Tag:AL East
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:39 pm
 

Yankees sign former Mariners closer David Aardsma

David AardsmaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Yankees have signed former Mariners closer David Aardsma.

The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last July and has signed a one-year deal worth $500,000 with a club option for 2013.

"The move could help us in 2012, but it has a lot more eyes toward 2013," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told MLB.com.

Aardsma, 30, didn't pitch at all last season, but recorded 31 saves in 2010 and 38 in 2009. He is 13-15 with a 4.20 ERA and 69 career saves. He's averaged roughly a strikeout an inning throughout his career.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:11 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 10:43 am
 

Spring primer: New York Yankees



By C. Trent Rosecrans

After a one-year stint as an underdog, the Yankees are back to being the clear favorite in the American League East. New York fortified its rotation with Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, upgrading what appeared to be its one weak link.

Yankees spring training
Major additions: RHP Michael Pineda, RHP Hiroki Kuroda, DH Raul Ibanez
Major departures: RHP A.J. Burnett, DH Jesus Montero, RHP Bartolo Colon, DH Jorge Posada

Probable lineup:
1. Derek Jeter SS
2. Curtis Granderson CF
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
5. Mark Teixeira 1B
6. Nick Swisher RF
7. Russell Martin C
8. Raul Ibanez DH
9. Brett Gardner LF

Probable rotation:
1. CC Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda
3. Michael Pineda
4. Ivan Nova
5. Phil Hughes

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Mariano Rivera
Set-up: RHP David Robertson, RHP Rafael Soriano

Important bench players
C Francisco Cervelli, IF Eduardo Nunez, OF Andruw Jones, IF Eric Chavez

Prospect to watch: With the additions of Kuroda and Pineda, there's not quite the pressure on left-hander Manny Banuelos that there was last spring. Banuelos doesn't turn 21 until March 13, so he can develop without the pressure of being the savior of the Yankees. His results last season at Double-A and Triple-A didn't live up to the hype, but he's still a quality young pitcher than can contribute to the rotation in the future.

Fantasy breakout: Michael Pineda

"With a year of experience, he'll be better equipped to handle a full workload, which could lead to 15-plus victories with the Yankees' stellar lineup backing him. And most likely, any rise in ERA will be in relation to the early 2.58 mark, not the final 3.74 mark." - Scott White

Fantasy sleeper: Phil Hughes

"With an improved workout program this offseason, he should be able to pick up where he left off late last year, when he was throwing in the low-to-mid 90s. True, Hughes wasn't exactly an ace then, but just by holding a regular rotation spot for the high-scoring Yankees, he's a sleeper in Fantasy. And if he can recapture the form he showed in the first half of 2010, when he was an All-Star, he's a late-round steal." - Scott White

Optimistic outlook: Pineda lives up to expectations, Kuroda is solid, Nova takes a step forward, Hughes makes 30 starts and Sabathia wins the Cy Young. That pitching, with a healthy A-Rod, Granderson repeating his 2011 output and Teixeira lives up to his contract and the Yankees win the AL East easily and go on to win the World Series.

Pessimistic outlook: Anything less than a World Series title is the end of the world in New York, so it doesn't have to be too bad for Yankees fans to overreact. But the worst-case scenario is the team's older stars continue to age, with injuries taking away A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeira and Martin for long periods of times. Pineda struggles in New York and his lack of a third pitch comes back to bite him, Kuroda is mediocre and Nova takes a step back. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays take a step forward and New York finishes behind Tampa Bay, Boston and Toronto.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:27 pm
 

Yankees agree to deal with Eric Chavez

Eric ChavezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

In a move that's far from a surprise, the Yankees have signed Eric Chavez to a one-year, $900,000 major-league deal plus incentives, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

Chavez, 34, hit .263/.320/.356 with two homers in 58 games and 175 plate appearances for the Yankees last season, serving mostly as a fill-in for Alex Rodriguez. He also played first base and DH.

On Tuesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he expected Chavez back with the team.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 6:20 pm
 

JetBluePark.com redirects to Yankees website

jetBlue Park

By C. Trent Rosecrans


He's not a Yankees fan, but New York fans will have to appreciate Eric Engelman's sense of humor.

The Fort Myers, Fla., resident -- and Cubs fan -- bought the domaine jetbluepark.com for $8 last March after it was announced the new spring training home of the Red Sox would be called jetBlue Park. If you type that URL in, it redirects to the Yankees' homepage (or at least it still did Tuesday night).

"I just thought it would be fun to have," Engleman told David Dorsey of the News-Press.

Engleman spent $8 on the domain, a small price for such a good gag.

When asked about it by Dorsey, a Red Sox vice president said, "We're going to have to look into that."

Engleman will probably end up with some money and a good laugh.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:51 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 3:01 pm
 

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 21, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 3:25 pm
 

Red Sox receive RHP Chris Carpenter for Epstein

Chris Carpenter

By C. Trent Rosecrans


In what only seems fitting, the Red Sox and Cubs have agreed upon the compensation for new Chicago president Theo Epstein, but there are still players to be named for both teams to complete the deal, dragging out the case even longer. The two teams have been trying to figure out the compensation for Epstein's move from Boston since the World Series, when Epstein was hired.

The Red Sox will receive right-hander Chris Carpenter (no, not that Chris Carpenter) and a player to be named, while the Cubs will also receive a player to be named. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters the players to be named will be decided by the end of spring training. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said the two players to be named are just a "procedural" thing to satisfy MLB transaction rules.

Carpenter, 26, was ranked the No. 13 prospect in the Cubs' system by Baseball America (and the same publication had the Cubs' system ranked No. 14 overall).

The Cubs drafted him in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Kent State. Last season he pitched in 10 games for the Cubs, putting up a 2.79 ERA in 10 innings, allowing 12 hits, a home run, seven walks and eight  strikeouts. In his first season as a reliever, Carpenter pitched in 32 games between Double-A and Triple-A, going 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings. He had a WHIP of 1.617.

"I am relieved that this process is over and particularly pleased that the teams were able to reach agreement on their own without intervention from MLB," Epstein said in a statement from the Cubs. "I truly hope and believe that this resolution will benefit both clubs, as well as Chris, who is an extremely talented reliever joining a great organization at a time when there's some opportunity in the major league bullpen."

While there had been reports that Bud Selig would have to decide the matter, Selig said the two sides worked out the move on their own.

"I am pleased that the Cubs and the Red Sox have resolved this matter," Selig said in a statement realsed by MLB. "It has always been my preference that Clubs resolve matters like this amongst themselves, as they understand their unique circumstances better than anyone else could.  Though the matter required time, both Clubs demonstrated professionalism throughout their discussions, and I appreciate their persistence in finding common ground."

Cherington said he was happy to have the matter decided.

"I think it took this long because it was a unique circumstance," Cherington said, according to the Associated Press. "We talk to teams all the time about trades and it's player for player and it's pretty easy to, easier to, assign value and figure out what's fair, what's not fair. In this case it was just tougher because it involved not just an executive but a friend."

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:06 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 11:18 am
 

Epstein compensation may be announced Tuesday

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball is expected to announce the compensation the Red Sox will receive from the Cubs in return for the hiring of president Theo Epstein on Tuesday, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

According to Heyman, the compensation was negotiated by both parties with input from MLB. One thing that worked in the Cubs' favor was the fact Epstein only had one year to go on his contract and his relationship with John Henry was seen as deteriorating. The Red Sox are expected to receive a minor-league player or players in compensation for allowing Epstein to go to Chicago, but the perceived value of that player or players is what has been in question since Epstein's hiring in October.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 8:49 pm
 

Crawford surpises Valentine, aims for opening day

By Matt Snyder

Just a few days ago, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he expected left fielder Carl Crawford to miss a few weeks to start the 2012 season. Crawford had surgery on his left wrist a month ago, so having him miss some time wouldn't be altogether shocking. Monday, however, Crawford surprised his new manager, who may have spoken too soon late last week.

"I didn't know (Carl) was there," Valentine said (ESPN Boston). "I walked around the corner and he was throwing the ball. It was great to see him. His health looks much better than I expected. (I was) pleasantly surprised."

And Crawford doesn't want to miss any games.

"I definitely don't want to miss any games. That's my goal right now."' said Crawford (ESPN Boston), noting that the odds of him being in the opening-day lineup are good.

After signing a seven-year, $142 million contract, the four-time All-Star hit .255/.289/.405 with just 65 runs and 18 steals. In 2010 for the Rays, Crawford hit .307/.356/.495 with 13 triples, 19 homers, 110 runs, 90 RBI and 47 stolen bases.

If Crawford does miss time, Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney would man the corner outfield spots, flanking center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. If all goes as planned for Crawford, though, Ross and Sweeney will be battling for the right field job from the outset.

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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