Open Thread: 3/25 Camp Notes

Wanger's back, and he's wearing an old Spring Training hat. (AP/Chris O'Meara)

Wanger’s back, and he’s wearing an old Spring Training hat. (AP/Chris O’Meara)

The Yankees had a full day off on Monday and apparently Vernon Wells won’t take his physical until tomorrow. The trade should be finalized shortly thereafter, for better or worse. Chien-Ming Wang did have his first workout since signing a minor league deal late last week, though all he did was play catch and field grounders. Afterwards, the the soon-to-be 33-year-old told Chad Jennings it “was an easy decision for me (to return to the Yankees) because I never wanted to leave … It’s like back in the day. This was my first team, this is where I started. I feel great.” He’ll throw his first official bullpen on Wednesday, which means we’re unlikely to see him appear in a Spring Training game. Drat.

On the minor league side, Slade Heathcott (patellar tendinitis) returned to the lineup and played a few innings in a minor league game. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Tyler Austin suffered some kind of left foot/ankle injury sliding into second base today. He was all wrapped up after the game according to Josh Norris. The Yankees have had some bad luck when it comes to prospects sliding into second base in recent years (David Adams and Ravel Santana, specifically), but apparently it’s not a huge deal and he’s day-to-day. Exhale.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. The Devils are playing and MLB Network will air a Spring Training contest as well. Seems like the Dodgers and Royals will be the matchup du jour. Talk about either of those games or anything else here. Have at it.


  1. Who hates bunts more? Axisa or Earl Weaver? says:

    I hope he’s not talking about diarrhea.

  2. Larry Sanchez says:

    Maybe Cashman ought to look into hiring someone who can teach players how to slide properly. Ya think?

  3. trr says:

    I’m really not that comfortable with Juan Rivera at 1B on a daily basis. Are there any other realistic options out there available to us at this point?

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      Youk at 1st & Musty at 3rd?

      • Vern Sneaker says:

        Yes! Been saying that for a couple of weeks, but nobody’s optimistic Musty’s staying, even most of his biggest fans.

      • hoss says:

        Makes way too much sense. If it’s not Cashman’s idea, it’s not going to happen. Use some retreads instead… “lightning in a bottle” makes him look better.

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Well, that would be because “lightning in a bottle” is better for the team and doesn’t use up service time.

          • Hoss says:

            No, putting the best players at every position is the best thing for the team and its fans. Service time? Who gives a FF?

            • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:


              Especially in regards to someone like Musty, who would be a 28 year old rookie. Just how much service time would we be trying to save here?

              Not saying Youk 1B/Musty 3B would necessarily be the best players at each position, but I think it at least merits consideration.

      • Tom from England says:


    • forensic says:

      The Mets are still paying Bobby Bonilla. I’m sure they can trade for him, pick up the money (except for next year, Mets have to pay that $1 million) and put him there. Fits right in…

      Sorry, I’m a little punchy with their recent moves and some of the players they’re going to be playing basically full-time.

    • hogsmog says:

      Giambi is still a free agent.

      I am slightly more serious than I should be.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      The minuscule bit of him I’ve seen at first thus far hasn’t looked that bad. I can deal with him as placeholder for now.

    • RetroRob says:


  4. Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

    Upcoming roster decisions could get very interesting, especially if Jeter and Hughes join Grandy, Tex, and Rapada on the DL.
    That would leave seven slots that could potentially be filled by non-roster players (though likely only 3-5 will be).
    1B (likely Rivera or outside acquisition), LF (Wells), BUIF (likely Nix), 4th OF, UTIL, and 2 pitching slots (to fill in for Rapada and Hughes).
    I’d guess Cabral to the 60-day DL will make room for Wells.
    After that, they’ll need to make some tough decisions.
    Eppley seems like he might be the next to go, not sure who’d be next in line beyond that. Apparently, they don’t consider Tex, Grandy, or ManBan as 60-day DL candidates.

    • Tom says:

      If they really needed a spot, it seems like Tex would be a 60 day DL candidate. They can back date the DL 10 days into spring training (I think this can be done for 60 day DL’s too) so it basically would keep him out until May 20th (or so). If you factor in rehab time and needing time after missing most of spring training, is there really any chance he could be activated sooner than that?

      So Cabral, Tex, Eppley/Kelley, Rondon?

      Why isn’t ManBan an option? Is it a service time thing and something they have to do after the season starts?

      With the Wells trade is Almonte a casualty?(or minor trade if someone claims him). They have Mesa and Boesch in AAA when Grandy gets back (and maybe Francisco sticks around?)

      • forensic says:

        Chad Jennings has a post up about how they can’t backdate 60-day DL’s and why Banuelos isn’t an option either. I would check it out, which is where I assume NP&H got it from initially (unless he already knew somehow).

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          From the article, they can’t back date the 60-day DL to when he got hurt, but I’d imagine they’d still be able to backdate 10 days like they can with Jeter. They just might have to wait until the active rosters are due to add Tex to the 15-day DL first, and then move him to the 60-day.

          The link, for anyone interested:

          • forensic says:

            Maybe, I was just going by the line about essentially guaranteeing they’d miss the first two months meaning it’s still 60 days, but I guess at that point 50 vs. 60 is still pretty close to 2 months. You’re probably right.

          • Tom says:

            I was just going to ask that… I wonder if the restriction is the # of ST days they can stash onto the DL.

            I’m assuming this was done in part due to starting pitching. If you were willing to have your 3/4/5 starters on the “DL” and are willing to pitch them in minor league camp the two weeks of ST, you could essentially just start activating them as their rotation spot comes up. That would basically allow teams to play the first 4 games with extra deep benches and bullpens.

        • Tom says:


          Even without backdating it, I’d still consider Tex a 60 day DL candidate though – Is he really gong to be ready before the end of May? (if a spot is needed)

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

        For ManBan, yes, they want to avoid him accruing service time. They might be more willing to do it if necessary after the season starts, but I’m not sure about that.
        For, Tex, that makes sense to me, but apparently the Yankees aren’t considering it.

  5. Danny says:

    Any rumblings on who we traded to the Angels for Wells ? LAA beat writer tweeted it was gunna be 1 or 2 lower level guys, assume the package will be similar to what we got for Burnett.

  6. Tom says:

    Crazy idea of the night (or at least so far): Matt Capps on a minor league deal? (recently released/opted out)

    Right now one of Aardsma/Kelley/Epppley will make the roster, and if the Yankees don’t go with a second LOOGY two of those three will make it.

    Capps was over-rated as hell as a “proven closer” (who the Nats used to steal Wilson Ramos); but the Yankees don’t have a ton of depth at AAA and Montgomery probably needs a half season. So stash Capps as depth with essentially him being middle relief depth?

  7. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (Formerly RRR) says:

    Maybe, if we’re reeeeeaaaaallllly lucky, he’ll fail the physical. Perhaps I’ll ask the Easter bunny about it.

    • forensic says:

      Maybe they’ll find that he’s not a hairy enough monster (get your minds out of the gutter…), add it to the fact that he’s a righty and not a lefty, and decide he doesn’t fit the team profile enough…

      Of course his age, suckiness, and price tag (which all seem to fit the bill) might be too much for that to overcome.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (Formerly RRR) says:

        I’m sorry, as much as I want to I just can’t make myself like this move. It’s just too bad.

  8. LItFig says:

    While I’m not THAT upset about the Wells deal, it does strike me as the kind of deal I generally hate this team making.

    I’m not a prospect hugger, and the Mesa’s and Mustelier’s of the world do not qualify as prospects. But you can’t tell me they couldn’t fill in for two months as a platoon player over Vernon Wells. And even if Wells was better, how much better would he be, considering the difference in salary?

    I get that we trust veterans more because of track record, but does paying Vernon Wells, based on his last few years, make any real sense? Especially when you are trading for him? If he had never been an All Star (eons ago it seems) would the FO been as gung ho about paying him $13 mil in 2013?

    This is really the first move of the offseason that I honestly asked “what the hell?”

    Half of the “why didn’t we sign Swisher” heads on this site hated him for his postseason failures.

    Russell Martin’s lack of a batting average was a point of derision all last year. “I’m glad he didn’t sign the extension.”

    The Ibanez/Jones/Chavez signings were usually met with “why the hell do we want these broken down scrubs on our bench?”

    Overall, I trust the FO to deal with these short-term signings. But this one leaves me a little bit upset for the Mesa’s and Mustys of the team.

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Well, if the 2 million breathing room the deal gives them in 2014 lets them give Robbie an extra 2 million AAV, it’s well worth it.

      • Manny's BanWagon says:

        $2 million doesn’t even buy a LOOGY so I highly doubt it’s gonna be the difference between them winning or losing

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          That comes out to twelve million over 6 years, or sixteen million over 8 years. That is far from nothing.

          • Hoss says:

            It’s for 1 year, get it?

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

              It’s $2M in cap space, not actual $.
              They gain $2M in AAV to fit under the cap.
              That could be an extra $2M for a player on a one year deal, or an extra $20M for a player on a ten year deal. The benefit is the same for 2014 either way.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                Talking to a brick wall, don’t try.

              • Hoss says:

                Thanks for the clarification. That, of course, assumes that the Yankees will sign another player to a long-term contract. Yes, there’s Cano, to whom who the team has already made an offer. But given the way they have approached salaries/contracts this offseason, that’s a big assumption.

  9. McLovin says:

    Do you guys know how much a 2006 highlights cards from topps signed by Albert Pujols is?

  10. dalelama says:

    The meltdown I forecasted is accelerating. Vermin Wells what a fricking joke.

    • jjyank says:

      The only thing accurately forecasted was you being the worst commenter on the internet. Go back to Amazin’ Avenue.

    • Manny's BanWagon says:

      Wells would be the best outfielder on the Mets roster.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Go change your diaper.

    • forensic says:

      I never understood why people got off on making some terrible joke involving someone’s name. Really, what is the attraction? Do these people really think calling someone a name and looking like a 6 year old in the process makes anyone really care a bit about what you have to say in the rest of the comment?

      • dalelama says:

        My amazing prescience has stirred the blind, fanatical mob to resort to illogical ad hominem attacks as they begin to realize I am right….again.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        forensic? more like forenSICK!

        …no, I agree. But it’s a calling card of trolls everywhere.

  11. RetroRob says:

    I see Ezequiel Carrera was designated for assignment by the Indians. I mention it only since it seems like there is a link between the Indians and the Yankees on all OFers, so Carrera should be showing up in Tampa and minute now.

  12. TomH says:

    I don’t care whether Mustelier counts as a legit “prospect” or not. When the season begins, he should get a chance to show the color of his money.

    • forensic says:

      It’s been made abundantly clear to me through their moves that they want absolutely nothing to do with him, or any of their other internal candidates (especially non-40-man guys this side of Nix), being on the team.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        There’s a chance Musty still makes the Opening Day roster, but I think he’s definitely more of an injury replacement/midseason callup. I still think he gets at least 50 ABs this season.

        • forensic says:

          There’s no chance he makes the opening day roster. They’re way over-full in the OF of guys who are already on the 40-man or have veteran-ness, which only leaves the IF utility role. As to that, there is also no chance they give that to him over Nix being that Nunez has to fill in full-time at SS locking up the other spot for him.

          Nunez over him is fine, but the rest of the dregs bug me to no end.

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            There’s no chance he makes the opening day roster.

            I disagree.

            The bench is 4 deep: BUC, BUIF (Nix, at least until Jeter returns). Assuming Rivera makes it as 1B, and Garner Ichiro! and Wells are the starting OF, I could see them taking Boesch and Musty as the RH/LH bench options.

            Not saying they will do it, but I could see it. (Personally, I think they will take Boesch and Francisco.)

            • forensic says:

              Well, I guess for 3 games it’s technically possible, though still unlikely. But, I’m mostly thinking of it once they activate Jeter. There’s only so much meaning to getting the technicality roster spot for as short as that.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

              With the 40-man roster full, I seriously doubt they’d add Musty just to fill in for Jeter for a short stint.
              The only chance I see of Musty making the roster would be as 4th OF, or if they plan to drop Nunez or Nix once Jeter returns.
              Unfortunately, I don’t see either of those scenarios as likely. Maybe they’d pick him over Francisco/Mesa as 4th OF, but that would be going against their track record.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                They may add him for flexibility if they’re impressed with his showing and if there’s enough 60-Day DL candidates.

                I get forensic’s sentiment. I’m just not willing to attach absolutes to it at the moment. It’s not likely he makes it, but there’s a small chance.

                No matter, he’ll be up at some point this season.

                • forensic says:

                  I think, also as NP&H said earlier, there’s really only one 60-day candidate left in Cabral. They’ll likely use that for Wells.
                  Then, they’d still have to add Nix and Rivera at a minimum, and quite possibly even Francisco too, so there’s no real wiggle room left for them.

              • Sweet Dick Willie says:

                Oh yeah, forgot that Mustelier isn’t on the 40 man.

                forensic is right, he has no chance.

        • Barry says:

          Guess it all depends if this April goes like last April for Juan Rivera, because if he does that then there’s no reason to not go with someone else who at least has upside.

          • forensic says:

            Rivera has no effect on Mustelier since he’s never played a game at 1B in his life.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

              They could just move Youk to first in that scenario.
              They won’t. But they could.

              • forensic says:

                True, sorry, I should’ve acknowledged that possibility, but as you said, they won’t do it and given how much PT Rivera’s gotten, there’s no way they cut him before Teixeira is healthy, if they even do it then.

                • Barry says:

                  If Rivera isn’t hitting, along with the other veterans, the press will go nuts, the radio will be on fire, and the Yankees will make changes. We’ve seen this time and time again.

                  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                    They might make changes.
                    Whether those changes involve Mustelier is another matter entirely. The change would more likely be some other org’s veteran castoff.

                    • Barry says:

                      What makes you think that A other orgs are going to come running to the Yankees offering valuable pieces. The Yankees have no hand to play, they loose either way. Even if they got someone still valuable like Alfonso Soriano, the cost would be shell shocking. Take a Xanax.

                    • forensic says:

                      Where did he say anything referring to some valuable piece? I assume he’s referring to additional ‘garbage’ as Cashman likes to call them such as Francisco and other crap that would be cut by other teams, or even useless salary dumps such as Wells.

                    • Barry says:

                      He said veteran castoff. Veteran castoff doesn’t mean that the piece is worthless. Wells is worthless, hence why I coined the term Worthless Wells the other day. But look what they paid for him, proving my point that the Yankees have no hand to trade for anyone on their terms. Making organisational pieces the more likely option during the season.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      I didn’t say anything about a valuable piece.
                      There more likely to find just a different piece than an actual valuable piece.
                      Wells isn’t a valuable piece. They chose to pay him $13M instead of give internal options a chance.
                      Last August, when they were struggling and beset by injuries, they traded for Sam Pearce instead of giving internal options a chance.
                      Their recent history suggests they’d turn to other teams crap before giving internal options a legitimate chance. I wish that would change, but I have no reason to expect it to.

                    • forensic says:

                      No need to even stop at Pearce. Throw McDonald in there, and arguably even McGehee and Lowe in my opinion.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      Qualls also.

                    • Barry says:

                      And August is after the trade deadline which means your point is moot. Thank you for reminding everyone, once again, that Wells isn’t a valuable piece. You’re quite good at reiterating pointless facts. Again, just because the Yankees need something, does not mean it will be available and if it is; because of the Yankees situation, the cost would be prohibitive. I assume by Sam you mean Steve Pearce who had 30 PAs last year.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      When’s the last time the Yankees called up a kid position player to fill in for anything significant?
                      That they choose to go with non-valuable pieces instead of their kids is the entire point.
                      Pearce’s 30 PA were more than any Yankee prospect got. The fact that they went with Pearce after the trade deadline only reinforces the point. When it was more difficult to acquire outside players, they still wouldn’t give one of their own a chance.
                      They didn’t need Wells. They didn’t need Pearce. They could’ve given Musty or Mesa a shot now or then. They still chose to go that direction instead of go with one of the “kids”. There’s always crap available somewhere, eventually. The point of all of this was that they seem much more likely to stick with Rivera, or find someone else off the crap heap, than to give Musty a full shot.
                      I’m not saying there’s 0 chance Musty gets a shot. I’m saying Yankees recent choices indicate he’s very unlikely to get a chance.

                    • Barry says:

                      When’s the last time they called someone up and they performed well in the line-up. When is the last time there were pieces worth calling up? I think either you’re crazy or you’re putting way too much weight on MiLB statistics. The last time we had a good position prospect he couldn’t play a position and his bat wasn’t developed enough to be an everyday DH. Stop acting like there’s a Murderer’s Row just stashed in AAA that they don’t want to use. I can sit here and name tons of guys who have gotten chances in the last few years that sucked it big time.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      I think you’re missing my point here.
                      The options to call up this year are essentially the same options that were available and got passed over when they got Pearce, and the same options available now that they bypassed for Wells. It’s unlikely that if Rivera gets off to a slow start that the Yankees will go to one of the options a month. If the Yankees think so lowly of those options that they think it’s worth paying Wells $13M instead, they likely aren’t getting a shot a month from now if Rivera is struggling.
                      I’m not saying they’ll never give a prospect a chance ever. I didn’t say they had anybody great that absolutely should have been called up. I merely pointed out the Yankees generally haven’t given the type of fringe prospects that would be inline for a callup relatively soon a chance in recent years. I’m saying their actions indicate they don’t have any faith in the current options. It’s possible Austin or Heathcott advance enough to get consideration later, but they don’t seem to want to give a chance to guys like Musty or Mesa. The have definitely favored fringe MLBers over their fringe prospects for a while now. I didn’t say any of their close to MLB prospects were good. I didn’t make any opinion on anybody’s MiLB stats. I’m not sure how thinking Wells is at best a marginal upgrade means I think the Yankees have a Murderer’s Row at AAA that they don’t use. I never said anything close to that. This all started about Musty, and you saying there’s no reason not to go with somebody with upside if Rivera struggles. It was you that made the judgement that the Yankees have somebody with upside worth going to in that situation, not me. My point was they don’t seem to think highly enough of the current options to go with them.

                    • Barry says:

                      Obviously because the Yankees think or know something about these prospects that we don’t. I said that when Rivera struggles he would get yanked, and I still believe that to be true. Then you said that we’d get a castoff. I said why we probably wouldn’t get anyone else, castoff included because they’re aren’t many people like Wells on MLB rosters who teams want to throw away. Then you said that the Yankees haven’t tried any of their minor league depth, which I replied wasn’t true, they have. You’ll get to see Musty/Mesa by May, guaranteed. Odds are they’ll suck. I happen to think that Musty will be at the very least better than Rivera/Wells.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      “Obviously because the Yankees think or know something about these prospects that we don’t.”
                      Of course. I’ve made no judgements as to the relative merit of the prospects. I’ve merely observed that the Yankees have recently prioritized castoffs of questionable quality over their prospects of questionable quality. I’m sure they had their reasons for doing so.
                      “I said that when Rivera struggles he would get yanked… Then you said that we’d get a castoff. I said why we probably wouldn’t get anyone else, castoff included because they’re aren’t many people like Wells on MLB rosters who teams want to throw away.”
                      I agreed he might be yanked, though I think he’ll get a long leash. I said it likely won’t be for Musty. The replacement doesn’t have to be somebody like Wells. It wouldn’t even have to be a trade. It could be a waiver claim on a DFA’d player. It could be a released player. Those types of players are available often. There are players thrown away all throughout the season.
                      “Then you said that the Yankees haven’t tried any of their minor league depth”
                      Yeah, I didn’t say that. I asked when the last time a player was called up and given a chance at a significant role.
                      ” happen to think that Musty will be at the very least better than Rivera/Wells.”
                      I think he might be as well. My point is the Yankees actions indicate they don’t think so, making it unlikely (but not impossible) that they’d turn to Musty if one faltered.

            • forensic says:

              Though, of course, that shouldn’t stop them but we all know how difficult they think learning a different, though typically pretty easy, position is and yet they’ve never tried him there despite apparently not thinking he can hack it anywhere else.

    • Barry says:

      If he’s spending it in the US then it’s most certainly green and minty white.

  13. Alkaline says:

    Interesting reads today. All I could say is at least we got our wang back!

  14. forensic says:

    I’m certainly not necessarily the best to make this judgement (as I’m not Hispanic) but doesn’t the NBA’s way of ‘paying tribute’ to their heritage by putting ‘El’ or ‘Los’ in front the team’s name seem pretty cheesy, and maybe even insulting, to the same people they’re trying to acknowledge?

  15. Reuben Sierra's Chains says:

    Wow, after reading that post on Wells by Joe earlier today, it is obvious that everyone needs to go out tomorrow morning and buy themselves a calculator.

    Some really bad math going on in that thread. Damn…

    Seriously, I don’t think to many people are going to give someone $13 to get $2 back in a year.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

      They aren’t getting $2M back.

      They are potentially getting $2M in extra cap space.

      If they get under the cap, they save much more than $2M – though the Wells acquisition will likely have little to no impact on whether they get under the cap or not. It does give them slightly more flexibility in building the team if they choose to adhere to the cap.

      • Reuben Sierra's Chains says:

        Yeah I mean I get it in a sense, but they still had to pay 13M to obtain the 2M in extra cap space. Just seems out of whack to me, but whatever.

        Games start next week and then it will be time to put up or shut up. Lots of pressure on the pitchers, can’t give up any runs.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

          Yeah, I don’t think getting $2M of cap space was worth the deal. It’s just a benefit that makes the deal possibly not quite as bad.

        • Tom says:

          The math is fine, the question is the valuations you put on some of the opportunity costs.

          - Wells has some on field value (maybe not a ton, but not 0)

          - Not all of the 13mil is actually taxed. Now you would need a fancy calculator to figure this out but 6 mil of the 13mil is essentially tax protected. So paying Wells 13mil is the equivalent of paying a FA ~10.5mil

          - There is some value (assign whatever you want to it) of being able to spend 2.5mil on another part of the team. Maybe this is the opportunity cost of Cano walking away to the Dodgers

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          Pay 13 million now to have an extra 2 million AAV for Cano’s deal. Could end up being worth 12-16 million depending on the years.

          My problem in that thread was people were either not understanding or flat out ignoring what the luxury tax is, and what the 189 implications actually are.

        • I'm not the droids you're looking for... says:

          It’s only out of whack if you underestimate the penalty for going over $189mm. I don’t know for sure what it is obviously, but when the $189 thing was first floating around people were speculating the penalty to the Yanks, including the luxury tax hit itself as well as lost revenues sharing, to be in the $50mm range *excluding* the actual salary savings from dropping from say $210mm down to $189mm. Some later estimates were lower, in the $20-30mm range but the reality is we don’t know for sure.

          So with all this said I could easily see the Yanks spending $13mm (cash) to make it $2mm easier in 2014 to save $50mm or more.

          Add in the fact that we are staring a situation like Cano in the face, where offering him an additional $2mm in AAV over say 8 years might actually make the difference and, well(s), it becomes that much easier to understand.

          I still think the deal reeks of desperation. But, I choose to view it in the best possible light for lux tax in 2014, and then anything we get in terms of production in 2013 is gravy.

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