Showing posts from January, 2017

Five reasons to be excited for the 2017 Yankees

The 2016 season was a very bipolar season for the Yankees. For the first four months, they were not good. The players were old and not producing, the pitching staff was not going deep into games, and it was rare that someone in the bullpen not named Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, or Aroldis Chapman had a scoreless outing. The team was not exciting, and the playoffs seemed like a distant dream by the time July came. It wasn’t a fun time to be a Yankees fan.

Ceilings and floors for top prospects part two

Before we hop into part two of the prospect floor and ceilings, I wanted to remind everyone that this article is purely opinion and completely subjective. If you search the web for another place to read this type of article, you won’t find it. Not this complete anyway. No one likes to give prospects Major League comparisons because it’s a complete shot in the dark and they’re scared to be wrong. But in my opinion, with the season still on hiatus, it makes for a fun read. Right now the Yankees have the luxury of having a really exciting farm system with ton of talent that has unbelievable potential. The most intriguing part about the Yankees right now, are these prospects (at least until the season starts). Like I said in part one, every single one of these could be way off. Whether you disagree, totally agree, or think I’m insane, it’s all conversation starter. So feel free to voice your opinion in the comments or find my personal twitter handle or the blog’s twitter handle and let me…

This Week in Yankees History: Jorge Posada

This week five years ago, a Yankees legend made the decision to bid farewell to the game he loved after a remarkable career.  On January 24th, 2012, longtime Yankees catcher Jorge Posada announced at a press conference that he had played his final game in pinstripes. Posada had given his heart and soul to the game, but the aging catcher simply had nothing left in the tank. For Yankees fans everywhere, this was a somber day.  Posada’s retirement effectively made Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera the last active members of the ‘Core Four’ that had brought five World Series championships to the Bronx.

The argument for a six-man rotation

With Spring Training right around the corner (pitchers and catchers report February 13th), the Yankees still have a lot of question marks regarding the starting rotation. It is by far the biggest weak spot on the team and it doesn’t look like it is going to get better anytime soon. For now, the rotation includes Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda as the first three starters, and Luis Severino is all but guaranteed the fourth spot. One problem that is being overlooked is the overall health of the rotation, with the majority of them having past health problems in recent seasons. I think utilizing a six-man rotation will be beneficial to everyone in the rotation as the Yankees continue to rebuild for the future.

Potential Pinstripes: Sergio Romo

We’re almost there Yankee fans! There is less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to Tampa for the start of spring training and I bet you’re all looking forward to it just like we are. At this point in the offseason free agency has generally slowed to a crawl, with very little news coming in daily and very little notable free agents left on the market. Brian Cashman said recently that he believes the team is done spending for the winter and as is usually the case with him, we have no way of knowing if he’s just playing it cool or if he has actually packed it in. If he has in fact called it an offseason and the Yankees will enter the season with their roster as is, although it has been on the quieter side, Cashman did accomplish a few primary goals. He brought in Matt Holiday to fill the DH role and landed Aroldis Chapman as their big fish. But perhaps Cashman can continue bolstering the bullpen with another free agent who has yet to sign.

Yankees arbitration recap

With most of the Yankees offseason wrapped up, a few loose ends remained.The team is not expected to make any more moves via free agency or add anyone via trades, however, business was still to be done with the seven Yankees who were up for arbitration.

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Give Dellin his money!

For the first time since 2008, the New York Yankees will be heading to salary arbitration with one of their players. The Bombers have been unable to come to an agreement with Dellin Betances, one of the most dominant relievers in the league for the last three seasons, on his 2017 salary. The Yankees offered Betances $3 million, but the right hander hasn't budged from his $5 million demand. Regardless of the outcome here, Betances will be due for a drastic raise from the $507,500 league minimum he earned last season. First and foremost, we must acknowledge that Betances has been, and will continue to be, an integral part of the Yankees bullpen. Betances has earned his money, so give it to him! Since when have the Yankees been so frugal over a mere $2 million? By going to arbitration, the organization has chosen to put itself through an unnecessary dispute with one of its best players, with the potential to damage the relationship between the two parties.

Photo Credit: Brad Penner/US…

Ceilings and floors for top prospects

For the first time in a very long time the Yankees are considered to have one of, if not the, top farm systems in all of baseball. In 2015 we saw a new strategy from the Yankees, who hit the reset button and traded a handful of big name vets for blue-chip prospects. This was a long time coming for the Yankees. It was only a matter of time before their aging core of homegrown talent retired and their hefty free agent signings of the mid-to-late 2000’s went downhill. But rebuilding a Major league farm system is not an easy task. MLB is not equivalent to the NFL, NBA, or even the NHL. 

Photo Credit: Tim Holle/Brevard County Manatees

What does the future hold for Michael Pineda?

When the Yankees sent then-top prospect Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2012 season, they were expecting to receive a top flight starter in return. Michael Pineda, having come off an impressive rookie campaign with the Mariners, appeared to be an ace in the making. Though he went 9-10 in his rookie season, Pineda put up a 3.74 ERA while accumulating 173 strikeouts in 171 innings. Pineda has been anything but an ace since arriving in New York. Lucky for the Yankees, Montero turned out to be a complete bust. With free agency on the horizon for Pineda, 2017 will be a make or break season. We know Pineda has the talent to be a dominant starting pitcher. Most of his problems, however, seem to emanate from mental issues. Barring a Cy Young season, this will likely be Pineda's last ride in pinstripes. Considering the fact that the Yankees are banking on the erratic right hander to help anchor an already shaky rotation, we can only hope Pineda is motivated by his immine…

BBB mock Hall of Fame voting results

In light of the official Hall of Fame announcement, the BBB held a mock Hall of Fame ballot where our team sent in ballots to simulate a real HOF vote. Writers of the BBB were held to the same standards of the BBWAA; they could vote for no more than 10 players, but they did not have to vote for 10. To be elected, players on the ballot needed 75% of the vote, or at least 17 of 22 votes. After the results came in, we surprisingly only elected one member, Trevor Hoffman, with Vladimir Guerrero falling one vote short, and Ivan Rodriguez falling two votes short.

Upcoming Yankees milestones

Every season milestones are reached by many players and while some milestones are more significant than others, they’re all important to a baseball player’s career. With the departures of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran, there aren’t many players on the Yankees roster reaching huge milestones, but there are still some milestones to be crossed. Here are some milestones Yankees players can pass in 2017, and I have projected the date they will reach them.

Possible trade destinations for Chase Headley

There has long been speculation throughout the offseason that the Yankees will trade one of, if not both of Brett Gardner and Chase Headley. I’m an irrationally big Gardner fan, so I would prefer they keep him, but I would have no problem with a Chase Headley trade to shed payroll. However, in order to trade him, the Yankees need a trade partner. However, there are many quality third basemen out there that are better than Headley, which could make a trade difficult. There are not many teams that have a glaring need at third base, but here are some that I could see pursuing a Headley trade:

Which Yankees could see their numbers retired in the future?

I wrote recently here on the blog about Derek Jeter and the scheduled retirement of his iconic no. 2 in Monument Park this summer. The Yankees have certainly retired a lot of numbers throughout their history and have retired several more even within the last few seasons. Now following the retirement of Jeter’s number this upcoming season and the retirement of Joe Torre’s No. 6 during the 2014 season, the Yankees will no longer have any single digit numbers available in the future which is pretty remarkable considering that a lot of teams don’t even have nine (or in this case ten) players to consider retiring numbers for. As ridiculous as it may seem at times, if you ask any Yankee fan, I’m sure they would bring a strong defense for any of these players, but discussing those numbers that have already been retired is not why I’m here today. Instead, I’m going to look at and discuss a few candidates for the next number we could see the Yankees retire sometime in the future.

The foggy future of Masahiro Tanaka

The summer of 2016 will always be known as the “summer of Gary”.Gary Sanchez took the Bronx by storm. He once again made Yankee games must see TV. Every so often a guy comes along and takes a fan base by storm like that. Before the “summer of Gary”, there was “Tanaka time.”
Photo Credit: Newsday/Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Winter Reflection: We all need baseball in our lives

Let me paint a picture for you.If your morning was anything like mine, you woke up and the sun had not yet started to rise. You went outside and the temperature was in the single digits. You need to run your car for at least five minutes to warm it up while you scrape ice off your windshield. You cuss under your breath as you get behind the wheel about how miserable winter is.

Potential Pinstripes: Luis Valbuena

Right off the bat, let me start off by saying that this only makes any sense for the 2017 New York Yankees in the event that Brian Cashman can unload Chase Headley on some poor general manager desperate for a veteran presence at third base.Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at an exciting player that I would love to watch in pinstripes this upcoming season.

Photo Credit: Bob Levey/Stringer

Will 2017 be the season Bryan Mitchell finally makes an impact?

For the last few years, the Yankees have been waiting on Bryan Mitchell to make an impact. Prior to suffering a near season-ending injury at the conclusion of spring training in 2016, Mitchell was on track to play an important role in the Yankees bullpen, likely pitching the crucial middle innings. Barring injury or an atrocious spring training, Mitchell will make the big league club. Whether that will be as a starter, or reliever, has yet to be determined. Mitchell certainly has potential; however, he has not yet been given a consistent opportunity at the major league level to make a long-term impression. 2017 will more than likely be the year. With two rotations spots up for grabs at the moment, Mitchell will have a prime opportunity to shine in spring training and earn himself a spot on the starting staff. Even if he isn't chosen as a starter heading into the season, he can still make an impact out the bullpen. Assuming Mitchell can stay healthy for the duration of 2017, this m…

New Year, New (York) Yankees: The beginning of a dynasty

The 2016 season in the city that never sleeps, was... unconventional, but it's put the team in a position to go on another dynasty run.  With that being said, they very well not make the playoffs in 2017, but the Yankees are going to have an unexpected breakout season... offensively at least.  

Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

Today in Yankees History: Reggie Jackson elected to the Hall of Fame

The winter months are generally a dead period in terms of baseball news aside from the occasional flurry of activity here and there. One thing, however, that a lot of baseball fans follow very closely this time of year is the annual Baseball Hall of Fame vote. Each year the Baseball Writers Association of America votes on the recently retired players that are eligible for election into the Hall of Fame and on January 18, 2017, the Class of 2017 that will be honored this July in Cooperstown will be unveiled. There are definitely some worthy candidates and some intriguing ones as well that we will be digging into in the future here at the Blog. (Stay tuned!) January 5 holds some special significance for the Yankees though because it was on this day in 1993 that Reggie Jackson was elected to the Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit: The Post-Standard/Stephen Cannerelli

Potential Pinstripes: Doug Fister

It was not long ago I remember Doug Fister shutting down the Yankees in the fifth game of the 2011 Divisional Series. Fister’s outing seemed like it was the coming out party for the tall, lanky right-hander from California.I also remember being shocked when the Tigers declared him on the trading block following the 2013 season, in which Fister finished with a 3.67 ERA and shined throughout the postseason. Detroit had decided to prioritize other pitchers ahead of the 27 year-old Fister and concluded they would not be able to sign him long term once his contract expired. It seemed too good to be true that the Yankees had a chance to land a young impact starter on the rise, without shelling out a mega deal. Well, due to the drained farm system we were accustomed to at the time, it was. Fister was soon shipped off to the Washington Nationals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Rick Yeatts

Prospect Spotlight: Nick Solak

The 2016 Major League Baseball draft was considered by many to be a success for the Yankees. While the Yankees were able to pick up a lot of good draft prospects, the most attention was focused on the Yankees snatching up Blake Rutherford with the 18th overall pick when Rutherford had top 10 potential. While the Yankees picked up a very good player in the first round, the Yankees were also able to pick up another good player in Nick Solak.
Photo Credit: Austin Hart

Adam Warren is an under the radar candidate to make the starting rotation

The Yankees will enter this season’s spring training with a number of competitions for the opening day roster. One of the most notable competitions will be in the starting rotation. With three spots locked up for Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia, there are two spots that are open to about five starters. One starter that is getting overlooked in this battle for one of the two rotation spots is Adam Warren. Warren will join Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, and Luis Severino as the five guys vying for two rotation spots.

Potential Pinstripes: Nate Jones

When most Yankees fans envision a trade with the White Sox these days, one name comes to mind: Jose Quintana. Maybe David Robertson as well. However, Brian Cashman has stated that he is not looking to upgrade the rotation, or add payroll (unless the Yankees trade Brett Gardner). This makes trades for both Quintana and Robertson unlikely, no matter how much sense both of them make for the team. I do still feel that the Yankees will add a starter, just no one that noteworthy; someone like Jorge De la Rosa or Brett Anderson on a cheap, one-year deal. However, one area that I feel like the Yankees would definitely upgrade if they got the chance would be the bullpen, and one trade is another White Sox reliever, Nate Jones.

A look into the future of CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia’s days with the Yankees, or even in Major League Baseball, might be numbered. The veteran pitcher is entering the final season of his contract that he signed prior to the 2009 season. After his alcohol rehab stint in October 2015 and multiple knee and shoulder surgeries in recent years, his future is uncertain after this season. Sabathia will probably have a couple of options following the 2017 campaign, and most notably retirement. Though, he could explore other options such as a short-term deal with another team or even with the Yankees.

2017 Bounce Back Candidates: Aaron Hicks

Acquired from the Minnesota Twins on November 11th, 2015 in a trade for then backup catcher John Ryan Murphy, Aaron Hicks came to the Yankees to fill the fourth outfielder spot on the roster vacated by departing free-agent Chris Young.Formally a first round pick of the Twins (14th overall in the 2008 amateur draft), Hicks had not yet hit his full potential and instantly became a classic Brian Cashman buy-low move we have seen from him so often over the last few years (Didi Gregorius, Nathan Eovaldi, Starlin Castro).

Luis Severino: Starter or reliever?

As the Yankees gear up for the 2017 season, it appears that Brian Cashman is done making his offseason additions. Granted, Cashman may have some minor moves up his sleeves, but all signs seem to indicate that the team is pretty much content with what they have moving forward. As of now, the Yankees have two open spots in the starting rotation. 22-year old right hander Luis Severino will be given every chance to win one of these spots so he can establish himself as a viable major league starting pitcher. After struggling immensely as a starter in 2016, Severino found a niche for himself out of the bullpen. At this point, the Yankees still view Severino as a starter. I, personally, am a bit conflicted. Though Severino performed more than capably during his rookie campaign in 2015 out of the rotation, he was not the same pitcher in 2016. As soon as the Yankees "demoted" Severino to the bullpen, it appeared that something clicked. The Yankees should be patient with Severino. Tha…