• Giambi escapes punishment

    Jason Giambi will not be disciplined by Major League Baseball over his comments regarding past steroid use. Bud Selig announced in this press release his decision not to suspend Giambi because the Yanks’ slugger cooperated with George Mitchell’s investigation and has donated a lot of money to charitable organizations, work Selig considers to be “terribly important.” Somehow, Selig managed to turn Giambi, who was just being honest, into a sympathetic figure here, and now we know that money will go a long way toward acting like a Get Out of Jail Free card. · (2) ·

(Yes, James, that is totally your photo from flickr)

A couple of weeks ago I put together a midseason list of what I believed to be the Yanks’ top 30 prospects, but to be honest with you, I kinda half-assed that one and didn’t spend as much time on it as I should have. So not only did I want to update the list to include all the new additions from the 2007 draft, I also wanted to rectify the previous list by putting more thought into it. I feel this effort is much more representative of the Yanks’ farm system, and puts each prospect where they belong in the pecking order.

Right at the top you’ll notice that I didn’t include Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, even though they are technically still prospects. I feel both have done a nice job of establishing themselves as legit big leaguers, and won’t see the minors again (barring an injury rehab assignment) in the foreseeable future. Obviously, I would have them ranked 1-2, respectively. I also chose not include the “Tommy John Quartet” of Humberto Sanchez, JB Cox, Mark Melancon and Christian Garcia. When healthy, all of those guys are top 15 prospects for me, but I decided to leave them off because they’ll be out until next year. But make no mistake about it, they’re all still very much prospects.

Trying to put these lists together always seems like a piece of cake at first, but after a while it gives you a headache and before you know it, your ranking “philosophy” doesn’t seem to make as much sense as it did 15 minutes ago. As I’ve said many times before, I prefer tools and upside over actual performance, but I try my best to balance the two, as well as other factors like age, level, bloodlines (you’re fooling yourself if you don’t think bloodlines make a difference), handedness (tie goes to the lefty), and makeup. Simple rule of thumb: if you can’t decide between 2 players, ask yourself if you’d trade Player A straight up for Player B. Nine times out of ten, it’ll bail you out.

Enough already, here’s the list (name followed by age as of today, position & level played at this year):

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Categories : Minors
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Final draft signing update

By in Draft. Tags: · Comments (5) ·

A couple of high profile picks inked deals just before the deadline last night:

  • Second overall pick Mike Moustakas signed with KC for $4M. Man, I can’t even fathom what kind of fallout there would have been if this deal didn’t get done.
  • Third overall pick Josh Vitters signed for $3.2M as expected and now bleeds Cubbie blue.
  • Fifth overall pick Matt Weiters came to an agreement with Team Angelos for straight $6M bonus. The $6M payout is the largest up front bonus in draft history. Frankly, I’m shocked Weiters didn’t get a ML deal.
  • Ninth overall pick Jarrod Parker agreed to a $2.1M deal with the D-Backs. Watch out for this kid, he’s the HS version of Tim Lincecum.
  • Finally, in a bit of a shocker, the Nats and 6th rounder Jack McGeary agreed to a $1.8M bonus, a record for the round. As you may recall, McGeary had a strong commitment to Stanford and was not excepted to sign. Well, he’s still going to go to Stanford, as the deal has provisions in place that will allow McGeary to attend school as a full-time student and play baseball during the summers. The Nats also threw in an addition $200 grand to play his tuition. Since he signed a pro deal, McGeary is ineligible for the Stanford baseball squad. Talk about a sweet deal, the kid got the best of both worlds.

So, is it too early to start talking ’08 draft?

Categories : Draft
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  • Brackman’s elbow up in the air

    In this piece, Tyler Kepner of The New York Times gives a concise rundown of the oh-so-familiar negotiations between Andrew Brackman and the Yankees. While we know a lot about the deal, we don’t know much about the first round draft pick’s elbow. In the article in The Times, Brackman has this to say: “The elbow is still a little aggravated. But the ligament is not torn, so that is good news.” We’ll find out what that means when he reports to Tampa this week and begins throwing. Fingers crossed. · (19) ·

Triple-A Scranton (8-2 win over Syracuse)
Brett Gardner: 0 for 4, 1 K
Kevin Reese: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI – recently DFA’ed
Alberto Gonzalez: 1 for 3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Erubiel Durazo: 1 for 2, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K – he’s still a waste of resources
Bronson Sardinha: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI – 8 for his last 17 with 2 doubles & 3 homers
Eric Duncan: 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Mighty Matt: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K – left in there to throw 117 pitches
Chris Britton: 2.2 IP, bunch of zeroes, 1 K – better than Mariano…no wait…better than… Brower…yeah, that’s who I was looking for…

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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More draft signings

By in Draft. Tags: · Comments (13) ·

In addition to the Andrew Brackman megadeal (largest bonus they’ve ever given to a drafted player, and the 3rd largest they’ve ever given period, behind, ugh, Hideki Irabu & Jose Contreras), the Yanks also locked up the following players:

  • California high school catcher Austin Romine, second round ($500,000).
  • Texas third baseman Brad Suttle, fourth round ($1,300,000).
  • Texas high school outfielder Taylor Grote, eighth round ($250,000).
  • Louisiana high school shortstop Carmen Angelini, 10th round ($1,000,000).

All the deals are over slot, while the Suttle and Angelini deals are records for their respective rounds. Suttle may be the big name, but I think Angelini’s the better prospect. Overall it was a nice haul this year for the Yanks (you can see all their picks and whether or not they signed here), they added some legit position player prospects to all those arms, and continued to flex their financial muscles by taking signability guys in the later rounds. Bravo front office, bravo.

Updates on some prominent non-Yankee draftees after the jump.

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Categories : Draft
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Well, we all lived through the highs and lows of that one together today. So I’m not going to spend too much time on a bullet-point recap. The Yanks now have to take three out of four from Detroit this weekend, and I have no idea who closes.

Let’s look for a second at Rivera. Around this time last year, Rivera mysteriously hit the DL with elbow tenderness, and I fear that this problem has been lurking ever since. Last week in Toronto, Rivera dialed it up a notch to strike out the side and preserve a win. Since then, his command and velocity have been off, and his numbers have suffered.

Since Toronto, Rivera has thrown 4.1 IP with bad results. Discount the first scoreless, hitless innings, and his last three appearances look like this: 3.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 K.

While many people were clamoring for Joba to pitch the 10th, that’s simply revisionist managing. In this situation every time, Rivera should pitch. No doubt about it.

But the results make me wonder what’s wrong with Rivera. Is he hurt? Is his elbow aching? It would appear so. He’s been wild in the zone and wild out of the zone. His stuff has no bite. All signs point to injury.

The Yanks blew a golden opportunity to steal a game today against the potential AL Cy Young Award winner. But more importantly they need Rivera. Hopefully, he’s okay, but I’m not overly optimistic right now.

Categories : Game Stories
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From Pete Abe:


Word is that the Yankees and Scott Boras have agreed on a deal that would pay the right-hander a minimum of $4.6 million and possibly as much as $13.8 million based on when he gets to the majors and whether he gives up basketball.

More on this as it becomes official later today.

$13.8M? Mother of God.

Update: This from John Heyman:

The Yankees are close to signing Andrew Brackman, the 6-foot-10, right-handed pitcher from North Carolina State they selected with the 30th pick in the first round this year, SI.com has learned.

It is expected to be a major-league deal for four years and about $4.5 million.

Some of the money will be paid out over several years, with the present-day value believed to be worth about $3.7 million.

The contract has an unusual structure because Brackman may have to undergo Tommy John surgery on his elbow — the Yankees also will get three club options at the end of the four years. If they exercise all three, Brackman stands to make about $13 million.

The Yanks never give out ML deals to draftees, this is very, very surprising if true.

Update Part Deux: It is a 4-yr ML deal. Lots of people are asking me how the ML deal works, and truthfully, I’m not sure. Fret not, RAB fave Keith Law shed some light on the situation:

me: is it a ML deal?
Keith: yes
me: ah crap
Keith: yeah not ideal
boras doesn’t do many minor lg deals
me: ok, so how does this 4-yr ML deal work?
i know he goes right on the 40-man and all that
Keith: right
he’ll be optioned in 2008, 09, 10, and 11 if necessary
me: so can he be a FA after 2011?
Keith: no, no, he won’t have service time
he still needs six years of ML service to get to free agency
me: ah ok
Keith: this deal only covers certain years – he’s still yankee property beyond that
me: so he’ll be arbitration eligible after the 4 yrs on the deal expires
Keith: only if he has the ML service
the catch is that you can’t cut a guy’s salary over 20%
so if he makes $2MM in 2013, but isn’t arb-eligible yet for 2014, he’ll have to make $1.6MM
(or more)
me: ah ok
thanks for clearing this up, it’s always baffled me

Categories : Minors
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