Category Archives: Minor Leagues

Yanks get Drury from AZ, give up 2 prospects in 3-team trade

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Apparently the Yanks weren’t comfortable in going with two rookies in the lineup, one at 2B, the other at 3B.

They made a 3-team trade on Tuesday, getting Brandon Drury from Arizona and giving up two prospects in the deal.

Drury, 25, a righty hitter, is versatile, having played 136 games at 2B, 41 at 3B (where he is projected to play), 62 in LF and 32 in RF. He provides insurance in case youngsters Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres aren’t ready yet, and if they are ready, Drury could fill a super-utility role.

Even though only 25, Drury has two full seasons of MLB experience under his belt.

Drury hit .267-13-63, OPS+ 89 in 2017 and hit .282-16-53, OPS+ 101 in 2016. He was 1 for 6, 1 HR, 3 RBI in the postseason last year. He is under team control for a couple of years, is expected to make only $600K to $700K this year, so is quite affordable and won’t hurt the Yanks against the cap.

If he does what he’s done so far, expect .270-15-60 or thereabouts, OPS+ 94. He needs to work on walk/strikeout ratio and since he is just 25, could develop more power.

His acquisition leaves him, Torreyes, Andujar, Wade, Torres, Espinosa, Estrada and Peterson all vying for 2B/3B and utility roles. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of that bunch gets dealt for a starting pitcher. There are eight guys for three spots.

To make room for Drury on the 40-man roster, Jabari Blash was DFA’d.

Going in the deal were two prospects. Nick Solak, 2B, went to the Rays. Solak was stuck behind some of the guys listed above, Solak, a 23 yr. old righty hitter, spent 2017 between High-A Tampa and AA Trenton, hitting a combined .297-12-53 with 14 SB. He is said to have a good bat but needs work on his D (much like Andujar). He was ranked the Yanks’ #8 prospect.

Going from the Yanks to Arizona is RHP Taylor Widener, ranked the Yanks’ #14 prospect. The 23 yr. old RHP was 7-8, 3.39 in 27 starts for High A Tampa in 2017.

 

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Yankee prospect Estrada recovering from gunshot wound.

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From ESPN.com:

New York Yankees minor league infielder Thairo Estrada was shot in the right hip in late January during a robbery attempt outside of a restaurant in Bejuma, Venezuela. He’s in big league camp and doing well, although limited to upper-body work at the moment. Manager Aaron Boone said the Yankees expect no long-term ramifications from the shooting.

Estrada, Keith Law’s No. 13 prospect in the Yankees’ system after hitting .301 with six home runs at Double-A Trenton in 2017, said …. he was with his wife when two teenagers asked for money or a phone and searched his pockets. When he said he had neither, they shot him in the hip. His wife was not hurt.

….

Boone said there’s no timetable on when Estrada will resume baseball activities. He will start riding an exercise bike next week and is expected to play the bulk of the season. Law wrote that Estrada “looks like a great utility player who can put the ball in play without any power, handle short or second without much trouble and can’t just be overpowered with velocity.”

Yanks’ prospect to miss time w/appendix surgery

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Yanks’ prospect Albert Abreu will miss the first part of the season with appendix surgery.

Abreu was expected to start 2018 at AA Trenton.

 

Yanks sign OF Robinson to a minor league contract.

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You would think with Gardner, Hicks, Stanton, Judge, Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Jabari Blash, and minor leaguers like Billy McKinney that the Yanks didn’t need another OF.

Instead, the Yanks signed Shane Robinson to a minor league deal. Robinson, 33, a righty bat, has played with St. Louis (2009, 2011-2014), Minnesota (2015) and the Angels (2016-2017). He has played in 436 games with 795 plate appearances, hitting .226-6-64 with 18 SB. His 162 g. average is .226-2-24 with 7 SB, OPS+ 64.

He has played in 18 postseason games (2012/2013 Cardinals) going 5 for 24 with a HR and 4 RBI.

He also pitched a scoreless inning for the 2015 Twins.

A bit of a head-scratching move, but a move for more OF depth.

SWB staff set. Yanks’ ticket sales WAY up.

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The Yanks’ AAA affiliate has their coaching staff set for 2018. Major changes.

Manager: Bobby Mitchell
Hitting coach: Phil Plantier
Pitching coach: Tommy Phelps
Bullpen coach: Doug Davis
Defensive coach: Travis Chapman

Mitchell was with the Dodgers and Twins 1980-1983. OF. 202 MLB games. Batted & threw Lefty. .243-3-43. OPS+ 77.

Plantier: OF, Batted L, Threw R. Boston 1990-1992, SD, 1993-1994; Houston 1995; Back to SD 1995. Oakland 1996. San Diego yet again, and St. Louis 1997.

Plantier was 8th in ROY in 1991, hitting .331-11-35, OPS+ 178 in just 53 games with Boston. He hit .240-34-100, OPS+ 122 for the 1993 Padres.  In 610 MLB games, he hit .243 w/91 HR, OPS+ 104. 162 g. average, .243-24-78.

Phelps: Lefty pitcher. FL and Milw. 2003-2005. 75 games, 11 starts. 4-5, 4.34. ERA+ 97.

Davis: C, 3B. From Bloomsburg, PA. 1989 Angels, 1992 Rangers. 7 MLB games. 1 for 13.

Chapman: 3B. 2003 Phillies. 1 at bat.

The addition of Giancarlo Stanton has energized the fan base. Ticket sales are up 550,000 over last year at this time.

From MLBTR.com:

The Yankees have signed right-hander David Hale to a minor league contract, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link).  Hale posted a 3.30 ERA over 87 1/3 IP for the Braves as a reliever and occasional starter in 2014, but his performance suffered after a trade to Colorado that offseason.  The ground-ball specialist struggled to a 6.09 ERA over 78 1/3 IP (mostly as a starter) that year and then tossed only two MLB innings in 2016.  Hale has since pitched in the Orioles’ and Dodgers’ farm systems.

 

 

Yanks sign Espinosa to minor league deal.

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I feel as if the Yanks will be going with Andujar at 3B, and Torres (after he spends the first two weeks at AAA to push back his arbitration/free agency a year) at 2B.

But to hedge their bets, the Yanks signed Jace Peterson to a minor league contract a few weeks ago.

Today, they hedged their bets a bit further, signing Danny Espinosa to a minor league deal.

The plusses to Espinosa: 30, 31 in April. Still in his “prime.”

Switch-hitter with power. 21 HR in 2011 for the Nationals. 24 in 2016.

Postseason Experience with the Nationals in 2012, 2014 & 2016.

Mostly 2B/SS, has played some 3B.

The negatives: .221 career batting average, OPS+ just 82, 18% below league average.

189 strikeouts led the NL in 2012. 174 K in 2016.

In 93 games in 2017, most with the Angels, but some w/Seattle and Tampa Bay, .173-6-31, OPS+ a dreadful 43.

In 2016 for Washington, .209-24-72, OPS+79.

162 g. average: .221-18-59, 12 SB, OPS+ 82. 45 walks, 175 K.

I’m not enthused by the move. But experience in case the rookies (Andujar/Wade/Torres/Estrada) don’t pan out. And a minor league deal, which means little $$$.

The Indians announced they are soon scrapping Chief Wahoo as their symbol, bowing to the PC crowd, calling Chief Wahoo racist.

I never looked at Chief Wahoo (who looks a lot like one-time Indian Don Mossi, by the way) as racist. He was just a logo to me, the same as Chief Nok-a-Homa was with the Braves in the 1970s.

The same with the Redskins nickname in football. But that’s just me. I probably have thicker skin than others.

But with these snowflakes, sheesh. Grow a pair, get some thin skin. Really, just grow up.

So sensitive.

 

Yanks prospects, and HOF to announce more inductees Wednesday.

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Baseball America listed their top 100 prospects list and Yankee fans who have been treated to young stars like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Luis Severino should be happy and anxious for more young players on the come.

Six Yankees’ prospects are part of that top 100.

Since Clint Frazier spent some time in the majors last year, he isn’t even listed.

The six are:

#6 INF Gleyber Torres who, if he doesn’t break camp as the Yanks’ 2B, should be called up very early this season for just that purpose.

#38. OF Estevan Florial, who will probably start at High-A Tampa.

#41. LHP Starter Justus Sheffield, probably ticketed for AAA SWB.

#59. 3B Miguel Andujar who could be the Opening Day 3B.

#77. RHP Albert Abreu who will probably start at AA or AAA.

#81. RHP Chance Adams. Probably AAA bound.

Three former Yankees’ prospects made the list as well. These are prospects traded for Sonny Gray and Giancarlo Stanton.

On Wednesday, the Hall of Fame will announce who the BBWAA has selected as their HOF inductees for this year. They will join Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, who were selected via committee.

So far, with some polling done, it appears these players will get in, having met 75% of the vote:

Chipper Jones
Jim Thome
Vladimir Guerrero
Edgar Martinez
Trevor Hoffman

Close (over 60%) are

Mike Mussina (tracking around 72%)
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, each around 66%
Curt Schilling, around 60%

Some views of mine: Disappointed in the possible steroid users getting more votes.

And hope Mussina makes it, especially since, as I noted before, you had jerks like the one guy from Cleveland who ONLY voted for two former Indian players (Thome and Omar Vizquel) and no one else.

Cross off a possible landing spot for Jacoby Ellsbury. Although Ellsbury has a no-trade clause, there was hope among Yankees fans that Ellsbury may waive it if dealt to SF, who trains in Arizona and who isn’t far from Oregon, where Ellsbury is from. Of course, how much the Yanks would have to eat as far as that contract is concerned is another matter. Besides, who wants him? And Ellsbury doesn’t want to go anywhere, even if right now he is a 5th OF.

But there was talk of SF, who needed outfielders. Instead SF traded for Andrew McCutchen and today signed Austin Jackson as a free agent. Interesting they went for A-Jax, because Lorenzo Cain is still available.