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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

Friday December, 08 2006.
Yankees Sign Andy Pettitte
By mvyb, 23:15

A familiar face is on his way back to the Bronx.

Andy Pettitte and the Yankees reached a one-year, $16 million agreement on Friday, adding the left-hander to New York's rotation for 2007.

The contract also includes a player option for 2008, also worth $16 million.

"We have preliminarily agreed to terms with Andy Pettitte on a contract to pitch for the New York Yankees, pending the passing of a physical examination," general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. "At this time, I will have no further comment."

I feel nothing but excitement at the news that Andy Pettitte, one of my favorite Yankees of all-time, is rejoining the team. Sixteen million may be a bit much, but the Yankees can afford it.
The Yankee rotation for '07 looks solid:
Chien Ming Wang
Andy Pettitte
Mike Mussina
Randy Johnson
Carl Pavano/ Igawa/ Karstens
Back tomorrow with more!

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Astros Back in the Race for Pettitte
By mvyb, 10:43

At 10 o'clock yesterday, the Astros believed they made a move that would have forced Andy Pettitte out of Houston. Less than an hour later, a deal that would have sent right-hander Jon Garland from the White Sox to the Astros for Taylor Bucholz, Jason Hirsh and Willy Taveras was boxed. White Sox officials were furious at the Astros for telling people a press conference was being put together to announce the trade.

According to several people with knowledge of the crash, Bucholz failed a White Sox physical. However, the trade isn't completely dead because the White Sox are intrigued about Hirsh, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound stud right-hander who a Yankees official said is the Astros' Phil Hughes.

"There is still something to it," said an Astros source.

The fact the Astros were, and still are, willing to take on the 27-year-old Garland, who has two years and $22 million left, strongly indicates a couple of points about Pettitte: 1) They don't want to match the $15 million-a-year price the Yankees have set aside for Pettitte; 2) Pettitte has already told them he is heading to The Bronx. That could be a ploy to get the Astros to up their limit of $12 million for one year to keep Pettitte home.

Ok, some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Houston is back in the hunt for Andy Pettitte. There are only so many available starters out there, and Pettitte is one of the best. The Astros would be foolish not to want him.
But the good news is that the Astros are leaning more towards Garland then towards Pettite. This could be a result of a decision by Pettitte to go back to the Bronx.
I'll update you when I learn more.

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Thursday December, 07 2006.
Yankees Close to Signing Pettitte
By mvyb, 12:47

With the Astros trading for Jon Garland, the chances of Pettitte becoming a Yankee grow much stronger.
Randy Hendriks (Pettitte's agent) told reporters yesterday that, "if they (the Astros) make a trade Andy is out." So when this deal for Jon Garland is made official, the Astros won't have anymore room for Pettitte in their rotation or their payroll.
So he's not gonna retire and probably won't go back to Houston. Boston's busy with Matsuzaka, Texas has stepped out, and the Mets are disinterested.
Who's left?

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Cashman Shows Interest in Barry Zito
By mvyb, 10:58

The Yankees have finally shown some interest in the biggest free agent starting pitcher available, Barry Zito.
...Barry Zito was on the table last night when Brian Cashman and Scott Boras spent four hours together outside of the Dolphin Hotel.

"Cash is trying to improve his team every year and you come to the (Winter Meetings) and you chat about things," Boras said upon re-entering the hotel. "We talked about Barry, (Ron) Villone and Bernie (Williams)."

Cashman initially refused to discuss specifics but later confirmed Zito's name surfaced....

Since the Rangers have told Boras they are willing to pay the stud left-handed, free-agent Zito $96 million over six years and the Mets didn't flinch when those numbers were relayed to them, it's generally assumed the Yankees aren't going to swim in those deep waters. However, they waited on Johnny Damon, another Boras client last year, and landed him.

If you ask me, this deal won't happen. I hate to say it, but from the Yankee front office' perspective, there's really no room for Zito on the team. Look at the Yankees potential rotation in '07:
1. Chien Ming Wang
2. Andy Pettitte?
3. Mike Mussina
4. Carl Pavano
5. Randy Johnson
1. Jeff Karstens
2. Darrell Rasner
3. Roger Clemens?
Now, I'd love to see Zito on the team next year, but I don't think the Yankees are too worried about signing him. I don't think they'll go as high as the Rangers have just to bring in a guy they might not need.
But then again, will Zito want to pitch in Texas? It's a terrible ballpark for a pitcher, and he won't get as much offensive support there as he would in New York. Maybe he'll settle for less....

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Wednesday December, 06 2006.
Andy Pettitte Could Be Back in Pinstripes by the End of the Week
By mvyb, 10:32

Just following up on my previous post here.
I was scanning through this mornings headlines and came across this article in the New York Post.
With the winter meetings buzzing about a report that Andy Pettitte could be a Yankee by the end of the week, Phil Garner said the likelihood of Pettitte pitching another year exists.

"He indicated to me that maybe he would pitch again," the Astros manager told The Post in the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel.

Asked if Pettitte told him if it would be for the Yankees or Astros, Garner shrugged. Informed the Yankees, who have let Pettitte know they are willing to pay him $15 million for one year, are waiting on Pettitte's decision and would welcome him back to The Bronx, Garner said, "They would be crazy not to want him."

The Post also got some good stuff out of Hendriks, Pettitte's agent.
Agent Randy Hendricks said yesterday that Pettitte's deadline for deciding is Dec. 22.

"Andy has yet to tell me he has decided to play, but the trend line is toward playing," said Hendricks, who added the Astros and Yankees have shown a lot of interest in the left-hander.

The Astros, who spent heavily on outfielder Carlos Lee, believe Pettitte is looking for close to $15 million to pitch the 2007 season. According to an Astros source, that's too much for them. Another predicted Pettitte would be a Yankee for $15.5 million and a one-year deal. The Astros have informed Hendricks that if they can acquire a starter through a deal, then Pettitte wouldn't fit.

"The Astros told me that if they make a trade Andy is out," Hendricks said.

I really believe that the only team that could stop Andy from re-joining the Yankees are the Astros, but now it sounds like they are losing interest. They aren't willing to pay the money (which they Yankees are willing to), and may not even have a place for Pettitte on their team. Yeehaw!

According to Hendricks, Pettitte thought about sitting out the 2007 season but not officially retiring. However, he didn't think about sitting out the first half of the season ala Roger Clemens a year ago.

"We talked about that," Hendricks said of Pettitte not pitching this season and returning in 2008. "As for the half-year thing, he laughed at me when I said that."

If you want to hear more on this topic, you should check out some of these other Yankee blogs:
I'll be back later with updates!

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Tuesday December, 05 2006.
Pettitte's Return to New York, A Real Possibility
By mvyb, 20:27

As I've said before, I'm a huge fan of Andy Pettitte and would love to see him back in pinstripes for a couple years. I know he's not as young as he used to be and his stuff wasn't all that overpowering last year, but I still think he has a place in the Yankee rotation. I think he'd make a big difference in the postseason, not only with his skill but also with his determination and desire to win.
The Journal News just published another article on the chances of Andy Pettitte returning to the Bronx. To my great excitement, the article says that Pettitte's rejoining the Yankees is a real possibilty.
Andy Pettitte could be on his way back to the Yankees, agent Randy Hendricks said this afternoon.

"Andy hasn't decided for sure he wants to play next season, but we are negotiating with the Yankees," Hendricks said. "So obviously that is a possibility."

It's great to hear that the sleeping giant (our beloved Yankees) is actually doing some negotiating this offseason. They've been oddly quiet of late, letting Boston sieze and hold on to the spotlight. But hopefully, these discussions with Pettitte are serious and will continue until he agrees to come back to New York.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would not comment directly on Pettitte. But he said he was seeking to upgrade the rotation and that signing Kei Igawa would not deter him from doing that.

Asked whether a player who wanted a short-term deal would be more attractive considering the state of the free-agent market, Cashman smiled.

"That would depend on the player," he said.

Ok, so there's defenitely stuff goin' on here, but as always, Cashman is staying tight-lipped.

Astros manager Phil Garner said he spoke with Pettitte last week and was given the impression that he wanted to play again.

"(The) most recent conversation I had with him, he was more than leaning; he's really considering coming back to play," Garner said.

Still more good news... If Pettitte wants to play in '07, there's a great chance the Yanks can woo him back to NY.
For those interested in this story, I urge you to head over to the The Journal News and check out the article. It's the very latest stuff on Pettitte, and the first article I've seen on the subject in almost 3 weeks.
And give me some feedback here, do you want Pettitte to return to the Yanks? How long should the contract be? Will a deal be reached? I want to hear from you guys...

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Monday December, 04 2006.
Yankees 2007 Schedule
By mvyb, 21:45

The Yankees released their 2007 schedule on Friday, and it looks pretty good. My only problem is the Home Opener against Tampa Bay. No disrespect to the Rays, but it would've been much funner to open against Boston, Detroit, Chicago, or even Oakland.
Anyway, here it is:
April 2, 4-5: vs. Tampa Bay
April 6-8: vs. Baltimore
April 9-11: @ Minnesota
April 13-15: @ Oakland
April 17-19: vs. Cleveland
April 20-22: @ Boston
April 23-24: @ Tampa Bay
April 25-26: vs. Toronto
April 27- 29: vs. Boston
May 1-3: @ Texas
May 4-7: vs. Seattle
May 8-10: vs. Texas
May 11-13: @ Seattle
May 15- 17: @ Chicago (Sox)
May 18-20: @ New York
May 21-23: vs. Boston
May 25-27: vs. Los Angeles (Halos)
May 28-30: @ Toronto
June 1-3: @ Boston
June 4-7: @ Chicago
June 8-10: vs. Pittsburg
June 12-14: vs. Arizona
June 15-17: vs. New York
June 19-21: @ Colorado
June 22-24: @ San Fransisco
June 26-28: @ Baltimore
June 29- July 1: vs. Oakland
July 2-5: vs. Minnesota
July 6-8: vs. Los Angeles (Halos)
July 12-15: @ Tampa Bay
July 16-19: vs. Toronto
July 20-22: vs. Tampa Bay
July 23-26: @ Kansas City
July 27-29: @ Baltimore
July 31- August 2: vs. Chicago (Sox)
August 3-5: vs. Kansas City
August 6-8: @ Toronto
August 10-12: @ Cleveland
August 13-15: vs. Baltimore
August 16-19: vs. Detroit
August 20-22:@ Los Angeles (Halos)
August 24-27: @ Detroit
August 28-30: vs. Boston
August 31- September 2: vs. Tampa Bay
September 3-5: vs. Seattle
September 7-9: @ Kansas City
September 11-13: @ Toronto
September 14-16: @ Boston
September 17-19: vs. Baltimore
September 21-23: vs. Toronto
September 25- 27: @ Tampa Bay
September 28-30: @ Baltimore
A couple of notes here.
- The Yanks play 72 games with American League East teams, 18 with each one.
- The Yanks play 6 series with Boston ( 3 at home, 3 on the road)
- The Yanks play 41 games with American League Central teams.
- The Yanks meet up with their old pal, Sheffield on August 13th. They play 8 games against the Tigers, I'm not looking forward to these.
-The Yanks play 31 games with the American League West teams.
- The Yanks play 6 inter-league series, two with the Mets and one with the Giants, Rockies, D'Backs, and Pirates.
- The hardest stretch of games will be May 15th-30th when the Yanks play Chicago, New York, and Toronto and host Boston and Los Angeles.
- The easiest stretch of games will be July 20-29 when the Yanks play Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Baltimore.
What are your thoughts on the shcedule? Too tough? Too easy? Do you like the spacing out of the Yanks-Sox series, or should they have been closer together? Which series are you looking forward to watching the most? The least?

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Tuesday November, 28 2006.
Yanks Win Bid on Igawa
By mvyb, 21:04

After missing out on star Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka earlier this month, the Yankees made sure not to let history repeat itself when Kei Igawa became available via the posting system.

Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday night that the Yankees had won the rights to the Japanese left-hander, who has pitched the past eight seasons for the Hanshin Tigers.

Published reports put the winning bid at $25 million, which would be less than half of the $51.1 million it cost the Red Sox to acquire the rights to Matsuzaka. The Yankees would only pay Hanshin the $25 million if they sign Igawa to a contract.

"We have been following Kei Igawa's very successful and accomplished career in Japan," general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. "We are excited about the opportunity to begin the negotiating process with him."

According to this MLB.com article, Igawa is a very succesful starter for the Hanshan Tigers. He was 14-9 with a 2.97 ERA last year. Good stuff!
Igawa features a 90-mph fastball and a very decent curveball. The Yanks have 30 days to work out a deal, and I really hope they can get this done. Igawa would be a great (and unexpected) addition to the Bomber rotation.

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Wednesday November, 22 2006.
Congrats, Morneau
By mvyb, 10:21

Wow, what a terrible job the baseball writers of America did... I don't necessarily mind Jeter losing, but to Morneau? He's not even the MVP on his team! Santana and Mauer were the reasons the Twins surged back to the division lead!
Oh, well... I'm sure Jeter doesn't care. Maybe he can bring in a ring next year, that'd be a lot more satisfying than any silly postseason award.

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Monday November, 20 2006.
American League MVP Award Winner to be Announced Tomorrow
By mvyb, 23:21

Well, tomorrow we'll see if Jeter can make a clean sweep of the postseason awards. He's already picked up a spot on the Sporting News All Star team, a Hank Aaron award, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove. The MVP award would fit so nicely on the shelf with the others...
NBC Sports takes a closer look at the nominees, and predicts that Derek Jeter will be the winner. Newsday also thinks the Captain's chances are strong.
Justin Morneau and Johann Santana have really picked up steam over the past two weeks, and I think they hold a strong shot at winning the award.
Go Jeter!

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Proctor to Starting Rotation?
By mvyb, 21:26

Sheesh, I hate this idea! I mean, Proctor really settled down as a nice seventh inning reliever, why mess with this? The Yankees bullpen is nothing to admire, but Proctor was one of the guys I began to trust during the regular season.
Another thing- Proctor pitched 102 innings in '06, and his arm pretty much fell off! Why force him to pitch over 200 innings as a starter??? Makes no sense at all!
What do you all think?

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Wednesday November, 15 2006.
Yankees Sign Mike Mussina to Two-Year Deal
By mvyb, 11:19

As was expected, the Yankees re-signed veteran pitcher, Mike Mussina, to a two-year, $22.5 million contract extension.

Mike Mussina and the New York Yankees have agreed to a two-year, $22.5 million contract extension, the New York Post reported, citing unnamed industry sources.

Mussina, 38, was 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA for the Yankees last season. The team had until Wednesday to exercise a $17 million option, which carried a $1.5 million buyout, or renegotiate with the right-hander.

Even though Mussina had a great 2006 season ( 15-7, 3.51 ERA, 35 BB, 172 K ), I hope the Yankees aren't planning on having him as their #1 starter. No disrespect, but his stuff just isn't dominating enough to be the ace of a contending team.
This is what the Yankee rotation looks like so far:
1. ?
2. Chien-Ming Wang
4. Mike Mussina
5. Carl Pavano/ Randy Johnson
I desperately want two more starting pitchers, although that probably won't happen. The Yankee front office will try to milk another year out of Johnson, while praying that Pavano stays healthy.
Oh, in case you didn't know (which would mean you weren't following baseball at all and probably have no interest in this blog), the Red Sox won the rights to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Their winning bid- $51.1 million bucks!

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Tuesday November, 14 2006.
Sheffield: Time as a Yankee Was "Wonderful"
By mvyb, 13:14


While Sheffield said blowing a 3-0 lead to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS was the lowlight of his three years in The Bronx, he described the stay as "wonderful."

"I had [Yankees fans] on the edge of their seat, I gave them a lot of excitement," said Sheffield, who was limited to 39 games this season due to surgery on his left wrist. "I played on the biggest stage at the highest level. They liked my no-fear attitude and I came with my honesty every day. Half the people liked it and half the people probably didn't like it, but I was a sincere player, I wasn't a phony."

Sounds a lot different then he did a week ago, doesn't he? Ah, the mood swings of Gary Sheffield...
But I do agree with what he says here in the Post article, he did bring a lot of excitement to the games and he had a great no-fear attitude. Whenever the Yankees played Boston, Sheffield was the guy you wanted to see at the plate. Starring down the Sox pitcher, waving his bat threateningly, and crushing everything he saw. If only he could have done that a bit more in the postseason...
I'm sure I'll have another "Sheffield Speaking Out" post up next week. Who knows what he'll be saying then?

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Monday November, 13 2006.
Red Sox Win Matsuzaka Bid
By mvyb, 21:44

Three days after ESPN reported that Boston had won the Matsuzaka sweepstakes, the rest of the baseball world caught on.
The Boston Red Sox have won negotiating rights for Japanese League star Daisuke Matsuzaka, SI.com has confirmed.

The Seibu Lions have until Tuesday to decide whether to accept the bid, and it is expected they will announce they are accepting it on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET in a joint press conference with the Major League Baseball office. After the announcement, the Red Sox will have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Matsuzaka, a star right-handed pitcher. It is likely they'll be able to come to an agreement, but if they can't, the Red Sox will hold onto their bid money and Matsuzaka would return to Japan for at least another year.

According to this article, the Red Sox bid could be as high as $50 million dollars! Remember, this is the team which last year 
Give me a break...
Now, there is an interesting thing to note here. If the Sox can't afford to sign Matsuzaka, then he'd return to Japan for a year. He'd be out of the Yankees' reach during the 2007 season. This would be a clever move for Boston, but only effective for one year. As soon as Matsuzaka's Japanese contract expires ( in '08), the doors are back open for the Yankees.
Are the Sox this desperate to keep Matsuzaka out of New York? Or do they seriously plan on spending $80-$90 million dollars to get a pitcher (with no major league experience) in to a Boston uniform?
We'll find out soon enough...
Now, how does this effect the Yankees? Well, as much as I hate to see a good pitcher in the hands of the Red Sox, I'm not that upset that New York lost out on the sweepstakes... I know a lot of Yankee fans had their hearts set on Matsuzaka, but ask yourself, is he really worth the risk? Why not go after someone who you know will be solid ( like Zito or Clemens)? Spending $90 million+ on someone who has no major league experience, seems just a bit silly to me.
Or maybe I'm just trying to find the silver lining to this cloud...

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Girardi Joins YES Network
By mvyb, 21:13

As had been widely anticipated, the YES Network on Monday announced that it has tapped former Yankees catcher Joe Girardi as a booth and studio analyst for the 2007 MLB season.

Girardi, who replaces the retired Jim Kaat, joins play-by-play announcer Michael Kay and a roster of fellow analysts that includes John Flaherty and Paul O’Neill. Bobby Murcer will move from the booth to the studio, handling pre- and post-game coverage with David Justice.
Girardi spent a couple weeks in the booth during the 2005 season, and I really enjoyed him. Glad to hear he's back!

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