The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Yankees add top prospect Torres to 40-man

The Yankees added six players to their 40-man roster in advance of Monday’s 8 p.m. ET deadline to protect players from being selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. It completes a busy day of roster moves for the club that also included a pair of Minor League trades earlier in the day to clear space on the roster.

The list of players added is headlined by infielder Gleyber Torres, ranked as the Majors’ No. 1 overall prospect by, infielder Thairo Estrada, outfielder Billy McKinney and right-handers Albert Abreu, Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo Acevedo.

Besides the absolute no-brainers like Torres, Abreu and Acevedo and the near-no-brainers like Estrade and McKinney, the Yankees made two deals to clear three guys off of the 40-man so that they’d have room for those five as well as Jonathan Loaisiga, who I don’t even remember being a hot shit prospect. It will be interesting to see who is Cash’s current “cut in case someone better comes along.” Cash made two of his vaunted “trade 40-man guys for younger players who don’t need to be protected” deals. They have worked every other time he has done them, so I just assume that these will work, too. Ronald Herrerra, Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith are hard to miss too much. Cooper and Smith went to a non-rival and it got the Yankees more money to spend on Ohtani.

Good stuff all around!

--Posted at 1:50 am by Brian Cronin / 88 Comments | - (0)


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I’m truly shocked that Mitchell is still on this roster.

It’s hard not to be optimistic about this team.  They have an embarrassment of riches in terms of how deep they are.  It’s not just the major league 40 either.  They are going to have to struggle to fit legit prospects on all levels of the roster for the minor league rule 5 draft.

Mitchell is the new Mason Williams.

Otani deadline pushed back 24 hours. Sheehan seems to think that is good news for the Yankees.

[4] I think it’s kind of good news in that it seems a deal is likely (if they were far away, negotiations probably would have been abandoned) and everyone believes the Yankees are the favorites to land Ohtani on an “open” market.

[1] Mitchell’s arm seduces teams into thinking they can unlock his talent.

[6] Which the Pirates eventually will do for like 3 years.

“Your 2021 National League Cy Young Winner, Bryan Mitchell!”

[5]- Texas has $35K more in bonus money (unless you also count that they have no state income tax) and they have Darvish recruiting for them.  I mean, clearly most rich Americans would prefer to live in NYC over Texas (I mean come on) but Otani…Ohtani… Shohei might be able to be duped before he knows better.

One potential inducement of playing in Texas is no state income tax.  My guess is that won’t matter to him.

Yeah, if money mattered to him, he would just wait a couple of years and come out and make a gazillion more dollars than he would if he came over this season.

[9] It doesn’t sound like Darvish is returning to Texas. Is he still helping them?

[11] - Well Shohei can’t go to the Cubs or any other NL team but other than that, he is apparently keeping his home in Texas.  There was also rumor that his huge full page ad thanking the fans after being traded to the Dodgers was a way to help them recruit… but that is probably just things Texas fans tell themselves.  You know, kind of like how state income tax doesn’t matter, and if he was really about the money he’d wait a few years.

Yeah, don’t the players pay state income tax on road games anyways?

On Loaisiga, maybe Cash had a bunch of teams inquire on him when he was offloading other guys? Maybe another potential bonus if doing what he does is he gets extra info on who teams want to poach from them.

If Otani really wants to hit, that leaves 15 teams. All other things being equal, I’ve heard Yankees are favorites because while his earning potential is capped here with the small contract he has to sign, he can make way more in endorsements in Japan with the Yankees brand, opposed to Texas, Minnesota, etc.

So if I had to guess, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, maaayyybeee Mariners or Astros are in play.

Him landing in Boston scares me, especially since no one has really linked them with Otani- it seems too quiet on that front. But I’m convincing myself he’ll go NY because he can make the most in bonus money, make the most in endorsement money, they have a DH spot open, and he can pitch with fellow countryman, Tanaka, which I assume can help with assimilation not just to the country, but to the teammates as well. The team is good. And they’ll be a team that can seriously sign him to the big contract when that time comes. He may not want to go to Texas knowing he’ll probably leaves in x amount of years when he is a FA for real.

Kinda sucks to see Herrera go, I really like finesse pitchers with great control. And his change-up is a genuine plus secondary pitch. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him have Major League success, though it may be more in a Yusmerio Petit type of role.

[1] He’s the first one to get cut? He has photos?

A couple of top Braves prospects including Kevin Maitan were just made free agents.  They get to keep the bonuses that the Braves paid them, but teams will still be subject to pool limits.

So, even if they can’t (or don’t get the chance to) sign Otani, there a places to spend that pool money.

[18] Yeah, all these teams with big money still available will have plenty of consolation prizes available.

[15] Don’t the townies have very limited pool money? Like $300K total, so he’d be passing up three mil and bigger NY endorsement money and the ability to play for Matsui’s old team (his hitting idol) and with Tanaka to be forced to grow a beard and split DH time with Hanley? That might be why it’s quiet on that front.

1 Something, something spin rate on his curve just like Morton.


Not surprising, didn’t he receive cortisone shots, and totally coincidentally his performance bounced back?

Per RAB.

Turns out Aaron Judge wrapping his left shoulder with a big ice pack after each game in the second half was more than routine maintenance. Judge had arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder yesterday, the Yankees announced. The procedure “involved a loose-body removal and cartilage clean-up,” and his recovery will be completed in time for Spring Training.

[18] The Braves really getting penalized. Idiots that ran their system screwed them big time.

The Braves will also have significant restrictions in the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 international classes. The team will not be allowed to sign top 2019 prospect Robert Puason, with who the Braves allegedly struck an illegal deal. Atlanta will also lose a third-round draft pick in 2018.

Commissioner bans former Braves GM John Coppolella for life. Per Joel Sherman.


Jeff Passan ‏Verified account @JeffPassan 2m2 minutes ago

Important note: Every team can sign Kevin Maitan. Teams will be able to use money from the current bonus period (2017-18) or dip into next year’s pool (2018-19). They cannot combine the money from both years.

Holy shit the Braves got donkey-punched.  I guess baseball is making a lesson out of them but it seems disproportionate compared to what the Red Sox got. 


Could Girardo have been a prime figure in Judge playing through his injury? That kind of thing I could see leading to a him or me situation from the objective pipe.

[28] The Red Sox are always on the leading edge of cheating and getting caught.

They get punished and the MLB says “Next time it will be worse…”

It’s pretty bullshit.

The Red Sox had a pretty similar punishment, though, losing all their signings and being banned for a year from IFA. The biggest difference is their GM didn’t get banned for life.

Did the Sox get the future spending restrictions and bans on other execs though?  And there are more punishments to come for other front-office employees.

[31] The Braves lost 12 players!

Selig legacy rules on townies still in effect.

Not only that, but they changed the rules this time so that capped out teams like the Red Sox can still bid on the Braves free agents, which is not what they did previously.

[7] Hey, remember when they fixed Ivan Nova? And turned him into… Ivan Nova?

[32,33] But isn’t the story that the Braves infractions were much worse?

Sherman Twitter So unless for some reason MLB owners do not ratify next Fri, Ohtani likely posted shortly after and signed before December is concluded. #LetTheBiddingBeg

Beginning next offseason Japanese clubs will get 20 percent of the value for a player who signs an MLB contract of less than $25M, 17 1-2 pct for $25M-$50M, 15 pct $50M-$100M. For $100M or more 1st $25M 20pct, next $25M 17 1-2 pct, anything above that 15 pct

Maitan really lost his prospect shine in 2017.

Then 2017 reports started coming in. Scouts expressed concern over Maitan’s thickening body, some dropping a 30 on his lateral range at shortstop and projecting him over at first base. Others didn’t like his swing, citing stiffness and length. Pro scouts couldn’t understand what all the international fuss was about.

Maitan still has enviable bat speed and bat control, but any team that pursues him is pursuing a talented reclamation project, not a presently enticing talent. He’s still just 17 and it’s far too early to give up on Maitan as a prospect, but unless you view him using his amateur reports as context, you might not even think he is one.

The link also has scouting on other lost Braves prospects.

I get the impression that Oh-tani may not want the limelight. The Twins voided a deal that gave them $3 million more and they have the same amount available as the Yankees. Just a feeling I have from reading some stuff about Oh-tani. I will be happy to be wrong and he agrees to sign with the Yankees.

Former top prospect, now available for a fraction of the previous cost.  Sounds like a perfect fit for the Yankees.  In other news:  Mark Appel was DFAed by the Phillies.

I believe the Twins’ current money was BECAUSE they voided a deal. In other words, they were always at this place ($20,000 or so less than the Yankees) it just wasn’t until now that we understood HOW they got here. We saw that they had the money but it wasn’t explained how they got to that total.

There’s basically zero chance the Twins voided a 3M contract this late in the signing period to have a CHANCE to sign Ohtani.

Its questionable to write Maitan off based on what he did in rookie ball at seventeen years old. Though its also possible he will be disappointing. Definitely worth a flyer for somebody.

I really want Ohtani on the Yankees, though that’s hardly a bold statement.

[37] I’m confused by the reporting on this. Where are these 8 figure contracts coming from? Aren’t the contracts limited by the bonus pool money? Are Japanese players being granted full free agency? And those new terms are next year, so they don’t apply to Ohtani this winter?

[44] - No, THIS contract is limited because he is an international player under 25.  Players over 25 are not limited.

Ex Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakely: “I take responsibility for my actions in this situation; however, I always acted under the direction of my supervisors”.

Who let’s these people write these statements? At least they’re good for a laugh.

I take responsibility for my posts, however I always acted under the direction of space aliens.

That defense worked so well at Nuremberg its no surprise that its still being used.

[38] Sounds like Maitan got early-onset Jesus Montero syndrome.

I have such Schadenfreude over the whole Braves situation.  So glad these players get to keep their bonuses. 

I wish the Braves 5 million cap money (or whatever the number is) for next year was spread to the other 29 teams’ caps so the 16 year olds getting the money in future years don’t miss out.

Only at RLYw can we get words like “Nuremberg” and “schadenfreude” with regard to baseball shenanigans.

[37] Exactly what I came here to ask, how long until Ohtani picks his team. Only 8 more days until December, so pumped it’ll be a quick process.

[52] The posting process has to be finalized and will have to be formally ratified by the mlb owners in 10 (9 now) days. As soon as that happens, Ohtani can be posted. Ohtani will probably be posted on December 2.

[53] Ah, okay. Have there been reports on how long it’ll take after it’s ratified? Can Otani take all off-season to pick his team or is it expected within that first week he chose a team?

[54] If I’m reading it right, Ohtani has 21 days to decide after he is posted.

If he is posted on the 2nd, he’ll have to decide on/by the 23rd.

[55] Thanks- especially for not telling me to stop being lazy and google it myself!

[55] Just in time for a Festivus Miracle !

Why will no one assuage my weltschmerz (brought on by lack of baseball)?

I love shnitzel without saeurkraut.

58 It’s verkakte all right. At least some roomers please.

This is like the most perfect fit, Yankees can offer second most in money, a roster built around Ohtani that he isn’t thrusted right into the spotlight and high expectations, a team that is built to win come Opening Day, and marketing and sponsorship opportunities galore. He’d not just be a Japanese or NY sports star but possibly a global icon. Now watch the Toronto Blue Jays sign Ohtani because Ohtani’s second-cousin thinks the Blue Jay logo is a good luck sign.

[61] Those are ribbons of shame !!!

The House That Steinbrenner built ESPN 30/30 withdrawal medicine.

[61] Well put.  From my POV, Ohtani should sign with the Yanks. In addition to your reasons, he’s have Tanaka to help him. The problem is that we don’t know what Ohtani’s POV is.

Would having a manager that speaks his language help? If so, hire Bam Bam. If not, hire Bam Bam anyways.

Here’s a fun fact:  Fangraphs wrote not one single word about Yuliesky Gurriel making slant-eyes at Darvish.  That place vomits content—had to be an editorial decision.

Why was J.P. Feyereisen left unprotected vs. Jonathan Loaisiga?

[67] Loaisiga has a lot of helium as a potentially high upside starter with the stuff/control to survive in a BP for a year. And Feyereisen has some non-insignificant control/command concerns.

With a few teams willing to basically go with 23-24 man roster to hold on to a high upside rule 5 guy (Padres-Torrens) teams are being much safer with the guys they previously thought would never stick.

Also just a judgement call.  At that level who knows which will be more successful?

The Rule 5 draft is kind of fucked and is the kind of thing the MLBPA ought to fight over in the next CBA.  At a bare minimum AJ Preller ought to impaled on a stake through the anus.

Not that I’m suggesting teams should get more cheap/free control, but there has to be a way to rationalize the maneuvering and be fairer to the players.  Axisa suggested a uniform rule of age-23 eligibility, but that penalizes Latin guys who could be in the system 8 years making starvation wages.

[69] Maybe they could couple such a deal with a raise for the minor leaguers? It’s overdue that they start to make a little more with MLB in such great financial shape.

[66] I mean, I’ll cut them some slack considering they don’t shy away from “political” issues. They wrote about Chapman and domestic abuse and they’ve covered male/white predominance in baseball. I don’t expect them to be opinionated on all these things, and I think we know where they stand with regard to these kinds of things.

Do you post there as “Johnny Dickshot”?

If I could remember the url or my admin login, I would put up a Thanksgiving day post. But I can’t so…

Thanks for being here RLYW and RLYWers. We have an online community to be treasured and envied.

71.  Fangraphs is a site I love to hate.  Useful info, the writing has improved, I still think they’re mostly arrogant dicks a la early Baseball Prospectus.  But it is weird they wrote nothing about it—it was a huge subject of discussion and it’s the kind of thing you almost have to post about.

I am also thankful for RLYW, SG, Cronin, Clay and all
the people who make this a site I visit multiple times on days when nothing happens in baseball.

Oh, ps to jerry seinfeld—I might have posted there a time or two as Johnny Dickshot, but if so not for a long time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

[75] I guess you have a protegé then.

[77]  I’ve always wanted one!

I had one but I traded him for a sycophant.

[79]  Plus bonus pool money for international toady and lickspittle signings.

Waiting for Robo Cronin.

Yankees farm hands nabbed 3 of the top 10 prospect spots in the Arizona Fall League according to BA (and an honorable mention).

4. Sheffield
5. Abreu
8. Florial

HM: Estrada

Estrada has got to be a trade chip, right? Where is there any room for him on the roster for the next couple of years?

[83]  He could pass Wade as Torreyes replacement?

He’s going to end up starting for the Padres and be a 2-win player.  I feel it.

I guess he could replace Castro, but who wants Castro?

I find it weird Ohtani hasn’t been asked or given any indication of what he’s looking for in selecting a team.  I would think news would have broken from Japan by now.

Anyone think Gardner, Frazier, and Adams for Stanton gets it done? Would it be worth it? A three team trade where Gardner goes to a third team for prospects to the Marlins would also work. Gardner/ Frazier/ and a lesser prospect?

They could do that trade and still be under the HalCap.

[87] Unless the Marlins are covering some of Stanton’s contract, they are not getting any real prospects or mlb players from anyone.

I’d offer some of those guys Cash got in his rule V trades.

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