Game of Moans…

Ronald Torreyes, we hardly knew ye! Oh wait, hello again…

Former Yankee Ronald Torreyes is now a current Yankee once again.  Very exciting for a guy who has never worn the pinstripes and most likely won’t be on the Opening Day roster.  Earlier in the off-season, the Yankees traded former prospect Rob Segedin to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Torreyes and pitcher Tyler Olson.  Shortly thereafter, Torreyes was DFA’d when the Yankees had a chance to sign Kansas City Royals cast-off outfielder Lane Adams.  The Yanks tried to sneak Torreyes through waivers but former Assistant GM and now Los Angeles Angels GM Billy Eppler took a flyer.  But the Angels soon saw another player they wanted to sign, and Torreyes was DFA’d again.  This time, the Yankees DFA’d the guy they signed when they threw Torreyes to the wind.  So goes Peyton Place in the Bronx…

Torreyes

Courtesy: elimpulso.com

I actually thought Adams was a good signing.  For a team filled with lefty swinging outfielders, Adams was a right hander with plus speed.  I really think that the Yankees will need a 5th outfielder as I feel Aaron Hicks will be pushed into starting duty due to injury risks from left to right in the Yankees’ outfield.  If Adams could take his game to the next level, I saw him as a better fit than Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams.  I am not quite sure where Torreyes fits.  I think Rob Refsnyder has a leg up for a utility role with the Yanks, and there’s good, young infielders on the way up.

Maybe the Yankees are hoping that Adams will slide through waivers, much as they had hoped Torreyes would.  With his speed, I think the odds are better that some team will take a chance.  All of which makes the move to DFA Torreyes and sign Adams all the more curious.  Right now, the Yankees feel like such a small market team.  Or least a big city team with a small market budget.

Pedro Alvarez seems like such a great fit for the Yankees now that it has been announced that first baseman Greg Bird will miss the season due to shoulder surgery.  But almost immediately, GM Brian Cashman downplayed any major league signings by saying that Dustin Ackley is the back up first baseman and that the Yankees would seek to find a first base replacement for Bird at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  I think as the 1B/3B backup, Alvarez would get his share of at-bats.  The Yankees need to exercise caution with Mark Teixeira in the final year of his contract and most likely his swan song in pinstripes.  Playing Teixeira the majority of the time will only heighten the risk of injury.  Equally, Chase Headley needs a breather or probably better yet, competition.  I like Ackley and I think it’s good to find ways to get him into the lineup, but still, I think the Yankees would be a better team with Alvarez on the roster.

But for Team Fiscal Constraint, that’s not going to happen.

As for Bird, the odds are that he was going to spend the majority of 2016 in AAA.  It doesn’t make sense to carry a back up first baseman who can’t play other positions.  So, the impact of Bird’s loss is probably insignificant so long as Teixeira stays healthy.  But that’s why the Yankees  need a firm Plan B in place.

Given that Bird is slated to be the starting first baseman in 2017, let’s hope that the surgery and his subsequent recovery are overwhelmingly successful.

2016 Baseball…

I am disappointed that the Yankees won’t be coming to my home city (Los Angeles).  Sorry, Anaheim is an away city when you live in LA.  Nevertheless, the Boston Red Sox are coming to Dodger Stadium so I have my ticket to see a game when the Sox invade Chavez Ravine in early August.  Needless to say, I will be wearing my Dodgers cap although I could probably make an argument to wear my more valuable Yankees cap.

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I was a big Don Mattingly fan (well, I still am).  So, I hated to see Donnie Baseball leave the Dodgers.  But I am looking forward to seeing what Dave Roberts can do.  He’ll have arguably the best pitcher in baseball with Clayton Kershaw, and will have a full season of MLB’s top prospect, SS Cory Seager.  But I fully expect to see a re-charged Red Sox squad heavily involved in the pennant race when they visit LA in August, led by Cy Young contender David Price.

I do not have any trips planned to New York this year so most likely no Yankee Stadium visits.  I’ll probably make a trip down to the OC to see the “Los Angeles” Angels play the Yanks, but it is simply not the same as Dodger Stadium.

Now that the calendar has turned to February, it’s not long before pitchers and catchers report.  This has been a somewhat disappointing off-season for the Yankees even if they can now call 2B Starlin Castro and ace closer Aroldis Chapman their own.  But the proof is in the pudding, so we’ll get the opportunity to see how the chemistry of the 2016 Yankees works.

Here’s to the expiration of bloated contracts…

—Scott

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