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Showing posts from December, 2015

BBB Podcast #8: Aroldis Chapman Trade and Q&A Session

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In the eighth episode of the Bronx Bomber Blog Podcast, Chad Raines, Bryan Peng, and Steven Eareckson discuss the trade that brought Aroldis Chapman into the Bronx and its effect on the bullpen as well as the starting rotation. We conclude with answering your questions, which you can send by tweeting them to @bronxbomberblog using the hashtag #BBBMailbag on Twitter.



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A letter of gratitude to all the supporters of the BBB in 2015

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Man, where do I start? The 2015 season was our first season on twitter and as a blog. We started from scratch and we're now one of the most popular non-professional Yankee blogs. It just so happened that the Yankees made it to the postseason in our first season we've covered. On behalf of all contributors at the BBB, I owe it all to our followers and readers for the support this past season!

Top Moments for Yankees in 2015

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The 2015 season was a fun and surprising one for the Yankees. An aging team that wasn’t expected to contend, they exceeded expectations in part to a lethal offense and shut-down back end of the pen. There were a lot of great moments and here are the BBB’s selections for the best ones of the season.

A Cooperstown case for Mike Mussina

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With the Baseball Writers Association of America set to reveal the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot on January 6th, Yankees fans anxiously await the possibility of seeing former pinstriper Mike Mussina achieve baseball immortality. Unfortunately for “The Moose” many writers have been reluctant to place him on their ballot because he never won a Cy Young Award or led the American League in ERA. In the righty’s first two years of HOF eligibility, Mussina was overlooked due in part to comparisons with inductees Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Randy Johnson, who are some of the best pitchers of all time. Because of those factors, Mussina garnered just 20.3% and 24.6% of the vote in 2014 and 2015 respectively. However, with Ken Griffey Jr. being the only shoe-in for the 2016 ballot, this could be the year Mussina receives the needed 75% of the BBWAA’s votes and his long overdue welcome to Cooperstown.

Why Andrew Miller should keep the closer role

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Just like many Yankees fans, I was jumping for joy upon hearing the news that Brian Cashman acquired Aroldis Chapman for four lower level prospects yesterday evening. Putting possible suspension issues for Chapman's role in an October domestic abuse incident aside for a second, I've been thinking about who should be the team's closer. Andrew Miller was nothing short of amazing as closer last season, and I would hate to disrupt what had been the team's greatest, and arguably only, strength. The Yankees were 81-0 when leading after eight innings in 2015. I understand Chapman is one of, if not the best, reliever in baseball, however if it's not broken don't fix it. Andrew Miller's transition from elite set up man to elite closer could not have been any more successful. Chapman is an amazing proven talent, however Miller earned the job last season, and it's rightfully his.


Secondary Reaction: Yankees acquire Aroldis Chapman

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Have you heard? Some Cuban flamethrower has been traded to the Yankees for four minor leaguers. In what was a wildly unexpected afternoon, Aroldis Chapman has landed with the New York Yankees, hopefully leaving his handgun in Florida.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees acquire Aroldis Chapman from Reds

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The Yankees have acquired left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds for minor league right-handers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis as well as infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda. Despite Chapman only being under control for one season and potentially serving a suspension for his domestic violence allegations, this appears to be a steal for the Yankees.

BREAKING: Yankees acquire Aroldis Chapman from Reds

OFFICIAL: #Yankees get: LHP Aroldis Chapman #Reds get: RHPs Caleb Cotham & Rookie Davis and INFs Eric Jagielo & Tony Renda. — Bronx Bombers (@BronxBomberBlog) December 28, 2015
This trade was first reported by @JackCurryYES and the full deal was reported by @BryanHoch.

Can James Pazos Lock Down the 7th Inning in 2016?

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This offseason has been full of Andrew Miller trade rumors, but the only late inning reliever the Yankees have traded so far is Justin Wilson. Wilson had a good year in his lone season in pinstripes, going 5-0 with a 3.10 ERA in 74 games. Wilson was a perfect fit for the 7th inning and now it’s the Yankees job this offseason to replace his role. One possibility of a replacement might already be on the roster and that pitcher is lefty James Pazos.

The veterans who can make or break the 2016 Yankees season

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As was evidenced by last season's outcome, the fate of the Yankees ultimately rests on the shoulders of the overpaid veterans that many fans have become accustomed to complaining about. It is no surprise that the resurgence of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira fueled the Yankees offense, and helped propel the team into first place up until early August. Following Teixeira's inevitable injury, and Rodriguez's decline in production, the entire Yankees offense followed suit. I've identified six veteran players whose production is essential to a successful 2016 season. This is not to say that the younger players are not as important, however the threat of injury and lack of production from the six players I've singled out will go a long way in determining whether or not the Yankees can make a return to the playoffs. Considering the amount of money tied up in these six players, it is essential that they play to their fullest ability, or we will be looking at yet another …

Potential Pinstripes: Juan Uribe

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When the Yankees included Brendan Ryan in the trade that landed them Starlin Castro, most Yankees fans were more than excited to see Ryan gone. But in getting rid of Ryan, the Yankees got rid of their only legitimate backup third baseman. They could try Castro, but he has seven games of third base experience, all in the minors. They could try Refsnyder, but the Yankees don’t seem willing to make him learn third when he’s still trying to transition to second. The Yankees also don’t have any legit third basemen waiting in the minor leagues and the free agent market is pretty thin. Even with a thin market, a free agent I do think the Yankees should target is Juan Uribe.

The state of the rotation

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After providing a comprehensive look at the Yankees recently weakened bullpen, I decided I'd write a sequel of sorts regarding the starting rotation. Thus far, the Yankees haven't made any moves to improve one of the roster's most overt weaknesses. In fact, it was further weakened by trading away Adam Warren for Starlin Castro. Warren provided much needed depth, however it was unlikely he would begin the season as a starter anyway. Currently, the Yankees rotation has a number of question marks. Below, I will give a profile on each starter, along with what can realistically be expected out of them in 2016. That being said, it's painfully obvious that this team is in dire need of a consistent starter or two. For this reason, I will also provide a brief analysis on what I believe the Yankees must do this offseason in order to get better in this department. None of our current starters can be counted on for consistency, therefore it is imperative that Brian Cashman strengt…

Potential Pinstripes: Greg Holland

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Is there a better bullpen duo in baseball than Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller? Probably not. Another duo that is amongst the best in the MLB is Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis. But do you remember when the Royals had a big 3? The other member was closer Greg Holland who was non-tendered by the Royals recently and is now a free agent. Certainly there will be numerous clubs in the mix for Holland, but his story has a twist to it. He will not be able to pitch in 2016 because he underwent Tommy John surgery late in 2015.

The State of the Bullpen

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I'd like to preface this article by thanking Brian Cashman for refraining from trading Andrew Miller. Throughout most of the 2015 season, the back end of the Yankees bullpen was the team's biggest strength. This week we've witnessed a depletion of the aforementioned strength. At the winter meetings, Brian Cashman included Adam Warren in the trade for Starlin Castro. He also moved Justin Wilson to the Tigers for two minor league starters. Although I've always liked Adam Warren, and think he can make it as a starter, this is a move the Yankees had to make. Acquiring a former all-star who is as talented as Castro, not to mention only twenty-five years of age, is an opportunity that can not be passed over. After the grueling experience of watching Stephen Drew at second base for a year and a half, I'm ecstatic to see a competent player man the position. The Wilson trade left me quite perplexed, unless it's part of something larger. That being said, I won't rush…

Possibility of three former Yankees to return to New York

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman arrived at the winter meetings with a solid bullpen and a second base situation filled with question marks. Although Cashman’s decisions were considered a success by many Yankees fans, the Yankees left Nashville with this situation reversed. To mitigate this problem, the Yankees should look to the help of some former pinstripers – who could help bolster the pen.

The hole in the Yankees bullpen began when the Yankees acquired 3x all-star Starlin Castro from the Cubs. After moving from SS to 2B in August, Castro hit .339 in 38 games, finishing the season with a respectable .265/11 HR/69 RBI line.


Although this deal solves the Yankees pressing need of 2B help, the bombers unfortunately had to part ways with RHP Adam Warren, whose versatility and effectiveness will certainly be missed, as he pitched to a 3.29 ERA in 43 appearances (17 starts). Instead of following up this deal by acquiring an arm as many expected, Cashman left Yankees fans everywhere scratching thei…

The Rob Refsnyder Dilemma

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Finally, Yankees GM Brian Cashman made his first big move of the offseason as he acquired Chicago Cubs SS Starlin Castro in exchange for P Adam Warren and Utilityman Brendan Ryan. This trade looks to be a good one for the Yanks and for more information on the specifics of the deal and analysis, refer to the BBB’s rapid reaction on it BBB's rapid reaction on the Starlin Castro trade.Even though the Yankees have found their new second basemen, the deal leaves both Dustin Ackley and fan favorite Rob Refsnyder as options in the infield. It’s becoming clear that someone will have to go.

BBB Podcast #7: Breakdown of the Justin Wilson and Starlin Castro Trades

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In the seventh episode of the Bronx Bomber Blog Podcast, Phil Akre, Chad Raines, and Bryan Peng discuss the two most recent trades that occurred during the week at the Winter Meetings. First, we break down the trade that sent Justin Wilson to the Detroit Tigers and the impact it has on the Yankees bullpen. We conclude with a discussion on the trade that sent Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs to the Yankees. Subscribe for weekly podcasts starring your BBB writers!



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Rapid Reaction: Yankees Trade Justin Wilson to Detroit For 2 Minor League Pitchers

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Just before 7:00 PM Eastern on Friday, December 9, 2015, and less than 24 hours after the Yankees acquired 2B/SS Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs, the Yankees traded LHP Justin Wilson to the Detroit Tigers for RHPs Luis Cessa and Chad Green. Please keep in mind that this trade may transition into another one where Cessa and Green are packaged to acquire a bigger name, so stay tuned for breaking news by following the BBB Twitter account!

Update at 7:22 PM ET: According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN, Yankees GM Brian Cashman stated after the Wilson trade that “I’m not done.”



Are The Yankees World Series Ready?

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Before I get into any explaining, I’m going to answer the question. Are the New York Yankees World Series ready? They have made a few trades so far this offseason, acquiring RHP Ronald Herrera for 2B Jose Pirela, OF Aaron Hicks for C John Ryan Murphy, and the biggest trade so far, SS/2B Starlin Castro for RHP Adam Warren and SS Brendan Ryan. Castro is a nice pickup from the Cubs, solving the second base issue, and getting a young, consistent .280 hitter. While these are steps towards becoming World Series contenders, they are small steps. So that begs the question: are the Yankees World Series contenders? The short answer to this question, for now, is no.


Rapid Reaction: Yankees acquire Starlin Castro from Cubs

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Just before 8:00 PM ET, the Yankees acquired middle infielder Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs. Anticipation for the return on Castro was heightened for nearly 10 minutes before Jack Curry of YES Network broke the official deal. Right hander Adam Warren and a player to be named later were going to Chicago. That PTBNL ended up being infielder Brendan Ryan. OFFICIAL: Cubs get: RHP Adam Warren and INF Brendan Ryan Yankees get: 2B/SS Starlin Castro — Bronx Bombers (@BronxBomberBlog) December 9, 2015

Envisioning a Trade for Jose Fernandez

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Before I dive any deeper into such an exciting but unlikely subject, let me say that I do not expect the Yankees to trade for Jose Fernandez
Sources say Yankees have also been in touch with Marlins about Jose Fernandez. And Yanks, Dodgers & Dbacks all doing background work on him — Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 7, 2015As you've likely heard by now, the Yankees have been confirmed as interested in Marlins ace Jose Fernandez and are doing "background work on him" (via Jason stark). Not real sure what that means (maybe Fernandez is secretly a criminal mastermind) but what we do know is that the Yankees have interest.
Let me be clear: The Yankees have enough to acquire Fernandez at a fair price, the only question is whether or not they're willing to overpay (they shouldn't). The Marlins want 5-6 MLB ready players who can make an impact and the Yankees have the pieces to fit that description (via Jon Heyman). In this article, we will discuss each …

An Open Letter to Yankees GM Brian Cashman

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Dear Yankees GM Brian Cashman,

Today marks the start of the second day of Winter Meetings. While other teams like the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks have made signature signings, your team and our team, the New York Yankees, has done basically nothing. While other teams have fulfilled their needs this offseason, you have stood still and might as well have been vacationing in the Bahamas. I would hope that you know that there are holes all over our roster, both in the infield and outfield, and in starting and relief pitching. The only reason why we even made the one-game playoff was due to the overperformance in the first half of the year. As soon as the second half came, our team’s lifeline ran flat, while teams like the Toronto Blue Jays ran right over us. We even lost to the lowly Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox to end the season. How pathetic. There are simply too many issues for our roster for you to pick this offseason to not make any moves. I’m not asking for a …

Potential Pinstripes: Drew Storen

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According to recent reports by MLB Trade Rumors and Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Washington Nationals are expected to shop Drew Storen during Winter Meetings, which start tomorrow (Monday, December 7) in Nashville, Tennessee. The Nationals may make Storen available due to Jonathan Papelbon’s current role as closer, which makes Storen their seventh or eighth inning man. He had a rough stretch in August where he lost his role as closer and then broke his thumb by slamming a locker room door on it after losing his closer role. Although the Yankees currently have an above average bullpen, headlined by Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, adding Drew Storen would not be a bad idea as long as it doesn’t cost the Yankees too much. Storen would fit nicely within the Yankees pen right now, creating a deadly Storen-Betances-Miller trio, with Justin Wilson, Adam Warren, and potentially Chasen Shreve anchoring the rest of the pen. This would allow flexibility for bullpen usage, as Betances is consis…

Trading Away Miller Would Be A Mistake

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Recently, one of the more subtle issues for the Yankees has been Dellin Betances. By league standards, he and Andrew Miller are probably the second best 8th & 9th inning duo, just behind the dominance of the Royals bullpen, but toward the end of the year, many Yankee fans like myself almost suffered cardiac arrhythmias watching Betances. Once the offseason came, there were rumors that Andrew Miller was on the trading block for a high-end starting pitcher. What are you thinking, Brian Cashman? Cashman was giving up the only reliable arm that the Yankees could have for a closer. Unless he was getting someone like Stephen Strasburg in return (which he wasn’t), any subsequent trade should have been grounds for an immediate firing. Anyone with baseball comprehension knows Dellin Betances is unsuitable to be a closer and is only effective as a set-up man. Trading away Miller is and will be a huge mistake; especially with the way the free agent signings have gone for relievers, there is …

The More Pressing Need: Left Field or Starting Pitching

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You’ve heard it all this offseason. The Yankees need a starter, second baseman, a new outfielder, and help for Dellin and Miller. You’ve heard proposals, ranging from trades for starting pitching, to signing Ben Zobrist, or promoting Aaron Judge to the Bronx. But simply put, there are way too many needs for the Yankees right now to satisfy all of them. The Yankees are no longer willing to drop check after check to solve the team’s issues and it seems like our GM Brian Cashman is complacent with where the team is currently. Just a couple of days ago, he said the Yankees would more than likely keep Brett Gardner and Andrew Miller. The Miller part is okay, but saying that arguably our biggest trade asset, Brett Gardner, was going to stay in the Bronx, did not sit well with me. This offseason, two of our biggest needs are in left field and starting pitching. The Yankees struggled down the stretch with Brett Gardner’s typical second-half slump and the lack of reliable starting pitching.

My Fellow Yankees Fans: Welcome To The New Normal

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As the days get colder and the nights get shorter, many would expect the hot stove to heat up in the Bronx. That would be a wholly mistaken assumption. The days of George Steinbrenner’s spending sprees are a distant memory, therefore those fans expecting the Yankees to make their signature free agent splashes are holding out false hope. The Aaron Hicks trade will the most significant move of the offseason. You heard it right here first folks. Since many of our writers are contemplating possible moves the Yankees can make to improve for the 2016 season, I won’t engage in such conjecture. I have finally come to accept that the Yankees will be mediocre for the immediate feature. With an apathetic owner and an incompetent general manager running the show, I have no reason for optimism. For purposes of this article, I will focus much of my attention on the former, because I believe the problem in the Bronx is one of systematic proportions. My prediction is as follows, the Yankees will make…

Angels Make Good Trade Partners With Yankees

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Well, the David Price madness is finally starting to settle down. A few days ago half the Yankee fanbase went nuts when the rival Red Sox signed David Price to an awful contract that will surely come back to haunt them in the future. For more on that you can read here.

But with that simmering down, it's time to refocus on the Yankees and what they can be doing to improve this offseason. It's mostly been quiet and I personally don't think that's a good thing, at least if it stays that way. I don't want to Yankees to go make it rain on Zack Greinke or Jason Heyward, but the team definitely needs improvement if it wants to be a serious contender this year.
One way to do that that's been a very popular discussion is to trade Brett Gardner for a starting pitcher (presumably signing Justin Upton or Alex Gordon to fill the hole, or something of that nature). Now I'm all for that - if it's in the right deal.
While there's been no official lin…

BBB Podcast #6: David Price, Yankees Pitching, and More Gardner

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In the sixth episode of the Bronx Bomber Blog Podcast, Bryan Peng, Matt Cote, and Phil Akre break down the David Price signing for both the Red Sox and the Yankees and the impact on both, the current status of Yankees pitching and looking at both the free agency and trade market, and further analyze the outfield situation with Brett Gardner potentially on the trading block. Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties, the final 3 minutes of this podcast was cut out and lost but due to the majority of it being uploaded, we'll keep it up for you all.



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Red Sox Lose Mind, Give David Price $217 million Contract

The Red Sox just signed David Price to a bigger contract than Clayton Kershaw makes. $2 million more to be exact. Clayton Kershaw's total contract is $215 million over seven years as opposed to new Red Sawk David Price's  $217million over seven years.
Confirmed: Price deal with #RedSox is seven years, $217M. No deferred money. Three-year opt-out. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 1, 2015 That should really say it all folks. Is David Price a good pitcher? Absolutely, but he's not better than Clayton Kershaw and no Yankee fan should be upset they made the mistake of paying him like he is. Will it suck to face him on the rival Red Sox? It sure will. But the Yankees had to face an even better pitcher several times a year from 1998-2004 named Pedro Martinez and still won three World Series and made the the playoffs every year in that time span. This is not the end of the world.

Yankees Offseason Checklist

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We’re new nearly a month into the offseason and other than acquiring OF Aaron Hicks from the Twins for backup catcher John Ryan Murphy, the offseason has been rather quiet for the New York Yankees as well as most of baseball. As a team, there aren’t many glaring holes on the Yankees roster and the argument can be made that the Yankees are faced with a good problem: they have too many serviceable players. But that doesn’t mean they won’t make any more moves.

Bronx Bomber Mailbag First Edition (12/1/15)

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Welcome to the first edition of the Bronx Bomber Mailbag! Here, you can tweet your questions (make sure you use the hashtag #BBBMailbag for future purposes) you have for us and we will respond to them in an article. We will keep these going in the future!