New York Yankees - PlayerWatch


6:15 AM EDT, September 30, 2014


RHP David Phelps is arbitration eligible. Phelps is useful for a fill-in starter and bullpen type but he also was inconsistent at times. Still it seems that the Yankees like him enough to keep him.

C Austin Romine is arbitration eligible. Romine was once a top prospect but with Brian McCann here and John-Ryan Murphy moving ahead of him in the pecking order, his time could be ending with the Yankees.

P Dellin Betances emerged as a viable setup man going 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA in 70 games. He struck out 135 in 90 innings, drawing comparisons to Mariano Rivera in 1996. He supplements his overpowering fastball with an effective curveball and could be an option to close should David Robertson leave as a free agent.

RHP Masahiro Tanaka won 13 games as a rookie in a season disrupted by a right elbow injury that might have required Tommy John surgery. As of now, Tanaka does not need the surgery and will return to Japan with piece of mind after making two late-eason starts.

OF Carlos Beltran will have offseason elbow surgery for the bone spurs that plagued his right elbow. Recovery time is 12 weeks.

RHP Chris Capuano was acquired as stop-gap in July when the team needed a starter and filled in decently. He is left-handed which is always a positive but also is 36.

SS Derek Jeter headed into retirement after getting an infield single in his final at-bat Sunday at Boston. Jeter batted .256 in his final season and his career average wound up being .310 as he finished with 3,465 hits.

3B Alex Rodriguez will be eligible to return from his suspension following the World Series. Manager Joe Girardi said he has talked to Rodriguez once or twice a month via text message and that he envisioned him playing third base, but first he has to see how Rodriguez is doing from a physical standpoint. Rodriguez batted .244 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 44 games while awaiting his appeal.

OF Ichiro Suzuki saw more playing time than expected and produced a .284 average in 359 at-bats. He signed a two-year deal following the 2012 season. Suzuki turns 41 in late-October and has 2,844 hits.

1B Mark Teixeira had his worst season by hitting .216 with 22 home runs and 62 RBI. He also missed 39 games due to an assortment of injuries and even though he turns 35 next year, the Yankees need him to be in the .250s and hit 25 to 30 home runs.

RHP Brandon McCarthy might have been one of Brian Cashman's best in-season pitching acquisitions. He changed his pitch selection after being 3-12 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts for the Yankees. McCarthy is 31 and is coming off a two-year, $9 million deal.

OF Chris Young went from being cut by the Mets in August to becoming the Yankees' player of the month in September. He finished his month with the Yankees by hitting .282 with three home runs 10 RBI, but if he is retained it won't be for the $7 million he got from Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

IF Chase Headley is 30 and made $10.5 million. That might be a little high to keep someone as an unofficial backup but if the Yankees work on the assumption that he might get 400 at-bats filling in for Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira next season, it might be worth it. Headley finished his two-month stint with the Yankees batting .262 with six home runs and 17 RBI.

2B Stephen Drew never got into a flow after waiting until after the season started to re-sign with the Red Sox. While his glove is good, his bat was terrible as Drew batted .162 with seven home runs and 26 RBI in 85 combined games for the Red Sox and Yankees.

RHP Rich Hill was serviceable as a left-handed option out of the bullpen after Matt Thornton was traded to the Washington Nationals. He also could be retained for that same role instead of spending large amounts in free agency.

LHP David Huff is arbitration eligible. Huff was serviceable as a left-hander out of the bullpen and could be retained for a similar role next season.

RHP Esmil Rogers is arbitration eligible. Rogers made $1.8 million last year and was serviceable for the Yankees after having a 6.97 ERA for the Blue Jays. Pitchers like him are always useful especially since they can start for five innings and give multiple innings in relief if needed. That makes him a possibility to be retained.

RHP Hiroki Kuroda has been on three one-year deals and is 38-33 as a Yankee. He did not experience fatigue down the stretch this year but will turn 40. The Yankees are old enough and if Kuroda wants to play again, it's possible they bring him back.

C Francisco Cervelli is arbitration eligible. Cervelli hit well but that was when he played. Cervelli often gets hurt and this year he missed two months with a hamstring injury. He could be considered trade bait if the team likes how John-Ryan Murphy handled himself in his time up here.

RHP David Robertson is a pending free agent coming off a solid first year as a closer. Robertson converted 39 saves and had a 3.08 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings. "I'm very fond of Robby and what he's done here," manager Joe Girardi said. "But Robby's approaching a situation in his career that a lot of players look forward to, to get into, a free agent. You see where you're at. But I'd loved having Robby the whole time he has been here. And that's the hardest part for me in this game besides the losing - it's the relationships you make with players and sometimes they leave. But that's part of it and sometimes you have to deal with it.

RHP Michael Pineda was 5-5 with a 1.89 ERA in 13 starts. Even though he missed four months with a shoulder injury, the Yankees are excited about the future for Pineda.

RHP Ivan Nova is arbitration eligible. Nova seemed to be coming into his own following stops and starts but is coming off Tommy John surgery. Nova made $3.3 million last year, and could get a small raise especially since has 40 wins in 93 games for the Yankees.

RHP Shawn Kelley is arbitration eligible. Kelley made $1.7 million last season and was a nice find for the Yankees last season. This year he struggled with a 4.53 ERA. He might get a small raise or could be non-tendered.