Dec
22

Sunday Shorts: Drew, Pettitte, Youkilis

By
(Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

(Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Drew waiting on A-Rod?

It’s pretty clear that the Yankees won’t add another position player until they know the fate of Alex Rodriguez. That could certainly cost them; players want certainty, and that means not waiting around for the Yankees if another attractive offer comes around. Yet one player could be waiting to see how this plays out.

In his typically cryptic manner, Peter Gammons says that Drew is “awaiting some further Yankee clarity” in making his decision. What this suggests is up to a wide range of interpretation, but it does indicate that the Yankees could have room for Drew in their infield plans if A-Rod is suspended for 100 or more games. Even if it’s just a 50-game suspension, they could easily find 650 PA for Drew if he’s willing to spend time at second, third, and short. On any given day he’d be the best option at one or more of those positions.

My one fear is that if Tanaka is not posted (or the Yankees don’t sign him) and A-Rod is suspended for the entire season, the Yankees will go with some patchwork in the infield and on the pitching staff, sneaking in under $189 million. As Joel Sherman heard from someone in the organization, “We either have to be under $189MM or up over $200MM or more. Think how dumb it would look if we worked for a few years to get under $189 million and we didn’t and we were at like $189 million and just missed. Either we go under or way over.”

Here’s rooting for way over.

No un-retirement for Pettitte

The Yankees still need another reliable starting pitcher, but after Masahiro Tanaka their options appear almost nonexistent. If anyone was thinking that they could convince Andy Pettitte to pitch one more year, that’s out the window. “He has shut it down for good,” said Brian Cashman. “That door is closed.”

No one should have expected it to be open, either. Pettitte went out on top, pitching a complete game in front of family, friends, and Yankees fans in Houston. Not many pitchers get to finish the way Pettitte and fellow Yankee Mike Mussina did.

Youkilis headed to Japan

We know that Cashman talked to Kevin Youkilis about coming back, and we later heard that four AL East teams contacted him about playing in 2014. Apparently none of them offered much, because Youk signed a contract in Japan with the Rakuten Eagles. He earns $4 million guaranteed with chance at another million in incentives. Safe to say that no MLB team was willing to do that. Not after his 2013 season and general injury history.

Pitching head gear

MLB has taken another step towards player safety. A few weeks ago they banned home plate collisions. That wasn’t easy, given that it’s an ingrained part of the game, but it does make catchers safer. Their latest: headgear for pitchers. These special hats won’t be mandatory, but will be available to interested pitchers. In the last few years we’ve seen guys like Brandon McCarthy and Alex Cobb take liners off the noggin. There has been many gruesome a scene involving a liner to the head (remember Matt Clement?).

Like the new batting helmets, many pitchers could opt against using the pitching headgear because of how it looks. That’s a shame, though. As McCarthy said, “It should be strong and capable enough that literally if I got hit by the exact same ball, I would have been able to keep pitching in that game.” Instead he suffered an epidural hemorrhage, a brain contusion, and a skull fracture.

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  • neo

    typo in the Brian Cashman quote. I think you want: “He has shut it down for good,”

  • Tom Brady’s Bunch

    Hyperlink error with the pitchers headgear, the link leads to the youkilis heading to Japan.

    • Tom Brady’s Bunch

      Heading to Japan article*

  • Pseudoyanks

    In the no unretirement for Pettitte paragraph, take a look at the Cashman quote. Did he really say that?

  • Kosmo

    signing Drew is beginning to make more and more sense. 1 year of maybe splitting time at SS, 3B and maybe 2B. Jeter mashes LHP while Drew struggles against same side hurlers. A healthy Drew could see about 80 starts at SS and Jeter 60 or so. Juggling DH everyday could be something of a challenge for Girardi with Soriano getting most of the ABs but it could easily be done. I wonder what kind of deal Drew would want ? 3-4 years 13 mil per ?

    • Mike

      Good idea. Signing Drew makes us stronger and makes Boston weaker.

      • OldYanksFan

        Why does it make Boston weaker? They don’t want Drew.
        Drew will be 31. He averages just slightly under 2 WAR/yr. I’m not sure 3-4 years at $13 per is smart, especially with some good FA Shortstops on the market for 2015.

        People love offense.
        Brendan Ryan has a career average of 2.2 bWAR/yr… and that’s with never having 500 PA.

        • Kosmo

          If Ramirez can stay healthy he´ll be out of NYs price range. Cabrera and Hardy. Drew will come cheaper. Drew´s D trumps Cabrera´s and are about equal offensive players. Hardy is probably the better all around SS but will be 32 in 2015. Yanks could sign Drew now and his contract will be over by age 35.

        • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph

          Boston would like to have Drew back, only on their terms. They’re not sure Bogaerts is ready for the everyday SS gig, they’re not sure about Middlebrooks at 3rd, Drew would be a nice piece to have to mix in with whatever scenario develops at SS-3rd. I believe it might weaken Boston to lose him, and as for the Yanks, and his glove and LH swing would be a nice fit at Yankee stadium if Jeter can’t do it anymore, maybe a platoon at SS, maybe another option at 3rd, whatever.

  • uhhh

    ….it says cashman said pettitte “shit it down”

  • Aims

    So I still don’t get something. If there are no more home plate collisions, then what will happen if the catcher had the ball and is blocking the basepath? Does the runner have to give themselves up? I find it hard to imagine that runners will give themselves up with no fight if it is an intense situation.

    • stuckey

      It’ll be no different if a throw beats a runner to 2nd or 3rd base by a wide margin, or a rundown.

      You can’t collide into a 3rd, 2nd baseman or SS if they’re blocking your path of the bag.

      • Aims

        What if its not a wide margin, what if the catcher is in the process of catching the ball, and is clearly blocking the base path?

        • stuckey

          Again, same thing as 3rd, 2nd baseman or SS in the same situation.

          Slide.

  • jason

    FWIW, over @ fangraphs, Oliver projects Dean Anna (acquired from San Diego for bag of balls) and Drew as pretty similar players for 2014 (and more valuable over the next five years).

    • jason

      That’s Anna > Drew over next 5 years…

  • OldYanksFan

    I’m guessing that whether the play at the plate is a ‘collision’ or not, will be the call of the umpire. As long as the runner makes a clean slide, my guess is he’s OK. If the Catcher makes it impossible for the runner to get a foot to the plate, my guess is the call goes against the Catcher.

    I think the rational is not to prevent any kind of contact, but rather, like at the other bases, to keep the runner from looking like a football player, coming in shoulder first or chest first with arms crossed. Frankly, I don’t know why the rules up to this point, where different at Home Plate than the other bases.

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

    Staying under $189mm with patchwork from here due to no Tanaka and a full year suspension of ARod is something I’ve been fearing for a while. Thus…

    Fear of the Day (FotD): we stay under $189mm with patchwork pieces from here on out.

    • RetroRob

      I thought the numbers Mike ran last week had the team at about $180+M and that was including the assumption of a full-season A-Rod suspension with quite a few spots left to fill. Don’t see how they can do it.

      There was an article last week that said the A-Rod ruling could come down before the end of the year. I doubt that, but it would be great if it did.

  • Darren

    If anyone still feels that it’s weak to ban home plate collisions, I suggest you watch the documentary about snowboarder Kevin Pearce and his recovery from traumatic brain injury – The Crash Reel.

    I’m at the point where I think the NFL is going to have go out of business or become a wrap up and tackle league only.

  • Lukaszek

    Isn’t Matt Clement that Phillies fan who vomited on a teenage girl?

  • mikelf

    “awaiting some further Yankee clarity” means nothing more than that Scott Boras, Drew’s agent, is putting the squeeze on some other suitor.

  • lou

    Where is this teams infield?
    Are we going to see a cycle of all platoons?

    • Farewell Mo

      The infield is just putrid at this point as is the bullpen and the starting rotation is not exactly scaring anyone.

      This team has a shit ton of work to do.

      They should have signed Colon if they felt Tanaka wasn’t gonna get posted. Now even if he does, he has the Yankees by the balls since they’ll have to almost pay whatever he demands if they plan on putting a team on the field capable of making the playoffs.

  • J

    Why is it taking so long for the arbitrator to make a decision in Arod’s case?

  • Greg c

    Didn’t Drew turn down what would have been full-time Yankees ABs last season because he only wanted to play one position?

  • Greg c

    From a budget standpoint I think Drew would be too expensive for < 189 even with a full A-Rod suspension.

    I think it would make more sense to have both Drew and A-Rod and go way over $189 than to sign Drew only if the suspension is upheld.