The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE
Don't have a Valentine? I do, but thankfully the Yankees are always there for you if you don't.
The Yankees made a trade last night. They traded fringe outfield prospect Abraham Almonte to the Mariners for right handed reliever Shawn Kelley. Last season he put up a 9.1 K/9 and a 3.0 BB/9 while also giving up 8.7 hits per inning in 44.1 innings of work. The 28 year old is under team control until 2016 and while he might be a worthwhile investment it's unsure how he will fit into the bullpen scenario.
Will Cano Regress?: Robinson Cano was ridiculously good in 2012, but can Yankee fans expect another year like that in 2013? Not very likely. Cano reaches the age of 30 this year and will be hitting the end of his peak years. As history has showed time and again, players will begin to decline even in their early thirties. Robinson was so good in 2012 that it's very unlikely he can duplicate that season at this stage of his career. He's certainly not over the hill, but it's hard to believe Cano can get even better than he has been. Could Cano start regressing?
Can Hughes Improve?: The Yankee Analysts examine Phil Hughes in 2012 and though he was very successful in the second half his home run totals prevented him from really breaking out. It seems that pitching in Yankee Stadium is not doing him any favors and his pitch selection is not helping him any. He relied too heavily on the fastball (duh) and gave up too many home runs in pitchers counts (16 home runs in 0-0 or 0-1 counts). Still, Hughes is working on improving his repertoire by introducing a slider to replace his cutter, which could give him success in 2013. Then he can leave in free agency and make a bunch of money somewhere else.
The Solution is to Do Nothing: Mark Teixeira is not going to do anything new this year. Every year he's been tampering with his swing or workout routine or approach and every year leads to more disappointment. This year Tex is simply trying to be himself and do what comes naturally to him. This will mean he'll probably start off on the same slow footing that he does every year, but if he's more comfortable at the plate he might be able to become more consistent and reach his career rates. That might be all we can ask of him at this point.
Prospect Profile: MiLB.com profiles Mason Williams, the 41st overall prospect in baseball. The article talks about his ability to read balls off the bat. He could maybe teach Curtis Granderson a thing or two as he uses the arm angle of the pitcher and the swing of the batter to judge where the ball is going to be hit to. Originally a shortstop, he uses his athleticism to reach balls he shouldn't be able to reach and makes amazing plays on a regular basis. He strives to play center field like Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles and Austin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers. If only we had Austin Jackson in our outfield now...
Doooooomed: It's About the Money responds to John Harper's article in the New York Daily News, declaring that the Yankees are doomed. The article mentions A-Rod, obviously, and an aging core. Pretty much all the cliches from the mainstream media. IATM believes it's way too early to be saying anyone will be missing the playoffs just yet. The media has been claiming for years that this is the year everything falls apart, that the Yankees are too old, not good enough, and are going to miss the playoffs. They've been wrong every year so lets wait and see what happens.