worry about it?”
- The Yankees offered Ben Sheets a minor league contract after watching him throw, Sherman reports. The Mets didn’t have interest in Sheets, who signed with the Braves.
Teams interested in acquiring starting pitching help surely noticed when the Cubs placed right-hander Ryan Dempster on the disabled list with right lat tightness today. Dempster, 35, is one of the top starters known to be available in trades. Here are today’s links...
- A quick sale of the Padres may not be possible at this point, writes Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. The three apparent finalists are all leading bid groups with multiple investors, which will require extensive background work once a sale is announced.
- Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com examines the trade stock of some of the Phillies biggest names in the event that their slide continues into late July.
- Blue Jays righty Kyle Drabek is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow, tweets Barry Davis of Sportsnet.ca. This will be the second time Drabek has been through Tommy John.
- Free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero isn't close to signing, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- There's no indication the Tigers are interested in Jim Thome, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports. Thome, a "longtime tormentor" of the Tigers, bats left-handed, which means he’s not a perfect fit in Detroit. The Tigers are interested in acquiring a bat before the July 31st trade deadline and they'd prefer to add a right-handed hitter, Morosi reported yesterday.
- GM Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that the Yankees haven't pursued contract extensions for Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson, but aim to keep both players long-term (Twitter link).
- Maury Brown explains that TV deals are boosting franchise values across MLB in a piece at Baseball Prospectus.
With the Yankees planning to get under the $189MM luxury tax threshold by 2014, many have wondered if the club will be able to retain both Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson after their contracts expire following the 2013 season. Today, team president Randy Levine flatly stated that the team has a plan in place to retain both stars, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
General Manager Brian Cashman says that the club will not entertain going above the $189MM mark and the front office is committed to getting below that figure. While some wonder if the Yanks can even consider marquee free agents this winter such as Matt Cain or Cole Hamels, Cashman won't rule out making a play for a high-priced player on the open market.
- The value of the Yankees' 2013 option on Curtis Granderson increased from $13MM to $15MM thanks to the center fielder's top-five finish in the MVP voting.
- Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com hears Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes could obtain $45MM and suggests the 26-year-old will eventually sign for “quite a bit more” (Twitter link). One evaluator told Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that Cespedes will sign for “way over [the] top” money (Twitter link). It appears that he’ll cost $35-50MM, if not more.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington confirmed Craig Shipley will no longer be the team’s VP of player personnel and international operations, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com (on Twitter).
- Ryne Sandberg will return as the Phillies’ Triple-A manager in 2012, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.
- ESPN.com’s Keith Law doesn’t endorse the Pirates’ two-year, $10.5MM deal with Clint Barmes. Pittsburgh would have been better off picking up Ronny Cedeno’s $3MM option for 2012, Law argues.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America looks back at the 2005-07 drafts and shows that the Cardinals (24) and Padres (22) have developed the most Major Leaguers from those three drafts to this point.
The Yankees won 97 regular season games and two more in the playoffs, but their quest for a 28th World Championship fell short in the Bronx last night, as the Tigers beat them 3-2. Here are some links as the Yankees look ahead to another offseason...
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times says retaining C.C. Sabathia is the most pressing task of the Yankees' offseason. If they let him slip away, the Red Sox could have interest, as Kepner points out.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com points out that the Yankees' biggest offseason need is once again starting pitching and runs through a number of other issues facing the Bronx Bombers this winter.
- Sabathia can opt out of the four years remaining on his seven-year, $161MM contract after the season and the left-hander says he can't wrap his head around the decision yet, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. However, Sabathia repeated that he loves it in New York.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post suspects that the Yankees will wait, instead of extending Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson this offseason. Both players are eligible for free agency after 2013 (assuming New York exercises Cano's two options).
- Alex Rodriguez told Sherman that the Yankees' season was a "major failure" though they finished with the best record in the American League. Rodriguez says he has a lot to prove and is looking forward to the challenge of "coming back with a vengeance."
- As Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger explains, Jorge Posada may have played his final game in Yankee pinstripes and the catcher turned DH is emotional about the possibility.
- Brian Cashman reiterated that he wants to return to the Yankees, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. The GM's contract expires after the season, but the Yankees want him back, so a new deal appears likely.
A few items of note out of the AL East, where the Yankees lead the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games through Thursday's action ...
- Yankees setup man David Robertson has pitched so well this season that Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders whether we're watching the development of Mariano Rivera's heir apparent as New York's closer. Rivera is under contract through next season.
- Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson is in the thick of MVP talks because of his stellar season, writes Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, but he's also an affable, charitable, humble and highly intelligent person. He's the Yankees' player rep for the MLBPA and is one of two league-wide reps along with Craig Counsell of the Brewers. Crasnick's piece is an excellent read.
- Not much was thought of it when the Red Sox acquired Mike Aviles from the Royals, but the utility infielder is preparing himself for what could be an important postseason role, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Aviles isn't a prototypical burner but is an efficient basestealer, according to Bradford, and could pinch-run in the postseason in a big spot -- a la Dave Roberts in 2004.