Right now, as I type, we’ve got 5 hours and 40 minutes until the trade deadline. The Yankees, we know, want Eric Gagne, and want to move at least Kyle Farnsworth and possibly Kei Igawa. Bigger trades, while unlikely, are off the table.

We’ll keep updating with news and rumors as we hear them. I promise: No more advocating for Eric Gagne-for-Melky Cabrera trades.

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Update by Ben: Mike, on vacation, points us to the BA hot sheet where the Yankees have not one but two pitchers in the top five. The BA staff feels that, as good as their number one hot sheet pick Chamberlain’s been, number five Ian Kennedy has been even better. Check it out.

Update by Joe: Someone asked about Gardner. He’s on the 7-day DL with what they’re calling a lower body contusion (I think Ajax missed time with that this year). He was hurt last week when running into a wall. The ball was trapped between him and the wall, leading to the contusion. It’s not serious, but he’s going to need the 7 days.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Rochester)
Kevin Thompson: 0 for 3, 1 K
Justin Christian: 2 for 4, 1 3B
Erubiel Durazo: 0 for 3 — hitting .209 so far
Eric Duncan: 0 for 3, 1 K, 1 BB
Alberto Gonzalez — 0 for 2, 1 BB — not a very triumphant return
Wil Nieves: 0 for 3, 1 K — not missing a beat
Steve White: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K — those 3s are not a typo
Joba Chamberlain: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K — look out American League!
Scott Williamson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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As our old blogging ground is reporting rumors of one trade and Buster Olney reporting word of another, it’s clear that, even if these trades aren’t completed right now, the Yankees are angling for a new-look bullpen. Combined with Joba’s relief dominance, we could see a whole new pen soon.

On the one hand, we have the Eric Gagne rumors. Pieces of the trade aside, Gagne would be a great addition to this bullpen. This year, he’s, according to everyone who sees him, finally throwing free and easy after a few injury-plagued seasons. In 33.1 innings, he’s allowed just 8 runs on 2 HR, 23 hits and 12 walks while striking out 29. His 2.16 ERA is a full two runs lower than the Yankees’ current set-up crew. Plus, his free agent status would net the Yankees a first round draft pick next season.

On the other, Buster Olney mentions a possible Scott Proctor-for-Wilson Betemit deal. Betemit is a 27-year-old infielder with the Dodgers. He’s hitting just .231 but with an OBP of .359 and a SLG of .474. With 10 HR in 156 at-bats, he would add some much-needed pop to the bench, replacing Miguel Cairo as next in line for an infield slot.

Meanwhile, as we know, the Yanks are trying hard to deal Farnsworth. So in a few days, instead of Farsnworth, Proctor, Bruney, Vizcaino, Myers, Villone, Henn, we could have Gagne, Chamberlain, Vizcaion, Bruney, Myers, Villone, Henn. Or Britton. Or Ramirez. These moves are good ideas; we’ll see if they come to fruition.

Update: I just wanted to stress what Peter Abraham wrote here. This Gagne deal is still just a rumor, and the team is denying it. So hold your horses for now on it.

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  • Joba dominates in relief
    By

    Joba tonight: 13 pitches, 10 strikes, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K He’s already better than Kyle Farnsworth. Or anyone on the Yankees not named Mariano. The key is to see how he feels tomorrow and how ready he feels to go again on Wednesday. Who really needs Eric Gagne anyway? · (23) ·

News has been scant about the Yankee Stadium construction. While my flickr photoset of the construction shows the glacial pace of building a stadium, we haven’t really had confirmation that new Yankee Stadium is, as I half-guessed earlier this month, well behind schedule.

That is, we hadn’t had confirmation until this morning. As The New York Sun notes, construction on Yankee Stadium is three months behind schedule in some places, according to people working on the site. The Sun reports:

On the other side of town, at the new Yankee Stadium, the heavy metal extending skyward, toward the baseball gods, is less visible. The concrete façade that will form the exterior of the stadium is constructed behind home plate, and workers are expanding it along both base lines. However, it extends just a short distance toward left and right field, and the steel framework for the upper deck is constructed only in the area behind home plate.

An ironworker who was working at the stadium this weekend and did not give his name said the construction of the concrete façade is three months behind schedule. He also said the portion of façade he was working on yesterday was supposed to be up by April.

The Yankees organization refused to participate in this article. A spokeswoman for the Yankees, Alice McGillion, denied that the concrete façade is behind schedule. “We are not behind. Absolutely not,” she said. “We are different than the Mets. We are not following the Mets’ way of doing things. We are doing it our own way.”

Well, if you take a look at the state of CitiField and the state of the new Yankee Stadium, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that Yankee Stadium is behind schedule. I was at Shea this past weekend, and the stadium there is much further along than the $1.2 billion behemoth in the Bronx. I’m sure the Yanks will get the stadium open in time for Opening Day 2009, but the clock is ticking.

In other stadium news, the city is having problems finding someone to run the parking garages. New York has come under fire from anti-public funding advocates for doling out $70 million to the garages around the stadium. News that the latest developers may default on another taxpayer-funded project may rankle more than a few residents.

It’s never a slow day in Yankee world. Is Kyle still on the team too?

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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We’re hearing and reading a lot of reports that the Rangers would trade Eric Gagne to the Yankees for Melky Cabrera. With Kyle Farnsworth’s recently ensuring his one-way ticket off the Yanks and Melky swinging a hot bad, this is a trade I would make in a minute. I don’t see Melky exceeding his current production levels, and I think his value is as high now as it will ever be. This move solidifies the pen and lands a decent return for a player who will be a fourth outfielder at best or a starter on a lesser team.

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According to Ken Rosenthal, “the deal is done”. All that remains is the medical review of each player.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, A-level shortstop Elvis Andrus, and two pitching prospects are headed to Texas. No word on whether that includes Kyle Davies or Matt Harrison. The Rangers will also receive reliever Ron Mahay in the deal.

Categories : Transactions
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There has been some talk in the comments about the change Ross Ohlendorf has undergone since moving to the bullpen. Chad Jennings has some info on his must-read blog:

Today, I asked Newman whether the team told Ohlendorf to let it all loose in his relief appearance. Newman said that the team actually just told him to be agreesive and that he was only going to be pitching an inning or two. The results were different than they expected. Ohlendorf added about five mph to his fastball and he was grunting with nearly every pitch, something out of character for the normally reserved Princeton kid.

I remember saying back in April (though I’m not searching through the archives right now) that the Yanks could have a backup bullpen for the second half. The Yanks could conceivably add three arms in the very near future: Ohlendorf, Joba, and Karstens — and that’s not even counting the currently-injured Britton and the never-used Edwar.

This has to mean Kyle will be packing, right?

Categories : Minors
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It’s one thing to not be pitching well. Take Scott Proctor for example. He’s not finding the same kind of success he had last year, but he places the blame on himself (or his equipment, but a baseball player should be one with his equipment, and I’ll cut the faux philosophical baloney for now). Many people don’t want to see Proctor pitching right now, but fewer are calling for his immediate departure. That’s because the dude doesn’t bitch and whine.

Kyle Farnsworth, though, is not nearly as affable. He has been disastrous all year, and instead of taking the blame himself (which he apparently does when his PR guy tells him to), he blames external factors. From Pete Abraham’s blog

“I don’t like [not pitching regularly] at all,” he said. “I didn’t come here to sit on the bench. That definitely doesn’t help.”

Well soooorrrry, Kyle, but you kind of have to earn playing time. It would be one thing to complain if he was rotting in the bullpen like Ron Villone was for the first few months of last season. But Farnsworth gets chance after chance, yet continues to fail. Hell, his manager even went out of his way to say he hasn’t seen any inconsistency from him, when any dunderhead with 20/40 vision could tell you otherwise.

The worst thing you can do to lead off the 8th inning is to walk a backup catcher with an OPS+ of 54. Likewise, the worst thing you can do after pitching poorly is to complain about your usage patterns. This isn’t to say we approve of Joe Torre’s bullpen usage; that’s an issue I’m just not prepared to address right now, because it’s reaching term paper level. There is, however, one golden rule of the Torre pen:

If you walk dudes, you’re going to sit for prolonged periods of time.

Of course, the more money you make the longer it takes for you to find a seat on the bench. But eventually you’re going to find your way there. The move for Farnsworth was long overdue, and that’s obvious to even the most staunch Kyle supporter — if there are any.

Our next game is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday; the trade deadline is at 4. Anyone think that Krazy Kyle will be sitting next to Mariano at that point?

Categories : Pitching
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We know that Phil is ready. We’re guarded about the plan to move Joba to the bullpen.. For the rest of your Yankee farm system news, here’s Alan Hirsch’s DotF for Sunday…

Scranton (def Rochester 3-0)
Justin Christian 2-2, R, BB
Eric Duncan 2-3, R
Angel Chavez 1-3, 2 RBI
Philip Hughes 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K. In the last 5 starts by Hughes (2x), Joba, Kennedy & Krastens they have given up 1 ER in 35 innings.
Ross Ohlendorf 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB & K. Reached 97, when told to let it go for 1 inning. The normally reserved Princeton Kid was grunting with each pitch.
Jose Veras 1 IP, 0’s across the board (Save)

Trenton (Reading wins 6-2)
Juan Miranda 1-2, 2B
Dan Conway (C) 2-4, HR
Bronson Sardinha 1-4, HR, 2 K
Jason Jones 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K 2.56 ERA

Tampa Scheduled day off

Charleston Scheduled day off

Staten Island (Tri-City defeats SI 10-5)
Justin Snyder 2-4, 2 R, BB
Taylor Holiday 3-5, 2B, HR,
Braedyn Pruitt 2-3, Hitting .428
Damon Sublett 2-4, R, 2 RBI
Adam Olbrychowski 3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 k
Nick Chigges 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

GCL Yanks Scheduled day off

Categories : Down on the Farm
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