Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yankees could stay in-house at third and second base

As the New York Yankees watched the Boston Red Sox make two splashes in the free agent market Monday, one of the moves will begin a domino effect forcing them to turn their attention to one of their offseason priorities, Chase Headley.

With Pablo Sandoval off the third-base market, agreeing to a five-year, $95 million deal with a club option according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, Headley will use that figure to bolster his contract desires.

The Yankees were always going to have some competition for Headley’s services. The San Francisco Giants will surely get involved with Headley and it can be expected that the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox who both showed early interest in Sandoval could check in on Headley. The San Diego Padres, who dealt Headley to the Yankees, might seek a reunion with Headley, but it seems unlikely as they continue to pursue Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas.

The Yankees would be happy with Headley for a three-year stint, but it seems apparent to me that it will take a four-year commitment and anywhere from $52-60 million to get the job done. If the term and salary gets that high and the Yankees balk, they could fall back on some in-house options.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Will Yankees overreact to Red Sox deals with Ramirez and Sandoval?

“Great, the Yankees are sleeping while the Red Sox win the offseason.” - ABC Yankee Fan

The New York Yankees have a tendency to create plans for the structuring of their roster and then perform a complete about-face when seemingly pushed into the corner by American League East rival Boston Red Sox.

The BoSox have reportedly signed a five-year, $90 million deal with Hanley Ramirez and apparently completed another five-year contract for just under $100 million with Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez and Sandoval were arguably the two best positional players in this year’s free-agent market. The Red Sox, after a 71-91 record and a last-place finish in 2014, are looking to jump right back into World Series contention.

The Red Sox have good depth in their farm system and might trade Yoenis Cespedes for pitching which they need. It’s true, the immediate future looks good in Beantown.

But, now that the Yankees have seen their nemesis make splashes within a 24-hour window, should they change the game plan of staying out of the high-ticket free agent market this offseason?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yankees protect Mason Williams; further roster decisions loom

The New York Yankees added Tyler Austin, Danny Burawa, Branden Pinder and Mason Williams to their 40-man roster Thursday eliminating the chance of them being selected in the Rule 5 draft to be held at the upcoming Winter Meetings.

Austin seemed to have the best chance of being protected in his first season eligible for the Rule 5 draft, and the selection of power arms in Burawa and Pinder was not entirely surprising. It seemed like the Yankees had a decision to wrestle with in Williams which I discussed earlier this week.

Williams, 23, has underperformed across two straight seasons after being thought of as a top prospect in the organization and across baseball prior to the 2013 season. He had a DUI arrest in 2013, and then showed up to spring training last season out of shape.

The Yankees obviously feel that due to his age, and natural talents, he has the ability to turn things around. The other possibility is that he’s been brought up in discussions with other teams in trade talks, or it’s a combination of the two.

Williams seems to understand the magnitude of the Yankees’ decision tweeting this morning that he feels fortunate to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Yankees are not screwing up Chase Headley negotiations

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal pushed out a couple of tweets regarding the New York Yankees and their pursuit of free-agent third baseman Chase Headley. He was immediately tattooed with a balanced number of tweets in agreement and others opposing his statements.

Here are Rosenthal’s tweets.

Here is one from the folks at River Ave. Blues.

Look, both Rosenthal and the gang at RAB are top-notch at their craft. But I believe they are missing the boat here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Will Yankees protect Mason Williams?

Just two years ago Mason Williams was a top prospect in the New York Yankees farm system. Come Thursday, Williams may not be protected by the club and thus be available in the Rule 5 draft held during the Winter Meetings.

Williams was ranked as high as 32nd of all baseball prospects by Baseball America, 41st by MLB.com and 51st by Baseball Prospectus before the 2013 season. He was at one time considered the player who would be manning the outfield in New York sometime by the 2015 or 2016 season depending on who you read at the time. Now he is ranked 17th in the Yankees system according to MLB.com, and he’s nowhere near reaching the majors.

Furthermore, after consecutive seasons of declining performance along with questionable commitment -- he was arrested in 2013 for DUI and came to camp out of shape in 2014 -- Williams could be left unprotected and available to be swooped up in the Rule 5 draft (FAQs here).

What should the Yankees do?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yankees Rumors: Revisiting Max Scherzer; why not Jon Lester?

According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the New York Yankees may be revisiting their plan to stay away from the top free-agent starters on the market, namely former Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

Heyman notes a slow to develop market on Scherzer and intimates that the Yankees have gradually begun to reshape their strategy on making a splash this offseason.

The Yankees have predominantly been linked to Brandon McCarthy and other midtier starters like Jason Hammel and back of the rotation arms such as Chris Capuano thus far. A move onto Scherzer might indicate that after some deeper thought, the Yankees front office is fearful that one or more of the returning starters will suffer from an injury recurrence and they’d need a top-shelf starter.

While Scherzer fits that bill, so too does Jon Lester and Heyman wisely makes note of the Yankees' respect for the long time Boston Red Sox hurler. Heyman also indicates that Scherzer could be more attractive than Lester or James Shields for that matter because of less wear on his arm. I went into detail on this recently. However, after giving it some thought, I think Lester might be the better option.