Everyone has said it, even the man himself: Brian Cashman is going to have the toughest off-season of his career, and easily the most daunting off-season of any other GM in baseball. He has to choose a direction in which to take the New York Yankees. As you’ll soon see, it won’t be an easy decision, and much of it will be out of his hands.

Essentially, there are two paths he could take: keep the veteran core and let the youngsters work their ways into the lineup, or gut the team and start over — or at least to the extent that’s possible. The problems with these paths are clear. He doesn’t have much control over the former. If Steinbrenner gets his way, Torre is gone, which may preclude our veteran troika of Mo, Po, and Pettitte from returning. The logical thing to do then would be to choose the latter path. However, George wants a ring, and that path is not conducive to victory in 2008. If George doesn’t understand this, it would probably cost Cashman his job.

(Official prediction: Cashman convinces George that if he wants to contend for a ring in ’08, he has to bring Torre back. The Boss acquiesces, and we bring back the troika. A-Rod, of course, is a complete wild card in either scenario.)

Let’s take a journey down each path to see what lies ahead. True, we won’t be able to get a vivid image of the landscape, but we can at least formulate an idea of what 2008 will be like. As always, please leave your takes in the comments. This is just a starting point.

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Categories : Hot Stove League
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  • Underdogs…yeah, sure

    From the Boston Globe:

    “To say we’re no longer underdogs seems to be going too far,” says club president Larry Lucchino, tempering annual expectations. “We’re in the division where Goliath resides.”

    Ah yes, those poor unfortunate underdog Red Sox. How they manage to survive in today’s game with a $160,000,000 payroll is beyond comprehension. Sorry to burst your bubble Larry, but the cutsy little “oh poor us, we can’t compete with the big bad Yankees” schtick go old like, 4 years ago. Grow up, you’re starting to sound like an 8-yr old girl.

    (hat tip to Pinto) · (0) ·

I have to say, HWB was alot more exciting last year, when Joba, IPK, Jeff Marquez, Mike Dunn and pre-injury Chris Garcia & Mark Melancon were doing their thing.  

HWB Honolulu (8-7 win over Oahu)
Ajax: 0 for 2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 HBP - on base 13 times in his last 7 games
Bradley Suttle: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K – 0 for 21…I’ve give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk this up to “pressing”
Anthony Claggett: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 7-1 GB/FB – the only thing that’s really holding him back is the lack of strikeouts (only 77 K in 117+ IP this year)

JP’s got your AzFL update; how ridiculous has his coverage been? Just awesome.

Categories : Down on the Farm
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  • AFL Roster change

    Eric Werdekemper will be replacing Ross Ohlendorf on the Peoria Javelinas roster. He was already in the dugout for todays game. He doesn’t have the ceiling of Olhendorf but he’s always posted good numbers since he was drafted in the 46th round of the 2005 draft. He was recently honored as the 2007 FSL Most Valuable Pitcher · (3) ·

Roger Clemens today joined the growing litany of folks expressing their support for Joe Torre. In an interview during which he expressed at least a passing interest in playing in 2007 — DO NOT WANT — Clemens also said that Torre should be the one to close the old Yankee Stadium and open the new one. This guy sure has a lot of supporters, and I hear that, as Torre is one of the city’s most prominent Catholics, the Pope wants to issue a papal bull in support of Torre.

In more interesting Joe Torre news, the Yankees braintrust has delayed the meeting about Torre’s (and Alex Rodriguez’s) future to next week. The group will meet in Tampa on either Monday night or Tuesday morning. Clearly, Torre won’t attend the meeting, but ESPN reports that King George, his sons and their aides — whoever they are — will be in attendance.

Right now, the Yanks are pretty much jerking Torre around. A week ago, a maybe-lucid, maybe-senile George Steinbrenner — Tyler Kepner’s piece at the Bats blog on this topic is fantastic — issued his favorite “win or else” ultimatum. Since then, we’ve heard nothing but silence, and the Yanks will wait until at least a week after they were eliminated to deterine Torre’s fate. It’s possible Joe could grow so sick of this crap that he simply holds a press conference to announce his resignation. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

When all is said and done, I bet Torre’s back in pinstripes next year. A delay of this length means that those who aren’t George are lobbying the Boss on behalf of Torre. Or they’re waiting it out until Steinbrenner simply forgets about this ultimatum. That wouldn’t surprise me either.

Categories : Hot Stove League
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Juan Gone!!!

By in Minors. Tags: · Comments (8) ·

Miranda HR

The Javelinas beat the Saguaros 14-2
Juan Miranda: 4-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI’s, 4 Runs, HBP
Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 Runs
The rest of the Yankees had the day off

The picture says it all. Juan Miranda hit his first home run and did it with authority. The HR landed just right of the 385ft marker and at the top of the the hill/seating area. The hill is at least 40ft long so the rough projection makes it a 425ft HR that went as high as it did far. It even got a rise out of a couple scouts that were sitting nearby. He managed to hit the ball hard in every at bat today and it seems like his early season slump is behind him. Read More→

Categories : Minors
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Drumroll please…

Ian Patrick Kennedy-Jaskowiak was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year, edging out the Twins’ Kevin Slowey, who was runner-up for the second straight year. I have to say, I find this especially gratifying since I spent countless hours (okay fine, countless minutes) last year rebutting emails proclaiming how bad of a pick IPK-J was.

Edwar Ramirez took home Minor League Reliever of the Year honors, just a year removed from eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches after his Indy ball games. You know the numbers, but they’re so sick I’ll repeat’em anyway: 56.2 IP, 26 H, 102 K. Crazy.

Congrats gents, now go win the World Series. (kidding)

Categories : Minors
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In the back of my mind, something about Mariano Rivera’s recent comments about his contract bugged me, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But this morning, it dawned on me that Rivera has changed his position a bit on the Yankees over the last few years.

Three years ago, when he negotiated his current contract extension, Mariano Rivera had nothing but praise for the Yankees. In this article in The Times from 2004, Rivera expressed his desires to remain in pinstripes. ”I don’t need to [be a free agent],” he said. ”This is where my house is. I’d have to find another house. This has been home.”

This wasn’t the first time Rivera had expressed these feelings. In 2001, he basically said the same thing, and in both 2001 and 2004, he hinted that he would probably pitch only until 2007. Well, 2007 has finally rolled around, and Rivera is feeling restless. He is, for the first time in his career, inching toward free agency, and numerous other teams could use a Mariano Rivera in their bullpen. As Buster Olney might opine, Mariano Rivera is a good fit for many, many teams.

So I wonder what’s changed in three years. It’s possible that Rivera is using his own impending free agency as leverage to help Joe Torre. Rivera could have no intention of leaving the Yankees, the organization he’s been with since 1990. Or it could be something else.

Maybe Mo is tired of the speculation surrounding his effectiveness and his elbow. Maybe he’s tired of the three-ring circus in the Bronx. Maybe he was dismayed to see his friend Bernie Williams so unceremoniously dumped last year and wants the team to recognize and honor those who have contributed for a decade or more to a great run.

Either way, something about the Yankees has affected Rivera since he last re-upped with the team. Hopefully, that something won’t be a deal-breaker this time around.

Categories : Days of Yore
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