Monday, November 28, 2016
The Yankees have unconditionally released pitchers Nathan Eovaldi, Joe Mantiply and Nick Rumbelow.
The three hurlers had been designated for assignment Nov. 18.
Eovaldi was 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA in 24 games (21 starts) for the Yankees this past season, but the 26-year-old right-hander is expected to miss all of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August.
Acquired by the Yankees from the Marlins in a five-player deal in Dec. 2014, Eovaldi was 23-11 with a 4.45 ERA in 51 games (48 starts) for New York over the past two seasons. He owns a career 4.21 ERA in 134 games (127 starts) over six seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins and Yankees.
Mantiply, 25, was claimed off waivers from the Tigers on Nov. 8. The left-hander got his first taste of big league duty with five appearances for Detroit this past season, permitting five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings (16.88 ERA), after spending most of the season with Double-A Erie.
Rumbelow, 25, had season-ending Tommy John surgery in April after beginning the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The right-hander made 17 appearances as a rookie with New York in 2015, posting a 1-1 record with a 4.02 ERA.
Nathan Eovaldi makes a lot of sense to release, because otherwise he would still be arbitration eligible. Hopefully they re-sign him to a make-good contract (you know, a little money for this year and then a few million for next year). I don’t understand releasing Mantiply and Rumbelow, though. They both cleared waivers, why not hold on to them off the 40-man roster?
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Baseball’s streak of 21 consecutive years of labor peace is in jeopardy.
The owners will consider voting to lock out the players if the two sides cannot reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by the time the current deal expires on Dec. 1, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.
A lockout would put baseball’s business on hold, delaying free-agent signings and trades until a new agreement is reached. The winter meetings, a joint venture between the majors and minors scheduled to take place from Dec. 4 to 8 near Washington D.C., might still transpire, but without the usual frenzy of major-league activity.
The possibility of a lockout stems from the owners’ frustration with the players’ union over the slow pace of the discussions, sources said. The two sides still have more than a week to complete a deal, but a number of significant issues remain unresolved.
The crazy thing is that the issue that the owners are fighting over the most is an international draft, and I just don’t see how the players can agree to an international draft. As noted in the article, nearly 30% of the league were signed as international players. It seems hard to believe that the players would screw over such a large section of their union. This could get ugly.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Every time I hear Brian Cashman utter his cryptic mantra, “We’re open to anything,” the same thought enters my head:
“Uh-oh, here come the Yankees.”
The team’s payroll flexibility is increasing. Its farm system is one of the game’s best. And its average home attendance declined by nearly 5,000 per game from 2014 to ’16.
Is this the profile of a club that is going to spend the next two seasons evaluating its young talent while awaiting the great free-agent class of 2018-19?
We know the Yankees are interested in signing free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman and designated hitter Carlos Beltran, and engaged on virtually every other free agent and trade possibility.
We know, from major-league sources, that they also want to beef up the rest of their bullpen. And we know, from Cashman’s latest comments, that they are drawing trade inquiries on outfielder Brett Gardner and third baseman Chase Headley.
Simply re-signing Chapman and Beltran would enable the Yankees to look at Greg Bird and Tyler Austin at first base next season, and Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge in right field. Adding a quality setup type with Chapman would give them a variation of the three-headed bullpen monster that they had in the first four months of last season—Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman.
But why would Cashman stop there?
I get where these reporters are coming from, but come on, guys, the Yankees clearly aren’t going on some wild spending spree! Cashman just said the other day that it was only the McCann trade that is even allowing him to sign a hitter as well as a pitcher! Jim Bowden said the other day that he thinks that the Yankees will definitely be signing either Edwin Encarnacion or Yoenis Cespedes…and possibly BOTH! These people are nuts!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Brian McCann is headed to Houston.
The Yankees announced Thursday they’ve shipped the 12-year veteran catcher to Houston with cash considerations in exchange for Minor League right-handers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. Abreu was the Astros’ seventh-ranked prospect by MLB.com Pipeline.
McCann, 32, signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees—with a full no-trade cluse—prior to the 2014 season, and hit .235 with 69 homers and 227 RBIs over his three years in the Bronx.
With the emergence of superstar rookie Gary Sanchez, McCann’s days in New York seemed numbered. He made 27 starts as DH over the final two months after the Yankees traded Carlos Beltran to Texas. And with Austin Romine as another backstop in-house, Thursday’s move showed they value fleshing out their farm.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Yankees will pay $5.5 million of the $17 million McCann will make over each of the next two seasons.
The problem with judging this deal is the same problem with a lot of Yankee deals recently. We don’t know how much the money matters. For instance, this is not much of a return on a player who is still a very useful guy to have on your team, as McCann is a good catcher who wouldn’t be a godawful DH (although he wouldn’t be a particularly good DH, either). So you’d like to see a better return than what they got from the Astros, which was effectively one “Hey, maybe he might succeed” prospect.
However, the Astros are eating $11.5 million of McCann’s salary for each of the next two years. If that extra $11.5 million was preventing the Yankees from signing someone who could help them more than McCann would next season, then it’s a worthwhile trade. I just don’t know what the money situation is this offseason.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Not long after inspiration hit, Lee and David set out to invent edible underwear. They spent months tinkering late at night, like the Thomas Edisons of comestible lingerie. Using their friend Christina as a mannequin, they hand-tailored strips of the flexible material laced the pieces together with licorice whips. They named their creation “Candypants.”
“Candypants: A Fairy Tale” is an amazing story about two incredible men. A modern day fair tale. A story that’s aching to be told. And to do that, we need your help.
For over a year we’ve been doing what we can to get this film off the ground, but we can only get so far on our own power.
Your donations (tax-deductible! see below!) will pay for additional interviews with Lee and David, that will delve even further into their story and the story. We’re also going to interview their friends and family to paint a fuller picture of their lives and their world and the history of their remarkable creation.
Friend of the blog and all around good guy Francis Gaspirini is the Director/Producer/Writer of this documentary that needs a bit of funding to help nudge it along. I wanted to help him out so I’m posting this link for him. If you’ve seen any of the other projects he’s been involved with such as Atari: Game Over and Pelada, you know this has the potential to be an interesting film.
If you want to help out, you can go to the link in the title or right here. If not, there’s a poster named Ugly Johnny Dickshot who may hunt you down.
If you’re a Yankee fan, it must be kind of annoying that Gary Sanchez did not win the American League Rookie of the Year Award on Monday. He was, after all, a second-half sensation and there was historical precedent for a winner playing about the same number of games as Sanchez’s 53 — Willie McCovey only played in 52 games in 1959 but copped the NL award.
But the real takeaway from Sanchez having an empty place on his mantle shouldn’t have anything to do with Michael Fulmer, the Detroit pitcher who was certainly a deserving winner. The Yankees and their fans should concentrate on something much more meaningful than bling, which is this:
Sanchez helped transform a boring, irrelevant team this year. He injected hope into what was a hopeless season. He could be a granite building block for their future, their big star.
Remember when Bob Hamelin won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1994? You know who finished second to him? Manny Ramirez.
Who would you rather have had, Hamelin or Ramirez? One accumulated 2.6 bWAR in his career, the other accumulated 69.2 bWAR.
At least in this instance, Fulmer was legitimately good this year and the fact is he was there all season.
I’ll settle for five or six MVPs for Sanchez in lieu of the ROY.
Monday, November 14, 2016
The southpaw would be a good addition for either team considering both have (or could) lose lefty relievers. The Yankees dealt two lefties who would go on to the World Series—red-hot lefty Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs and Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians—along with Justin Wilson to the Detroit Tigers in the last year. The Mets could lose lefty Jerry Blevins to free agency.
Logan, 32, spent last season with the Colorado Rockies and had a 3.69 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 57 strikeouts in 46⅓ innings. He pitched for the Yankees from 2010-13.
Logan held lefties to a .142/.222/.255 line last season, but was not as effective in 2015 or 2014. I wouldn’t mind seeing him back as a lefty specialist, but given the cost of relievers he’ll likely command more than I’d be comfortable giving him.
If the Yankees are still trying to get under the salary cap, spending money on relievers probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s why I didn’t like trading for Tyler Clippard and his $8M salary. $6M here, $8M there, and then you are stuck in a situation where you can’t fill a position of need if someone is available and still stay under the salary cap.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Shohei Otani is what this current free-agent market lacks. He is a young, talented starter — already perceived as one of the best pitchers in the world — with the fringe benefit that he actually might be a superb hitter, as well.
But Otani is not expected to come to the American majors until next offseason, at which point the frenzy for his services likely will make him the first Japanese import to exceed $200 million.
“I actually think the guy might get a $300 million deal,” said a scout who has had multiple looks at the righty pitcher/lefty hitter. “That is how special a talent he is. He has power No. 1 starter stuff. He is throwing 99 [mph] in the eighth inning. His secondary stuff is unhittable. He is big and loose. His fastball is electric and his curve, cutter and split are all 70s [on the 20-80 scouting scale].
“And I think he is getting better as a hitter. I think an American hitting coach teaches him to turn on the ball more and he can be a 45-homer guy. He has Darryl Strawberry power. He is the face of a franchise. He is a big, handsome guy and when he plays baseball you cannot take your eyes off of him.”
I"m sold. Not sure if/when he’ll be posted but the Yankees are hopefully doing their due diligence.