Friday, November 13, 2015
1. Aaron Hicks, John Ryan Murphy trade
New York and the Minnesota Twins swapped players on Wednesday, the Yankees absorbing outfielder Aaron Hicks while shipping out backup catcher John Ryan Murphy. Murphy probably wasn’t going to ever start in New York, and it seems likely now that Hicks will replace Yanks’ outfielder Chris Young, who became a free agent after ‘15.
Thoroughly judging the trade is impossible now, but it appears Hicks, a former first-round draft pick, is at least on the upswing.
2. Brett Gardner to be traded?
3. Jose Pirela gone
4. Will Andrew Miller still be Yankees’ closer?
5. Greg Bird: See you in 2017?
1) I was a bit surprised by the Hicks/Murphy trade, although the return seems fair. I’m not sure you want Hicks as a full-time starting outfielder, but I’m not sure you want Murphy as a full-time starting catcher either.
I’m more surprised by the fact that the Yankees have put themselves in a position where a Brian McCann injury would now make Gary Sanchez their starting catcher and I’m not sure that’s really smart. But time will tell.
2) I hope not. But I expect him to be.
3) He will be missed. This was more of a 40 man roster cleaning up for a player who likely wasn’t going to have much of a role on the Yankees. It seemed they were grooming Pirela to be a super-sub type player, and they now seemingly have Dustin Ackley for that role instead.
5) Bold prediction. Greg Bird will get a PA in MLB in 2016.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
BOCA RATON, Fla. − In an ideal world, the Yankees would love to add a lefthanded starting pitcher that has had success in the American League.
Yes, David Price fits that description, but there’s a lesser-known name on the free-agent market that also fits the bill: Wei-Yin Chen.
According to a source, the Yankees could make a serious run at Chen, who has pitched for the Orioles the past four seasons. The 30-year-old is 46-32 with a 3.72 ERA since coming to the majors, including an 11-8 record and 3.34 ERA in 31 starts last season.
“A lot of teams are going to be in on him,” the source said. “But the Yankees are going to be one of them.”
Since Andy Pettitte retired after the 2013 season, CC Sabathia has been the lone lefthander in the Yankees’ regular rotation. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi can all be free agents by the end of the 2017 season, leaving Luis Severino and Adam Warren as the only big-league starters under control in 2018 and beyond.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Chen is seeking a deal of at least five years, though six isn’t out of the question given the need for pitching around the league.
I think Chen would be a nice pickup, but not at the cost of a draft pick, and certainly not on a contract of five or six years.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
BOCA RATON, Fla. — To further exemplify Brian Cashman’s mantra that he is open to talking about any player on his roster, the Yankees have discussed Brett Gardner with the Mariners, The Post has learned.
No trade discussions were characterized as far along or specifically targeted to just one team. Nevertheless, Gardner has long been a player whom new Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has liked going back to his time as an executive with the Diamondbacks and Angels. The Mariners, in fact, as part of the six-player trade done last week with Tampa, obtained center field prospect Boog Powell, who is commonly compared to Gardner in projecting his future.
Powell, though, is not expected to be ready to open the 2016 season and the Mariners are in win-now mode. They have identified as a priority adding on-base skills in front of a lineup middle of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. Only two of the 11 Mariners who came to the plate at least 200 times last year had a better on-base percentage than Gardner’s .343.
The Yankees are particularly looking for high-end starting pitching that they control for seven years because all of their current starters, except Luis Severino and Adam Warren, can be free agents after either the 2016 or 2017 campaign. The Mariners essentially will not talk about Taijuan Walker. But The Post has learned they would discuss 27-year-old lefty James Paxton, whose delivery has reminded folks of Andy Pettitte. Paxton was among the pitchers the Yankees were looking at more intensely late in the season and now in the Arizona Fall League under the belief they could become available in the offseason.
Hey, if his delivery reminds folks of Andy Pettitte he should be just as good, right?
I think it’s a question of when Gardner is traded and what the return is, rather than if. And I do find that disappointing, but I also don’t see how the Yankees can’t put a better team out there in 2016 without trading some position players and giving themselves more flexibility to upgrade.
I don’t suppose the Mariners would rather have Smellsbury?
Monday, November 9, 2015
American League shortstop may be where this year’s biggest Gold Glove snub lies, but the snub wasn’t made by the selection committee. Instead, the snub was made by the rules for qualification. Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor, whose +8 tDEF grade would have made him the clear favorite, far surpassed the 690-inning minimum set by Rawlings to be eligible for the award. However, the qualifications also specify that a player must have met that inning requirement within his team’s first 137 games, and Lindor fell short of that requirement by 35 innings.
Had Lindor been called up four games sooner, he’d be the favorite to win his first of many Gold Gloves in the AL. Instead, our most deserving candidate becomes Gregorius, who lived up to his reputation as a plus defender in his first full season as an everyday shortstop. The ability to make a cross-body throw on the run with the sort of zip on it like the one shown above is decidedly remarkable.
Gregorius keeping the line moving with the Yankees’ recent history of Gold Glove defense? Sweet!
Sunday, November 8, 2015
The Yankees sound ready to deal.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he’s “open to anything,” according to a report from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
While the report said that Cashman doesn’t anticipate trading any of his three top youngsters — starting pitcher Luis Severino, right fielder Aaron Judge and first baseman Greg Bird — the longtime GM sounded like he expects everything to be on the table this season.
“I’m not afraid,” Cashman said, according to the report.
They probably should be, although I’d obviously prefer if the guys who end up getting dealt are guys over 30. They don’t have many ways to upgrade their lineup without trading some pieces.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
In a conference call late this morning, new Yankees hitting coach Alan Cockrell revealed Brett Gardner played almost the entire season with a wrist injury. Cockrell didn’t know the exact date that the problem started, but he said it started with a hit by pitch very early in the season (he thought it was maybe in Tampa Bay).
Just looking through Gardner’s season, it seems April 13 is probably the date in question. That was the Baltimore game when Stephen Drew hit a grand slam off the bench. Gardner was hit in the right wrist very near a spot where he’d been hit in the opening home stand. He was sent for X-rays, which were negative, but he still missed the next two games. Cockrell might have Tampa in his mind because Tampa was the next stop, and that’s where Gardner returned to the lineup while presumably still getting significant treatment.
“I know that that bothered him off and on the entire year,” Cockrell said.
When I first heard this, I thought it sounded like total baloney. Just a Yankee employee trying to make excuses. However, there was a fascinating wrinkle that I didn’t realize. Players are allowed three cortisone shots per season. Gardner used his last one up at the end of July. So, with that in mind, it suddenly actually sounds kind of believable. Why even run the guy out there, then, though? What the heck? Just put him on the DL!!
The New York Yankees announced seven roster moves on Wednesday, including the news that RHP Andrew Bailey has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to the minors.
The team also sold the contract of RHP Chris Martin to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Japanese Pacific League for $750,000, added RHP Vicente Campos to the 40-man roster, and officially reinstated four players - RHP Domingo German, LHP Jacob Lindgren, RHP Chase Whitley and OF Mason Williams - from the 60-day disabled list.
The moves leave the Yankees’ current 40-man roster at 39 players.
Bailey is still not technically a free agent, he’ll just be subject to arbitration now. That would be dependent on the Yankees tendering him a contract, which they are not certain to do.
In other exciting news, the Yankees confirm that Brendan Ryan has exercised his part of a mutual option which would bring him back in 2016. It’s for $1M if the Yankees decline their part of the option, and $2M if they don’t. And if they don’t, they are paying $1M more than they need to be so I’m not exactly sure why they wouldn’t.
At that price tag, Ryan is not a real problem. He’ll either be a backup infielder or he’ll be somewhere else.
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