Friday, November 30, 2012

Russell Martin Signs With...Pittsburgh??

AP Photo / Kathy Willens
You read the title right, fanatics.

Yesterday, Russell Martin signed a two-year deal worth $17 million to catch for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It had been reported for a while that the Pirates were "going hard" to get Russie, but I really believed that the Yankees would never let that happen.

As a great a catcher as he's been defensively, it made sense to me, and I'm sure many of you, that he'd be back in pinstripes in 2013. Now, he'll be sporting a bee-themed uniform, catching curveballs from AJ Burnett. Unbelievable.

So it's no guess now what move the Yankees will be looking to make next week during the Winter Meetings. The hunt will be on for a catcher; if the Yankees weren't enamored enough to give Russell the contract he was looking for with his talent, I doubt that they would be willing to start Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli or Austine Romine with their limitations, although, I still believe that given a chance to improve offensively, Cervelli should be given top consideration.

But there is no telling which way Brian Cashman will go here. He's a maverick, and I'm almost inclined to believe that it was never really his intention to re-sign Martin. Keep in mind, Mike Napoli and AJ Pierzynski are still on the market. Pierzynski improved his power numbers in 2012 with 27 homers; making both catchers viable power options. Both are also seasoned vets that have experience catching big-game pitchers on contending teams.

Stay tuned...

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mo, Yanks Seal One-Year Deal

Reuters / Ray Stubblebine
What birthday gift do you give to the man who has given you so much throughout the years? A cool 10 mil.

Today, on his 43rd birthday, Mariano Rivera and the Yankees reportedly sealed the deal on a one-year, $10 million contract that will bring Mo back as the closer for 2013. Just one day after the Yankees re-signed Andy Pettitte, Mo officially solidified the team's pitch staff.

Although his 2013 salary is less than the $15 million he was paid for the second year of his 2-year, $30 million contract for 2012, Bryan Hoch reports on  that he will be able to make up the difference with incentives.

Mo missed most of the 2012 season after tearing a ligament in his right knee while catching fly balls during batting practice in May. Before the incident, he somewhat hinted to the media that 2012 would be his last season. After going down with the injury, he vowed to come back in 2013, if healthy.

Last month, WFAN's Mike Francesa said on "The Mike Francesa Show" that sources claimed Mo was actually moving back toward retiring, after having spent so much time in 2012 with his family. That rumor was put to rest when Mo announced in early November that he indeed intended on coming back.

It's way too early to speculate on how effective Mo could be for the team next year. What we can be certain of is that if healthy, he will continue to throw the fastball-cutter that has eluded pretty much every player he's ever pitched against. That, fanatics, should be enough.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

Andy, Yanks Make One-Year Deal

So, Andy Pettitte and the Yankees have indeed come to an agreement on a one-year deal that will pay him $12 million for 2013. Below is the report from

Pettitte's one-year deal with Yankees sealed

By Bryan Hoch / | 11/28/12 6:51 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte is confident that his experienced left arm still has plenty of strong big league innings to offer. The Yankees are going to be counting on it.

 Pettitte and the Yanks officially agreed to a one-year contract on Wednesday, as the 40-year-old left-hander quickly set aside any thoughts of retirement in favor of putting the pinstripes back on for another season.

 "It was pretty easy once I started working out, trying to decide if I felt like I had the desire to do the work that needed to be put in," Pettitte said. "It was pretty easy for me to realize that this was something I wanted to try and do again."

Pettitte's decision marks the second major move of New York's offseason, following last week's re-signing of right-handed starter Hiroki Kuroda, and gives the Yankees a pair of battle-tested arms to slot behind staff ace CC Sabathia.

  The game's active wins leader with 245 victories, Pettitte will earn a base salary of $12 million for his services, plus potential awards bonuses. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, New York designated catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment.

 Though Pettitte was limited to just 12 regular-season starts in 2012 due to a fractured left ankle he sustained in late June, he proved that he still could compete at the highest level, coming out of retirement to go 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 75 1/3 innings.

"I definitely think that if I would have pitched a full season and thrown 200 innings, that I definitely wouldn't feel as fresh and physically feel as good as I do right now," Pettitte said. "Obviously, I feel like that helped lead me to a quick decision."

Because his competitive juices haven't been fully exhausted, Pettitte said he also isn't ready to lock into the idea that 2013 will be his final season.

  "Whenever I shut it down again, that is going to be it," said Pettitte, who retired for the first time after the 2010 season. "It wouldn't be smart for me to just say right now that I would never play next year. I just don't think that would be smart, because I have no idea."

 Pettitte said that he didn't begin seriously preparing for the '13 season until about Nov. 16, when his oldest son, Josh -- a right-handed pitcher -- committed to attend Baylor University.

 "When I got home, it was straight nothing to do about me," Pettitte said. "It was all about trying to figure out Josh, and for the first major decision in his life, I wanted to just be there for him."

The Yankees were sure that Pettitte had something left to offer; in fact, shortly after the postseason ended, Pettitte said that general manager Brian Cashman told him, "I don't know what you're going to do, but as soon as you decide, we want to sign you back."

 "That's obviously huge for a player," said Pettitte, who also heard encouragement from Sabathia, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. "For Cash to reach out to me and tell me that, you feel like this organization feels pretty good about bringing you back."

After returning from the broken ankle, Pettitte went 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA in three September starts and posted a 3.29 ERA in his two postseason starts. Despite not adding to his total in October, he remains the active postseason wins leader with 19.

 "Knowing now that I have the rest of this offseason to train and get ready for a full season, I expect to be healthy," Pettitte said. "I expect to make my 34 starts or however many the Yankees want me to make. I think I can do that. If I didn't, I wouldn't try to do this again."

 The announcement frees the Yanks to begin looking at other areas of importance on their winter shopping list. New York had been focusing on pitching early in the offseason, and the team is still working toward an agreement with all-time saves leader Rivera, who will turn 43 on Thursday and is expected to agree to a one-year contract in the near future.

The Yankees also have interest in retaining catcher Russell Martin, who is said to be drawing serious interest from the Pirates, among other teams, and they could also seek to bring back outfielder Ichiro Suzuki after his strong second half.

 Pettitte expressed confidence that the Yanks will be able to field a World Series contender in 2013, which also played into his quick decision to continue pitching.

 "I think we're good enough to go all the way, I really do," Pettitte said. "I'm at the point where if I didn't feel like we had a chance to win it deep down, I wouldn't do this. I feel like we've got a certain group of guys that are still there and that know how to win and know how to get it done, and we can go do that."

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Andy Will Rejoin Yanks in 2013

Patrick McDermott / Getty Images
Woo hoo!!!

So we were all able to breathe a little easier last week when news came that Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees were able to agree on a one-year deal that would bring, arguably the best pitcher for the team in 2012, back to the rotation for 2013. With Kuroda and CC Sabathia in tow, the focus became on just how long the Yankees would have to wait before Andy Pettitte would make any decision on his return to the Bronx. Now fanatics, the wait is over.

According to, Andy will be back with the club for 2013 and a deal will be made sometime this week. According to a source, Andy's salary for next year will be in the range of $10-$12 million. His salary for 2012 was $2.5 million.

So the Yankees now seemingly have their rotation in line, with Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova in the 4 and 5 spots, respectively. Nova had a down year in 2012, going 12-8 with a 5.02 ERA, a marked difference from his 16-4 record and 3.38 ERA in 2011. Hughes had a decent year with 16-13 record and 4.23 ERA.

And it looks to be another wasted season ahead for pitcher Michael Pineda, as the Yankees are not looking for him to make any real contribution to the club next year; this according to Brian Cashman and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Coming off of the shoulder surgery that kept him out of the rotation in 2012, he's showing no signs of progress. Matter-of-fact, when asked about his status last week after he threw a mound session, Cashman said Pineda had "zip" on his fastball. Unlike elbow surgery, shoulder surgery is a lot less predictable in terms of recovery. The Yankees can only bring Pineda back as his shoulder allows.

What's next? Mariano Rivera is also expected to agree to a one-year deal with the club "soon," according to reports.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Question: A-Rod Is Here to Stay

Happy Thursday fanatics!! It's been really "down" here at Bomber Boulevard this season, but I promise that things will get going as the Hot Stove heats up. The Yankees have a lot of big decisions to make this offseason, so there will be plenty of news to bring you as the coming months moves along.

So I'll start here. Most of us have already resigned ourselves to the fact that Alex Rodriguez will be back in pinstripes. But for those of you that are still holding out hope that the organization will somehow find a way to force A-Rod out of his iron-clad, no-trade clause, below is an article from Fox Sports that will hopefully quell all the doubt. No better place in my opinion to get Yankees news than straight from the horse's mouth; that mouth being of Brian Cashman. Get it through your heads A-Rod haters and lovers alike: he's not going anywhere! Enjoy.

Cashman: Yanks won't trade A-Rod

John Paul Morosi

Updated Nov 8, 2012 7:59 AM ET
For all those excitedly anticipating a winter of Alex Rodriguez trade rumors, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is here to disappoint you.
“We’re not trading Alex,” Cashman insisted Wednesday on the first day of the general managers meetings. “So, hopefully the Alex stuff has stopped.
“I’m reiterating: We’re not trading Alex Rodriguez. He’s got a full no-trade (clause). I have talked to every team in baseball. I have not offered Alex in any trade. You’ll be able to confirm that with everybody if you want.”
As Rodriguez was benched during the Yankees’ disappointing turn in the American League playoffs, speculation swirled that his hometown Miami Marlins, or perhaps the Los Angeles Angels, could make a play to acquire A-Rod during the offseason. With five years and $114 million left on Rodriguez’s contract, the Yankees would need to eat a substantial amount of money in order to trade him.
Cashman said no team even inquired about Rodriguez’s availability Wednesday as the industry gathered at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa.
“They probably read my comments that we’re not trading him,” Cashman said.
Rodriguez is coming off his worst season since establishing himself in the majors with the Seattle Mariners in 1996, hitting .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI while showing a persistent vulnerability to right-handed pitching. Yet, it appears A-Rod will retain his spot in the Yankees’ lineup. The 37-year-old may spend more time at designated hitter than third base during the coming season.
Despite the perpetual tumult surrounding him, A-Rod told reporters late in the season that he loves being a Yankee. Cashman said he spoke with Rodriguez on the phone after the Yankees’ season ended, but declined to offer specifics of their conversation. “I’m going to leave that in the past and move forward,” the GM said.
Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper