Catching up on some minor and major things. Minnesota traded Luis Arraez to the Marlins for Pablo Lopez. Lopez was rumored to be a Yankees’ target but the asking price was too steep. When I heard Arraez was on the block, I hoped the Yanks could get him, but a) they didn’t have the pitching prospects the Twins wanted, and b) Arraez, although versatile and who could play LF, isn’t that great defensively.
The Yankees named Shelley Duncan as their AAA manager at SWB. Duncan was a Yankee for 68 games from 2007-2009 before going to Cleveland and Tampa Bay from 2010-2013. Shelley is the brother of Chris and son of Dave Duncan. His dad was a long-time coach after his playing career ended so Shelley can draw on his father for some coaching advice.
Prospects are suspects. No matter how highly regarded prospects are, not all pan out (Remember Jesus Montero? Clint (now Jackson) Frazier? Jose Tabata)? Didn’t make the impact in the majors you though they would. Well, Miguel Andujar was just DFA’d by Pittsburgh. Andujar was 2nd in ROY voting in 2018 (.297-27-92 with 47 doubles) but never was the same after a 2019 shoulder injury, hitting just .230 with 8 HR since then in 114 MLB games. And Justus Sheffield was DFA’d by Seattle after going just 12-12, 5.47 in 48 games (33 starts) for them. The Yanks have top prospects in Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Jasson Dominguez, Spencer Jones, Everson Pereira and Austin Wells, but how many of them will make it? You hope for another “Core 4” but you never know.
Lastly, a notable passing. Sal Bando, 3B for the A’s dynasty that won 3 straight WES from 1972-1974 has passed away at the age of 78. That team is the only team other than the Yankees (1936-1939, 1949-1953 and 1998-2000) to win 3 WS in a row. Bando played for the A’s (Kansas City and Oakland) from 1966-1976 and then for the Milwaukee Brewers 1977-1981. He was a 4x All-Star who got MVP consideration 7x. Three of those times he finished in the top 10 for MVP voting.
1971 RUNNERUP in MVP voting to teammate Vida Blue. .271-24-94, OPS+ 137. 1973 4th in MVP. .287-29-98, Led AL in doubles and total bases. OPS+ 150. 1974 3rd in MVP. .243-22-103. Led MLB in SF. OPS+ 130.
Bando averaged 154 games a year from 1968-1979, averaging .257-20-83, OPS+ 122. His 162-game average for his career was .254-19-83, OPS+ 119.
In 44 postseason games, he hit .245-5-13.
Baseball-Reference has Bando listed as the 16th best 3B of all-time. He only spent 1 year on the HOF ballot, getting just 3 out of 413 votes. I am not saying he is a Hall of Famer, and think he just misses out, but he should have received more consideration that that.
Andrew Heaney is a free agent. It’s safe to say the Yanks will not be going after him. (I sure as heck hope not). Heaney’s time in NY was a complete failure.
In the end, I don’t know if the Yanks will trade for a starter or pursue one on the free agent market, other than maybe re-signing Kluber. The key is having Kluber and Severino healthy all year. Having that enables a nice healthy competition for the #5 and the long man/spot starter roles.
Re-sign Kluber? Or break the bank for Robbie Ray, who is a free agent and possibly the AL CYA winner this year? I wouldn’t break the bank for Ray, who had a great 2021, but who was 49-51, 4.26 before his breakout year. One year wonder? I also don’t see other free agents like Verlander, Greinke, Wacha, Happ (been there), Pineda (been there too), Lester, Kershaw, Scherzer, Bauer (yuk, what a scumbag—toxic), Cueto, Gausman, Wood, Arrietta, Chacin being options. Some big names would be nice, but I don’t think the Yanks are going there nor do I think someone like Scherzer would come to NY.
In the end, I think the key is re-signing Kluber to a decent contract, maybe similar to what he got last year, and hoping he and Severino stay healthy for all of 2022 will be the way the Yanks go.
Update of C/Infield: Apparently the Yanks were after Twins SS Andrelton Simmons at the trade deadline this past season. He could be a short-term free agent option until Peraza or Volpe are ready. He wouldn’t provide much with the bat (88 OPS+) but is a 4x Gold Glove winner.
AA: Somerset (40-25) lost 8-7. Starter Ken Waldichuk has been really good this year, and was for five innings, but he then gave up a 3-run HR in the sixth. Guess he was due for a so-so outing. 3B Oswaldo Cabrera 3 hits, 2 RBI, a 2-run HR. CF Brandon Lockridge 2 hits. LF Michael Beltre 2 RBI. RF Isiah Gilliam 3 hits.
High A: Hudson Valley (43-23) won 9-4. RF Jake Sanford 2 hits, RBI, solo HR. CF Elijah Dunham 3 hits. LF Pablo Olivares 2 hits, 2 RBI, 1B Chad Bell a 3-run HR. C Saul Torres 3 -run HR.
Low A: Tampa (45-20) won 5-4. DH Everson Pereira 2 for 2, 2 RBI. RF Ryder Green 3 hits.