Hot Stove: Can the Yankees show restraint following the Red Sox splashy signings?


When the team was under the ownership of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees and Red Sox would go to war every offseason and sign the best talent possible. If the Yankees made a blockbuster signing, the Red Sox would immediately counter with a deal of their own. If the Red Sox strengthened their roster with a strong signing, the Yankees would wave money in front of a flashier free agent, luring them to the Bronx. Of course, this was at a different time when the payrolls were larger and there wasn’t much competition among the other 28 teams.

The Yankees and the Red Sox both missed the postseason in 2014, and that meant they needed to go back to the drawing board and sign players that filled the vacant holes. The Red Sox needed to sign a third basemen; the Yankees needed to sign a shortstop.

This morning, the Red Sox moved a piece on the rivalry chess board, signing both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to five-year contracts. The biggest move the Yankees have made this offseason so far was signing Chris Young and trading Francisco Cervelli to obtain Justin Wilson. So, with the Red Sox making the first move, are the Yankees going to counter with a more lavish signing or are they going to show restraint?

Hal Steinbrenner told Joel Sherman of the New York Post the Yankees were going to operate differently this offseason, and they were going to be more frugal.

In the good old days – let’s call that the early part of this century – the Yankees and Red Sox had a Pavlovian baseball relationship. One would act decisively more

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Hot Stove: Boston Red Sox to acquire both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval


Hanley Ramirez is coming to the American League East, but it’s not to play for the New York Yankees.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Boston Red Sox are close to acquiring free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez will be in Boston today to finalize a five-year, $90 Million deal with the Yankees division rivals. But the Red Sox aren’t done spending yet: According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, they have also agreed to a five-year, and close to $100 Million deal with third basemen Pablo Sandoval. Both of those moves could possibly put Xander Bogaerts on the trade block.

So how does this affect the Yankees?

It’s quite simply actually: this move comes a week after the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Russell Martin to be their every day catcher, which means the teams around the Yankees are beginning to bolster  their rosters in preparation of the 2015 season. Meanwhile, the only acquisitions that would help the Yankees roster on a Major League level would be Chris Young and Justin Wilson.

The Yankees are also in the market for a shortstop, but they didn’t have legitimate interest in Ramirez since he’s injury prone. There have been rumblings the Yankees were willing to reunite with Stephen Drew for the 2015 season despite his lackluster 2014 campaign.

The team is also in the market for a third basemen, but they’ve set their sights on Chase Headley. Now that Sandoval has settled a deal, Headley can set an asking price, once the Yankees would pay within more

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Hot Stove: Astros in David Robertson sweepstakes


While two teams have dropped out of the David Robertson sweepstakes, another team has emerged and they’re ‘all in’ for the former Yankees closer.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the Houston Astros are in the David Robertson sweepstakes and they’re aggressively attempting to pursue him. The Astros spoke with Robertson’s agent Scott Leventhal during the GM meetings.

More from Davidoff:’s Brian McTaggart reported on Nov. 13, on Twitter, that the Astros were “going hard” to get a top closer on the market, and McTaggart identified Robertson, Andrew Miller (most recently of Baltimore) and San Francisco’s Sergio Romo by name, though only Robertson ended the 2014 season as a closer.

Whether the Astros are willing to go hard enough to give Robertson the four-year contract he desires, for roughly $13 million per season, is unclear. What is clear is Houston has expressed a willingness, through its actions this offseason, to elevate its payroll after fielding some bargain-basement squads, and it also desperately needs relief help if it is to climb back into relevance.

As we’re all aware, the Yankees are in for Robertson as well and they’re doing everything they can to keep their former closer. As Davidoff says, while the Yankees like Robertson personally and professionally, they have not expressed interest in reuniting with Robertson on a four-year contract, $50 Million more

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A week in review: Cashman, Galvez, Heredia, Moncada, Rule 5, Robertson and Wheeler

David Robertson 2

If you thought last week was quiet, then you haven’t met this week. The biggest news of the day came on Thursday when the Yankees announced who they were going to protect from the Rule 5 Draft. The Yankees also sold the rights to a contract, David Robertson‘s value in the market is only going up and Brian Cashman slept on the New York streets to raise awarness. So without further ado, here’s your week in review.

— Brian Cashman spent Thursday night on the streets of New York to raise awareness for homeless youth. When asked about the Yankees as a team, Cashman didn’t have much to report since things had been so quiet since the GM meetings. Next month, he’s going to rappel off building in Stamford, CT so maybe he’ll have something to report before he goes for the Winter Meetings that same week.

— According to Baseball America, the Yankees are the favorites to sign Yoan Moncada. The closer Moncada is cleared by the government, the better chance the Yankees could acquire him. The Yankees would have to sign him before July 2nd because of overspending on the international market this season.

— The Yankees announced who they were going to protect from the Rule 5 Draft: OF Tyler Austin, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Branden Pinder and OF Mason Williams. The protection of Mason Williams was questionable since he had back-to-back flop seasons in the minor leagues and there’s too much outfield depth in the organization. It was also shocking the Yankees didn’t protect either Kyle Roller or Mark Montgomery. Roller isn’t good defensively more

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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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