Category Archives: Offseason Moves

Are Yanks targeting Goldschmidt? Brewers go 1 up in NLCS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From MLB.Com:

Could Goldschmidt be a fit for Yankees?
Oct. 15: Facing a critical juncture this offseason after missing the playoffs in 2018, the D-backs are reportedly expected to listen to offers for a number of their top players, including Paul Goldschmidt.

• Complete list of free agents this offseason

The problem for Arizona, as ESPN’s Buster Olney noted via Twitter, is that there aren’t a lot of obvious fits for Goldschmidt, as many contenders are set at first base. However, Olney speculates that the Yankees could enter the mix for the six-time All-Star, who can become a free agent after the 2019 season.

New York’s current options at first base include in-season acquisition Luke Voit and Greg Bird, who hasn’t been able to stay healthy or consistently produce during his big league tenure. The Yankees will need to decide if either player is a long-term answer.

Voit seemingly has the inside edge to earn a starting job in 2019, as he hit .322 with 15 homers in only 47 games with the club and became an everyday lineup fixture down the stretch. But Voit will be 28 on Opening Day, and he’ll need to show that his 2018 performance was not a fluke.

Meanwhile, Goldschmidt remains one of the best hitters in baseball, recording a .290 average with 33 homers and a .922 OPS in 2018, and he could help the Yankees close the gap with the Red Sox and Astros in the American League.

Goldschmidt, 31, has twice been runnerup for MVP in the NL, and once finished third. He led the NL in HR and RBI in 2013. He is a 6x All Star, 3x Gold Glove winner, and 3x Silver Slugger winner and we don’t know how he will do in GG, MVP or SS this season. He hit .290-33-83 this season, OPS+ 139 and his 162 g. average is .297-31-105, 18 SB, OPS+ 145. A beast. He averages 97 walks and 157 strikeouts per season. Far more accomplished than Bird, far more experienced and a sure thing than Voit. Simply stated, one of the best players in the NL, period. And better defensively, too.

If the Yanks deal for him, they’d want to get him to a contract extension because he is a free agent after the 2019 season.

The Brewers won Game 3 of the NLCS, 4-0, to go up 2 games to 1 in the NLCS.

Chris Sale of Boston has been released from the hospital after his stomach ailment.

Advertisements

Game 154. Yanks clinch playoff spot with 3-2 win. Stay 1 1/2 up on A’s.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (95-59) clinched a wild card spot in the playoffs with a 3-2, 11-inning, win over the Bad News Bears (oops, 44-110 Baltimore Orioles) yesterday, but whether the Yanks will be playing that one-game, sudden-death wild card game in the Bronx is very much still up in the air.

Oakland scored in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to a Minnesota error and a passed ball (hmm, Twins imitating Sanchez) that let in the winning run, and won 3-2. The A’s remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top wild card spot.

The Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to ensure that the wild card game will be played in the Bronx is 6. Any combination of Yanks’ wins and A’s losses adding up to 6 and the game will be in the Bronx. The Yanks own the tiebreaker.

The Yanks got two runs in the second on homers by Aaron Hicks (26) and Luke Voit (12, 11 as a Yankee). They now have 251 HR on the season, on pace to tie the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the all-time single season record by a team (264).

Gary Sanchez continued his defensive woes, committing a PB and a throwing error in the third inning that allowed the Orioles to score a run. Besides a PB and an error, Sanchez also went 0 for 4, striking out twice, and his batting average dropped to .182. He was dropped to eighth in the lineup, and you really wonder if it’s just best right now to have Romine in there instead.

The Yanks could really have been in trouble except that Steve Wilkerson was twice thrown out at home.

Baltimore tied it in the fifth, and would have had more except for one of those times Wilkerson was thrown out at home (by Judge) and the fact they left the bases loaded.

After the Voit HR, the Yanks didn’t do too much offensively, and it became a battle of the bullpens.

Jonathan Holder got out of a huge jam in the top of the 10th. The Orioles left the bases loaded.

Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, Didi Gregorius singled, and Aaron Hicks double drove in Didi with the winning run.

Hicks 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI
Andujar 2 hits
Voit HR

Lynn 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K.  4.80 (Min/NYY)
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.  2.60
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.59  Encouraging outing since just off DL
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.   2.64
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  3.26 (Balt/NYY)
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.97
Kahnle (W, 2-0, 6.75) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

MLBTR states that CC wants to return in 2019, even if not to the Yanks. Tough call. Questionable knee, doesn’t go too deep into games. 39 next July. Yanks may want to cut the cord, so to speak.

Also, MLBTR reporting that Yanks have interest in bringing back McCutchen (a free agent) if the price is right, but that probably means buying out Brett Gardner’s option at $2MM instead of bringing him back at $12.5MM. Also, you have Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury (both of whom missed most or all of this year due to injuries) to think about…

Then again, Bryce Harper is a free agent….

Minor League Report (SWB loses Game 3) and some Yankees’ observations.

cropped-the-stadium-facade.jpg

AAA: SWB lost Game 3 of the AAA International League Finals, 3-0, Thursday night and are now down 2 games to 1 in the best-of-five series.

LF Mark Payton 2 hits.

King (L) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Diehl 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Sosebee 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Interesting stuff on the Yanks today. Hitting just .214 on the road since the All-Star break. Ouch. Stanton 8 for last 71 with 31 strikeouts. Joel Sherman in the NY Post saying Stanton could become another lightning rod like A-Rod was when he failed. I hope not.

They miss Judge. We can see that. Some of Boone’s decisions are being criticized right now, but he doesn’t have Judge or Chapman. The lack of OF depth, esp. since people like Gamel, Fowler, Cave, McKinney, Austin were traded (and with the injuries to Frazier and Ellsbury) hurt right now. Gardner, Stanton, Hicks all slumping.

It’s looking like Chapman may be coming back, but how late and how rusty? Same with Judge.

As far as next free agent class goes, and as much as I’d like Machado and as much as Machado may want to come to NY (moving Andujar where? DH (Stanton to LF?) 1B? LF?) I am thinking more and more that getting Bryce Harper may be the better fit. Here is why.

Gardner. Yanks can pick up his option at $12.5 MM for 2019 or buy him out at $2mm. He is 35 and hitting .238. The buyout is looking likely.

So who to replace him in LF? Ellsbury isn’t reliable with the injuries, nor is Frazier after the concussion. Both could serve as backup OF.

So replace Gardner with Harper? Let’s look at lineup balance.

Righty bats: Sanchez, Voit, Torres, Andujar, Judge, Stanton.

Lefty bats (in a stadium built for lefties): Hicks (switch hitter), Didi, Bird.

So if Gardner is paid off, where does the lefty power come from? Bird has been disappointing.

Looking at that imbalance, as much as I’d like Machado, Harper could be the better fit.

Imagine this in 2019.

Hicks CF S
Judge RF R
Harper LF L
Stanton DH R
Didi SS L
Sanchez C R
Andujar 3B R
Bird/Voit 1B (platoon?) L/R
Torres 2B R

A little more balance, and we can always dream, can’t we?

 

Game 109. Division title hopes dim after 4-1 loss pushes Yanks 8 1/2 back.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have 53 games left,  but it would now take a 1978-type miracle to win the division after a 4-1 loss Saturday pushed the 68-35 Yanks 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East.

Meanwhile, even the top wild-card spot is in peril because the hot Oakland A’s won again.

Chance Adams, making his MLB debut, didn’t do too badly considering the circumstances. He gave up 2 HR but in pitching 5 innings, gave up just 3 runs, keeping the Yanks in the game.

But until the ninth inning, the offense, just like on Friday night, was non-existent, and for the second straight day, the Yanks fell to Boston by a 4-1 score.

Adams gave up a 2-run HR in the first and a solo shot in the fourth. Boston got a run in the seventh off of A.J. Cole when a video review overturned a foul ball into a double.

In the ninth, the Yanks scored their only run when with two out, Stanton and Didi both doubled. They actually got the go-ahead run to the plate, when Hicks and Torres both walked. Bases loaded. Bird flied to center, though, to end the game.

Stanton had 2 of the Yanks’ 5 hits. Going into the ninth, they had just 3 hits, and no runs.

Adams (L, 0-1, 5.40) 5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. Gave up 2 HR. MLB DEBUT.
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.77
Cole 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K.  5.09  (Wash/NYY combined)

Tommy Kahnle, up for a day, was sent back so that Adams could come up and make the start.

After the game against Boston Sunday night, the Yanks’ schedule is relatively weak until Labor Day. They need to right the ship, and shave four or five games off of that lead between now and Labor Day.

The four game losing streak is the longest the Yanks have had all season.

As for the offseason, I don’t know if, after getting under the cap, Hal Steinbrenner will now go over it again, but there are a couple of moves I would do. These moves may not be popular among Yankees fans, because they would mean some options of aging Yankees players would not be picked up, in order to target two players via free agency.

 

S.T. Game 28. Yanks blanked, 5-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks sent Luis Cessa to AAA today and released Wade LeBlanc.

As for the game, Masahiro Tanaka pitched well, made one mistake, but the Yanks were blanked in a 5-0 loss to Boston. They are 15-12-1 for spring training.

Brandon Drury escaped more serious injury when he was hit by a pitch and needed X-rays on his elbow. Negative, but we’ll see how things develop since Opening Day is only a week away.

It was an Opening Day lineup…. sort of. Move Brett Gardner to 9 and move everyone else up, and that’s what you had, which meant Aaron Judge leading off.

Spring training is the time for experimentation.

Tanaka gave up a HR to Ivan De Jesus, Jr. in the third.

The bullpen was a bit shaky.  Chasen Shreve gave up a HR and two runs in the seventh, and Boston scored single runs in the eighth and ninth.

The Yanks only got five hits, two by Gardner.

Tanaka (L) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kahnle 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Shreve 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR
Betances 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Lail 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K.
Schwaab 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.

Miguel Andujar won the James P. Dawson Award for best rookie in camp.

S.T. Game 26. All rise, twice. Judge HRs 2x in Yanks 9-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before Wednesday’s game, the Yanks sent a couple of people down, and one of them, Tyler Austin, is the indication that they are going with just three bench people, meaning 12 position players, and 13 pitchers to start the season.

Besides Austin, also going down are Ben Heller, Giovanny Gallegos and Billy McKinney.

It appears that that 25th spot will be going to Jonathan Holder or Domingo German.

I prefer it go to Holder. Here is why. I’m more sold on German as an emergency starter than Luis Cessa (see below for what Cessa did tonight). So as an emergency starter, I want German to stay stretched out to give multiple innings, and not waste away in the Yanks’ loaded bullpen going only an inning or two at a time. Keep him stretched out at AAA. So then go with Holder in the bullpen (and see below for what Holder did tonight).

As for the game tonight, Aaron Judge homered twice, walked twice, scored four runs and drove in four in the Yanks’ 9-4 win over Baltimore. The Yanks’ spring training record is 14-11-1.

The lineup looked like an Opening Day lineup, with the exception of Ronald Torreyes batting 9th and playing 3B instead of Brandon Drury.

The lineup was Gardner/Judge/Bird/Stanton/Sanchez/Didi/Hicks/Walker/Torreyes.

Having written that, the first two innings featured the kind of offensive bludgeoning we hope to see from the Yanks this year.

After Cessa gave up a HR in the top of the first to put the Orioles up 1-0, the Yanks came right back with two in the bottom of the first. With one out, Judge walked, and with two out, Stanton singled, Sanchez walked and Didi doubled home two.

Some don’t like Judge hitting second because of the 52 HR last year. I don’t mind it because he also led the AL with 127 walks. You do want someone on base for Stanton and Sanchez (and others).

In the third, with one out, Torreyes and Gardner singled, and Judge walked again, this time to load the bases. Bird singled in two. After Stanton grounded into a force, Sanchez reached on an error, a run scoring. 5-1 Yanks.

Cessa gave up a couple runs in the fourth to make it 5-3 O’s. By this time, Gary Sanchez had already thrown out TWO Orioles attempting to steal.

In the bottom of the fourth, Judge hit the first of his two homers for the night to make it 6-3 Yanks.

In the fifth, David Robertson ran into trouble then turned into Houdini again. Single, double to make it 6-4, WP. But then foul out, and two strikeouts, to stand that runner at third.

Holder (see above) came in and pitched two scoreless innings. Like I wrote, stretch German out at AAA to have him as emergency starter, keep Holder on the team (until Ellsbury is ready to come off the DL).

In the eighth, Aroldis Chapman got a strikeout, then an error by Hicks and a double put men on second and third for the Orioles, but Chapman got a strikeout and Chaz Hebert then came in and got a strikeout to get out of it.

In the bottom of the eighth, Abiatal Avelino and Brett Gardner each singled, and Judge hit his second HR of the game to make it 9-4.

Gardner 2 hits. Scored 2x
Judge 2 HR, 2 walks, scored 4, drove in 4.
Bird 2 RBI
Gregorius 2 RBI

Cessa (W) 4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson (H) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K
Holder (H) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Chapman (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Hebert (S) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.

S.T. Game 21. Yanks are shut out, 2-0 by Astros. Yanks trade Cave to Twins.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Sorry for a bit of a late report. Feeling achy and my neck, shoulders and back are killing me. My one shoulder especially. I didn’t do anything but wonder if there is some tendonitis. The last time it felt like this there was a hairline fracture in it. I don’t have the $$$ or time for a massage, but boy could I use one.

The Yankees only got two hits on Friday night in losing to Houston 2-0. Jordan Montgomery gave up a solo HR in the first and another in the fourth. The loss drops the Yanks’ spring training record to 12-8-1.

The Yanks traded OF Jake Cave to the Twins for RHP Luis Gil. Gil, 19, has pitched only in the Dominican Summer League.

Montgomery (L) 4 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Robertson 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Green 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 4 K.
Gallegos 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Lail 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

On an aside, wow. For the first time ever, a #16 seed has knocked off a #1 seed (Virginia) in the first round of the NCAA tournament. March Madness indeed! and by 20 points!