Monday, December 2, 2013

Yanks Have Reportedly Made An Offer To Hirok

We found out last week that the Yankees were feeling "more upbeat" about Hiroki Kuroda returning to pitch for them next season than they were earlier in the offseason.  Those upbeat feelings have now reportedly translated to a new contract offer.  According to Andrew Marchand, the exact details of the offer aren't known but an unnamed source has it as another 1-year deal between $15-16 million.  That would represent a slight upgrade from the 1-year deal that Kuroda pitched on this past season.

Mark Feinsand just tweeted that the offer was made "a long time ago," so maybe there's some differing information going on here.  My expectation was always that the Yankees would strongly entertain the idea of bringing Kuroda back next season if they felt he was open to returning.  I also expected them to wait a little longer than they did last year to explore other, younger options first.  Regardless of when the offer was extended, this is a sign that the Yankees aren't content to wait around for the Masahiro Tanaka posting situation to get resolved.  If they do end up with both Kuroda and Tanaka next year, that wouldn't be a bad first 4 to have in the rotation.

Aggressive Yankee Offseason Approach Being Thwarted On Multiple Fronts

("Psssst.  Do you think it's time offer Robbie a bonus package based on running hard to first base?"/Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

The Yankees entered this offseason knowing they had a lot of work to do.  Luxury tax avoidance goal or not, they were and still are an old team with a ton of roster holes to fill.  Years of focusing their efforts on older free agents, overpaying to retain some of their own, and sticking to their outdated and foolish team policy of not negotiating new deals while they still had team control over guys has caught up to them, and the Yankees find themselves very much in need of a makeover this offseason to avoid slipping into another down era.

To their credit, the Yankees prepared themselves well for this offseason and have been among the most, if not the most active team since the offseason officially began.  They've been engaged with nearly every big name MLB free agent, they've done extensive research and scouting of the top international free agents, and they've been proactive in trying to re-sign their own free agents that they're interested in keeping.  Yet despite their best efforts, and despite multiple assurances by the highest-ranking front office members that they would not, the Yankees find themselves being slowed down and even delayed in executing many of their big offseason plans.  It's been frustrating to say the least and potentially problematic if the team is still trying to build their next championship contender on a luxury-tax avoiding budget.

Quick Hit: Chris Stewart Traded

Well I guess that interest in Chris Stewart that was reported over the weekend turned out to be true after all.  As first reported by Buster Olney, the Yankees agreed to trade Stewart to the Pirates earlier this morning.  Jon Heyman confirmed the details of the trade, which will include a player to be named later coming back to the Yankees, and the team has already issued a press release formally announcing the trade.

This move was a pretty obvious one given the current 40-man depth the Yankees have at catcher.  The writing was on the wall for Stewart the minute the team signed Brian McCann.  If the Yanks didn't move him in a trade today he would have been non-tendered.  The PTBNL most likely won't even be a fringe prospect, the real goal here from New York's side was to open up another spot on the 40-man.  That's what was done and kudos to the Yankees for at least getting something back for Stewart.

So Long, Old Friend

* (Disclaimer- I may or may not have written this post last night with a half dozen beers in me) *

If there was 1 more nail that had to be driven into the coffin of Phil Hughes' tumultuous Yankee career, it happened over the weekend.  Hughes signed a 3-year/$24 million deal to join the Minnesota Twins rotation next year, in a deal that was a little more than I thought he'd get after the horrible finish to his 2013 but much less than a 27-year-old righty should be getting in this day and age of baseball spending.

I know I said the last post about Phil was the last one I'd write about him, but I just can't let it end like that.  Phil was an important part of my Yankee fandom, my transition to a more educated baseball fan in general, and my evolution as a blogger, and I'll always remember him for that.

You came into my life as a promising young stud, Phil.  I had high hopes for us.  You winning games and leading future Yankee rotations.  Me blushing at home and fanning myself while you struck out the side.  It was a match made in heaven.  Until things started to fall apart.  To be honest, I can't really pinpoint where things started to go wrong, but I knew that you weren't the pitcher I thought you were and I still don't think I'm fully over that.  You were my first prospect love, Phil.  And we'll always have that first spring 5th starter competition.  But now you're really gone and I think we're both better for it.  I wish you all the best in Minnesota.  Maybe I'll come out to visit sometime.  Probably not though.