Now that the heartache, anger, frustration, and disappointment is finally over it's time to forget about the 2012 Yankees AL Championship Series loss to the Detroit Tigers and move on.
Not only do us Yankees fans have to move on but there's a possibility that some players may be moving on as well. Closer Rafael Soriano, pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, and outfielder Nick Swisher have each turned the Yankees one year offer of $ 13.3 million dollars.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement teams can make one year qualifying offers for the average of the previous season's top 125 salaries. This year is $ 13.3 million to any impending free agent. If the player declines, he can still re-sign with his old team at a difference price. If a player rejects the qualifying offer and signs elsewhere, his former team will receive a compensation draft pick between the first and second rounds, determined by reverse order of winning percentage. Okay now that you understand the rules let's get to the players.
After becoming the closer in mid May the 32 year Soriano saved 42 games in 46 chances this past season while posting an ERA of 2.26. According to Soriano's agent Scott Boras, Soriano will be looking for closer money even if he stays with Yankees as a setup man or signs as a closer somewhere else.
Kuroda, 37, who was 16-11 with an ERA of 3.32 will probably take the one year deal worth $ 13.3 million. Word is he wants a one year deal and it's a $ 3.3 million dollar increase from this past years salary. I threw Kuroda under the bus most of last season. Man was I wrong. My apologies to him. He pitched much better than I expected I say sign him.
Last season Swisher, 31, hit .272 with 24 homeruns. Since he has been here Swisher has been pretty consistent during the regular season. In his four years in New York he has a BA of .268 with 105 homeruns and 349 RBIs. But we all know it's what you do in October that matters. In his four post seasons with the Yankees Swisher has hit .162 with 4 homeruns and 7 RBIs.
Are all three players playing hard ball with the Yankees ? Probably. It is expected that Soriano and Kuroda are going to have serious contract talks with the Yankees.
If all three decide to sign elsewhere that would free up $ 39.9 million dollars for use in the free agent market this winter. Keep in mind though, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner would like to see his payroll stay under $ 189 million in 2014 to avoid paying MLB's luxury tax. Hey here's an idea. Younger players cost less. Want to lower the payroll ? Get younger !! ? Seems like I've heard that somewhere before.
This past week Yankees GM Brian Cashman was in Indian Wells, California for the annual General Managers Meetings. The topic of conversation wasn't which top free agents are the Yankees interested in but are third baseman Alex Rodriguez and outfielder Curtis Granderson on the trading block. Cashman stated that neither were going to be traded. Cashman said, " We're not trading Alex Rodriguez. I have talked to every team in baseball, I have not offered Alex in any trade and you'll be able to confirm that with them."
Cashman also said, " I fully expect Curtis Granderson to be with us next year." " We picked up his option with the intention of having him here, so I expect that."
The Yankees have made some early moves already this off season. On Tuesday they claimed two pitchers off waivers. Right-hander David Herdon from the Blue Jays and lefty Josh Spence from the Padres.
This past June Herdon underwent Tommy John surgery. Over the past three season with the Phillies the 27 year old Herdon has made 97 appearances posting an ERA of 3.85. After claiming him off waivers in October Toronto released him eight days later. Before his injury he appeared in five games for the Phillies.
In 2011 Spence had an ERA of 2.73 with 31 strike outs in 29 2/3 innings. Last season the 24 year old Australian had an ERA of 4.35 in 11 appearances. He played most of last season at Triple-A Tucson where he posted an ERA of 4.20 in 31 appearances.
The have also claimed off waivers Giants catcher Eli Whiteside. Whiteside, 33, spent most of last year at Triple-A Fresno hitting .224 with one homerun and 20 RBIs in 60 games. I don't get this move. They have Russell Martin, Chris Stewart, and Fransisco Cervelli. After being injured most of this past season Austine Romine is playing in the Arizona Fall League. Time to groom a young catcher. There's that word again !
Not much to write home about with those early moves. Lightning in a bottle perhaps but we'll see. So let's get to the big guys !
After going down in game one of the ALCS Derek Jeter had left ankle surgery on October 20th. The procedure was performed in Charlotte, N.C. by Dr. Robert Anderson and a complete recovery expected. The only bad thing about that is recovery could take four to five months. That puts the " Captain " back late for spring training. Jeter has always been a quick healer in the past but he's not 22 years old any more. The Yankees believe Dr. Anderson extended the comeback time frame therefore the Yankees are hoping Jeter will be ready for spring training. Hello ? There's no need to rush back. Just come back fully healed even if that means missing the beginning of the season.
On Thursday October 18th pitcher CC Sabathia underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow. The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham. Alabama. All is well. Sabathia will be on a modified spring training routine. CC will be the Opening Day starter.
Well that's it so far this off season. Not a whole lot to report. I'll keep you posted with any hot stove action so stay tuned !!