Yankees Trade For Kerry Wood

The Yankees have made another move today, acquiring pitcher Kerry Wood from the Indians. In exchange for Wood the Yankees will give the Indians either a player to be named later or cash. The Yankees are set to pay $1.5MM of the $3.71MM left on Wood’s contract for 2010.

Wood has struggled this season posting a 6.30 ERA with 5.0 BB/9 in 20 innings this season, but this 8.1 K/9 makes him a good fit to pitch the eighth  inning for the Yankees. I think that if Wood and Joba share the eighth inning role, that the Yankees can get the best of both Joba and Wood. Neither would be overworked if they were to share the role.

Yankee Acquire Austin Kearns

The Yankees just added another piece to their bench.  Austin Kearns is headed to The Bronx for a player to be named later.  Kearns, with a lifetime .800 OPS against left handed pitching, could be a valuable piece for the Yankees.

Kearns will likely be a reserve outfielder and a DH against left handed pitchers.  Joe Girardi could also bench Granderson against lefites, put Gardner in center field, put Kearns in left field, and DH Marcus Thames.  Even though Marcus Thames is a similar player, Kearns adds more flexibility to the Yankees’ roster.

Overall, I like this move.  Whenever you can get something for nothing, you have to make the deal.  That is exactly what the Yankees did.  The Bombers now have a solid bench that they can rely on in October.  Another great move by Brian Cashman.

Austin Kearns is the newest Yankee.

Yankees Closing in on Lance Berkman

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Yankees are close to a deal that would bring first baseman Lance Berkman to the Bronx. I’ve felt all along that the Yankees would look to add an corner OF/1B/DH type of bat, and that is what they get with Berkman. Berkman has played mostly first base for the Astros, but his former outfield experience is enough to make him an emergency outfielder. The Steinbrenners have already given approval to the potential deal. It is unknown what the Yankees would give up in return. Berkman would require that any team that acquires him to not pick up his club option for 2011.

Lance will likely be the regular DH for the Yankees. Berkman has hit .245/.372/.436 this season with 13 homers and 49 RBI. This is way down from his career numbers, .296/.410/.549. Still, he is much better than anything the Yankees have at DH right now. The Yankees could also just play him against righties, and DH Marcus Thames against lefties. This is a great move for the Yanks, considering Nick Johnson may not be back for the rest of the season.

UPDATE:  The Yankees have acquired Lance Berkman from the Astros. It is unknown what the Astros will get in return. The deal will not be announced until tomorrow. Berkman has a full no-trade clause and has 24 hours to veto or accept the trade, but it is believed he has accepted the trade to the Yankees.

UPDATE 2:  The Astros will pick up most of Berkman’s salary, and the Yankees won’t give up any major prospects in return.  This trade is an absolute joke.  It reminds me of back when Scott Boras demanded $20 million for A-Rod , and Texas gave him $25 million.  Thank you Ed Wade.  You have retained your title as the worst general manager in baseball.

UPDATE 3:  The Astros will pay $4 million of the remaining $7 million on Berkman’s contract.  According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post,  the Yankees are sending Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes to Houston.  I am very upset about losing Melancon, but this is still a great trade.

Lance Berkman could be headed to the Bronx.

Guess Who’s Back?

According to ESPN New York, the Jets are expected to sign wide receiver Laveranues Coles.  This would be Coles’ third stint with the Jets.  Laveranues is expected to report to training camp on Sunday.

Coles played for the Jets from 2000-2002 and 2005-2008.  He was part of the blockbuster trade which sent Santana Moss to the Redskins in 2005.  After a dissapointing season in Cincinnati, Coles looks like he is back with Gang Green.

So where does Coles fit in?  He will likely be the third-string wide receiver for the first four games of the season. When Santonio Holmes comes back for Week 5, Coles will likely see limited playing time. Despite this, it is always good to have a veteran who can add depth. Because he knows the offense, he could possibly help Mark Sanchez and other young members of the offense out as well.

If this deal does go down, David Clowney once again is the loser. While I’d really like to see Clowney get a chance to do some damage, this signing would probably be the right thing to do for this season. If it doesn’t work out, you could always cut Coles. I don’t expect this to be an expensive deal for more than one year.

Knicks Make Offer to Shannon Brown

You want to talk about capping off an amazing offseason?  How about signing Shannon Brown?  It seems that is exactly what the Knicks are planning to do, according to NBC Sports.

Brown is a two-time NBA Champion with the Lakers.  He was dynamite off the bench for them last year.  He could add depth at both guard positions, but he may very well start at shooting guard for the Knicks this season.  Last season, Shannon scored 8.1 PPG in 20.7 MPG. 

This could be a great signing for the Knicks.   Brown’s excellent transition game could work wonders in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.  If  Donnie Walsh can sign Brown, it would be the cherry on top of an already great offseason. 

Devils Re-Sign Defenseman Mark Fraser

Yesterday, the Devils re-signed defenseman Mark Fraser.  The deal is for 1 year, and is worth $500,000.   This is the same amount of money Fraser was paid last year.  With the Kovalchuk drama starting to play out, it is good that the Devils won’t be going to arbitration with Fraser.  It is important that Lou Lamoriello knows exactly how much cap space he has.  Mark could have likely made more money by going to arbitraion.

The contract is a one way deal which means that he can’t be sent to the AHL.  Fraser will finally get a chance to prove himself this season after being hurt for most of last season.  His physical play could be useful to the Devils at the bottom of their depth chart.  While he is guaranteed to be on the roster, he isn’t guaranteed to be one of the six or seven active defenseman.  There will be competition for the bottom pairs of defensemen, which is always a good thing.

Fraser (pictured left) brings an intense physical game.

Mark Brunell Signs With Gang Green

According to Adam Schefter, the Jets have signed quarterback Mark Brunell to a two-year contract. Last season, Brunell was part of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. He will serve as a backup quarterback and possibly as a holder. This signing brings much needed veteran depth to the quarterback position. If Brunell can mentor Mark Sanchez, he will be a perfect fit.

This signing likely brings the end to Kellen Clemens’ Jet career. While Clemens was never great, he served as a somewhat decent backup for the Jets. He will now be replaced by possibly the best backup quarterback in the league. If Sanchez goes down for a few games, the Jets are in good hands.  Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum have once again shown that the Jets have one of the best front offices in all of sports.

Brunell (pictured left) was a member of the Super Bowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints.