Monday, March 25, 2013

The Vernon Wells Trade Spits In The Face Of Everybody And Everything

(Courtesy of John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated)

Barring some magical injury that gets discovered during his physical, Vernon Wells is going to become a Yankee today.  His locker is cleaned out in LA, the money has been agreed upon, and all that's left is identifying the MiL player the Yankees will send to Anaheim to complete the trade.  As I stated on IIATMS/TYA earlier this morning, this isn't exactly the darkest timeline for the Yankees, but it's pretty damn close.

I wrote about the idea of trading for Wells back in December, when it was rumored that the Yanks and Angels had discussed a deal during the Winter Meetings.  The conclusion I came to was that trading for Wells would be an absolute "hell no" scenario and believe it or not, that stance hasn't changed in the last three months.  Wells still doesn't hit for average or much power, still doesn't walk, still doesn't have an encouraging platoon split, and is still a 34-year-old outfielder with rapidly declining skills.  The only way I would have been comfortable with a trade was if Anaheim agreed to eat almost all of the $42 million remaining on Wells' contract.  Last night's reports of the Angels agreeing to take on $29 mil of the remaining 42 are nowhere near the number I had in mind and only make this trade more confusing.

2013 AB4AR Season Preview: The Lineup

(Courtesy of the AP)

At long last we've made it.  From the disappointing ending to the 2012 season to the generally slow and boring offseason to the injury-riddled/roster hole plugging preseason, we've now arrived at the doorstep of the 2013 Major League Baseball regular season.  This time next week, we'll all hopefully be in front of a TV (or at the game), Yankee gear on, ready to put all the badness behind us and just enjoy the fact that baseball is back in our lives.  I know I will be.

To kick off the 2013 AB4AR Season Preview series, we'll look at the lineup.  It's a group that's going to include a lot of unfamiliar faces for at least the month of April as regulars like Jeter, Teix, and C-Grand recover from injuries, but if and when it gets healthy and complete it's a group that can still do a lot of damage.  The Yankees lost some key members of the lineup from last year's team, members that didn't have their production adequately replaced as far as numbers and projections are concerned.  To try to counter that loss of production, the Yanks will look to transform their offense into a more balanced one, a lineup capable of playing small ball to scratch runs across when it needs to but still able to flex the HR muscle as well.  How they go about doing that remains to be seen.

Spring Training Game 30 Wrap-Up: NYY 7 TB 6

("Hey, can somebody toss me a ball?  Kinda gotta get my work in here." Courtesy of the AP)

Regular season games are only a week away.  Time to start ramping up the game recap reps, and what better game to recap than a walk-off win?

Game Notes:

- Adam Warren had another rough outing, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in just 3.2 IP.  His defense didn't help him, and only 1 of the runs was earned, but Warren didn't do a good job picking up his D behind him.  No other way to describe Warren's camp this year than disastrous.

- In an obvious audition for Clay Rapada's roster spot, Joe went to Vidal Nuno in the middle of the 4th to get out of Warren's jam.  Nuno allowed all batters he faced to reach base (2 H, 1 BB) and needed another CS from Francisco Cervelli to escape the inning.

- There was plenty of offense to support the shaky Yankee pitching.  Kevin Youkilis continued his powerful two-week tear with two 2-run homers, giving him 5 for the spring, and Travis Hafner cracked his second dinger of camp as well.

- Big day at the plate for new starting shortstop Eduardo Nunez as well.  He went 2-3 with a triple and 1 run and RBI apiece and stole his 5th ST base.  More importantly, he had a clean day in the field.

- Scoreless innings for Mo, Joba, and Logan led to a 9th-inning lead for the Yanks, a lead that David Aardsma couldn't hold.  He gave up a run on 2 hits and the game went to extra innings.

- Those extra innings didn't last very long. however, as Ronnier Mustelier hit a 3-2 pitch for a leadoff, walk-off HR in the bottom of the 10th.  That's a helluva way to keep yourself in roster spot consideration, huh?