Thursday, January 2, 2014

Astros Sign Jesse Crain, Steal A Perfect Yankee Bullpen Candidate

I don't know how I missed this (yes I do, I was busy drinking and partying), but the Houston Astros made a nice little move for themselves by signing righty reliever Jesse Crain to a 1-year deal on Tuesday.  Crain, 32, is coming off a very good/injury-shortened 2013 season and to me he was a perfect match for the Yankees when it came to filling their void of lost late-game bullpen innings.

Crain's shoulder injury did present a major risk, but also made him easy to sign to a 1-year, low-dollar deal, perfect for what the Yankees are/were trying to do with their 2014 budget.  With Crain gone, the market for established late-inning relievers is drying up quickly.  Hopefully the Yankees don't let their pursuit of Tanaka prevent them from filling that still very glaring need.  Really sucks to lose Crain to the Astros too.  Bastards.

P.S.- If you're keeping score at home, that now makes me 0-5 in my Project 189 moves with Tanaka my only remaining hope for getting one right.  No Cano, no Choo, no Hart, no Kazmir, and now no Crain.  Boy do I know how to pick 'em or what?

Report: Yanks Not Signing Stephen Drew

 He might still be waiting for the Yankees, but this latest report from Peter Gammons makes it sound like the waiting isn't mutual.  I never thought there was much to the idea of Drew joining the Yankees next season, not if meant switching positions.  The guy has been a shortstop his entire Major League career and a pretty good one at that.  He's coming off a 3.4 fWAR season in which he was above-average both offensively and defensively and he's still the best player available at his position in his prime.  That doesn't add up to somebody who should or would be willing to move to third base.

Drew's stalling seems to be more of a leverage-building tactic with anything.  He knows the Sawx need a SS next year and he knows he's their best option.  If he's looking to squeeze a few more bucks out of them, what better way than to get the hated Yankees and their bankroll in the discussion?  Smart business by him and not surprising business by the Yankees.