Category Archives: The Front Office

Game 105. Yanks nip Mets in extras after trading Beltran, Nova.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Before the trade deadline, the Yanks dealt Ivan Nova to the Pirates for two players to be named later.

As a Yankee, Nova (2010-2016) was 53-39, 4.41, ERA+ 95. His 162 g. average was 14-11, 4.41. His inconsistency was baffling. He put up a 16-4, 3.70 season, and also a 9-6, 3.10 but also had seasons of 12-8, 5.02 and 6-11, 5.07.

Earlier in the day, Carlos Beltran and his 414 career HR were traded to Texas. Beltran was the Yanks’ best hitter this season. He, like Nova, is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Yanks wanted to get something back for him, rather than risk losing him for nothing like they did recently with Robbie Cano and David Robertson.

They got back Dillon Tate, RHP. 22. Was Texas’ #1 pick in 2015 draft, #4 pick overall in the entire draft. Tate is struggling this year, and the Yanks hope they can straighten him out. 3-3, 5.12 this year. Low cost, hope high reward. Get him back to where he was before he was drafted. Obviously high potential based on how high he was picked in the draft.
Erik Swanson, 22, RHP, A ball, 6-4, 3.43.
Nick Green, I could not find info on him. RHP.

As for the game, the Yanks nipped the Mets 6-5 in 10 innings to improve to 53-52 on the season.

Gardner hit the second pitch of the game for a triple but was thrown out trying for the inside-the-park HR. CC gave up a HR in the second to Wilmer Flores to put the Mets up 1-0.

The Yanks tied it in the fourth when Ellsbury scored on a WP. In the fifth, the Yanks went up 3-1 when with one out, Refsnyder walked and was bunted over by CC. Gardner doubled in a run and then Ellsbury singled in Gardner.

CC struggled though, giving up an RBI double in the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2, then in the sixth he coughed up a 3-run HR and the Mets had the lead 5-3.

The Yanks tied it in the eighth on a 2-run single by Didi Gregorius.

In the tenth, Ellsbury walked, Teixeira singled and everyone was safe on a sac bunt by Ben Gamel, just called up from SWB. Starlin Castro hit a SF for the game-winning run.

Dellin Betances, now the closer, worked through a shaky tenth for the save. 6-5 Yanks.

Sabathia 5 2/3 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 walks, 5 K. 4.15. Gave up 2 HR.
Bleier 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 3.75. Facerd two batters, gave up a hit and a walk.
Goody 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.26. Just recalled.
Clippard 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. Combined ERA (AZ/NYY) 4.19
Warren (w, 4-2, 5.31 combined Cubs/NYY) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 2 K. 5.31
Betances (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.45.

Some recent basdeball passings: Doug Griffin, 2B for the Red Sox in the early 1970s, and Turk Lown, closer for the 1959 AL Pennant winning White Sox.

Yanks trade Miller, get back Clippard.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I’ll admit, I hate to see Andrew Miller go.

But in the space of a week, the Yanks faced facts—that they were a pretender, not a contender for this year and for the next few years—and decided to look at the future.

And Brian Cashman made it clear that he doesn’t look at the future as a one or two year thing, but wants that future, say, 2020-2034, to be as dominant as say, 1993-2012 was.

The trade with the Cubs brought back the Cubs’ #1 and #7 prospects, Adam Warren, and one other prospect.

The trade of Miller to the Indians brought back their #1 prospect (OF Clint Frazier (YAY! A RIGHTY HITTER to go with Aaron Judge!—they had too many lefties with Williams, Cave, Fowler, Gamel and Rutherford) their #5, and two more.

The Yanks now have one of the best farm systems in the majors. Be patient, this may take a few years, but

Torres, Mateo, Frazier, Sheffield (LHP included in the Miller deal, #5 prospect), Sanchez, Judge, Kaprielian are seven of the top 100 prospects in baseball.

This doesn’t include prospects like:

LHP Dietrich Enns, 11-4 at AA/AAA this year.
RHP Chance Adams, 12-0 between Tampa and Trenton this year.
Pitcher Ian Clarkin, also Jacob Lindgren, Lefty relief pitcher who has had elbow trouble the last two years,
Brian Mitchell, who’s missed this year,
C Luis Torrens ; C Kyle Higashioka (having a great year)
1B Greg Bird; 1B/OF Tyler Austin
INF Tyler Wade
3Bs Miguel Andujar and Mandy Alvarez (Alvarez hit in all of his first 25 minor league games)
OF Blake Rutherford, their 1st round draft pick. .384 in first 24 minor league games.

OF Dustin Fowler. SS Kyle Holder.  SS Wilkerson Garcia.

… and a couple guys they got in the deals, like relief pitcher Ben Heller.

They got Tyler Clippard back for Vincente Campos. Campos was in the Montero for Pineda deal, started out well, but hurt his arm and has been trying to get it back since. Clippard started his MLB career with the Yanks (2007), was traded for Jonathan Albaladejo (bad deal) and became a 2x all-star after the Yanks traded him away. He is 31, was 2-3, 4.30 for Arizona this year, and has a career mark of 44-32, 2.97 with 54 saves. 162 g. average, 6-4, 2.97, 7 saves, ERA+ 135.

And hey, Severino, despite his bad year, is young, just 22.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll give up the next two to three years for 15 years of dominance.

Game 104. Yanks fall back to .500 with 5-3 loss.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I am going to address the deals made today in a separate post.

The Yanks fell back to .500, at 52-52, with a 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay today. A lost weekend, getting swept 3 straight by one of the worst teams in the league. It is the Yanks’ fourth straight loss. To me, it made today’s deals more relevant, and more of a good thing. Getting swept by the Rays made clear the “pretender” and not “contender” label for this year . If there is nothing this year or the next two, build for the future. Build for 2019 and beyond.

All the more reason to follow the minor leagues a lot more closely in the next few years.

And Brian Cashman made clear that he isn’t buiiding a team for a year or two of getting relevant again. He is building to get back an “uberteam”, a team that dominates from say, 2020-2034 like the Yanks dominated from 1993-2012.

In 2034, I’ll be 73 years old. That is what I want before I depart this earth. One more 15-20 year run where the Yanks are top notch. (Of course, if there is another run when I am 80-95 years old, great, but I won’t get greedy).

As for today, Michael Pineda proved why he exasperates us, and why I think he could be trade bait. If he, Nova, and Eovaldi don’t improve on what they are right now, why not trade them? After all, Pineda is now 5-10 with an ERA over 5. As Peggy Lee sang, Is that all there is?

Pineda gave up two in the fourth, one in the fifth on a HR, and after Beltran got the Yanks back in the game with a 2-run HR in the sixth, two more in the sixth.

Beltran’s HR, #22 on the season, was #414 of his career, tying him with Darrell Evans on the all-time list.

Brian McCann got an RBI single in the eighth.

The Yanks struck out 13x. For A-Rod, who PH, it was his fifth consecutive at bat with a strikeout.

I remember when Mike Schmidt retired in the middle of the season, saying he didn’t have it anymore. I remember Willie Mays and Steve Carlton hanging on too long.

Right now, I kind of wish A-Rod would call a press conference and hang it up.

I don’t mean that to be mean.I just don’t want A-Rod embarrassing himself. When it is time, it is time. Four homers short of 700 or not.

Pineda (L, 5-10, 5.13) 6 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 4 walks, 8 K. 1 HR given up.
Severino 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walks, 2 K. 6.69.

Game 103. Yanks fall, 6-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost their third straight, 6-3, to the Rays Saturday night. It’s their second straight loss to Tampa Bay, who is one of the worst teams in baseball.

So I have to ask those in the front office who are in “buy” mode (Randy Levine?), what are you looking at?

I am not a fan of Levine for many reasons, one of which was his arrogant answers to some questions the media asked him earlier this season. Some people may harp on Girardi (who, I think has done ok, given some limitations on this team. They should be under .500 this year, as well as should have finished under .500 in 2013 and 2014, but he has kept them afloat) or Cashman, but when I read and hear about what Levine wants to do, that’s where I get upset.

Rumors are that most of the front office was in “sell” mode, but Levine and possibly Hal Steinbrenner, were a bit stubborn in thinking this team still was contenders and should buy. After the two losses to the Rays this weekend, I wonder if they have changed their minds. I also wonder as the clock ticks down on the trade deadline, if it is too late to get something back that you can build around.

They could have sold on Cano and Robertson, instead of losing them to free agency and getting nothing. They shouldn’t repeat those mistakes.

The Yanks need new, good, young players. A new foundation for future success. That comes with selling some assets now that are not part of your future.

Nathan Eovaldi, just like Ivan Nova the night before, gave up a first inning homer to put the Yanks in a hole, 1-0 after one.

The Yanks’ offense once again didn’t do much. Except for a 2-run HR by Brett Gardner (7) in the third (and Eovaldi gave it right back in the bottom of the third by giving up a 2-run HR) and a solo HR (10) by Chase Headley in the eighth, the Yanks’ offense was non-existent—and this was against someone who came into the game 2-11.

Alex Rodriguez got the golden sombrero. 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts.

After Eovaldi coughed up the lead in the bottom of the third by giving up another HR, Anthony Swarzak let the game get away in the seventh, giving up 3 runs, two on a  HR.

The Yanks are now 52-51. Were they some four games better, maybe hit the “buy” button. Instead, look to the future. Sell.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see a deal or two get done today, if they could swing it.

Eovaldi really didn’t pitch too badly, but his inconsistency and tendency to give up the gopher ball hurt him again. 3 hits given up, but 2 HR.

Eovaldi (L, 9-7, 4.78) 6 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 walks, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Swarzak 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.66. Gave up 1 HR.
Bleier 0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3. 75. Faced one batter, gave up a hit.
Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.59 (combined ERA Cubs/Yanks).

It is what it is. The two losses to the last-place Rays sealed the deal. Sell.

Game 100. Yanks beat Houston, 6-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks got to four games over .500 with a 6-3 win over Houston Tuesday night. After 100 games, they are 52-48.

The Yanks’ pitchers gave up three HRs, but thank goodness, they were all solo ones.

Houston got on the board first, in the first inning, on a HR by Marwin Gonzalez to go up 1-0.

The Yanks got two in the second when Brian McCann singled, and was doubled to third by Mark Teixeira. Didi Gregorius hit a SF for one run, and Chase Headley singled in the other.

In the third, the Yanks made it 3-1. Carlos Beltran singled, Mark Teixeira walked, and Starlin Castro singled in a run.

The Yanks broke it open in the fifth. McCann was HBP, and Teixeira singled. After a groundout moved the runners up, Castro was intentionally walked to load the bases for a hopeful DP. Instead, Headley got a SF to make it 4-1, and Aaron Hicks came through with a 2-run triple to make it 6-1.

Evan Gattis hit a HR off of CC in the seventh to cut it to 6-2, and Gonzalez hit his second HR of the game, this one off of Anthony Swarzak, to make it the final score of 6-3.

To make room for Adam Warren, the Yanks sent down Chasen Shreve. When Severino came up, he replaced Chapman, and Green replaced Goody. So a lot of bullpen moves lately.

Sabathia (w, 6-8, 3.95) 6 2/3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 walks, 5 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Swarzak 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 walk, 3 K. 4.58  Gave up 1 HR
Betances (H, 27) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 2.50
Miller (S, 9) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 1.39.

There are rumors of another deal, this one possibly involving Ivan Nova.

Game 99.Yanks edge Astros after trading Chapman.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees are three games over .500 for the first time this year after beating Houston 2-1 on Monday night. They are 51-48.

Michael Pineda pitched seven strong innings after giving up a first-pitch HR, and Andrew Miller got the save after getting his closer job back because of the trade of Aroldis Chapman earlier in the day.

Down 1-0 in the fifth, the Yanks tied the game when with two out, Didi Gregorius doubled and was singled home by Chase Headley.

In the eighth, Headley singled and was doubled home by Austin Romine.

Miller escaped a jam in the ninth, a jam partly created by Starlin Castro pulling a rock and failing to touch second in trying to turn the DP. He did on the next batter, the DP was made and the game was won.

Because of bad numbers off of Dallas Keuchel, A-Rod sat again, even against a lefty. It came down to who do you want in RF, Beltran or Hicks, and Hicks defense won out, even though he isn’t hitting. Then you still want Beltran’s bat in the lineup because he has been far and away their best hitter this year, so he DHs. So Alex sits.

Pineda (w, 5-9, 5.00) 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 walks, 8 K. Gave up HR.
Betances (H, 26) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H,  0 walks, 3 K. 2.52
Miller (S, 8 ) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 1.42.

Earlier in the day, Aroldis Chapman was traded to the Cubs. In return, the Yanks get:

Gleyber Torres, SS, 19, who will go to High A Tampa, the Cubs #1 prospect.
Adam Warren, RHP, who returns to the Yanks after spending three full seasons (2013-2015) there. He’ll join the Yanks as a setup man/middle reliever.
OF Billy McKinney, who’ll go to AA Trenton.
OF Rashard Crawford, who’ll go to High A Tampa.

Chapman, 28, was 3-0, 2.01, 20 saves for the Yanks this year. He is a free agent at the end of the year, enjoyed NY and could come back. Since the Yanks traded him mid-season, the Yanks would NOT lose a draft pick if the re-sign him.

Torres is considered the key to the deal. Just 19, he is hitting .275-9-47 with 19 SB at High A. The Yanks already have Jorge Mateo there. They also have Tyler Wade at AA Trenton and Kyle Holder at Low A Charleston. Of course, Didi is at SS for the Yanks and having a good year. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of these young shortstops flipped in a major deal for a starting pitcher (for example, Chris Sale? Don’t worry Chris, the Yanks are much more traditional in their uniform styles). Either that, or some may be learning other positions.

Warren has been having a terrible year for the Cubs, 3-2, 5.91. He’ll be 29 soon, and in three full seasons with the Yanks, 2013-2015, was 13-15, 3.23. The Yanks hope returning to NY returns him to what he was.

McKinney, who’ll be 22 soon, is a lefty-hitting OF (why can’t the Yanks get a righty hitting one to go with Judge (who is on the DL)? They have enough lefty hitting ones (Mason Williams, Jake Cave, Dustin Fowler, Ben Gamel!) You can tell I am not a fan of Hicks. Just my humble opinion, but Hicks has been hitting below .200 all year. Forgive me if I am tired of his offensive ineptitude). A former first-round draft pick by Oakland, McKinney was hitting .252-1-31 at AA.

Crawford is 22, and also a lefty hitting OF. At High A, he was hitting .255-3-30, with 22 SB.

Game 97. Yanks lose in 12, Chapman deal “close.”

Yankee Stadium Frieze

I was up on a bus trip to the game yesterday, and in watching the game in the sweltering heat, saw the Yanks lose to the Giants in twelve innings, 2-1.

It was the Giants’ first win after the All-Star break, snapping a six-game skid.

The Yanks were 0 for 10 w/RISP and wasted a good pitching effort by Ivan Nova and the Holy Trinity of Smoke.

That threesome appears to be over for now. Rumors are that the Yanks are close to trading Aroldis Chapman to get something back for him. Chapman is a free agent at the end of the year and has liked his time in NY. By trading him, the Yanks can get some key prospects, and also NOT lose a draft pick if they are able to re-sign him in the offseason.

In the fourth inning, Didi Gregorius singled and went to third on a single by Mark Teixeira. When the RF, Mac Williamson, bobbled the ball, Didi kept running and scored what turned out to be the only run of the game.

As the game went on, it became apparent to me that—–how can I put this nicely but make a tongue-in-cheek point —-the Yanks couldn’t score if they were the only rooster in a henhouse.

Seeing Aaron Hicks name in the lineup just makes me groan. Just saying.

And A-Rod is useless if he isn’t starting. Who is he going to pinch-hit for? He isn’t going to pinch-hit for Hicks, because then DH Beltran would have to take the field, and you lose the DH. Here is where roster inflexibility hurts the Yankees. A-Rod isn’t going to pinch-run for anyone. He isn’t going to pinch-hit for Headley or Teix and all of a sudden take the field. The Yanks have their hands tied.

That inflexibility limits Girardi’s ability to make moves, and helps cause losses like yesterday’s.

Williamson got redemption for his error, tying the game with a HR in the fifth, and getting the GW single in the 12th.

Great defensive plays by Brett Gardner and Didi saved Nova a couple of runs early.

One play of the game made me a little mad. In the bottom of the 10th, the Yanks loaded the bases with one out. They could have won the game there. There are many different ways, not just with a hit. Brian McCann swung at the first pitch and flied softly to left—not deep enough to score the run. Starlin Castro then fouled out to right. A walk wins the game there. Why swing at the first pitch, McCann? Why not take at least one strike? Sigh.

The Yanks fall to 49-48.

Nova 7 IP, 1 R, 6 Hits, 2 walks, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 4.65.
Miller 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 1.45
Chapman 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 2.01
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 1 K. 2.57
Swarzak (L, 1-1, 4.34) 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K.
Bleier 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.75

As one friend stated yesterday, and no disrespect meant to Swarzak, seeing Swarzak was probably a relief to the Giants after they burned through the Holy Trinity of Smoke.