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.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The Yankees have known for years that Brett Gardner brings above-average defensive ability to the field on a nightly basis, and now that has been acknowledged in physical form with the veteran’s first career Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
Gardner was named Tuesday as the American League’s top defender in left field, becoming the first Yankees outfielder to win a Gold Glove Award since Bernie Williams won four in a row from 1997-2000.
The 33-year-old Gardner ranked second in the AL with a .989 fielding percentage and 249 putouts, trailing Alex Gordon of the Royals (.991) and Justin Upton of the Tigers (253), respectively.
Good for Gardy!
Of course, the fact that the last Yankee outfielder to win a Gold Glove was Bernie in 2000 (by which point his defense had already fallen off of a cliff) kind of goes to show you how sketchy these awards often are. But still, better to win one than not! And in recent years, the Gold Glove seems like the voters take it a lot more seriously than they did back in 2000, when there seemed to be an air of, “Eh, whatever” to the proceedings (with Rafael Palmiero infamously winning a Gold Glove while DHing almost the entire season).
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Gary Sanchez’s late-season power surge earned him a place in the history books, and now the Yankees catcher is in the running to bring home some hardware after being named as a finalist for the American League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award.
Sanchez joins the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer and Indians’ Tyler Naquin among the select contenders for the award, as revealed Monday on MLB Network.
Sanchez’s performance on both sides of the ball won over many supporters despite his abbreviated season.
“I can tell you, Gary’s meant as much to this team as any rookie in the big leagues this year, and he’s only been here what, a month and a half?” manager Joe Girardi said in September. “That’s how important he has been. I think Fulmer’s had a great year, but if I had a vote, it’d be for Gary.”
Good for Sanchez. I hope he somehow wins.
I must say, I really love the top three finalist thing they’re doing now. It gives the OTHER top players a week in the sun before the winner is announced, and it helps drive debate, as well. Good job, MLB! I know everyone is pretty much doing this nowadays, but still!
Love that Ortiz didn’t end up in the Top 3 for AL MVP, but I bet that means Betts wins it.
Free agency has barely begun, and already Aroldis Chapman has a suitor. Yankees GM Brian Cashman on Monday confirmed that he’s expressed interest to Chapman’s agent. Via the New York Daily News:
“There are certainly some names out there that are pretty good,” Cashman said. “It’s probably a thin starting pitching market, there are a number of different relievers in the market; certainly more relievers in this free agency than there are starters of quality. The trade route is obviously an area we’ll see what develops over time.”
Cashman originally acquired Chapman from the Reds in December of 2015. However, after the Yankees faded from contention this past season, Cashman dealt Chapman to the Cubs on July 25 for a package fronted by shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres. Chapman is now a free agent, and since he played for two teams in 2015 he doesn’t have a qualifying offer attached, which, in turn, means he won’t cost his new team a compensatory draft pick.
Not surprising, although I’d guess Chapman is not in any hurry to sign.
I am dreading the inevitable Cashman trade for starting pitching. Those just rarely seem to work out, for whatever reason.
Monday, November 7, 2016
1) Do the Yankees need more starting pitching?
2) Is Dellin Betances the Yankees’ closer?
No. At least he shouldn’t be. Not because he can’t do it, but because he’s more valuable pitching higher leverage situations in the 7th and 8th instead of protecting three run leads in the 9th.
3) Will Brian McCann be on the Yankees in 2017?
4) Is this the winter Brett Gardner gets traded?
I’d be shocked if he isn’t. I’d rather they trade the CF, but no one will be stupid enough to take on a contract that was a disaster on the day it was signed.
5) Are the Yankees ready to sink or swim with the Baby Bombers?
I sure hope so.