[Image Via: It's a Long Season]
The Yankess acquired Vernon Wells from the Angels today. In return, the Angels got Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed.
How’s about that for a pair of first-class names?
[Illustration by V. Wells]
Vernon Wells’ father, Vernon (the artist known as “V”) Wells, is an illustrator.
Life sure is different under Prince Hal. David Waldstein has more in the Times:
“I’m not trying to beat him,” he said of his father as he sat in the conference room. “I’m not trying to be better than he was, because he was absolutely great at what he did. I can only be what I am, and the things I think are important, I will pursue.”
…“They took their share enough that they thought I didn’t get any worse,” Steinbrenner said of his colleagues. “But I did. The one thing I joke about is that we could have a horrible, horrible day at work here with him, but the one thing they don’t have to deal with is he doesn’t show up at their house to play with their kids that night. We would get home and I’d be like, ‘I love him to death and my kids love him, but not tonight.’ It’s definitely different what I went through than what they did.”
Hal’s got good hair, doesn’t he?
When Nick Swisher took his high on-base-percentage and shit-eating grin to Cleveland he left the Yankees with a personality complex. That is, they are now without a goofball, whose enthusiasm, which in Swisher’s case I believe is sincere, people either find appealing or irritating. I tolerated Swisher’s schtick though didn’t think he was funny or interesting. I liked him as a player, though, and so while I thought he was an ass I didn’t think he was a phony and you’ve got to let people be who they are.
Juan Rivera and Kevin Youkilis, well, that is nobody’s idea of charm or good cheer, though Youkilis does have a droll sense of humor. What the Yanks are left with is their one-time mascot who was banished to the minor leagues last season: Francisco Cervelli. You may have heard, he’s the Yankees starting catcher. Now, it doesn’t matter how this adds up in making the Yanks a better team, because it gives them a cheerful pain in the ass, a guy sure to make us smile on occasion because he enjoys his job and a guy certain to piss off the opposition.
And there’s some value in that.
A few months ago one of us complained about the prospect of starting the season with Chris Stewart and Frankie Cervelli as the Yankees’ catchers and I thought, never happen. But these are the new Yankees and guess what? Looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen since Austin Romine was optioned to Triple A yesterday.
Oy, huh, though The Wife is pleased–Cervelli is one of her favorites.
[Drawings by Moebius]
Again with the snow. Meanwhile, the Yanks are looking for a first baseman.
I’m going to skip the Mariano-worship for now. Not that I don’t love him as much as the next guy, but there will be plenty of time to wax poetic over one of our most favorite men to ever wear pinstripes. Hell, we’ve already done it plenty round here and we’ll have the hankies out and cry on each other’s shoulders all season long like a protracted Lifetime version of Yankeeography (wait, isn’t that redundant? Never mind…).
If everything goes right, the Yankees can win 90 games again and contend for an AL East title. But for the first time since before the strike, the Yankees need everything to go right. And it never does. Things are already going wrong, with a third of the projected lineup on the DL. They don’t have the depth to replace Granderson and Teixeira; other players will get hurt, and they won’t have the depth to replace them. Players will underperform, and they don’t have anyone in the minors who can step up. (The Yankees have a pretty good farm system, but their top five prospects — Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, and Jose Campos — have combined for two games in Double-A.)
So long as the Yankees stick to their guns and aim to get their payroll under the threshold next year, they won’t be able to purchase help from outside the organization. The team’s streak of 87 or more wins is in mortal danger, and so is its streak of 20 winning seasons in a row. If the old guys show their age all at once and another key player goes down — particularly Sabathia — they could collapse like last year’s Red Sox.
And 2014 will be worse. The Yankees only have four players under contract for next year, but they owe those players — Rodriguez, Sabathia, Teixeira, and Ichiro — more than $78 million. Cano will be a free agent, and with the Dodgers trying their best to out-Yankee the Yankees, it’s no guarantee he’ll re-sign in the Bronx.
Cano is just the tip of the iceberg. Other free agents next winter include Granderson, Kuroda, Youkilis, Pettitte, Rivera, Hughes, Hafner, Joba Chamberlain, and Boone Logan. (Jeter has a player option.) As much as 40 percent of this year’s roster will be available to the highest bidder next winter, just as the Yankees will be cutting payroll. Assembling a complete roster with no immediate help from the minor leagues and precious few pre-arbitration major leaguers will be an immense challenge.
Teixeira out 8-10 weeks tweets Jack Curry. Shaping into one of those years and it hasn’t even begun yet.
[Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images]
Here’s a rumor for you. Hey, if you’re going to put out a rumor, make it a doozie, right?