Hot Stove: Yankees interested in Jason Grilli


On the chance David Robertson doesn’t return to the Yankees, the team is going to need a backup plan to replace him in the bullpen. If they don’t feel comfortable with Dellin Betances in the closer role, it’s possible the Yankees could sign a free agent from the market in order to give the bullpen some depth. So which name is being tied to the Yankees this time? Jason Grilli, of course.

According to Sweeny Murti of WFAN, the Yankees have discussed potentially signing Jason Grilli to join their bullpen should Robertson not return.

More from Murti:

Should the Yankees end up losing Robertson, they will be looking for another bullpen arm, even if it’s not specifically as a closer. There will be a long list of names to consider should that happen, especially once the non-tender guys hit the market next month. One name that has already been discussed by Yankee brass and likely will be again if necessary is Jason Grilli.

Grilli is a well-traveled 38-year old right-hander who was an All-Star closer for Pittsburgh in 2013, but tailed off and was traded away in 2014. Grilli, a local boy from Seton Hall, pitched for the Tigers against the Yankees in the 2006 Division Series. He faced just one batter in the entire series, retiring Gary Sheffield on a ground out in Game 1. Why is that even slightly interesting? Because Sheffield is now Grilli’s agent.

Grilli was 1-5 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.333 WHIP while with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Angels in 2014.

It’s not the type of numbers that will immediately impress you but the Yankees have dealt with worse and for more

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Brian Cashman to rappel for Stamford holiday event


Brian Cashman recently slept on the streets in Times Square raising awareness for homeless youth. Now he’s going to get into the Christmas spirit and rappel down a building the weekend before the Winter Meetings.

Cashman and Bobby Valentine are going to rappel down one of Stamford, CT tallest buildings, the Landmark Building. The event will be broadcast on the FOX News channel during the “FOX and Friends” morning newscast.

However, Cashman isn’t going to rappel once down the building: he’s going to rappel twice. He’ll do it as a practice run on December 5th from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and again on December 7th at 5:00 p.m. On December 7th, Cashman will also be on hand when the Landmark Building lights its holiday tree.

I always get joy in seeing Cashman rappel down a building but the last time he did a dangerous stunt twice (sky-diving out of an airplane), he broke his leg. I just hope he’s careful.

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Report: Athletics sign Pat Venditte

Another Yankees minor leaguer has left the farm this week and he’s heading out west to Oakland.

Switch pitcher Pat Venditte will no longer be in the Yankees organization as he has signed a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training with the Oakland Athletics, according to his agent Marc Kligman.

Venditte split the season with Trenton Thunder and Scranton Wilkes-Barre in 2014, going 0-1 with a 0.82 ERA in 15 appearances with Double-A Trenton and 2-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 26 games (two starts) with Triple-A Scranton. In his career, Venditte has a 2.46 ERA, a 10.1 K/9 and a 2.4 BB/9.

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Report: Raul Ibanez won’t be Yankees new hitting coach


The Yankees were able to convince Eric Chavez to return to the organization in a different role, but they weren’t able to do so for Raul Ibanez.

According to George A. King of the New York Post, Ibanez is being considered for managerial position with the Tampa Bay Rays and even if Ibanez didn’t get the Rays job, he wouldn’t be interested in coaching.

More from King:

Ibanez, the former Yankee (2012) who finished a splendid career this past season with the AL champion Royals, was approached by the team following the World Series about the hitting job and was said to be “intrigued.’’

Nevertheless, since then, the Rays talked to the 42-year-old former outfielder who played in the big leagues for 19 years about managing their team.

Ibanez, who never has managed a game at any level, remains a legitimate candidate for the opening. And if he doesn’t replace Maddon, Ibanez doesn’t want to coach according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

It could be some time before the Yankees officially announce a hitting coach, but as of right now there are no clear front runner for the job. Eric Hinskie already turned down the role to stay with the Chicago Cubs and Dave Magadan wasn’t considered a candidate after he spoke to the media about the interview process. The Yankees are officially back at the drawing board, and not only do they have to worry about replacing Kevin Long, but they also have to replace Mick Kelleher, who they also fired in more

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Video: Robertson’s ‘High Socks for Hope’ helps Vets

Very quiet in Yankee-land today, so let’s end the night with some feel good news.

As you’re all aware, David Robertson and his wife Erin are the co-founders of “High Socks For Hope”, a nonprofit organization to help the victims hurt by the tornadoes that swept through Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2011. However, the Robertson’s aren’t just reaching out to tornado victims. They’ve expanded the “High Socks For Hope” foundation to help furnish apartments at Valor Grove, which is a housing complex for homeless veterans.

Above is a news clip from an Alabama news station and the project needs $38,000 to be completed. If you want to help or are interested in information, visit

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Hot Stove: David Robertson’s road to four-years, $50 Million could hit a speed bump


David Robertson is one of the best relief pitchers on the free agent market. In fact, he proved taking over Mariano Rivera‘s job in the ninth inning wasn’t as impossible as people made it to believe. So when Robertson and his agent said they wanted ‘Jonathan Papelbon money’ for his services, it didn’t really catch fans off-guard. But the question is, will Robertson get the $50 Million he’s searching for in the free agent market or will he have to lower his asking price?

George A. King and Dan Martin of the New York Post believe it’s possible Robertson might have to lower his asking price, but they also said it’s possible he could still get the $50 Million in the free agent market.

More from King and Martin:

An AL talent evaluator believes Robertson can get close to his wishes because Andrew Miller, who has never closed in the big leagues, could sign a four-year pact worth $42 million to close or work in front of the ninth inning.

An NL decision maker believes Robertson will have a hard time getting what he wants because the industry is using Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year, $50 million deal as being excessive despite three solid years in Philadelphia.

And an AL employee of a team that isn’t in the market for a closer predicts Robertson will have to take three years because there are not a lot of teams who will spend that type of money and invest that many years for a closer.

The Yankees want to keep David Robertson, considering he was able to fill Mariano Rivera’s shoes with such ease, and they don’t want to face the same worries if more

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Cashman on Rule 5, Wheeler, Kuroda, McCarthy and a search for a hitting coach

Brian Cashman 5

Brian Cashman slept on the street last night near Times Square to raise awareness for homeless youth, but that didn’t stop him from answering questions about the quiet offseason the Yankees have had so far. So what did he talk about? Let’s recap.

Cashman on Rule 5: Cashman said all of the Rule 5 protection decisions were ‘layups’. As a refresher, the Yankees protected Tyler Austin, Danny Burawa, Branden Pinder and Mason Williams.

Cashman on Zelous WheelerJust like the Francisco Cervelli trade took some time, this deal took some time as well–just not as long. Cashman said the Wheeler deal took about three weeks to complete and said Wheeler was excited for the opportunity of being an every day player in Japan. It’s also worth noting, the Yankees received $350,000 in return for Wheeler.

Cashman on Hiroki KurodaCashman said he hadn’t learned anything on the situation of Hiroki Kuroda. Cashman believes Kuroda will pitch in 2015 but he’s not sure if it will be in Japan or MLB.

Cashman on Brandon McCarthyBrandon McCarthy is high on Brian Cashman’s list of acquiring this offseason, but just because the Yankees have interest in McCarthy, it doesn’t mean the Yankees won’t sign a second starter should McCarthy rejoin the Yankees.

Cashman on a hitting coach: Cashman said the Yankees will interview a hitting coach candidate next week, but he wouldn’t go as far as to name the candidate.

And as a bonus:

Cashman on Russell Martin signing with the Blue Jays: Cashman says he’s happy for Martin but also wishes it wasn’t the Blue Jays that acquired more

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Yankees protect Austin, Burawa, Pinder and Williams from Rule 5 Draft

Tyler Austin2

The Yankees announced who they decided to protect from the Rule 5 Draft.

More from the Yankees:

add OF Tyler Austin, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Branden Pinder and OF Mason Williams to the Major League roster.

That means Cito Culver, Fred Lewis, Mark Montgomery, Zach Nuding Kyle Roller and Matt Tracy could all be claimed during the Rule 5 Draft. If any of the players are claimed and fail to stay on the Major League Roster, they would go back to the Yankees.

In Other News:

Zelous Wheeler also will no longer be on the team. The Yankees announced they have sold Wheeler’s contract to the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japan Pacific League.

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