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Derek Jeter
Hey! My name is Zachary and this is my site, Yankee Mania, where I explore the games, players, and transactions of the greatest team in baseball. Hated by some but loved by others, the New York Yankees have dominated the world of sports for over a century. This year I follow their noble quest to win yet another World Series Championship. Click here to send me an email!

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You are in the category : Yankee News

Monday November, 13 2006.
Busy Yankees Dump Wright
By mvyb, 12:47

Jaret Wright was traded to Baltimore yesterday afternoon in exchange for right-handed reliever Chris Britton. Britton debuted in the majors last season, going 0-1 with a 3.35 ERA in 52 appearances. The 24-year old reliever allowed only 17 walks, while striking out 41 batters.
Britton  will have the opportunity to show off his stuff during spring training this March, but he'll probably spend 2007 in the minors.
"We are excited with the addition of Chris Britton, who we expect to compete for a role in our bullpen," stated Brian Cashman in a written statement issued Sunday.
Britton has a decent fastball ( up to 95 mph) and a good slider and changeup. His weight may be an issue- the Yanks would love to see him drop 50 pounds or so during the winter.
This was another good deal by Cashman, but I am a bit sad to see Wright leave New York. I know he wasn't really any good during his two years as a Yankee ( especially in the postseason), but he was a tough guy who fought hard on the mound. He was constantly (it seemed) being beaned in the head by line drives, but instead of playing Carl Pavano, he came right back out on the mound. ( And, he also pitched some nice games against Boston. )
Jaret Wright, I wish you the best of luck in Baltimore.

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Saturday November, 11 2006.
A Closer Look at the Prospects Sent to New York In Exchange for Gary Sheffield
By mvyb, 17:24

Yesterday, the Yankees sent Gary Sheffield to Detroit, and in return, received three minor league prospects. I know a lot of Yankee fans questioned this deal- could the Yankees have gotten more for Sheff? ( Maybe some bullpen guys or a starting pitcher. ) Did Brian Cashman make a good deal here or was he too eager to dump Sheffield?
To answer these questions, I dug up some info on the prospects headed to New York.
1. Humberto Sanchez
 Year  League  W  L  ERA  G  CG  IP  H  HR  BB  K  WHIP
2002  A 2 2 3.62 9 0 32.1 29 1 21 26 1.55
2003  A 7 7 4.42 23 0 116 107 3 78 96 1.59
2004  A 7 11 5.21 19 3 105.1 103 9 51 115 1.46
   AA 1 0 2.13 2 0 12.2 10 1 6 15 1.26
2005  AA 3 5 5.57 11 0 64.2 72 10 27 65 1.53
2006  AA 5 3 1.76 11 0 71.2 47 2 27 86 1.03
   AAA 5 3 3.86 9 0 51.1 50 2 20 43 1.36
During the first three years of Sanchez' minor league career, we see nothing really impressive. But since coming up to Double A at the end of the '04 season, he has been really, really good. Sanchez's ERA has been low, his strikeouts have always outnumbered his walks, and his home run totals are excellent.
Scouting Report: It's doubtful the big-budget Yankees slot Sanchez as a starter out of spring training, but he can certainly serve the Zumaya role in the early going and elevate into the rotation later on. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound flame-thrower had issues with a tender elbow -- which young pitcher in his first extended pro test hasn't? -- so he will have to prove healthy in spring. Watch him closely for possible huge rewards.
Aside from the possibilty of an elbow injury, this is good stuff. Sanchez has the overpowering stuff allowing him to be the Zumaya-type reliever, and, if necessary, to jump into the starting rotation.
Did I mention Sanchez is a Bronx native? That's always good...
2. Kevin Whelan
 Year  League  W  L  ERA  G  GS  SV  IP  H  HR  BB  K
2006  A 4 1 2.67 51 0 27 54 33 1 29 69
All I could find were Whelan's 2006 numbers, which are very solid. Only 33 hits allowed in 54 innings of work.... and check out Whelan's strikeout to walk ratio...
Scouting Report: Whelan came to the Tigers as a 4th round draft choice in the 2005 amateur draft, out of Texas A&M University...Kevin had some growing pains during his first season as a pitcher, but worked hard and improved his craft dramatically heading into his third season.After signing with the Tigers for $265,000, Kevin went on an absolute tear, dominating both New York-Penn league and Midwest League hitters. Kevin’s totals during his brief professional debut included a net 1.48 ERA, 15+ K/9, 5:1 K:BB, and 15 saves in 25 appearances.
Whelan may be setting up for Mariano by 2008...
3. Anthony Claggett
 Year  League  W  L  ERA  G  GS  SV  IP  H  HR  BB  K
2006  AAA 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 2
   A 7 2 0.91 51 0 14 59.1 35 0 20 58
Not much out there on Claggett, but what I did find, looks impressive. The 22-year old held a sub-1.00 ERA over 51 appearances this year.
Scouting Report: Claggett's free and easy throwing motion makes his pitches that much more of a surprise: his fastball touches the mid-90s, and his slider crosses the plate in the low 80s.
Wish I knew more about this guy, but I don't...
Now that I've shown you the stats and scouting reports, what do you think of the trade? Will Sanchez, Whelan, and Claggett live up to the value we hope they will? Or did Cashman just give away an All-Star slugger? Let's hear your thoughts...

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Friday November, 10 2006.
Jeter, Cano Win Silver Slugger Awards
By mvyb, 17:01

The awards just keep pouring in for Derek Jeter, as he wins his first career Silver Slugger award. The Yankee Captain ranked second in the American League with a .343 batting average and 118 runs scored, fourth with a .417 on-base percentage and sixth with 34 stolen bases. Jeter also drove in 97 RBIs, the most he's brought in since 1999.
While it took Derek Jeter almost 10 years to win this award, Robinson Cano brought home the "silver" in just his second big league season. The sophmore finished third in the race for the batting title, and hit 15 home runs and drove in 78 RBIs. Not bad for a guy who missed 6 weeks of playing time due to an injury.

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Sheffield Traded to Detroit for 3 Minor Leaguers
By mvyb, 16:04

Wow, the news is coming in fast and furious this afternoon...

The Detroit Tigers have acquired Gary Sheffield from the New York Yankees for three righthanded pitching prospects, the Tigers announced Friday.

In return for Sheffield, the Tigers sent Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett to New York. Detroit agreed to a two-year contract extension with Sheffield through the 2009 season.

Finally, he's gone! This seemed to me like an act of desperation by Brian Cashman. I think the Yankee front office just got tired of having to listen to Sheffield, and wanted to trade him away as soon as possible.
Right-handed pitcher, Humberto Sanchez, was a top prosepct in the Detroit organization, but I don't know that much about the other two players ( also pitchers). I love the idea of bringing young pitchers to New York, though, I'm tired of the Kevin Browns and Randy Johnsons that have plagued our world for the past three years.
I'll have a more detailed post up later on this story...

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ESPN: Red Sox May Have Top Matsuzaka Bid
By mvyb, 15:21

This news still hasn't been confirmed, but it's gathering credibilty as I type this out.
The Boston Red Sox may have posted the top bid for the right to negotiate with Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, according to Major League Baseball sources.

There has been no official announcement, and the Seibu Lions, Matsuzaka's team in Japan, have until Tuesday to accept or reject the high bid.

But, according to officials monitoring the bidding, the Red Sox bid may be between $38 million and $45 million.

According to a source within Major League Baseball, as of Friday afternoon, Seibu had not informed MLB officially whether it had accepted the bid.

If these rumors are correct and the Siebu Lions accept the deal offered by the Sox ( I don't see why they wouldn't), this would be a huge move for Boston. The Sox need starting pitchers, and it appears they're opening their bank account in order to bring in one of the best on the market.
The Yankees must now turn their attentions to Barry Zito, Jeff Suppan, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Mark Mulder, and other available starting pitchers....
[UPDATE] Peter Abraham over at The Journal News is telling us to calm down, nothing's happened yet. He makes some excellent points on why he doesn't believe the Sox would be spending this kind of money. So, head over there and check out his notes.

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Wednesday November, 08 2006.
Yankees Bid on Matsuzaka
By mvyb, 21:45

According to the Lohud Yankees Blog, Brian Cashman has confirmed a Yankee bid on Japanese star, Daisuke Matsuzaka. We still don't know how much cash was offered or which other teams also made bids. It is believed that the Mets, Red Sox, and Rangers took part in the auction, but no one has confirmed that yet.
We may know by tonight which won the bid, so stay tuned.

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Tuesday November, 07 2006.
Pettitte, Clemens to Be Back in Pinstripes?
By mvyb, 22:25

The New York Yankees have not won the World Series since Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte left the Bronx. The rumors that these two pitchers might rejoin New York should bring joy to the hearts of Yankee fans everywhere.
I have so many good memories of Andy Pettite and Rogers Clemens- the games they pitched, the passion they played with, and the success they brought to my team.
Here are just a couple of the great postseason performances we saw from Pettitte and Clemens...
October 14, 2000: ALCS Game 4, Clemens pitches a one-hit shutout against the Seattle Mariners, giving the Bombers a 2-1 series lead.
October 22, 2000: Clemens continues his feud with Piazza, but after the dust settles, Yanks are on top 6-5 ( eight shut-out innings by the Rocket).
October 17 + 22, 2001: Andy Pettitte flat out dominates the Seattle Mariners, earning the ALCS MVP.
October 30, 2001: The Rocket pitches seven brilliant innings, striking out 9.
October 19, 2003: Pettitte pitches 8 and 2/3rds, giving up only one unearned run in a 6-1 Yankee victory.
I'm sure you'all can name a lot more...
After three seasons of doing a Texas two-step, would Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte consider going duet on a chorus of that well-known New York song?

You know, the one that goes ... "If I can make it there ... it's not the same making it anywhere else."

Right now, although both pitchers on Monday filed for free agency, neither is sure about pitching in 2007. Clemens, baseball's Goodbye Guy, is expressing the usual uncertainties. Pettitte is dealing with burnout, essentially.

But if they do decide to pitch on, are their returns to the Bronx possible?

The Yankees think so, a team source informing the New York Daily News of their intent to at least inquire about the duo's mindset.

Furthermore, plans have already been discussed to actively pursue Pettitte, the left-hander who at 34 is 10 years The Rocket's junior. According to the Daily News, Pettitte has confided to friends that he would consider a return to New York -- if ...

Andy Pettitte is probably one of my favorite Yankees of all time, so seeing him back in pinstripes will make my 2007 season. The Rocket, of course, is always welcome.
Just in case you're unfamiliar with these two players, let me show you what they've done over the course of their careers:
Andy Pettitte
career 186-104, 3.83 ERA
MLB record 13 postseason victories (tied with John Smoltz)
2-time, 20-game winner ( '96 and '03)
1996 runner-up for the Cy Young award
2-time All Star
never won fewer then 12 games in a season for the Yankees
Roger Clemens
career: 348-178, 3.10 ERA
4, 604 career strikeouts ( 2nd all-time)
7 Cy Young awards ( most all-time)
1986 American League MVP ( 24 wins)
struck out 20 batters in a game twice ( only pitcher ever to do so)
You get my point...
Let's hear your thoughts on these two pitchers and their possible return to the Bronx.

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Sunday November, 05 2006.
Sheff Back with the Yanks (For Now)
By mvyb, 18:44

The Yankees exercised the $13 million option on Gary Sheffield's contract Sunday and will continue their efforts to trade him.

At least seven teams have shown interest in Sheffield, and the Yankees hope their decision to pick up his option will spur one or more to make a better offer.

Ok, so the Yanks have made the first move in the process of bringing some decent pitching back to New York. Sheffield can complain all he wants, but the Yankee front office now weilds the power.

Since Bobby Abreu is going to playing right field for the Yanks in '07, Sheffield really has no place on this team. Therefore, the Yanks will try to trade him away away in the next few months.

The Rangers, Indians, Padres, Tigers, Orioles, Cubs and Astros have all made offers to the Yankees in attempt to get Sheffield, but the Yanks haven't heard anything they like...yet.

Personally I'd like to see the Yanks bring in some relief pitching ( maybe Linebrink or Meredith from San Diego) instead of starting pitching. The Bombers can get enough starters out of the free agent list ( that includes Suppan, Weaver, Zito, Matsuzaka, Mussina, El Duque, and many others).

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Thursday November, 02 2006.
Jeter Wins Gold, Again
By mvyb, 20:36

For the third consecutive year, Derek Jeter wins the Gold Glove award for his position, frustrating Yankee-haters everywhere.
American League managers and coaches are the ones who decide where the awards go, so if you're annoyed with the Gold Glove results, get mad at them.
Jeter makes one of the greatest defensive plays
of all time during the 2001 ALDS.
This year,  the competition was very tough, and there were several players who could have walked away with this award.
My top 5 AL defensive shortstops:
player fielding percentage total chances errors
1. Michael Young .981 747 14
2. Johnny Peralta .977 710 16
3. Derek
.975 610 15
4. Alex Gonzalez .985 475 7
5. Juan
.977 604 14
While Alex Gonzalez the best fielding percentage and made the fewest errors, he also had the fewest opportunities to mess up. Juan Uribe has the fewest innings played in the field and the fewest assists.
The top three are actually pretty close. Each committed 14 or more errors (Young committed the fewest), each had a fielding percentage of .975 or better (Young had the highest), each played 1,275 or more innings in the field (Young played the most), each had 380 assists or more ( Young collected the most), and each turned at least 80 double plays ( Young turned the most). See a pattern here?
Michael Young deserved this award, but Jeter is the more popular player among managers and coaches. Jeter also makes the highlight reel plays and clutch defensive plays. I think that is the reason why he continues to collect the Gold Glove awards while other shortstops play better all-around defense.
Fair? Nope. Does it upset me much? As a Yankee fan, not at all.
But as a baseball fan, it does bother me just a bit.

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Wednesday November, 01 2006.
More Baseball Awards
By mvyb, 10:44

Although there are dozens of rumors floating around, nothing is actually happening in the Yankee camp. We'll probably get a few months of silence before the actual winter deals start happening.
In the meantime, we have some awards to vote on this month.... I don't really love the idea of having the winners of these awards ( like the Aaron and the Delivery Man) chosen by the fans. These awards become popularity contests, destroying any meaning the award was intended to have.
But, if it's gonna be a popularity contest, a Yankee might as well win.
Chien-Ming Wang, nominated for MLB Starter of the Year.
The 2006: This Year in Baseball Awards voting opened a couple days ago. You can vote on the Starter of the Year award ( nominees are Bronson Arroyo, Roy Halladay, Johan Santana, Justin Verlander, Brandon Webb, Chris Carpenter, Roy Oswalt, John Smoltz, Carlos Zambrano, and or very own Chien-Ming Wang)  and the Closer of the Year award ( nominees are Mike Gonzalez, Joe Nathan, J.J.Putz, Francisco Rodriguez, Takashi Saito, Trevor Hoffman, Jonathon Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, B.J. Ryan, and Billy Wagner).
Johan Santana won the Starter of the Year in '04 and Chris Carpenter won it in '05. Rivera, of course, has picked up the Closer of the Year award for two consecutive years.
Oh, and for those who are interested, the 2007 Ford C. Frick award ( broadcaster of the year) are also open. Among the nominees are Yankee broadcasters Michael Kay, Ken Singleton, Jim Kaat, John Sterling, and Phil Rizzuto.

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Tuesday October, 31 2006.
Jeff Suppan to New York?
By mvyb, 12:56

According to the New York Post, the Yankees may sign free agent Jeff Suppan as their number 3 starter. Suppan played a huge role in the Cardinal's '06 postseason triumphs (3-1, 2.49 ERA).
The Yankees continue to hear from teams asking about Gary Sheffield, but it doesn't appear they expect to get a starting pitcher in exchange for the slugger if they pick up his option with the intent of trading him.

That's why they are open to seeing what soon-to-be free agent right-hander Jeff Suppan, who played a big part in the Cardinals' improbable journey to a World Series title, is looking for.

"His name is on their list of pitching possibilities," a member of another organization told The Post yesterday.

The Yankees haven't done a great job signing free agent pitchers of late. Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Sidney Ponson, Kevin Brown, Jose Contreras, and Javier Vazquez  have done no honor to the pinstripes they wore ( or are still wearing).
But, I think this will be a smart move for the Yanks if they can nail him down for a 3-4 year, $20-$25 million dollar deal... Suppan has been a very good starting pitcher for several years now. In 2006, he went 12-7 (4.12 ERA) and averaged almost 6 innings per start.
Thumbs up.

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Friday October, 27 2006.
Johnson's Surgery Successful
By mvyb, 14:22

But were you really worried about it?
This guy's selfishness helped kill our playoff dreams- instead of reporting his back injury as soon as it occurred, he continued to pitch ( seeking win number 300). As a result, his condition worsened and by the time October rolled around, he was about as worthless as Kevin Brown was in '04. 
I think Jeter needs to talk to the Unit about his "winning for the team" concept. Maybe he can get that mentality through Johnson's skull.
For those of you who do care, here's the story:

"The surgery went fine. The doctor said he was thrilled," said Johnson's agent, Barry Meister. "Randy will return home to Phoenix tomorrow."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had not spoken with team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon following the operation, spokesman Ben Tuliebitz said. Cashman has said he expects Johnson to be behind the other pitchers when spring training starts in mid-February.

Johnson should be nothing more then a #5 starter for the Yanks in 2007. He gives up way too many homers, earned runs, and screaming line drives to be anything else.
Some people have suggested sending the Big Unit to the bullpen. But while I wouldn't mind having Johnson taken out of the starting rotation, I can't see how he'd would help the bullpen. The Yanks will have Villone and Myers as lefty specialists, so there's no need for Johnson in that department. He could be used as a long man ( the most expensive in baseball), but again, he's aging fast and we don't know how many pitches he could throw. Plus, you want your long man able to keep the game close. Somehow, I can't see this as Johnson's role.
I don't think Johnson fits on this team at all... He doesn't have the right attitude( that guys like Jeter, Posada, Damon, and Abreu seem to have). He's been nothing but a disappointment since arriving in New York. If I was the Yankee front office, I'd be looking to dump him anywhere for anyone ( if possible, for someone 20 years younger).
What should the Yankees do with Johnson in 2007? Bullpen or back end of the rotation? Can you see a possible trade in which the Yankees can dump the Unit? Or am I just dreaming?

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Mattingly's Been Promoted
By mvyb, 10:50

Don Mattingly moved one step closer to managing the Yankees last night, when reports came in that he had replaced Lee Mazzilli as New York's bench coach.
The move puts Mattingly one step closer to manager Joe Torre's job, making him the favorite to take over when the long-time skipper leaves, according to the report, posted Thursday night on Newsday's Web site.

Torre's contract expires after next season. Mattingly has been the Yankees' hitting coach for three seasons.

Nothing surprising here, although some Yankee fans are none too happy about the move.
 I'm just wondering what's going to happen to Mazzilli. Are the Yanks gonna keep him on as a lesser coach or is he gonna move on?

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Thursday October, 26 2006.
Jeter Wins Hank Aaron Award
By mvyb, 11:24

More regular season awards for Yankee players. Man, I would've given these all up for some rings.

Fans broke tradition with their vote for Jeter. In his best individual season since 1999, the Yankees captain batted .343 in falling just short of the American League batting title won by Minnesota's Joe Mauer. Jeter stole a career-high 34 bases, hit 14 homers, had 214 hits, scored 118 runs, drove in 97 more and provided an important offensive consistency to a team that wound up with its ninth consecutive American League East title.

"I sort of feel out of place," Jeter said to the amusement of all attendees. "With Hank Aaron, the first thing that comes to mind is home runs. Ryan Howard the same thing. So when people said what award I was going to win, I stuck my chest out, and I said, 'You know, the Hank Aaron Award. What do you think?'"

When asked later by reporters if he would be surprised should the AL MVP Award go his way as well instead of to expected competitor David Ortiz of the rival Red Sox, Jeter said, "I'm surprised I'm here right now."

I agree with Jeter, I was really surprised to learn he won the award. Look at past winners, all powerful sluggers- Barry Bonds ( 3 time-winner), David Ortiz, Andruw Jones, Alex Rodriguez ( 3 time-winner), Manny Ramirez ( two time-winner), Albert Pujols, Todd helton, Carlos Delgado, and Sammy Sosa.
So what was so impressive about Jeter's year that made the fans break away from tradition?
Home Runs RBI Runs Scored Stolen Bases Batting Average Hits
  14  97   118   34   .344  214
It's not that Jeter did one thing ( like hitting homers) well, it's that he did everything well. He hit everyone ( .390 against lefties, .328 against righties), everywhere ( .354 home average, .334 road average). Jeter was clutch ( .381 batting average with runners in scoring position ) and dependable ( .345 batting average before the All Star break, .342 batting average after the All Star break).
Plus, you can't forget that he came in second in the AL batting title race, stole a career-high 34 bases, and smacked 200+ hits for the fifth time since entering the big leagues in 1995.
The Hank Aaron award is "awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer." In my humble opinion, the voters made the correct decision... but then again, I'm a very biased Yankee fan.
However there are also other bloggers who can prove why DJ did deserve the Hank Aaron award.
Choose your side and start reading.

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Wednesday October, 25 2006.
DHL Delivery Man of the Year: Mariano Rivera
By mvyb, 10:21

For the second consecutive year ( and the only two years of its existence), Mariano Rivera has taken home the DHL Delivery Man of the Year award. The award,  now officially sanctioned by MLB, is given to the most "outstanding relief pitcher in baseball." 
Rivera had 34 saves and a crisp 1.80 ERA in 63 appearances this season.

This year, the field of nominees was very strong. Just take a look at the runners-up: Jonathan Papelbon ( 35 saves; 0.92 ERA), Trevor Hoffman ( 46 saves; 2.14 ERA), Bobby Jenks ( 41 saves; 4.00 ERA), Joe Nathan ( 36 saves; 1.58 ERA), Francisco Rodriguez ( 47 saves; 1.73 ERA), B. J. Ryan ( 38 saves; 1.37 ERA), Billy Wagner ( 40 saves; 2.24 ERA), J.J.Putz ( 36 saves; 2.30 ERA), and Joel Zumaya ( 97 Ks, 1.94 ERA).
This award is voted for by fans, so I can't help thinking "Rivera won a popularity contest, that's all." I'm not saying he had a bad year, but his numbers are not quite as good as Papelbon's, Ryan's, Nathan's, Hoffman's, or Rodriguez'. Plus, Rivera missed an entire month with an elbow injury.
In my opinion, the "Delivery Man of the Year" was Joe Nathan, a guy who was a rock at the back of the Twins' bullpen. His 36 saves were part of the reason the Twins were able to climb out of that 11 game deficit, and actually win their division. And you have to admire his 1.58 ERA, when you remember he had to face the tough American League lineups every night. Very impressive.
Jonathan Papelbon's numbers are probably the prettiest, but I don't think he deserved the award for two reasons: his team went no where and he missed alot of time near the end of the season.
Who's your pick for this award? Remember, it doesn't necessarily have to be a closer, it could be a setup guy like Joel Zumaya, or maybe even a 7th inning guy like Scott Proctor.

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