Thursday, December 8, 2016
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—The New York Yankees have reunited with left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman on a five-year, $86 million deal, the four-time All-Star told ESPN’s Marly Rivera.
“I love the organization, they welcomed me with open arms, and that’s why I decided to go back,” Chapman told Rivera on Wednesday night after agreeing to the largest contract ever for a reliever. “I was hoping I had a chance to go back, and it happened.
“Every player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they don’t, it’s because they never got the chance.”
Chapman, 28, cannot be dealt to some West Coast teams and cannot be dealt at all in the first three years of the contract.
“I just don’t want to go that far,” he said. “I did have the opportunity to stay here near my house [with the Miami Marlins], but no, I leaned more toward New York. I like the Bronx more.”
This seems like way too much money for a reliever, but if the Yankees have one thing, it’s money. I have to think a contract like this makes it awfully hard to get under the luxury tax limit now, at least if they want to have a decent enough team around Chapman to make it to the postseason at which point having an elite reliever is worth the premium they’ve just committed.
I am not worried about Chapman declining all that much over five years. He’ll likely lose a little velocity, but he can use his slider more and be effective. From what I’ve heard/read, he is a workout maniac and a remarkable athlete and that bodes well for his longevity.
I am having difficulty reconciling the fact that relievers are making $15M a year now while the luxury tax limit will only be increasing by $6M next year.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The Boston Red Sox acquired Chris Sale, one of the game’s most dominant left-handed pitchers, from the Chicago White Sox for Yoan Moncada and three other prospects.
The White Sox also got minor league right-handed pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe.
The blockbuster marks a turn toward rebuilding for the White Sox, who deal their left-handed ace whose combination of dominance and cost-effectiveness made him the top prize on the trade market this winter.
As for the Red Sox, they land Sale, 27, for three years at the low cost of $51.5 million if they exercise a club option for 2019. And suddenly, they boast a deadly left-right-left combo of David Price, Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and Sale, who went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA and 233 strikeouts in 226 2/3 innings last season.
The cost was significant, as club President Dave Dombrowski sent power-hitting Cuban infielder Moncada to the White Sox, along with right-handed starter Michael Kopech, outfielder Luis Basabe and right-hander Victor Diaz.
Moncada, 21, produced a .918 OPS in 106 games at high-A and Class AA last season, and then had a 19-at-bat stint in Boston at the end of the year. He was the top-ranked prospect by Baseball America at midseason.
Remember when the Yankees could have signed Yoan Moncada and didn’t?
The Yankees aren’t balking at Aroldis Chapman’s reported desire for a six-year contract, believing there is mutual interest to work out a reunion with the flame-throwing closer, but they maintained contact with other bullpen options as the Winter Meetings opened Monday at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort & Convention Center.
In addition to Chapman, general manager Brian Cashman said that he has been talking to free-agent closer Kenley Jansen and that he is considering trade opportunities to add a reliever. Chapman told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that he would like a six-year contract, though the left-hander refuted a suggestion that his eventual deal must exceed $100 million.
I think Chapman is one of those rare closers that I’d be okay with signing to such a long contract, but yeah, the money might be too much, even for the Yankees.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
The Yankees made a quick strike to land a bat on the eve of baseball’s Winter Meetings, agreeing to terms with outfielder/designated hitter Matt Holliday on a one-year, $13 million contract.
The signing has not been officially announced by the team. MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi has confirmed the signing and its financial terms.
Holliday, who turns 37 in January, batted .246 with a .322 on-base percentage and .461 slugging percentage in 110 games for the Cardinals this past season, producing 20 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs and 62 RBIs.
Holliday is a fine one-year stopgap. He can at least fake an outfield position. And he has a legitimate chance at having a bounceback season, especially if he is now an everyday DH.
Friday, December 2, 2016
The Yankees resolved two of their potential non-tender situations this week with the outright releases of right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley, which may have settled their business in advance of Friday’s 8 p.m. ET deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.
The Yankees have seven guys eligible for arbitration.
Four of them are no-brainers to get tendered contracts - Dellin Betances, Michael Pineda, Didi Gregorius and Adam Warren.
Austin Romine is almost certainly going to be tendered the contract as he is likely the back-up catcher unless Kyle Higashioka tears it up in Spring Training, and even then, since Higashioka has a bunch of options left, Romine probably would still get the back-up gig to start the season (I wonder, though, will the drop-off offensively from McCann to Romine be enough for the Yankees to pursue an everyday DH so that they don’t have to worry about Romine catching too much, as Romine would have to catch every game that Sanchez DHs, which initially seemed like it would be a lot).
Aaron Hicks is probably back. He hit enough to avoid being non-tendered.
That leaves Tommy Layne as the only serious non-tender possibility and I think they have to give him a roster spot. He was pretty darn good last season.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Major League Baseball’s players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides.
At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That’s how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today’s deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.
Players and owners negotiated until 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, took a few hours off, then went back to the bargaining table. Suddenly, negotiations that had moved with a crawl for months picked up intensity as the end of the current agreement approached.
Now, both parties are expected to speak at a news conference when the deal is formally announced.
Man, the Steinbrenners handle this stuff pretty much the complete opposite of how their dad did. He would have ultimately accepted some sort of luxury tax, but they’re practically jumped in head first, “Sure, we’ll gladly let you make it so that we don’t have to spend a lot of money” by agreeing to some onerous freakin’ tax limits. Revenue has SKYROCKETED in the last few years and yet if the Yankees spent just 5% more than they did eight years ago, they would have to pay a 90% tax on their overage. That’s just bonkers. That’s simply, “Thanks guys for giving us an excuse for never having to spend a lot more than the other big market teams.” It’s like they are fine if they don’t spend big so long as no one else can spend big either.
And how in the world did the Yankees agree to a $5 million yearly cap on international free agents? What the hell?! Even for the Steinbrenners, that sounds stupid.
Tony Clark might not be the best negotiator out there. Maybe hire a professional next time, guys.
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.