That was disappointing last night. I guess there was no deception by Brian Cashman, the Yankees really weren't that interested in Yu Darvish. Their bid was reportedly "modest." I was holding out hope they would land him; just from a fan's perspective, he'll be fun to watch (and possibly very, very good). But you have to wonder how he'll adjust to pitching half his games in a place like Arlington, Texas, which not only routinely reaches 100 degrees in the summer, but was the hitter-friendliest ballpark in MLB this year. Jon Heyman says it will take "C.J. Wilson money" ($77.5M, 5 years) to sign him. Add that to the posting fee ($51.7M) and Texas will be investing almost $130M in the 25-year-old. It's risky, no doubt about that. Would they not have preferred to re-sign Wilson and save $52M?
Anyway, the Yankees under Hal Steinbrenner truly seem to have a budget. What I don't get, though, is how executives like Randy Levine could go over Brian Cashman's head to give Rafael Soriano $35M but would then get very conservative this offseason. Would you rather the Yanks spent $35M for three years of Soriano or $130M for five years of Yu Darvish? Vote below.
Assuming Darvish signs with Texas, what else is there to talk about the rest of the winter? Let's see:
- There are still the two Cuban defectors, Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler. Cespedes is expected to be delcared a free agent in the coming days but there's no word yet on Soler's availability.
- Seedlings To Stars named LHP Manny Banuelos their 26th best prospect in MLB. To sum up -
Banuelos has three good pitches and a good idea of how to use them, but while he's very polished, he still reveals his inexperience in a number of areas. If he can prove that he can throw 180-200 innings in a season and cut down on his walks, he could be a front-of-the-rotation pitcher, but those are two fairly big questions. At his age, though, Banuelos has plenty of time-most other top prospects his age just spent the past year in Low-A.
- A great read on how the Albert Pujols deal went down.
- I stumbled upon this intriguing article concerning competitive balance from way back in 1939.
- TYA wonders whether the Bombers are in rebuilding mode.
- A little something on the Yanks' Rule 5 pick, an extreme control pitcher from Washington's organization named Brad Meyers. Via John Sickels -
Brad Meyers, RHP, from Nationals: Age 26, Meyers posted an amazing 38/0 K/BB in 36 innings for Double-A Harrisburg this year with a 2.48 ERA, followed by a 3.48 ERA with a 74/15 K/BB in 96 innings for Triple-A Syracuse. His fastball is mediocre at 87-90 MPH, but his exquisite control helps play up the quality of his slider, curveball, and changeup... he could be very useful as a fifth starter or long reliever, but might have an uphill battle to stick in New York.
If you're not aware, a Rule 5 pick has to stick with the ML club all year. If he doesn't, he has to be offered back to his previous organization.