Yankees reach agreement with fourth rounder Mason Williams

Via Jonathan Mayo, the Yankees have signed fourth rounder Mason Williams for $1.45M. It’s easily the largest bonus they’ve given out this year.

A big time athlete with speed and agility, Williams is a tremendous defender in center with enough offensive upside to remain interesting. His swing is sound and he’s not a total hacker, but he still has to refine his approach and add strength to hit for even average power. Like many of toolsy high schoolers the Yanks selected this year, Williams is a bit of a project. Here’s some video.

The Yanks have now signed their top 13 picks, and 16 of their top 17. Don’t expect any more big signings this year, they should be done.

Yankees reach deal with 16th rounder Evan Rutckyj

Update (10:51pm): Bob Elliott says Rutckyj received $500,000, still above slot but certainly not first round money. Good deal.

10:33pm: Via Keith Law, the Yankees have reached an agreement with 16th round pick Evan Rutckyj. Financial terms of the deal are unknown, though he was reportedly seeking first round money.

The 6-foot-5, 210 lb. Canadian lefthander was a top 200 draft prospect according to Baseball America, and he throws in the low-90’s with the makings of a wipeout slider. Surprisingly, he has a pretty good feel for his delivery and clean mechanics, but there’s still a lot of work to be done here. He’s a former hockey player that gave up the sport to pursue baseball full-time, so naturally he’s a pretty tough dude. Here’s video, and here’s a list of who the Yankees have signed so far.

At least the minor league affiliates won

Hector Noesi made an appearance in today’s Daily Dish, which includes some info on a minor mechanical adjustment he made to get himself back on track following a few rough starts. Meanwhile, Jessica Quiroli spoke with Justin Snyder about his approach and versatility.

Triple-A Scranton (7-4 win over Toledo)
Kevin Russo, 2B, Juan Miranda, DH & Jorge Vazquez, 1B: all 1 for 4, 1 R – Russo walked & K’ed … Miranda homered drove in two, walked & K’ed twice … JoVa hit a solo jack & K’ed
Greg Golson, CF, Jesus Montero, C & Chad Huffman, LF: all 0 for 3 – Golson drove in a run … Montero drove in two & walked … Huffman walked, scored a run & K’ed twice
Colin Curtis, RF: 3 for 4, 1 2B, 1 CS
Brandon Laird, 3B: 0 for 4 – six for his last 39 (.154)
Eric Bruntlett, SS: 1 for 2, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Jason Hirsh: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 HB, 4-9 GB/FB – 61 of 106 pitches were strikes (57.5%)
Romulo Sanchez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1-3 GB/FB – 21 if 35 pitches were strikes (60%) … hit 97 on the gun
Royce Ring: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1-0 GB/FB – 12 of his 20 pitches were strikes
Eric Wordekemper:  0.1 IP, 1 H, zeroes – six of his eight pitches went for strikes
Jon Albaladejo: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0-1 GB/FB – eight of his 14 pitches were strikes (57.1%) … set the International League single season record with his 39th save

[Read more…]

A-Rod leaves game with tight left calf

Update (9:47pm): Alex left the game with a tight left calf and is day-to-day. Not tests are scheduled. And exhale.

8:53pm: Alex Rodriguez left today’s game after a 4th inning at-bat for an unknown reason. Replay showed him talking to Joe Girardi in the dugout, and he appeared to mouth the words “calf,” so perhaps it tightened up on him. Ramiro Pena took his place in the field in the top of the 5th. We’ll update this post with more info as we get it.

Swisher leaves game with right forearm injury

Update (9:47pm): It’s a tight right forearm, according to the broadcast. No tests are scheduled.

9:38pm: Jack Curry says Swish left the game with a right forearm injury, but the severity is unknown. Wonderful.

9:25pm: Nick Swisher left tonight’s game for an unknown reason in the 6th inning. There was no obvious injury or anything like that, but he did make a sliding catch attempt in the previous inning. Austin Kearns took his spot in the lineup and in the field. Hopefully it’s nothing serious. We’ll keep you updated.

Game 118: Johnny’s Back

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

For the first time since walking off the field as a World Champion last November, Johnny Damon returns to the Bronx tonight as a member of the visiting club. His free agency and departure from New York has been well-chronicled and doesn’t need to be rehashed, instead let’s celebrate his time with the Yankees.

During his four seasons in pinstripes, Johnny he hit .285/.363/.458 with 77 homers, more than he hit with the Royals or  Red Sox. He racked up 12.6 WAR during those seasons, which is worth about $53.1M on the open market, so his four year, $52M deal was a slight bargain for the Bombers. As for a signature moment … it has to be the double steal in the World Series, right? Nothing even comes close in my mind. Let’s not forget the nine-pitch battle with Brad Lidge that set the double steal up, that was straight up money. Johnny was a great player during his time here, and he deserves nothing less than a standing ovation during his first at-bat tonight. After respects have been paid, I consider him fair game for boos and taunts.

Here’s the lineup…

Jeter, SS
Swisher, RF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Posada, DH
Granderson, CF
Cervelli, C
Gardner, LF

And on the bump, it’s Javy Vazquez.

First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET, and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Surprise, surprise: Nick Johnson’s wrist hurting again

Via Brendan Prunty, Joe Girardi said before today’s game that Nick Johnson‘s surgically repaired wrist is once again barking. The first baseman/designated hitter had resumed baseball activities at the end of last month, though I think it’s safe to assume those have been put on hold for the time being. Even if he was able to come back as a pinch hitter walker in September, it would have been a nice little boost down the stretch. I guess we might as well forget about that now.

I was all for the NJ signing back when it happened, but it was obviously a huge mistake in hindsight. For shame.