Category Archives: Offseason Moves

HOF Frank Robinson dies at 83; Britton adds a “K”, and more.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

2943 hits. 586 HR. The only player to win the MVP in both leagues (1961 Reds, 1966 Orioles), winner of the triple crown in 1966, ROY 1956, baseball’s first black manager. A record of 38 HR for a rookie that stood for a long time.

Those are some of the achievements of HOF OF Frank Robinson, who passed away today at the age of 83.

Robinson was a 14x All Star who was on two WS Champs (1966 and 1970 Orioles) and three other pennant winners (1961 Reds, 1969 and 1971 Orioles). He won the 1966 WS MVP, was an All-Star game MVP, Manager of the Year.

What a resume.

He led the league in runs scored 3x. Doubles once. HR once. RBI once. Batting average once. OBP 2x. Slugging 4x. OPS 4X. OPS+ 4x. Total bases once. He crowded the plate and led the league in getting HBP 7x. He led the league in SF 2x, intentional walks 4x.

He played for the Reds (1956-1965), Orioles (1966-1971), Dodgers (1972), Angels (1973-1974) and Indians (1974-1976). His 162 game average was .294-34-105, 12 SB and an OPS+ of 154.

10x he finished top 10 for MVP voting.

In 35 postseason games, he hit .238-10-19.

He was elected to the HOF his first year eligible in 1982. He should have received more than 89.2% of the vote.  He is considered (by JAWS on baseballreference.com) the 5th greatest RF of all-time.

As a manager (Indians 1975-1977; Giants 1981-1984; Orioles 1988-1991 and Expos/Nationals 2002-2006) he went 1065-1176, winning pct. .475. Average year 77-85. His best teams were the 1982 Giants and 1989 Orioles (when he won Manager of the Year). He never managed a team to the postseason.

He was one of the greatest players ever.

Elsewhere…

Every pitcher wants a “K” but the Yanks’ Zach Britton is now Zack Britton. At least he gets a k.

The Marlins traded C J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies for C Jorge Alfaro, top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, minor league prospect Will Stewart and international bonus money.

Earlier this offseason, it was rumored that the Marlins were involved in a possible 3-way deal for Realmuto with the Yanks and Mets. The names have come out. The Marlins would have sent Realmuto to the Yanks for BOTH Sanchez and Andujar, with the Yanks flipping Realmuto to the Mets for Syndergaard. Um, who would then be starting C for the Yanks then? Romine? And what about 3B? Need to then get Machado? And with Didi still out, you still need a SS. You can see why the Yanks nixed that possible deal.

 

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When will free agents sign?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We are about two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting, and there are still a lot of free agents still unsigned, including four major ones in Harper, Machado, Kimbrel,  and Keuchel. There are others.

When will they finally sign?

Freddy Galvis signed a 1 yr, $4MM deal with Toronto.

Ex-Yankee Neil Walker went to the Marlins, 1 yr, $2MM.

The Red Sox signed Jennry Mejia to a minor league deal, even though he has been suspended 3x for PEDs. He last pitched in the majors in 2015.

Shawn Kelley to Texas 1 yr, $2.5 MM, option for a 2nd yr.

 

 

Ottavino #0, Dodgers sign Pollock, cap preference, Bell new mgr. at SWB

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks announced today that Adam Ottavino will, indeed, be the first Yankee to wear the number zero.

All numbers 1 through 10 have been retired.

The Dodgers signed a deal with the 2nd best OF on the marker, A.J. Pollock, 5 yr., $60MM.

The best OF still Harper.

The Yanks promoted Jay Bell to AAA manager at SWB. Bell scored the winning run of the 2001 ws against the Yanks. He finished first in 2017 with A+ Tampa, and first in 2018 with AA Trenton.

He is working his way up.

Update: Forgot to mention the cap preference. Roy Halladay’s family announced that Halladay’s cap will be blank. I am a bit surprised, since Halladay spent 12 years with Toronto, 4 with the Phillies as opposed to Mike Mussina’s 10 with Baltimore and 8 with the Yankees. It is not like Halladay’s was as even as Mussina’s split time.

Mussina is still making up his mind (the HOF has final say) and could be (ala Greg Maddux and Halladay) having a blank cap on his plaque as well.

 

Yanks re-sign Hale to minor league deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

He was there, then gone, then here again and then gone again. Now back again.

Now, with a minor league deal, David Hale is back as the Yanks have a very busy day today (Gray, Farquhar, Hale).

Hale, 10-10 in his MLB career with a 4.49 ERA (ERA+ 92) pitched in one game for the Yanks in 2018, (two scoreless innings), then went to the Twins where he got in one game, giving up 4 runs in three innings, then he returned to the Yanks for two games (3 runs in 8 2/3 IP) before leaving again.

He is 31 and a righty pitcher.

 

Yanks sign Farquhar to minor league deal

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From Lohud.com:

Danny Farquhar is returning to baseball.

The Yankees are reportedly signing Farquhar to a minor-league deal, according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Farquhar survived a scary incident this past season, when he suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in the dugout while playing for the Chicago White Sox. Farquhar suddenly collapsed in the dugout after pitching in relief in a game on April 20, but he was rushed to the hospital and survived.

He was later discharged on May 7.

The Yanks had Farquhar for a month in 2012 but he never pitched for them.

Farquhar has pitched for the Blue Jays (2011), Mariners (2013-2015), Rays (2016-2017) and White Sox (2017-2018).

He saved 16 games for the 2013 Mariners. Soon to be 32, and a RHP, he has a career record of 10-15, 3.93 with 18 saves and an ERA of 3.93 (ERA + 99).

It is a low-risk, high-reward kind of deal. You are taking a chance on him, and it’s a minor league deal.

And after what he’s been through, how could you NOT root for him?

 

Gray deal to Reds finalized.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks trade of Sonny Gray to the Reds is now finalized after Gray agreed to an extension with Cincinnati.

Gray and relief pitcher Reiver Sanmartin go to the Reds. The Yanks get the Reds #7 prospect, 2B/C Shed Long, and a competitive balance pick in the 2019 draft, someone between rounds 1 and 2.

Long won’t be Long with the Yankees, however. The NY Post states that the Yanks are flipping Long to the Mariners for minor league CF Josh Stowers, who was the Mariners’ 2nd round pick in 2018.

While Long would have had to be added to the 40-man roster, such is not the case with Stowers. (per MLB.com).

The trade(s) haven’t been confirmed as of yet, per MLB.com, but various sources now say it’s a done deal.

The Reds get Gray for $7.5MM this year (what he agreed to with the Yankees) and got a 3-yr. extension 2020-2022 for him for $30.5MM. There is a club option for 2023 for $12 MM.

Nice to get raises for a job not well done, right?

The trade reunites Gray with his pitching coach at Vanderbilt, Derek Johnson.

Ok, the particulars:

Gray, 29, RHP, was 11-9, 4.90 (ERA+ 89) for the Yanks in 2018. The problem was (30 games, 23 starts) he was 3.17 on the road, 6.98 at home. So there is hope for the Reds of a rebound. Maybe it was an “I cannot handle NY” kind of thing.

Gray was 4-7, 3.72 in 2017 after the Yanks acquired him in midseason. So his total time with the Yanks came out to 15-16, 4.51 (ERA+ 98, 100 being average).

He is 59-52, 3.66 (ERA+ 110) in his MLB career, which gives a 162 g. average of 13-12, 3.66. Going to a small market and to the NL could really help him. Gray was an All-Star and finished 3rd in the CYA voting in 2015.

Sanmartin 22, is a LHP who pitched in 4 levels in 2018, from Staten Island summer league right up to AA Trenton. His combined record was 5-7, 2.81 in 10 starts and 3 relief appearances. With Texas in 2017, in A ball, he was 7-2, 2.45 in 11 starts and 3 relief appearances.

Long is a lefty hitter, a 2B who has also caught some in the minors. He is 23 and in AA last year, hit .261-12-56 with 19 SB. In 2017, between High A and AA, he hit .281-16-50. Has a little pop for a 5’8″ 184 lb. guy.

Stowers turns 22 in February. A righty bat (I know, another RIGHTY bat, Yankees?) he played 58 games in low A in 2018, hitting .260-5-28 with 20 SB.

 

 

One more bullpen guy I’d like the Yankees to get…. and it’s a familiar name.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ok, the Yanks look to have a great bullpen again. If they go with 12 pitchers, and 7 are in the bullpen (with the five-man starting rotation being Severino, Paxton, Tanaka, Happ and CC), you have

LHP Aroldis Chapman
LHP Zach Britton

RHP Dellin Betances
RHP Adam Ottavino
RHP Chad Green

That leaves two spots.

For one of those spots, I’d like Stephen Tarpley as the third lefty. He will be 26 in a few weeks, was brought up late last year and was 0-0, 3.00 in 10 games, 9 IP. Tarpley was 7-2, 1.94 between AA/AAA last season.

Now among the righty pitchers, I would like for 24 y.o. Jonathan Loaisiga to go to AAA and continue to be a starter but to build up his innings (he only pitched 80 of them last year, combined, between MLB and the minors). 26 y.o. Domingo German has an option left and would go to AAA to be “on call” in case of an injury, as Loaisiga would also be. German was 2-6, 5.57 in 21 games (14 starts) for the Yanks last year. He did show promise with 102 K in 85 2/3 IP. Now here is where it gets interesting. German was 2-5, 6.19 as a starter, but 0-1, 3.12 in relief.

Could the Yanks look at moving him into a Chad Green type role? Long man out of the bullpen/emergency-spot starter? Or are they still committed to having him start? If bullpen, he may make the team as that spot-emergency starter/long reliever. But if he is starting, he has an option left and would be at AAA to start the season.

The Yanks have to decide if German is better suited to middle relief or if they still want to see if he can start.

Luis Cessa has no options left. 27 in April, Cessa was 1-4, 5.24 in 16 games (5 starts) for the Yanks in 2018. His splits were not as drastic as German’s (6.50 ERA starting, 4.39 in relief) nor was his K/9 ratio as good as German’s.

Now here is where, to complete the Yankees’ bullpen, I suggest someone else.

Someone who is a free agent. Who is still out there.

Someone who has experienced NY, not once, but TWICE and has done well both times in NY.

Someone whose record as a Yankee is 20-20, but with an ERA of 3.18.

Someone who has experience as a starter. Who, in one year with the Yankees (2015), started 17 of the 43 games he pitched in that year.

Someone who last year, between the Yankees and Seattle, was 3-2, 3.14.

Someone who is perfect for that spot-emergency starter/long relief role. At the age of 31, it’s what he has done, and done well, and is used to.

Here is hoping Cashman may complete the Yankees’ bullpen by bringing back Adam Warren.

I don’t know how much $$$$ the Yanks have left to spend, but if they have enough left, wouldn’t Warren be the perfect last compliment to the bullpen?

What do you think?