Category Archives: Offseason Moves

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

Yankee Stadium Frieze

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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Is Torres ready? and thoughts on the Red Sox’ pickup…

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Yankees would buy themselves an extra year of control by having infield prospect Gleyber Torres spend at least 16 days in the minors this year, but that’s not going to factor into whether he earns a roster spot, according to GM Brian Cashman (via David Lennon of Newsday). “It’s not part of my evaluation process,” Cashman told Lennon. “We’re trying to win. If we feel that somebody could benefit from more time in the minors, we’ll make that decision at the end of camp. But I’ll take all the information from what I see and factor that into the evaluation. Every win for us is valuable.”

Meanwhile some thoughts on the Red Sox’ expected, just completed, (and long drawn out) signing of J.D. Martinez to a 5 yr. $110MM deal. It does have two opt-out opportunities after the second and third years of the deal. But where does he play?

Martinez is not a good defensive OF, and Boston already has Benintendi, Bradley and Betts in the OF. Hanley Ramirez was the DH last year, and the Red Sox re-signed 1B Mitch Moreland. They also re-signed Eduardo Nunez (Noon-E, because is D isn’t too hot, either) because Dustin Pedroia will miss the beginning of the season. So it appears like there are square pegs for round holes, that in order to fill some spots, some pieces don’t fit defensively. Offensively, ok, an upgrade, esp. in power, which the Red Sox needed, but …

Once again, according to MLBTR:

His (Martinez’) addition calls the role of Hanley Ramirez with the Red Sox into question, as Ramirez now appears to be, at best, a backup DH and a part-time first baseman that is on the short side of the platoon.

Therefore, I expect the Red Sox to make another move. We Yankees fans will have to see what it is and how it may affect the Yanks. By the way, guess who has the highest payroll in MLB? According to spotrac, it’s Boston. The Yanks are eighth, and Stanton, the Yanks’ highest paid player, is #13 in MLB.

Lastly, a new rule to speed up the game. Teams will be allowed just six non-pitching-change visits to the mound over the first nine innings of a game, one per inning in extra innings.

Ex-Yanks Garcia to Toronto, Nunez stays w/Boston. Lincecum attemping comeback.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jaime Garcia only had 8 starts at the end of last year with the Yanks, going 0-3, 4.82, ERA+ 94. Disappointing. The free agent went to Toronto on a 1 yr., deal, $8MM.

Andrew Cashner went from Texas to Baltimore, 2 yr, $16MM

Eduardo Nunez is staying w/Boston on a 1 yr. deal. There was thoughts of bringing back Noon-E but that isn’t happening, and it does appear that Miguel Andujar has first dibs on that 3B job.

One intriguing workout today was held by Tim Lincecum. About 20 teams, inc. the Yanks, attended the workout. The 33 yr. old was great for SF from 2008-2011, winning 2 CYA and tossing 2 no-hitters. At age 28, it went downhill. He is 41-48, 4.94, ERA+ just 72 since 2011 and wasn’t in the majors at all last year. When last in the majors, he was 2-6, 9.16 for the Angels in 2016. YUK. His fastball is apparently back to 90-93 (he had had hip problems) and most likely would be worth a further look-see on a minor league deal.  In a recent photo, he appears bulked up, and maybe the year he took off helped him recover. Worth a flyer on a minor league deal?

 

Yanks sign OF Robinson to a minor league contract.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

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.

Girardi gets new job; QB goes to Yanks & Pecota has projections.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joe Girardi will be an in-house commentator for the MLB network.

The Yanks made a deal with Texas to get Russell Wilson for cash considerations. Yes, that Russell Wilson, the QB for the Seattle Seahawks. This is probably for publicity and Wilson may get a ST at bat like Billy Crystal did some years back. Wilson, 29, was drafted by the Rockies and did spend two years in A ball. Most likely he is there to work out, keep in shape, provide some leadership advice (albeit from a different sport) and maybe get in a ST game or two for publicity sake and nothing more.

Pecota came out with their projections for 2018. They have the Yanks winning the AL East with 96 wins. Boston and Tampa Bay both make the postseason as wild cards. The Yanks’ 96 wins are 3rd in the AL behind Houston and Cleveland. We’ll see. As far as individual players are concerned, they may be selling some guys a bit short. They have (not listing all, and some batting averages seem a bit low):

Sanchez .269-34-97
Bird .246-28-86
Torres .233-12-47
Andujar .254-12-41
Judge .247-37-94
Stanton .259-41-16
Gardner .251-13-59
Hicks .236-12-49
Didi .262-19-75
Torreyes .265-7-39

As mentioned, some averages seem low by a lot of points. Watch out for Bird. I think the 28/86 seems good, but if he stays healthy, I think a lot of people are overlooking him.

Hopefully Judge and Stanton hit way more HR than projected. Maybe 10 more each.

As for pitchers:

Tanaka 14-8, 4.09
Severino 15-6, 3.22
Gray 13-8, 3.98
Montgomery 10-8, 4.62
CC 11-9, 4.85
Chapman 3-2, 40 saves, 2.09
Betances 4-3, 2.07 5 saves
Robertson 3-2 2.75 5 saves
Green 3-2, 3.05
Kahnle 3-2, 3.00
Warren 2-2, 4.32
Shreve 1-1, 4.20
Gallegos 1-1, 3.91
Heller 1-1, 3.89
Holder 1-1, 4.27
German 2-2, 4.19
Cessa 4-3,4.68
Acevedo 2-2, 5.39
Sheffield 2-2, 5.29
Adams 2-2, 4.69

We will see who meets expectations & who doesn’t.

Pitchers and catchers report next Tuesday, first workout next Wednesday. Can’t wait!

Toddfather to Mets; Yanks finalize coaching staff.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

To no one’s great surprise, NJ native Todd Frazier stayed home, but made the crosstown trek from the Bronx to Queens, signing a 2-yr., $17MM deal with the Mets.

The Mets need 3b help, since it appears increasingly likely that David Wright will not play again.

No offense to Wright, a great player who has spinal stenosis, but it’s time to call it a day.

The Yanks could have squeezed in the $8.5MM/per, but most likely could only offer 1 yr. A multi-year deal for the Toddfather doesn’t work because:

  1. Miguel Andujar may be ready at the major league minimum, and if he is, he helps the Yanks re-set the bar on the luxury tax. They really want under the cap.
  2. If Andujar is ready, great. If not, Manny Machado becomes a free agent next year. One reason not to sign the Toddfather to a multi-yr. deal. Why do that when Machado is available next year?
  3. If Andujar has a great rookie year, you can just keep and control Andujar, not worry about Machado and focus elsewhere.
  4. If Andujar has a great rookie year and you want Machado anyway, Andujar has increased his trade value, which even now is high because other teams are asking about him and the Yanks have him off the table.
  5.  If Andujar struggles, you may be able to get someone (Machado even?) at the trade deadline this year.

So the Yanks best option may be just to do what they are doing now, which appears (it isn’t official yet) to just hand the 3B job to Andujar (Torreyes, Torres, Wade and Estrada are still in the mix).

As for Frazier, MLBTR had him projected as 3 yr./$33MM so he’s getting less than that. They did have the right team (Mets) projected.

The Yanks formalized their coaching staff today. Joining manager Aaron Boone are Josh Bard bench coach, Phil Nevin 3B, Larry Rothschild Pitching coach, Marcus Thames hitting coach w/P.J. Pilletere asst., Reggie Willets 1B/OF, Harkey BP coach, Jason Brown catching coach, Carlos Mendoza Quality Control/Infield, Radley Haddad coaching asst./Bullpen c, Brett Weber Coaching asst/instant replay coordinator.

The way some cities “celebrate” championships are disgusting. I could NEVER root for a Philadelphia team, although I live about 60 miles from Philly. Some fans, including friends and relatives, are OK obviously. But some Philly fans are, to put it mildly, boorish. Celebrate, but celebrate in a civilized fashion.

Complaints about slow free agent market.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With 10 days now until pitchers and catchers report (at least to the Yankees’ spring training), players who are free agents, and still out there, and there are about 120 of them, including about 20 of the top 50, are starting to get antsy.

And accusations are flying.

A few observations.

One. There is a $197MM cap. Guess what. Some teams don’t want to go over that cap anymore. So if you don’t like that, boo hoo hoo.

Teams want to cut back. They are tired of going over that cap and paying a penalty as a result. They want to get under it and re-set the penalty. Nothing wrong with that.

But now players who expected these teams to do what they always did, which is go over the cap, are now facing a rude awakening.

The big spenders aren’t spending anymore since they want to get under the cap. A cap the players’ union agreed to.

It’s called sticking to a budget. Most of us hard-working Americans know what that is like.

So the big spenders, like the Yankees and Dodgers, aren’t spending because they want to get under the cap, esp. w/next yrs. free agent class being better than this year’s.

So with the big markets out of the picture, the players are looking for big market $$$ from the mid-market teams. Good luck with that.

Kind of like asking someone to pay Lamborghini prices when they want to purchase a VW.

It looks like the players are going to have to accept reality and accept mid-market prices, not only from the mid-market teams, but also from the big-market teams who, because they don’t want to go over the cap, can only afford to give out mid-market prices.

Plus, Scott Bora$$ is the agent for many of these players, and Bora$$ usually holds out to the last minute to squeeze every last $$ from franchises. Guess what, Bora$$, they are calling your bluff.

Good.