Monday, February 10, 2014

The Meat Tray Returneth!

Not really.  I was just looking for an excuse to throw this Photoshop up again because I still laugh like an idiot every time I look at it.  I would much rather have an actual tray of meat than Sergio Mitre on my baseball team any day of the week.

But former Yankee and 5th Starter Competitor Sergio Mitre was back in the news today for becoming the latest former Yankee to sign with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.  I'm not sure if it was part of some under-the-table deal worked out by the 2 teams as part of the Tanaka signing, but the Eagles are loaded with former Yankees now.  Darrell Rasner, Casey McGehee, Andruw Jones, and now the Meat Tray.  That's a haul.  No other way to describe it.  Even without Tanaka, that's a ballclub that's going to contend for a long time with that core.

Maybe these new posting rules aren't the worst thing in the world after all.  Yankees still get to flex their financial muscle to bring in the top Japanese talent when they've scouted the player enough to make it worthwhile, and the NPB gets a major influx of former MLB talent by creating a pipeline to washed up former Yankee greats   goods  OKs   spare parts warm bodies.  Everybody wins.

Pitchers And Catchers Report Date Prepper 2014: The Starters

(Slim CC, so hot right now.  Slim CC.  Courtesy of Amber Sabathia's Instagram)

It's Monday, February 10th, which means we're a mere 4 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Yankee camp.  After a long and eventful offseason, we're finally getting back to real, actual, throwing and catching and hitting baseball and that's great news.  As part of the early ST process, I'll once again be breaking down the players reporting by roster groups and giving an idea of what to expect, or at least be on the lookout for, from each guy during spring camp.  We'll get things started by looking at the contingent of starting pitchers who'll be reporting this Friday.  The projected top 4 in the season-opening rotation is all but set, but the competition for that 5th spot is as wide open as ever.

Ryan Madson, Anybody?

(Courtesy of Ron Cortes/Philly Daily News)

The reliever market has all but dried up with a handful of days remaining until the start of Spring Training.  The top remaining names are all part of the "coming back from arm injuries" brigade, guys like Rafael Betancourt, Andrew Bailey, and Joel Hanrahan.  Another name in that group that may be closer to pitching in game action than any of them is Ryan Madson.  Madson hasn't pitched since 2011 after having elbow surgery in April of 2012, and appeared to be a shell of his former self in a short stint with the Anaheim Angels' Triple-A affiliate last year.  But he reportedly held a public workout for teams last Friday, and if he looked OK there he could be a sneaky great buy-low bullpen option.