Add another surprise name to the Yankees’ managerial search. The second person to be interviewed was Eric Wedge.
Wedge will be 50 in January. He managed Cleveland from 2003-2009, and was Cleveland’s manager when the Indians beat the Yankees in the 2007 ALDS, the series known for the midges.
He also managed Seattle from 2011-2013. In his ten years as manager, his teams averaged 77-85. He won 90 or more games twice and the only team he took to the playoffs was that 2007 Indians team (which featured CC Sabathia) that blew a 3 games to 1 lead to Boston in the ALCS.
Nevertheless, Wedge was named Manager of the Year for 2007.
As a player, Wedge, a catcher, only got 86 at bats, hitting .233-5-12, OPS+ 107.
Shohei Otani has been posted by his Japanese team and is someone the Yankees are very interested in. Not only that, the Japanese “Babe Ruth” (because he pitches and hits well) would very much like to come to the Yankees. If you haven’t heard of him, he is just 23, bats left, throws right and not only pitches well (can hit 100 MPH) but also hits well also.
The Yanks are expected to be quiet on the free agent front….except for this guy and possibly bringing back CC and Todd Frazier. (I don’t think Frazier returns, because of Headley, Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, and if the Yanks do sign Otani, then CC may not be signed).
Otani has played in 403 games in Japan as a hitter, and if you take 403/3 that is 134 or about 3 seasons worth, so doing that, he has averaged .286-16-55 as a hitter.
As a pitcher, in 85 games, 82 starts, (85/3 is 28, so once again about 3 seasons worth), he has averaged 14-5, 2.52.
Brian Cashman flew to Japan in August to check on Otani personally. The Yankees have heavily scouted him.
Other teams obviously are interested also. We’ll see who gets him.
The Yanks are changing the start times of their home games (seven) in April, 2018 to a 6:35 start. This only affects the Mon-Thurs. games.
In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale lost 3-1, getting only 3 hits. Rough night for Yankees’ prospects:
SS Thairo Estrada 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .353
LF Billy McKinney 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts. .291
RF Estevan Florial 0 for 3 with a walk. .254.
The Marlins have held preliminarty talks with four clubs about dealing Giancarlo Stanton. One team should worry the Yankees. It’s Boston. The others are the Giants, Cardinals and Phillies.
According to MLB.com,
The Marlins, under new ownership, are prepared to make “unpopular decisions” — as chief executive officer Derek Jeter put it — in order to rebuild their farm system and increase payroll flexibility. A Stanton trade could help them to do both.
Stanton, the reigning Major League home run champion, has 10 years and $295 million left on his contract, albeit with an opt-out following the 2020 season. He also possesses a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals are considered the favorite to land Stanton. It would take a boatload of prospects (which the Yankees have) and the willingness to take on a lot of money (the Yankees could take on the $$$, but don’t have the willingness to gut their farm system or take on a contract like that, especially since Hal wants to get under that salary cap), so even though it would be intriguing to see Stanton and his 59 HR in 2017 in a lineup with Judge and Sanchez, keep dreaming. I don’t see it happening.
But if Hal can get under that cap this year, there is a huge and better free agent class after the 2018 season (Harper? Machado?) and if you still have the prospects, and now got under the cap, a big splurge could be made. That is one dream that could become reality.