Webb hooks on with the Rangers

Via MLBTR, the Rangers have reached an agreement with Brandon Webb. Hopefully you weren’t expecting the Yankees to sign him, because all indications were that they had minimal interest at best. Can’t say I blame them, expecting a guy to rebound from major shoulder surgery after throwing four innings total in the last 26 months isn’t much more than a pipe dream. They need sure innings more than anything.

Ivan Nova, the mystery winter ball pitcher

Apparently Ivan Nova has been pitching in the Dominican Winter League according to Tim Bontemps, but I can’t find anything supporting that. He’s not listed on the roster and his milb.com page doesn’t list any stats. Bontemps says Nova threw 25.2 innings in the DWL (17 K, 4 BB), which would push his 2010 total to 212.2 IP. That’s a jump of 73.1 innings from last year. Nova’s been a horse as a pro, throwing at least 140 innings every year since 2008 (he was two outs short in 2009, close enough), but he’s never eclipsed the 200 IP mark, or even come close to it really.

Anyway, here’s the latest update from the various winter leagues…

Australian Baseball League
Nathan Aron: 9 G, 6 for 19, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 K, 2 HBP (.316/.364/.579)
Kyle Perkins: 3 G, 0 for 5, 4 K – hey look, he finally made contact

Dominican Winter League (season ended Dec. 21st)
Colin Curtis: 14 G, 12 for 50, 9 R, 3 2B, 7 RBI, 9 BB, 9 K (.240/.356/.300)
Eduardo Nunez: 7 G, 8 for 23, 4 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 CS (.348/.333/.391) – still hasn’t played since fouling a ball off his face
Francisco Santana: 13 G, 4 for 16, 2 R, 2 RBI, 4 K (.250/.250/.250)
Wilkins Arias: 17 G, 14 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 19 K (3.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) – finally got back on the mound after last week’s incident … one of those walks is intentional

Mexican Pacific League (season ends Dec. 30th)
Walt Ibarra: 51 G, 46 for 147, 29 R, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 37 K, 5 SB, 2 CS, 1 HBP (.313/.356/.401)
Ramiro Pena: 29 G, 26 for 110, 14 R, 6 2B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 21 K, 1 CS (.236/.298/.318)
Jorge Vazquez: 36 G, 46 for 133, 24 R, 10 2B, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 13 BB, 41 K, 1 CS (.346/.401/.647) – boy he sure does strike out a lot
Francisco Gil: 4 G, 6 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP (10.50 ERA, 2.17 WHIP)
Andy Sisco: 14 G, 14 GS, 72.2 IP, 61 H, 35 R, 31 ER, 42 BB, 60 K, 6 WP (3.84 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Eric Wordekemper: 21 G, 19.1 IP, 21 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 11 BB, 19 K, 1 HB, 1 WP (6.05 ERA, 1.66 WHIP)

Venezuelan Winter League (season ends Dec. 30th)
Gustavo Moliva: 29 G, 13 for 80, 7 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 17 K, 2 HBP (.163/.202/.375) – at least his ISO is really good
Luis Nunez: 11 G, 5 for 22, 2 G, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K (.227/.320/.227)
Jordan Parraz: 25 G, 22 for 72, 12 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 9 BB, 20 K, 1 CS, 2 HBP (.306/.393/.389)
Jose Pirela: 25 G, 28 for 88, 16 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 7 K, 1 CS (.318/.368/.420)
Romulo Sanchez: 18 G, 14.2 IP, 19 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 11 BB, 15 K, 2 WP (7.36 ERA, 2.05 WHIP)
Amaury Sanit: 4 G, 4 GS, 18.1 IP, 21 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 12 K, 1 WP (3.93 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Josh Schmidt: 13 G, 12 GS, 66 IP, 46 H, 21 R, 20 ER, 32 BB, 62 K,  (2.72 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) – he’s also hit seven guys

Surprise Surprise: Yankees have no interest in signing Manny

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees have no interest in signing Manny Ramirez. The other day we heard that the team held internal discussions about him simply because he fit a need (right-handed hitting outfielder), but obviously it doesn’t make sense. Jorge Posada is the full-time designated hitter and they already have three very capable outfielders on the roster. Good to see this one shot down in relatively short order.

I’m guessing the internal talks went something like this: “Okay, righty outfielders, first candidate is Manny Ramirez.” “Nope, next.”

Yankees are keeping an eye on Brandon Webb

Via George King, the Yankees are monitoring the progress of free agent right-hander Brandon Webb, but “they don’t appear to be in a hurry to do anything.” The now 31-year-old former Cy Young Award winner has started one game in the last two years because of major shoulder surgery, so the chances he turns back into the guy that racked up 19.9 fWAR from 2006 through 2008 are the longest of long shots. The truth of the matter is that no one has any idea what he’s capable of right now, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yanks target a little more a sure thing instead, even if it’s just Jeff Francis. At least he got on the mound for 100+ innings last season.

Yankees unlikely to consider bringing back Thames

Via Buster Olney (Insider req’d), the Yankees are unlikely to consider bringing Marcus Thames back for the 2011 season. With Jorge Posada, a switch-hitter, slotted in as the full-time designated hitter, any right-handed bat off the bench would need to provided defensive flexibility to get playing time. The same logic applies to Manny Ramirez, another long shot signing.

Thames was awesome for the Yanks in 2010, but he’s unlikely to match the carer high (by frickin’ far) .345 BABIP again. His defense is also unusable, so he’s the very definition of a one-dimensional player.  It just doesn’t make sense given the present construction of the team.

Yanks have had internal talks about Manny Ramirez

Via Jack Curry, the Yankees have had some internal discussions about Manny Ramirez, who would fit a need as a right-handed hitting outfielder. Outfielder being a relatively loose term, in this case. Curry adds that the team was just doing its due diligence more than anything, and a deal with Manny is less likely than a reunion with Johnny Damon.

I took a look at Manny a few weeks ago and came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a fit. He can still hit, but not nearly as well as he did in his prime. Plus he’s never been a part-time player in his career, and that will take some adjusting to on his part. I just think the Yankees can land someone a little more flexible, and probably cheaper as well (coughScottHairstoncough).

Open Thread: Aaron Guiel

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

You all remember Aaron Guiel, don’t you? The Yankees claimed him off waivers in July of 2006, when they had a short outfield because of injuries suffered by Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield. His time in New York was short (he bolted for Japan after the season), but he definitely had some impact. He reached base three times in his first game for the Yankees, then hit a tie-breaking homer off Jose Contreras in the sixth inning of a game a little more than a week later. Four days after that he had a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning against the Mariners, driving in a run that turned a two-run deficient into a one run deficit in a game the Yankees eventually won in extra innings. Exactly one week after that he hit a three-run homer against the Rangers in a one-run game. Overall, Guiel hit .256/.337/.439 (.339 wOBA) in 92 plate appearances for the Yanks while playing right field and some first base.

After that trip down memory lane, let’s use this sucker as an open thread. The Panthers and Steelers are on the NFL Network, and all three local hockey teams are in action. Talk about whatever, go nuts.