Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 2/17

Long week.  I've got nothing witty or sarcastic to say.  I just want the A.J. trade to be completed so I can put it behind me and focus on baseball.  Here's the lap around the Yankosphere for the week that was.

- I'm probably the last one in the entire Yankosphere to link to this, but on Monday Alex Belth of Bronx Banter did a terrific profile of Hiroki Kuroda.  Definitely a must-read if you haven't already.

- Also on Monday, Rasheeda Cooper of Bomber Boulevard showed why the Yankees would be wise to not consider Vlad Guerrero for their still vacant DH spot.  I couldn't agree more, especially considering Vlad offers no roster flexibility due to his inability to play the outfield anymore.

- On Tuesday, Wallace Matthews' latest offering from the continually great "25 Questions/25 Days" series at the ESPN NY Yankees Blog touched on the topic of clubhouse leadership, specifically who will take the throne when Jeter and Mo are gone.  His leading candidate was A-Rod, but don't sleep on Robbie Cano either.

- On Wednesday, el duque of It Is High... expressed his displeasure with the continued penny pinching by the Yankees in their efforts to fill out the roster.  While I don't think I'll be following him to Occupy the Yankees, I can side with him on this when it comes to finding a DH option.

- Jesse Schindler of Bleeding Yankee Blue predicts a rebound from Rafael Soriano in 2012.  I know I would be happy with something similar to the numbers he put up in the final months of 2011.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog took an interesting look at Yankee offensive production across the defensive spectrum, showing that the Yankees have had success thanks to solid offensive production from premium defensive positions.

- Matthew B of Yankees Fans Unite has been plowing through a series of AL East rankings posts this week.  Yesterday he rocked a double dip of starting pitchers and bullpens and benches.

- Rebecca Glass of Pinstriped Bible is also double dipping with her look at top Yankee prospects of recent past and present.  Here's Part I from Wednesday, and this morning she posted Part II.

- On Thursday, Larry Koestler of RAB broke down the best individual pitches in the Yankee bullpen.  Definitely didn't expect Soriano to have a better cutter than Mo.

- As always, I have to include a pair from my fellow TYA writers.  On Tuesday, EJ Fagan explained why the notion that Dellin Betances is automatically going to be a big-time reliever if he doesn't make it as a starting pitcher is flawed.

- And in preparation for the A.J. trade becoming official, Eric Schultz looked at how his game might play in PNC Park.  As long as I don't have to worry about how he pitches in Yankee Stadium anymore.

- On a more somber note, Mike Dodd of USA Today wrote a nice piece honoring the life and career of Gary Carter, who passed away yesterday.

- The biggest news of the day, at least for me, is the release of Mike Axisa's Preseason Top 30 Prospects at RAB.  Mike's list was a big inspiration for my AB4AR Top 30, so this gets my highest recommendation (as if it needed it).

I didn't even bother asking for reader submissions for this week's jam because I had it picked out on Monday.  Camp officially opens in two days.  Yankee baseball is back!  And that means we're going with the old standby.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Two Minutes To Midnight

We're another day closer to doomsday, but fortunately it sounds like we're also a lot closer to the A.J. trade being completed.

Via George King, the Yankees and Pirates have agreed to swap A.J. for two marginal prospects, with Pittsburgh picking up somewhere between $13-15 million of the remaining contract.  A source was quoted as saying the deal should be completed by Saturday.  That's still cutting it pretty close, but things look promising right now.  If the deal does go through this way, you would have to call that a big win for the Yankees.  But until it does, the clock stays active.

**UPDATE- 12:19PM- Buster Olney is reporting that the terms of the deal have been finalized and are being submitted to MLB for approval.  This thing could become official this afternoon. **

** UPDATE- 1:47PM- Joel Sherman has the first prospect included in the deal- Diego Moreno, right-handed relief pitcher. ** 

** UPDATE- 3:31PM- Jonathan Mayo of reporting that 20-year-old OF Exicardo Cayones is the 2nd prospect included in the deal.  Still no official approval from the Commissioner's office. **

** UPDATE- 6:36PM- Pirates picking up $5 million this season and $8 million next.  Yankees get the remaining 20. **