While I had pegged Dan Giese as the likely man designated for assignment, the Yanks had other ideas in mind. The AP reports that Chase Wright has been designated for assignment to make room for Andy Pettitte. Wright, 26, is a lefty famous for giving up back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Red Sox in 2007 when he was rushed into an emergency start. As a young lefty with a good MiLB ERA but mediocre peripherals, I doubt he’ll clear waivers. I guess the Yanks like Giese as a potential long man instead. (Hat tip to MLBTR.)
While Joe Torre and Scott Proctor will no longer be joined together in bullpen bliss, the former Yankee has latched on with another team. He has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Marlins worth up to $1 million. I, like Torre, always had a soft spot for Proctor. Hopefully, he can overcome his elbow troubles and have a good year in Miami.
A few hours after stealing a big fish away from Boston, the Yanks nabbed themselves a little fish too. MLB Trade Rumors points to a Joel Sherman report noting that the Yanks signed Kevin Cash to a Minor League deal worth around $700,000. Cash will play the role of Chad Moeller next season, serving as the AAA catcher and third-string Major League catcher in case Jorge Posada or Jose Molina goes down. Unlike Mark Teixeira, though, Kevin Cash isn’t very good, and Boston won’t really miss this one.
According to conflicting reports, the Yankees and Brewers have either agreed or are very close to agreeing on a trade that would send Melky Cabrera to the Brewers and Mike Cameron and his $10 million contract to the Yanks. Bill Hall may or may not be involved. More in a minute.
Update By Joe (10:32 a.m. EST): Dan Graziano says that the Yankees could include a pitching prospect, though it won’t be Ian Kennedy. The Haudricourt piece says that both teams are willing to explore Bill Hall, whom we do not like. The Brewers aren’t just going to give him away, though, and I don’t think he’s worth surrendering anything of value. If you want another utility guy, sign Nick Punto.
Joel Sherman says that the pitching prospect will depend on how much of Cameron’s $10 million salary Milwaukee is willing to absorb.
To anyone. Seriously. They won’t be getting any compensation draft picks for Bobby Abreu, Andy Pettitte, and/or Pudge Rodriguez. PeteAbe says it came down to economics. The Yanks can not loose the comp picks they received for not signing Gerrit Cole and Scott Bittle, so at worst they’ll have two of the top 76 picks after signing some free agents.
Update by Joe: Having paid close attention to the Hot Stove, I’ve noticed a lack of mentions for Bobby Abreu. When I did hear his name, it appeared that most teams preferred Raul Ibanez to him. So the Yankees fears that he’d accept arbitration seem reasonable. They clearly do not want him on the roster next year at $16 million, and by offering him arbitration they’d give him a clear window. Same with Pettitte. They don’t want to pay him $16 million next year. That’s what this all comes down to.
Criticize as you will.
Update again: Bryan Hoch has the transcription of Cashman’s explanation:
“We certainly have been going through this process for quite some time. First and foremost, unlike in past years, we’re not in a position not to be able to sign these players as we move forward. That’s the most important thing. In the past and in the previous basic agreements, you were in a position that if you didn’t offer, you lose the ability to sign.
“Today’s date really has everything to do with the compensation attached to various players, if they had some. Bobby was a Type A and Andy was a Type A, so the determination that we made today was to make sure that we control what amount we’d be spending, at least in the event that we’re fortunate enough to bring those players back.
“We did not want to put ourselves in the position of having that determined by a third party without knowing what that figure would be. The arbitration time period falls in early February, so obviously as we attempt to put this team together, in Andy’s case and in Bobby’s case, they made $16 million a year. It’s been tough in the past to try and deviate from previous years’ earnings in an arbitration setting.
“We just wanted to control the cost that we would allocate for every position on the club by offering them arbitration, even though we wanted Draft picks if we lost anybody. By offering arbitration, we would lose our ability to at least determine a final cost. By doing so, we chose to go a different direction, not offer the arbitration, and we’ll still stay engaged with the entire free agent market including those two players.”
As Saturday night dawns on the East Coast, the Yankees have made a minor move this evening. Not quite content with Darrell Rasner’s performance last season, the Bombers have, at the right-hander’s request, sold him to Japan.
The Yanks are getting $1 million, and in return, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League will sign the former Major Leaguer to a two-year deal. In 2008, Rasner made 24 painful appearances — 20 of which were starts — filling in for various injured and demoted members of the Yankee rotation. He went 5-10 with a 1.54 WHIP and a 5.40 ERA. Opponents hit .293/.354/.454 against him.
Fun trivia fact about Rasner: His last Major League win came on July 12. Ouch.
For Yankee fans, this ensures us no Darrell Rasner appearances next year. I’ll feel a lot better when Sidney Ponson is shipped to Japan too.
Meanwhile, use this as your open thread. Discuss the Hot Stove League, the college football games or whatever else comes to mind. Just play nice.
It looks like Brian Cashman is wheeling and dealing in the early goings of the GM meetings. First we heard that he was chatting up Reds GM Walter Jocketty, which likely means nothing, but surely could mean something. Aaron Harang, anyone? Or maybe Jocketty is looking to cash in his Homer Bailey chip a bit late. That’s all just idle speculation, though. Chances are the two GMs were doing what they’re supposed to, which is gauging the market for available players.
However, the Yanks did sign a player today. Bryan Hoch informs us that former Marlin Sergio Mitre has signed a minor league deal. The 27-year-old righty underwent Tommy John surgery back in July, and likely won’t be ready until July or August of next year. This sounds like another scenario similar to Octavio Dotel. Hopefully the Yankees have learned from that experience in how they handle Mitre. You also would have liked to see them get some sort of option for 2010, as a reward for their signing him and paying for his rehab. Alas, that’s tough to do when you get a guy on a minor league deal.
After three disappointing seasons in Chicago, wherein he alternated between the rotation and bullpen, the Cubs dished him to Florida in the Juan Pierre trade*. He didn’t have much success in Miami either, though he did toss 150 innings for them in 2007. He has plenty of upside, though, as he fared very well in the minors as a youngster. This is a total upside move by the Yankees. If he pans out, great. If he continues to falter in his rehab, they will have wasted neither a lot of money nor a roster spot.
* Talk about a poor trade. Mitre, Rickey Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto for Pierre. Mitre and Pinto might be marginal players, but Nolasco had promise then, and had a break-out year at age 25 this season. Why do teams continually overvalue Pierre?
While the results didn’t bear it out, Mitre has fared decently as a reliever, in that his strikeout rates are far higher than as a starter. Considering the surgery and his lack of success as a starter, the Yanks should think about bringing him back solely as a reliever. Maybe then they can get some production out of him. Otherwise, this is just another in a line of low-risk pitching moves (Milton, Zambrano).
Update: Joe Frisaro, filling in for Hoch on the official Yanks site, notes that this is a $1.25 million deal, with a team option for 2010. The Hoch piece did not mention the option, or the dollar amount.