New York Yankees Rumors
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters, including Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger, that Kevin Youkilis will undergo back surgery for a herniated disc and miss 10-12 weeks (Twitter link). The best-case scenario for Youkilis, based on that timeline, would be a late August return, though the recovery could easily push into September.
Youkilis, 34, signed a one-year, $12MM deal with the Yankees this offseason. He hit a respectable .267/.347/.422 through April 27 before landing on the disabled list with a sprained back. Since returning on May 31, he's hitting just .146/.239/.220.
A strong rebound campaign with the Bombers could've positioned Youkilis to sign a multi-year free agent deal this coming winter. Now, however, a one-year deal seems likely given the lack of production and significant time on the disabled list. The injury-prone corner infielder hasn't appeared in more than 122 games since 2009.
Youkilis never cracked Tim Dierkes' free agent power rankings (and certainly won't now). He'll part of a first base class that is flooded with veterans this offseason in free agency, as Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, Corey Hart, Mike Napoli, Paul Konerko, Justin Morneau and Mark Reynolds will all be on the market. If he can position himself as a third baseman, Youk's competition will be more scarce, but that could be a tough sell with the back injuries.
Manny Ramirez is batting .352 for the Taiwanese EDR Rhinos and ranks second in the league with eight home runs. While that might not be enough for MLB teams to show interest in the controversial slugger, he's drawing interest from Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines, according to a Sponichi report (Japanese link). Marines Manager Tsutomu Ito said he'd like to "make an acquisition when the team is strong, as MLB teams do," and that he's looking to give the DH spot to a power hitter. While it seems that Manny will continue to "be Manny" overseas for the time being, here's more from around Major League Baseball...
- Joel Hanrahan regrets how his brief Red Sox tenure played out and wishes he could've shown more to the fans, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford notes that it's impossible to predict where Hanrahan will end up in free agency this winter, but the two-time All-Star isn't ruling out a return to Boston. Hanrahan told Bradford he "has a lot of things left to prove in Boston."
- ESPN's Keith Law examines the recent rash of top prospect promotions, offering his expectations for recent call-ups Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole, Mike Zunino and Zack Wheeler (ESPN Insider required).
- In light of Mark Teixeira re-injuring his wrist, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post questions the Yankees' decision to activate him from the disabled list in the first place. Davidoff points out that the World Baseball Classic paid for the $7.38MM that Teixeira earned while on the DL because he was injured preparing for the tournament. Now that he's been with the Yankees, the team will be on the hook for his remaining $15.12MM of salary even if he misses the remainder of the season.
With the Dodgers beginning a history-rich interleague series with the Yankees tomorrow in the Bronx, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal looks back at how Vin Scully was offered a chance to be the voice of the Yankees in 1964. Here are some more items revolving around the AL East...
- Brian Cashman expects to continue to be busy leading up to the trade deadline, the Yankees GM told reporters (including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch) today. "I’m always open for business, if it feels like they’re incremental upgrades or significant ones," Cashman said. "Listen, because of the injuries that have hit us from the winter and March, we’ve been active and open to try to do something that would make sense for us. I think we’ve done a lot and we’re going to continue to try to do a lot."
- MLB.com's Ian Browne addresses a number of Red Sox trade deadline possibilities in a reader mailbag. Browne "highly doubts" that Jon Lester would be moved despite his current struggles, Stephen Drew could be brought back for next season depending on Will Middlebrooks' development and the Sox wouldn't have to give up much in a potential trade for Jonathan Papelbon though they would have to take on most of the remaining $33.6MM on Papelbon's contract.
- In another MLB.com fan mailbag piece, Bill Chastain looks at Wil Myers' callup to the Rays and how the heavily-touted prospect could fare in the Major Leagues.
- Orioles first round pick Hunter Harvey could come to terms with the club before their remaining two unsigned draftees from the first 10 rounds, a team source tells Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. It could take the O's right up until near the July 12 deadline to sign supplemental first-rounder Josh Hart.
Here's your daily rundown of minor transactions from around the league...
- Right-hander Daniel Stange has opted out of his deal with the Padres' Triple-A affiliate, MLB.com's Corey Brock reports (via Twitter). Stange last pitched in the majors in 2010, appearing in four games with the Diamondbacks, and has been in the minors with the D'Backs and Padres ever since. Stange posted a 4.15 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 in 39 relief innings at Triple-A this season.
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Yankees have signed first baseman/DH Randy Ruiz and assigned the slugger to Triple-A. Ruiz, 35, has a monstrous .301/.373/.524 batting line and 232 homers in parts of 15 minor league seasons. He batted .313/.385/.635 with 10 homers in 130 plate appearances for the Blue Jays in 2009 but went just 6-for-40 with the Jays in 2010. He hasn't appeared in the Majors since, though he did total 68 plate appearances for the Twins in 2008.
- The Seibu Lions have reacquired outfielder/designated hitter Chris Carter (not to be confused with the other Chris Carter, who currently plays for the Astros) after releasing him this past offseason, according to a report from Nikkan Sports. Carter, who last saw MLB action in 2010 with the Mets, had been playing in the independent BC League in Japan this season. The 30-year-old appeared in 59 games for the Lions in 2012, compiling a .294/.348/.452 line in 138 plate appearances.
- The Nationals have released Triple-A right-hander Matt Torra, according to the International League transactions page. Torra, 28, had a 5.53 ERA in 27 2/3 innings for Triple-A Syracuse this season. He was selected 31st overall in the 2008 draft by the Diamondbacks but has never cracked the Majors. In 578 1/3 innings at Triple-A, Torra has a 4.64 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9.
- Seven players are currently in DFA limbo: Eric Young Jr. of the Rockies, Ramon Ramirez of the Giants, James Darnell of the Padres, Ramon Hernandez of the Dodgers, Kelly Shoppach of the Mariners, Mike Zagurski of the Pirates and Collin McHugh of the Mets.
The Yankees have reached an agreement to sign first-rounder Ian Clarkin for the No. 33 slot's full assigned value of $1,650,100, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Yankees were awarded the No. 33 selection in the draft as compensation when closer Rafael Soriano signed with the Nationals as a free agent this offseason. Clarkin, a prep lefty out of San Diego, is advised by John Boggs & Associates. He will fly to Tampa today to take a physical for the Yankees.
Clarkin ranked 17th on Baseball America's list of Top 500 draft prospects. He was ranked 18th on Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com's Top 100 and ranked 43rd according to ESPN's Keith Law. BA wrote that Clarkin's fastball sits 90-92 mph but can touch 94, adding that he "flashes a plus downer curveball with sharp bite" and has an inconsistent changeup that could be an average pitch.
Clarkin is the second of the Yankees' three first-round picks to sign and the 15th first-rounder overall to come to terms. New York has already inked Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo (No. 26 overall) for just over $1.8MM. Their third first-round selection, Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge, has been offered full slot value as well but hasn't yet accepted the offer, according to Heyman.
Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer had high praise for Clarkin when speaking to Heyman: "He's a lefthanded pitcher with plus velocity and has a plus curveball. On top of that, he's a tireless worker. We think we got something special with him.''
Yesterday we learned that the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw are making progress on a contract extension that will be worth at least $180MM. In fact, deals for up to 12 years and $300MM have been discussed, in addition to the seven-year deal already being worked on. Here's more on the Dodgers' star pitcher and other news out of L.A...
- The Dodgers have been waiting for the resolution of their TV contract situation wtih Major League Baseball before picking up talks with Kershaw in earnest, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It initially appeared that the Dodgers' massive TV deal was going to be largely immune to revenue sharing, but they'll now have to kick in an additional $1B over the course of 25 years.
- In speaking with reporters, including Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter), Kershaw sounded upset with what he believed to be a leak from the organization and called it a "distraction".
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post recounted the bizarre story of how the Dodgers wound up signing Yasiel Puig, despite having very little intel on him. Within the story, Sherman writes that the Mets were never involved with him and the Yankees didn't make an offer.
- Not much of a surprise here, but manager Don Mattingly says that Puig will probably remain in the majors even if/when Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford return to action, tweets Hernandez.
We'll keep track here of notable signings from the second and third day of the amateur draft (slot information courtesy of Baseball America)...
- The White Sox announced in a press release that they have reached agreement with 27 of the team's 40 draft picks, including all of the club's first eleven selections. MLBTR previously covered the team's signing of its first five picks (click for details): Tim Anderson; Tyler Danish; Jacob May; Andrew Mitchell; and Thaddius Lowry.
- Fifth-rounder Trae Arbet has signed with the Pirates for a well-above-slot bonus of $425k, tweets Jim Callis of Baseball America. The high-school shortstop, who profiles as an athletic defender and baserunner, was drafted with the 149th overall choice, which carries a $321,400 slot value.
- The Rockies have agreed to terms with southpaw Sam Moll, the club's third-round choice, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweeted last night. The hurler from Memphis is small in stature but possesses a powerful left arm that allows him to reach the mid-90's with his fastball. While financial terms are not yet available, his draft slot (77) carries a $713,900 bonus recommendation.
- The Yankees have signed fifth-round choice David Palladino for an above-slot sum of $371k, tweets Callis. Palladino, a towering righty who had been committed to LSU, will receive about $93k over the recommended bonus for the 164th overall selection.
Earl Webb's Major League record of 67 doubles in a season has stood since 1931 but Orioles phenom Manny Machado could be putting that mark in jeopardy. Machado now has 30 doubles through 68 Baltimore games after collecting a pair of two-baggers in Friday's 2-0 win over the Red Sox. Only five 21st century players have come within even 11 doubles of Webb's record, one of whom was Machado's teammate Brian Roberts, who hit 56 doubles in 2009.
Here's the latest from around the baseball world...
- Yadier Molina's value to the Cardinals is immeasurable, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler writes, and for a team that has been comfortable letting many key figures go in recent years, the Cards made a point to lock their catcher up to a five-year, $75MM extension in March 2012. "[Owner Bill DeWitt and I] talked about players who were coming up on free agency, and we'd ask how do you replace them. He and I always felt that [Molina] was the one where we had no answer," Cards GM John Mozeliak said. "It was imperative that we kept him."
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels is waiting to see how his team performs over the next few weeks before determining what possible upgrades are needed at the trade deadline, Daniels said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Fitzsimmons and Durrett Show (passed on by ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett). Daniels also noted that the club may keep Jurickson Profar on the Major League roster even after Ian Kinsler is back from the DL, and that Profar could get some outfield time if he is in fact sent back to Triple-A.
- ESPN Insider's Jim Bowden lists 20 pitchers he feels could be traded this summer.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer felt Kris Bryant was "the best player on the board" when Chicago had the second overall pick in the draft, though Hoyer tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that pitching "is an organizational weakness....I don’t think it affects our timing, but it does mean that pitching will be an emphasis in future drafts and any kind of trades we might make, and in free agency.”
- The Yankees' makeshift lineup has remained in contention but ratings on the YES Network are down 38% from last season, leading Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal to speculate if the Bombers may feel obligated to acquire star players in order to maximize fan and business interest.
- Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel's elbow injury could endanger his season, and since Dotel is 39, MLB.com's Jason Beck wonders if the veteran's career could also be threatened.
- Andre Ethier isn't letting trade speculation bother him since "it's nothing you can have a say about except to go out there and play hard," he tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Ethier could be expendable in the Dodgers outfield once Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp return from injury, given Yasiel Puig's emergence.
- Baseball America's staff checks in on the progress of the 2012 first round draft picks.
Here are Friday's minor moves from around the league...
- The Angels have signed left-hander Dustin Richardson to a minor league deal, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo reports. Richardson posted a 3.31 ERA over 16 1/3 relief innings (despite issuing 15 walks and 18 hits in that stretch) with the Red Sox in 2009-10. He has spent the last two seasons with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters. Richardson was suspended for 50 games for PED use in 2012 but his suspension has since been lifted due to compliance with MLB and his time away from affiliated baseball.
- The Yankees have outrighted left-hander Cesar Cabral to Double-A, the team announced today (passed on by Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog.) Cabral was taken by the Royals from the Red Sox in the 2011 Rule 5 draft and then dealt to the Yankees, though he missed the entire 2012 season with an elbow injury.
- The White Sox have acquired outfielder Carl Thomore from the Rockies in exchange for cash, according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter). Thomore was a second-round pick by the Rox as recently as 2011, but he's hit just .196/.308/.309 in 58 games in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. Thomore has recovered from a devastating leg injury suffered in high school (as chronicled by Brian Falzarano of MaxPreps.com two years ago) to make it to pro ball.
- Five players currently reside in DFA limbo: John Baker and James Darnell of the Padres, Ramon Ramirez of the Giants, Ramon Hernandez of the Dodgers and Kelly Shoppach of the Mariners.
Here are Thursday's notable signings from Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft (all slot info courtesy of Baseball America) ...
- The Orioles have agreed to terms with Scottsdale Community College lefty Stephen Tarpley, the team's third-round choice, according to Baseball America's Jim Callis (via Twitter). Tarpley, who reportedly touches 95 with his fastball, was signed for just $500 under the recommended $525,500 bonus for the 98th overall choice.
- Third-round draft choice Brandon Dixon has signed with the Dodgers for the slot recommendation of $566,500, tweets Callis. The University of Arizona third baseman could become a corner outfielder, according to Callis, and is noted for his power potential.
- The Dodgers have signed fourth-round choice Cody Bellinger, a high-school first baseman, for $700k, tweets Callis. Los Angeles pried Bellinger away from the University of Oregon with the largest over-slot signing to date (by percentage), nearly doubling the recommended $409k bonus. Bellinger is being advised by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
- The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with their fourth round pick, left-handed high-schooler Evan Smith, according to Callis (on Twitter). Smith, who stands at 6'5", has reportedly touched 93 with his fastball. $96.1k
- Cody Dickson, a "projectable" left-hander out of Sam Houston State, will sign with the Pirates for $375k, Callis says on Twitter. The fourth-round pick's bonus falls $54,200 under the slot recommendation.
- The Reds have signed fourth-rounder Ben Lively for $350k, Callis tweets. The righty mixes four pitches, including a 90-93 MPH heater. His signing bonus comes in at a modest $17.9k under slot.
- The Rockies inked fifth-rounder Blake Shouse for $353,900, his exact slot allocation, according to a Callis tweet. Per Callis, the two-way player sits in the low-to-mid 90's with his fastball and also features a hard curve.
- Third round pick Patrick Murphy signed with the Blue Jays for $500K, Callis tweets. The Arizona high school right-hander missed the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In the past, he has displayed a 93 mph fastball and solid curveball. Murphy is advised by Jonathan Pridie of Sosnick Cobbe.
- The Yankees signed third-rounder Michael O'Neill for $501K, according to Callis (via Twitter). The Michigan outfielder is quick and could wind up in center field.
- Rangers fourth-round pick Isaiah Kiner-Falefa signed for $202K, per Callis (on Twitter). The Hawaiian high school shortstop is a solid defender with a contact-oriented approach. He signed for nearly $184K under slot.
- Catcher/right-hander Tanner Murphy, a fourth-round pick of the Braves, agreed to a $250K bonus to forego his commitment to Southern Illinois, Callis tweets. Murphy has power in his bat and a strong throwing arm behind the dish, and he's also been clocked at 92 mph on the mound. He signed for a healthy $125K below slot.
- The Angels have signed third-round pick Kenyan Middleton for a bonus of $450K, tweets Callis. Middleton is a two-sport athlete out of junior college in Oregon who touches 95 mph with his fastball and features a tight slider as well. He signed $91K under slot.
- The Rays have signed fifth-round selection Johnny Field for a bonus of $250K, Callis reports (on Twitter). Field, an outfielder out of the University of Arizona, will convert to second base and provides most of his value with his bat. He signed for nearly $45K under slot.