Tag: Hank Steinbrenner

New York Yankees: Patience Part 4 (of 6): Adam Warren

What is the going rate for a cerebral college pitcher with a continually developing arsenal, increasing strikeout rate, and a perennial winner?  How about a fourth round draft pick in the 2009 amateur draft by the New York Yankees.

Adam P. Warren is a 6’1″, 200lb right hand pitcher from New Bern, NC.  He played his high school ball at New Bern High, where he earned the New Bern Journal’s “Baseball Player of the Year” award.  An honor roll student, he graduated fifth in his class.

Warren went on to pitch for the University of North Carolina in 2006 and helped turn around what was not a highly regarded baseball program.  “We had not been to the College World Series since something like 1989, I think” says Warren in 2009. “And now I have been there four times.”  This was not a coincidence.

It was his sophomore season of 2007 when Warren really started to shine.  He went 12-0, sporting a minuscule 2.17 ERA in 70 2/3 innings.  His 12-0 record ranks as the most victories without a loss in school history.  Warren also earned two wins in the College World Series, allowing a total of two runs on six hits in 10 2/3 innings.

Warren’s junior season at UNC, in 2008, saw an incredible feat come to an end.  He suffered his first loss as a collegiate player after a run of 19 straight victories spanning his first three seasons.  It was the longest streak by a UNC Tarheel since Scott Bankston ran off 20 straight during the 1983-1984 seasons.

Warren’s senior season in 2009 saw him go 10-2 with a 3.31 ERA. The most impressive part about his development as a college player was his ever increasing strikeout rate.  He went from a K/9 rate of 5.6 as a freshman, to a 6.3 rate as a sophomore, 7.9 rate as a junior and finishing with a 9.5 rate as a senior.  This development, and his playoff success—six earned runs in 22 1/3 innings, 23 strikeouts and two walks—made it difficult not to notice him.

Warren was drafted in the 36th round in 2008 by the Cleveland Indians.  He went back to school for his senior season, and it payed off because the Yankees took him with the 135th pick of the 2009 first-year player draft.

Warren was sent to short season Staten Island in 2009 and simply dominated.  In 56.2 innings, he sported a 1.43 ERA with only 49 hits, 10 walks and an awesome 50 strikeouts.  Hitters were baffled against him with a .236 batting average against.

In 2010, Warren began the year with class A Tampa and went 7-5 with a 2.22 ERA, 72 hits, 67 strikeouts and 17 walks in 81 innings.  He was promoted to class AA Trenton where it was more of the same. He finished the year with a 2.59 ERA with 121 hits, 126 strikeouts and only 33 walks in 135.1 innings.

The increasing strikeout rate continued as a professional.  In 2009, it was a 7.9 K/9 pitching for Staten Island.  He improved to 8.3 in 2010 with Tampa and Trenton.  His strikeout rate was actually the best at Trenton—9.7 K/9—where the competition is at a higher level than his two previous stops.

In an interview with Lane Meyer, Warren describes his arsenal as “a four-seam fastball between 90-94” (reports are it touched 96 in the minors) and a two-seamer that “don’t lose much velocity” but “does get a little sink”.  He also has a change up “that sinks a little bit” and a 12 to 6 curveball that is still developing.

Finally he throws “what has started off as a cutter but has now developed into more of a slider that runs anywhere from 80-85 miles an hour”.

Warren has excellent control—his WHIP in the minors is 1.10—and a good feel for his pitches.  He mixes his pitches very well, as evidenced by his large arsenal, and does a great job changing speeds.  He can throw anything from a 74 MPH curveball to a 96 MPH fastball, so it plays a huge role in what he does on the mound.

It looks as if Warren will start the year at either class AA Trenton or AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre.  It is conceivable that he will battle for a rotation spot in spring training.  He has the talent to be a solid middle of the order starter.  If he keeps improving on his strikeout rate, who knows where it may lead.

It is very clear that Adam Warren is a winner and has been his entire career.  This would make his transition to the rotation in the Bronx smoother.  The pressure is on, and Warren, seemingly, can handle whatever is thrown at him.


Brought to you by Pinstripes and Pasta

The Patience Series:

Patience Part 1: Hector Noesi

Patience Part 2: David Phelps

Patience Part 3: Brandon Laird

Patience Part 4: Adam Warren (Above)

Patience Part 5: Eduardo Nunez

Patience Part 6: Gary Sanchez


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MLB Rumors: With Texas Targeting Adrian Beltre, Do Yanks Have Edge on Cliff Lee?

According to ESPN’s Karl Ravech and confirmed by other sports news outlets on Twitter, it appears the Texas Rangers are aggressively going after former Boston Red Sox third baseman, Adrian Beltre.

If that is the case, it is certainly fair to assume that the Rangers believe they are likely out of the race for Cliff Lee and the New York Yankees are in perfect position for the left-handed ace to sign on the dotted lines for them this offseason. Cliff Lee’s decision is expected to come very soon. The Yankees and Rangers have been patiently awaiting Cliff Lee’s decision.

While terms of the offers have not been released, it is believed that the deals are both very close in terms, though the Yankees are believed to be offering Lee a bit more money. Texas doesn’t have a state income tax though and thus, levels the playing field a bit between the two offers. It has also been reported that the Yankees offered Lee’s requested seven-year offer while the Rangers stuck to six years.

It is unknown when Cliff Lee will make his announcement, but many expect it to be sometime this week.

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MLB Hot Stove: Why New York Yankees Fans Should Choose Team Jeter

No one suspected that New York Yankee captain Derek Jeter’s contract negotiations would start to resemble a page out of the Alex Rodriguez biography.

The new Yankee regime sans “the Boss” has made it very clear that this is a business decision and not a personal one. The rumored offer made was somewhere in $45-$50 million range for a period of three years.

Whatever exactly was left on the table did not go over well in Jeter camp, as Jeter’s agent Casey Close stated he was “baffled” over it.

Close’s public statements did not go over well. Yankees GM Brian Cashman, along with Hank Steinbrenner defended the decisions with an attitude that if the offer is not generous enough than Jeter should go test open market, and hear the other 29 teams offers.

This has caused pandemonium in Yankee Universe, as neither the media nor the fans can rationalize whose side to take. Unfortunately, I am having this same dilemma.

The predicament remains is it Jeter or the Yankees that needs to take a step back and get real? Will you be wearing a “TEAM JETER” or “TEAM YANKEES” t- shirt?

Speaking for myself, I can’t imagine life in Yankee Universe without Jeter, but than maybe Jeter is not the man I thought he was….


Many feel the Yankees are victimizing Jeter, as Cashman and the Steinbrenner brothers’ open lack of appreciation for someone who is the face of the franchise.

What seems more insulting is the lack of respect for the Captain of the team, who single handily made the Yankee brand what it is today.

Justifying the significant salary reduction for Jeter makes no sense. This is an organization notorious for over-paying players and out-spending every other team in baseball.

Now is not the time for the Yankees to become spending thrifty. Jeter is a special athlete, in a world full of cheaters and quitters and he should be treated accordingly.

The Yankees are officially under new ownership with the passing of “the Boss” but his sons’ reassured fans that there dad’s motto and passion for winning would never change.

Hal Steinbrenner once described the Yankees big spending as “I look at it as reinvestment for the fans sake, like we always due”.

If that statement bears any truth than Derek Jeter would be back in pinstripes already. Jeter is a winner through his leadership. The Yankee fans get to be arrogant and proud because of Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter is the Captain every other fan base, franchise and fellow players want because he makes baseball better at time when the game has taken it’s biggest fall.

Up next….MLB Hot Stove: Why New York Yankees Fans Should Choose Team Yankees.

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Derek Jeter Watch: New York Yankees Lose Containment on Hank Steinbrenner

Tsk, tsk, Yankees. You should have known better.

Once agent Casey Close made the Derek Jeter negotiations public this weekend, proving Hal Steinbrenner’s “things could get messy” prophecy as true, the team needed to be thinking two steps ahead.

Unfortunately, Yankee officials were playing checkers when they needed to be playing chess, and that’s how a reporter from the Associated Press managed to get through to Hal’s loquacious brother, Hank, on Tuesday.

I worried about this exact scenario just a day earlier. After the agent told the Daily News he was “baffled” by the Yankees’ negotiation strategy, I braced for a reaction by Yankee brass that would further divide the gap between icon and team.

As I said Monday, we’re talking about very rich men with very rich egos, and Close insinuated someone was dropping the ball. That’s a big rich dude no-no. Rich dudes live to project infallibility.

I figure there has to be a panic room at the Yankees’ Tampa headquarters, a place where George was hidden away in his “fuzzy” years and the skeletal remnants of the scout who vouched for Hideki Irabu could be safely stored. That poor man’s family…

And if this mystical panic room does indeed exist, Hank Steinbrenner should have been resting there comfortably with a gallon of whiskey, six cartons of Marlboro Reds and all of Andrew Dice Clay’s stand-up specials on VHS.

Brian Cashman had to have realized the press would want Hank’s thoughts on the situation. After all, this is same man who once said, “Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of bulls**t that is.”

Because of his propensity to speak his mind, Hank is a reporter’s wet dream. When Close challenged the organization, it was obvious the media would come after Hank the way your skeevy college roommate came after the drunkest girl with the lowest self esteem at a frat party.

It was all so inevitable, and yet, late Tuesday came word that Hank had been compromised.

“As much as we want to keep everybody, we’ve already made these guys very, very rich, and I don’t feel we owe anybody anything monetarily,” the Yankees co-chairman said. “Some of these players are wealthier than their bosses.”

Never mind the fact that it was during Hank’s brief reign of terror as chief decision-maker that the franchise signed A-Rod to the worst contract in the history of mankind. Seriously, as insanely clueless as his commentary is, let’s set aside that irony for now.

Instead, we’ll focus on the smaller picture, which is we now have another member of the Yankee brass on record basically calling Jeter’s bluff.

It’s now being widely reported that New York’s offer stands at three years at $15 million annually. Earlier in the day, Cashman expressed his surprise at Close’s “baffling” dig, and was blunt in his assessment of the situation.

“We understand his contributions to the franchise and our offer has taken them into account,” Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. “We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there’s something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That’s the way it works.”

Then, curiously, he added a little dagger.

“We’ve made an offer and we hope they strongly consider it,” he said. “[But] there are things we have concerns with — his recent performance over the last few years, and his age. And that has to be factored into this negotiation.”

Ugh. With every day that goes by it, the teeth seem to be getting a little sharper on each side. Again, this was Jeter’s choice to go public. You have to wonder if he’s regretting that decision now.

As for Hank, we need to get him in that panic room. I absolutely adore the man and all the limitless entertainment he brings both to this blog and my life in general. But he needs to be muzzled. If we need to put the Dice Man himself in that room, make it happen.

I’m guessing he’s available.

Dan Hanzus writes the Yankees blog River & Sunset and can be reached at dhanzus@gmail.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @danhanzus.

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New York Yankees: Starting Early Pre-Free Agency Drama

The latest message from the New York Yankees is that they will not be caught up in the bidding for the Philadelphia Phillies‘ Jayson Werth or the Tampa Bay Rays‘ Carl Crawford.

Players are not even legal free agents until Saturday at midnight, so shouldn’t their respective teams be allowed to negotiate without the Yankees butting in yet?

The Yankees made it clear: They want to bring the talents of Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee to the Bronx. Add Lee’s monster deal with new contracts needed for a captain, a living iconic closer and a superstar southpaw who are also three of the infamous Yankees “Core Four.”

Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte all command huge paychecks, and let’s hope the new Steinbrenner ownership doesn’t make a mess of what daddy built.

The usually non-confrontational and sensible brother, Hal, made older brother Hank-like public statements in regards to Jeter’s contract talks. Hal’s testimony sounded like a warning to Yankees fans explaining that these proceedings have to work for the business and the pinstripes. Here are Hal’s exact words:

“You just never know with these things… Both parties need to be happy with the deal—that’s absolutely going to happen—and that may make things more complicated, I don’t know. There’s always the possibility that things could get messy. I’ve got to try to do my job on behalf of the partnership and our partners and everybody else involved with the organization, and Hank and I need to keep a level head and realize… that we’re running a business here.”

My only hope is that Hal didn’t mean it to come off as a warning regarding Jeter’s future as a Yankee being in question. I feel I can speak for 99 percent of Yankees fan by saying that turmoil and anarchy would result from losing out captain. God only knows how the players would feel, but I would presume lost and upset.

Truth is, Yankees fans wish those words came out of Hank’s mouth, but they did not.

Jeter’s agents fought right back, making the normally private Jeter’s professional affairs ESPN’s needed replacement for any Brett Favre stories. Jeter’s camp had every right to invalidate Hal’s remarks. Referring to recent comments by Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman, Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, said:

“While it’s not our intent to negotiate the terms of Derek’s free agent contract in a public forum, we do agree with Hal and Brian’s recent comments that this contract is about business and winning championships. Clearly, baseball is a business, and Derek’s impact on the sport’s most valuable franchise can’t be overstated. Moreover, no athlete embodies the spirit of a champion more than Derek Jeter.”

Now Yankees fans should bear in mind that even with the resigning of Jeter, Mo and Pettitte, and if they can get Lee, it doesn’t completely close the door on anything.

Rewind back to the 2008-2009 offseason when the Yankees claimed not to be mixed up in bidding on Mark Teixeira’s talents, following the monster signings of CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett.

Where is Teixeira playing now?

Exactly my point. So I am not giving up on my dreams of getting Jayson Werth just yet. Having a four-man rotating outfield of Swisher, Granderson, Gardner and Werth (or Crawford) gives significant rest without forfeiting any talent. It adds another quality fast base-runner and power hitter to the lineup, while keeping the group healthy, considering all three were hurting at one point or another in 2009 season.

This should make for some seriously historical Yankees drama. Unlike before, fans want the “older and declining” players to be the first priority.

Looking back to about a week ago, age and experience can still win championships—just go ask the San Francisco Giants World Series MVP or leading regular-season RBI hitter about that.


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New York Yankees: This Needs To Be The Year George’s Team Wins

In one line I will say this: Anything but a World Series in the year of the loss of George M. Steinbrenner, would be a disappointment. 

The best and highest paid team in baseball needs to be motivated after tonight’s emotional memorial for George Steinbrenner. Watching the memorial I saw a man standing at the right field foul pole with a sign saying, “Win one for The Boss.” I know it is easier said than done to win a World Series, but a repeat for The Boss would even make rival managers melt down in tears. 

The Yankees and the Rays meet today and it also brings a question to mind: Is it more important to play the Twins in the divisional series by winning the wild card? The Twins are a team the Yankees don’t find trouble with in the playoffs, or the other scenario is this: the Yankees could go all out and win the American League East. This meaning that they would play arguably the best team in baseball, the Texas Rangers. I would rather let the veterans take a breather, lose the division and home field advantage, and meet Tampa in the ALCS without breaking a sweat. 

My closest encounter with Mr. Steinbrenner was before opening day 2009 at the New Yankee Stadium. I went to meet Reggie Jackson at his hotel to get his autograph and I found out that the Steinbrenner’s were staying there. My dad and I were pressed for time before the game. The first Steinbrenner appeared outside. It was Hank. A man in the news all of the offseason. This before I learned not to get starstruck during interviews. I walked over to Hank, who was smoking and chatting with body guards, BlackBerry on “Voice Recorder” in hand, and asked Hank as low as I could speak and as fast, “My name is Brad Wolff, I am 13, and write a sports blog. Can I ask you a few questions please?” I lost the interview once I didn’t know how to save. I think I may have asked 2 or 3 questions including, “What is it like owning the Yankees?” He responded, “It’s great.” I walked away as Mr. October walked out. I got his signature on a ball I caught at the stadium from the day he was inducted into Monument Park. He signed it and my dad got a call from my mom. My mom and brother were on their way to the stadium and thought we should make our way there. We went on the subway moments after, as I never got the opportunity to witness George M. Steinbrenner in front of my eyes, not through a television.

The Yankees got bombed that day as I sat in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar above monument park. I predicted the first home run (Jorge Posada) and remember a Shin Soo Choo homer to right field. All throughout the first blow out and the nice new ballpark, I wondered what meeting George would be like. Would he have a conversation with me or go right in his limo? Now it’s just a lingering thought in my head as the Boss’ legacy lives on.

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