Category Archives: Offseason Moves

Extensions galore.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You wonder what future free agent classes will look like.

Maybe not that hot.

Recently we’ve seen extensions given out to Severino, Hicks, Trout, Verlander, Sale, DeGrom, Snell, Nola, Goldschmidt, ….

More probably to come, but like I said, you wonder how poor future free agent classes will look like.

Recent passings:

Randy Jackson, 2x All Star 3B for the Cubs in the mid=1950s. A .261 hitter, OPS+ 94, he hit 21 HR for the 1955 Cubs (19 in 1953 and also in 1954) and was an All-Star in 1954 and 1955. Cubs 1950-1955, Dodgers 1956-1958, Indians 1958-1959, back with the Cubs 1959. Played in the 1956 WS with the Dodgers. He was 93.

Chuck Harmon, a utility player for the Reds (1954-1956), Cardinals (1956-1957) and Phillies 1957. Hit .238 in 289 games, OPS+ 62.

 

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Tarpley wins Dawson Award. 4 sent down.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Stephen Tarpley was named the 2019 winner of the James P. Dawson Award, presented to the best rookie in camp.

3 more cuts: Estevan Florial (who, with his fractured wrist, is on the DL anyway), David Hale and Nestor Cortes.

UPDATE:OF Mike Tauchman, for whom the Yanks traded Philip Diehl to Colorado for, has made the 25 man Opening Day Roster. Tyler Wade has been sent down.

S.T. Game 29. Yanks lose, Gio rusty. Roster set? Trade made.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You may be working out on the side, but until you get that game experience ….

Newly signed Gio Gonzalez showed his rust as the Yanks lost to Toronto Saturday afternoon, 7-3.

The loss puts the Yanks S.T. record at 16-9-4.

Gleyber Torres had a 3-run HR for the Yanks in the first inning.

Masahiro Tanaka only worked two innings in preparing for his Opening Day start this coming Thursday and looked sharp. We can only hope he’s like this on Thursday. Two scoreless innings.

Besides Gonzalez’ rust, Aroldis Chapman had a rough outing. His velo is down and I am a bit concerned about him.

Tanaka 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Chapman (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Green (H) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holder (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Gonzalez (BS, L) 2 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 H, 2 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Kriske 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 W, 2 K
Bristo 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.

I had to look up who Kriske was. Never heard of him. Brooks Kriske, 25, RHP, 2-2, 1.09 at short season Staten Island last year. 33 K in 24 2/3 IP. 2 games for Low A Charleston. 0-0, 4.50 in four innings. Far down on the “totem pole”. But had to see who was this guy? Was with Staten Island a bit in 2016, missed all of 2017. My guess is Charleston (low A) bound.

The Yanks basically set the 25 man opening roster today, but there could be a minor move yet.

C Sanchez and Romine
IF Bird (could still make a move here to put him on DL if elbow (HBP recently) problem lingers. If he is on DL, Wade AND Tauchman could make team? See below), Voit, Torres, LeMahieu, Andujar, Tulowitzki
UT Wade? See below.
OF Gardner, Judge, Stanton (Tauchman? See below).

The ? is Wade. I mentioned in my this blog earlier today that the Yanks could pick up an OF via someone getting cut by another team or by trade. I nailed that one. Just a few hours after I wrote that, the Yankees made a deal today for an OF.

The Yanks sent LHP Phillip Diehl to Colorado for OF Mike Tauchman. I was concerned about Wade’s lack of OF experience and the Yanks apparently are too.

So that final spot could come down to Wade or Tauchman.

UPDATE: Bird makes team, is OK. Wade sent down. Tauchman is backup OF.

First off, Diehl. 24. LHP. Goes to Colorado. Last year 2-3, 2.51 between High A Tampa and AA Trenton. Probably going back to AA. Boone was impressed with him in S.T.

Wade, mostly an IF (2B/SS/3B) has been used in the OF to increase his versatility, but is not a true OF. In 124 MLB at bats for the Yanks in 2017 and 2018, has hit only .161-1-7, 42 strikeouts, OPS+ 25. In 176 AAA games, .282-11-58 with 37 SB. He hasn’t taken that to the majors yet, and the 24 year old lefty hitter, although possessing great speed, hasn’t had a lot of OF experience.

Hence the trade for Tauchman. That last spot on the team for now (position player) is between Wade and Tauchman (unless Bird has to go on the DL, then both may make the team). Tauchman, a lefty bat, is 28, and is only 9 for 59 in his MLB career (.153-0-2, OPS+ 20). Like Wade, he needs his skills to translate from AAA to a major league level. While Wade has the speed, Tauchman could show the power, and is a true OF, which Wade isn’t. In 112 games at AA in 2018, Tauchman hit .323-20-81 with 12 SB. In 2017 at AAA, Tauchman hit .331-16-80 in 110 games with 16 SB.

Unlike Wade, Tauchman has a lot of experience in all three OF positions.

Whether it is Wade or Tauchman, expect neither to be there long. He’ll be gone once Hicks is ready.

As for what happens if or when Ellsbury is ready? We won’t go there.

The 13 ptichers are:

Tanaka
Paxton
Happ
Cessa (starter? Middle relief?)
CC (to start year w/suspension, then go on DL)
Chapman
Tarpley (I told you not to overlook him…. made team)
Britton
Green
Ottavino
Holder
German (starter? relief?)
Kahnle

When CC goes on the DL, Loaisiga, who was sent down, will replace him temporarily.

As for room for Gio (rusty today, see above) or Severino when ready, who knows. Same with Betances, and same with Montgomery this summer.

But you can never have enough pitching.

As I said in my prior post, sometimes you have to make tough decisions, and sometimes due to poor performance and/or injury, they are made for you.

Some decisions you just have to wait on. Cross that bridge when we get to it.

But also, don’t be surprised if, until Seve and CC are ready, Boone goes with an “opener” in a couple of games.

S.T. Game 24. Tanaka good as Yanks win 7-4. Yanks sign Gio for insurance.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Masahiro Tanaka looked good today as the Yanks beat the Braves 7-4 to improve their spring training record to 14-6-4.

Tanaka gave up just 1 run on 2 hits in 5 IP in preparing for his Opening Day assignment.

Aaron Judge continued his hot spring with a 2-run triple. He has 11 hits this spring, and ALL are extra base hits. 4 doubles, 1 triple and 6 HR.

Luke Voit is continuing to make you think he isn’t last year’s flash in the pan. He hit a solo HR, his fourth of spring training.

Austin Romine had 3 hits and 2 RBI.

Ryan Lavarnway had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

Tanaka (W) 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 7 K.
Ottavino 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 2 W, 2 K. Free agent signing struggling a bit.
Tarpley (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Don’t sleep on this kid.
Diehl (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K.
Alvarez (S) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Yanks pitchers combined for 15K.

It’s just spring training, but some encouraging things, esp. from Tanaka, Voit, Judge, and Tarpley. And tonight, Romine.

The Yanks made a low-risk, high-reward signing tonight by signing Gio Gonzalez to a minor league deal. He has an April 20 opt-out. He gets $3MM if he makes the major league roster, with incentives.

It is an insurance move in case of a worst-case scenario regarding Severino and CC.

A lefty, but I don’t mind having a lot of lefties (Happ, Gio, CC, Paxton).

UPDATE: And Jordan Montgomery when he gets healthy.

I remember that the 1980  Dick Howser led Yankees, who went 103-59 before getting swept in the ALCS by KC, had four lefty starters in Guidry, John, Rudy May and Tommy Underwood.

Remember that lefties, hitters and pitchers, are what has made Yankee Stadium and the Yankees over the years.

Gio was predicted by MLBTR to get a 2-yr., $24MM deal. Quite a come-down from that prediction, and along with Tulowitzki, a possible steal.

Gonzalez, 33, was 10-11, 4.21 (ERA+ 100, right on league average) between Washington and Milwaukee last year. In 2017, he won 15 games, had an ERA of 2.96 and finished 6th in CYA voting.

A 2x All-Star (2011 and 2012) he led the majors in wins with 21 in 2012, when he finished 3rd in CYA voting and 20th in MVP voting.

Since 2010, he’s pitched 170 or more innings in every year except one. So he eats innings. His career mark is 127-97, 3.69, mostly in the NL. ERA+ 111.

From 2008-2011 he was with the A’s. 2012-2018 Nationals, end of 2018 Brewers.

In 8 postseason starts, 0-0, 4.91.

Average 162 g. season 14-11, 3.69 (ERA+ 111). Average last six years, 11-10, 3.72.

I’d expect a decent back of the rotation starter, 11-10, ERA around 4 or low 4’s (taking into account AL vs. his recent no-DH NL years) if he is there all year long.

He is a low cost insurance policy, esp. against injury (Severino and CC now, maybe injury prone Paxton/Tanaka later) and youth/inexperience (Cessa, German, Loaisiga).

But a surprise in that he fell to such a low cost, minor league deal after earning some $12MM/year or close to it the last four seasons.

Yanks send Farquhar to minor league camp. Adams, Harvey, too.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Danny Farquhar’s comeback story will continue, but at the Yanks’ minor league camp.

Farquhar, who suffered a brain hemorrhage pitching for the White Sox last April, and who then missed the rest of the 2018 season, is attempting to come back from that near-fatal incident.

He’ll now have to it at minor league camp since the Yanks sent him down.

The road back wont’ be easy, but it’s a story to root for.

The Yanks also sent down Chance Adams and Joe Harvey, both of them to AAA SWB.

Meanwhile, Aaron Hicks got a cortisone shot for his back.

 

S.T. Game 6. Yanks, O’s Tie, 2-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Prospect Rashad Crawford’s two-run single with one out in the bottom of the ninth tied the game at 2, and the Yanks and O’s finished in that 2-2 tie last night.

Happ 2+ IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W 3 K. Gave up HR.
Green 1 1/3 IP 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Loaisiga 2 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Coulombe 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Coshow 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

The Yanks only got five hits in the game, the Orioles three.

Good pitching job by the Yanks. Happ gave up the HR to the first guy he faced in the third, then was taken out. The risk of trying to stretch a guy out in spring training, which you slowly need to do. Apparently he hit that wall.

Good job throughout, especially by Green and Kahnle, even Coshow. Loaisiga good, with just that one blip.

Update: I forgot to mention ex-Yankee Adam Warren signed with San Diego.

 

S.T. Game 5. Infielders carry Yanks to 8-6 win. Harper signs with Phillies.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks beat the Pirates, 8-6 to improve their spring training record to 3-2.

The good: Infielders carried the day. Troy Tulowitzki (steal? If he is close to what he used to be, it’s a steal getting him) homered again, a 3-run shot in the bottom of the first. Tyler Wade had a solo HR.  L.J. Mazzilli, Lee’s son, broke up a 5-5 tie with a 2-run double. Greg Bird had two hits. Thairo Estrada, who lost most of the 2018 season after getting shot in the hip on a burglary attempt, had two hits.

Zach Britton and Jonathan Holder did well.

The not so good: J.A. Happ and Adam Ottavino struggled.

Happ 1 1/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Tarpley 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Ottavino (BS) 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Cortes 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 W, 4 K.
Holder (w) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Rosa (S) 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR.

Bryce Harper finally signed with the Phillies for 13 years (no opt-out, has a no trade clause) and $330 million.

The Phillies have done nicely this offseason, getting McCutchen, Harper, Segura, D-Rob, and Realmuto. I live near Philadelphia, so the Phils’ fans are chirping, as is the Philly media.

But I do wonder about this regarding the Phillies….

Yes, Aaron Nola is good (17-6, 2.37 last year, 3rd in CYA, 13th for MVP, All-Star) and Jake Arrietta (10-11, 3.96) is a former CYA winner, but even with what appears to be a very good lineup now, their 3-4-5 starters look like

Nick Pivetta, 26, 7-14, 4.77 in 2018. Career 15-24, 5.33
Vince Velasquez, 26, 9-12, 4.85 in 2018. Career 20-26, 4.60
Zach Eflin, 25 soon, 11-8, 4.36 last year, Career 15-18, 5.10.

I don’t mean to rain on Philly’s parade, but despite the additions they made, they’ll need to improve considerably on what they get from their 3-4-5 starters.

As Yankees fans, that wouldn’t be acceptable on our end now, would it?