Let's take a look Around the Yankee Universe this morning. Not a lot of news on the last Saturday before Thanksgiving, but always some interesting stories around our New York Yankees.
- GOOD LUCK, SHELLEY: The Yankees have dropped Shelley Duncan from the 40-man roster, again, and it appears Duncan's Yankee career is over. Personally, I wish Duncan well. He can be a productive big-league hitter if he can find a team willing to give him 300-400 at-bats.
BREAKING DOWN AROLDIS CHAPMAN: The 21-year-old Cuban left-hander is one of the more intriguing players to follow this off-season. He is also one of the riskiest big-money investments, according to Baseball Intellect.
Chapman is going to be a risk for whatever team signs him. His upside is tremendous, but he’s raw in every sense of the word. Does he have the mental capacity to turn himself into a pitcher and not be just a thrower? Does a team’s development staff have a good track record in developing a talent like Chapman? Does Chapman have what it takes to put it all together and develop into a legitimate number one starter? We’ll eventually get our answers, but some team will have to shell out millions of dollars before getting them.
Baseball Intellect's breakdown discusses Chapman's mechanics, his maturity and projects his future. They seem to lean toward the opinion that his production won't end up justifying the huge investment a team will have to make to sign him.
- MATSUI IN DEMAND: Hideki Matsui's services as a hitter might not be in huge demand around baseball right now. Matsui is, however, in huge demand as an advertising spokesman in Japan. The World Series MVP continues to be a huge hero in his native country.
- WANG WOULD LIKE TO STAY: Chien-Ming Wang told reporters in his native Taiwan that he would love to stay with the Yankees. If that doesn't work out? Wang said pitching for Joe Torre and the Dodgers wouldn't be so bad, either.
SPEAKING OF FREE AGENTS: WFAN's Sweeny Murti says sentimentality and what players like Matsui, Wang and Johnny Damon have done for the Yankees in the past will play no part in GM Brian Cashman's decisions about 2010.
Emotion is for the fans, not the people who run the teams. And while Brian Cashman has as special a place as you do for the players who just brought home #27, he’s not going to let his heart keep him from moving the 2010 Yankees forward. So if it’s not in the team’s best interests to keep Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui in a Yankee uniform, it won’t happen simply as a reward for 2009.
Cashman is no sentimental fool. If you need proof, ask Bernie Williams. Cashman could offer the dynasty icon no more than a spring training invitation before the 2007 season. All the chants of "Ber-nie Will-iams" you could ask for from the bleachers weren’t going to be enough to change his mind. Cashman had decided that it was time to get younger and it was time to cut ties with Bernie.