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The Yankee Years: Joe Torre’s All-Time New York Yankees!

With the weekend series between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers coming to a close last night, the MLB and its fans are finally ready to move on with the post-Joe Torre Yankees.

While Torre may not be as loved and cherished by New Yorkers as he was once was, there is no denying that he brought the Yankees from a mediocre team to becoming the premiere franchise in all of professional sports.

This is what his starters would look like, if Torre selected individuals from his tenure with the Yankees and put them together on one team.

Remember that Joe took over as manager in 1996 and left the New York Yankees after the 2007 season. All of these players played multiple seasons under Torre as their manager with the Bronx Bombers!

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MLB Trade Talks: Marlon Byrd, Ty Wigginton and Cliff Lee on Yankees Radar

Even though the New York Yankees are in 1st place in the AL East and currently hold the best record in all of Major League Baseball, there are still a plethora of trade rumors and debates taking place in the Bronx.

With the main areas of concern being the bullpen, the bench, and the outfield; everyone seems to have their own opinion about what the Bronx Bombers should do on their quest for their 28th World Series Championship.

Over the weekend, after the Yankees took the series from the Mets, the Bronx was abuzz with potential mid-season trades that the Bombers could execute. There are three main players that most of the radio personalities, sports writers, and fans seemed to be talking about.

The first player is right-handed, utility infielder Ty Wigginton on the Baltimore Orioles. At 32 years old, Wigginton has batted .274 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI for the O’s this season. He is currently in the middle of his 2nd year of a two-year contract worth $6 million dollars.

Wigginton is a good player and can play most of the infield positions and even play some left field if needed. However, Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo are already in place as the back-up infielders with the Yankees.

If the Yankees decide that they need a veteran, right-handed batter, then Wigginton may be their man. He would probably jump at the chance to move onto a championship contender, especially when he’s currently on the worst team in baseball.

It’s hard to say what it would take for the Yankees to get a player like Wigginton, but you can’t think it would cost too many top prospects or cash. The Orioles are in need of young talent and Wigginton will probably not re-sign with the O’s after his contract expires at the end of the 2010 season.

The main questions would be whether or not Baltimore would be willing to deal with their divisional rivals and whether the Yankees are looking for another infielder to add to their bench.

The second player is right handed, outfielder Marlon Byrd from the Chicago Cubs. So far this season, Byrd has been batting .320 with 83 hits including 9 home runs and has driven in 34 men.

Also at 32 years old, Byrd is in the first year of a 3-year deal with the Cubs. The contract is worth $15 million over the three years.

Byrd would provide a talented outfielder for the Yankees, who could easily start in place of Granderson at center field when facing left-handed pitchers. The problem with trading for Byrd, is that he would presumably come with a hefty price tag.

The Cubs will probably fall completely out of the NL Central race in the coming weeks, but that won’t help the Yankees ability to bargain with the North-Siders. Byrd will still be owed $12 million dollars on his contract and new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts won’t be giving him up for cheap.

A trade for Byrd would likely take many more prospects and an exorbitant amount of money. It may not make sense to make the move for an expensive fourth outfielder, especially if it comes at such a steep price.

The last player is left-handed, starting pitcher Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners. This season, Lee is 5-3 with an ERA of 2.55. In 10 games, Lee has struck out 67 hitters while only allowing 4 walks.

Lee is the most coveted player in the MLB right now, especially after his performance for the Phillies in the 2009 season and playoffs. With the Mariners continuing to flounder in the AL West, many teams are looking to deal with M’s for their stud ace.

The 31-year old pitcher is set to make $9 million dollars this season and would only be a rental for the Yankees, as his contract is set to expire at the end of the 2010 season. The Yankees have the money to make the move, but they would need to find room for Lee in the rotation.

This move probably makes the least amount of sense, especially with the way that the Yankees’ starting rotation has been pitching this season. Unless they want to move someone to the bullpen, there are no spots open for Lee to fill. The Yankees already have CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte as left-handed starters, combined with Javier Vazquez, AJ Burnett, and Phil Hughes as right-handers.

The debate will continue and will probably include a list of other players before the trade deadline comes up. It’s hard to say if any of these players make sense based on their contracts, salaries, and positions.

Before Brian Cashman goes and makes any of these moves, he has to remember that the New York Yankees still are the best team in baseball. Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada have been battling injuries, while Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira have been having slow seasons. Yet, the Yankees continue to win games.

Who knows what will happen in the coming weeks and months?

It’s the Yankees. Anything is possible.

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From Spring Training to Post-Season: Derek Jeter Reaches 3,000 Hits!

“Excuse me, Mr. Jeter. Cooperstown is on line 1.”

When Derek Jeter hit 2 home runs on Saturday afternoon against the Houston Astros, he picked up his 2825th and 2826th career regular season hits. Of course, the home runs were important because they helped the Javier Vazquez and the New York Yankees win. Otherwise, most people wouldn’t care that Jeter picked up a couple more hits.

Actually, those two home runs have a much more noteworthy place in Jeter’s career. With having compiled 175 hits in his postseason career and now having hit over 2825 times in his regular season career, Derek Jeter now has more than 3,000 career hits as a major league hitter!

Jeter has played in 28 post season series in his 16 year career. Mr. November has collected 175 postseason hits, which is easily the highest total in Major League Baseball history. Of those hits, 50 of them were extra-base hits. Jeter has always continued to hit after the end of the regular season in September.

While baseball statisticians and historians only count 3,000 regular season hits as the major plateau, 3,000 career total major league hits is pretty special in itself.

It has been a fantastic 16-year career for the captain of the New York Yankees, and now Jeter is less than 174 hits away from joining the real “3,000 hit club”. Barring injury and some disastrous slumps, he should easily reach the mark by the middle of the 2011 season.

As he continues to charge his way into baseball history, Derek Jeter can honestly say that he has gotten 3,000 hits as a New York Yankee!


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Could an Average 2010 Season Hurt Derek Jeter’s Future In The Bronx?

Let me start by saying that I am one of the biggest Derek Jeter fans ever. I grew up watching my favorite player become a legend for the most storied franchise in American sports. Seeing Derek Jeter play is something that I will tell my children.

However, this season has not been going as well as we have come to expect from “El Capitan”.

At the one-quarter mark of the 2010 Major League Baseball season, the New York Yankees are 25-14. That is good for second place in the American League East, 3.0 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

It is hard to criticize a team with a .641 winning percentage, but there are a few players that have not exactly “sparkled” for the Bronx Bombers. For the first time in many years, Derek Jeter falls into that category.

There are many things that are given or granted, before someone can even begin to criticize the Captain of the New York Yankees this season.

Last season, Derek Jeter won the Silver Slugger and Hank Aaron awards. He also passed Lou Gehrig as the all-time hits leader in New York Yankees history. In the field, he collected his fourth Gold Glove award at short stop. All of this was capped off by the Yankees capturing the 2009 World Series in six games over the Phillies.

Off the field, Jeter was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award along with being named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. DJ’s 2009 season was one of the best all around seasons that any professional athlete could ever hope for.

The statistics and awards from his career are already enough to ensure that Derek Jeter will be enshrined into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame after he retires. However, none of that matters right now. The main question for the early part of 2010 is, where is that Derek Jeter?

While other players, like Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli continue to produce for the New York Yankees, there are some players that have not been on their game. Everyone knows the story of Mark Teixeira’s slow starts and Alex Rodriguez’s numbers, but what is going on with Jeter?

In 168 at bats this season; Jeter has collected 45 hits, while scoring 26 runs and driving in another 23. He has been walked nine times, already struck out 23 times, and only stolen four bases out of five attempts. As of today, Derek has a batting average of .268 and an on-base percentage of .315.

For anyone else, these would be very good numbers at the 1/4 mark of the season. For Captain Clutch, the 2010 season has not gone according to plan yet. Mired in a horrible slump, Jeter fans have put an APB or BOLO out for him.

There have been numerous times when “Derek Jeter” would have gotten a clutch base hit, driven in the runners with two outs, or at least kept the inning going. Those times, seem to be few and far between in 2010.

The main point, as Mariano Rivera has also looked uncharacteristically human these past few games, is that Derek Jeter is at the end of his contract.

At the beginning of the season, everyone continued to ask questions about when the Yankees would re-sign the superstar short stop. Jeter said that he was okay with waiting until November to think about it, but should he have pushed for a new contract this past off season?

After having such a stellar 2009 season, DJ was guaranteed to get another blockbuster, multi-year deal. He was ready to be signed to be the Yankees captain for another five plus years. He was going to make another $100 million dollars and nobody was going to have a problem with that.

Will the Yankees give him a huge contract based on his legacy? Can they really afford to pay that much money to a guy hitting just above .250? Are they going to lock-up a player who has seemed to have lost a step on some plays in the field? 

What happens if he continues to have a, by his standards, lackluster season? Derek Jeter has always been about winning first, but this may be a time for him to be a little bit selfish.

Will average numbers in the 2010 season make the Yankees twice before they re-sign their beloved captain and short stop?

No way…! Right?

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