Tag Archives: Miller

Stanton, Martin and a big trade.

Giancarlo Stanton was given a —- wait for it —- 13 yr.  $325MM contract by the Marlins today. Ridiculous.

Russell Martin signed with the Blue Jays.

The Cards and Braves pulled off a trade in which Justin Heyward (RF) goes to the Cards for P Shelby Miller.

If you were Cashman….

If I were Cashman….

 

Ok. There are a lot of thoughts out there as to what someone would do if they were the GM of the Yanks. If they were Cashman. Here is what I would do. Here is what some think will happen. Feel free to add what you would do.

Remember, you don’t have an unlimited budget. You have to work within the constraints and budget that Hal Steinbrenner gives you.

Also, realize that you are stuck with some ballplayers. McCann has four years left on his deal. A-Rod and Teix two, CC a couple, two for Beltran, six for Ellsbury and Tanaka, etc.

So, I’ll take this position by position, and check into free agents and upgrades.

 

Catcher: McCann has four years left. He led the Yanks in HR and RBI in 2014 with 23 and 75. He only hit .232. The OPS+ was just 93. I’ll take the power numbers, but the average has to increase. Now, as for Cervelli, Romine, Murphy and Sanchez, you now have five catchers (inc. McCann) for the majors and AAA. That is too many. Someone (or two) has to go. McCann will get most of the playing time in the majors. Someone has to get most of the time at AAA (Sanchez?). That means you have to choose on backups. There isn’t enough playing time to go around. The Yanks have to decide who will back up McCann on the MLB level, and who will be the top starter (prospect) at AAA. Someone, or two, have to go. The Yanks have to decide who stays, and who gets included in a package deal. They also need to know what the market would bring for a Cervelli, Romine, Murphy…

So… if I were Cashman, I move one or two of these catchers in a package deal.

 

Infield/DH: You are stuck with Teixeira at 1B. You are stuck with A-Rod as probably the DH (with some time at 3B and maybe backup to the fragile Teix at 1B). Martin Prado fits in here somewhere at 2B or 3B. Ok, do you bring back Chase Headley for 3B/1B? Apparently the Yanks are talking to him about doing so. If they bring him back, does that mean Prado will be at 2B in 2015 and Headley at 3B (with A-Rod mostly DH-ing and playing 3B or 1B only when Headley or Teix need a breather?)

What about Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder? Both hit .300 at AAA in 2014. Pirela is more versatile than Refsnyder. Do you give one, or both, a chance?

And what about SS? Brendan Ryan has a good glove, but couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. Hanley Ramirez is a free agent, but he has been injured recently and some think he is better suited for 3B now than SS. That doesn’t help the Yanks. Ramirez, 31 next year, if healthy, can give .290-20-95 with 20 SB. If the Yanks don’t get him, they could go after a lower-tier SS like bringing back Stephen Drew, or going after Asdrubal Cabrera or Jed Lowrie.

What I would do is something different. Last year at the trade deadline, the Cubs picked up a top SS prospect from the A’s in the Samadzija/Hammel deal. Now, do they want the young prospect at SS, or do they want to keep Starlin Castro there? Is Castro available now that they have that young top prospect? Castro is 25, a 3x All-Star. Eventually the Yanks have to get younger. A 3x All-Star who is only 25 is a nice way to go. The only thing is, will the Cubs trade and who will they trade? They have a lot of money and some indications are they will go “full Steinbrenner” mode and spend a lot on free agents this offseason. So are they open to a trade?

Another trade possibility could be with the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo, like Ramirez, would come with injury questions. Great players, but they have to stay on the field. Ramirez is a free agent, while you would have to work out a trade for Tulo.

My first option: with the young prospect that the Cubs have for SS, see about a deal (and include one of the catchers listed above—Cervelli, Romine or Murphy) in a package deal for Castro. Maybe include Sanchez if necessary (after all, you have McCann for four more years). Tulo and Ramirez are some five to six years older than Castro. Maybe the Cubs don’t go for the package deal. Maybe they are fixed on free agent Russell Martin for catcher. See about a trade first for Castro. Then see about one for Tulo. Then go after Ramirez if the trades are not there. There is less talk about Castro or Tulo not cutting it at SS any more than there is with Ramirez.

Of course if Castro, Tulo, Ramirez fail, then there is plan B—-Drew, Lowrie, Cabrera.

I also let Headley go. I go with the kids Refsnyder and Pirela, and play Prado at 3B. I don’t think the Yanks will do that. I think they will go full in for Headley at 3B, want Prado at 2B and want to give Refsnyder more time at AAA. What they do with Pirela, I don’t know. Maybe a backup. But I give Refsnyder the job at 2B. I make Pirela (who can play five positions) a utility guy and I let Headley go.

Outfield: You have Gardner, Ellsbury and Beltran. If A-Rod Dh’s, Beltran has to be able to play RF. They could use a righty bat to compliment these players. Soriano is gone. Chris Young was there late last year.

My choice: sign Michael Morse as a free agent. His defense isn’t the best, but the dude can hit. He can play LF/RF and back up Teix at 1B.

 

So if I had 13 position players to start 2015 with, here are my choices.

C: McCann 1B: Teixeira 2B: Refsnyder (give the rookie a shot) SS: Castro (or Ramirez or Tulo) 3B: Prado. LF: Gardner CF: Ellsbury RF: Beltran DH: A-Rod.

Ok, that is 9. Now, four backups.

My choices: Backup C: Cervelli (or Murphy, whoever isn’t dealt). Sanchez at AAA with Murphy or Romine, whoever is still here.

Jose Pirela: He can play 1B, 2B. 3B, LF or RF. Versatile. Give the kid a shot, along with Refsnyder.

Mike Morse. Can fill in at LF/RF/1B and DH.

Brendan Ryan. Last guy on the bench. Glove man. All infield positions. Mostly backup at 2B and SS.

Pitchers. Assuming Kuroda is retiring.

Let McCarthy go via free agency.

Go full bore after Max Scherzer. Lester and Shields are available as Plan B if you don’t get Scherzer. Apparently the Cubs want Lester, Boston wants Shields. The Cubs could go for Scherzer AND Lester. But Scherzer, 30, 39-8 in the past two years, is priority #1.

The rotation could then be Scherzer, Tanaka, Pineda, CC (aging and coming off a knee injury, he drops to #4) and Shane Greene. It’s nice to have two aces at the top. Even three.

If Greene fails at #5, Ivan Nova comes back from TJ surgery next year, probably at mid-season.

You also could fill the #5 slot with Phelps, Manny Banuelos (if he isn’t dealt in a package deal), Bryan Mitchell (package deal?), or Jaron Long (same thing).

 

Go full out in keeping Robertson (the Yanks made him a qualifying offer, will he accept?). That way, Betances can stay as a setup guy (and you could use him two innings at a time). Phelps, Warren and Kelley make five relief guys, with Phelps and Warren able to give more than one inning and being available to spot start if needed. This leaves room for two lefties. Give Jacob Lindgren a shot. Maybe bring back David Huff, who can give innings also.

 

There are still problems with the team. I’m not sold on Beltran, A-Rod, McCann and Teix being the 4-7 hitters (in whatever order). There is still some age.

But I try to bring in some youth in Lindgren, Refsnyder, and Pirela. I try to have a two or three-ace pitching rotation with Scherzer and Tanaka. It’s three if Pineda (1.89 ERA in 2014) can stay healthy. Four if CC can be CC again (I don’t think it’ll happen).

I look for some versatility in Prado (mostly 3B, but can play 2B, LF, RF), Morse (LF/RF/1B) and Pirela (1B/2B/3B/LF/RF). Look for A-Rod to mostly DH but fill in at 1B/3B.

Anyway, for me, I go one big free agent splash (Scherzer), one minor one (Morse) and then see about acquisition #3… either big free agent splash (Ramirez) or big trade (Tulo or Castro).

That is what I’d do… as for others….

MLB Trade Rumors and SI have the Yanks getting Scherzer and Ramirez.

However, in the NY Post, Ken Davidoff has them getting neither, but getting cheaper alternatives.

So here is my team, with the crossouts from my team with a line through them, and then the Davidoff replacements following in italic.

McCann, Cervelli or Murphy, Teixeira, Refsnyder, Headley , Prado, Ramirez (or Tulo or Castro), Drew, A-Rod, Ryan, Pirela. So it would look like the infield would be Headley at 3B, Prado at 2B with Drew at SS. No offense to Drew, but a big comedown from my hoping for Castro, Ramirez or Tulowitzki.

Outfield: Gardner, Ellsbury, Beltran, Morse. (maybe the Yanks go cheap and instead of Morse, keep Chris Young. Again, a comedown?)

 

Pitching: Scherzer, McCarthy, Tanaka, Pineda, CC and Greene. (with Nova coming back mid-season if someone falters/gets hurt)

Robertson, Betances, Warren, Phelps, Kelley, Lindgren and Huff. Andrew Miller. Not sure who would be scratched, Huff or the rookie Lindgren.

But with Davidoff’s team, it appears like Refsnyder and Lindgren get more minor league time. Also, the Yanks go with cheaper alternatives (McCarthy and Drew) than the big play Scherzer/Ramirez types.

If the Yanks are able to get Miller and retain Robertson, that bullpen could be lights out.

But the offense really worries me, esp. if they go on the cheap and hope for a rebound from Drew instead of going in the direction I am going in.

 

Ok, you’ve seen some scenarios.

 

Now if YOU were Cashman, what would YOU do?

Game 92. Yanks fall to .500 with 3-2 loss in 10.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched a good game, but once again got little run support as the Yanks lost 3-2 in 10 innings in Baltimore Friday night to fall to .500.

The Yanks got a run in the second on Brian Roberts’ fifth HR of the year, and another in the third on Kelly Johnson’s sixth HR of the season, but that was all.

Kuroda gave up two runs in the fourth on a HBP, single, WP that enabled a run to score, another WP to move a runner to third, and a SF. Ouch.

He went 7, 2 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Except for those wild pitches and HBP (he did hit another batter in the fourth, but no damage with that one), he was great. 4.10.

Betances once again proved why he is an All-Star. 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 1.46.

Adam Warren gave up a leadoff double and a one-out single in the bottom of the 10th to lose the game. (L, 1-5, 2.79). 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

The loss knocks the Yanks down to .500, 46-46. They are now five games behind the Orioles in the AL East. Third place. They are 3 1/2 out of the final wild card spot.

Earlier in the day, the Yanks DFA’d Jim Miller, who had a bad outing Thursday night, and called up Matt Daley. They also acquired Jeff Francis from the A’s for cash considerations and a player to be named later.

Francis, a 33-year-old lefty, was 0-2, 5.89 in 10 games this year for Cincinnati and Oakland. One start out of those ten games. The long-time Rockie is 70-80, 4.95 in his MLB career with an ERA+ of 94. His best years were in 2005-2007 when he was 44-32, 4.65 and helped Colorado to their only WS appearance in 2007. Since then he is 23-46, 5.22 for various teams.

Game 91. Bullpen fails Yanks in 9-3 loss. Also, Injury updates.

David Phelps threw six shutout innings, but the Yankees’ bullpen let him and the team down in a 9-3 loss Thursday night.

The Yanks got two in the fourth on a HR by Zelous Wheeler (2) and went up 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Yangervis Solarte.

In the seventh, Phelps gave up hits to the first two batters in the inning, and the Yanks brought in Matt Thornton. That’s when things unraveled. A single, bases-loaded triple and SF put the Indians up 4-3.

Jim Miller was terrible in the eighth inning, giving up five runs on 2 HR.

Phelps 6+, 2 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 5 K. 3.94.

Thornton 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 h, 0 walks, 0 K. (L, 0-3, 3.10).

Miller 1 2/3, 5 R, 6 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 20.25.

Derek Jeter got two hits to take his career total to 3405.

It turns out Carlos Beltran got more than bruises in that freak batting practice accident the other day. Two minor fractures in his nose and a concussion force him to the 7-day DL.

The news on Masahiro Tanaka isn’t good. It could be worse, and personally, I have my fears. There is a slight tear in a ligament in his pitching elbow. Surgery is not recommended at this time (good) but platelets are to be injected and he is to then start a throwing program. The hope is that after six weeks of rehab (late August), he will be ready to pitch down the stretch.

That is the hope. The fear is Tommy John surgery that would take Tanaka out until 2016. The fear I have is that the Mets tried this same procedure with Matt Harvey. It didn’t work and Harvey needed the surgery.

It is a devastating blow for the Yanks, who now have four of the five starters from the Opening Day rotation on the DL. CC is most likely done for the year, and may need microfracture surgery—his career is in jeopardy. Nova TJ surgery, done for the year and most of 2015. Pineda is still trying to come back from a strained shoulder muscle and there is no guarantee he’ll be back this year. Now Tanaka. Just devastating. You can’t go far when you are dipping down into your #9 starter.

It begs the question. Trade for help now to try to save the season, or become sellers at the deadline, acknowledge the devastating blow losing Tanaka is, and build for the future.

But as someone wrote somewhere, are you going to be the one to tell the retiring Derek Jeter that you are throwing in the towel on his final season?

The tease is that in this division, anything may happen yet. The Yanks are only 46-45, and just four out. In a normal season, they would be 8-10 out. The division is still there for the taking, and it may be easier to win the division this year than to get any of the wild card spots.

The Yanks have some major decisions to make at the trade deadline.

Meanwhile, we hope and pray that Tanaka avoids the TJ surgery.

Game 87. Yanks hang on for 9-7 win. Jeter Hit #3400.

The Yanks got off to a 9-0 early lead and held on to a 9-7 win (ugh). Derek Jeter got 3 hits, incl. hit #3400 in the game.

Yankees All-Stars: Jeter (starting SS), Betances and Tanaka. Since Tanaka is scheduled to start two days before the ASG, he may be replaced. Robertson should have gotten a nod.

Teix singled in one run in the first and McCann doubled in another, Teix getting thrown out at the plate.

In the second, Jeter had a SF and Ellsbury hit a 3-run HR (5).

In the fourth, Jeter singled in a run, Ellsbury got an RBI groundout and another run scored on a balk.

Up 9-0 after 3 1/2, the Yanks almost pissed the game away.

Kuroda 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 walks and 3 K. (W, 6-6, 4.20).

Warren 1 1/3, 1 R, 2 h, 1 walk and 2 K. 2.70.

Jim Miller 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 9.00.

Robertson save #21, but not convincingly. 1 IP, 1 R, 3 h, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.93.

Jeter w/ 3 hits (inc. 3400) 2 rbi. Ellsbury 4 rbi. Suzuki 3 hits.

The minors, 7-1-14.

AAA: Swb lost 3-2. Aceves 3 R in 5 1/3. Pat Venditte 5 K in 2 2/3 IP of relief, ERA 3.86. A bit inconsistent. He is the switch-pitcher that the Yanks have had for a couple of years now in the minors. 2 H, HR, 2 RBI LF Zoilo Almonte, who appears to be a better option right now than Soriano or Ichiro. Hey, bring him up, play him every day and see what you really have in him. You aren’t going to know by bringing him up and playing him once a week like he was before. Eventually you have to commit to him or let him go (sounds like dating, right?). RF Jose Pirela (.315, and also a possible replacement for Soriano/Ichiro) 2 hits. 2 hits for 1B Kyle Roller.

Earlier in the day, Jim Miller was called up for Jose Ramirez because the Yanks needed a fresh arm.

AA: Trenton lost 5-4, and it was a terrible outing for Manny Banuelos. He gave up two hits, two walks, got only one man out and all four runners scored. (L, 0-2, 5.09). Jairo Heredia relieved him and did well, 0 R, 1 H, 5 K in 5 2/3. LF Ben Gamel 4 hits and an RBI. C Gary Sanchez 2 hits. 3B Rob Segedin 2 hits and 2 RBI.

CC’s next rehab will be Wed. instead of Thursday.

High A: Tampa won 14-2. The offensive explosion we’d like from the big club. Dan Camarena 1 unearned run in 6 iP. RF Aaron Judge 2 hits, double, grand slam, 5 RBI. CF Jake Cave 4 hits. 3B Dante Bichette, JR. 4 rbi. LF Jose Rosario 2 h, 2 rbi. 1B Greg Bird 3 hits, 2 rbi. Tampa banged out 17 hits and drew 9 walks.

Low A: Charleston scored 3 in the top of the 9th, but gave 3 right back in the bottom of the 9th to lose 9-8. 2b Gosuke Katoh, HR, 3 RBI. Paul’s nephew, Mike O’Neill with 4 hits.

The Minors 5/28/14.

AAA: SWB, down 5-0 after 7, scored 2 in the 8th and 4 in the 9th to win 6-5. Jim Miller (4-1, 2.84) two scoreless IP for the win. RF Zelous Wheeler with a 9th inning grand slam. DH Russ Canzler 3 h, 2 rbi.

AA: Trenton lost 9-6 in 12. DH Pete O’Brien grand slam, solo HR for C Gary Sanchez. Between High and AA, O’Brien is .292-19-42, but has just 6 walks and 45 strikeouts. Great power, though. 2B Robert Refsnyder (.304) 3 h, rbi.

High A: Tampa got just two hits in losing 3-0.

Low A: Charleston lost 7-5. Brady Lail (3.19) 2 R in 5 IP. C Eduardo De Oleo grand slam. Charleston got only three hits.