Thursday, September 26, 2013

Let's All Calm Down About The Reported Cano Contract Figures

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

With the season unofficially over as of last night, the focus has already shifted to the upcoming offseason and all the things the Yankees are going to have to address while building their 2014 roster.  The obvious number 1 topic of discussion on that list is Robinson Cano's free agency and what the Yankees will or won't be willing to pay to retain him.  That stayed quiet for the majority of the regular season, but business started picking up this morning when reports of a 10-year/$300 million proposal from Cano's camp came out.

Via Buster Olney (Insider only), the numbers are actually 10 years and $305 million, the total value of Alex Rodriguez's contract with the HR escalator bonuses included.  David Waldstein reported that the Yankees made an offer of 7 years/$161 mil earlier in the season and the distance between those 2 figures has set off a ton of talk around the Yankosphere about what it all means and what the Yankees should do.  Before things get too out of control, I'd like to offer a simple reminder to everyone who's concerned about the numbers.  Relax.  This is how it works.  It's each side making their first offer as part of a negotiation and there's no reason to get worked up.

What A Night For Phil

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

It may have looked like the last in a long line of embarrassing late season outings for Phil Hughes last night.  He was ineffective again and he got yanked after recording only 6 outs and after Joe stopped off to argue a bad call with the umpire before making his way to the mound to get the ball.  But it wasn't all gloom and fastballs over the middle.  Phil actually carved out some nice space for himself in the record books last night.

CC Already On The Road To Reinvention

While he won't make another start this season, and it's still unknown how his hamstring injury will impact his offseason training/throwing schedule, CC Sabathia has already started working on his mechanics and approach in preparation for what everybody hopes will be a bounce back 2014.

Sabathia spoke to the media at length on Tuesday about his struggles this season, what he needs to work on to be better next year, and what he's already started working on to make that transition from power pitcher to pitcher.  There were references to changes in delivery and mechanics, bullpen work between starts in the past few weeks, and most interestingly, Sabathia saying he's started watching video of opposing hitters.  It's not something he's ever done before this season, and Sabathia acknowledged the need to start doing it as part of his pregame preparation, saying:

“I feel like at certain times, I kind of fell in the same pattern, pitching the same way.  Hitters watch video and they know what to expect out of me, so it’s only right for me to do the same thing.  I've always been a guy that never watched video and that’s something that I need to change. My preparation for games probably needs to get a little better in that way."

I was a bit surprised to read that CC has never watched video before.  I figured in today's modern age of analysis that would be at least a small part of every pitcher's prep routine.  If it's something he thinks is going to help next year and he's already started doing it, then good for him for manning up and not being stubborn about changing.  It's what older pitchers have to do to survive, and CC recognizes that he's an older pitcher now.  If he's already begun the transformation of his game, that's reason to be encouraged about a turnaround next season.

Game 158 Wrap-Up: TB 8 NYY 3

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

The Yankees didn't score a single run against a shaky Matt Moore and the Tampa Bay bullpen on Tuesday night.  They trotted out arguably a worse lineup last night against David Price, so if he was even half as on his game as Moore was there was a good chance New York would be filling the scoreboard with zeros again.  Whatever.  If Joe plays the crappy veterans and they don't score, he's an idiot for not playing the kids.  If he subs them all out and they don't score, he's an idiot for putting a bunch of unproven youngsters up against a Cy Young winner.  Not that it would matter much with Phil Hughes on the mound.  He was making his final Yankee Stadium start and it went about as you'd expect.  He was out early, the game was over early, and the Yanks were officially eliminated from the Wild Card race.

Game Notes:

- Phil was his usual self.  He gave up a run on back-to-back doubles in the 1st and put 2 men on base before escaping the 2nd.  Fastballs over the middle, failure to put guys away with 2 strikes, the usual.  He had the whole arsenal working.

- He had runners on the corners with nobody out after a handful of pitches in the top of the 3rd, in part because Vernon Wells is old and shitty, and a few batters later it was curtains.  Hughes didn't retire a batter in the 3rd, left the bases loaded, and got barely a reaction from the lifeless crowd as he walked off the mound.  "Oof" and "da."

- At least the offense kept it close early.  Robinson Cano plated Eduardo Nunez in the 1st with a double to left that just missed being a home run, and Nunez took Price yard to lead off the bottom of the 3rd to make it a 3-2 game.

- That was as close as the Yanks would get.  David Huff pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief of Hughes before blowing up in the 6th.  With 2 outs in the inning he gave up a single to James Loney, a 3-run homer to Evan Longoria, and a solo HR to David DeJesus in 3 consecutive ABs to extend the Tampa lead to 7-2.

- The Yanks managed only 2 more hits against Price as he cruised through 7 with a 5-run lead, and scored their final meaningless run of the night on a Lyle Overbay bases loaded walk in the 8th.

- Lotta bullpen scrubs got work after Huff left, but for some reason Joe decided to use David Robertson for the 8th.  Longoria tacked on his second homer of the night off Preston Claiborne in the 9th for a final insult.