As spring training games get rolling in Florida and Arizona around Major League Baseball, there’s no shortage of news coming from Yankees camp stationed in Tampa. Some positive news on Derek Jeter and Phil Hughes and some really unfortunate news on Curtis Granderson.
The latest from Tampa:
- Derek Jeter took the next step in his recovery on Saturday, running and doing agility drills on the field for the first time since breaking his ankle in the 2012 postseason. On Sunday, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman gave a more definite timetable for Jeter, stating that his shortstop would return to game action around March 10. Cashman did note that Jeter would be limited to serving as a designated hitter in his first few games back.
- Phil Hughes is taking the next step in his recovery from a bulging disc in his back today. He will be in a pool today, either doing some jogging or swimming as he works his way back from injury. Cashman indicated on Sunday that Hughes would do three to five days of pool work before he is able to pick up a baseball.
- During his first at-bat of Spring Training, Yankees slugger Curtis Granderson was hit in his right forearm on a pitch from Blue Jays left-hand pitcher J.A. Happ and exited the game. He was taken to a local hospital for what was thought to be precautionary x-rays which ultimately revealed the fracture. The Yankees expect Granderson to be out of action for approximately 10 weeks.
Most of us would love to be Alex Rodriguez. He’s got more more money than any of us could imagine, movie star looks, and is the third baseman on the most illustrious franchise in all of sports. Not to mention, he is widely thought to be one of the greatest baseball players of his era and possibly one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, period. He’s a lifetime .340 hitter with over 650 career home runs and nearly 2,000 RBI.
One would think its good to be Alex Rodriguez. Well, not so much lately – especially after the Yankees’ dramatic come from behind victory in Game 4 of the ALDS – in which Rodriguez was pinch-hit for by 40 year old platoon player Raul Ibanez.
With the Yankees trailing Orioles by a run in the ninth inning and staring a 2-1 series hole dead in the face two outs away from being on the brink of elimination from the ALDS, manager Joe Girardi called Alex Rodriguez back to the bench and inserted pinch hitter Raul Ibanez in his place. The result produced one of the most memorable games in the Yankees’ long, illustrious postseason history: Ibanez homered into the right field seats to tie the game, and then did it again in the 12th inning to win it.
Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York has already dubbed the move as the “pinch hit heard ‘round the world”.
Strangely enough, both veterans were originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners two decades ago. Not that there’s much comparison beyond that: Ibanez was taken with the 1,006th pick in 1992, A-Rod with the first pick in 1993.
And yet Girardi’s move made plenty of sense. With the bases clear and the Yankees two outs away from a loss, the situation called for a long ball. Rodriguez’s power swing has been MIA for weeks. With a right handed pitcher on the mound and Yankee Stadium’s short right field wall beckoning, the lefty swinging Ibanez was simply a better bet to go deep.
But the move underscores a developing problem for the Yankees going forward. Rodriguez – he of 647 lifetime homers and three MVP awards, one of the greatest players of all time – was pinch-hit for with a playoff game on the line. A short time ago, that would have been unthinkable. At 37, A-Rod’s skills appear to be in sharp decline. Yet thanks to a move by partner Hank Steinbrenner five years ago, the Yankees are committed to Rodriquez for $114 million plus potential bonuses for another five years, through 2017 (we haven’t heard much from Hank in the past few years – brother Hal is clearly running things now).
Yankee brass has stated its desire to drop the club’s $200 million payroll to under $190 million by 2014 in order to drastically reduce the luxury tax bill it would owe under the new collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated in 2011. The problem: in 2014, A-Rod, who will turn 39 that season, will still be making $25 million. CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira, who will be 33 and 34, respectively, will take up another $46 million. And the team’s best player, Robinson Cano, still needs to be re-signed once his current deal runs out after next season. There is zero chance the Yankees will let Cano walk, or that he will be making anything less than $20 million in 2014. That adds up to at least $91 million tied up in four players.
And what if Derek Jeter, who put up a strong season this year, wants to keep going? If Jeter’s 2013 season is anything close to his 2012 season, then public relations alone would probably force the Yankees to cough up a decent contract to the captain, even as he turns 40 (Mariano Rivera? He’s vowed to do one more year, but two seems unlikely).
The Steinbrenner family naturally wants to keep selling the big money Legends Suites at their four-year-old baseball palace, and keep the value of their YES Network propped up as much as possible. But that is tough to do when a large portion of payroll is devoted to a few core players on the downside of the slope while trying to fillout the balance of the roster with younger, cheaper talent.
Remember, just a short while ago General Manager Brian Cashman was ready to let A-Rod leave when he opted out of his prior contract back in 2007, only to be overruled by the caving Hank Steinbrenner. Now Cashman has Steinbrenner to thank for making his job tougher.
Regardless, pinch-hitting for Rodriguez worked out well last night because Raul Ibanez came up big and the Yankees won the game. However, this story is going to continue to evolve and it’s going to be fascinating to see how A-Rod reacts both on and off the field moving forward in the 2012 playoffs and beyond.
Rumors of a potential sale of the New York Yankees surfaced in the New York Daily News on Thursday morning but were quickly shot down by the Steinbrenner family and members of the organization.
Rumors have been running rampant over the last 24-48 hours about the possibility of the Steinbrenner family putting the New York Yankees up for sale.
Multiple baseball and finance sources told the New York Daily News they are hearing that the team could be put on the block in the wake of the record sale price of $2.175 billion the Los Angeles Dodgers went for in April. The Daily News even put together a list of potential buyers in the event the Yankees were actually for sale.
Shortly after the report made rounds, the Yankees brass – including managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine adamantly denied and rebuffed any such notion. (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN) to Yankees team president Randy Levine on the Michael Kay Show [ESPN New York 98.7FM] about the report in the New York Daily News.
Hal Steinbrenner intends to lower payroll over the next two years. (photo courtesy of Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times )
“I just learned of the Daily News story. It is pure fiction. The Yankees are not for sale. I expect that the Yankees will be in my family for many years to come.” - Hal Steinbrenner
“I can say to you there is absolutely, positively nothing to this. The Steinbrenners are not selling the team.” - Randy Livine
Hal Steinbrenner made waves in Spring Training this year when he made his intentions public and abundantly clear by saying he wants to lower the payroll below the 189 million dollar luxury tax threshold set by Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.
“I’m a finance geek. I guess I always have been, that’s my background; budgets matter and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player development side and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent.” – Hal Steinbrenner
If the Yankees can get under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold, they will benefit threefold: Not only will the club save money on payroll, it won’t have to pay a luxury tax and will reap a revenue-sharing rebate.
Just as I said back in March when I wrote about Steinbrenner’s desire to lower the payroll, I believe he’s absolutely right.
Those of you who know me, know that I am more than okay with this recent “change in philosophy” the Yankees have been committed to in recent years. I have longed for the Yankees to get back to putting an emphasis on drafting and player development and less commitments towards thirty something free agents by whom you are paying for accomplishments in earlier years.
I honestly believe the Steinbrenner family has no plans to sell the team. However, I agree with Mike Lupica and his column. The Steinbrenner’s would be foolish not to listen to offers for the franchise. After all, there’s roughly 3 billion reasons to listen. I mean, if the Los Angeles Dodgers were sold for 2.175 billion, how much do you think the New York Yankees are worth?
It’s hard not to see anything but dollar signs if you were in the same situation as the Steinbrenner family.
I know I would.
Besides, if this rumor had any truth to it at all Major League Baseball would know about it and all indications are they aren’t aware of any potential sale.
Photo courtesy of PAUL J. BERESWILL, NY Post
To say the depth of the New York Yankees bullpen is being tested would be a massive understatement. Just weeks after losing Mariano Rivera to a season ending knee injury, the Yankees must endure an injury to set-up man turned closer David Robertson for a minimum of 15 days – the least amount of time an injured player must stay on the DL. The Yankees placed Robertson on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique prior to yesterday’s game at Baltimore.
Robertson and the Yankees don’t seem to think it’s too severe and are encouraged that the injury was caught early without it getting worse but as manager Joe Girardi pointed out, oblique injures can be tricky.
“We don’t think it’s too severe but it’s hard to tell, obliques can be tricky. We expect him not to pick up a baseball for probably seven to 10 days and then we’ll see where we are after that.” – Joe Girardi
One would think that the closers job would fall on the shoulder of Rafael Soriano who led the American League with 45 saves in 2010 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays before joining the Yankees the following season. Soriano was designed to be the Yankees primary 7th inning reliever coming into the season but with the injures to Rivera–and now Robertson, Soriano is the man in the ninth. A telling sign of just how much the Yankees bullpen depth is being tested.
“We are testing our depth and time’s going to tell if we can sustain what we’re doing, They’ve done a good job so far. You look at the job those guys have done there, they’ve been really, really good. I think the distance from your starters becomes maybe a little more important now.” - Joe Girardi
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Now that Soriano is the closer – at least until – Robertson is healthy, does he feel he needs to alter his thinking or his approach?
“You know, to me, I don’t think nothing changed, sometimes, something happens like that and you got to keep going, because we lost Mariano first and the bullpen tried to do whatever it had to do. Now, with two guys down, it’s not going to be easy for us. We’re trying to be together, the bullpen and the team, and win.” - Rafael Soriano
The Yankees have no choice but to keep going and they surely will. Things may get better before too much longer because injured relievers Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma are both recovering from Tommy John surgery and could factor in the bullpen mix sometime over the course of the second half of the season. Aardsma told me via Twitter that he’s “hoping for a July return”. Chamberlain’s return date is a bit more uncertain due to the ankle injury he sustained in late March playing with his son on a trampoline. Chamberlain has said that he fully expects to pitch for the Yankees in 2012 and the Yankees are optimistic as well. Seven weeks have passed since the incident occurred, and he is already walking without a boot. To protect his ankle while moving around, he now uses a basketball ankle brace. He and the Yankees believe he is ahead of schedule but insists they aren’t going to rush anything.
For now, the Yankees will have to pick up the pieces and move forward and hope that no other troops in the bullpen take a hit due to injury.
A few seconds after I published my thoughts on the season ending knee injury to Mariano Rivera, I heard Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announce the news on his radio show.
Immediately, I went to Twitter and saw the message with my own eyes.
Well there you have it. Mariano Rivera just said he will absolutely pitch again. He’s determined to not let his career end like this.
Courtesy of Conor Orr from the he Star-Ledger:
“I’m coming back,” he said. “Write it down in big letters.”
Rivera was on crutches today and said that he’s heard he could be back to work in 3-5 months. He would not rule out pitching this season but said if everything goes right he’ll be completely ready by spring training next year.
He plans on telling his teammates as a group, something he hadn’t done by the time the clubhouse opened to the media.
Rivera said he decided late Thursday night in his hotel room and that he will fly back to New York Saturday.
“You don’t go out like this,” Rivera said.
He was optimistic that he could breeze through the recovery process.
“I’m a quick healer so that’s good. It’s all good.”
Rivera, though, was unclear on whether it was his initial plan to play next year anyway, or if the injury motivated him to play another season.
“Miracles happen miracles happen, guys,” he said. “I’m OK, I’m a positive man and I’m OK. The only thing is I feel sorry I let down my teammates.”
I’ll have more later on.
Since the end of the 1995 season I have had the privilege of seeing Mariano Rivera pitch. For most of my adult life Mariano Rivera has been a constant presence at the end of Yankees games.
Last night Mariano Rivera was injured doing something he’s done since he was 20 years old. Rivera was going through his usual pre-game routine – shagging fly balls in the outfield during batting practice – when suddenly his foot got caught between the edge of the grass and the warning track. Just like that, in an instant, Mariano went down in a heap and was carted off the field.
The Yankees closer was carted off the field and sent for further tests. (AP Photo/YES Network) MANDATORY CREDIT
The initial diagnosis was a twisted knee but I knew it was much worse. I held out hope that it wasn’t the worst case scenario but in the pit of my stomach I knew it was as bad as it looked.
The harsh reality of the situation set in during the post-game coverage on the YES Network. For the first time that I can remember, Mariano Rivera looked human. He stood at his locker and spoke to reporters while his eyes filled with tears. He did his best not to cry as he responded to reporters.
Does this freak injury mean the end of the line for baseball’s greatest closer?
“At this point, I don’t know,” Rivera said. “We have to face this first. … All that depends on how the rehab is going to happen. From there, we’ll see. I want to think and pray a little bit before I make decisions of whatever happens.”
For all of the people who want me to point fingers and place blame on Joe Girardi or other people within the Yankees organization, just stop it! Those thoughts, ideas, and assumptions have no merit on the situation. Forget about the fact that Rivera has shagged fly balls during pre-game warm-ups every day for the last 20 years. This is about a man loving every aspect of what he does. Shagging fly balls was as important to Rivera’s conditioning and preparation before each game as bullpen sessions are to other pitchers. Think about it, for all of the idiotic things that professional athletes do away from the field such as riding a motorcycle without a helmet or shooting yourself in the leg or even engaging in a pickup basketball game knowing full well your contract prohibits it. Mariano Rivera would never even think about doing any of those stupid things that would have jeopardized his career or the well-being of his teammates. Simply put, Rivera was injured or something he loved and something that was a crucial to his daily preparation.
It wasn’t just Mariano’s physical ability to throw a baseball that set him apart from others. Mariano had a grace and an elegance about him that was so special and nothing short of genuine.There are countless examples of this from Rivera over the years but perhaps none greater than his message to the critics who say he shouldn’t have been allowed to shag fly balls in the outfield given his advanced age.
“I don’t want to have it any other way. If it’s going to happen like that, it happened doing what I love to do. Shagging, I love to do it. If I had to do it over again, I would do it again with no hesitation. There are reasons why it happened, so you have to take the way it is and fight through it. Now we just have to fight.”
And there you have it… a message straight from the man himself. ” if I had to do it again I would do it with no hesitation.”
Even still, is this how the career of a first ballot Hall of Famer and the greatest closer ever play the game is going to end?
It can’t, at least not like this.
He deserves something more, if not a victory lap around the majors, at least a better exit than riding out on the back of a cart in Kansas City. He faces an uncertain future – who knows if his 42-year-old body can recover from major knee surgery – but he owes it to himself to try. This is too cruel an exit. It doesn’t matter if you love the Yankees or hate them, it doesn’t matter if you have a passing interest in baseball or live and die with the sport, there’s no way else to put this.
What happened yesterday stinks. Maybe you have a more eloquent way to put that, but I don’t. It was cruel. It was unfair. Mariano Rivera was shagging fly balls during batting practice like he’s done hundreds – thousands? – of times before. He takes one awkward step on the warning track and crumbles to the ground, grabbing his knee immediately and writhing in pain.
I try and take a step back and look at what this means for the Yankees today in the short term but I can’t. This is about today.
Athletes rarely get to go out on their own terms, but it sure looked like the Yankees closer was on his way. He had set the all-time saves record and was padding his lead, looking as good in his early 40s as he did in his 20s. He didn’t directly say that this would be his last season when he answered the inevitable questions in spring training, but he everything else he said seemed to make that clear. Rivera had talked about the pull of spending time with his family, about accomplishing everything he wanted to in the sport.
Just as I did earlier on my Facebook and twitter page, I don’t believe this will be the end for Mariano Rivera. I believe in my heart that he will not go out like this. Sure,the rehab won’t be easy. He’ll be 43 by the time spring training rolls around again. There are no guarantees that he’d recover to be the dominant closer he’s been in the Bronx for 15 years.
Still -Mariano Rivera owes it to himself to try. After 1,051 appearances, 608 saves, five championships and one unmatched legacy, it would be wrong for it to end this way. Love the Yankees or hate them, that’s one thing everyone should agree on.
Tell me what you think. In the wake of the knee injury suffered by New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, do you think he’ll return next season?
Please vote on the poll
Before Ellsbury, Before Kemp, Before Ichiro, Mo and Thomas. Before Gywnn, before Ozzie, Before Murray and Carew. Before Frank, Before Ernie, Before Aaron and Mays. There was Jackie.
Those words are narrated by the great Vin Scully in a new PSA from MLB for Jackie Robinson day which takes place across Major League Baseball today. You can read the press release by MLB about Jacking Robinson day here.
Number 42 will again be the magic number throughout baseball today, especially at Yankee Stadium, in a 65th anniversary tribute to Jackie Robinson’s first major league game.
Every player and everyone else in uniform throughout the big leagues will wear No. 42 in honor of Robinson, who broke baseball’s racial barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. His number was retired for all teams during a ceremony at Shea Stadium on the 50th anniversary in 1997, a service attended by then-President Bill Clinton, commissioner Bud Selig and Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow.
The latter will be at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night for another Jackie Robinson Day ceremony before the start of the 8:05 p.m. game against the Angels (ESPN). The Robinsons’ daughter Sharon also will be on the field, after having helped host an afternoon youth baseball clinic at Macombs Dam Park, across the street from the Stadium.
New York Yankees star center fielder Curtis Granderson will wear a pair of specially designed shoes, with a No. 42 logo. The shoes will be donated and auctioned to raise funds for the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Jackie Robinson’s contributions to baseball and beyond are far greater than any home run record or All-Star appearances. In my mind, his contributions to society speak volumes about who he was as a man, not just a baseball player. In my opinion, Jackie Robinson should be mentioned in the same breath as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
Baseball has recognized his contributions far and wide and not just on the diamond and between the chalk lines. Long after his playing career ended, Jackie Robinson continued to fight inequality, we should continue to follow in his footsteps.
Mariano Rivera says Monday that he wants to ‘leave the game on top.’ (COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Mariano Rivera, whose 603 saves over 17 years with the New York Yankees are the most in Major League Baseball history, said the 2012 season may be his last, although he’s not ready to announce his decision.
Rivera, 42, told reporters yesterday at the team’s spring training facility in Tampa, Florida. that he wasn’t sure when he’ll be ready to announce any such thing,
“It can be tomorrow, it can be in August, it can be in July, but I will definitely let you know, I won’t let you know now, but I know. I want to do my job, always, but I made my decision already.”
Rivera, who has helped the Yankees win five World Series titles, surpassed Trevor Hoffman’s career saves record in September, establishing a mark that some baseball historians said may stand forever. No other reliever has more than 500 saves and the closest active pitcher, 36-year-old Francisco Cordero, is 276 saves behind Rivera.
Rivera is coming off a season in which he had 44 saves and a 1.91 earned run average, his 11th year with an ERA under 2.00. Rivera has averaged 40 saves since 1997, when he took over as the Yankees’ closer.
Rivera has an 8-1 record with a 0.71 ERA in a record 94 postseason appearances and his 42 career playoff saves are 24 more than any other pitcher.
Rivera said when asked about the possibility of retirement:
“Decisions like that are hard, It involves what you do, it involves what you have done for 22 years. At the same time, they have to be made.”
Rivera is entering the final season of a two-year, $30 million contract with the Yankees, the only team he’s played for during his major-league career.
Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, one of Rivera’s closest friends, retired last month after 17 major-league seasons at the age of 40. Rivera said he’s not quite ready to follow yet.
“When I let you guys know, you guys will know,” Rivera told reporters yesterday. “I’m going to leave it at that.”
David Robertson is currently the favorite to supplant Mariano Rivera as Yankee closer.
There are skeptics, however. Including some of Rivera’s teammates, specifically Rivera’s eighth inning set up man David Robertson who would be the legendary closer’s presumptive successor, rolled his eyes when asked about the potential retirement of Rivera.
Simply put, Robertson said: ”I’ll believe it when it happens. You never know, he might Brett Favre us.”
By all indications, Robertson figures to be next in line after emerging as one of the game’s top relievers.
Robertson earned all-star honors for the first time last season, when he went 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 70 appearances, most of them as Rivera’s set-up man. The 26-year-old Robertson admitted that he’d relish a chance to close someday. But he’s not entirely sure that “someday” is coming any time soon.
Longtime Yankees catcher Jorge Posada is reportedly set to retire. (William Perlman/The Star-Ledger)
Jorge Posada will formally announce his retirement from the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball this morning during a press conference held at Yankee Stadium. Reports of Posada’s intentions to retire were first published back on January 7 by WFAN radio’s Sweeny Murti, but no official announcement was made by the Yankees until yesterday.
Here’s the official release from the Yankees:
The New York Yankees today announced that catcher Jorge Posada will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. to announce his retirement.
Posada, 40, finishes his 17-year Major League career with a .273 batting average (1,664-for-6,092) with 900 runs, 379 doubles, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI in 1,829 games—all with the Yankees. Of the 13 former Major League catchers in the Hall of Fame (Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roger Bresnahan, Roy Campanella, Gary Carter, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Buck Ewing, Rick Ferrell, Carlton Fisk, Gabby Hartnett, Ernie Lombardi and Ray Schalk), only Berra has better numbers in batting average, home runs and RBI (.285, 358 and 1,430, respectively).
As a player on five World Series championship teams (1996, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, ‘09), Posada finished his career among Baseball’s all-time postseason leaders in games played (second, 125), doubles (third, 23), hits (fourth, 103) and RBI (tied for ninth, 42). His 119 postseason contests at catcher are the most all time, ahead of Berra (second, 63). In his career, he caught at least one game in six different World Series, tied with Elston Howard and Wally Schang for third-most all time, trailing Berra (12) and Bill Dickey (eight). In 2011, he batted a team-best .429 (6-for-14) in the Yankees’ five-game ALDS vs. Detroit.
Originally selected by the Yankees in the 24th round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Posada holds the distinction of being one of just five players all time to record at least 1,500 hits, 350 doubles, 275 home runs and 1,000 RBI while playing at least 50.0% of his games at catcher, joining Ivan Rodriguez and Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk. He ranks eighth all time in home runs among players whose primary position was catcher.
Posada was the first Major Leaguer to catch at least one game with the same team in 17 straight seasons (1995-2011) since Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench did so in 17 consecutive seasons from 1967-83 (credit: Elias Sports Bureau). In his career, Posada caught 1,574 games with the Yankees, trailing only Bill Dickey (1,708) and Yogi Berra (1,695) for most games ever caught in pinstripes. A five-time American League All-Star (2000-03, ’07), he twice finished in the top 10 in American League Most Valuable Player balloting, ranking third in 2003 and sixth in 2007. On May 17, 1998 vs. Minnesota, he caught David Wells’ perfect game, the second of three in Yankees history.
The Puerto Rico native finishes his career ranked seventh on the Yankees’ all-time list with 379 doubles and 936 walks, eighth with 275 home runs and 11th with 1,065 RBI. He is one of just eight players to appear in at least one game with the Yankees in each of 17 different seasons, joining Yogi Berra (18), Mickey Mantle (18), Frank Crosetti (17), Bill Dickey (17), Lou Gehrig (17), Derek Jeter (17) and Mariano Rivera (17). Along with Jeter and Rivera, Posada is part of the first trio of teammates in MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL history to appear in a game together in each of 17 straight seasons (credit: Elias). Elias also notes his 1,693 regular season games played with Jeter surpassed Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri (1,659 games) for the most games played together by any pair of teammates in franchise history. A model of durability, Posada began his career by playing 1,450 games (1,369 at catcher) before being placed on the disabled list for the first time on April 28, 2008 with right rotator cuff tendinitis.
A five-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2000-03, ’07), Posada homered in 29 different ballparks during his career, the most by any player in Yankees history. His 246 home runs as a catcher rank second on the Yankees’ all-time list behind only Yogi Berra. In his career, Posada recorded 14 pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning or later, tied with Johnny Blanchard for the most such RBI by a Yankee since 1950 (credit: ESPN Research).
Previously, it was reported that Posada wanted to continue playing in 2012 if he could find the right situation.
Posada spent his entire 17 big league career with the Yankees after being drafted by the club in the 24th round of the 1990 draft. The catcher hit .273/.374/.474 for his career with 275 home runs. In total, Posada earned five All-Star nominations, including his resurgent 2007 campaign. That year, Posada hit .338/.426/.543 with 20 home runs and finished sixth in the voting for AL MVP.
Personally, I’m glad Posada decided to retire. I couldn’t of imagined him wearing another uniform that wasn’t the Yankees. He’s a lifetime Yankee and he went out as such. I have the lifetime memory of being in Yankee Stadium for the final regular season game of the 2011 season against the Boston Red Sox. In that game, Posada had three hits including a home run and his final curtain call.
I’m also lucky enough to have met Jorge during the 2005 season and as expected, he was nothing short of a gentlemen and a class act.
Best of luck to you in retirement Jorge. Thanks for the memories.
Here are a few photos that I dug out of the vault from that special day on April 17, 2005. The photos feature Jorge Posada and a very young Sean Napfel.
The New York Yankees may have finally gotten the supporting cast they’ve been seeking to line up behind ace left-hander CC Sabathia. The Yankees, who have been quiet so far this off-season, got busy and made some noise on Friday night by agreeing to send top prospect Jesus Montero to the Mariners in a four-player trade that brings 22-year-old stud pitcher Michael Pineda to the Bronx, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Pineda, a hard-throwing right-hander went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA for the Mariners last season. He is seen as a young top-of-the-rotation starter the Yankees have lacked behind CC Sabathia.
Montero, 21, was among the top hitting prospects in baseball but was a raw talent as a catcher. The Yankees had planned to use him as a designated hitter this season; they now might look to sign a veteran hitter to round out their roster.
The Yankees also picked up 19-year-old pitcher Jose Campos from Seattle and sent right-hander Hector Noesi to the Mariners. Campos was considered Seattle’s fifth best prospect in their system.
But that wasn’t the end of the news for the Bombers.
They also agreed to sign right hander Hiroki Kuroda, formally of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kuroda, turns 37 next month and has been a steady performer for some mostly mediocre Los Angeles Dodgers teams. He’s 41-46 lifetime with a 3.45 ERA, all spent within the pitcher-friendly confines of the NL West. He has, however, averaged a respectable 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings, though that number figures to worsen in the hard-knock AL East.
Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY points out, should Kuroda not pan out, the Yankees do have options. Many more than they did before Friday.