This link came via the Lohud Yankees Blog and Sam Borden. It is a story about Joba Chamberlain being at a Native American Reservation where he grew up and talking to the schoolkids and also giving them some yankees paraphernalia and autographs. It is good to see that he learned from his mistakes of a year ago when he had the DUI. I met Joba Chamberlain when he was with the Trenton Thunder not too long before he came to the majors and he was a really cool guy. He signed for everyone that day also and really interacted with all of us. I still feel he can be a very good starting pitcher but I can also seem him back in the pen this year. If the Yankees don't sign another pitcher I wouldn't mind him and Hughes in the back of the rotation though. It is funny though that this year Phil Hughes will have the rule and Joba will be turned loose. I hope you guys enjoy this article, dont forget to click on the link.
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The story goes that on Thursday the Yankees said to Johnny Damon we will go to 2 yrs and roughly 20 million and agent Scott Boras said no 2 yrs 26 million. The Yankees said time is running out this is your last chance and they didn't take it so the Yankees went and signed Nick Johnson and then a couple of hours later Scott Boras called back the Yankees and said he will take 2 yrs 22 million and the Yankees said sorry we can't take the Nick Johnson deal back now it is too late. This is coming from Ken Davidoff of Newsday. I am suprised Johnny Damon did this because if he really wanted to come back so bad why didn't he just say 2 yrs 22 million to start with and they could of worked it out. I think the Yankees are better off with Johnson and Granderson as they will be younger and more athletic and they save some money also. I think the Yankees as presently constructed have a very good defense to go along with their pitching. They really only need to sign one more starter and they should be ready to go. Nick Johnson brings a high OBP to the show and will fit really well in the Yankees patient lineup. He was averaging about 4.1 pitches per plate appearance last year and has always been a high OBP guy. His career on base is over 400. He should fit into the #2 spot well, the only knock is that he is slow but that is ok if he is getting on base for the guys behind him to have a chance to knock him in. I think the Yankees will end up signing Ben Sheets on a cheap incentive laden deal but that may take a while, I think Phil Hughes will be the 5th starter and Joba will end up back in the pen.
A interesting trade from baseball today was the Seattle Mariners obtaining Milton Bradley from the Chicago Cubs for Curtis Silva. It really was two bad deals exchanging hands. I think Seattle got the better deal because Bradley is a good player if he can behave himself. Seattle is really going for it with all the moves they have made.
I am also starting to wonder if Jason Bay really wants to come to the Mets. It doesn't look like anyone else wants him but he is waiting for a better deal. If he really wanted to come to the Mets why didn't he just except the deal already. It has been a week and why don't the Mets just up the offer and get if over with?
Curtis Granderson was officially introduced as a Yankee today in a 11AM press conference. The first thing I noticed about him is wow he is well spoken and very smart. He really does seem like a great guy like everyone says and will fit in the clubhouse well. He is going to wear #14 which is half of 28 but the reason he picked it is because it was his high school number. Joe Girardi will wear #28 but said he would check with Granderson to make sure it is ok, Granderson was asked about it and said he is fine with the number he has. A-rod and CC Sabathia were also in attendance with Brian Cashman the Yankees GM and owner Hal Steinbrenner. I find it amazing how Cashman says a lot without saying anything. Hal Steinbrenner did say that although the Yankees do have a budget and are trying to stick to it that that could change if they felt they needed to make and extra move or a move that would put them over, I wonder if they are in on Matt Holliday and no one knows just like with Big Tex last year.
A-rod said at the press conference that he went to see his doctor in Colorado on Sunday and Monday and that he doesn't need any further surgery. He is going to step up his offseason conditioning program and will be working out with Granderson and Tex with Kevin Long starting on Jan 4th in Miami.
Nick Johnson appears to have signed a deal, George King of the NY Post was the first one to report this and it will be for 1 yr 5.5 million when it is official. He will serve as the primary DH but can also play first base. I think this pretty much means Johnny Damon is done as a Yankee.
I wonder if the Yankees will just go after pitching now and put Melky in left? I would doubt it but they could live with that.
The New York Mets have had a terrible offseason following up on a terrible regular season. The Mets fans were angry and remain angry. The Mets really needed to go out there and get a #2 pitcher and they failed with John Lackey going to the Red Sox and Roy Halladay going to the Phillies. I don't think the Mets every had a realistic shot to get Halladay but what makes the fans more upset is that he went to the hated Phillies. I do think they should of been aggressive early with Lackey but they were left in the cold, misreading the market. Mets GM Omar Minaya who is clearly on the hot seat now said he was going to get back to Lackey this week but he ended up signing with the Red Sox. Omar Minaya clearly thought he wouldn't sign before Jan or Feb and was wrong. The Mets are going to take a huge hit at the box office, the only way out of it is to have a good first half and then maybe will start coming in the second half but there are a lot of ifs starting with the health of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, David Wright getting back to form and most of all who can you count on in the rotation other then Johan Santana. The Mets still have time this offseason to make moves and they will probably end up with Jason Bay and maybe a pitcher like Jon Garland or Doug Davis but that isn't enough. i guess the only thing Mets fans can do is sit back and wait and hope. I don't know what is possible but maybe the Mets can make a trade for someone like a Bronson Arroyo or Carlos Zambrano, the only thing I know is they are stuck in a bad spot with the Phillies being clearly better still and the Braves maybe even surpassing the Mets.
The Mets have a beautiful new ballpark and it is a shame they can't pack it in wiht a good product on the field or at least an attempt at putting a good product on the field. The Mets are going to sign a japanese reliver instead and maybe Bay and Molina, although you wonder what is taking them so long to sign?? I wonder if they really don't want to go to the Mets and are hoping a better deal comes along. If the Mets strike out completely it will go from bad to worse but I don't think that will be the case.
The Baseball America Top 10 prospect list came out today for the Yankees. The top 10 are as follows.
1. Jesus Montero(C)
2. Austin Romine(C)
3. Arodys Viscaino(P)
5. Zach McAllister(P)
6. Manny Banuelos(P)
7. Gary Sanchez(C)
8. J.R. Murphy(C)
9. Jeremy Bleich(P)
10. Andrew Brackman(P)
The interesting thing about this list is that the Yankees have 4 catchers in the top 10 so you can see they are in good shape there. Jesus Montero doesn't project as a catcher to most people though and the most logical thing would be to move him to first base but Tex is there for a long time and they don't want a young guy like that to be the DH but if he is that good offensively and they don't trade him why not let him DH. The Yankees are pretty strong in the pitching department also with Hughes and Joba in the big leagues now, they hope Andrew Brackman will have a strong year as he really struggled last year, I can see him moving to the pen eventually. I think Jeremy Bleich is the closet to the majors and could become a solid #3 or 4 starter in the future. Slade Heatchott was drafted last year and the Yankees really have high hopes for him. Austin Romine really projects as the catcher of the future, his bat is a little below Montero but he has a good bat also and he is better defensively. I think even with trading some guys away the Yankees farm system is still in good shape.
Comissioner Bud Selig announced this afternoon that he will have a new comittee starting this season. The committee will review on field baseball issues. There are 14 people on the committee and they are:
Joe Torre-Los Angeles Dodgers manager
Tony Larussa-St. Louis Cardinals manager
Mike Scioscia-Los Angeles Angels manger
Jim Leyland- Detroit Tigers manager
John Schuerholz- Atlanta Braves president
Andy Mcphail-Baltimore Orioles president
Terry Ryan-former Twins general manager
Mark Schapiro-Cleveland Indians general manager
Chuck Armstrong-Seattle Mariners COO
Paul Beeston-Toronto Blue Jays CEO
Bill Dewitt- St. Louis Cardinals owner
Dave Montgomery- Philadelphia Phillies owner
Frank Robinson-Hall Of Famer and former player
Bud Selig thought that this group could have an impact rather quickly like within a year. I hope this works and it looks like a good thing but we will see what happens. The umpiring was terrible this past season and especially postseason although Bud Selig the comissioner said he has been thinking of this for some time and it isn't because of the poor postseason the umpires had. It is an interesting group consisting of many different backgrounds which is good.
Yesterday was a crazy day in baseball with a flurry of moves happening. The Yankees lost their World Series MVP to the Anaheim Angels. Where do the Yankees go from here, well they are the World Series Champs so they presumably have the least amount of work to do. They do have Johnny Damon as a free agent and would like for him to come back on a 2 yr 19 million dollar deal but his agent it seems is pushing for 3 yrs and 39 million so they are roughly 20 million apart. I honestly think at this point that he does come back to the Yankees for their price because I don't think anyone is going to give him 3 yrs and not for that much money, maybe they settle on 2 yrs and 24 million. I think if Damon comes back the Yankees don't need to go out and get a DH as he and Posada can share the duties along with A-rod/Jeter/Tex a little bit of the time. The Yankees would like to get another pitcher and I think they will, maybe Ben Sheets or Joel Pineiro or someone like that. I think ultimatley they would like to do that and have Phil Hughes be the 5th starter with Joba going back to being the main setup guy. If the Yankees bullpen is Mo, Joba, Marte and Robertson that is very solid with Aceves, Mitre or Gaudin as long man possibilities.
The Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman threw a bullpen today for all the teams that wanted to see him. There were representatives from just about every team. I am not sure if he will be ready this year, I doubt it but he may be worth signing and giving some minor league experience before bringing him to the majors and maybe he will be a impact pitcher. He throws very very hard and anyone coming out of Cuba has dealt with pressure. I think the Yankees may be in on him but it depends on the price. The Red Sox and Mets are also considering him.
Today started out as a routine Monday and then this afternoon the Hot Stove really started burning up. Monday's are usually a big football day with all of the analysis of the Sunday games and looking ahead to the Monday night game but baseball took center stage on this Monday. The Boston Red Sox were especially busy signing pitcher John Lackey to a 5 yr 85 million dollar deal and now pending a physical signing Mike Cameron for 2 yrs and 15.5 million. Hideki Matsui became the first World Series MVP to leave since John Wetteland in 1996. Matsui signed a 1 yr 6 million dollar deal with the Anaheim Angels. The biggest news of the day was that Roy Halladay was traded from the Blue Jays to the Phillies and the Phillies traded Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners and the Blue Jays are getting back prospects which we don't know yet because Halladay is still working out the extension and the deal won't be official to maybe tomorrow. I think the Seattle Mariners have had a good offseason and may have surpassed the Angels by getting Chone Figgons and now Cliff Lee.
The New York Mets and their fans have had a very bad day. The Mets biggest need was pitching and now they don't have anywhere to turn as their are no other big pitchers left. They may land Jason Bay now that everyone else is out on that but that isn't going to solve the problem of having Johan Santana and then a bunch of questions. Roy Halladay going to the hated Phillies is just a stab in the heart but the truth is they aren't that much better since they did trade Cliff Lee away. The Yankees side of things isn't really all that bad, they don't have to face Halladay anymore who owned them and John Lackey doesn't have very good numbers against the Yankees and he has really bad career numbers in Fenway. John Lackey is also a injury risk as he has been injury prone over the last couple of years. I don't think it was terrible for the Red Sox because you can never have enough pitching and he is a gritty guy who usually pitches well in big games. I do find their offense curious though with Bay gone and being replaced by Cameron and maybe Hermidia in a platoon. It doesn't look like the Lowell trade will go through now since he has a thumb injury and may need surgery. I wonder if the Red Sox may try and trade for Adrian Gonzalez and move Youkilis to third base?? If they did this I think they would be pretty even with the Yankees but right now as a Yankee fan I don't think you have to be that worried because I don't think their offense is so great. I wonder what tomorrow will bring with the Hot Stove after this busy day.
The non tender deadline for baseball was Saturday at midnight. If you don't know what that is it is players that were eligible for arbitration but the team decided to not offer them a contract making them free agents. The notable names that came out of this were Jack Cust, Matt Capps, Garrett Atkins, Clay Condrey, John Buck. There are some others too but these are probably the most well known players. I believe John Buck signed with the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees would be interested in anyone, I would say no or more likely the Mets. The Yankees need a leftfielder but if they don't resign Johnny Damon they will most likely play Melky Cabrera in left and Granderson in center and probably bring Hideki Matsui back as the DH. I think the Yankees are pretty well set with even their bench, they have Francisco Cervelli as the backup catcher, Ramiro Pena or someone else from their minor league system as the utility infielder, Jamie Hoffman and Brett Gardner as the extra outfielders. It is interesting though with the economy the way it is that some bigger names weren't offered contracts and became free agents. I forgot the most notable from the Yankees Chien-Ming Wang who won 19 games in back to back seasons in 06 and 07.
I wasn't suprised the Yankees didn't offer him a contract but am a little suprised that he refused a split contract. The Yankees apparently wanted to give him a minor league contract that could switch to major league if he made the team, considering he had major injuries the last 2 seasons I think it was nice of the Yankees to even consider that but Wang is still upset with the Yankees for taking him to arbitration over 600,000 in 2006.
The New York Jets won a game they should of won and did it easily beating Tampa Bay 26-3. The New York Giants on the other hand lost 45-38 to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants game was really wild as it went back and forth but the bottom line is the Giants defense is terrible and can't stop anyone. I am sure at the end of the season Bill Sheridan the defensive coordinator is going to get fired. There is too much talent on the defensive side of the ball to be this bad. The Giants offense was very good racking up more then 500 yards of total offense. Eli Manning had maybe his best game of the year as he was really sharp. Brandon Jacobs ran the ball a lot better and Ahmad Bradshaw had some nice plays. The real difference in the game though was the Eagles returning a punt for a touchdown and returning a Giants fumble for a touchdown. The Giants aren't out of the playoffs because they could still finish ahead of the Cowboys and get the wildcard but really where are they going even if they do make it.
The Jets played a great game and kept their very slim playoff hopes alive. The Jets have to win all of their games and get help to make it. It isn't likely for them to win all of their games. It would be nice for the Jets to at least finish strong and have something to build off of for next year. I am not sure if Mark Sanchez will play next week, he probably will but not so sure if they should be pushing him to get back with a knee injury.
I am a diehard New York Yankees fan,season ticket holder and a sportsnut. I also like the New York Giants and Rangers. I am married with a beautiful babygirl. I am a caremanager for passaic county and graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne,NJ. I have always wanted to be a sportswriter and thought this blog would help me live my dream. I cover the Yankees/Mets Giants and Jets for www.worldnewsvine.com and also will be writing for numberonebaseball.com so check me out there, thanks.