This is Getting Crazy

UPDATE I wrote all of this below before I read this tweet  Basically, the doctor Alex went to for a second opinion was reprimanded earlier this year by the NJ Attorney General because of “failing to ensure proper patient treatment involving the proscribing of hormones including steroids…”

It’s an old adage, but it is so true; you can’t buy smarts.

The latest twist in the A-Rod saga is that the Yankees are apparently trying to keep him off the field by claiming he is injured. Never mind the fact that it was ALEX who went to the Yankees Saturday and complained about his quad. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger….

Obviously, I am not buying this one. But i will give you a better conspiracy theory if you want.  I have no proof of this, so read on at your own risk.  The Yankees have asked MLB to take their time with the A-Rod/Biogenisis investigation. Why do I say that? Because every game he is suspended for in 2014 helps them towards their $189 payroll goal.

A-Rod is going to make $26-million in 2014 and could earn an extra $6-million if he hits his 660th home run. Since he is currently only 13 away from that, it seems likely that he might do it in 2014, unless he was suspended for a huge chunk of the season. Based on my understanding of the luxury tax, the $6-million bonus would count against the luxury tax number. And since it is A-Rod’s AAV, not his actual salary that counts, the Yankees could take a luxury tax hit of $33.5 million next year thanks to Alex.

Now if Alex is suspended for a portion of 2014 he loses that salary while suspended and that means it doesn’t count against the luxury tax. He is going to make about $4.3 million per month, so a 100-game suspension handed down at the end of July would save the Yankees around $7-million in luxury tax bills for 2014 (55 games this year plus 45 games next year).  If they can get MLB to hold off until the end of August, they could save around $12-million (27 games this year plus 73 games next year) Plus, he might not hit 13 homers in the remaining 89 games, so he wouldn’t trigger the $6-million bonus.




Ask and you shall receive? The Yankees are reportedly close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs for a “mid-level” prospect. The Cubs will pay a significant portion of the $25 million left on Soriano’s contract.

We will have to wait and see what the final terms of the deal are before judging it, but this clearly shows you how bad things are. CBS ran a story today on the potential trade that contained two numbers that are shocking.

  • Yankee left fielders are hitting .225/.267/.332 this season (OPS+ of 62)
  • Yankee DH’s are hitting .212/.297/.362 this season (OPS+ of 92)

That is atrocious production and that is why the Yankees have to turn to someone like Soriano. He doesn’t play defense well and he certainly doesn’t get on base a lot (.286 OBP). But he still has plenty of power (17 homers) and he hits lefties (.280/.312/.508) something very few Yankees are able to do. Vernon Wells has been solid against lefties, so I imagine Soriano will DH and Wells will play left when the Yankees face LHP. When they face a righty, Wells will become Soriano’s defensive substitution.

This isn’t a trade you ever wanted to see the Yankees make, but it is a reflection of where the team currently stands. The minors don’t have any answers and the fill ins are showing why they are fill ins. Soriano is flawed in many ways, but he is better than what they have.

Say Goodbye To Kevin

Well the Youkilis experiment is probably over. Sure, the surgery could cure him in the estimated 10-12 weeks (end of August to mid September) but it is more likely that it finishes him for the season. When the Yankees signed Youkilis, I wondered why they chose him over Nunez. I didn’t like the fact that they wouldn’t give him a shot at third.

Well Nunez had a chance at short and he didn’t do much with it. I still think the idea of making him only a shortstop was a mistake, but his injuries this year and last have deprived us of a chance to truly evaluate him. I will say this- I don’t think the Yankees win much with the leftside of the infield occupied by Nunez and Adams.

So now we get Nix at short and Adams at third for the immediate future. Maybe you believe A-Rod and Jeter are on their way back, but consider this. A-Rod watched, yes watched, pitches go by in BP today. He wasn’t allowed to swing. Jeter hasn’t even gotten to that point. Neither one of them is coming back anytime soon. Brian Cashman needs to see if there are anymore productive castoffs he can acquire. Otherwise, the Yankees are going to be forced into a tough decision. Do they sacrifice the future for today or do they sacrifice today for tomorrow?

The Crystal Ball

A quick break from vacation to get my picks in before the season starts in a few hours. As always, follow these at your own risk.


1- Tampa

2- Toronto

3- Yankees

4- Red Sox

5- Baltimore

To me Tampa is a great team people seem to forget about. Their pitching is great and I think Myers will provided them with the big stick they need when they call him up at the end of April. I love Toronto’s offseason, but not enough to put them on top. I get the bandwagon that thinks the Yankees finish in last, but I don’t see it. Sure they are old and injured, but they can pitch and that should keep them out of the basement. Plus, lets not forget how truly bad Boston was last year, why should we expect them to climb over New York? I say the Yankees finish third with 85 wins and miss the playoffs. The surprise is probably the Baltimore pick, but I think their luck in one-run games runs out and they certainly won’t surprise anyone this year.


1- Detroit

2- Chicago

3- Kansas City

4- Minnesota

5- Cleveland

Detroit is the class of this division.


1- Angels

2- Oakland

3- Texas

4- Seattle

5- Houston

I think the Angels run away with it, but Oakland and Texas are the wild cards. That is in part do to how epically bad Houston will be. I would guess 110 losses for them.


1- Washington

2- Atlanta

3- Philadelphia

4- Florida

5- Mets

Hard to see anyone catching the Nats this year, but Atlanta will give them a run.


1- Cincinnati

2- Pittsburgh

3- St. Louis

4- Milwaukee

5- Chicago

Now that Houston is gone, this might be the most competitive division in baseball. I think the Reds hold off a surprising Pirates club.


1- Giants

2- Dodgers

3- Arizona

4- Colorado

5- San Diego

The Dodgers may be the fashionable pick, but I will take the winners of two of the last three titles.


Texas over Oakland in the wild card

Detroit over Tampa
Angles over Texas

Angels over Detroit

NL Playoffs

Atlanta over LA in the wild card

Nats over Atlanta
Cincinnati over San Fran
Nats over Cincinnati


Nats over Angels- at least something works in D.C.

Finally a toast to the two greatest words in the English language- PLAY BALL. I can’t wait to hear them tomorrow afternoon.

Stumbling Into Something?

Don’t mistake this post for contentment about the state of the Yankees. I don’t think any fan who takes a hard look at the team can feel great right now. But, I think the anger over the Lyle Overbay signing is obscuring the fact that the Yankees may have improved a lousy situation.

It’s not a pretty solution, but the idea of using Overbay at first against RHP and Nix at 3b against LHP with Youkilis shuttling between the two spots maximizes the Yankees chances to win. Overbay had a pretty solid year with Arizona in 2012 and although the Red Sox cut him loose if he can hit RHP like he did in ’12 he will be a positive addition. Nix can hit lefties a bit, so this three-headed platoon just might work. Besides, what was the real alternative? Would Juan Rivera have been an upgrade? I don’t think so.

The Yankees have done the best they can to cobble together patches for Granderson and Teixeira. Francisco could provide some protection against LHP and Neal is in the minors if he stumbles. Bosch will give them some protection against an injury to Hafner and maybe Wells will be rejuvenated by a move to New York. And, considering all the roster changes over the past two weeks it is very possible that the Yankees have a new face joining the team before the More

Evaluating The Offseason

With pitchers and catchers reporting , we can look back and evaluate the moves the Yankees have made to prepare for the 2013 season. For me, the frustration of this offseason is that the Yankees seemed to try and thread the needle between two different goals. The first goal is the desire to get to a payroll of $189 million in 2014. The second goal is to win the World Series. Now, I don’t believe those two goals are mutually exclusive, but there is not a lot of overlap between the two of them because of the way the Yankees are currently constructed.

The Yankees made some curious choices in their approach to achieving both goals. They let Russell Martin leave for Pittsburgh because they didn’t want to give him a two-year deal and then turned around and gave a two-year deal to a 39-year old outfielder. They let Eric Chavez sign with Arizona for a paltry $3 million and then gave Kevin Youkilis $12 million to play third. Without breaking down each deal, I think it is fair to say the Yankees aren’t better than they were at the end of 2012, but I am not sure that they are as bad as a lot of people think. (A healthy Brett Gardner is a very under-appreciated asset.)

The problem is, they will be very hard to project. If they stay healthy (a big if) and find reasonable solutions to their catching and right-handed outfield needs, I could see them winning 90 games. But, if the older guys show their age and they don’t figure out how to plug those holes, I could see things going the other way and a sub.500 finish being the result.

So what are the big questions heading into camp? Here are my top-3.

1- Who is the starting catcher? From everything I read, Yankee decision makers think Romine is ready for the bigs from a glove standpoint. If that is true, I would make him the starter because the other options have very little upside offensively and Romine just might hit. One thing to keep in mind, Francisco Cervelli still has an option, so he can be sent to the minors.

2- Who is the 5th starter? Barring injury, we know that the Yankees’ rotation will be Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte and Hughes, but the fifth starter is probably a two-man race between Nova and Phelps. Based on 2012, Phelps should win this in a laugher, but I think the Yankees will give Nova every chance to win the job.

3- What is the bench? This is a really easy one to predict by role, but very hard to predict by name. We know there will be a backup catcher, right-handed outfielder, backup infielder and one other player on the bench. My early guesses would be Stewart, Diaz, Nix and Nunez, but I think this is a wide-open competition. Stewart makes sense, assuming he is not the starting catcher, as he did it in 2012. Diaz is my early pick over Juan Rivera, but I am hoping the Yankees find some other players for this competition. I think Nix’s versatility earns him a role as the Yankees will need someone who can fill multiple positions. Nunez is an utter guess because I just don’t understand what the Yankees are doing with him. Is he really only a shortstop? Even if he is, there would be value is carrying him on the roster as a SS/DH/PH. He could play a fair amount of short against LHP, moving Jeter to DH. He could also provide a runner off the bench.

These next seven weeks will answer a lot of questions.


The Sad Truth

The names continue to drip out of the Miami clinic and there are rumors that the newspaper that broke the story is going to cooperate with MLB , so expect more names to appear soon. But, none of this will solve the basic problem which the originally story outlined, the drugs are just too cheap.

Lost in the hype over the names in the original story was this little nugget:

On a 2009 client list, near A-Rod’s name, is that of Yuri Sucart, who paid Bosch $500 for a weeklong supply of HGH.

$500 a week means a yearlong supply of HGH is $26,000. MLB players who are in the majors make a minimum of $490,000 this year. And remember, up until now there has been no way to test for HGH. When you consider the millions handed out to players with even average stats, I think you would have to agree that the temptation to cheat and start using HGH must be very, very high for a lot of players.

And that’s the sad reality of all of this. There will always be new drugs developed that athletes will find out about. With millions of dollars on the line, the temptations to cheat will always be there. MLB can trumpet its drug policies all it wants, but its hard to see how we will ever have a truly clean game in the 21st Century.

We’re Back!

Welcome to the new YankeesRedsox.com. We are really excited about the improvements we have made to the site. We hope you will enjoy them too.

For those of you interested, let me take you through the changes we have made-

We have changed from a Moveable Type to a WordPress blog. We did this for two reasons.

1- Moveable Type is not supported to the extent it was when we started using it in 2005. This has caused us all sorts of headaches from tremendous volumes of spam to wade through to a very bland site layout. WordPress fixes those two concerns.

2- Commenting will be much, much easier for you (no more Type Key) and you can now reply directly to a comment left on your comment. In addition, Andy and I, as authors of posts, will be notified when you leave a comment.

We would like to give a shout out to Cord Blomquist and his team at ReadyMadeWeb that held our hand throughout this process. Thanks to them we have a much more stable platform to operate on.

2013 marks the 10th anniversary of YankeesRedsox.com. Andy and I have loved the first ten years and we are looking forward to the next 10. Thanks to all of you for your support, we wouldn’t keep doing this without you.

What Do You Do With Martin?

Arbitration figures are in and Russell Martin has asked for $8.2 million and the Yankees have offered $7 million. It seems like there would be common ground around $7.5 million or so, but should the Yankees try and lock him up for longer than that?

The case for doing so is obvious. Martin was was good as a Yankee. He was streaky with the bat, but solid on defense. Fangraphs had him at 3.1 wins above replacement, which ties him for 10th in MLB. He will turn 29 before the season starts, so his age is not a factor in the immediate future. And, with Montero in Seattle, the Yankees don’t have an obvious replacement in their system. Cervelli seems to be a backup at best and Romine should be allowed to get more than 15 AB’s at AAA.

But, he has been brittle in the past and while he hit 18 homers, his overall line of .237/.324/.408 isn’t something to get too excited about. Yes, his defense is very good, but will it be that much better than Romine’s could be in 2013? The Yankees could simply settle their arbitration case with him this year and then let him go to free agency after the season and make their decision then.

It seems to me that the best course of action is to try and lock Martin in for a two-year deal now. The Yankees could offer two years and $17 million or so. That keeps Martin off the 2014 payroll, but also allows Austin Romine a chance to break into the bigs slowly. Now that he is the catcher of the future, Romine should get a full season at AAA with a promotion to the bigs in September. The Yankees could move Cervelli next offseason, when he is arbitration eligible, and use Romine as Martin’s backup for one season like they did with Jorge and Girardi all those years ago.

The question is, would Martin accept that offer?

The Motown Miracle

Let’s get this out of the way. The last time AJ Burnett allowed only one earned run or less in a start was June 13th. So, yeah this was a miracle and please don’t expect it to happen again this postseason. That being said, thanks AJ.

There were a lot of positive things that happened tonight. From AJ’s pitching to the offense finally awakening. The Yankees won a game they had to have and now they head home and face another do-or-die game. You have to feel good right now as a Yankees’ fan, but there are plenty of pitfalls ahead. Can Nova pitch well in a pivotal game? Will the Yankees be able to hit Fister the second time around?

It’s great we have to worry about all of this. Much more tomorrow and Thursday, enjoy this one!