Category Archives: Mike’s Musings

Yanks re-sign CC. 1 Yr, $10MM.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia is coming back for at least 1 yr. The lefty signed a 1-yr. , $10MM deal with the Yanks.

Besides helping to stabliize the rotation (Severino, Tanaka, Gray, Montgomery & CC for now), it helps minimize the need to get a Gerrit Cole type by trading Clint Frazier and Chance Adams for him (or Fulmer, Corbin, etc.), and also pushes back the need for a Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield for now and lets them develop a bit more (also Domingo Acevedo, Albert Abreu and/or Domingo German) . Of course, with injuries, you never know.

Good deal. I didn’t want to give CC and that troublesome knee more than a 1 yr. deal, and he does turn 38 next July. Affordable, too.

CC needed to reinvent himself. After a strong 2012 when he went 15-6, 3.38 but missed a couple of starts, it appeared from 2013 to 2015 that CC was done. In those years, he was a combined 23-27, 4.81 ERA and had to leave the team before the 2015 WC game to battle his problem w/alcohol.

But in the last two years, he is 23-17, 3.81. Maybe not an ace anymore, but serviceable.

With the signing, the Yanks are still some $15-20MM under the cap. We’ll see if they use it on another pitcher or if they use it on someone like a Howie Kendrick (the only position player I can see the Yanks squeezing in. Kendrick could be a one-year stop gap at 2B while Torres and Andujar battle it out for 3B. Maybe the Yanks don’t want to go with rookies at two positions. )

But a move, and a good one. Not much $$$ left unless they can dump some of Ellsbury’s salary.

He was 14-5, 3.69, ERA+ 122 last year and we’ll gladly take that again.

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Yankee Killer Lary passes away at age 87.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Frank Lary, who got the nickname “the Yankee Killer” because he went 27-10 against the great Yankees teams from 1955-1961, has passed away at the age of 87.

Lary pitched for the Tigers 1954-1964, Mets 1964, Braves 1964, Mets again 1965 and White Sox 1965.

He led the AL in wins with 21 in 1956, and won 23 in 1961 for a Tigers team that won 101 games but finished second, eight games behind the Yankees. He finished 3rd in the CYA voting in 1961—when there was just one award and it wasn’t split into AL and NL winners—behind Hall of Famers Whitey Ford (who won) and Warren Spahn.

In that 1961 season, he not only finished third for the CYA, but was 7th in MVP, was an All-Star and won the Gold Glove.

He was a 3x All Star who got MVP consideration 3x and that CYA consideration once.

He led the league in games started 2x, complete games 3x, innings pitched 3x.

From 1955-1961, he averaged 17-13, 3.34 and an ERA+ of 121. He also averaged 257 IP per season.

After that 1961 season, when he went 23-9, 3.24 and led the majors in complete games with 22, Lary’s career fizzled out.

He was just 31.

From 1962-1965, he went just 11-23, 4.26, ERA+ 87.

For his career, Lary was 128-116, 3.49, ERA+ 114. His average 162 g. season was 14-12, 3.49.

As a hitter, he hit .177 with 6 HR.

 

 

Yanks lose players in Rule 5 draft.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before I get into this year’s rule 5 draft, an explanation from Wikipedia:

Description

As in the amateur draft, the selection order of the teams is based on each team’s win-loss record from the prior regular season, each round starting with the team with the worst record and proceeding in order to the team with the best record. Any player selected under Rule 5 is immediately added to his new team’s 40-man roster; thus, teams who do not have an available roster spot may not participate in the Rule 5 draft.Players who are not currently on their team’s 40-man roster are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, but only after a standard exemption period has elapsed. See Selection eligibility below.

If chosen in the Rule 5 draft, a player must be kept on the selecting team’s 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or designated to the minors. The selecting team may, at any time, waive the Rule 5 draftee. If a Rule 5 draftee clears waivers by not signing with a new MLB team, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 draft choice.Once a Rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team’s 25-man roster, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment.

To prevent the abuse of the Rule 5 draft, the rule also states that the draftee must be active for at least 90 days. This keeps teams from drafting players, then placing them on the disabled list for the majority of the season. For example, if a Rule 5 draftee was only active for 67 days in his first season with his new club, he must be active for an additional 23 days in his second season to satisfy the Rule 5 requirements.

Any player chosen in the Rule 5 draft may be traded to any team while under the Rule 5 restrictions, but the restrictions transfer to the new team. If the new team does not want to keep the player on its 25-man roster for the season, he must be offered back to the team of which he was a member when chosen in the draft.

Selection eligibility

Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization’s 40-man roster and:

  • were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming; or
  • were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming.

These exemption periods (one year longer than those in effect previously) went into effect as part of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in October 2006. The change took effect immediately, exempting many players from the 2006 Rule 5 draft even though they had been signed in some cases more than four years before the new agreement came into effect. Prior to the rule change, players were exempt from the first two or three Rule 5 drafts held after their signing (regardless of the year they were drafted), rather than from the first three or four Rule 5 drafts after their signing.

Cost and example

To prevent excessive turnover in the minor league levels, each draftee costs $50,000. If the draftee does not stay on the selecting team’s 25-man (major league) roster all season, the player must be offered back to his original team at half-price ($25,000). Organizations may also draft players from AA or lower to play for their AAA affiliates (for $12,000) and may draft players from A teams or lower to play for their AA affiliates (for $4,000).[3]

The Rule 5 draft has opened opportunities for teams to take other teams’ top prospects who may not be ready for the major leagues. A prominent example is Johan Santana, who was chosen in the 1999 Rule 5 draft by the Florida Marlins when the Houston Astros declined to put him on their 40-man roster, and then traded to the Minnesota Twins in a pre-arranged deal.[4] The Twins kept Santana on their roster for the 2000 season, despite the pitcher’s subpar performance that season (6.49 ERA) which was unsurprising given his youth and inexperience. After the 2000 season, the Twins had the right to option Santana to their minor league system, but chose not to during the 2001 season. He was briefly optioned to Class AAA at the start of the 2002 season, then returned to the major leagues at the end of May and established himself as an above-average pitcher; he went on to win Cy Young Awards in 2004 and 2006. Santana had not played above Class A in minor league baseball before being chosen in the Rule 5 draft,[5] and he likely would not have made his major league debut until at least the 2001 or the 2002 season with the Astros, if at all.[citation needed]

The Yanks lost these players in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday (you can’t protect everyone, and with the Yanks’ strong farm system…..)

RHP Angelo Gomez to the Braves.

LHP Nestor Cortes to the Orioles. Cortes just turned 23 and in A+, AA and AAA went 7-4, 2.06 this year.

1B Mike Ford to Seattle. 25, a lefty hitter. Between AA/AAA hit .270-20-86.

RHP Jose Mesa, the son of the long term reliever Jose Mesa. to the Orioles.

RHP Yancoules Baez to the Twins.

C Sharif Othman, 28, to Miami. Othman was only in High A/AA and hit .223-7-22 in 72 games. A bit old to be in the low minors.

Pardon my spelling on some players.

The Yanks did take OF Junior Soto from Cleveland. A righty hitter, he was in A ball and hit .172-9-17 in 52 games. Just 20.  This was in the minor league portion of the draft and not the portion described above.

 

Yankees News. Winter Meetings ends tomorrow.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Quick rundown:

Shohei Ohtani apparently has an elbow issue, much like the Yankees’ Tanaka has. So the Angels will have to be careful with him.

Michael Pineda signed a 2-yr. $10MM deal with the Twins. Pineda needed Tommy John surgery, went down in mid-year for the Yanks and won’t be ready for the Twins until 2019. With the Yanks he was mediocre, 31-31, 4.16, ERA+ 101. Average. He should have been much more.

Gary Sanchez has lost weight. This is to increase flexibility behind the plate to avoid all those wild pitches and passed balls.

The price of pitching is higher than expected. MLBTR.com estimated where pitchers would go and for how much. They are wrong in their predictions of where pitchers would go, but are WAY under in their estimations of how much $$$ those pitchers would get.

As for Todd Frazier returning to the Yankees…..he probably wants a multi-year deal and the Yanks won’t give him that…..Number 1, Manny Machado is a free agent after 2018, and number 2, why give him a multi-year deal when you have a minor league prospect, Miguel Andujar, almost ready?

The Yanks are working on another deal. They have discussed Michael Fulmer of the Tigers (who beat out Sanchez for ROY in 2016), Gerrit Cole of the Pirates, and are talking to the Diamondbacks about both LHP Patrick Corbin and also infielder Brandon Drury.

As my friend Josh (the Yankee Truth) states, if the Yanks make the deal with AZ, can they now promote Judge and Drury?

The Yanks have a lot of top-notch prospects that are blocked by players like Judge and Stanton, etc. If they are top prospects, but blocked for what seems like years to come, best to spin them off to fulfill needs.

I smell something big coming up. We’ll see what it is.

The Rule 5 draft ends the Winter meetings tomorrow. Expect the Yanks to lose a couple of prospects.

Bob Costas has been elected to the HOF for his broadcasting.

Chase Headley may not be long for the Padres after the Yanks just dealt him there. He could be turned right around to the Angels.

$alary dump. Yanks trade Headley and Mitchell to SD.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees created more salary cap space by trading Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell to SD for OF Jabari Blash.

Blash, 28, a righty bat, has played in 99 MLB games, going .200-8-21, OPS+ 79. Don’t expect him in the bigs as he is behind Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Gardner and Ellsbury, not to mention Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney.

This was a move to free up $$. Headley hit .273-12-61 with the Yanks in 2017, OPS + 100 (league average). In three full and another part of a fourth year with the Yanks, his OPS+ was 96, a tick below league average. In the last four years, he’s averaged .257-12-56, OPS+ 95, a tick below league average.

Now that the Yanks have dealt Castro and Headley, there are holes at 2B and 3B. Do the Yankees now bring back Todd Frazier?

Or do they take the $$ saved in dealing Castro and Headley and use it all on pitching?

They can go strictly “Minimum Wage” and use Gleyber Torres at 2B and Miguel Andujar at 3B. Two rookies, if they don’t want to go after Todd Frazier.

Rumors are they are kicking the tires on Manny Machado. I don’t see it happening. Machado is a free agent after 2018 and could cost a boatload of prospects. It’s also rumored he wants to leave 3B and go back to SS. That isn’t happening with the Yankees, not with Didi at SS.

But something is brewing. Whether it be 3B, 2B or a starting pitcher. More moves are coming.

The Yanks are said to be interested in the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer (2016 ROY), Partick Corbin of Arizona and Danny Duffy of KC, in addition to the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole.

CC, of course could be coming back, too.

As for Bryan Mitchell, I had a gut feeling he would be dealt this offseason and I feel the same way about Luis Cessa. There are just younger players with greater upside who are passing these guys by. In 48 games as a Yankee, Mitchell was 2-6, 4.94.

 

Yanks name more coaches.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ok. This morning I named Phil Nevin as the new 3B coach and Josh Bard as the new bench coach. I also mentioned that it appears as if Mike Harkey will remain bullpen coach with Marcus Thames hitting coach (with Cockrell possibly gone).

Tony Pena won’t be back.

Carlos Mendoza has been named the IF coach. He also serves as a Spanish speaking go-between. Mendoza, 43, played in only 28 major league games, going 4 for 22 with the Mets and Rockies, 1997 and 2000.

Reggie Willits becomes the 1B and baserunning coach, as well as OF coach. Willets, 36, played for the Angels 2006-2011. His best year was 2007, when the OF hit .293-0-34 with 27 SB for them, and finished fifth in ROY voting. In 414 MLB games, he hit .258-0-58, OPS+ 78. His 162 g. average was .258-0-23 w/16 SB.

 

Stanton press conference today. Yanks to also announce new bench & 3B Coaches.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will have a press conference at 2 PM today to announce their acquisition of slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

Also to be announced today are two new coaches.

From Replacement Yankees web blog:

Josh Bard will be Aaron Boone’s new bench coach. Bard, 39, was a catcher for the Indians 2002-2005, Red Sox 2006, Padres 2006-2008, Washington 2009, and Mariners 2010-2011. In 586 MLB games, he hit .254 with and OPS+ of 90. His 162 g. average was .254-11-61. He got into one postseason with the 2006 Padres, going 1 for 7. He had hit .330-9-40 as a platoon C that season.

Bard was a teammate of Aaron Boone’s in Cleveland in 2005 and has spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach. As a former catcher, he probably will also work with Gary Sanchez.

Phil Nevin will be the Yanks’ 3B coach. Nevin was the guy selected by Houston one notch above Derek Jeter in the 1992 MLB draft, much to the chagrin of Astros’ scout, HOF Hal Newhouser.

Nevin, 46, was the Giants’ 3B coach in 2017. He played for Houston 1995, Detroit 1995-1997, the Angels 1998, the Padres 1999-2005, Rangers 2005-2006, Cubs 2006 and Twins 2006.

He topped 100 RBI in 2000, 2001 and 2004, and hit 31 HR in 2000 and 41 in 2001. He played 3B, 1B, C and some corner OF.

He hit .270 with 208 HR in his MLB career, OPS+ 114. His 162 g. average was .270-28-99. He went 0 for 3 in his only postseason with the 2006 Twins.

The Yanks are expected to bring back Mike Harkey as the bullpen coach, and he would join returning pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

No word on the Yankees 1B coach or hitting coaches. Last year, Tony Pena was the 1B coach (and worked with catchers) and the hitting coaches were Marcus Thames and Alan Cockrell were hitting coaches.

UPDATE: From mlbtr.com: Nevin and Boone were high school teammates. Nevin was considered to be a strong candidate for the Tigers’ managerial opening before the club selected Ron Gardenhire to be their next skipper.

The Yankees’ extension of Brian Cashman’s GM pact is completed. 5 yr. $25MM