Showing posts from November, 2016

Clint Frazier is a star in the making for the Yankees

It's been a long, long time since the Yankees fan base has had a reason to be legitimately excited about the farm system. Though I've been critical of him in the past, it can't be argued that Brian Cashman did a terrific job reloading the Yankee minor league system at the trade deadline this year, giving Pinstripe fans real hope for the future.
One of the biggest names acquired at said trade deadline was Clint Frazier, who came to the Yankees amongst others in exchange for the ever dominant Andrew Miller.
Frazier has been ranked at #1 and #2 respectively in and Baseball America's top Yankee prospects. Additionally, the former fifth overall pick has been ranked at #15 and #21 in each of the aforementioned sites' most recent league-wide top prospects list.

After his historic Arizona Fall League season, Gleyber Torres is a blossoming star

Let’s play everyone’s favorite game, guess that Arizona Fall League player!
Player A:.281 BA, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 0 SB
Player B:.245 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB
Player C:.364 BA, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB
Player D:.403 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 SB

Player A is the reigning NL rookie of the year, Corey Seager. Player B is AL MVP and all-world talent Mike Trout. Players C is newly crowned MLB champ and NL MVP Kris Bryant. Player D is Yankees' red-hot prospect Gleyber Torres. Pretty good company, eh?

The battle for first base

As the Yankees look to address the weaknesses of their roster via trades and free agency, there is one spot that the Bombers appear to be content with having an internal competition: first base. With the retirement of Mark Teixeira, the Yankees have lost a player who has been an integral piece of their roster for the last few years. Teixeira's presence was felt not only at the plate, but also in the field. He was consistently a lock to put together gold glove caliber seasons, subsequently elevating the play of his fellow infielders. The two candidates to take over for Teixeira are youngsters Greg Bird and Tyler Austin. Bird burst upon the scene in 2015, putting up impressive numbers in the midst of a pennant race. Austin, on the other hand, made his debut last season immediately after the forced retirement of Alex Rodriguez. While Austin certainly showed some promising signs, Bird is clearly the front runner for starting first baseman next season. Below, I will assess the relative…

Five items on the Yankees offseason checklist (2016-2017)

The Yankees come into this offseason with a few holes on the roster that they will look to take care of in order to field a winning team on paper going into 2017. The Yankees haven't spent big since they signed Jacoby Ellsbury for seven years at $153 million, Carlos Beltran at three years for $45 million (his contract has since expired), and Brian McCann for five years at $85 million. The Yankees recently traded McCann to the Houston Astros for two minor league pitchers, and they will also pay $11 million of the $34 million McCann is set to earn over the next two seasons ($5.5 million each year of his annual $17 million). With Mark Teixeira's monster eight year 180-million-dollar contract also coming off the books, and the luxury tax potentially expanding under the new collective bargaining agreement negotiations, the Yankees are poised to be free agent spenders as well as trade market players once again. Let's take a look at some things that should be at the top of Brian …

The decision (2018-2019 and beyond)

Any red-blooded American sports fan remembers the LeBron James “Decision 2010.”  Along with my undying allegiance to the Yankees, I am also (and unfortunately) a staunch Knicks supporter. I’ll never forget being in a musty dive bar on 2nd ave. waiting to hear where the greatest basketball player since Michael Jordan would be taking his talents. As history goes, the Knicks and other NBA hopefuls cleared payroll and prayed LeBron would choose them and change the future of their franchise forever. As we all know, this didn’t quite work out for the Knicks and the team has been basking in futility ever since. But, what if I told you New York had another chance at the decision? What if I told you it’s actually like the decision times 10?

Mike Napoli: The Perfect Fit for the Yankees

As the Yankees head closer to the 2016 Winter Meetings, it is crucial that they lock up a reliable designated hitter to pad the middle of the lineup. With a lot of different options out there, the one that makes the most sense to me is Mike Napoli. In 2016, Napoli (35) had one of the best years of his career belting 34 home runs while driving in 101 runs and playing in 150 games. Not only did Napoli put up big time numbers, he did it in one of the least hitter-friendly ballparks in all of baseball. I can only imagine what kind of power numbers Napoli could put up in Yankee stadium.

Rich Hill is not worth the risk for the Yankees

It's no secret the Yankees have been linked to just about every free agent on the market this offseason. From Chapman to Cespedes, you name a free agent, the Yankees have contacted them.

One free agent of particular interest that the Yankees have been linked to is Rich Hill. At first glance the Yankee interest makes a little sense. The Yankees rotation is short handed and the team could use a left handed starter to limit opposing lefties from taking advantage of the short porch in right - but that's really the end of the reasons why the team should sign him. Rich Hill seems to be a disaster waiting to happen for whatever team steps up and pays him. Via Fox Sports

Offseason Autopsy: Position-by-position breakdowns for Yankees this offseason

The 2016-2017 offseason is underway, and the Yankees have many holes to fill. General Manager Brian Cashman got off to a quick start this past week, making a series of moves. Trading Brian McCann, releasing Dustin Ackley, and designating Nathan Eovaldi for assignment are amongst the most notable. Still, the Yankees have quite a few flaws on their roster, particularly the pitching staff. In this article, we’ve decided to do a position-by-position breakdown of how the Yankees are looking across the diamond. For some positions, the Bombers have a degree of certainty. Conversely, there are many open spaces on this roster that need to be filled by opening day, whether that be via free agency, trades, or even from within. The Yankees have been connected to some big free agents, but have also expressed a desire to get under the luxury tax threshold. The Yankees can approach this offseason in a number of ways. We’ll just have to sit back as usual and watch the process unfold.

Should the Yankees have protected Tyler Webb?

With the upcoming Rule 5 draft just a few weeks away the Yankees had to make some decisions on which Rule 5 eligible players should be protected. The Yankees eventually decided to protect shortstop Jorge Mateo, third baseman Miguel Andujar, and pitchers Dietrich Enns, Giovanny Gallegos, Ronald Herrera and Yefrey Ramirez. Because of their healthy minor league system, the Yankees were going to have to leave some of their prospects unprotected and exposed to the Rule 5 draft, thus the penalty for having a good farm system. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

In short, it's time to keep the young guys

Prior to the 2016 MLB Trade Deadline, the New York Yankees farm system was regarded as a rising, but mainly just average bunch. However, after the 2016 MLB Trade Deadline, the Yankees farm system took the No. 1 spot in Bleacher Report’s rankings. It was such a dramatic shift in organizational philosophy that led to this sudden rise.
Now, as we sit at the beginning of the 2016 offseason, rumors are swirling, per usual. Not unexpectedly, almost all of the big names are being connected to the Yankees. And why wouldn’t they be? The Yankees are the big spending, prospect-trading, bullies of the MLB, right?

Free Agent Targets: Closers

Even after two marquee midseason trades in which the New York Yankees shipped elite relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman to the two eventual teams to compete in the World Series, the pinstripers' bullpen still ranked among the best in baseball in several pitching statistics come seasons end. After the aforementioned player’s departure from the Bronx, the ‘pen was led by the likes of Dellin Betances and Adam Warren, and finished the season with an American League-best .224 BAA (batting average against,) and second in strikeouts (578) and wins (36.) Unfortunately for Yankees fans, despite these impressive statistics, its bullpen was only able to muster a 3.67 ERA — the 16th best in the MLB (7th in the AL.) While the Yankees’ bullpen was perhaps its greatest strength through August, the bullpen imploded in several important September games — most noticeably by overworked closer Dellin Betances — which ultimately kept the Yankees out of the playoffs. 
While Dellin Betances, Adam…

Jorge Posada Hall of Fame case

The "Core Four"- Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada- has commonly been referred to as baseball's portrayal of how teamwork and hard work equate to success. Fans who lived through the 2000s know how crucial each one of these four legends was to each season of success. Those five championship rings situated in the museum located inside Yankees Stadium are largely thanks to these men.
 Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke/ Newsday

Should the Yankees consider trading Masahiro Tanaka?

The offseason is finally upon us and while headline moves may be delayed until the new CBA is settled, there has been no shortage in rumors swirling about the Yankees. With the free agent market looking rather lackluster, there has been a decent amount of speculation that the Yankees may look to address their roster needs through the likes of a trade. Brett Gardner and Brian McCann (McCann has now been moved) have dominated the trade talk surrounding the Yankees and while I believe both should be moved, I feel the Yankees should take it one step further and see what they could get for the often overlooked Masahiro Tanaka.

Yankees trade McCann to Astros for two young pitchers

The Yankees made their first significant move of the offseason this Thursday as they traded catcher Brian McCann to the Houston Astros for pitching prospects Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. Ever since the emergence of Gary Sanchez in the second half of last season, the writing has been on the wall for McCann. Few expected him to be on the Yankees roster come 2017. While McCann became a respected clubhouse leader, there was simply no room for him on this team moving forward. It's great to see the Yankees have confidence in Sanchez moving forward. This trade also signifies a continuance of stockpiling young talent for the Bombers. The Yankees are still looking to compete come 2017, but they're doing so while keep their eyes on the brighter pastures ahead.

Photo Credit: N.Y. Post/ Charles Wenzelberg

Mark Teixeira's best moments as a Yankee

The Yankees, who boast the best farm system in the league, got significantly younger this season while also seeing many veteran players traded away or retiring from the game. One such player was Mark Teixeira, who walked away from baseball after 14 seasons spent with four different teams. The first baseman was acquired by the Bombers before the 2009 season, where he would spend the last eight seasons of his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Tex had many memorable plays over the course of his 958 regular season and 36 postseason games in pinstripes. Below, I, in chronological order, will recount some of my favorite Mark Teixeira moments. Feel free to comment and tweet me any I may have missed that you will always remember!

Yankees expressing interest in 15-game winner Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel pitched his way to a very successful campaign for the Chicago Cubs in 2016 going 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 30 starts. However, after experiencing elbow tightness late in the season, Hammel was kept off the postseason roster, and soon had his $12 million option declined by the team. With a Yankees rotation that has as many question marks as ever, Hammel is the newest pitcher the Yankees have reportedly been linked to according to George King of the NY Post.

Prospect Spotlight: Taylor Widener

The 2016 season was the year of the prospects for the Yankees as they have soared from the middle of the pack to the top spot in most farm system lists. Most of the newly acquired prospects highlighted were either acquired in blockbuster trades (Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Dillon Tate) or high in the draft (Blake Rutherford, Nick Solak). One overlooked prospect that is actually making a name for himself is right handed pitcher Taylor Widener. Widener, who turned 22 on October 24, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of this year’s draft out of the University of South Carolina and dominated in the Yankees lower minor league levels. Photo courtesy of Pinstriped Prospects

Trade scenarios if this is the winter of a Brett Gardner trade

New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner has been a staple at the top of the lineup for the last few years. He’s been a consistently great left fielder, as evident by his 2016 Gold Glove Award. But, as many Yankees fans know, he’s a prime candidate to be traded.
Gardner’s name in trade rumors is nothing new. Ever since signing his four-year, $52 million extension in 2014, he’s been linked to numerous teams. But why would the Yankees trade Gardner, the homegrown, tough-nosed ballplayer? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Elsa - Getty Images

The state of the New York Yankees rotation

As we sit here in November, the New York Yankees have to be one of the more fascinating teams to keep an eye on. They have oodles of young talent on the cusp of breaking into the majors, some that have already arrived. But most of the recognizable young names in the organization are position players. And although the casual fan is more enamored with how many home runs a player hit, pitching wins games. Let’s take a look at the Yankees rotation and how it breaks down and what they can do to improve it.
The Yankees have a lot of good, young talent that could potentially win a rotation spot but they’re missing a few components. The main cog they need is a left-hander. Not just any average lefty, we have that with CC Sabathia. We need a young southpaw that will alleviate some pressure off of Masahiro Tanaka so he doesn’t have to be perfect every time out. All of our young arms are good, but they’re all right-handers that throw hard and have some form of breaking stuff. Nobody wants to ea…

Yankees showing interest in lefty Derek Holland

The New York Yankees joined the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates as the three teams who have contacted left handed starter Derek Holland about acquiring his services according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. The Texas Rangers had recently declined the 30-year-old’s $11 million team option for 2017, effectively making him a free agent.

Sale’s Pitch: Envisioning a trade between Yankees/White Sox for Chris Sale

Let’s be honest, the free agent market for pitchers is at its weakest in recent memory. I mean, which pitcher do you consider to be this class’s top starter? Is it 37-year-old Rich Hill? Yawn. Is it Yankee reject Ivan Nova? Don’t get me started. Is it the bearded disappointment Andrew Cashner? Nope. Point being, if any team, including the New York Yankees, wants to make a splash on the market and acquire a top-line starter, it is going to have to happen through the trade market. One name sure to be heavily involved in trade talks is White Sox lefty Chris Sale.

The Yankees should trade Brian McCann, but should feel no pressure to do so

Likely the Yankees biggest storyline to monitor early in the offseason is what they are going to do with Brian McCann. With Gary Sanchez bursting onto the scene in 2016, Brian Cashman has already dubbed Sanchez as the Yankees’ starting catcher on opening day in 2017. He did say that McCann would see one or two starts behind the dish, as well as being the primary designated hitter, barring any free agent signings. Although the Yankees are probably best-suited in trading McCann, the team should be reassured that they cannot go wrong with whether they trade him or not.

A free agent that makes perfect sense for the Yankees

The 2016 MLB Season has finally come to an end, as the Chicago Cubs can call themselves World Series Champions for the first time since 1908. As the Cubs celebrate, the 29 other teams are trying to do whatever they can to be that one team next year. The Yankees, one of the 29, have a lot of decisions to make this offseason.
Photo Credit: Star-Telegram/Jeff Wilson

2016 MLB Awards

With the 2016 World Series upon us I have put some thought into whom I would vote for to win the major awards if I was the baseball writers who are fortunate enough to vote. Because the baseball writers submit their top ten players for MVP, five for Cy Young and top three for Rookie of the Year/Manager of the Year I will be doing the same. I am also not including playoffs when it comes to my decisions just like the actual baseball writers. All of this is strictly based on opinion and would love to hear other people’s opinions as well. Since this is a Yankees blog I have also added my vote for the team awards as well.
Photo Credit: Joe Nicholson | USA TODAY Sports