2011 Draft: Yankees do not sign second rounder Sam Stafford

Barring a late report (which is absolutely still possible), the Yankees did not sign second round pick Sam Stafford before Monday’s midnight deadline. Kirk Bohls reports that the deal hit a snag when the team found something they didn’t like in the left-hander’s arm and only offered him $200k, about half of MLB’s slot recommendation of $398.7k. Of course, Bohls did report that the two sides agreed to a deal worth $400k last month, so who knows. I’m guessing they agreed to the money, then the red flag popped up in the pre-signing physical.

Stafford, a southpaw from Texas, was the 88th overall pick. The Yankees will get the 89th pick in next year’s draft as compensation for the non-deal, and they’ll keep that pick no matter what. They can’t lose it for signing free agents, nothing. They won’t get another pick in 2012 if they fail to sign the player they take with that pick, however.

2011 Draft: Yankees sign fifth rounder Greg Bird for $1.1M

Update (Aug. 15th): Via zoodig, the Yankees have inked Bird for $1.1M, which is some serious dough. It’s easily the most they’ve spent on a player this year, topping Jake Cave’s $825k bonus by more than 30%. They must really like his bat. Jim Callis confirmed the report, in case you wanted to see one of the regulars report it.

Original Post (Aug. 13th): Via Keith Law, the Yankees will sign fifth round pick Greg Bird to a signing bonus north of $1M. The exact amount is unknown, but KLaw says it’s in the seven figures. Baseball America (subs. req’d) says that Bird, a high school catcher/first baseman from the Denver area, “has good bat speed and gets plenty of loft and backspin on the ball” with his left-handed swing. He’s a big dude (6-foot-4, 210 lbs.), and is expected to wind up at first base. Bird was committed to Arkansas and his bonus will be the largest the Yankees have given out this year, surpassing the $750k they gave Dante Bichette Jr.

2011 Draft: Yankees sign sixth rounder Jake Cave

Update (11:14pm): Via Jim Callis, the Yankees signed Cave for $825k. That’s the largest bonus they’ve officially given out this year, surpassing the $750k they gave Dante Bichette Jr.

Original Post (11:34am): Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees are close to signing sixth round pick Jake Cave. Cave, a high school outfielder from Virginia, was the 209th overall pick and the 182nd best prospect in the draft according to Baseball America. In their subscriber-only scouting report, they say “he shows bat speed, but he has a loop in his swing that could be a long-term problem.” They also say he figures to be stuck in a corner spot down the road. Cave is also a legit prospect as a left-handed pitcher, but the Yankees announced him as an outfielder during the draft. He’ll certainly get an over-slot bonus.

Two losses on a slow night

Penn League Report is rolling out a list of the top 30 prospects in the Short Season NY-Penn League, ranking Evan DeLuca 28th. Check out the write-up, it includes a note about a recent velocity dip. Prospects 1-25 are forthcoming.

Low-A Charleston (4-1 loss to Hickory)
Jose Toussen, SS: 2 for 4, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E (throwing)
Ramon Flores, LF, Kevin Mahoney, 1B, Kelvin DeLeon, RF & Kyle Higashioka, C: all 1 for 4 – Flores and DeLeon each doubled and struck out … Mahoney scored a run, struck out three times, and committed a fielding error … Higashioka drove a run in
Eduardo Sosa, CF: 0 for 4, 1 K, 1 SB
Anderson Feliz, 2B & Mike Ferraro, DH: both 0 for 3, 2 K – Feliz scored a run … Ferraro got caught stealing
Garrison Lassiter, 3B: 1 for 3, 1 K
Shane Greene, RHP: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 6-1 GB/FB – picked a runner off second … 54 BB in 115.1 IP (4.21 BB/9), which is way too many for a college guy at this level
Tommy Kahnle, RHP: 2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1-1 GB/FB – struck out all three guys he faced in the first inning, then everything else happened in the second
Kelvin Perez, RHP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

[Read more…]

Game 119: More Rain

The Yankees just can’t catch a break with the weather. They got rained out yesterday, will have three games to make up in a four day span late next month, and there’s a pretty good chance that it’s going to rain in Kansas City tonight. Not just tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday as well. At least that’s what weather.com tells me, and they’re never wrong. It’s been raining all day in western Missouri (not Kansas!), and apparently it’s going to rain straight through Wednesday, with the occasional break that is poorly timed for baseball. We’ll see how this series goes. Here’s tonight’s lineup…

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C

A.J. Burnett, SP

The game is supposed to start at 8pm ET, but no promises there. YES will have the broadcast. Enjoy.

Cashman: It’s unlikely we’ll see Banuelos next month

Via George King, Brian Cashman said it’s unlikely that Manny Banuelos will be up in the big leagues next month when rosters expand. “You may or may not see him. It’s more likely you won’t see him,” said Cash in his typical GM speak. “There are no plans for him to join us. He is 20 years old. He is at Triple-A right now and there are no plans to push him. That could change, but …”

Banuelos was bumped up to Triple-A Scranton on trade deadline day in what seemed like precursor to a September call-up. There’s been speculation about using the lefty out of the bullpen down the stretch, which makes sense in the context of him being at 112 IP and unlikely to go over 130-140 on the season. The Yankees don’t have to add Banuelos to the 40-man roster until after next season at least, so there’s no crunch. We’ll see, Cashman left a lot of room for interpretation.

Ravel Santana’s injury: broken ankle and torn ligaments

Saturday afternoon we heard that Rookie Level GCL Yankees outfielder Ravel Santana suffered a “brutal” ankle injury, and Dante Bichette Jr. tweeted the diagnosis: it’s broken in two places with a bunch of torn ligaments. The play-by-play indicates that it happened on a stolen base attempt, so it sounds like one of those hideous Stephen Drew/Jason Kendall/spike gets caught and foot gets twisted around type of injuries. Just awful.

Santana, 19, had a .426 wOBA with a ton of power (nine homers, .273 ISO) and speed (10-for-13 in stolen base attempts) in 40 GCL games. The Yankees landed him for just $145k back in 2009, and the scouting report is exciting. Based on what happened with Kendall and Drew, there’s a chance Ravel will be back in time for Spring Training, but there’s no way to know for sure.