Category Archives: Minor Leagues

Moncada, and looking at 2020

Ok, here are some things from MLB Trade Rumors (see italics) concerning the Moncada to Boston deal. Boston gave him $31.5MM (which with the penalty is $63MM). The Yanks liked Moncada, Cashman wanted him, but upper management bid $25MM ($50MM with the penalty) and would go no higher than $27MM/$54MM with the penalty.

 

  • The Padres made an approximately $25MM offer to Moncada, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports on Twitter. Meanwhile, the Brewers‘ were interested only to the $12MM to $15MM range, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets. Milwaukee came in early with an offer, learned it would not be competitive, and then bowed out, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
  • Though the Giants were interested in Moncada, but not at his price tag, GM Brian Sabean tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). “We were involved, not as much as other teams,” said Sabean. “We’re not built for that. Nor is most of baseball.” That sounds similar to the fate of the Tigers, who as Chris Iott of MLive.com writes had legitimate interest but bowed out fairly early on. “We scouted him,” said assistant GM Al Avila. “We had him here for a private workout. Once we knew where the money was going, it was just a point that we had our money invested in other areas.”
  • ESPN.com’s Keith Law (Insider link) writes that Moncada would have been the first or second player taken in this year’s relatively weak draft, and profiles as a top-ten talent in any year. As Law notes, the signing could be a piece of a push for change, as the league looks to hold down the bonuses going to young Cuban ballplayers.

Now Moncada projects to a 2B (and Pedroia is already there) or 3B (Boston just signed Sandoval). My gut feeling is that Boston may want to move the heavyset Kung Fu Panda (Sandoval) to DH once the 39-year-old Ortiz retires, opening 3B up for Moncada. The Moncada signing also would lessen the blow should Boston put together a package of prospects and get Cole Hamels from the Phillies.

Earlier this morning, the Red Sox reportedly struck an agreement with Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada, landing the 19-year-old switch-hitter with a $31.5MM signing bonus that will cost the team $63MM due to the 100 percent luxury tax it faces for exceeding its international bonus pool. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted shortly after the agreement was struck that the Yankees offered $25MM with a willingness to go to $27MM. Here are some more details on the tail end of a free agency that resulted in the largest signing bonus an international amateur has ever received…

  • The Dodgers never actually made a formal offer for Moncada, GM Farhan Zaidi tells Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register (Twitter links). Though general terms were discussed, the GM explained that Los Angeles weighed other considerations that tempered its interest: “There’s a lot of talent coming July 2. The calculus of that was a big part of our equation.”
  • Steinbrenner was “not the reason” that the Yankees didn’t go higher for Moncada, Matthews tweets, reversing his earlier report (see below).

Earlier Updates

  • The Yankees, Red Sox and Brewers were the three finalists for Moncada, tweets Sherman. However, the Dodgers may have offered the most money, but it came with a price; L.A. was willing to go to $35MM on the condition that Moncada wait until July 2 in order to sign. Doing so would have given the Dodgers unrestricted spending next period, giving them a shot at all the top prospects on the market without the Yankees and Red Sox to compete against. It’s also been reported that Yadier Alvares can’t sign before July 2, so the Dodgers likely could have made a run at both.
  • Indeed, Sherman tweets that the Dodgers are waiting until the new signing period begins on July 2 to spend significantly, and they plan to be very aggressive when that time comes.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman badly wanted to sign Moncada, tweets Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, but he couldn’t convince owner Hal Steinbrenner to spend any more than the reported $27MM figure. The GM told reporters, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (Twitter link), that New York was asked to make its best offer yesterday. He was subsequently informed that it was not sufficient.
  • There was “a feeling from some” that Moncada wanted to end up with the Yankees, but the team simply viewed it as too risky to spend $60-70MM on a prospect, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York (All Twitter links). The Yankees feel that they can buy a proven Major Leaguer with that type of money in the future, and the Red Sox ultimately valued him more, Marchand adds.
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that the Padres were also considered finalists along with the four teams mentioned by Sherman. One team involved in the bidding, Passan adds, was so confident in Moncada’s abilities that they believed him to be capable of jumping directly into the Majors. Instead, he’ll head to the lower levels of Boston’s minor league system.
  • Via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Twitter links), the Brewers‘ interest in Moncada was sincere. GM Doug Melvin believes that he was the first of any GM to submit a formal offer, but the team learned quickly that they wouldn’t be able to sign Moncada
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America notes (Twitter links) that some of the biggest winners in this scenario are Hector Olivera and next signing period’s crop of international amateurs. As Badlery points out, Olivera is being pursued by a number of teams who were also interested in Moncada, but the Red Sox aren’t involved in his market. Moncada signing with Boston means that Olivera didn’t lose a suitor. As for the rest of the international amateurs, they and their trainers are rejoicing, Badler says. The Red Sox were already over their bonus pool, so Moncada signing with them prevents another team (e.g. the Dodgers or Brewers) from going over their pool, giving the next wave of players another suitor.
Ok, we know that the Yanks are in a transition period, and their hands are really kind of tied until some people come off the books. I was hoping that Moncada would be signed with the Yanks as we look five years down the road. What could the Yanks be looking at in 2020 (20/20 vision?)? Best yet, these guys would be in their primes at that time. There is no guarantee any will make it or who may be traded away before then, but…
C Gary Sanchez, righty bat.  Brian McCann is signed through 2018 and has a $15MM team option for 2019. In 2020, McCann will turn 36, and if still with the team, may project better as a DH. Sanchez will be in his prime in 2020 at the age of 27. Sanchez will probably start this year at AAA SWB. Last year at AA Trenton, in 110 games, Sanchez hit .270-13-65.
1B Greg Bird, lefty bat. Mark Teixeira’s last year on his deal is next year, 2016. Teix, if he is still in baseball in 2020, would be 40 that year. I expect him not to be with the Yanks, if he is even in baseball in 2020. Bird would be 27 in 2020. He played in 102 games in 2014 between High-A Tampa and AA Trenton, hitting .271-14-43. In low A Charleston in 2013, he hit .288-20-84 and drew 107 walks. In 264 minor league games, well let’s divide by two. That gives 132…. and if we do that, he has averaged .283-18-70 and 94 walks. He had a great Arizona Fall League, and hopefully the power will develop further. That plate discipline is impressive.
2B Rob Refsnyder, righty bat. With a good spring, he could steal the job from Stephen Drew and open the season as the Yanks’ 2B. If Drew stinks like he did last year, and Refsnyder continues to rake, Refsnyder could take the job in midseason after starting the year at AAA. A converted OF, he may need some more work defensively at 2B, but his bat is impressive. He hit .318-14-63 between AA/AAA in 2014, 137 games. Refsnyder would be 29 in 2020.
SS Didi Gregorious, lefty bat. The just acquired SS would be only 30 in 2020. A defensive whiz, it still has to be proven whether he can hit. In 191 MLB games, he is at .243-13-57, which translates to a .243-11-48 162 g. average, OPS+ 88.
3B. Here is where it gets tricky. Here is where I wanted Moncada, a switch-hitter who would be 24 in 2020. So who COULD be here? Chase Headley is signed through 2018. He’d be 36 in 2020, so he, along with McCann, could be still on the team, and one, say McCann, could DH, and Headley could be backing up at 1B and 3B. But who would be at 3B? Two contenders:
Eric Jagielo, lefty bat. Would be 28 in 2020. In 146 minor league games, has 24 HR, 85 RBI but only a .259 average. .256-18-58 in 2014, 92 games, mostly at High-A Tampa.
Dante Bichette, Jr.  righty bat, would be 27 (28 at the end of the year).  .264-10-68 between High A Tampa and AA Trenton in 2014 in 127 games.
Both have shown some pop, Jagielo more so. But the batting averages haven’t been too impressive so far.
Brett Gardner has an option for 2019. He’d be 36, going on 37 in 2020. Somehow I don’t think he’ll be there in 2020.
Jacoby Ellsbury will be 36 going on 37 and he is still under contract for 2020. Somehow I think he will be there, but no longer in CF. I don’t see him in CF at that age. Maybe a move to LF.
Meaning the Yanks need to find a CF from a current minor leaguer, sign one, trade for one or sign a free agent CF.
RF. Aaron Judge, righty bat. Beltran will surely be gone by then, and Judge would be 28 (see all these players who would be in their primes?). Judge played in 131 games in 2014 between A and High A, hitting .308-17-78.
Looking at the starting rotation, the one thing lacking is a lefty. But Tanaka would be 30, Pineda 30, Nathan Eovaldi 30, Ivan Nova 33, Adam Warren 32 going on 33, Luis Severino 26.
As for the bullpen, Dellin Betances would be 32, and lefty stud prospect Jacob Lindgren 27.
So there is youth there that you hope develops, because they would be in their primes in 2020. The question is who will make it, who develops.
We don’t know who may be traded away. We don’t know what free agents may be signed between now and 2020. We don’t know whose careers get derailed because of injury.
But it would be refreshing to see a team where most of the players are in their prime years, not a team where most of the players have seen their better days.
You hope these prime years would be GOOD years and the players can develop into stars and not mediocrities.
Time will tell.

 

International market, $$$ allocation, Moncada

An article as we await the Super Bowl.

Last year, the Yanks spent a lot on free agents Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran and Tanaka. This year, not so much. Drew, Headley… some “dumpster diving” for players like Baker… trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

But it doesn’t mean they haven’t been spending. The thing is, what are they spending on.

(Parts copied from today’s NY Post).

The Yanks splurged on the international market last July and they are already in the top penalty range for the year. Because of that, they are banned from spending more than $300,000 in the next two signing periods. The current signing period ends on June 15.

The Yanks have signed something like 12 of the top 30 free agents on the international market this year. 

Which brings us to 19 year old infielder Yoan Moncada, a switch-hitter most project as a 2B or 3B. Presently the Yanks have Headley at 3B (4 yr. deal), who could slide to 1B in two years when Teix’s deal runs out. You have Drew at 2B but only on a one-year deal. Refsnyder and Pirela are in the wings at 2B. Maybe Refsnyder or Pirela move to a corner OF position. Aaron Judge and Greg Bird are players to watch for. That’s just position players.

Moncada, should he sign with the Yanks (who had a private workout for him), would automatically surpass RHP Luis Severino and C Gary Sanchez as the Yanks’ #1 prospect in the eyes of many.

Working out a deal may take a while for the Cuban phenom. Maybe things are easier in the future what with the relations between the U.S. and Cuba changing, maybe not. But that deadline does loom.

And if the Yanks CAN land Moncada, maybe a coup. Maybe he can be a youngster the Yanks can build upon, much like Jeter in the mid-1990s. Maybe some of the other international free agents form a new “core four.” Yankees fans can only hope.

It isn’t too early to look toward 2020.

Maybe in 2020, that 20-20 hindsight (sorry, couldn’t resist) will prove that the vision of today was very clear indeed.

Just because $$$ wasn’t allocated to the MLB free agent market doesn’t mean it wasn’t allocated. It just may have been allocated a different way—instead of to MLB free agents on the downside, to youngsters on the upside, whose upside is several years away, and who would then be under team control salary-wise for a while.

Here is hoping the Yanks sign Moncada, and he becomes a star along with some other of those players from this year’s spending on the international market.

 

Yankee prospect assaulted

I’ll get into the NFL a bit later. As for baseball, things have been a bit quiet, so I haven’t written much lately (plus, I’ve been busy). James Shields and Max Scherzer are still free agents and there are no indications yet where either may go.

Yankees prospect Ty Hensley was beaten up during the holiday season. Apparently he was at a bar and a mutual acquaintance introduced him to someone else from his hometown who also was a good athlete and could have gone pro as well. The other athlete was a linebacker from a different high school who later went to Weber St. and then who got cut from an NFL team (Carolina). An argument ensued over signing bonuses and the linebacker (Anthony Morales) beat up Hensley, kicking Hensley in the face repeatedly, and breaking Hensley’s jaw and also breaking some teeth.

Hensley, 21, a RHP, was 1-2, 3.00 in 4 starts and one relief appearance in 2012. He missed all of 2013 with an injury, and was 0-0, 2.93 in 10 starts and one relief appearance (30 2/3 IP) in 2014 between rookie league and short season (Staten Island).

The Yanks announced their AA and AAA coaching staffs for 2015. They are still looking for a hitting and 1B/Infield coach for the big league team. Apparently they had talks with Willie Randolph. It’d be good to have Willie back, but nothing official yet. Marcus Thames will be the hitting coach at SWB (AAA), replacing Butch Wynegar.

Ex-Cowboy DT Jethro Pugh, who played for Dallas from 1965-1978 died recently at the age of 70. Pugh played in the Ice Bowl game (and was the victim of the block by Jerry Kramer that sprung Bart Starr for the game-winning last-minute TD). He was a 2x Super Bowl Champion (VI and XII). Besides the two Super Bowl titles, he played in the NFL Title Games that Dallas lost in 1966 and 1967 (Ice Bowl), and losing Super Bowls V, X and XIII. He also was on teams that lost NFC title games in 1972 and 1973.

As I’m watching the divisional round of NFL playoff games, a quick recap. Carolina beat Arizona last weekend, but then lost to Seattle in the divisional game. In the other NFC game last weekend, Dallas got a supposed gift from the refs for a come-from-behind last-minute win over Detroit. Seattle stopped Carolina to advance to the NFC title game next week. Green Bay is playing Dallas (in the first Dallas at Green Bay postseason game since the Ice Bowl 12/31/1967) as I write this. Seattle, the defending SB champ, will host the winner.

In the AFC, Baltimore beat out my Steelers but then lost yesterday to New England. The Patriots were down twice by two touchdowns to the Ravens, but came back. Indianapolis beat the Bengals, as Cincy did their one-and-done routine again. Their coach is 0-6 in the playoffs, and Andy Dalton is still looking for his first playoff win. The Colts take on Denver at Denver later today, with the winner going to New England to play for the AFC title. It’ll be New England’s fourth straight AFC title game appearance. For Brady and Belichick, their 9th in 14 years.

UPDATE: FROM BRONX BASEBALL DAILY

Ladies and gentlemen, the Yankees finally have a hitting coach.

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees are slated to hire Jeff Pentland as their hitting coach and for the first time in team history, will have an assistant hitting coach. The Yankees have hired Alan Cockrell as the assistant coach.

Pentland worked as the hitting coach for the Marlins when Joe Girardi was the manager, was the hitting coach of the Royals when Tony Pena was the manager and when Carlos Beltran was a player; and was the hitting coach for the Mariners and the Dodgers. Cockrell was the hitting coach for the 2007 Colorado Rockies and the Mariners. The 2007 Rockies advanced to the World Series that season.

 

Update 2:

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees announced Joe Espada is going to be the new infield coach, replacing Mick Kelleher who was fired in October along with ex-hitting coach Kevin Long. Espada was a scout for the Yankees last season but has coaching experience; he was the third base coach for the Miami Marlins. Espada joins Jeff Pentland and Alan Cockrell as the new pieces of the Yankees coaching staff.

More on Banuelos

As you may know, I also post on the minors throughout the year. There was one thing over 2014 that disturbed me, and that was the lack of innings I was seeing from Manny Banuelos.

Now I know that Banuelos was coming back off of Tommy John surgery. He missed most of 2012 and all of 2013. So “babying” him at the beginning of the year was no surprise.

But over the course of the year, I kept waiting for outings that were longer. Where were the five, six, seven inning outings? Banuelos started 25 games in 2014, relieved in one more and threw a total of 76 2/3 innings. That is 3 innings/start and a 1 2/3 inning relief outing if you want to look at it that way.

Starters need to give innings. Banuelos didn’t in 2014 whether it be to his fault or the Yanks babying him. But here is another thing. With young pitchers, you don’t want to increase their workload more than 30 innings from the previous year. Which means only 107 innings in 2015? That, for a starter, won’t do.

Which is why the Yanks may have seen him as only a reliever. And if they saw it that way, Banuelos was in trouble and it could be why he was traded. Miller, Wilson, Shreve are three lefties that could all be with the Yanks in 2015. All have MLB experience.

Then you have fast-rising Jacob Lindgren. The Yanks first round pick of 2015 went 2-1, 2.16 in 19 games from rookie ball right through AA and struck out 48 in 25 innings. You read that right. Fast riser, indeed. While Shreve is 24, Lindgren is 22 soon.

Then you have Tyler Webb, 24, who went from A to AAA last year, 3-6, 3.80, 12 saves and 94 K in 68 2/3 IP.

James Pazos, 23, was in A and AA last year. 0-3, 2.42, 10 saves and 75 K in 67 IP.

Four lefties, 24 years old or less, and that is not counting Miller or Wilson, and all with K/IP ratios of over 1.00. Good.

Maybe Cashman takes two of them and uses them in a package deal for a solid starter, maybe not. But if Banuelos couldn’t give the innings as a starter, and the Yanks thought he would have to go to relief, he had stiff competition.

Not only that, but as a starter he had competition. Jaron Long, a righty (Kevin Long’s son) went 12-5, 2.18 between A and AA levels in 2014. He actually threw 144 1/3 innings in 2014. By contrast, Banuelos has topped 100 innings pitched in a season only once since 2009.

I’m not sold yet on Chase Whitley (started great, 2.56 ERA but wound up 4-3, 5.23, he’s 25) Esmiel Rogers or Bryan Mitchell (unimpressive minor league numbers) but don’t forget about Luis Severino.

Severino, 21 in February, was 6-5, 2.46, in going from Low A to AA last year. He struck out 127 in 113 1/3 IP. Hopefully he can be stretched out to 145 innings or so. Who knows if he can make a jump from AA to the majors. Maybe in 2016.

There is only so much room. There were lefty relievers ahead of Man-Ban on the depth chart, and apparently he dropped behind some other pitchers as a starter too, like Long and Severino.

That is, if the Yanks still considered Banuelos to be a starter. After averaging just three innings per start last year, and having only one season of 100 or more innings since 2009, maybe they didn’t.

And if so, it cleared the way for Man-Ban to be dealt, while his stock was still good.

For if Banuelos (Man-Ban) had a year in 2015 like he had in 2014, the Yanks wouldn’t get two major leaguers, one a 24 year old prospect who has already hit the majors for him.

You wonder what, if anything, that they would have gotten then.

Yanks trade Banuelos to Braves for two pitchers

Just a couple of years ago, Manny Banuelos was considered a future Yankees rotation standout; a future ace. He’s not 24 yet, but it won’t happen with the Yankees.

Banuelos, whose career has been derailed due to Tommy John surgery, was traded by the Yanks to the Braves today for two pitchers.

Banuelos was 4-1, 2.57 at the age of 17 for the Yanks’ rookie league team in 2008. In 2009, he went 9-5, 2.64 in A ball at the age of 18. The future looked really good. In 15 starts in 2010, he was just 0-4, but his ERA was 2.51 and he made it up to AA at the age of 19. Even people like Mariano Rivera were starting to take notice. In 2011, Banuelos went 6-7, 3.75 between AA and AAA. He was still only 20. It appeared that by 2014 he would be in the majors.

Then came 2012, and Banuelos pitched in only six games, going 0-2, 4.50 at AAA before his year came to an end. He needed TJ surgery and missed the rest of 2012 and all of 2013.

This past season, Banuelos started 25 games and relieved in one more between high A, AA and AAA. But in those 26 games (25 starts), he only pitched 76 2/3 innings—-about three innings a start. Whether it was Banuelos, or the Yanks being careful with him after TJ surgery, that wasn’t good enough.

Banuelos went 2-3, 4.11, in 2014 and the Yanks felt he regressed to the point where he was available. Not 24 yet, Banuelos may still salvage the promise expected of him, but not for the Yankees. In his minor league career, Banuelos is 21-22, 3.29. He has exactly 446 strikeouts in 446 IP.

In return for Banuelos, the Yanks picked up David Carpenter, 29, a righty reliever who seems to be an upgrade from Shawn Kelley, who the Yanks dealt to San Diego a few days ago. Carpenter comes recommended by Brian McCann, who caught Carpenter while McCann was in Atlanta. While Kelley had a 4.40 ERA in his two seasons with the Yanks, Carpenter was 6-4, 3.54 in 2014 for the Braves, with 67 K in 61 IP, 3 saves. ERA+ 103. In 2013, Carpenter was 4-1, 1.78 for Atlanta, ERA+ 211. For his career, he is 11-10, 3.62, 4 saves, ERA+ 105.

Also coming to the Yanks is lefty reliever Chasen Shreve, 24, who made his MLB debut with the Braves in 2014, pitching in 15 games and striking out 15 in 12 1/3 IP. 0-0, 0.73. In the minors in 2014, Shreve was 5-3, 2.67 with 87 K in 64 IP.

As far as lefty relievers, the Yanks now have Andrew Miller, Justin Wilson, Shreve, and have Jacob Lindgren and two others on the way. Six lefty relievers to choose from and all under 30.

You wonder if more moves are coming. You make moves out of a position of strength and you wonder if some of these lefty relievers (and youth) could be dealt in a HUGE deal.

In any case, the Yanks’ bullpen looks pretty strong. Betances, Miller, Wilson, Shreve, German (picked up from the Mets), Warren (if he isn’t going into the rotation), Whitley (rotation?), Rogers (same?)… There are a lot of bullpen choices here, even if none is a proven closer.

As far as the rotation… Tanaka (hope the elbow holds up, and he’s just 26), Pineda (same) and Eovaldi (25) are young.  Ivan Nova is under 30. Then you have CC and Capuano, both older.

More of a youth movement. The pitching is shaping up, it appears as if the Yanks are going young at the DP combination (Gregorious and Refsnyder or Pirela). The offense still worries me (Teix/A-Rod/Beltran/McCann/Headley).

But maybe more moves are coming. It appears so.

Yanks trade Kelley for prospect

Continuing their youth movement, the Yanks traded Shawn Kelley to the Padres today for a AA relief prospect.

Kelley went 3-6, 4.53, ERA+ 86 for the Yanks in 2014 with four saves. In his only other year as a Yankee, the 30 year old went 4-2, 4.39, ERA+ 92 in 2013.

For his career, Kelley is 17-17, 3.94, ERA+ 101 (100 is average) with 4 saves.

In return, the Yanks receive a young pitcher who spent the year in AA before getting shut down in June due to an elbow injury.

Johnny Barbato, 22, is a righty pitcher who was 2-2, 2.87, with 16 saves at AA before the elbow injury. In 27 games, 31 1/3 IP, he struck out 33. For his minor league career, Barbato is 12-13, 3.79, 256 K in 249 2/3 IP. Barbato projects as a setup man.

It appears to be another move in order to stockpile young arms for the future (and have players under team control financially) . It appears Cashman may be sacrificing 2015 and 2016 in order to try to build something long lasting for 2017-2025 by going for youth (Eovaldi, Gregorious, Barbato…).

And I have no problem with that.

 

Yanks trade Prado and Phelps to Marlins

When the Yanks re-signed Chase Headley, it appeared their infield was set. Teixeira at first, Prado at second, Gregorious/Ryan at SS and Headley at 3B.

Not so fast.

On Friday, the Yanks traded Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps to the Miami Marlins.

Prado was picked up by the Yanks in mid-season of 2014, and hit .316-7-16 in 37 games. Phelps went 5-5, 4.38 as a spot starter/long reliever in 2014.

In return, the Yanks got the following:

RHP Nathan Eovaldi, 24, who went 6-14, 4.37 (ERA+ 87) in 2014 for the Marlins. For his career, he is 15-35, 4.07, ERA+ 95. His 162 g. average is 6-15, 4.07. Not impressive, but he throws 96, is young and is a project for pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Upside is there, will he reach it? As of now, the Yanks #4 starter (when Nova returns, he’ll probably drop to #5, behind Nova. As of now, Capuano is the #5).

1b/of Garrett Jones, .246-15-53 in 2014 for the Marlins. OPS+ 98. Lefty hitter, and 33 years old. Can fill in at 1B for Teix, RF for Beltran or DH for A-Rod. 162 game average: .253-22-73, OPS+ 108. Has pop for the porch. Spent 2009-2013 with the Pirates. Has hit 20+HR 3x in his career, 15 or more each season 2009-2014.

Prospect Domingo German, 22, RHP. 9-3, 2.48 in A ball in 2014. 20-10, 2.33 in his minor league career.

It was thought that Prado would be the Yanks’ 3B in 2014, then 2B when Headley re-signed. His versatility (he can also play corner OF) will be missed. As for Phelps, it appears the Yanks like Eovaldi’s upside and experience over Phelps as far as a rotation spot is concerned.

Unless a deal is made, it looks like the second base job will be up for grabs between two rookies. They are:

Jose Pirela, 25, righty bat. Hit 8 for 24 (.333, with one double and two triples) in seven games with the Yanks last year after hitting .305-10-60 with 15 SB at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Rob Refsnyder, 23, righty bat who spent 2014 between AA/AAA, hitting a combined .318-14-63.

Refsnyder, a converted OF, is said to have a MLB-ready bat, but it’s his defense that scouts are questioning.

With Digregorious (24) at SS, one of the two listed above (Pirela/Refsnyder) at 2B, and Eovaldi as a #4 starter, it appears that even though none have done much, if anything, in the majors yet, that the Yanks are focusing on youth with potential upside. I do see, on other blogs, some complaining about their stats so far in their careers. It should be stated to these people to look at the ages. If (and yes, if is a big word) they reach potential (and potential means you haven’t done it yet), the Yanks have some players under team control financially whose best years are AHEAD of them, rather than (as they have often done) have players NOT under team control who are costing too much money whose best years are BEHIND them (Beltran, A-Rod, CC, Teixeira….).

In another move, the Yanks DFA’d Preston Claiborne, RHP, 26, who went 3-0, 3.00 for the Yanks last year when they gave cash considerations to the Mets for RHP Gonzalez Germen. Germen went 0-0, 4.75 for the Mets in 2014 and is 27 years old.  He is 1-2, 4.31 (ERA+ 83) in 54 MLB games.