Tag Archives: Yankee

Analyzing and Grading the Free Agent Moves in the MLB before the GM Meetings

By: Jon

Free Agent Signings:

1) Robinson Cano

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10 yr – 240M with the Mariners

Although Cano did not receive the largest contract in MLB history, like he originally wanted, he achieved the third largest contract in history and the largest for a second baseman. Although Cano is one of the ten best players in the league, the Mariners drastically overpaid for his services. Unlike other players who have reached ten year deals, Rodrgiuez and Pujols, Cano has never won an MVP, cannot carry a team through the playoffs, draw fans into the stadium, or manufacture money for his team. In the recent past, many people did not believe that another player would receive another 10 year 200+M deal in free agent because of the past results. Since Rodriguez, Pujols, and Cano have signed similar deals, they should be compared. Unfortunately for the Mariners, they hope that Cano does not have the problems with age. As seen in Anaheim and New York, the two albatrosses are the worst contracts in baseball because the players are not performing like their franchises originally believed when they signed their contracts. While Cano may continue his success for the first three or four years of the contract, the Mariners will be disappointed by the final 6 years of the deal. Unless Cano can draw other free agents or stars to the Mariners, the Mariners will continue to fail and not meet expectations because their offense will be horrible. In Seattle, Cano will not even be the face of the franchise and his future stats should decline because of the stadium and the bad lineup behind him. Instead of filing one hole, the Mariners should have signed multiple players with the $240M they gave to Cano.

Grade: B-

2) Jacoby Ellsbury

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7 yr – 153M with the Yankees

The 30 year old free agent signed the third largest deal for an outfielder, this offseason. While Jacoby Ellsubry is a quality All-Star player, many people believe that the Yankees overpaid by $30 million. The major question about Jacoby Ellsbury regards around his ability to stay healthy and remain on the field. When healthy, Ellsbury is one of the best lead off hitters in the league and has the ability to manufacture runs for the club. Fortunately for the Yankees, Ellsbury should be able to rejuvenate his power production because of the short porch in right field. If Ellsbury can average 20 home runs and 30-40 steals for the first 5 years of the deal, the contract will be deemed as a success for the Yankees. Along with providing speed to the slow Yankees, Ellsbury plays great defense and has the ability to hit .300 while recording 100+ runs. Unfortunately for the Yankees, the deal that most relates to Ellsbury’s deal is Carl Crawford. While Carl played horribly for the first two years of the contract, the last season has been an improvement because he has remained healthy for the past season. If the Yankees can manage Ellsbury and limit his number of steals, Ellsbury should be able to remain a star for most of the length of the contract. If the Yankees can trade Gardner, a lesser version of Ellsbury, for a mid level pitcher, the Yankees should be happy with this deal and look forward to his success.

Grade: A-/B+

3) Ricky Nolasco

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4 yr – 49M with the Twins

For the first time in Twins’ history, the franchise has spent more than 21M on a player in free agency. While Nolasco is a quality pitcher, he would have been able to net nearly $50 without the abundance of TV money that is entering the sport. As seen with many of deals this offseason, the additional money has been given to the players. Last season, Nolasco had the second best season of his career, 13 wins, 3.70 ERA, and 165K. Nolasco became a prominent free agent this offseason because of the success he encountered with the Dodgers, during the playoffs and the stretch run. While Nolasco’s ERA has ranged from 5.06 to 3.52, he has been able to pitch around 200 innings for the past six years with the Dodgers and the Marlins. The Achilles heel of Nolasco over the past few seasons has been allowing home runs. During his worst seasons, Nolasco allowed nearly 25 home runs per season. During the latter half of last season, Nolasco gave up only 6 home runs while recording a 3.52 ERA. In Minnesota, Nolasco’s home run numbers should decline, which will allow him to decrease his ERA and legitimatize his new deal. If Ricky can continue his success in Minnesota, the Twins should be able to improve their horrible pitching staff and make a run out of the NL Central dweller. While other pitcher may net close to $80 million, the deal for Nolasco will look better.

Grade: B+

4) Brian McCann

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5 yr – 85M with the Yankees

The former All-Star and Atlanta Braves has signed the second largest deal for a catcher in Major League Baseball history. McCann has been one of the best power hitting catchers over the past few seasons. Over the past six seasons, McCann has hit over 20 home runs per season, has played above average defense at catcher, and has been voted to seven All-Star games. In New York, McCann should be able to hit 25-30 home runs because of the short porch in right. McCann is has shown in the past that he is great at pulling the ball with power, which fits greatly with the Yankees. Unlike most free agents, McCann is still in the prime of his career and should be able to provide at least 4-5 quality years with the Yankees. Over the next 3-4 seasons, McCann should be able to play catcher at a high level. The Yankees desperately needed a catcher this offseason because they have not had an All-Star level catcher since Jorge Posada. When the Yankees are at their best, they have an above average catcher that can bat in the middle of the order. If McCann cannot play catcher over the last few seasons of the deal, the Yankees should be able to move him to first base or DH, which will allow him to play catcher for a few extra seasons. Along with providing skill at the catching performance, McCann is a great leader and should provide a voice to a locker room that has been lost, since Posada retired. In almost every level, the deal with McCann makes perfect sense.

Grade: A

5) Mike Napoli

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2 yr – 32M with the Red Sox

The beard is going to return to Red Sox for another two seasons, which should be exciting for Red Sox fans. Although Red Sox did not have the most talent last season during their championship run, they had great locker room players and many of the players were clutch down the stretch. One of the two main reasons for the Red Sox’s success is Mike Napoli. Last year, Mike Napoli rebounded because he was healthy for most of the season. Mike Napoli returned to the success he established in Texas, which allowed him to score and drive in multiple runs for the Red Sox. Along with improving offensively, Mike Napoli, surprisingly, became a quality defensive first baseman, which was underrated and under appreciated. The deal with Napoli is similar to other deals that the Red Sox signed over the past years. The Red Sox have decided to give short deals to older free agents with great personality, which has enabled the team to bond together and achieve success. Napoli is a great teammate and should help the young players that are coming through the Red Sox farm system. Over the next two seasons, Napoli will be able to fill the Red Sox first base position and provide All-Star statistics to the middle of the Red Sox order, as they attempt to repeat as champion. At $16M per season, the Red Sox are not breaking the bank for an elder player with talent.

Grade: A-

6) Curtis Granderson

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4 yr – 60M with the Mets

The power hitting outfielder will be traveling across town to the Mets and hopes to provide protection to David Wright. Before a terrible year filled with injuries, Granderson was one of the best power hitters in baseball, after two 40 home run seasons. Last season, Granderson played only 61 games because of two fluke injuries to his wrist, which demolished his whole season. The Mets desperately needed an outfielder that could hit in the middle of a playoff team. Last season, the Mets offense was horrible because they do not have much power and the outfield was especially bad after the trade of Marlon Byrd. While Granderson has sacrificed his batting average and on base percentage, his power numbers and his ability to drive in runs has been great. Over the past two seasons before his injury, Granderson has struck out 350 times. The Mets have overpaid for Granderson because they were in desperate need of a quality outfielder and he had all of the leverage. While Granderson will improve the Mets’ order and should improve the entire lineup as a whole, the Mets needed a top outfielder and a better bat than Curtis Granderson can provide. Curtis will have difficulty maintaining his home run power without the short porch in Yankee Stadium. Also, Granderson will have trouble covering the huge outfield in Citi Field over the latter half of the contract.

Grade: B

7) Jhonny Peralta

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4 yr – 53M with the Cardinals

Even though Peralta was suspended for 50 games, the Cardinals did not hesitate to give him a multiyear deal worth half of 100 million dollars. Last season, the Cardinals may have lost the WS because their shortstop position was one of the worst in MLB. The Cardinals are a large market team and have a chance to win the WS again this season. The addition of Peralta changes the Cardinals shortstop from a weakness to a strength. Although Peralta is not the best defensive shortstop, he is one of the best offensive shortstop and extends the Cardinals offense that was already one of the best in baseball. Also, Peralta was needed to replace Carlos Beltran, who left to New York, since Oscar Taveras is a rookie and an unknown in the outfield, this season. Although Peralta is not one of the top five players in the free agent class, his signing created a lot of controversy and commotion. Many people and baseball loyalist feel that he was not really punished for his use of PED. Also, many people feel that the Cardinals may have overpaid for Peralta since they are wondering if he can replicate his performance without the use of performance enhancing drug. Although it may have been an overpay, the Cardinals desperately needed a quality shortstop and feel that they are one player away from winning the WS in 2014.

Grade: B

8) Carlos Beltran

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3 yr – 45M with the Yankees

The possible Hall of Famer and one of the greatest playoff players in MLB history will be headed to the team with the greatest playoff resume. After replacing Albert Pujols in St. Louis two years ago, Beltran will counted on to replace the offense of Robinson Cano. During the past two seasons, Beltran did perform better than Pujols. Although it is unlikely that the 36 year old will play better than the 31 year old Cano, Beltran will minimize the loss of Cano because he is still a productive offensive force. If the Yankees make the playoffs this season, Yankee fans will see the difference between Carlos Beltran and Robinson Cano. Ironically both players have played in 51 playoff games and Carlos Beltran clearly has the better statistics. Beltran has a line of .333/.445/.683 with 16 home runs and 40 RBI. Cano has a slash of .222/.267/.419 with 8 home runs and 13 RBI. Although Beltran will not have the impact like Cano in the regular season, he will greatly improve the Yankees’ offense during postseason play. Beltran is a switch hitter, which will provide more options for the Yankees so they do not become a solely left handed batting team. Although Beltran can still play an effective right field, he can play DH, which will enable him to hit through the length of his contract. Although Beltran will not continue batting .290/25+HR/95+RBI throughout the three years, he should be an above average hitter or quality platoon man during the last season of the deal.

Grade: B+

9) Joe Nathan

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2 yr – 20M with the Tigers

The active leader in saves will be good pick up for the Detroit Tigers because their bullpen cost them a trip the WS. Last postseason, the starting pitching performances by the Tigers starting staff were some of the greatest performances by a team in playoff history. Although the team experienced great success at the start of games, the team lost because their bullpen was unexperienced and failed during tough situations. Joe Nathan will provide stability to the team, although he is almost done with his career. Over the last two seasons with the Texas Rangers, Nathan has saved 80 games with a 1.80 ERA and made two All-Star games. Nathan will need to replace Benoit as a closer for the Tigers. With the Tigers, Nathan should be able to replicate his statistics. Although Nathan has switched teams three times, he has consistently been success in the bullpen, which has enabled him to finish top five in the Cy Young voting twice. A contract for $10 million per season for an All-Star closer is not considered horrible or an excessive overpay. Even if the Tigers paid more for Nathan than other teams, they may be only one closer or relief player away from making or winning the WS.

Grade: A

10) Scott Feldman

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3 yr – 30M with the Astros

In the one of the biggest overpays of the offseason, the Astros signed starting pitcher Scott Feldman to a three year deal above market value. After the best season of his career, Feldman cashed in on a big deal with the lowly Astros. For the first half of last season, Feldman pitched with the Chicago Cubs and was effective for the Cubs. In 15 games with the Cubs, Feldman was 7-6 with 3.46 ERA and 67 K in 91 innings. After the trade, Feldman was not the same pitcher with Orioles in the offensive AL East. With the Orioles, Feldman had a 4.27 ERA. Before Feldman’s success in Chicago, Feldman was a below average starter with the Texas Rangers. During his years as a starter with the Rangers, he never accumulated an ERA under 4.08 and never pitched more than 190 innings Besides for his quality half season with the Cubs, Feldman has been a below average 4th or 5th starter. However, the Astros are paying Feldman as a number 3 or a very good number 4 starter. The Astros are hoping that Feldman is a pitcher that is better in the NL, without the DH. The Astros also hope that he can remember how to pitch in the NL Central and replicate his success from last season. However, it seems unlikely because Feldman is a bad pitcher and not deserving of a 30 million dollar deal.

Grade: C

Pictures and Stats from ESPN.com

 

2014 MLB Top Free Agents and Predictions

By: Jon

1) Robinson Cano

Cano is looking to be paid for his success
Cano is looking to be paid for his success

The top free agent this offseason is one of the best baseball players in the league, which should allow him to net one of the largest deals in MLB history. Earlier this offseason, Cano and his free agent, Jay-Z, made a request for a $310 million contract over ten years, which would make him the highest paid player in the history of baseball. However, the Yankees countered with a 7 year $160 million deal, which would make him one of the highest paid players in the league and the highest paid second baseman of all time. The 31 year old has been one of the most consistent and valuable players over the last few seasons. In the last four years, Cano has averaged 160 games per season, 195 hits, 28 home runs, .310 average, 105 RBI, and .530 slugging percentage. Cano has finished inside the top six in MVP voting the last four seasons, won five silver sluggers, earned two gold gloves, and has went to 5 All-Star Games. Although people are afraid about giving major deals to free agents past the age of 30 because of past history, Fielder, Rodriguez, Pujols, and Teixeira, Cano will be given a huge money deal by some team. During the first 3-4 years of the deal, Cano will probably play like a player that will earn $25 million per season. However, teams should be wary of giving him more than 7 years because eventually he will be unable to continue his production. Cano has been a great hitter because of his strong quick wrists, but eventually Father Time will slow his speed and diminish his results. Cano needs another team, besides the Yankees, to bid for his services, if he is going to garner a $200 million deal, like Fielder and Votto. However, it is unlikely that another team will be able to pay his contract. Teams, such as the Tigers, Mets, Mariners and Nationals, will attempt to increase the Yankees offer, but the teams do not have the resources or need to give $25+ million to one player. Before the Kinsler deal, the Tigers had a need at second base, but they will need to save money for Cabrera and Scherzer. The Nationals may be the dark horse, but it is unlikely that they will sign another 100 million dollar deal after the Jayson Werth experiment. The Mets and Mariners have already dictated that they do not want to spend a lot of money on one play, but rather buy a few players to fill their holes.

Prediction: Cano signs with Yankees for 7 years and $180 million

2) Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury has the speed and talent to be a 100 million dollar player
Jacoby Ellsbury has the speed and talent to be a 100 million dollar player

The speedy outfielder has probably played his last game for the Boston Red Sox. Ellsbury wants a big money deal and the Red Sox want to give their young stars a chance to play at the ned level. Although talented, Ellsbury will not be able to net a deal over $120 million because their are too many questions about his health. During Ellsbury 7 year career, the center fielder has played in 145 games only three times. Also many teams are wondering if his speed will deteriorate as he ages and loses his legs. However, Ellsbury has top flight agent, Scott Boras, who will sell him as a player similar to Carl Crawford, who was given a $142 million deal from the Red Sox. Ellsbury will be demand this offseason because he is one of the best lead off hitters in a league, which has a few quality lead off hitters. Also, Ellsbury has shown that he can hit for power. During his best season in 2011, Ellsbury hit 32 home runs and drove in 105 RBI. However, Ellsbury has not hit more than 10 home runs in any other season so the 2011 campaign seems like a fluke. However, Ellsbury’s stolen base numbers have been consistent during his healthy seasons. In the four seasons where he played in more than 13o games, Ellsbury has averaged 55 steals, .295 average, 8 triples, 100 runs, and .350 on base percentage. Along with his ability to hit and run, his speed enables him to become one of the best outfielders in the league. Ellsbury has the ability to cover a lot of ground, which he has shown in one of the biggest center fields in baseball. This offseason, Ellsbury will be pursued by the Mariners, Mets, Cubs, Astros, and Yankees. However, Ellsbury would best fit in Seattle. Ellsbury is originally from Seattle and has noted that he would love to play for his home town team. Also, the Mariners desperately need outfield help and some offensive fire power on the team.

Prediction: Ellsbury signs with Mariners for 6 years $105 million

3) Shin Soo Choo

Choo's ability to reach base should make him a rich man this season
Choo’s ability to reach base should make him a rich man this season

Choo is another leadoff hitter that will be paid handsomely this offseason because of his ability to hit at the top of the order. After playing in Cleveland for seven seasons, Choo was traded to the Reds and had one of the best seasons of his career. Since Choo has become a regular starter midway through the 2008 season, he has been extremely durable and consistent, besides for one season. Choo has displayed the ability to bat for average as well as power from the top of the order, which is unique in today’s game. Over the past few seasons, Choo has averaged 20 home runs, .295 average, 20 steals, 75 RBI, and 95 runs. However, Choo’s biggest asset is his ability to reach base. Over the past few seasons, Choo has averaged an on base percentage of .400, which is extraordinarily high for a player, who does not strike out frequently. Choo is a versatile player that can play any position in the outfield. Choo does not have great speed, but is a smart defender and has a great arm in the outfield. Choo’s arm enables him to gun down base runners and play center and right field. During the offseason, Boras will display Choo as a player similar to Jayson Werth. Choo and Werth are similar players, but as the Nationals have realized, Werth is not worth a $126 million deal. Luckily for Choo, he expects to have a lot of interest from different teams, such as the Rangers, Yankees, Mariners, Tigers, Mets, and White Sox. Choo will probably end up with the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have recently traded for Prince Fielder and want to win in the American League. Also, the Rangers must replace the production of Nelson Cruz, who is leaving this offseason in free agency. Choo will fit nicely into the number one hole for the Rangers because they just traded their lead off hitter, Ian Kinsler, to the Tigers for Prince Fielder. Choo’s ability to reach base will give Fielder and Beltre more opportunities to collect RBI. Although other teams will make a run at Choo, Texas is willing to spend a lot of money for his services and will probably out bid the other competitors

Prediction: Choo signs with Rangers for 6 year $100 million

4) Masahiro Tanaka

The Japanese phenom hopes to have the success like Yu Darvish
The Japanese phenom hopes to have the success like Yu Darvish

The Japanese superstar and ace has received a lot of hype this offseason because of his past success. Over the past few seasons, Tanaka has risen in the ranks in Japan because of his recent success and progression. Last season, Tanaka had one of the best seasons in Japanese history. Last season, Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts. Many believe that Tanaka is one of the best Japanese pitchers in history and feel that his stuff will translate to success in Major League Baseball. Tanaka’s stock has risen because of the success to Yu Darvish. Although Tanaka does not have the stuff and talent like Darvish, Tanaka should be a possible number one or a very good number two in a pitching staff. Tanaka has success because he has a good fastball, slider, and splitter. The closest MLB resemblance to Tanaka is Hiroki Kuroda. Besides for their Japanese decent, they both love to throw fastballs, sliders, and splitters. The Japanese pitchers have experienced success recently because they are one of the few pitchers that throw splitters and sliders. Tanaka is similar to Kuroda because they both throw in the low to mid 90s with their fastballs and occasionally throw into the high 90s. This offseason, Major League teams must pay a posting fee before talking with Tanaka. Many believe that the posting fee for Tanaka could reach $75 million, but it will probably be closer to $65 million. Since the posting fee does not affect a team’s luxury tax situation, teams, such as the Yankees and Dodgers, will be more encouraged to pay for Tanaka’s posting privileges. After paying the posting fee, teams must pay Tanaka’s contract, which will be around $50-60 million. Since the fee will cost around $120-130 million, Tanaka’s services will be limited to the big market clubs. Since most of Tanaka’s money will not count against the luxury tax, the Yankees will sign Tanaka. The Yankees are desperate for top end young pitching and Tanaka will fill these needs for the Yankees. After the Haren signing, the Dodgers have six starting pitchers and will be reluctant to sign another expensive starting pitcher.

Prediction: Tanaka signs with the Yankees for 4 years $60 million with a posting price of $70 million

5) Matt Garza

Garza hopes to be paid like a number 2 starter, although his injury history
Garza hopes to be paid like a number 2 starter, although his injury history

The free agent right hander is in line for a big pay day this offseason. Most people believe that Garza is the best American pitcher in free agency because of his past success a few seasons ago. When healthy, Garza has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. Although Garza is not a number one or two on a championship team, he can be a reliable number three. Since his first full season in 2008, Garza has not pitched over a 4.00 ERA and was an innings eater during his healthy seasons. During the middle of his career with the Rays and first year with the Cubs, Garza average 200 innings, 175 strikeout, and 3.70 ERA. However, the past two seasons have been a nightmare for Garza because of his injury history. If Garza did not have an injury history, he probably could command a contract, like the AJ Burnett and Anibal Sanchez deal. However, teams will be wary, which will take years and money off of his contract. Also, American League teams may worry because of trouble he experienced with the Rangers during the latter part of last season, 4.37 ERA. This offseason, Garza will attempt to earn a deal similar to Anibal Sanchez, but it is unlikely that he will obtain success. Although Garza will not have the same contract, he should attract a lot of suitors this offseason, especially if Tanaka cannot come to America. Teams, such as the Royals, Astros, Phillies, Blue Jays, Twins, Nationals, and Yankees, will be competing for his services. However, the Blue Jays are probably most likely to land the right hander. Garza was originally a Twin before he was traded to the Rays and has shown a desire to return to the AL East. Also, the Blue Jays have stated that they would like to sign a big name free agent pitcher because their pitching was atrocious last season. Although the AL East is a difficult division to pitch in, Garza has achieved success with the Rays and has the confidence to succeed once again. Garza will probably sign a contract for around 75-80 million dollars over 5-6 seasons. Also, Garza is not connect to a draft pick so the team that signs him will not have to lose a pick

Prediction: Garza signs with the Blue Jays for 5 years $75 million

6) Ervin Santana

Santana wants to turn his big year into a hefty contract
Santana wants to turn his big year into a hefty contract

The 30 year old right hander is coming off the best season of his career and will be paid handsomely because of his success. Although Santana did not post a winning season, he recorded an outstanding 3.24 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 211 innings, and 161 strikeouts. Santana is similar to Garza because they both have the ability to pitch 200+ effective innings, but are occasionally injured or ineffective. Like Garza, Santana projects to be a number three on a playoff team or a number two on an average team. Over his career, Santana’s biggest asset has been his ability to log innings. In four of his last six seasons, Santana has pitched over 210 innings with an ERA under 4.oo and a WHIP under 1.33, which are quality numbers. However, in the other two seasons Santana was absolutely awful, allowing an ERA of over 5.00 and pitching under 180 innings. If Santana can translate his success from this season to his new club, his club will be receiving a steal. Like Garza, Santana will be attempting to receive a $100 million deal, but it is unlikely that he will obtain that figure. The teams, Yankees, Marlins, Phillies, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Astros, and Nationals that are going after Garza will be looking at Santana as well because of the strikingly close similarities. However, the Nationals will probably be the winners of the Santana sweepstakes. After winning the NL East two seasons ago, the Nationals had a horrible season because they could not hit or pitch well enough to win games. However, they have the finances and desire to make the playoffs again this season. The addition of Santana will relieve some of the pressure on Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, who moderately underperformed last year. Santana should be able to net a deal close to Garza and Sanchez.

Prediction: Santana signs the Nationals for 5 years and $82.5 million

7) Hiroki Kuroda

Kuroda looks like he will return with the Yanks this season
Kuroda looks like he will return with the Yanks this season

The veteran right handed pitcher has been the best pitcher for the Yankees over the past two seasons. The 38 year old Japanese pitcher has been more than the Yankees could have expected, when he signed with them two seasons ago. Over the past two seasons, Kuroda has averaged a 3.32 ERA, 210 innings, 1.16 WHIP, and 160 strikeouts. Although Kuroda has been consistent and very good, he did not pitch well toward the end of last season. Unfortunately, Kuroda may have a dead arm, which could affect his performance this season. Although it is uncertain if Kuroda will re-sign with the Yankees or retire from MLB, it has been reported that Kuroda is leaning toward returning for another season in pinstripes. If the Yankees are able to monitor his innings closer, Kuroda should have the arm strength to pitch consistently and effectively for the entire season. Kuroda is a ground ball pitcher with a good fastball and slider combination. Even during his troubles, Kuroda was able to pitch in the low to mid 90s with his fastball. The Yankees will attempt to sign Kuroda by offering a large one year contract, similar to the last two seasons. Kuroda will be asking for about $18-20 million, but it is unlikely that the Yankees will oblige because of the struggles he experienced toward the end of the season. However, Kuroda may have some leverage because the Yankees are desperate for starting pitching. Currently the Yankees have only two starting pitchers, but CC and Ivan Nova both have questions that must be answered, if the Yankees are going to return to the playoffs. Eventually Kuroda will probably re-sign with the Yankees for a one year deal around $15-18 million. Besides the Yankees, it is unlikely that Kuroda will pitch for another MLB team because he has expressed discontent in moving. If their is a dark horse for Kuroda, it will be the Angels because he has pitched in California and they have the money to spend on starting pitching, which they desperately desire.

Prediction: Kuroda signs with the Yankees for 1 year $17 million

8) AJ Burnett

Burnett hopes his worse days are behind him
Burnett hopes his worse days are behind him

After three disastrous years with the Yankees, Burnett was traded to the Pirates and has experienced great success over the last two seasons. The 15 year veteran has been able to resurrect his career in Pittsburgh, which will enable him to score a good deal. Over the past two seasons, Burnett has been the ace of the staff, recorded averaged a 3.40 ERA, 195 innings, 200 strikeouts, and 1.22 WHIP. Even though he was unable to pitch in the media intense environment of New York, the small media market of Pittsburgh was great for Burnett’s mental health and confidence. Although the Pirates would love to re-sign Burnett this offseason, he has expressed interest in retiring. However, it seems unlikely that the Pirates will be unable to convince Burnett to return because of the money they can offer him. Also, the Bucs have a good chance at having another good season. The Pirates need Burnett because of the leadership and innings that he can provide for a young pitching staff. The Bucs will be putting young players into their rotation and the young players will have innings limits. Burnett seems very content with Pittsburgh, but a few dark horse teams that may attempt to sign Burnett are the Astros, Royals, or Brewers. However, Burnett will ultimately re-sign with the Bucs and lead their young, talented staff. If Burnett wants to sign a long term deal, he could probably get a 3 year 40 million dollar deal, but he probably wants to take it one or two seasons at a time until he retires.

Prediction: Burnett signs with Pirates for 2 years and $30 million

9) Carlos Beltran

The greatest postseason hitter of all time hopes to reach his second WS
The greatest postseason hitter of all time hopes to reach his second WS

The veteran free agent is likely to join his sixth team of his career. Over his career, Beltran has been one of the best players of his generation and has  chance of making the Hall of Fame. Although Beltran has never won a World Series championship, he is arguably the best postseason hitter of all time because he has hit for power and a high average. Although he is known for his postseason success, Beltran is still playing at an All-Star level in the outfielder. Over the past two seasons with the Cardinals, Beltran has averaged .285 average, 81 Runs, 28 Home Runs, 90 RBI, and .493 slugging percentage. Even though Beltran is 36, he still has the ability to play quality defense in right field. Although Beltran can still play the outfield, it would behoove him and his future team, if he goes to the American League and plays some DH. The DH could save Beltran’s legs and enable him to continue hitting for a few more seasons at a high level. Although it is unlikely, Beltran has been asking teams for a four year deal, which would allow him to play until he is forty years old. However, recent reporters have reported that teams are only willing to offer Beltran a two year deal. Currently, teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Royals, Rangers, Orioles, Pirates, and Cardinals, are bidding for his services. However, it is most likely that the Yankees will be signing Beltran this offseason. The Yankees have made Beltran their number one priority, since they are waiting on Cano and Tanaka. The Yankees need another outfielder/DH and Beltran would definitely fit the mold. Also, Beltran has the ability to hit in the postseason, which would make him an instant favorite among Yankee fans. Beltran has stated that he would like o play with the Yankees.

Prediction: Beltran signs with Yankees for 2 years and $33 million

10) Mike Napoli

Napoli wants to keep his beard in Bean town
Napoli wants to keep his beard in Bean town

The power hitting first baseman was a great addition for the Red Sox, last season. If the Red Sox did not find Napoli’s medical problems, he would have signed a 3 year $39 million deal, during the past offseason. Instead, Napoli signed a one year five million dollar deal, which was an absolute bargain for the Sox. Although Napoli has posted quality numbers, he has missed a lot of games during every season of his career. Napoli has played over 115 games only twice in his career, but has recorded over 20 home runs for the past six seasons. Although Napoli is a good power hitter, he does not hit for average. Besides for his 2011 season where he hit .320, Napoli has never hit over .273 in a season. Last season, Napoli posted his second best season of his career, which should enable him to net a multiyear deal this offseason. Napoli hit .259, 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 79 runs, and .360 on base percentage. Although Napoli does not play great defenses, he is a clutch player and racked up numerous big hits while leading the Red Sox to the World Series title. However, last season, Napoli had his best defensive campaign of his career at first base. This offseason, Napoli will be wanting a deal similar to the deal he received last season, before failing the physical. Besides the Red Sox, the Orioles, Royals, Rangers, Mariners, and Twins have expressed interest in Napoli because of the offense he can provide to a team. However, it is likely that Napoli will remain with the Red Sox because he fits their needs. Since the Red Sox will be losing Jacoby Ellsbury, they need to find and retain offense, in order to repeat next season. Napoli’s right handed bat is perfect for Fenway Park, so they should be able to repeat his numbers from last season. Others will try to pry Napoli, but he loved his season with the Red Sox and his beard will perfectly with the other players.

Prediction: Napoli signs with the Red Sox for 3 years and $45 million

Info from MLBtraderumor, mlbbaseballreference, and espn.

How Soriano and A-Rod can alter the Yankees salary for 2014

By: Jon

The players on the Yankees current roster have salaries that add up to over 250 million dollars. To put that number into perspective, the salary of the AL All-Stars only added up to 300,000 more dollars than the Yankees. However, the Yankees true payroll “only” adds up to $203 million. The Yankees will have a lot of options and decisions this offseason because of their desire to have their payroll under $189 million. Although it seems like a random number, it is the luxury tax number for Major League Baseball. The Yankees have been hit with the luxury tax for eleven consecutive seasons. The owner of the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner, does not want to pay more luxury tax because the rate significantly rises this year. However, if the Yankees could keep their salary under $189 million, their tax rate would reset to 17.5% and the Yankees would save lots of money. If the Yankees maintain there current spending, they would pay 50%, which is about $25 million. The Yankees have 7 of the 25 highest paid players in baseball and 7 of the highest 12 in the AL.

However, the Yankees have a real chance of keeping their salary under the 189 marker if they are smart and dedicated. The Yankees have been planning a long time for this offseason because they have a strong desire to save money. Thus they will have a lot of free agents and options. Currently, the Yankees payroll is set for $86 million, but this is for a six players, Sabathia, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Wells, Soriano, and Suzuki. However, the Yankees will have to spend less than $103 million to stay under their desired limitation of $189 million. However, the Yankees will have many Arbitration Eligible players, but they will not greatly affect the Yankees aspirations.

Following moves that the Yankees should make this offseason:

1. Sign Robinson Cano.

Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano

The Yankees must re-sign Cano this offseason if they want anyone to come and watch them play this offseason. Cano is the Yankees best player and it is an absolute must that they re-sign him to a long term deal. Luckily for the Yankees, teams have realized troubles of signing a player to a deal longer than 8 years. The Yankees should attempt to sign him to a deal that is more money per year instead of a 9 or 10 year deal. The Red Sox deal with Dustin Pedroia will help the Yankees because he signed for under market value. Pedroia’s average deal is for $14 million per year. Cano is not twice as good as Pedroia so he will probably sign a deal for 6-7 years and $25 million per season.

Yankees Salary after Cano: $111

2. Have Jeter opt into his current deal or re-sign for a less money.

Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter

The Yankees captain will not be in great position to sign a big deal during the offseason. Although he is a good player, he is old and injury prone. Teams will not be willing to spend big bucks for a 39 year old shortstop, who has lost range and is not a power hitter. Derek knows that his best possibility to brand himself and succeed is in New York with the Yankees. Although Jeter may opt out of his current deal and re-sign with the Yankees, he will not get much more than the $8 million he would get if he opted in to his deal. If he opts out he will sign for 3 years 8-10 per season

Yankees salary after Jeter: $120

3. Re-sign Brett Gardner.

Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner

The Yankees will need to have more speed because their offense is not as good as previous years. Gardner is having a good season for the Yankees. He is a steady contributor, steals bases, and plays great defenses. Gardner should win the Gold Glove this season because he plays great defense and can cover lots of ground in center field. Since Gardner is arbitration eligible, he will not be an expensive option in the outfield. He will probably sign another one-year deal for $5 million.

Yankees salary after Gardner: $125

4. Re-sign David Robertson.

David Robertson
David Robertson

Robertson is in the same position as Gardner, last year of arbitration. Robertson has been one of the best set up men in the league over the last three seasons. David will take an even bigger role next season, when Mariano Rivera retires and the closer position is free. Although the Yankees will want to replace Rivera with an established closer, it will probably be too expensive. Robertson may be able to step in for Rivera. Also a set up man will be easier to sign than an established closer. He will probably sign another one-year deal for $6 million.

Yankees salary after Robertson: $131

5. Re-sign Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda.

Ivan Nova
Ivan Nova

The Yankees will be forced to put young starters in their starting rotation. Nova has been great as of late for the New York Yankees. Besides for Hiroki Kuroda, Nova has been the Yankees best starting pitcher over the last month. He will be extremely important next season because the Yankees will lose at least one pitcher and probably three. Along with Ivan, Pineda will be an important cog of the Yankees rotation next season. Like Nova, Pineda is young and talented. After having a great rookie season with the Mariners, Pineda has been hurt and spent time in the minors with the Yankees. He will finally have the opportunity to start this year for the Yankees. Luckily for the Yankees, Nova and Pineda will come cheaply, since they are in their first year of arbitration. Expect one million dollar deals for both of them.

Yankees salary after Nova and Pineda: $133

6. Re-sign Eduardo Nunez and David Phelps.

Eduardo Nunez
Eduardo Nunez

Nunez will be an important part of the 2014 New York Yankees because of their age and injuries. Nunez has the ability to plan all around the infield. The Yankees will need him to play short and third next season because Derek and Alex, if he is not suspended, cannot play more than a few days in a row in the field. Nunez has a solid bat and quick bat speed. He has good speed and is a good youthful addition to the New York Yankees. Nunez is not even arbitration eligible so his contract will probably be worth $500,000. However, he will be more important than his contract because he is versatile and a good player. Like Nunez, Phelps is not arbitration eligible. However, he will have an important part of the 2014 team. Phelps will either be the fifth starter or a long man in the bullpen. He is versatile and a solid pitcher when he is healthy. Phelps has been very good for the Yankees as a bullpen arm and an occasional starter. Excess pitching is always necessary in MLB because a lot of pitchers experience injuries.

Yankees salary after Nunez and Phelps: $134

7. Re-sign Curtis Granderson.

Curtis Granderson
Curtis Granderson

Granderson will be an interesting option this offseason. Since he spent most of his time on the DL this season, he will not be receiving the type of deal he would like to sign. The Yankees will most likely offer Granderson a qualifying offer of $13.8 million. If Granderson signs elsewhere, the Yankees will receive a first or second round pick from that team. However, Granderson will probably sign his tender so he can reach free agency again in a year and sign a more lucrative offer. Curtis has been a great teammate and hitter for the Yankees over the last few years, The extra year will enable Curtis to play more and improve his stock. Curtis will provide more power to the Yankees lineup, which they desperately need at this point. Although the Yankee outfield will seem to be crowded, Soriano will play a lot of DH so his bat is in the lineup.

Yankees salary after Granderson: $148

8. Re-sign Shawne Kelley and Boone Logan and call up Mark Montgomery.

Boone Logan
Boone Logan

The Yankees, as usual, have a solid bullpen. The Yankees have been known for their ability to build a strong bullpen. When the Yankees were at their best in the late 1990s, their bullpen was automatic. The Yankees bullpen will undergo a lot of changes this offseason because Rivera will retire and Joba, Preston Claiborne, and Adam Warren will not re-sign this offseason. The Yankees have found a solid relief pitcher in Shawne Kelley this season. Mark Montgomery has been a good relief pitcher for the Yankees in the minors over the last few years. He can have a major impact on the Yankees next season since they will probably be losing 4 right handed relievers. Since the Yankees acquired Logan from the Braves a few years ago, he has been their lefty specialist in the bullpen. Since Logan has not been great this offseason, the Yankees can sign him to a cheap long term deal.

Yankees salary after Kelley (.5), Logan (5), and Montgomery (.5): $154

9. Sign Joel Hanrahan and Scott Downs

Joel Hanrahan
Joel Hanrahan

The Yankees will be undergoing major renovations during the offseason because all of their bullpen arms will be free agents this season. With the departure of Mariano Rivera, the Yankees will have to find a new closer. Although the Yankees hope Robertson can become the closer, he did not succeed last season, when Rivera tore his ACL. The Yankees should sign Joel Hanrahan because he is a veteran arm and knows how to close games at the major league level. Although he has not pitched much this season because of injury, he was extremely successful in the closer role with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since he did not pitch a lot, he will be willing to sign a cheap contract to reinvent himself for the next offseason, $4 million. The Yankees should sign another lefty pitcher this offseason. Today, teams have a few lefty bullpen arms. Boone Logan is not the most consistent reliever so more depth and talent will help the team. Since Rivera is departing, the Yankees will have more money to spend on their bullpen. Downs would probably be willing to sign a deal for about $5 million.

Yankees salary after Downs and Hanrahan: $157

10. Re-sign Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart.

Francisco Cervelli
Francisco Cervelli

The Yankees will not be able to spend a lot of money on a luxury position, like catcher, if they are going to stay under their budget. Although Francisco may be under speculation because of the Tony Bosch situation, he will probably not heavily suspended. Chris Stewart and Austin Romine will be able to produce at a high enough level until Cervelli returns. Although the production will not be great next season, the Yankees are just waiting for their top prospect Gary Sanchez to be called up to the majors. By 2015, Sanchez should be able to produce for the New York Yankees. The Yankees can live with bad hitting, but solid defense. Both players should sign for about $500,000.

Yankees salary after Stewart and Cervelli: $159

11. Sign Mark Reynolds.

Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds

If Alex Rodriguez is not suspended next season, the Yankees will at least need a solid back-up, who can play a lot of games. The Yankees can return to the Bronx Bombers if they sign Mark Reynolds this offseason. Reynolds has great home run power, which will significantly improve the Yankees roster next season. Reynolds will also be able to back-up Mark Teixeira at first baseman if he needs an occasional day off. Reynolds would almost act as a starter because they will be able to play a lot. He will not be that expensive since he consistently has a low average and strikeouts frequently.

Yankees salary after Reynolds: $163

12. Sign Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter
Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter is one of the most clutch pitchers in baseball. Although he has been hurt over the last two seasons, Carpenter can still pitch, especially in the postseason. Carpenter has led the St. Louis Cardinals to two championships during his career. Since the Yankees want to win championship, he would be a perfect addition because he has a career 3.00 ERA in the postseason. The Yankees will be able to offer Carpenter a incentive laden deal because he has experienced a lot of injuries lately. Carpenter may be willing to leave the Cardinals because they have a deep starting rotation and may not want him anymore. The Yankees would also give Carpenter an opportunity to pitch for a championship. The Yankees should give Chris $5 million in guaranteed money and the possibility to make $11 million if he stays healthy.

Yankees salary after Carpenter- $174

13. Re-sign Kuroda OR sign Josh Johnson.

Hiroki Kuroda
Hiroki Kuroda

The Yankees will need two more starting pitchers this offseason. First, the Yankees should attempt to re-sign Kuroda because he has been great for them over the last two seasons. If they cannot re-sign Kuroda, the Yanks should go after Josh Johnson because he is a solid pitcher with a lot of talent. Kuroda will probably cost more than Johnson for the 2014 season because he will only sign a one year deal. More information later in the article.

Yankees salary after Kuroda- $189

Yankees salary after Johnson- $187

Yankees Roster – $187 or $189 million dollar team

Catcher – Stewart and Cervelli

Infield – Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Nunez, and Reynolds

Outfield – Granderson, Suzuki, Gardner, Wells, and Soriano

Starting Pitching – Sabathia, Carpenter, Nova, Pineda, and Johnson/Kuroda

Relief Pitching – Downs, Hanrahan, Kelley, Montgomery, Logan, Robertson, and Phelps

Now, the rest of the Yankees decision will be dependent on Alex Rodriguez. Currently, the Yankees are set to pay $27 million to Alex Rodriguez next season for his services. However, the Yankees would love to rid themselves of his contract so they could sign more productive players. Although the Yankees will not be able to void the whole contract, there may be a way that they can get rid of Rodriguez’s contract for the 2014 season. If MLB suspends Rodriguez for the 2014 season, the New York Yankees will be able to write off his salary. Thus the salary would not count against the payroll, which would be great for the New York Yankees. The Yankees will be given a lot more flexibility and options if A-Rod’s contract does not count against the payroll. Instead of the approximate $28 million, the Yankees would have $55 million more dollars to spend on free agents. The Yankees and their fans should hope that Alex is suspended for the rest of this season and especially next season. The following moves should occur if the MLB saves the Yankees and their fans.

Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez

14. Sign Matt Garza.

Matt Garza
Matt Garza

The Yankees will desperately need pitching next season. The Yankees will probably lose three starting pitchers. Matt Garza would be a great addition to the Yankees because he knows how to pitch in the AL East and has pitched in the post season. Garza is a great arm, but has injury concerns. Garza’s injuries may drop the price tag on Matt Garza this offseason. Since he was hurt over the last few seasons, he does not have the innings pitched like other pitchers. Garza is a solid two for the Yankees and will probably be paid as such during the offseason. Since CC has been ineffective this season and Nova and Pineda are inexperienced, the Yankees will desperately need a talented work horse. He will be an expensive piece this offseason. 5 years at 18 million per season. The Yankees may even be able to offer more money per season than the $18 million. The Yankees will only be able to sign him if A-Rod is suspended.

Without Rodriguez and with Garza – $153

15. Sign Michael Young.

Michael Young
Michael Young

Since Alex Rodriguez will be unable to play if he is suspended, the Yankees will need a player who can play third base. Michael Young is a competent starter and would be a great addition for the New York Yankees. Young is still batting .277 with 7 HR and 32 RBI. Young would sign a one year deal with the Yankees because it would give him a chance to play in the postseason. He would also be given the starting third base position, which some teams would not offer to Young. Young would probably not be too expensive for the Yankees since he is older and on the down side of his career. The Yankees could sign him for $6 million a season.

Without Rodriguez and With Young- $159

16. Sign Carlos Pena/Lyle Overbay rather than Mark Reynolds

Lyle Overbay
Lyle Overbay

The Yankees will need a left handed batter off of the bench instead of a right handed bat. The Yankees do not need another right handed bat off of the bench because they have a few bats from the outfield who are right handed and Eduardo Nunez is right handed. Pena can provide a lot of power off of the bench, which would be great for the team. Pena can also back up Mark Teixeira if he is hurt or needs a day off. Pena would be cheap because he has a lot of flaws. He would cost about 1 million compared to 5 million for Reynolds.

Without Rodriguez and with Pena/Overbay: $155

17. Desperately attempt to re-sign Kuroda OR Carpenter AND sign Josh Johnson.

Josh Johnson
Josh Johnson

If the Yankees sign Matt Garza, they will still be in need of one or two more starting pitchers, in order to be a quality, playoff baseball team. The Yankees desperately need to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda for the 2014 season. Similar to Andy Pettitte, he will be signing one year deals for the rest of his career. However, this could be the end for Kuroda, but it is not because of his performance. Over the past two seasons, Kuroda has been the Yankees most consistent and best pitcher. Although Kuroda does not blow away batters, he is extremely smart and does not allow runs to score, 2.51 ERA. He would be a great 2 or 3 for the Yankees during the 2014 season. He would probably sign another $15 million deal. Besides for Hiroki, the Yankees should attempt to sign Josh Johnson this offseason. If Kuroda signs this offseason, the Yankees will have three definite starting pitchers in the  rotation. The Yankees would love to have another solid starting pitcher in their rotation, instead of having Nova and Pineda in the starting rotation. If the Yankees sign another solid starting pitcher, Nova and Pineda will not have the pressure of succeeding. If Kuroda does not re-sign, the Yankees will desperately need another starting pitcher and Johnson can fill that need. Although he has not be great this season like other free agent pitchers, he has the most skill and talent. Johnson has improved since coming off of the DL. He would not demand a huge contract, like other pitchers, because he was on the DL this season and has not been great over the last few seasons. The Yankees can sign him for 4 years and $52 million or maybe a deal closer to Kuroda so he can rebound for the next season and score a huge deal like Garza.

Without Rodriguez and with Kuroda and Johnson – $183

Without Rodriguez and Kuroda and with Johnson and Carpenter – $180

If the Yankees are able to dump the A-Rod salary for the 2014 season, the team will be significantly better.

Yankees Roster – $180 or $183 million dollar team

Catcher – Stewart and Cervelli

Infield – Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Young, Nunez, and Reynolds

Outfield – Granderson, Suzuki, Gardner, Wells, and Soriano

Starting Pitching – Sabathia, Garza, Carpenter/Kuroda, Nova/Pineda, and Johnson

Relief Pitching – Downs, Hanrahan, Kelley, Montgomery, Logan, Robertson, and Phelps

Stats and Pics from ESPN.com