Pre-Season: Mark Teixeira has altered his pre-season conditioning yet again in order to improve his season, specifically the April portion of it. Instead of aligning his routine up to be ready for April, he's now preparing himself for March in order to be prepared for the World Baseball Classic. He has also decided to stop lifting as much as he normally does in the offseason, saying:
I think in April I'm a little tight, maybe a little sore. This year, I've cut back on that. I'm not really going to get any stronger as I get older. I just want to keep that strength, keep that flexibility, so I've cut back a little bit on the weightlifting already to make sure I'm not tight for the beginning of the season.
Tex has sure been very candid about the fact that he's been declining and how he's ok with that. He's previously stated that he won't be trying to hit to all fields and will instead concentrate on what he does well: Pulling the ball, hitting home run, creating RBIs, and playing great defense. If only he could stop hitting directly into the shift every single time. As a first baseman making $20M+ per season, he just hasn't put up that incredible of an offensive season that you want to see from that position. He's still productive, but he's starting to slip into average territory, so hopefully he can right the ship, or at least halt the decline.
Another Prospect List: Bradley Ankrom of Bloomberg Sports and Baseball Prospectus published his list of the Top 100 prospects in baseball. He doesn't rate the Yankee prospects as high as they have previously been ranked. Gary Sanchez is #49, Mason Williams is #78, Slade Heathcott is #91, and Tyler Austin is #94. Not only that, but Gary Sanchez is listed as the fourth best catching prospect and the outfielders are ranked towards the bottom of the list of outfielders.
Worth the Contract: When people talk about the bad contracts the Yankees have, they normally look to Alex Rodriguez and even Mark Teixeira, yet they hardly think about CC Sabathia. The 2012 season was a disappointment for the Yankee ace and many people will start thinking that this is the beginning of his decline, but it might not be that clear cut. Injury and an inconsistent fastball did most of the damage to CC's season, but a pitcher as talented as he is can work through an underachieving fastball with his strong secondary pitches. This season will be the test of whether CC can recover or this truly is the beginning of what will be a very disappointing contract.
No Extension: Robinson Cano has seemingly answered a very important question without saying anything. In a press conference yesterday, Cano ignored a question about whether or not he'd accept an extension. What he did say was the classic line "it's not about the money," so take what that what you will. This leaves little doubt that the already unlikely contract extension that the Yankees front office have been thinking about is never going to happen. Cano is going to be a free agent, and the Yankees are going to pay top dollar, whatever that dollar ends up amounting to.
Resign Cano: Sweeny Murti discusses that Robinson Cano will be entering a new phase in his career. As he goes into his age 30 season he has become a veteran and star player of the Yankees. He believes that the Yankees need to resign Robinson Cano and that with the new contract, he will have new responsibilities to the team and the fans. He will be responsible for when he doesn't produce or when he seems to be dogging it at times. Murti argues that if he was a free agent from another team that Yankee fans would be salivating for a chance to sign such a talented player so the organization needs to fork out the money for their own players as well.