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Another example why this is the best sports franchise.

The Yankees announced today that they are donating $500,000 to air the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this week.  They are the first sports franchise in America to step up and help Haiti in its time of need.  A 7.0 (Richter scale) earthquake hit the Haitian capital Port-Au-Prince on Tuesday and CNN is reporting that the death toll may be over 100,000.  Over 3 Million of Haiti’s 9 Million citizens are said to be affected by the quake’s damage.

The Yankees released this statement:

“The catastrophic event has devastated an entire nation and will have far-reaching effects in the worldwide Haitian community,” the Yankees said in a statement. “The Yankees hope their donation will inspire people throughout the United States to do everything they can to aid the people of Haiti in their time of need.”


I cannot believe the lack of Yankee news this offseason.  I think it’s because last off-season was so exciting with the addition of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira that there’s really no way to top that this year.  For the last week, I have struggled to find things to that I had enough passion to write about – unfortunately there is not much.  There are a few things going on behind the scenes that I will briefly jump into.

First, the Yankees General, Brian Cashman, told Pete Caldera this week that “our team, for the most part, is set.”  When asked about left field, Mr Cashman said, “we have a left fielder.  We do like Brett Gardner.”  Now, remember how many times Cashman has said “our team is set” in the last 8 years and then he went out and signed a blockbuster name.

Eric Hinske signed with the Atlanta Braves this week, for a one-year deal.  Although he was a good guy off the bench in 2009, the Yankees had shown no interest in signing the free agent for 2010.  Also, long-time Yankee minor-leaguer Shelley Duncan has signed with the Cleveland Indians.  He’s probably joining their Triple-A team.  Good luck to Hinske in Atlanta and Duncan with Cleveland.

It’s been reported that David Cone’s days in a YES Broadcast booth may be over.  A spokesman told Bob Klapisch that Cone’s contract expired this off-season and that Cone was exploring other options.  Rumors have indicated that Cone had a big disagreement with YES executives, but that has not been confirmed at this time.

If this is true, I hope YES can come up with someone who equals what Cone brought to every broadcast.  He was a good combination with Michael Kay.

From ESPN Notes:


Johnson gets a $5.5 million salary next season, and the deal includes a $5.5 million mutual option with a $250,000 buyout. He can earn $1 million annually in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 400 and 425 plate appearances, $75,000 each for 450 and 475, and $125,000 each for 500 and each additional 25 through 625. The option price would increase to $6 million with 500 plate appearances, $6.5 million with 550 and $7 million with 600. If he has at least 550 plate appearances, the buyout would be $500,000.


My Two Cents:  I like deals with some incentives in them.  I’m in sales and have worked on commission for a long, long time, so I can appreciate the idea of working harder to make more money.  Sure the money is not “guaranteed” to Johnson, but if he stays healthy he can make up to $1 Million more in 2010, not to mention, more money in a mutual option for 2011.

That being said, I don’t see Johnson in pinstripes beyond 2010.  The Yankees are most likely going to sign Joe Mauer in the 2010 off season, pushing Jorge Posada to DH if he does not retire.

The Yankees are dominating the news from baseball’s Winter Meetings in Indy.  In one busy day, the Yankees completed the rumors Generation Third had already reported on. Andy Pettitte was signed to a one-year deal worth $11.75 Million and the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks completed a 3-team trade that sent all-star center fielder Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.

Pettitte was the rock the Yankees needed in their starting rotation to secure another serious run at back-to-back titles.  The Yankees rotation now officially includes CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Pettitte.  The other two slots will be filled by trades, signings and/or Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.

Granderson was a first-time all-star for the Detroit Tigers in 2009, despite only hitting .249.  He had 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs and is phenomenal on defense.  The Yankees had to give up Triple-A starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, reliever Phil Coke and outfield prospect Austin Jackson to make the trade go through.

I could care less about Kennedy – I don’t think he’ll amount to much (injured too often) but I am a little sad about the loss of Coke, who was a big part of the Yankee bullpen in 2009, and Jackson, who was one of the most respected prospects in the game today.  But, we gotta look at the positive that Granderson brings the Yankees – great defense and speed and power in the  lineup.  He’ll be a great #2 or #6 hitter.  For more information on Granderson, read some posts here from the last few days.

What was not answered today is what the Yankees plan to do with Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon.  GM Brian Cashman said that this trade does not affect the Yankees plans with those two, but how could it not?  The Yankees have already made it clear that they intend to cut payroll this season, and I am hard pressed to see how adding Granderson and the $25 Million he is owed between now and 2012 is cutting payroll – unless either Matsui or Damon will not return in 2010.

Chris’ previous post must have been written in the early morning.  By evening, most of the local news stations here in New York, as well as are reporting that a deal is very close to being done.  This would be the first major trade conducted at baseball’s Winter Meetings.

The deal has apparently morphed into a three-team deal amongst the Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks.  The Yankees would receive Granderson, and would have to give up Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke and their best outfield prospect of their farm system.

Arizona would get Tiger’s pitcher Edwin Jackson and starting pitcher Kennedy from the Yankees.  The Tigers would receive left-handed reliever Coke and Jackson from the Yankees as well as Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth from the Diamondbacks.

He does bring a great defense to center field, but I’m still not sold on Granderson.  He has struggled against left-handed pitchers, strikes out a lot and has an atrocious .249 BA last season.  I don’t know a ton about Jackson, but he has been ranked among the top ten prospects in the outfield as well as one of the top in the Yankees farm system.  If they are willing to give him up, the Yankee brass must know something we don’t.

This can also mean one of two serious things for the Yankee outfield.  Either it means the Yankees have, or will have, no intention of re-signing Johnny Damon to man left-field,  OR, the Yankees still plan on signing Damon, but have no more use for Melky Cabrera and/or Brett Gardner in center.

Either way, for this story to get this much news, it must be getting serious.

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