Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 11/8/13

Going to my first Packer game this weekend.  The girlfriend wisely scooped up some tickets early in the year and it's been a roller coaster of emotions for me just in the months leading up this Sunday.  At first I was stoked that I was going to get to see the Chip Kelly offense in person and hopefully a 45-41 shootout.  Then the Eagles started to suck and I was a little disappointed that it might just turn into a Packer blowout.  Now with Aaron Rodgers out, Nick Foles tossing touchdowns all over the place, and the Packers having zero pass rush, I'm afraid I could be going to watch them get blown out of their own stadium.  Oh well, at least there will be beer and it's early enough in the year that the weather isn't in true "Frozen Tundra" territory.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, SJK of NoMaas explained what Ichiro's role should be in 2014.  It's exactly what I would do with Ichiro and what I fear the Yankees won't do.

- El duque of It Is High... made his case for why the Yankees should sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia to be their new catcher.

- On Tuesday, Chris Mitchell of Pinstripe Pundits weighed the pros and cons of bringing back Mark Reynolds and Brendan Ryan next season.

- On Wednesday, Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball Daily profiled High-A shortstop Cito Culver and pegged him as a breakout candidate in 2014.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud broke down the current state of the organization in the starting rotation.  Still a lot of upside in the Minors, but way too many questions and not a lot of depth up top.

- Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley offered up his opinions on each non-Yankee QO recipient and whether they would be good options for the Yankees to give up the draft pick and sign.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog looked at how David Robertson's inefficient pitch count tendencies may be influencing their search for a "proven" closer-type reliever.

- Michael Eder of IIATMS/TYA calculated out the money the Yankees would have in their budget to spend if A-Rod's contract comes off the books for next year.  That's a pretty good-sized chunk of change to work with.

- On Thursday, Joe Pawlikowski of RAB took a look back at Brian Cashman's prospect-for-veteran trade track record since gaining full control as GM.

- Jason Evans of Yanks Go Yard mused on the strategy in attempting to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda if the rumors about him leaning towards going back to Japan are true.

- On Friday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes revealed his complete All-Time Yankee roster.  It'd be fun to see how many games that team could win in a 162-game season with everybody in their prime.

- SG of RLYW released the first version of his 2014 CAIRO projections.  Gotta love projection season!

This Friday's jam is "Slaves And Bulldozers" by Soundgarden.  I didn't go back and check, but I don't think I've ever featured Soundgarden here and that is simply unacceptable.  Soundgarden is the shit, plain and simple.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.  It'll probably be a little slow over the weekend with me being out of town.

Free Agent Target: Shin-Soo Choo

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

In their efforts to improve their outfield production this offseason, Carlos Beltran is clearly the Yankees' top free agent target.  There were reports of mutual interest between he and the team before the postseason even ended and Beltran is a near perfect fit as the type of big name player the Yankees love to bring in.  But as I touched on earlier this week, Beltran comes with a fair amount of age-related risk at this stage in his career.  He's right at the point where a player can fall off the productivity cliff at a moment's notice, and his disconcerting downward trend in BB rate suggests he could be closer to that cliff than his solid overall statistical profile would lead you to believe.

He's also not the only viable option for a right field upgrade.  Former Cleveland Indian and Cincinnati Red Shin-Soo Choo is also a free agent this offseason.  He's younger than Beltran (31), a perennial high BB rate guy with a much higher OBP than Beltran (.423 in 2013), and less of an injury/regression risk than Beltran.  Choo is also reportedly drawing interest from the Yankees and if Beltran is OF target #1, it's a fair bet that Choo is right behind him on the list.

Should The Yanks Take The Plunge On Ubaldo Jimenez?

(Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

The Yankees tacked another top free agent name to their ever-expanding target list this week when George King name dropped righty pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez in an article for The Post.  You might remember Jimenez as a potential trade target for the Yankees a few years ago when he was in Colorado, a trade the Yankees ended up not pulling the trigger on.  Jimenez landed in Cleveland, where things really unraveled for him in 2012 in his first full season in the AL (5.40/5.06/4.98 in 176.2 IP).  He rebounded in 2013, posting a 3.30/3.43/3.63 slash line in 32 starts and a 1.82/2.17/2.99 line after the All Star break.  On the strength of that 2nd half, Jimenez is looking to land his first big contract after declining his option for 2014.  The Yankees need starting pitching, but Jimenez is such a jumble of inconsistencies that he might scare them off.

Report: No Progress On The Cano Contract Talks

The Yankees made a qualifying offer to Robinson Cano on Monday.  He has until next Monday to make a decision on it, which will 100% assuredly be a decision to decline.  Other than that it's been all quiet on the Cano contract front with not a lick of new information, from the Yankee side, the Cano side, or from the rest of MLB.  Maybe it's just me, but that seems a tad strange for the premiere position player in this year's free agent crop.

According to Dan Martin, there has been "no recent movement involving Cano and the Yankees."  This comes over a month after both sides made waves in the media with their reported asking prices and offers and over 2 weeks after the Dodgers apparently took themselves out of the running by signing Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero.  It's still very early but the market for Cano hasn't come together at all, something that may work in the Yankees' favor.  The longer it goes without any other teams getting in the mix, the more leverage the Yankees should gain in trying to re-sign Cano to something closer to their desired 7-year/$161 million deal.