New York Yankees Rumors
Joel Sherman of the New York Post dishes all kinds of Yankees rumors today; let's check it out.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman admitted the team's weakness is left-handed pitching, but says, "I can't force it. I can't make it happen if it is not there." Another Yankees official said that a lefty would help, "But I don't think it is live or die." Sherman believes Wandy Rodriguez and Francisco Liriano might be the two best available southpaw starters, but both bring concerns. Relief-wise they could go for the Marlins' Randy Choate or consider higher-priced names in August like Brian Fuentes and Mike Gonzalez.
- In general, Cashman said he doesn't think he can trade for a starter better than Bartolo Colon or Phil Hughes or a reliever better than Rafael Soriano, and all three could be back in July. According to Sherman, the Yankees "have shown no interest in high-cost veterans with dubious stuff such as the Brett Myers, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, Livan Hernandez, and Jason Marquis."
- Hoping for the Yanks to acquire Jair Jurrjens or Derek Lowe? We're not sure if either is available, but Sherman says "the Yankees' policy has become pretty much to run away from Atlanta pitching after having successful Braves hurlers blow up on them."
- The Yankees would not offer an extension to Hiroki Kuroda, if the righty were to make that a condition of a trade. We know Kuroda will require some form of compensation.
- The Padres "want to get out in the market quickly" with relievers Heath Bell and Chad Qualls, writes Sherman. The Yankees, however, prefer Mike Adams, who is considered much less available.
- The Nationals are willing to trade setup man Tyler Clippard, but are looking for a center fielder and have their sights on B.J. Upton.
The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays have had their offensive issues, yet all three teams placed in the top eight in scoring in MLB entering tonight's action. Here are the latest links from the American League East...
- Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues examines Heath Bell as a possible trade candidate before determining that the Padres closer would be a luxury at this point, since the Yankees have more pressing needs. The Yankees have called the Padres about the closer.
- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail explained that the Orioles consider sabermetrics when acquiring players and evaluating their own team. MacPhail also looks at basic information, salary, traditional stats and scouting reports, according to Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com, who passes along more quotes from the weekend's season ticket holders event.
- The Blue Jays could move Jose Bautista to third base as soon as tomorrow, according to Chris Vannini of MLB.com. The slugger is heading back to the infield, partly because the Blue Jays have had such poor offense from their third basemen this season (combined .183/.243/.308 line).
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, who extended Bautista this spring, has said he only works on one extension at a time, as Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star recently pointed out. Griffin wonders which Blue Jay Anthopoulos will target for an extension next.
- Anthopoulos has done enough since taking over as Toronto’s GM to earn a tribute song from the Bottom of the Fourth Blog.
The Yankees own the best record in the American League and a half-game lead in the AL East over the Red Sox. The Mets are at .500 and sit 4.5 games out in the wild card race. The latest on New York's teams...
- The Mets and Yankees have matched up on only nine trades in their history, which you can check out with our Transaction Tracker. Yanks GM Brian Cashman has authored three of them, acquiring Mike Stanton (2004), Armando Benitez (2003), and Robin Ventura (2001). Cashman told Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, "There's never been an issue with it, but you'd better win the trade." Costa's article is an excellent discussion of cross-town dealing, so be sure to check it out.
- Speaking of Yankees-Mets deals, one Yankees person who spoke to SI's Jon Heyman called the chances of a trade for Francisco Rodriguez "less than 50-50." As I mentioned earlier today, K-Rod carries a lot of baggage.
- The Yankees will eventually need 40-man roster spots for Phil Hughes, Rafael Soriano, and Eric Chavez when they come off the 60-day DL. Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues breaks down the most expendable Yankees currently on the 40-man. The Yankees are one of 19 teams with a full 40-man roster.
- The Yankees, Rangers, Blue Jays, Athletics, and Padres watched Roberto Osuna throw in Mexico on Thursday, reports Roberto Espinoza of Vanguardia (link in Spanish). The Red Sox are also interested. The 16-year-old Osuna is one of the top pitchers in the July 2nd class.
- SI's Jon Heyman surveyed two executives and two agents about Jose Reyes' next contract, with three of the four expecting $20MM per year and six or seven years.
Just when it seemed like the AL East standings were becoming a little less bunched up, the Red Sox dropped four straight and the Rays won seven of eight. New York, Boston, and Tampa Bay are now separated by just two games, as the Rays look for a sweep in Houston while the Sox hope to avoid one in Pittsburgh. Here are today's links from around the division:
- The Yankees will need to add another starting pitcher if they hope to win a championship this season, writes Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News. He notes that starter doesn't necessarily have to come from outside the organization though - it could be Phil Hughes.
- Rival evaluators have taken note of Jesus Montero's decline in offensive production this year, says ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider only). According to Olney, it's led to some speculation that the Yankees could push to trade Montero this season "in an effort to recoup some value."
- Within Nick Cafardo's Sunday column for the Boston Globe, he writes that Jason Frasor may be the prize of the Blue Jays' bullpen at next month's trade deadline. Cafardo adds that teams figure to inquire on Marc Rzepczynski, but he's the one Jays' reliever who definitely "isn't going anywhere."
- DRaysBay's Steve Slowinksi breaks down Andrew Friedman's trade history in a piece for the St. Petersburg Times. Slowinski concludes that Friedman has netted the Rays 20 extra wins while also saving a sizable chunk of salary.
In his Baseball Insider piece this week, Newsday's Ken Davidoff points out that the July 31st trade deadline often seems to "run through" a particular team that has the most pieces to sell. It seemed as if the Mets could be that team this year, but they may hang on to Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes if they have even a slim chance of making the playoffs. Instead, San Diego may be this year's biggest seller, with Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick, Chad Qualls, and Aaron Harang among its potentially available players. Here are Davidoff's other notes:
- The Yankees have called the Padres about Bell, but haven't been as aggressive as other clubs who would use Bell to close games.
- The Yanks are more inclined to wait on the trade market anyway. By July 31st, the team will have a better idea of what injured players like Bartolo Colon, Phil Hughes, and Rafael Soriano will contribute in the second half.
- According to Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, the shortstop seriously considered listening to the Mets' contract offer before deciding not to negotiate during the season.
In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to executives that believe this will be Brian Cashman's last season as Yankees GM. His contract expires after the season, and it could just be a simple case of burnout. "I think maybe he's finally had it," said one GM. "That's a job that will take a lot out of you." Olney cites Cashman's recent stretch of brutal and uncharacteristic honestly as evidence, but also notes that there have been three other instances in which he's looked ready to leave, only to end up staying on three-year deals.
Here are the rest of Buster's rumors...
- A rival team official believes the Mets need to trade Francisco Rodriguez soon to keep his vesting option from becoming a problem. He's at 28 games finished now (needs 55 to vest a $17.5MM salary for next year), and the longer they keep him the less flexibility a team will have after acquiring him.
- The Rays have "sent signals that they're open for business" and are prepared to take offers according to rival executives. Olney notes that their tradeable pieces include Kyle Farnsworth and B.J. Upton.
- One GM told Olney that one position within the game without many young up-and-coming prospects is manager (Twitter link). That's why 80-year-old Jack McKeon and 68-year-old Davey Johnson landed jobs in the last week.
6:06PM: Rodriguez described himself as "irritated" about the story describing his interest in a trade to the Yankees, tweets Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger. The closer reiterated that he wants to stay with the Mets.
8:13AM: Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News that he would consider accepting a trade to a contending team like the Yankees, even if it meant setting up rather than closing. Rodriguez says he’d “love to stay” put, but understands that the Mets may approach him about waiving the no-trade protection that allows him to block deals to ten teams.
"If I am going to be traded, obviously I want the opportunity to close out games, but if it's going to be good teams like the Yankees or the Rays, and it's going to be for two months, I can go out there and help them out," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez’s contract includes a $17.5MM option for 2012 that will vest if the right-hander finishes 55 games. He has finished 28 games, which puts him on a pace to finish 60. However, if a team with an established closer were to acquire Rodriguez, he would stop finishing games as frequently and the option might not kick in.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said this week that he’s open to making trades with the Mets, though such deals are by no means easy. The Yankees are looking for a setup man who can restore depth to the team’s depleted ‘pen.
GM Brian Cashman told Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News that the Yankees are not going to acquire Jose Reyes any time in the foreseeable future. Cashman said a move for Reyes is “just not going to happen" and explained that he believes in his club’s current shortstops.
"We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter," Cashman said. "And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nunez. The Yankees don't have a need now or in the future for a shortstop."
Jeter is on the disabled list with an injured right calf and should be ready to return before long. The 17-year veteran is under contract through 2013 and the 24-year-old Nunez won’t even be arbitration eligible until after ’13.
Cashman said he’s “not afraid” to deal with the Mets, but admitted that there’s added pressure when making a crosstown trade. The Yankees need a setup man, so Cashman has been making calls to determine who’s available.
Reyes has told the Mets that he does not want to negotiate an extension during the season. The 28-year-old will hit free agency for the first time this fall.
A few minor moves...
- The Yankees have signed Mike Lamb and Terry Tiffee to minor league deals, reports Donnie Collins of The Scranton Times-Tribune. Both infielders were playing in the independent Atlantic League, Lamb with the Camden River Sharks and Tiffee with the Lancaster Barnstormers. They will head to Triple-A.
- The Mariners have signed Alex Periard to a minor league pact according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy (on Twitter). Eddy notes that Periard was originally drafted by Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik back when he was the Brewers' scouting director in 2004. The right-hander had a 4.71 ERA in 11 starts last season before Milwaukee released him.
Some quick hits as we take in a full slate of games today..
- The Pirates have checked into Scott Kazmir, but GM Neal Huntington did not indicate whether the discussions are ongoing or if it's moot issue, tweets Rob Biertempfel of MLB.com.
- If asked, 80-year-old Jack McKeon says that he's capable of taking over the Marlins managerial job on an interim basis, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com.
- The Indians have fired hitting coach Jon Nunnally and will replace him with Bruce Fields, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- The Cardinals scouted left-hander Scott Kazmir but they do not have interest in pursuing him, a club source told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While several teams have denied interest in the former All-Star, we learned yesterday that the Mets will consider him.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com looks back at the long-term deal that Adrian Gonzalez signed with the Padres and how it ultimately affected his future with the Red Sox.
- In response to a question, Ken Davidoff of Newsday (via Twitter) said that Carlos Zambrano is unlikely for the Yankees.
- Baseball's international signing period is quickly becoming one of the most important dates on the calendar for many big league teams, writes Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times. The international signing period begins July 2nd.