Ugh, not another Red Sox player!
Don’t we already have one of those? I think one is more than enough…
Unless your name is Jason Bay or Jon Lester, I am not interested in seeing you wear pinstripes. It was no fun watching David Wells and David Cone in Boston; conversely I do not need any repeat appearances of Mark Bellhorn or Mike Myers in New York.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Much to my chagrin, the Yankees acquired third baseman Eric Hinske from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hinske was batting .255 in 106 at-bats and had 1 HR and 11 RBI’s (hardly earth-shattering numbers). To Hinske’s defense, he did hit 20 home runs (with 60 RBI’s) for the 2008 American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays but he isn’t exactly the “supersub” I was hoping for. He was also a member of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Well, I guess sometimes having an ex-Red Sox player is not so bad…
Hinske can play both corner spots, providing relief for both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. I recognize the need for backup support at first since Nick Swisher is locked in at right field now that Xavier Nady is out for the season. Hinske can also play right and left field. The Yankees do not have the roster space to call up Shelley Duncan, who would have been limited to 1B/DH duty. With Hinske on board, the Yanks should be able to rest A-Rod more often.
To acquire Hinske, the Yankees gave up two minor leaguers, right-hander Casey Erickson and outfielder Eric Fryer. They had acquired Fryer in last year’s trade of pitcher Chase Wright to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Due to a flight delay from Pittsburgh, a roster decision might not be made until Wednesday, but Ramiro Pena will be optioned to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre to make room for Hinske. At this point, the move makes sense. Pena needs more playing time, and the Yankees needed some pop off the bench with the loss of Nady.
Hinske must be on one of those AL East circuits like Kevin Millar…don’t stop until you’ve played with every team in the division. He only needs to play for Baltimore to complete the circuit, whereas Millar just has to spend some time in pinstripes. Egads! Please, Brian Cashman, do not let that happen! We do not need any ‘Cowboy Up’ in the Bronx!
Somewhere in Boston, Julia is probably in hysterics. We acquire a Red Sox “has been” and Boston will most likely pursue a former beloved Yankee like Nick Johnson. It’s not fair. One of the days, the tide has to turn. The season has been way too easy on the illustrious Ranter from Boston…
In a move that should signal the Yanks to be cautious with Alex Rodriguez, the Red Sox placed third baseman Mike Lowell on the Disabled List. Lowell had fluid drained from his right hip on Monday, and had received an injection designed to relieve inflammation in the area previously operated on. The Red Sox decided not to take any chances and to give Lowell some added rest so that he’ll be ready for the second half of the season. Perhaps Lowell’s struggles are another reason that led to Hinske’s acquisition. I do wish Mike the best, and hope to see him back in the field shortly after the All-Star Break.
The Yankees also signed another third baseman from the independent leagues. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 3B Yurendell DeCaster’s contract was purchased by the Yankees, and he was assigned to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre. DeCaster is 29 and was leading the Northern League with 13 HR’s and 43 RBI’s, while batting .344. Sounds like Cash is still looking to catch lightening in a bottle…
Is there anything more temporary than being a good outfielder in Pittsburgh? The Pirates traded yet another quality outfielder in Nyjer Morgan to the Washington Nationals for OF Lastings Milledge and reliever Joel Hanrahan. The Nats also picked up left hander Sean Burnett. Will Milledge finally realize his potential in Pittsburgh? If so, how long before he is traded? At this rate, he is a future Yankee…
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers are more interested in Jon Garland, Braden Looper and Randy Wolf than they are in Andy Pettitte. With the Astros already saying that Andy most likely doesn’t fit within their budget, it would appear that all roads lead back to Yankee Stadium…
I am still anxious to see if Scott Boras can save face on his recommendation for Jason Varitek to decline arbitration in December. This situation has played out badly, and clearly no one has been hurt more than Jason himself…
As promising as catching prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are, I sure do wish their ETA to the major leagues was 2009 rather than 2010 or beyond (particularly considering the rumors of Jorge Posada’s desire to play for Puerto Rico in the WBC and questionable health which remains in doubt until he is able to prove he’s healthy).
Given the intensity of the start of the season schedule for the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays (the Yankees play 10 of their first 30 games against the Red Sox and Rays, the Red Sox play 14 of their first 32 games against the Yankees and Rays, and the Rays play 15 of their 33 games against the other two), it will be interesting to see how the Yankees fare out of the blocks given the Yanks recent history of slow starts…not to mention that of Mark Teixeira individually.
I am not surprised that Michael Young relented and has accepted the move to third base for the Rangers (withdrawing his trade request). Ultimately, it was conversations with team president Nolan Ryan that persuaded Young to reconsider his stance. But the entire situation could have been avoided had Ryan held those talks with Young before the holidays…not after.
Less than a month before pitchers and catchers report to Tampa…sweet!
I saw the quote where Derek Lowe said that he was going to love playing in Atlanta. Of course, I had to wonder, what else is he going to say? “Ya know, all things considered, I’d really rather be in Boston. Why didn’t you guys try harder to sign Smoltz?” Geez…
I saw the idea in another blog, but I like the suggestion to pry Lastings Milledge from the Nats in a trade involving either Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher (Nady being the preference at this point). Then, put Milledge in competition with Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera in center (assuming one of them aren’t involved in the trade). I like that line of thinking as the Yanks need to upgrade either the bottom end of the starting rotation or center field with any trade. Milledge hit 14 home runs with 61 RBI’s to go with a .268 batting average and 24 steals in 2008. His OBP, SLG and OPS were .329/.407/.735. At only 24 years old, his upside is still tremendous and the leadership on the Yankee roster would help his attitude. Of course, the cost to acquire him may be too great, but that’s the type of talent that would be great for the new Yankee Stadium center field.