October Baseball On Our Minds…
Everyone is talking like the New York Yankees are already in the World Series but I do not view (potentially) two games in Houston against the Astros to be a cakewalk. Tonight, the Yankees send their best (Luis Severino) against crafty veteran Justin Verlander who is very clearly a big game pitcher. If the Astros win tonight, they have to be viewed as the favorite for Game 7 in Minute Maid Park. We’re not in the Bronx anymore. But the Yankees have already defeated the best team in the American League in a best-of-five series and they are a single game away from reaching the Fall Classic. This Yankees team has incredible heart and a ‘no-quit’ drive like none other.
Regardless of what happens, I am very proud of the 2017 Yankees. Going into the season, it seemed like the experts were forecasting a .500 season at best. It was unclear if Aaron Judge or Aaron Hicks would win the right field job. Questions were abound about whether Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia had seen their better days. Or if Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius could continue their development in the middle infield. I was one of many uncertain if Luis Severino’s stronger future was in the starting rotation or the bullpen. The Yankees answered those questions (and more) and now stand one game away from the World Series. There is nothing that the Houston Astros can do to take away from the huge accomplishments achieved by the Yankees. This is a young team that is only going to get better. As the saying goes, ‘the future is so bright, I’ve got to wear shades!’
If the Yankees do make it to the World Series, they’ll be heading to Los Angeles next week. The Los Angeles Dodgers dethroned the Chicago Cubs last night to win the NLCS, 4 games to 1. The Dodgers throttled the Cubs, 11-1, behind the power of their utility outfielder. Enrique “Kiké” Hernandez put his name into the history books with three home runs and seven RBI’s as the Dodgers coasted to the victory behind the three-hit, one-run pitching of the great Clayton Kershaw over seven innings and three innings of scoreless relief from the bullpen. Kenley Jansen, the closer, is a stud, but where did Brandon Morrow come from? The one-time former closer of the Seattle Mariners and ex-Blue Jay has been ‘lights out’ for the Dodgers. He was 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 45 games this year, and in 4 games against the Cubs in the NLCS, he allowed only one hit, a walk, and no runs over 4 2/3 innings while striking out seven. There won’t be too many late inning rallies against the Dodgers.
For the Dodgers, their ten consecutive appearances in the post-season without a championship is the longest streak in MLB history. During that time, the Dodgers have been defeated in the NLCS four times, including last year on the very field they spilled champagne last night. This makes their eleventh appearance in post-season play since they defeated the Oakland A’s in the 1988 World Series.
The Managerial Musical Chairs…
Growing up watching the Yankees-Dodgers World Series (three times over five years from 1977 to 1981), it is very exciting and intriguing to think the Yankees might finally have the chance to avenge their loss in the 1981 World Series. Ironically, the 1981 Dodgers also had to get past the Houston Astros (in the NLDS) to reach the World Series. They defeated the Montreal Expos in the NLCS that year. The 1981 World Series was also the time when Owner George Steinbrenner allegedly got into an altercation with two Dodgers fans in the elevator of a Los Angeles hotel. Steinbrenner told reporters, “I clocked them. There are two guys in this town looking for their teeth and two guys who will probably sue me”. Steinbrenner was not sued and the two guys were never identified. Who knows if Steinbrenner really faced anyone in that elevator but the Yankees finally have the chance for redemption in the City of Angels if they can win one more game against the Astros (just one, let’s do it!). I am sure that the Boss would be very pleased.
The MLB Post-Season has certainly not stopped other teams from taking action, or at the very least, talking action.
The Detroit Tigers are expected to announce former Twins manager and current Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire as their manager later today (replacing the fired Brad Ausmus).
Ausmus remains a candidate for the job to replace John Farrell in Boston as the Red Sox manager, however, all reports indicate that current Astros bench coach Alex Cora is the likely choice. Cora is certainly getting a firsthand view of what he may be facing next year.
I personally think that it is a shame for current Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez hasn’t gotten stronger consideration for managerial openings.No word on the open jobs with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets, but former Yankees and current Mets hitting coach Kevin Long has emerged as a favorite for the post in Queens.
It remains to be seen if Yankees manager Joe Girardi returns next year. While one would think that it is a foregone conclusion that Girardi will be back with a new agreement in hand, it is also possible that family considerations could cause Girardi to walk away. I think the latter is a greater possibility if the Yankees lose the ALCS to the Astros. I continue to hope that Girardi and the Steinbrenner family come together on a new deal. I honestly do not see a better alternative currently available.
Have a great Friday! Like last night, let’s hope the road team is pouring champagne in the visitor’s clubhouse after the game. Go Yankees!
Credit: Rich Schultz-Getty Images
Blue Jays 4, Yankees 1…
The 4th of July is a great time for America as it celebrates the birth of our country. Sadly, the Yankees were unable to provide any fireworks as they fell quietly to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
The game marked the return of CC Sabathia. Before the game, Manager Joe Girardi was hoping for 5 or 6 innings from Sabathia. Unfortunately, it would prove to be something comparable to me hoping for winning PowerBall numbers. In retrospect, maybe CC should have taken a rehab assignment.
The first inning went well enough as Sabathia retired the first three batters on fly outs to center, although he had Jacoby Ellsbury running hard for several of them. The 2nd inning saw another three up, three down pass through the Jays lineup. So far, so good.
Then, the 3rd inning happened. The first two batters…no problem. Steve Pearce flied out to left and Kevin Pillar struck out swinging. Then, with two outs, Darwin Barney walked. A wild pitch by Sabathia moved Barney to second. Joey Bats followed with a single to right, scoring Barney. Russell Martin singled and Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases. Adam Warren got up in the bullpen to begin warming up. On a 3-2 count, Sabathia threw Ball 4, high and outside, to Justin Smoak, which scored Bautista. Kendrys Morales stepped up and lined a single to left through the hole, which scored Martin and Donaldson. 4-0 Blue Jays and it was shower time for Sabathia. Warren came in to record the final out but the damage was done. 63 pitches by Sabathia (39 in the 3rd inning alone) and he was clearly laboring at the end. He finished with 3 hits and 4 runs in 2 2/3 innings, walking 3 and striking out just 1. Sabathia (7-3) saw his season ERA inflate to 3.81.
Credit: Kathy Willens-AP
The Yankees’ lone highlight came in the bottom of the 4th when All-Star Aaron Judge crushed a J.A. Happ pitch 456 feet to center, a line drive, for his 28th home run of the year. The Statcast exit velocity of the ball was measured at 118.4 mph. One more home run and Judge will match the Yankees rookie season HR record held by Joe DiMaggio.
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
From there, the Yankees could not muster any further offense against Happ or the Jays bullpen. Happ, a 20-game winner in 2016, picked up only his 3rd win of the year with six strong innings, holding the Yankees to four hits and the lone run. The Jays pen held the Yankees hitless for the duration of the game. It was a nice job by the Yankees bullpen too, most notably the 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief provided by Luis Cessa.
The Yankees will attempt to take the series today with a win before the Jays leave town. Tomorrow represents an off day (finally). In their final series before the All-Star Break, the Yankees will host the Milwaukee Brewers for three games beginning Friday.
The Yankees (44-38) slid four games behind Boston as the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers, 11-4. Boston’s on a roll now with their sixth consecutive victory. The Tampa Bay Rays are quietly sneaking up on the Yankees for second place as they are now just 1 1/2 games in back of the Pinstripers. The Rays beat their former manager Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs yesterday, 6-5.
It would have been great if the Yankees could have won on the birthdays of the United States and late owner George Steinbrenner but it was not meant to be. We can only hope that the winning magic will return today. Michael Pineda can make it happen.
Odds & Ends…
After yesterday’s game, the Yankees dumped Chris Carter again. It’s time for Carter to seek employment elsewhere. In his final game for the Yankees, Carter was 0-for-2 and dropped a ball from Didi Gregorius in the 7th that was scored a hit for Joey Bats. Fortunately for us, the Yankees decided it was time to pull the plug on Chris Carter Experiment II and have promoted first baseman Ji-Man Choi from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his place. In 55 games for the RailRiders, Choi, formerly of the Los Angeles Angels, hit 8 HR’s and 41 RBI’s while batting .286. Choi is not the answer but at this point, he’s better than the man he replaced. Choi will be available for today’s game.
Credit: J Conrad Williams Jr-Newsday
The Yankees’ decision to send Bryan Mitchell to Triple A on Tuesday rather than Luis Cessa was based on the desire for Mitchell to continue working as a starter for potential help in the rotation later in the season if necessary.
Credit: J Conrad Williams Jr-Newsday
Logan Morrison, shut up. The Rays first baseman called out Gary Sanchez on Tuesday when he said the Yankees catcher did not deserve to participate in next week’s Home Run Derby. In the midst of a career season, Morrison said “I remember when I had 14 home runs (Sanchez currently has 13). That was a month and a half ago.” Morrison was not selected for the All-Star Game and is currently one of five listed on the AL Final Vote ballot, along with Didi Gregorius and Mike Moustakas. Even if Morrison somehow won the Final Vote, I seriously doubt that baseball fans would want to see him over Sanchez in the Home Run Derby. Morrison can go spend next week in Tampa or Kansas City or wherever he’s from while Sanchez heads for Miami.
Have a great Wednesday! I prefer to see this as Winnin’ Wednesday. Let’s Go Yankees!
Credit: Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press
Team Prospect-Hugger could get a new look the last two weeks of July. In an interview, Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner indicated that he’ll look at any deal that crosses his desk during the final two weeks of July. He’ll read the scouting reports, talk to GM Brian Cashman and the Scouting Department and tap into other resources to determine the best moves for the Yankees organization moving forward. He said that he’ll divert all of his attention to any one deal that comes across his desk as he has always done in the couple of weeks leading up to the trading deadline. It doesn’t mean that he’ll approve a deal but he’ll certainly give more than a passing thought to any deal that makes sense.
Steinbrenner sees the value in holding onto the team’s prospects as they have done for the last three or four years.
With significant dollars coming off the payroll at the end of the year ($59 million alone with the expiring contracts of CC Sabathia, Matt Holliday, and Alex Rodriguez), Steinbrenner feels the Yankees will be active in the free agent market. “To what degree, and in what areas remains to be seen”, said Steinbrenner, in talking with reporters.
I am probably somewhere in between Hal and his father, George. I’d be more inclined to make moves to strengthen weaker areas. But I’d also be trying to find ways to unload dead weight off the roster. Spending $46 million for CC Sabathia’s unreliable performances and Alex Rodriguez’s “consulting services” is a bad return on investment in a statement of the obvious. Why don’t they just increase it to $47 million and toss me the difference? I would certainly have a more company-aligned outlook and they would be no worse for the wear. I am looking forward to next year when a greater percentage of the payroll goes to active, contributing members of the team’s 25-man roster.
Even though Steinbrenner may not be open to considering any deals until mid-July, there’s no doubt that Cashman and Company have already begin dialing other teams to open dialogue for potential trades involving targeted players. If the Yankees do prove that they are for real this year, it should be a very fun and active July. I am certainly not expecting a Bryce Harper or Manny Machado type trade, but reinforcements to stay the upward course would be very much appreciated.
I am glad to hear that one of my favorite prospects, pitcher Albert Abreu, will be coming off the DL for High-A Tampa on Friday. Abreu has been on the DL since May 2nd with elbow inflammation. Abreu will start in Friday’s game against the Dayton Tortugas in place of Domingo Acevedo, who was promoted to AA-Trenton.
Last summer, the two best outfield prospects in the Cleveland Indians organization were Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer. Zimmer received his call to join the Show this week, and looks to be a long-term fixture in Cleveland as an Andrew Miller teammate. On Wednesday, with his parents in attendance, Zimmer had a run-scoring double and a home run. Zimmer, two years older than Frazier, looks to be one of the game’s superior talents for years to come. I know it’s not Yankees-related but it is great to see good young players flourish in the Major Leagues. There’s no doubt he received a congratulatory text from Frazier.
The Yankees were victorious in baseball action last night with an 11-7 victory over the Kansas City Royals. With the final game of the series to be played today, the Yankees have already taken the series by winning the first two games of the three-game set.
Of the three Royals pitchers that we would be facing, I was most concerned about Jason Vargas. The veteran pitcher had gotten off to a great start at 5-1 with a 1.01 ERA. But four innings and six runs later, the ERA had more than doubled to 2.03. Michael Pineda (4-2) was the winner, but he did give up two home runs. For six innings of work, he gave up six hits, four runs (three earned), and two walks. He also registered 5 K’s. I would have liked to have seen better work but with the Yankees racing out to a 10-2 lead by the fifth inning, Pineda was guilty somewhat of letting up on the gas.
Every Yankee in the starting lineup got a hit in the 16-hit attack. Aaron Hicks, filling in for Jacoby Ellsbury, hit a three run homer in the fourth inning on a 2-for-4 night.
|Credit: John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS|
The Royals scored three runs with two outs in the ninth inning against Yankees reliever Giovanny Gallegos. With two runners on base and the potential tying run on deck, Dellin Betances came in for one out, a soft grounder back to the pitcher, to end the game, recording his first save of the season with just four pitches.
The Yankees (24-13) took advantage of a loss by the Baltimore Orioles to move 1 1/2 games up in the AL East. The O’s lost to the Detroit Tigers in a close game, 5-4. Former Yankee Justin Wilson, recently named closer for the Tigers, picked up his third save. It could have been a great night but the Boston Red Sox pulled out a 5-4 win in 13 innings against the St Louis Cardinals.
Have a great Thursday! Hopefully the Yankees grab another “W” before racing to Kansas City International Airport for the flight to Tampa later this evening.
All Quiet on the Eastern Front…
It has been a very quiet end of the year for the Yankees. There were rumors of the Yankees talking with the Chicago White Sox about Jose Quintana and David Robertson but they quickly lost legs. While the Yankees need starting pitching, I agree that it is best not to raid the newly stocked farm system. It is a risk to bet on prospects over an established major leaguer, but while Jose Quintana is a good pitcher, he’s not Chris Sale. Given Chicago’s desire for top prospects in return, it just does not make sense. Quintana will not be a 2017 difference maker.
Credit: Kevin Jairaj, USA Today Sports
I still believe the Yankees are better served by identifying an undervalued young starter with potential. Sure, that’s every team’s wish but the Yankees have the scouts and resources to uncover the hidden gems. It is harder to pitch in New York than it is in, say, Pittsburgh, but for some guys, the main stage brings out their full potential.
The New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard was once just a prospect included in a trade (when the Mets dealt knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays). I think that trade has worked out very well in favor of the Mets. It also brought them starting catcher Travis D’Arnaud. The 2012 trade was a risk for the Mets given Dickey was the reigning NL Cy Young winner, but he has never been as good as he was in 2011 and the other guys sent to Toronto are after thoughts (Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas).
The Yankees are not going to win the World Series in 2017. The current blueprint puts the Yankees on the path to World Series contention in two to three years. They have the time to develop frontline starters so why not take a chance on some other team’s “Jake Arrieta”. The Chicago Cubs saw something in the former Baltimore Orioles hurler and it has paid off quite handsomely for them.
I have high hopes for the Yankees young pitching prospects. James Kaprielian heads the list, but I haven’t forgotten or given up hope for Ian Clarkin. Jordan Montgomery and Dietrich Enns are other homegrown prospects that come to mind. The first young starters that will be given the chance to crack the rotation next season are the obvious ones…Luis Cessa and Chad Green. There’s also the hope that Luis Severino restores the promise that he showed in 2015 and is not just another failed starter that succeeds in the pen. Trade acquisitions Justus Sheffield, Dillon Tate, and Albert Abreu also hold promise.
If Severino is successful and just one of the young prospects stands out in the Spring, the rotation that already includes Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia does not look so bad. It might not be ‘Chris Sale-David Price-Rick Porcello-Eduardo Rodriguez’ worthy, but the foundation is being laid for future success. It will be imperative for the Yankees to re-sign Tanaka should he opt out of his contract following the season, but Sabathia’s departure as he plays out the final year of his contract will continue to create opportunity for the young prospects. Michael Pineda is a case by himself. He is either a really great starter or a disaster. If he can ever hold the focus on the former, the pitching staff will be significantly improved.
Next season, young players like Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin, and Greg Bird will play prominent roles for the Yankees. If any are not successful, there is another wave of young players waiting for their opportunities at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or Trenton. It is inevitable that we’ll see outfielder Clint Frazier at some point in the season, even if it is just a September call-up. I don’t want to lose this talent in the farm system for the chance on a pitcher which always seems to be the biggest risk in baseball. Gleyber Torres has already shown that he has that “it” factor even if he is still a few years away from the Bronx. Stay the course. GM Brian Cashman’s blue print so far has been successful. He has turned what was one of the worst farm systems a few years ago to one of the best. They have the talent and depth in the system to make quiet but effective trades without sacrificing the organization’s best.
2017 may not be a banner year for the team but clearly the light is visible at the end of the tunnel. Now is not the time for the Ghost of Steinbrenner Past to raise its ugly head. Young Hal seems to have a plan and one that will soon yield fruit. Patience. Stick to the plan…
The Dawn of the Baseball Winter Meetings…
This week is always the most eventful one of the entire off-season. A flurry of activity followed by relative silence as we head into the holidays.
Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Before the meetings start later this evening, the Yankees have already lost one option with Houston’s free agent signing of former Yankee Carlos Beltran. I had mixed feelings about his possible return to New York. He was arguably the team’s best hitter last season but he is also 40 years old. For a team that has aggressively gotten younger, adding “old” does not necessarily make sense. There is no guarantee that Beltran will be as good as last year, and it’s a near impossibility that he’d be better. Going with older veterans, I’d rather sign either Matt Holliday or Mike Napoli to a short-term deal that keeps the Yankees on the right path toward World Series contention in 2018 or 2019.
Back in the old days under George Steinbrenner, I am sure that both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista would be Yankees by now. Of the two, I’d prefer Encarnacion but I don’t feel the Yankees should lock up huge long-term dollars for either player even if it would severely weaken the Toronto Blue Jays in the short run. In a couple of years, they’ll just be over-paid, under-producing aging veterans. We’ve seen enough of those in recent seasons.
Credit: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine
There are unofficial reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers have a deal in place with starter Rich Hill so that’s one less option on the pitching front. A deal with Jason Hammel probably makes the most sense. I like Hammel as a reliable, back of the rotation guy. He would be a good complimentary piece to Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda as the team looks to fill other pitching spots with youth. I would probably take a chance with either C.J. Wilson or Tyson Ross if given the opportunity.
It’s possible that GM Brian Cashman can uncover a quality arm via trade but it’s a virtual certainty the team won’t be involved in the Chris Sale sweepstakes. Sale alone would not make the Yankees an immediate World Series contender and he would cost the best quality of the farm system to acquire. So, the Yankees need to stay the course as they continue to add the pieces for future success.
I was disappointed to see minor league hitting coordinator James Rowson leave the organization. I am happy to see him return to the major leagues as the hitting coach for the Minnesota Twins, however, I thought he would have been a better hitting coach for the Yankees than current hitting coach Alan Cockrell or assistant hitting coach Marcus Thames. When the Yankees had dismissed Jeff Pentland last year, I was hopeful that Rowson would get the job. It was not meant to be. I think he’ll be a good addition to Paul Molitor’s staff in Minneapolis and should help former Yankee and current Twins’ co-catcher John Ryan Murphy to hit again.
I remain hopeful the Yankees re-sign pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob Lindgren* as they recover from Tommy John surgery. Granted, neither pitcher will help in 2017 but I would really prefer to see them stay.
Let’s hope this week brings good news for Yankees fans…
*Several hours after this post, the Atlanta Braves announced they’ve signed Lindgren to a one year deal that will allow them to retain rights to Lindgren if they add him to their 40-man roster.
We’re mediocre and we like it!…
I fully understand why the Yankees can’t field a starting rotation full of $25 million per year starters. I recognize that Max Scherzer is most likely cost prohibitive for even the rich Yankees. But my problem is the off-season of inactivity has me concerned about the prospects for 2015. I am glad the Yankees signed lefty reliever Andrew Miller and re-signed starting third baseman Chase Headley, but as it stands, the Yankees are not a better team today than the one who finished with 84 wins last season. Miller’s addition was offset by closer David Robertson’s departure, and Headley is a returnee.
Other guys who helped make a difference last year, like Brandon McCarthy and Francisco Cervelli, are no longer Yankees. The Yankees were wise not to pay McCarthy $48 million for four years, but he will still be missed. Cervelli brought lefty specialist Justin Wilson to the team and he’ll help in the bullpen, but it remains to be seen if John Ryan Murphy or Austin Romine can match his intensity as Brian McCann’s backup.
It’s difficult watching other teams make bold moves to improve while the Yankees sit idly by. If the Yankees are not in on Scherzer, then why are they not pursuing guys like Kris Medlen. Medlen was a very talented pitcher before he got hurt. There’s risk for the Kansas City Royals in signing Medlen today, however, there’s also very good upside potential. The Yankees’ preference was to re-sign #5 starter Chris Capuano who failed in Boston and was considering Japan when the Yankees called.
If the Yankees had a strong farm system with the upper levels stacked with major league ready talent it would be one thing, but that’s not the case. The best talent are years away from helping.
Honestly, if the Yankees are not going to try to win, I’d prefer to see them blow the team up and send the trade-able players away for quality prospects. A few 95 loss seasons for the chance to return to prominence would be preferable to an annual 85 win team that consistently comes up short in September.
Or better yet, I’d prefer to see the Steinbrenner family sell the team to someone who shares the understanding that George Steinbrenner had about the importance of successful Yankee teams.
The Yankees are not going to win with the current roster. Paying Alex Rodriguez nearly $30 million per year for the next three years has, so it seems, to have paralyzed the team’s finances. Mediocrity courtesy of A-Rod.
It’s almost comical when I hear players like Andrew Miller say that he joined the Yankees to win. With Team Mediocrity, the only winning he’ll see is going to the bank to deposit his paychecks.
Right now, the Yankees fan base seems very lethargic and disappointed. Maybe that’s just me, but the fan base needs to be energized. Management needs to do something to show the nation they are committed to being successful in 2015. We need something to energize us. I am not sure what it would take, but anything is better than nothing. Pinning your hopes on the good health of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and others is simply a suicide mission.
There’s still time for the Steinbrenner boys to show Major League Baseball that they are still the Yankees. But each day of inactivity brings us closer to the inevitable season of disappointment. It’s funny, the person who may pay the price ultimately is manager Joe Girardi. If the Yankees continue the downward spiral, someone will have to be held accountable. Somehow, I don’t think it will be Hal or Hank Steinbrenner.
George, we miss you.
13 long years…
As Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins approach the finish line on the potential largest contract in the history of Major League Baseball, I can’t help but wonder how crazy this is. 13 years at $325 million is a lot of money any way you slice it. Granted, Stanton will only be 37 at the end of the deal, but I stand with the many who believe that excessively long contracts are not good for the sport.
While guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera earned their pay through their last games, the tail end of the contracts for Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia are looking ghastly. For A-Rod and over $30 mil per year for three more years, the Yankees get a guy who hasn’t played for a year and is being mentioned as a back-up first baseman/DH type. If he manages to hit 20 home runs next season, it will be considered a success but not when you tally the cost of each of those home runs. Stanton is not A-Rod and odds are that Stanton will be playing at a higher level toward the back end of his contract, but there is so much potential for this deal to go drastically wrong. With players now frequently receiving opt out clauses, it’s too bad that the teams do not get an opt out when things go sourly. I would love to see the Yankees use the money slated for A-Rod, Teixeira and Sabathia elsewhere. If the Yankees maintain the status quo this offseason (signing only their own free agents) and do not make any attempt to upgrade the team, we’re faced with another mediocre season and it’s directly the result of the bad contracts.
The Yankees lost a great player when Robinson Cano signed his monster deal in Seattle, but even in retrospect, I think the Yankees were smart in not matching Seattle’s offer.
Giancarlo Stanton is a great player and the Marlins are better with him than without. But I do not like the precedent that it sets. Odds are that Stanton opts out and gets even more money so good for him. Yet, what protects the Marlins from a bad investment? Or how the bar is elevated for future deals? I am trying wondering if I will see players receiving a percentage of team ownership one day.
When I was a kid, I remember star pitcher Ron Guidry having to settle for $900,000 because George Steinbrenner said that he’d never pay a pitcher a million dollars a year. I guess times have changed…
The early results…
So far, the Yankees have re-signed Chris Young and acquired lefty reliever Justin Wilson. I think both moves are good for the back of the roster. The Yankees needed to do something with Francisco Cervelli given the catching depth and to get a guy like Wilson was a smart move given the team’s difficulty in finding a replacement for Boone Logan.
Young earned a return to the Bronx with his September performance. Hopefully, that’s the player the Yankees are getting for 2015 and not the earlier Mets version.
As much as I would like to see the Yankees pursue Jon Lester or Max Scherzer, I’ll be very relieved if and when the Yankees re-sign David Robertson, Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy. New York is a hard place to play, but all three of these guys have shown they can prosper in the Bronx. Robertson followed a legend with grace and ease, Headley showed brilliant defense at a position we really haven’t seen since Graig Nettles, and McCarthy gave the Yankees a chance to win with almost every start. Dellin Betances had a great first year but we really do not know if he could make the transition to closer. It wasn’t something that Robertson was able to do immediately as he did not enjoy success the year Mariano Rivera was hurt in Kansas City. I believe that A-Rod will look to be the older, injury prone player that he has become, if not worse.
The Yankees need to make some inspired trades. It may mean taking a chance on someone who, for whatever reason, has not found his potential, but that’s okay. I’d rather take a chance on a young player with upside than getting locked into a three year deal with an aging outfielder.
I was glad to see former Yankee and Pirate A.J. Burnett re-sign with Pittsburgh, foregoing more money from his last year’s team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Burnett was a good fit in Pittsburgh and it was nice to see a player take an offer that extended beyond just money.
Not that I want to wish the year away, but I am anxious for next month’s winter meetings so that Project Improve the Yankees can start taking form…