Category Archives: The Front Office

Welcome Back Chapman! Aroldis back for 5 years, $86MM and we get Torres for a loaner!

Yankee Stadium Frieze

How desperate were the Cubs to get a WS win after 108 years? So desperate they gave up someone that is being called the next Derek Jeter (Gleyber Torres, who hit .403 in the AFL at age 19 and was the Arizona Fall  League MVP) for just a few months of Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman is bringing his 104 MPH fastball back to the Yanks, signing a 5 year, $86 MM deal to return to the Bronx.

This will move Dellin Betances back to the 8th inning and set up Tyler Clippard for the 7th. The two setup guys are righty pitchers, so don’t be surprised if the Yanks make a play to bring lefty Boone Logan back (even though I did like the job Tommy Layne did after the Yanks acquired him last year).

Chapman was 3-0, 2.01 in his limited time with the Yanks in 2016, with 20 saves.

Best of all, he doesn’t cost the Yanks a draft pick, and for “loaning” him out to the Cubs for a few months and a WS title, the Yanks get Torres, and reacquire Adam Warren.

Baseball Winter Meetings.

Yankee Stadium Frieze
No more action on the Yankees front since the signing of Matt Holliday.

They are rumored to be in discussions with Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Chapman is said to want a six-year deal, which is probably a bit much for a closer, although the Yanks did give a six-year deal to the Goose (1978-1983).

There also have been rumors of reuniting with Boone Logan for the bullpen, and of maybe going after Luis Valbuena as a utility man.

There are other relievers the Yanks are looking at also.

A couple of teams did make some moves.

Mark Melancon to SF. 4 yrs., $62MM.

Joaquin Benoit to the Phillies on a 1 yr. deal. $7.5MM

Steve Pearce to Toronto.2 yr. $12.5MM

Washington is still a rumor hotbed regarding them getting Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale or both.

 

 

 

Yankees news: Yanks add Holliday, no Hall yet for the Boss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

There hasn’t been a report for a while because things have been relatively quiet in Yankee land.

With the winter meetings about to start, that may change soon.

The first order of business was that the Yanks signed Matt Holliday to a one-year deal worth #14 MM. Holliday will mostly DH, and will play the occasional 1B to spell Greg Bird and maybe a bit of LF too. He will be 37 next season, and is a .303 career hitter with 295 HR. Last season, in 110 games, he hit .246-20-62 for St. Louis, with an OPS+ of 107. For his career, his OPS+ is 134. A 7x All-Star, Holliday was a close runnerup to Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies for the 2007 NL MVP. Outside of 93 games for the 2009 A’s, he has spent the rest of his career in Colorado and St. Louis. He made it to three World Series, winning it in 2011.

The Yanks had interest in bringing Carlos Beltran back, but he signed with Houston for 1 year and $16MM. There was also talk of them being interested in lefty pitcher Rich Hill, but the 37 year old Hill signed a 3 year $40 MM deal with the Dodgers.

I don’t know how much interest they had in Yoennis Cespedes, who went back to the Mets for 4 years and $110 MM (too much $$ in my opinion).

Edwin Encarnacion is out there, but the Yanks probably didn’t want to go too many years and too much money with someone entering their mid-30s. Hence a one year deal with Holliday.

With the signing of Holliday, it does not appear as if the Yanks will now bring back free agent Billy Butler.

The Yanks made a couple of moves, the most important being that they basically released Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob Lindgren. Both won’t pitch in 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. Lindgren was picked up by the Braves. In two seasons with the Yanks,  Eovaldi was 23-11, 4.45, ERA+94. Lindgren, a top draft pick a few years ago, got in seven games, seven innings, for the 2015 Yankees, going 0-0, 5.14.

Executive John Schuerholz and ex-MLB C0mmissioner Bud Selig were selected to the Hall of Fame by a committee yesterday. Among those not getting in were George Steinbrenner and Lou Piniella (for Lou’s managing).

More when things happen. Meanwhile is PSU alum is happy about the Nittany Lions winning the Big 10 Title and going to the Rose Bowl.

 

Hello, Goodbye. Yanks make roster moves.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees made a couple of roster moves, deleting some players, trading one, and adding some youngsters to the 40 man roster.

Added were:

3B Miguel Andujar, who just finished an impressive  AFL stint and who hit .273-12-83 between HIgh A and AA in 2016.
LHP Dietrich Enns, who went 14-4, 1.73 between AA/AAA in 2016
RHP Gio Gallegos 7-2, 1.27, 4 saves 106 K in 78 IP, AA/AAA
RHP Ron Herrera 10-8, 3.94 AA/AAA
SS Jorge Mateo .254-8-47, 36 SB at High A Tampa.
RHP Yefrey Ramirez 3-7, 2.84 at Tampa.

These all were Rule 5 draft eligible this offseason. Now they are not.

Released were:
Dustin Ackley, Utility, who missed most of 2016 with an injury and who hit .148-0-4 in 28 games with the Yanks in 2016.

Designated for Assignment:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi, 9-8, 4.76 but who will miss all of 2017 due to TJ surgery
LHP Joe Mantiply, who the Yanks claimed off waivers from the Tigers on November 8 (that didn’t last long…) and
RHP Nick Rumbelow,who missed almost all of 2016 due to injury. Rehabbing from TJ surgery.

Traded LHP James Pazos to Seattle for RHP Zack Littell. Pazos was 1-0, 13.50 in 7 games for the Yanks in 2016. Littell, 21, RHP, was 13-6, 2.66 between low and High A this past year.

Outrighted Brandon Pinder, RHP to AAA. Pinder got in only 1 game, 1 inning, for the Yanks in 216, giving up 2 runs. Rehabbing from TJ surgery.

Earlier this month the Yanks added C Kyle Kigashioka and RHP Domingo German to the 40 man roster. The addition of Higashioka is more important now what with the trade of McCann to the Astros.

Higashioka .276-21-81 between AA/AAA

German 1-3, 3.08 between Low and High A ball.

Some players left exposed to the Rule 5 draft are: Jake Cave, Cale Coshow, Brady Lail, Luis Torrens, Tyler Webb, Tito Polo, Stephen Tarpley.

My thanks to the excellent River Avenue Blues blog from which most of this report is taken.

Yanks trade McCann; MVPs announced; AFL ends.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

 

The Yankees traded Brian McCann to the Astros for two young righty minor league pitchers. In his three seasons with the Yankees, McCann hit 69 HR but only hit .235. The emergence of Gary Sanchez made McCann expendable. The Yanks will pay the Astros $11MM of the $34MM remaining on his contract.

In return, the Yanks get Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. Here is what MLB Trade Rumors has to say about them:

Abreu is the more highly regarded of the two; as J.J. Cooper of Baseball America explains, he throws a live fastball that occasionally nears the triple-digits. With a four-pitch arsenal, he perhaps has a chance to stick as a starter. Still, he only just turned 21 and struggled with his command last year at the Class A and High-A levels.

Guzman, meanwhile, has even more velocity, with his heater ticking up to 102-103 mph at times. Cooper notes, though, that he’s more effective when he’s operating at a slightly lower velocity (in his case, the upper-nineties). While the long-term outlook suggests that Guzman will end up in the pen, he is said to have a promising slider and also a change-up that’s in the works. The 20-year-old has yet to move past Rookie ball, but showed big strikeout ability (12.2 K/9) in his time in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues last year.

Abreu, 21, was 3-8, 3.72 between low and High A in 2016. 16 starts, 8 relief appearances. 115 K in 101 2/3 IP.

Guzman, 20, was 3-4, 4.05 in Rookie League ball. 8 starts, 5 relief appearances. 54 K in 40 IP.

MLB announced its MVPs yesterday, Mike Trout of the Angels and Kris Bryant of the Cubs.  For Trout, it’s his second MVP (he won in 2014) and he has finished 1st or 2nd in MVP in each of his five full seasons in the bigs. He is still just 25 years old.Bryant, 24, was the ROY last year and now wins the MVP in just his second MLB season.

No Yankee received MVP consideration (meaning at least a 10th place vote).

The Arizona Fall League ended yesterday. They have a championship game Saturday but Scottsdale and Yankees’ prospects will not be playing in it. Only Tyler Wade played in the final game, and he went 1 for 3, scored a run and drove in two in a 6-6 tie. Wade ended the AFL at .241. He had a SF yesterday and stole 3 bases, giving him 10 for the AFL.

Former MLB catcher and manager Russ Nixon died recently. He was 81. He played from 1957-1968 for Cleveland, Boston, Minnesota, and Cleveland again. He was the catcher when Roger Maris hit his 61st HR. Nixon later managed the Reds and Braves. He hit .268 with an OPS+ of 84.

Cubs win epic game 7; first WS title since 1908. Zobrist MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

First a correction. I forgot that Albert Pujols also drove in 6 RBI in a game. He was 5 for 6, scored 4 runs, had 3 HR and had 6 RBI in Game 3 of the 2011 WS. A game where he tied the WS record for HR AND RBI in one game.

So the four to drive in 6 in a WS game are Richardson, Matsui, Pujols and Russell.

Now to Game 7. Where to begin. It was epic.

The Cubs beat the Indians in ten innings, 8-7. It’s the first WS title for the Cubs since 1908. They are the sixth team to come back from down three to games to one in a best-of-seven World Series. The others: 1925 Pirates, 1958 Yankees, 1968 Tigers, 1979 Pirates and 1985 Royals.

Ben Zobrist was named WS MVP.

Dustin Fowler led off the game with a HR, the first time that ever happened in a Game 7.

The Indians tied it in the third on a single by Carlos Santana.

The Cubs got two in the fourth (Russell SF, Willson Contreras double) and two in the fifth to go up 5-1 after 4 1/2. Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller both didn’t have it. You can tell some pitchers were worn out.

Javier Baez homered for one of those Cubs runs in the fifth. The other scored on a single by Anthony Rizzo.

In the bottom of the fifth, a wild pitch let two runners score. 5-3 Cubs.

In the top of the sixth, David Ross, playing in his last MLB game, homered. What a way to retire, by homering in Game 7 of a WS. 6-3 Cubs.

Then, four outs away from victory, the Cubs let the game slip away for the time being.

With two out in the bottom of the eighth, Jose Ramirez singled and the Cubs brought in Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman’s recent workload caught up with him. He gave up a double to Brandon Guyer, and then shockingly, a 2-run HR to Rajai Davis that tied the game up.

The game went into the tenth. Kyle Schwarber singled and was PR for. After an out and an intentional walk, Zobrist doubled. After an intentional walk to load the bases back up for a DP, Miguel Montero singled to make it 8-6. Cleveland got out of the inning with no further damage, but the fatal damage was done.

The Indians didn’t go quietly however. (You knew it wasn’t going to be easy for the Cubs after 108 years, didn’t you?) After two out, a walk, an advance due to defensive indifference and a single (Davis again) made it 8-7 and put the tying run on first with the winning run at the plate. Cubs fans had to fear a game-tying double or WS winning HR. Michael Martinez grounded out and it was over.

For the Indians, another year of waiting for their first WS title since 1948.

For the Cubs, they can retire the Billy Goat. As for the 108 year gorilla (not monkey) on their backs, that’s gone, too.

Theo Epstein, president of the Cubs, can probably book his HOF ticket. As GM of Boston, he ended an 86-year old Curse of the Bambino and as President of the Cubs, ended the 108 year Cubs’ curse.

Finally, Joe Maddon, Cubs’ manager, wins a WS (he lost as Tampa Bay mgr. in 2008). Maddon comes from Hazleton, PA, about an hour’s drive from me.

Now for the hot stove league. Who gets traded? What free agents go where?

Game 162. Yanks’ season, Teix’s career, end with 5-2 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost their season finale, 5-2, to Baltimore and finished the season 84-78.

It matches the 2014 season as their worst since 1992.

With the loss, Mark Teixeira’s career comes to an end. He went 0 for 3 in his final game and retires with 409 HR.

The Yanks finished 9 games out of first place, in fourth place in the AL East, and missed getting a wild card spot by 5 games.

They gave up more runs than they scored. Their Pythagorean record was 79-83, so they won 5 more games than they probably should have.

The adjusted OPS was 91, which means the offense was 9% below league average.

The adjusted ERA was 105, which means 5% above league average.

Masahiro Tanaka was their best player.

As for the game, Luis Cessa gave up a run in the third on a SF. Matt Wieters hit a 2-run HR off Cessa in the fourth.

Brian McCann hit his 20th HR in the bottom of the fourth to cut it to 3-1.

Wieters hit his second 2-run HR of the game in the sixth, this one off of Tommy Layne, to put the Orioles up 5-1.

Singles by Sanchez, McCann and Gregorius in the eighth scored Sanchez with the Yanks’ final run of the year.

Cessa (L, 4-4, 4.35) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 0 walks, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Layne 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.63 (Bos/NYY) Gave up 1 HR.
Parker 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 4.67 (Sea/NYY)
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.68 (Cubs/NYY)
Bleier 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 1.96

Now for an interesting offseason. What moves do the Yankees make?

The postseason is set.
AL: Texas #1 seed, Cleveland #2, Boston #3. Toronto hosts Baltimore in the WC game.

NL: Cubs #1 seed, Washington #2, Dodgers #3. Mets host SF in the wild card game.

In this decade, The Giants have won the WS in 2010, 2012 and 2014. They snuck into this year’s playoffs with 87 wins, the same as the Mets and 1 game better than St. Louis. Giants’ fans hope the even-year thing continues.

Two broadcasting legends called their final games Sunday. Vin Scully and Dick Enberg.