Heyman: Yankees will active at GM Meetings; have interest in Bronson Arroyo, Scott Feldman, and Dan Haren

JoePawl Chat 11/8/13
Martin: Yankees have discussed bringing back Eric Chavez

Via Jon Heyman: The Yankees have a long list of free agent targets this winter, a list that includes right-handers Bronson Arroyo, Scott Feldman, and Dan Haren. The team is expected to be active during the GM Meetings next week. “[Hal Steinbrenner] is very involved and he wants to win,” said one source to Heyman while Scott Boras said the team has “been very aggressive.”

Arroyo, 36, had a 3.79 ERA (4.49 FIP) in 202 innings for the Reds this season. I have no interest in him for reasons I outlined in this recent mailbag. The 30-year-old Feldman had a 3.86 EA (4.03 FIP) in 181.2 innings for the Cubs and Orioles this year and I think he’s got a chance to be a real bargain, at least when compared to the asking prices being thrown out there by Ervin Santana ($100M) and Ricky Nolasco ($80M). Haren, 33, had a 4.67 ERA (4.09 FIP) in 169.2 innings for the Nationals in 2013 and was much better after spending two weeks on the DL to clear his head. The Yankees tried to acquire him in September as they made one last push for a postseason spot.

Heyman notes Hal and team ownership in general has gotten more involved in the decision-making process these last few months and … well, duh. That was obvious. He says the team’s brass is not blaming Brian Cashman for missing the playoffs and the decision to make Curtis Granderson the qualifying offer was his call. I’ve said this more times than I care to count over the last year or two: I understand no GM ever truly has autonomy, but I don’t like ownership taking a hands-on approach to roster building. Let the baseball ops people make the baseball decisions.

JoePawl Chat 11/8/13
Martin: Yankees have discussed bringing back Eric Chavez
  • Jon g

    Ugh – each of those names invokes a dry heave, as does the general idea of ownership involvement. I remember what turned the Yankees around from King George’s meddling was when he got suspended…

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It was a VERY different kind of meddling, though. I was more worried about Hank becoming Papa Light before he, thankfully, faded into the background.

      “We’ll win….BY FORCE if we have to.”

      Glad you kept your day job, Hank.

      • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

        R-Tils I love you but your consistent defense of the way the franchise is being run is getting tiresome. You either deny and deflect, or excuse just about every valid criticism. I get that you’re a fan. We all are (except the obvious trolls). But come on man. Okay so Hank and Hal aren’t George. But does that make it alright that they’re meddling in this way? Are ANY of these roster moves you’d make? Honestly? Seriously?!?

        How anyone can vote this team anything other than a 4 for the near, medium, AND long terms without significant development away from the status quo is completely beyond me. To recap:

        -we don’t know, and won’t likely know in time to adjust. whether and for how long arod will be suspended
        -we don’t know whether or how the FO (and worse, ownership) will spend any of this arod savings, and/or whether they’ll scrap the 189 nonsense
        -our farm is meh at best and lacks impact players for 2014; 2015 is still a question in this regard as well
        -our “ace” was literally one of the very worst starting pitchers in all of baseball (yes I’m speaking here of CC who was flat out dreadful)
        -tea leave reading makes it pretty clear that ownership meddling in FO decision making is on the rise; that is never ever good over the long term. If ownership doesn’t like the results, they should fire the baseball ops people, not start making the decisions themselves (whole separate rant here…)
        -our record last year was an over performance based on run differential (iow, luck)
        -the biggest bats in our lineup next year are aging and extremely expensive, and we are about to give $200mm to a guy who will likely be painful to watch in the last 3 years of the deal (and because of how farked we are overall we have no choice but to do so)

        About the best thing I can say for this franchise is that CC is the only money we currently have tied up through 2017 and that’s obviously about to end.

        The pollyanaish apologists have to stop. Until/unless some or all of the above change for the better, I simply cannot be optimistic here. And I certainly don’t take a single bit of news this offseason thus far as positive.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I find it consistently funny how people take those who actually hold both sides of an argument in conversation and spit it back out as “defending the franchise.”

          I’m sorry if I don’t share the angst of those who thought this team was going to win forever because they showed up on ap upswing. I’m sorry if, at 39 years old, I’m somehow old enough to know better and know that everything is cyclical. I’m sorry if, when I became of age to enjoy the Yankees, I wound up waiting 18 years before they won a championship, sat through multiple 90-loss teams, and sat through overblown, underachieving veteran monsters of Yankee teams that made 2013 seem like a decent team. It was called just about everything that happened between 1980 and 1993.

          I like you as a commenter but, honestly, I could give three shits whether you’re tired of me or not.

          • Pat D

            You’re giving two shits too many.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Tires me out to hear this sort of stuff but, honestly, I didn’t mean to snap at the guy. Sorry.

              Let’s see, though: I dont like the 189 plan, the montero trade, Vernon wells, not bringing back Chavez, Martin, and swisher, the re-injury and lost recovery time in the minors for too many guys, never liked javy Vazquez, and think cashman should get bumped up after next season for some new blood. Other than that, I guess I’m pretty Pollyanna-ish.

              I’m hopeful. I also can’t fucking predict what’s next. Ever.

              • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

                To deny that you’re a consistent defender is to repaint the past, sorry. Saying you don’t like a handful of moves here in this thread doesn’t change your general stance over scores of posts. In fact, I’m pretty positive that if I went back to the various threads discussing the various moves you cite above you would – at the very least – be found to have painted them as having pros and cons, rather than being things you simply didn’t like. It seems that over the course of your posts that’s simply not a position you’re willing to take. Moreover, for everyone who does take that type of stance, you’re extremely quick to spin a given move as a positive, give it some forgivable or understandable context, etc.

                It’s okay to be that way I suppose. It’s not entirely clear to me why you don’t simply own the mantle.

                Btw, I’m older than you. Son.

        • Pat D

          Governor Bush, I listened very closely and carefully to the Vice President’s response and I can honestly say that he did not mess with Texas.

          Translation: You just went off on a diatribe that had nothing to do with what he said in his post.

          • RetroRob

            Yup. Any fan who doesn’t trash the team is pollyanish? Yet those who consistently trash the team (a team that has had twenty years of non-stop winning) are realists?

            Seems a bit off.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Even if I was feeling less than optimistic, trashing the team wouldn’t be the reason I’d come on here. I’m just not interested in doing that on here.

              I feel optimistic because I am a Yankee fan and I know that, even if 2014 were not to go well, this franchise has never stayed down for long, and there’s nothing I see with the big bad organization that wasn’t worse when I was growing up.

              • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

                Long except for the 18 years you cited above? The end of which only happened because of a once in a lifetime confluence of events that had exactly nothing to do with the franchise’s ability *as a whole* from top to bottom *including ownership*?

                In fact, the end of that 18 year period and how it happened is precisely why meddling by ownership is a problem. It took a ban on George for the success we had from 96 onward. The brothers stein getting more involved at this point cannot be viewed as anything other than bad for the long term direction of this franchise. Full stop.

            • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

              Wrong. It’s not that he doesn’t trash the team (or that I do). It’s that he never ever leaves a critical post without a counter argument trying to paint said criticism as unfounded, unjust, misguided, wrongheaded, etc etc etc. It’s an act that wears thin, particularly when the organization is so obviously headed in the wrong direction until proven otherwise.

              When the pendulum swings toward more direct involvement by ownership in baseball operations, it’s always a bad thing. Always. No way to spin it, even if ownership is the blind squirrel which occasionally finds a nut.

          • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

            Reading comprehension fail. He’s painting the involvement of the brothers stein as not so bad. Not so, and I pointed that out.

  • RetroRob

    Pulse: Yankees interested.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I want to see a post on the one sad free agent the Yankees AREN’T linked to by pundits this off-season.

    Feldman would be back-of-rotation fodder for me, as would Haren. I have no desire to listen to, or see, a fully erect Mike Francesa, so fuck no on Bronson.

  • Kenny

    “…team ownership in general.”

    Not an encouraging phrase.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Funny! Ditto!!

  • Mikhel

    I feel like we should be looking at the players the Yanks are NOT saying they’re interested, most of the time that’s the way Cashman acts, he talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk and ends up with reclamation projects, or former stars who arrive to the Yanks 10 years too late.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Trade for Nick Swisher.

    Put him in the bullpen.

    • I’m One

      Good choice. I like that kind of out of the box thinking. Doesn’t he have like a 0.00 ERA?

  • Les

    Cashman is one of the better GMs in the game. I agree with your point about the Brass, but they have made some right pushes. I think the Yankees need to also consider some young arms. The Orioles have a young Lefty out of the bullpen I’ve watched and he is now a free agent ( Chris Jones). Guys like that are cheap and can be really helpful with the Yankee pen the way it is.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      The guy Baltimore traded to the Braves to get Jones is former Yankee Luis Ayala who’s also a FA this winter. Could likewise be had for cheap $$.

  • Lou Spudol

    Watching the Yankees next season will be equivalent to watching old Mr. Belvedere episodes. You remember liking them but now they stink.

    • I’m One

      Speaking of Belvedere, I just got back from Warsaw Poland and drank plenty of Belvedere (Vodka).

  • CashmanNinja

    I would be livid if we got Bronson Arroyo. I still think he’s got a little left in the tank, but he is NOT suited for the AL East/Yankee Stadium. He will get hammered. I think the Mets would be the perfect landing spot for him because he stays in the NL and gets to pitch in a much bigger stadium. He makes absolutely no sense for the Yankees since you can get a much, much cheaper guy to simply eat innings. The only one of those names that is even remotely interesting is Dan Haren. I actually wouldn’t hate if we got him for a short term deal. He was great in the 2nd half of last year. That doesn’t mean he’ll ever revert to the pitcher he used to be, but the talent level is still there and he could be a cheaper option. But hell no to Arroyo.

  • Terry

    A-Rod’s second contract: bad job ownership

    Failure to trade the Big 3 or the killer Bs: bad job Cashman for hugging too much

    Rafael Soriano: good job ownership and bad job Cashman for disagreeing

    Ichiro Suzuki: bad job ownership

    Kevin Youkillis: bad job Cashman

    Russell Martin: bad job ownership, props to Cashman for wanting to resign

    Alfonso Soriano: good job ownership and bad job Cashman for disagreeing

    analysis: both the baseball ops people and ownership can wreck havoc or do a good job

    • Farewell Mo

      You better recant this comment because you broke the cardinal rule around which all narratives are based.

      All good moves are attributed to Cashman and all bad moves are blamed on Hal, Hank or Randy Levine.

      • BFDeal

        Continuing to spout off this BS narrative doesn’t make it true.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      $22.5M and a draft pick (later somewhat recouped) for one bad year as a setup guy and one great year as a closer.
      Yeah, Soriano was valuable that year, but that’s not exactly an efficient use of resources. Frankly, that’s a pretty dramatic overpay for what they got. I’d say Cashman was a lot more right conceptually than ownership on that one.

      As for the other Soriano, it’s way too early to judge. Soriano was very good for the Yanks this year, but they could’ve missed the playoffs without him.
      What Soriano does in 2014 and what Black turns into will determine whether that was a worthwhile move or not.

      • Farewell Mo

        Totally disagree on R Soriano. $22.5 for 2 years including 2012 when the Yanks most likely don’t make the playoffs without him for a team that had no budgetary issues during those years is well worth the investment.

        Also disagree with A Soriano. Odds are against Black even making it to the majors and even then it’ll like be be as a middle reliever. Without Soriano, the Yankees wouldn’t have even sniffed the playoff race and YS3 would have likely been a ghost town from August forward. Right now he’s probably their best outfielder.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          I agree the A. Soriano deal will most likely turn out fine, but you’d really have to wait and see what, if anything, Black turns into and/or whether the Yankees having Soriano actually makes any impact on them making the playoffs or not.

          As for R. Soriano, it’s unlikely any closer adds 5 wins to a team’s win/loss record. He may have saved them the division, but they likely still would have been a playoff team. And that ignores the impact of however else that money would have been otherwise spent.
          And they did have budgetary issues (though certainly nowhere near the degree of the $189M plan). They’ve operated with a budget for years (a very high budget, but even they had limitations). Spending on Soriano meant less money to spend elsewhere.
          Regardless, absent a fluke injury to Mo, Soriano would have been a substantial waste of resources. As it turned out, he was just vastly overpaid for his relative contributions.

          • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

            Exactly. People love to confuse results with process.

          • chris

            I wish I had seen this before I replied to something posted above. I just basically repeated everything you said.

          • chris

            I typed this exact same thing before I read your post, but for some reason nothing is showing up..probably better since I’d just be repeating you. Agree 100%..process doesn’t always equal results. give me good process every time. Both Soriano’s aren’t necessarily good process.

            • chris

              and now apparently everything is showing up at one time. Something must have been wrong with the site. Sorry

    • Evan3457

      Youkillis: ALL the other options at 3rd that were commonly discussed were pretty much awful; Reynolds, Polanco, trading for Headley. Youkillis didn’t work, but nothing else would have, either.

      Unless you think they could’ve traded some major prospects for Freese, or something like that.

    • Chris

      I think it’s very difficult to believe that Cashman didn’t agree Alfonso Soriano would help the team. I’m sure his point was that it wasn’t needed to add him, as he knew the team sucked and wasn’t making the playoffs. Also, I’m sure he’ll end up being pretty brutal next year. Cashman isn’t stupid. It also clogs up roster flexibility.

      To that same point, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that R. Soriano would help the bullpen..BUT, who in the hell pays that type of salary and years to a reliever. That isn’t smart baseball. He ended up being more useful ONLY because MO got hurt. And that was a freak thing. Cashman seems to love the idea of getting value. And that is definitely the trend of where smart teams are going. Paying R. Soriano 3 years and that salary is not smart value. Ownership meddling is never a good thing, especially when that ownership thinks giving 2013 Ichiro a two year deal is a good thing.
      This type of meddling is making it extremely hard to put my heart into rooting for this team. They blatantly do stupid and predictable things. It’s not “trading away will myers for two years of james shields” bad, but we haven’t had a will myers prospect to trade away..so who says they wouldn’t have done that.

  • FIPster Doofus

    I like Feldman a lot as an option. Solid back-end starter, gets a ton of groundballs. Add him and Tanaka and the staff will look good. Stay away from Arroyo and Haren.

    • nycsportzfan



    • Pat D

      Getting a ton of groundballs might not be so good with a 40-year-old immobile shortstop.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Getting a ton of groundballs is good when you’re pitching at Yankee Stadium.

  • Now Batting

    Is $189 on or not?!?!?

  • nycsportzfan

    I have no problem adding Scott Feldman as a 4th/5th guy. I love guys who can actually “pitch” and those are the guys we seem to have tons of success with, as opposed to “throwers”. Feldman would be a welcomed additon. Were gonna have to be smart with are FA signings and Feldman would be a bargain most likely.

  • nycsportzfan

    We can get away with a fairly cheaper offseason then some expect and be right there at the end,i believe. Even if ur to add a Carlos Ruiz, Scott Feldman, Re-sign Cano, Reynolds, Ryan, and Granderson, and sign Tanaka, and a vet bullpen guy, that might be enough. You gotta think, are biggest additons might be having Jeter and Tex in the lineup healthy. Its almost like adding 2offensive studs in FA’cy right there.

    The lineup stacks up just fine with those moves

    1).Brett Gardner CF
    2).Derek Jeter SS
    3).Robbie Cano 2B
    4).Alphonso Soriano LF
    5).Mark Texiera 1B
    6).Curtis Granderson RF
    7).Carlos Ruiz C
    8).Mark Reynolds 3B
    9).Either Ichiro or Wells at DH.

    That lineup looks fine to me! There isn’t no big aquisitons in it either outside of resigning Cano and Grandy. THen u add Tanaka and Feldman, and ur rotation is set. Its not like they gotta go out and get Beltran, McCann, Choo..etc just to be a contender next yr, is what i’m getting at.

    • Mr. Roth

      How pathetic is it that our designated HITTER would be the worst hitter in the lineup.

      Designated hitter? I’d rather designate for assignment.

      • Dave M

        “Designated hitter? I’d rather designate for assignment.”

        Good chance that happens too.

    • Robinson Tilapia


      I promised not to get on your grammar but, for the love of God, Alfonso.

      • Pat D

        And he misspelled Teixeira.

        /piling on’d

        • Robinson Tilapia

          We all have a few times. I blame Kaneoka Texeira.

    • Now Batting

      “You gotta think, are biggest additons might be having Jeter and Tex in the lineup healthy.”


      • Pat D

        “are biggest additons”

        Uh, no. No, he didn’t.

    • Preston

      I actually agree with this off-season plan. I think Ruiz is probably the best option at Catcher. I like Reynolds, but if we’re signing Reynolds and no DH, I would rather have him DH with David Adams getting a second shot at 3b rather than running out two aging below average offensive players like Wells and Ichiro. Hell, I’d probably rather start Nix at 3b than have Wells or Ichiro at 3b.

  • LarryM Fl

    The Stienbrenner’s still own the team. It’s their money. Hal has been observing this team and baseball for some time. So, he has an idea on who or what he likes for this team. Sure Ichiro was a poor move but many moves are not great. They’re Ok at best.

    I will not jump to conclusions on the ramifications. If I was in Hal’s position, I’d be activate participant making suggestions. Some might stick to the wall. We will know better in January which direction the Yanks are headed.

    Come to think about it I do not recall the Yankees beating up Feldman at any given time. I like him over Phelps and prefer Warren over Phelps.

  • The Other Matt

    I’m quite interested in Ruiz as well. He is solid behind the plate and swings a pretty good bat. He doesn’t hit for very much power, but does hit for average (.274 for career which is good for a catcher) and gets on base well. He is 34 already, so he can probably be had on a 2 year deal, maybe an option year to go along with it. Salty and McCann are going to be the focus on the market at the catching position, and AJ Pierzynski always attracts some attention just because he has been a good hitting catcher throughout his career. Thereford, the Yankees can try and work out a deal with Ruiz relatively quietly. The Yanks need to try and get something done with Ruiz soon. I like McCann a lot, but its no need trying to go out and spend a boatload of money over 5 years when Sanchez (who everyone swears up and down is the golden boy of their farm system) is 2 maybe 3 years away. The Yanks can’t wait around to see what is going to happen with A-Rod to determine how much money is going to be freed up due to his suspension, depending on its length. Go out and get Ruiz, and then determine between Cervelli, Romine, and Murphy, who you want to back him up. Then in two years if all goes according to plan (fingers crossed of course) you’ll have Sanchez waiting in the wings to take over. My opinion: Sign Ruiz to 2yr/$10 mil contract, with mutual option for third year at $5 mil.

    • Kosmo

      I agree 100%

  • OMG, WTF is the BFD?

    I can bite the $189 bullet for one season if A Rod gets suspended for 162+. I hate the idea of funding the Rays and Pirates payrolls.