Category Archives: Offseason Moves

Thoughts after a rainout.

Recently I saw some thoughts on the Yankees, and some I agree with, others need more thought. But I thought I would share those and my thoughts with you.

One. Rest? Balls to the wall right now. The person who wrote what I saw questioned why Boone is giving so much rest and off days to players IN A SIXTY GAME SEASON. I have to agree. Not only that, rest because of doubleheaders? The doubleheaders are just seven inning games! I get the injury problems, but how much rest is needed in a sixty game season in which a lot of games so far are seven inning affairs?

Second. The writer wrote to dump Montgomery and go with Clarke Schmidt in the rotation from now on. Ok. Teams haven’t seen Schmidt (0-0, 7.71 in two relief outings) while Monty is 2-2, 5.72. Who knows. Schmidt is more used to starting. Monty hasn’t been good the last few times out. Udecided on this one.

It does look as if Deivi Garcia will have to stay in the rotation. James Paxton has suffered a setback in his forearm problem. This means a few things. One, Garcia in his three MLB starts is 1-1, 3.06. Paxton was 1-1, 6.64 in five starts. But Paxton is a free agent after the year (along with Tanaka), and given this problem and Paxton’s injury history, would you bring him back? I wouldn’t. As for Tanaka, yes. But the biggest free agent that the Yankees HAVE to re-sign is LeMahieu, who as he did last year, is leading the team in WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

Third. The outfield problem. There isn’t a lot that can be done here as long as Judge and Stanton are on the IL. The author of the piece I saw suggested benching Gardner (.165-3-9, OPS+ 65) for Tauchman (.238-0-10, OPS+ 83). Ok, but not a lot of improvement. Hicks (.209-4-13) isn’t helping much either, but at least Hicks (114 OPS+) is drawing walks, leading the team in them.

What this leads to is Clint Frazier. At .288-5-17, OPS+ 159, he has to play everyday. And this means when/if Judge returns, Boone should go with Frazier in LF, Hicks CF and Judge in RF. You can use Tauchman or Gardy for a defensive replacement late for Frazier. As for Gardy, he just turned 37. I don’t expect him back in 2021.

As for Andujar, you can’t afford his lack of OF experience out there right now. He has to play 3b (which he doesn’t do well) or, with Stanton out, DH.

There are only 17 games left. The 22-21 Yankees are clinging to the last playoff spot, only there because of the special circumstances with the CCP virus in 2020.

Balls to the wall.

As for the DH today, fingers crossed. The Yanks are only 2-7 in those 7–inning affairs this year. That has to improve.

And as for Sanchez. Whew. I don’t know what to do there. J.T. Realmuto is a free agent after the season. He’ll be 30 next year. Catchers usually break down at 32, 33. 5 years, $100 Million? Do the Yanks have the $ for him, and if so, would they give up on Sanchez? And what to do with Sanchez.

Excuse me, I have to take an aspirin. Sanchez has been giving me, and I am sure you, headaches this season.

An exhibition game tonight; News on Estrada, Warren, German

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We actually get to see a game, rather than an intrasquad game, when the Yanks head over to Queens to take on the Mets tonight. YES Network, 7:10 PM EDT.

Thairo Estrada is making a bid to join the team as a utility man, and it could come at the cost of Tyler Wade. Estrada has hit 3 HR in intrasquad action since the Yanks have resumed business.

Per MLBTR:

The Yankees have released righty Adam Warren, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link). He had been with the team on a minor-league pact.

Warren, who has been working back from Tommy John surgery, was not a participant in Summer Camp. His contract is a two-year arrangement, befitting his rehab status.

It seems that coronavirus-related roster management matters forced the decision. GM Brian Cashman explained that Warren is progressing well, as Jack Curry of YES reports on Twitter. Indeed, the expectation is that the Yanks will work out a new deal with him in the coming offseason.

Has Domingo German, ineligible for this year because of a domestic abuse incident, retired?

From Newsday:

German posted a photo of himself in a Yankees uniform exclaiming in what appears to be a photo of him pitching in a game. The post included Spanish words that translated to: “Everyone makes history on both sides, I think I did mine at Yankee Stadium, if decide not to come back I will proud of my effort during an 11-year career. God bless everyone who has supported me”

He also put online an Instagram story with words that translated to: “I’ve left baseball. Thanks everyone.”

I’ll believe it when I see or hear more, but hope he has or gets his life together.

 

Yanks sign Duffy to minor league deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees added some depth on Sunday, signing infielder Matt Duffy to a minor league deal.

Duffy, 29, is a righty hitter who has played for the Giants (2014-2016) and Rays (2016, 2018-2019). He got a WS Championship ring with the Giants in 2014.

Primarily a 3B, he has played a little SS and 2B as well. He’s had two seasons of full-time duty, hitting .295-12-77 in 2015 (OPS+ 108) with 12 steals, and hitting .294-4-44 with 12 SB (OPS+ 104) in 2018.

For his career, Duffy is a .282 hitter whose 162 g. average is .282-8-61, 11 SB and an OPS+ of 98.

He finished 2nd in ROY voting in 2015.

In 11 postseason games, he is 4 for 11.

Yanks make two more draft selections.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With their two other picks in the draft, the Yanks selected

Trevor Hauver, a lefty hitter who projects as a Daniel Murphy type. Some 2B, some 1B, some LF.

Beck Way, a RHP some see as best fitted for the bullpen.

 

C Austin Wells is Yanks’ first round draft pick.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

The Yanks drafted Austin Wells, a lefty hitting catcher from the University of Arizona, in the first round.

From the NY Post:

It is the second time in three years where they have taken a catcher in the first round. Two years ago it was Anthony Seigler. Also two years ago, they took Josh Breaux in the second round.

Also, this is not the first time they drafted Wells. Two years ago, the Yankees took Wells in the 35th round of the draft only to see him go to college instead.

As for Seigler and Breaux, their professional careers have been hampered by injuries. Seigler has been limited to 54 games and suffered a fractured patella last year. Breaux missed three months last season at Charleston (Short-Season A) due to an elbow injury.

Despite the shutdown, a few moves.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Despite the shutdown of baseball (and everything) because of the coronavirus, the Yankees did make a few moves on what was supposed to be Opening Day.

  • Optioned INF Thairo Estrada, RHP Ben Heller and RHP Michael King to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • Optioned RHP Deivi García to Double-A Trenton.

Makes you wonder if the season DID start today, would Loaisiga have been the #5 behind Cole, Tanaka, Happ, and Montgomery?

Baker pleading for the A*trori*k* to be protected.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Dusty Baker is in a tough situation. He has to protect players he didn’t manage when those players cheated in the past few years. Now he is begging MLB to help protect them.

One thing you learn at an early age. Respect isn’t given, it is earned. And once lost, you have to work two or three times as hard to re-earn it.

I don’t advocate beanballs, but if some pitcher decides to fire a pitch at some Astro hitters’ butt or plunk him in the ribs, I would not mind that at all.

Put it this way. Houston is damned lucky. Imagine if they were facing a lawsuit because of a hitter— knowing what pitch was coming— hitting a line drive that hit a pitcher in the head.

So looking at it THAT way, I have no problem with some pitchers looking for retaliation. But once that pitch is thrown, then warnings have to be given out so that the game doesn’t get out of hand.

But Houston, you asked for it. And some of your comments defending yourselves are flat out ridiculous, like the little kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Meanwhile, a couple of Little League organizations have removed the name Astros from their league because they don’t want kids associated with a name now synonymous with cheating. They want kids doing things the right way.

I do like this, from Mike Vaccaro’s NY Post column:

Dick Schlott: Were the umpires deaf during the Astros games? It is incumbent on the umpire crews to see and hear what is going on, including strange noises coming out of a dugout!
Vac: And to think, all these years, people thought you could only make fun of umpires being blind, not deaf.


Looking at pictures of Yankees’ C Gary Sanchez in spring training, it looks like he lost a good deal of weight. Looks trim and chiseled and hopefully more mobile behind the plate. Hopefully it helps him stay off the DL more often.


Another minor signing: Yanks sign Chad Bettis RHP, 31 in April. Bettis went 1-6, 6.08 in 39 games for Colorado in 2019 (3 starts). ERA+ 86. He is 31-31 in his career with an ERA of 5.12 (ERA+ 93). His best years were in 2016 when he went 14-8, 4.79, ERA+ 101 in 32 starts, and the year before when in 20 starts he went 8-6, 4.23, ERA+ 110. His 162 game average is 8-8, 5.12, ERA+ 93, 24 starts, 20 more appearances in relief.

No offense to Bettis, but it appears to be a depth signing. Not much to get excited about. Granted Colorado doesn’t help his numbers, but…

Yanks make minor signing; Maybin goes to Detroit.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Tony Zych is last in the baseball encyclopedia, and now is signed by the Yankees to a minor league deal.

Zych had thoracic surgery in November 2018, and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017. While with Seattle from 2015-2017, he got into 70 games, starting one, and was 7-3 with a 2.72 ERA (ERA+ 151) with one save.

The RHP is 29.


Cameron Maybin, who did so well as a sub for the Yanks last year, has signed a one-year deal with the Tigers for $1.5MM. Maybin hit .285-11-32 for the Yanks in 82 games last year. OPS+ 127.  He hit a postseason HR against the Twins in the ALDS.

Paxton to be out until early June after spinal surgery.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Well, now we know one reason why J.A. Happ wasn’t traded.

From mlb.com:

Paxton’s season debut will be delayed after the Yankees announced on Wednesday that the left-hander underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy with removal of a peridiscal cyst.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett in Dallas, and the club said that Paxton’s approximate timeline to return to Major League action is three to four months.

General manager Brian Cashman said that Paxton first reported the injury issue in September, receiving treatment after his final regular-season start on Sept. 27 against the Rangers in Arlington.

Paxton received an injection, and Cashman said the hurler’s recovery was part of the reason he was pushed back to start Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros, with the Game 1 nod going to Masahiro Tanaka.

Following the season, Cashman said multiple doctors recommended a conservative treatment program that did not require surgery. Paxton contacted the Yanks about four to six weeks ago to report a recurrence of the discomfort, at which time the conservative protocol was again recommended.

So with this, Tanaka moves to #3 (with Cole 1 and Severino 2) and Happ moves up to 4. It opens #5 up for Jordan Montgomery, or perhaps, Luis Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga, Mike King or even maybe Clarke Schmidt or Deivi Garcia.

Not only that, it means that both Paxton and Domingo German would be scheduled to come back at about the same time.


Meanwhile big news as Boston trades Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers. The Dodgers make two moves, sending Kenta Maeda to the Twins and Joc Pederson to the Angels.

Yankees/Dodgers WS?

Yanks hedging their bets, sign another veteran to compete for backup C.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ok. We know the Yankees would like for Kyle Higashioka to win the backup C job, especially since he is out of options.

That doesn’t mean the Yanks are giving it to him or that the Yanks won’t have options if he can’t cut it, or that there won’t be competition in spring training.

Already the Yanks have signed Erik Kratz and Chris Iannetta to minor league deals and today they signed another veteran C to a minor league deal—Josh Thole.

Thole, 33, is a lefty bat, as opposed to the other three. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2016. He was with the Mets 2009-2012, Toronto 2013-2016. He doesn’t have much pop, as his 162 game average is .242-3-38, OPS+ 73.

But more experienced MLB insurance in case Higashioka can’t cut it.