Deciphering Yankees Rumors: 9 Days Until Spring Training

A week and a half from now and we’ll get our first real taste of Yankees baseball in 2017.

Often times, the Internet is a dangerous place because what one baseball writer or fan values as gossip, others take and run it through the rumor mill. And when you’re a Yankees writer constantly on the lookout for the latest breaking news that your readers need to know, you must first discern fact from fiction.

Zack Greinke – Fiction

NJ.com had this little doozy for you. Problem is, there is no fact to base it upon besides from the rumors last season that the Diamondbacks were said to be talking to the Dodgers about sending Greinke and his $206.5M contract back to Los Angeles where he thrived for three seasons as Clayton Kershaw‘s No. 2.

The 33-year-old right-hander doesn’t fit the Yankees mold for a number of reasons. The most apparent being the remaining 5-years/$172.5M on his contract, his age, the level of prospects the D’backs would want in a trade, and of course, Greinke’s diagnosed anxiety disorder that would not play out well under the bright lights of New York. And don’t give me this ‘Well, LA is a big market.’ I’ve lived in both New York and LA, and I’ll be the first to tell you, the only similarities are the constant traffic and the celebrities you’ll run into at Whole Foods.

I like Greinke, and I hope he does well in Arizona. But he’s always shown an affinity towards choosing money over a winning ballclub, and that’s OK. But he’s made his bed with D’backs, so unless his current employer is willing to eat a huge chunk of salary (like half), Greinke will likely finish his career in the desert.

David Robertson – Mostly Fiction

Here’s another example of making a mountain out of a molehill. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that they Yankees have thought about acquiring Robertson but are “unwilling to give up the quality prospects the White Sox want.”

I’m sorry, but didn’t this rumor die with the Jose Quintana talk? While a return of Robertson and his 2-year/$25M contract to pitch the 7th inning of games wouldn’t be the worst situation for the Yankees to find themselves in, the White Sox are in no rush to deal him because they know some desperate team will come calling when/if their closer falters or gets injured.

The Yankees do not need to overpay for a late inning reliever that won’t pitch the final two frames for them. With Tyler Clippard scheduled to man the 7th, and any number of young arms to round out the rest of the bullpen, the Yankees would be wise to let this rumor fade away… again.

AJ Pierzynski – Definite Fiction

The good folks at Bleacher Report have suggested that the Yankees would be wise to sign a low-cost veteran backup catcher to mentor 2016 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up Gary Sanchez. I, on the other hand, feel that only one of the two main backup catchers headed to camp (Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka) will emerge victoriously. This team will not carry three catchers because of manager Joe Girardi’s insistence of running through relief pitchers like Leonardo DiCaprio through Victoria Secret models — but I was at least willing to hear who the article presented as an alternative.

And that’s when I read it… AJ Pierzynski. No way, that has to be a misprint. Was it because the only Yankees left-handed bat off the bench is currently Aaron Hicks? Isn’t Barry Bonds unemployed? Here’s what the article stated:

“It’s a stretch, but New York could consider the 40-year-old A.J. Pierzynski, who hit a scant .219 in 81 games last season with the Atlanta Braves. On the other hand, he hit .300 in 113 games in 2015 and has a couple of All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger on his resume, along with a wealth of catching knowledge. This is bottom-of-the-barrel scraping, no question there. A savvy, seasoned backstop, however, could be a worthwhile wild card to assist Sanchez’s development.”

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Hopefully, we can get through at least half of Grapefruit League play before another round of Yankees rumors flare up. But that’s probably asking too much, isn’t it?

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