Report: Yankees to talk to Raul Ibanez about hitting coach position

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Raul Ibanez. Hitting coach. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Well, it does to the Yankees.

According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, the Yankees will talk to Raul Ibanez about the vacant hitting coach position. Ibanez spent the 2014 season with the Kansas City Royals, but he wasn’t on the World Series roster.

The Yankees adding Ibanez as a hitting coach would be an interesting move and I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to it.  He does know a thing or two about clutch hitting in the postseason.

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Austin Romine out of options for next season

Austin Romine

 

Well it looks like Austin Romine is going to have one last chance to fight for a back-up catchers spot.

According to Chad Jennings of LoHud.com, Austin Romine will not get a fourth option meaning he’ll be out of options coming into Spring Training. That means if Romine doesn’t win a job with the Yankees out of camp, he’ll be cut loose. Dellin Betances was in the same boat as Austin Romine, but the difference was he won a job out of Spring Training, ending the season with an All-Star year. Not bad for a guy who had to fight his way on the roster or risk losing a job altogether.

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Yankees already over the luxury tax

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The Yankees have a ton of holes they need to fill on the roster, ranging from shortstop to relief pitching to finding a primary third basemen. However, if the Yankees are going to upgrade their roster, it’s going to cost money. Obviously money is not an issue for the Bronx Bombers as they have one of the highest payrolls in baseball. But big contracts already on their payroll might stop them from going on another spending spree this offseason.

For those who are new to the business aspect of baseball or don’t completely grasp the concept of what the luxury tax really is, FanGraphs offers a simple yet informational definition:

Technically called the “Competitive Balance Tax”, the Luxury Tax is the punishment that large market teams get for spending too much money. While MLB does not have a set salary cap, the luxury tax charges teams with high payrolls a considerable amount of money, giving teams ample reason to want to keep their payrolls below that level.

The luxury tax remained relatively unchanged in the new CBA. The threshold level for the luxury tax will be $178 million in both 2012 and 2013 (the same as it was in 2011), and will be raised to $189 million from 2014-2016.

Hal Steinbrenner insisted the Yankees weren’t going to go above $189 million last offseason but despite his insistence, the organization signed Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, sending them well past the $189 Million threshold.  There’s an excellent chance the team’s payroll will be over $189 Million to start next season, but by how much? In order to predict how much the Yankees could spend this offseason, we’re going to start ..read more

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Alex Rodriguez is now an active player

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It’s the final out of the World Series, so you know what that means: Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension is officially over and he’s slated to return to the Yankees in February. Obviously it’s a long offseason and anything could happen but like Brian Cashman does, you plan  A-Rod will show up to camp ready to win back his third base job. The Yankees have already said they’re not going to automatically slot him into third and there’s a good chance he could see playing time at first, but the point is, A-Rod is back. Yankees fans just hope he’ll bring a productive bat with him.

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Real offseason begins after Game 7 is played

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Sure, every Yankees fan would dream a season would end with the Yankees winning a World Series but I’ll take what’s happening tonight as well. Tonight is the seventh and final game of the 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, which means it’s a one-game winner take all showdown. However, the real fun will begin after tonight’s game is played because tomorrow is the first official day of the 2014 offseason. So you may be wondering, how does the conclusion of Game 7 of the World Series affect the Yankees? Let’s take a look.

— Tomorrow is the day Alex Rodriguez comes off the restricted list and is an active player for the New York Yankees. It’s pretty much good news mixed with uncertainty because the Yankees do need Rodriguez’s bat in the lineup but they don’t know what they’re going to get out of him since he’s been out of the Major Leagues for the entire 2014 season. So ready or not, Yankees fans…here A-Rod comes.

— The Yankees will lose 10 players at midnight due to free agency: Chris Capuano, Stephen Drew, Chase Headley, Rich Hill, Derek Jeter, Hiroki Kuroda, Brandon McCarthy, David Robertson, Ichiro Suzuki and Chris Young. Obviously, Derek Jeter is not coming back no matter what so we’re left with nine (maybe eight if Kuroda retires) free agents. Would the Yankees re-sign Chase Headley? Will they find a way to hang onto David Robertson and Brandon McCarthy? ..read more

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Around The Diamond: Left Field

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Yesterday we talked about Alex Rodriguez and the possibility of the Yankees signing Chase Headley to a deal to make Rodriguez the primary designated hitter. Today, we move onto left field and what’s intriguing about this position is it’s the only one on the diamond that has a player right from the Yankees farm system. 

Brett Gardner wasn’t one of the highest ranking prospects in the minor league system. He wasn’t and still isn’t the best player the Yankees have ever seen. But hard work and dedication intrigued the ball club, prompting the team to call him up in 2008. Gardner would never be the player to hit 30 home runs or drive in 100 RBI’s but his game of speed and stellar defense impressed the Yankees and he slowly began to see more playing time. Now, the initial plan for Gardner wasn’t for him to be the Yankees left fielder for the long run–he was expected to hit the free agent market following the 2014 season–but the Yankees surprised everyone last offseason when they broke their rule of “no extensions” and signed Gardner to a deal that would take him to the 2019 season.

The initial plan was for Gardner to spend time in the outfield until after the 2014 season and to have Slade Heathcott, who was one of their top Yankee outfield prospects in the past, to take over the role in 2015. But here we are, the 2015 season drawing near and Slade Heathcott is nowhere near Major League ready. The Yankees knowing they had no strong options for the outfield prompted them to stick with Gardner and in 2014, Gardner didn’t make the Yankees regret it. He hit .256/.327/.422 in 2014 and ..read more

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Nightly Notes: Smoak, Rodriguez

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With Game 6 of the World Series underway in just a little under an hour, I thought I would leave some nightly notes as we watch what could be the last game of the 2014 season.

— When the Yankees wanted to make a trade for starter Cliff Lee in 2010 with Jesus Montero as their centerpiece, they were within reach of having Lee in pinstripes. However, the Seattle Mariners backed out of the deal at the last minute and made a trade with the Texas Rangers who’s centerpiece was Justin Smoak. Well, Smoak never hit the way the Mariners wanted him to and now he’s has found a new home within the American League East. The Toronto Blue Jays claimed Smoak on waivers today, making this the first player “shake-up” the AL East has seen all offseason. Smoak has hit .224/.309/.380 in his Major League career, but the fact the Blue Jays acquired Smoak as their first basemen might mean they’re going to try to trade Adam Lind, who was their first basemen last season. Would the Yankees be interested considering they don’t have any true first base alternatives if Mark Teixeira injured himself? I guess we’ll have to see how this plays out.

— Whether the San Francisco Giants win the World Series tonight or the Kansas City Royals force a Game 7, Alex Rodriguez is 1-2 games away from returning to the Major Leagues. Something tells me he might be rooting for the Giants to win tonight so he can be put back on the active roster ..read more

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Video: Yankees win 1999 World Series

As the 2014 World Series wraps up either tonight or tomorrow, I thought I would post one last throwback World Series video of the Yankees. The anniversary for this particular World Series was yesterday but it’s always a good time to watch Mariano Rivera close out the World Series like it’s just another game. Honestly, that was what made Mariano Rivera the GOAT.

So Yankees fans, let’s party like it’s 1999 for the next two minutes as the Yankees clinch baseball immortality and win the 1999 World Series.

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