Sergio Mitre Rumors

Could The Yankees Get Hoffmann Back?

Earlier today the Yankees returned Rule 5 selection Jamie Hoffmann to the Dodgers, however the doesn't mean they lost him forever. Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News notes that there have been "plenty of whispers in recent weeks" about the two teams working out a trade to keep Hoffmann in pinstripes, possibly involving Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre.

Los Angeles already has plenty of options in camp for the back of their rotation, though many of those pitchers have unfavorable contract situations. Both Gaudin and Mitre are out of options, but there's a chance the Dodgers' brass feels more comfortable with one of them in the rotation instead of their current fifth starter hodgepodge. Last week we heard that the Yanks were "almost certain" to deal one of Gaudin or Mitre.

If a trade is made, it would allow the Yankees to stash Hoffmann in Triple-A, something they couldn't do with the Rule 5 strings attached. After dealing both Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson earlier this offseason, the team is looking to rebuild some outfield depth.

D’Backs Looking For Rotation Depth

A National League executive tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the D'Backs are exploring trades for rotation depth. Brandon Webb is recovering from a shoulder injury, so the D'Backs have some concern about their starting five. Right now, that group consists of Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and some combination of Ian Kennedy, Billy Buckner, Kevin Mulvey and Rodrigo Lopez

Sherman says the Yankees are "almost certain" to trade Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre before the season starts. Like their division rivals, the Blue Jays could trade starting pitching. The D'Backs had interest in Jays pitcher Dana Eveland earlier in the offseason. Sherman says the Blue Jays would be very happy to move Eveland or Brian Tallet.

The D'Backs added Kris Benson on a minor league deal this week, but the righty has only pitched in eight major league games since 2006.

Odds & Ends: Ruiz, Braves, Offenses, Yankees

Links for Thursday…

Discussion: Chad Gaudin & Sergio Mitre

The Yankees head into the 2010 season with the front four spots of their rotation set, but with an open competition for the final spot. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are the front runners for that spot, but manager Joe Girardi maintains that others like Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and Alfredo Aceves will be give a chance to win the job.

Both Gaudin and Mitre are out of options, and the Chan Ho Park signing means there's only spot left open in the bullpen for these two. Something will have to give.

Gaudin, 27 in March, will earn $2.95MM in 2010 and will become a free agent after the season. In 31 games (25 starts) for the Padres and Yankees, he posted a 4.64 ERA with an 8.5 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9. He has experience starting and relieving, and has thrown at least 90 innings in each of the last three seasons.

Mitre, on the other hand, with earn $850K in his age-29 season in 2010, and still has another year of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. After missing the entire 2008 season with Tommy John surgery, Mitre posted a 6.79 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) last year, striking out just 5.6 men per nine innings. He should improve as he gets further away from his surgery.

Since both Gaudin and Mitre are out of options, they would need to clear waivers before they could be sent to the minors. Since the Yankees only have room for one of them on their pitching staff, the other could become trade bait. Can you think of any potential fits of either Gaudin or Mitre? Maybe the Dodgers since they need a fifth starter? 

Odds & Ends: Yankees, Brewers, Mets, Paulino

Some links for Tuesday evening…

Yankees, Sergio Mitre Reach Agreement

The Yankees and pitcher Sergio Mitre avoided arbitration, reaching an agreement for $850K plus incentives tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.  Mitre had Tommy John surgery in July of '08, and was released by the Marlins in September of that year.  The Yankees signed him a few months later and were able to retain him for 2010 even after declining his option.

Mitre, 29 in February, served a 50-game PED suspension as he recovered from the elbow surgery.  He ended up tossing 54.3 strong minor league innings and 51.6 ugly big league frames.  He could become trade bait if the Yankees go elsewhere for their fifth starter.

Javier Vazquez Trade Reactions

Javier Vazquez was traded for the fifth time in his 12-season career today, and we've collected reactions.

  • Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters that Melky Cabrera is a nice fit, but he's still looking for offense.  David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the $8MM or so saved by the Braves probably won't go toward Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, but he wonders if they'll try for Adrian Gonzalez.  We've got more on potential bats for the Braves here.
  • ESPN's Keith Law says the Braves were "lucky to get a young pitcher as good as Arodys Vizcaino," as he feels this trade was basically a salary dump.  Law believes the Braves' Kenshin Kawakami signing in January was unnecessary, and that led to this Vazquez trade.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post has pretty much every Yankees angle covered.  Vazquez was simply the best available option for them.  The Yanks' payroll is up around $198MM against a $200MM target, though trading Sergio Mitre and/or Chad Gaudin would free up a little cash.  The Yanks will try to snag a veteran left fielder at a bargain rate, and aren't considering Holliday or Bay.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman confirmed that he won't be adding a big piece ('s Bryan Hoch reporting).  Chad Jennings of The LoHud Journal has quotes from Vazquez from the conference call.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays should just give up now.

Yankees Will Try To Trade Gaudin Or Mitre

Now that they're set to acquire Javier Vazquez, the Yankees have a surplus of pitching. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says (via Twitter) that the Yanks will try to trade Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre before Spring Training ends to free up some money.

Both pitchers will become free agents after the season. Mitre earned $1.25MM last year, striking out 32 batters in 51.2 innings for a 6.79 ERA (5.40 FIP). Gaudin earned $2MM, striking out 139 in 147.1 innings and allowing just 146 hits for an ERA of 4.64 (4.16 FIP). Gaudin would figure to have some value on the trade market.

Chamberlain Still Unsure Of 2010 Role

We've heard a lot about the "Joba Rules" ever since Joba Chamberlain was first called up to the Yankees in 2007.  Going into next season, however, the "Rules" are up in the air since nobody seems to even know what the game will be for the young right-hander in 2010.  Chamberlain told's Anthony DiComo that the Yankees have yet to inform him if he will be a starter or a reliever next season.

Chamberlain doesn't seem bothered by the lack of information, saying "it helps me just to know that I've been put in a lot of situations and it's going to help me in the long run."  In fact, Chamberlain also said that he hopes Andy Pettitte (a man he regards as a good friend and mentor) comes back for another season in New York, even though Pettitte's return might squeeze Chamberlain out of a rotation spot.

DiComo notes that should Pettitte re-sign with the Yankees, he would be the No. 3 starter behind C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.  This leaves the final two spots in the New York rotation open, to be contested between the likes of Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Alfredo Aceves and possibly Chien-Ming Wang (as reported last week by the New York Post's Joel Sherman).  This competition could end up being for just one rotation spot should the Yankees sign a free agent pitcher like John Lackey.

Chamberlain posted a 4.75 ERA in 31 starts for New York last season, but was hit hard in the second half of the season — the Nebraskan had a 7.67 ERA in August and September.  He was moved to the bullpen for the Yankees' playoff run and recorded a 2.84 ERA in 10 relief appearances, plus a win in Game 4 of the World Series.

Interestingly, DiComo said that Hughes is "more of a lock to start than Chamberlain" in spite of the fact that Hughes flourished coming out of the bullpen in 2009.  Hughes had a 5.45 ERA in seven starts last season, but a 1.40 ERA in 44 relief appearances as he gradually became Mariano Rivera's primary set-up man.

What do you think, Yankees fans?  Who would you be more comfortable with as a starter in 2010 if you could pick only one: Chamberlain or Hughes?  For what role do you think each pitcher is ideally suited?

Yankees Rumors: Mitre, Payroll, Lackey, Sheets

1:13pm: Marc Carig of The Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yanks have declined Sergio Mitre's 2010 option. Mitre remains under team control and is arbitration eligible. 

12:43pm: George A. King III of The NY Post has some Yankee rumbings for us today, so let's round 'em up…

  • GM Brian Cashman said he's received calls from various agents, but hasn't returned them yet because he has to "wait to see about payroll." The team's pro scout meetings begin tomorrow, and after that Cashman will "take the ideas and estimated money to the Steinbrenner family."
  • King says that John Lackey's representatives have contacted the Yankees. An agent (not Lackey's) thinks righty can land a deal similar to Barry Zito's seven year, $126MM contract.
  • An industry source says "Everybody seems to be in a wait-and-see mode and that plays into how the Yankees have been working. Take Jason Bay, they can wait around like they did with Mark Teixeira last winter."  
  • Regarding Ben Sheets, Cashman said they'll "go through the scouting reports and see where the market is. After we decide what it is, that will determine if we have less or more (interest)."
  • Sheets' agent, Casey Close, says that more than half-a-dozen teams have called to tell him to "keep them in the loop."