With Prado traded, Refsnyder, Pirela have chance at second base job

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In a move that shocked Yankees universe, Brian Cashman packaged infielder Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps and sent them to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones. The Yankees infield seemed ready to go for the 2015 season and with the acquisition of Chase Headley, it seemed Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela would be battling for a backup position. But if Spring Training began today, both Refsnyder and Pirela would be battling for the starting second base job.

“It’s a competition right now and I’ll evaluate any other opportunities that legitimately present themselves,’’ Brian Cashman said to the New York Daily News, “but clearly if spring training started today, that would be the competition.”

Of course, there’s still time for the Yankees to go into the free agent market and bring in a second basemen; Asdrubal Cabrera is the leading infielder on the market and the Yankees have reportedly been interested in him ever since they traded Prado yesterday. There was speculation the Yankees wouldn’t leave camp without a veteran second basemen since they question Refsnyder could handle the position in New York.

Refsnyder made a case that he could be a contender, hitting .318 with 17 HR’s and a .881 OPS. But his defense hasn’t exactly impressed scouts.

“His bat will play in the big leagues,” said a scout who saw a lot of Refsnyder last season. “But the defense is adequate at best. He’s improved a lot but he’s not smooth. He’s not a natural infielder.”

Pirela impressed the Yankees during the September call-ups ..read more

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The Good and The Bad: Yankees outfield

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Yesterday we glanced at the Yankees infield (before Martin Prado and David Phelps were traded to the Miami Marlins) and broke down the good and the bad of each infield. Today, we wander over to the Yankees outfield where we glance at the three starters and their backup. All have upsides, but all also have downsides.

Carlos Beltran

The Good: Beltran has power and can easily hit at least 15 home runs over the short porch in right field.

The Bad: Beltran is coming off injuries and offseason surgery. Will this impact him when he enters Spring Training and will he further injure himself during the season?

Jacoby Ellsbury

The Good: He has the ability to swipe 40-50 bases, has pop in his bat and can get on base.

The Bad: Ellsbury’s injury prone and still has to live up to that huge contract he signed last offseason. Can he live up to it or will he disappoint Yankees fans by being a ‘Brett Gardner 2.0′ with base running smarts?

Brett Gardner

The Good: Gardner can also swipe at least 40-50 bags, had a great year power-wise and was easily one of the Yankees best players in 2014.

The Bad: Gardner is also injury prone and one has to wonder if Gardner can keep up his power surge in 2015.

Chris Young

The Good: He impressed the Yankees in September which earned him a one-year contract as the fourth outfielder. He was clutch, showed power and played good defense for a back-up.

The Bad: No one knows if Young’s September was a fluke or if it was the real deal. The Yankees will find out what they have in Spring Training but they’re not big on commitment ..read more

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What does the Miami Marlins trade mean for Alex Rodriguez?

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With any trade or signing, it could impact your ball club in a huge way. Well, without meaning to, the trades of Martin Prado and David Phelps gave Alex Rodriguez less work to do when he arrives to Spring Training in February.

The Yankees acquired Garrett Jones and Nathan Eovaldi from the Marlins earlier today and the acquisition of Jones means a number of things, the main one being depth.

Jones could be used as a true back-up first basemen if Mark Teixeira needs a day off or is injured. Injuries riddled Teixeira’s 2014 season after he played only 123 games for the Bronx Bombers.

Jones also offers the outfield insurance, but most importantly right field. While the Yankees already signed Chris Young to a one-year, $2 Million contract, Jones could be used in right should Carlos Beltran need a day off or if he gets injured.

Finally, the acquisition of Jones could mean less playing time for Alex Rodriguez.

Brian Cashman said earlier this offseason there was a possibility Rodriguez could see playing time as a back-up third basemen or a back-up first basemen to Headley and Teixeira. Cashman added Rodriguez’s primary position was going to be the DH spot, but at-bats in the DH spot are going to be hard to come by, especially since Jones happens to be the better left handed hitter.

Jones has a career .267 average against left handed pitching and has had more at-bats against left handed pitching than right handed pitching. The move could cause the Yankees to  platoon Rodriguez with Jones over the course of ..read more

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Hot Stove: Yankees DFA Preston Claiborne and acquire Gonzalez Germen from Mets

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Just an hour after trading away David Phelps and Martin Prado, the Yankees are at it again, this time letting one of their own go and getting a young arm from their crosstown rival.

According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, the Yankees have designated pitcher Preston Claiborne for assignment. Claiborne has seen time with the Yankees in 2013 and 2014, having a combined 3.79 ERA and a 1.388 WHIP in 62 games. He spent majority of his time last season in Triple-A with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

At around the same time, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Yankees have acquired reliever Gonzalez Germen from the New York Mets in exchange for cash considerations. This was the first trade the Yankees and Mets have made since 2004 when Felix Heredia was traded for Mike Stanton. Germen played 25 games with the New York Mets last season, pitching to a 4.75 ERA and a 1.451 WHIP.

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Hot Stove: Yankees trade Martin Prado and David Phelps for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones

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It seemed the Yankees were all set in the infield for the 2015 season, right? Well the Yankees are going to need a new second basemen. And they’re going to need a new stating pitcher as well.

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees have traded INF Martin Prado and P David Phelps for P Nathan Eovaldi and 1B/OF Garrett Jones from the Miami Marlins. The Yankees also received Marlins prospect Domingo German in the deal.

The deal allows the Yankees to re-open the spot for second base. The Yankees also said Jones would play some first base should Mark Teixeira need a day or gets injured.

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The Good and The Bad: Yankees infield

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Yesterday we glanced at the good and the bad of the Yankees rotation, so today we’re going to glance at the Yankees infield. There’s a new shortstop after 19 seasons, there’s a new third basemen and the old third basemen is now the Yankees designated hitter. While these changes are exciting, there are also question marks, as there are with any position on the diamond. But what are they? Let’s take a look.

Mark Teixeira

The Good: He’s capable of playing Gold Glove defense and still has some pop in his bat, despite him declining over the years.

The Bad: Teixeira has been in a rapid decline since 2010, and he’s become extremely injury prone. You wonder if Teixeira would ever have another healthy and productive season.

Martin Prado

The Good: Prado is a super-utility player who can play second, third and the outfield. He’s the type of player you want on the field or on the bench.

The Bad: There’s just the concern if he’s able to stay healthy for an entire season. Being a super-utility player can take a toll on a player’s body.

Didi Gregorius

The Good: He’s a promising fielder who can hit a bit against right handed hitters. Not to mention, he’s Derek Jeter‘s replacement.

The Bad: He’s unable to hit left handed pitching which is why he’ll platoon with Brendan Ryan to begin the season. However, the Yankees are confident he’ll be able to grow into his bat since he’s only 24-years-old.

Chase Headley

The Good: Headley has a bat with pop, plays above average defense and was extremely clutch with the Yankees during the second half of 2014.

The Bad: He has a back issue which was why the Yankees ..read more

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Hot Stove: Chances of Yankees signing Max Scherzer are “virtually none”

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Brian Cashman told reporters last week there was no chance of the Yankees acquiring Max Scherzer. Today, Yankees president Randy Levine seemed to share Cashman’s sentiments.

According to the New York Post, Levine was at a press conference for the NYC Football Club/YES Network at NYY Steaks–YES signed a deal to air NYC soccer games this spring–where he discussed the Yankees not having any chance of signing the free agent starter.

“We are out there looking, but it has to be tempered by the reality of the organization. Looking at our pitching staff, for example, we have two guys with a lot of money and we have to build around that,’’ Levine said.

“The chances of us bringing in a guy for six [years] and $25 million [per year] or over in my opinion is virtually none. At the end of the day, you have to be realistic in any organization.’’

Levine didn’t mention Scherzer by name due to an MLB rule preventing teams from talking about free agents, but it’s more likely Scherzer signs for more than James Shields for example. However, Levine applauded Brian Cashman’s work for bringing in Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley, although the Yankees have been rather frugal this offseason.

“The Steinbrenner tradition is if there is a way to make the team better, Cash is out there trying to make the team better,’’ Levine said of GM Brian Cashman.

The area that needs improvement is the rotation. There are too many question marks with all of the starting pitchers and not making another acquisition could hinder the chances of competing for postseason contention next year. The Yankees would be smart to sign one more pitcher from ..read more

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The Good and The Bad: The Yankees rotation

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Now that the Yankees have locked up the position players, it’s time for the Yankees to move onto the next item of their checklist. The Yankees are currently invested in finding a closer, but they need to focus on fixing the starting rotation which has so many question marks with every player involved. So, let’s glance at the good and the bad with each pitcher in the starting rotation going into the season.

CC Sabathia

The Good: He’ll be healthy enough to start the season when he comes into Spring Training.

The Bad: Sabathia is coming off two very rough years and there’s uncertainty if he’ll be able to pitch well–or at all. He surely isn’t the ace the Yankees signed a few years ago.

Masahiro Tanaka

The Good: He’s proven that he’s the ace of the staff, and was a legitimate Cy Young and Rookie of the Year candidate during the first half of the season.

The Bad: Tanaka has a small tear in his elbow and he’s a serious candidate for Tommy John Surgery starting as early as Spring Training.

Michael Pineda

The Good: He had a 1.89 ERA last season and was very effective when he came off the disabled list.

The Bad: Again, he was on the disabled list and he only made 13 starts with the Yankees in 2014.

Chris Capuano

The Good: Capuano is known as a back-end of the rotation starter and he was decent for the Yankees when he was acquired in the middle of last season.

The Bad: Capuano was released in the beginning of 2014 and was in Triple-A when the Yankees acquired him. There’s also uncertainty if he’ll be able to pitch effectively.

Ivan Nova

The ..read more

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