Tag:Yankees
Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:51 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 3:01 pm
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A-Rod brown bags his lunch, people snicker

Alex RodriguezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

So, in today's story that wouldn't be a big deal if it were anyone but the most hated player in baseball, the New York Post reports Alex Rodriguez had a special diet this offseason and was dedicated to keeping it.

If it were any other player, it'd be an anecdote in a "best shape of their life" story. Instead, the Post ran it on its infamous Page Six. Rodriguez's crime? Bringing his own food to restaurants.

According to one of the Post's sources, he's on a special high-protein diet and takes his own cooler full of food to restaurants when he goes out with his girlfriend, Torrie Wilson. He did apparently ask a waitress to heat it up in the kitchen -- I'm not going to pass judgement on that without knowledge of the size of the tip he left.

Yeah, I see where if you automatically dislike the guy, there's a point-and-snicker kind of aspect to this story, but otherwise, is it really a big deal? It's a lot like last offseason's laugh-at-A-Rod story of his then-girlfriend, movie star Cameron Diaz, feeding him popcorn at the Super Bowl -- how many people would dream of being fed popcorn by Diaz at the Super Bowl? Yet, many of those people were the ones laughing.

There's plenty of reasons to dislike Rodriguez as a player, but I'm not sure this is one of them.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:22 pm
 

Rivera on retirement: 'I know,' but won't say



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Mariano Rivera arrived at Yankees camp a day later than the rest of the Yankees' pitchers and catchers report and he said he has a decision about if he will report next year -- he's just not going to share that decision.

"I know now," Rivera told reporters (via ESPNNewYork.com). "I just don't want to tell you. I know now. I will let you guys know when I think I should tell you."

When? "I will tell you that in October, maybe," he said.

Rivera's age may now match his jersey number (42), but if he decides to hang them up after this season, chances are it's not just some kind of victory lap celebration. Even entering his 18th big-league season, Rivera is among the game's elite closers. Last season he finished with 44 saves and a 1.91 ERA in 64 games. He struck out 60 in 61 1/3 innings, while walking just eight batters. His WHIP was 0.89 last season and stands at 0.998 for his career. He also broke Trevor Hoffman's career saves record last season and now owns the all-time mark with 603 -- a number that should only grow this season (and maybe beyond).

Rivera is in the second year of a two-year, $30 million deal signed following the 2010 season.

"It is hard when you have the ability to continue and you have to make that decision," Rivera told reporters, including ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand. "It's hard. For me, baseball is not everything.

"There are a lot more things than baseball. I've been blessed. I've had a great career, but at the same time there are a lot of other things to do."

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 9:00 am
Edited on: February 20, 2012 12:45 pm
 

Yankees add Raul Ibanez

Raul IbanezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

As expected, the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million deal with veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman confirms. The deal is pending a physical.

Heyman wrote last week that the Yankees will likely add infielder Eric Chavez soon, as well. Chavez, 34, played well last season for the Yankees as a backup to Alex Rodriguez at third base. Monday, Heyman reported the Yankees are still talking to Chavez, who would get a big-league deal if he joined the Yankees.

Ibanez, 39, will likely serve as a designated hitter for the Yankees, but can still play left field when needed. Last season was Ibanez's worst since establishing himself as an everyday player in 2001. He hit .245/.289/.419 with 20 home runs for the Phillies in 2011. He was significantly better against right-handers last season, hitting 16 of his 20 homers against righties and putting up a .747 OPS against right-handers versus a .585 OPS against left-handers.

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Posted on: February 19, 2012 6:54 pm
 

A.J. Burnett-to-Pirates trade is official

Burnett to Pirates
By Matt Snyder

A.J. Burnett is officially a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The final two hurdles in the transaction that sent Burnett to the Pirates via trade were for the right-handed pitcher to pass a physical and Major League Baseball to approve the trade. Both happened Sunday, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.

The trade had to be approved by the MLB offices due to the Yankees paying $20 million of the remaining $33 million on Burnett's contract.

The return for the Yankees is two lower-level minor-league players, 25-year-old right-handed reliever Diego Moreno and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones. Neither are expected to make much of an impact on the Yankees' system, as this deal was basically a salary dump.

Burnett, 35, was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings last season for the Yankees.

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:28 pm
 

Report: Yankees close to signing Clay Rapada

By Matt Snyder

Friday, the Yankees lost some left-handed relief pitching depth when Hideki Okajima failed his physical and was released. Saturday, they appear to have zeroed in on his replacement. The Yankees are near an agreement with Clay Rapada on a minor-league contract and invitation to spring training, MLB.com reports.

Rapada is a 30-year-old left-hander. In parts of five big-league seasons, he's appeared in 78 games and compiled a 5.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. Last season, for the Orioles, he had a 6.06 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment from the Orioles as a corresponding move to their trading Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for Matt Lindstrom and Jason Hammel.

Rapada would likely spend most of his time in the minors as a backup option in case Boone Logan gets hurt. Most ballclubs -- especially in the AL -- really only need one lefty in the 'pen, so Logan will serve as the primary option.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:21 pm
 

Report: Okajima fails physical with Yankees

By Matt Snyder

The Yankees had signed relief pitcher Hideki Okajima to a minor-league contract, likely to provide left-handed depth. As things currently stand, Boone Logan is the only lefty in the Yankees 'pen. And it appears that's how things will be moving forward, as Okajima has failed his physical and will not be in Yankees camp, reports Sweeny Murti of WFAN.

There is no word just yet as to why Okajima failed the physical, just that he failed it.

Okajima, 36, pitched for the Red Sox last season, sporting a 4.32 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in just 8 1/3 innings -- he spent most of his time in the minors. He has spent his entire five-year MLB career with the Red Sox. He was an All-Star in 2007, but his numbers have gotten progressively worse pretty much each season since then.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:26 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 5:45 pm
 

A.J. Burnett-to-Pirates trade agreed upon



By Matt Snyder


The reported A.J. Burnett-to-Pittsburgh deal is nearing completion, as CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned the two sides have agreed to make the trade. Burnett will need to pass a physical slated for Sunday, while Major League Baseball will need to approve the deal before it becomes official.

Money has been an issue from the start, obviously, as Burnett is owed $33 million for the next two seasons. Heyman reports the Yankees will pick up $20 million of that. Because the Yankees pay their players year-round, they've already paid him $2,062,500 this year and will pay him $9,437,500 more with the Pirates picking up another $5 million. In 2013, the Yankees will pay Burnett $8.5 million and Pittsburgh will pay him $8 million. With the saved money, the Yankees will now turn their focus to two bats. One target is left-handed hitting Raul Ibanez, presumably to fill the open DH slot -- or at the very least share time with right-handed hitting Andruw Jones. The Yankees' second target will be Eric Chavez, who spent 2011 with the club.

Burnett to Pirates
The return for the Yankees will be two lower-level minor-league players, 25-year-old right-handed reliever Diego Moreno and 20-year-old outfielder Exicardo Cayones.

Burnett, 35, was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings last season for the Yankees. He led the majors in wild pitches, one season after leading the majors in hit batsmen. Advanced stats, such as FIP, show Burnett hasn't been near as bad as his traditional stats indicate, however. He will also benefit moving from the mighty AL East -- in a hitters' park -- to the NL Central and the much more pitcher-friendly PNC Park.

Burnett will probably bump either Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia from the Pirates' rotation, joining Erik Bedard, James McDonald and Charlie Morton. Keep in mind, though, that Morton's health is in question to start the season and Bedard's health is pretty much always in question, so I'd expect all six starters to get in their work this season.

As for the players going to the Yankees, neither are impact-type players. Moreno, a Venezuelan native, was 2-4 with a 3.63 ERA and 5 saves in 41 games in Class A and Double-A. He struck out 45 batters in 44 2/3 innings, while walking 18. He can hit 98, but has suspect command. Only seven of his appearances were in Double-A. Also from Venezuela, Cayones hit .228/.333/.325 between rookie-level and short-season Class A, with no homers in 38 games and 135 plate appearances. He stole three bases and was thrown out three times, as well. Make no mistake, these players weren't an important part of the deal. For the Yankees, it was about addition by subtraction.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 5:16 pm
 

Blue Jays work out Cuban OF Jorge Soler

Alex AnthopoulosBy C. Trent Rosecrans

There had been a general consensus that 19-year-old Cuban Jorge Soler was going to sign with the Cubs -- and even one that suggested he had a deal in place -- but that may not be a done deal just yet. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports Soler worked out for Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos and members of the team's front office at the tema's complex in the Dominican Republic.

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And it's not just the Blue Jays that are interested in Soler, as Sanchez adds the Orioles will visit with Soler on Sunday. CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports the Marlins are interested in Soler, while other reports say the Yankees, White Sox and Phillies may also be in the mix.

Unlike recent export Yoenis Cespedes, Soler has yet to establish residency in the Dominican Republic, but has applied. After establishing residency, Soler will need to be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and be cleared by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assts Control before he can sign a contract. Cespedes was declared a resident of the Dominican Republic on Jan. 24 and 19 days later he was cleared by the OFAC and signed a four-year, $36 million deal with Oakland.

Soler reportedly has above-average power and projects as either a corner outfielder or first baseman. A right-handed thrower and hitter, Soler is 6-foor-3, 205 pounds and there are some reports that have him running above-average times, others have him an average runner at best. In the end, he's 19 and has plenty of growing to do. Unlike Cespedes, whoever signs Soler won't expect him to contribute to the major league team anytime soon, but in the end, he could be even better than the 26-year-old Cespedes.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com