Category Archives: The Front Office

Major trade may give Yanks best bullpen.

The Yanks pulled off a major deal today, and as long as they keep their bullpen intact, they may have the best end trio in the game.

The Yanks traded four minor leaguers–and NONE of their untouchables (Bird, Severino, Sanchez, Judge or Mateo) to the Cincinnati Reds for Aroldis Chapman, he of the 103 MPH fastball.

If the Yanks don’t deal Miller, they would have an end game of Betances, Miller and Chapman. Talk about shortening the game! Starters would just need go to six.

Since it is late, I’ll link to Lohud’s website below. It gives the stats on Chapman and the four minor leaguers the Yanks gave up, Tony Renda, Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis and Eric Jagielo.

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2015/12/28/yankees-trade-four-minor-leaguers-aroldis-chapman/

Thank you, Brian Cashman. This was a great birthday present for me!

 

Yanks deal Wilson for 2 minor league pitchers

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The Yankees made another deal today, dealing Justin Wilson to the Tigers for two minor league right-handed pitchers. The Yanks must have faith that James Pazos, Tyler Webb or Jacob Lindgren can fill Wilson’s shoes, or maybe another deal is brewing, because with Warren and Wilson gone, the bullpen can now need some reinforcements.

Wilson was 5-0, 3.10 for the Yanks in 2015. In return for him, the Yanks get two prospects from the Tigers. Both are righty pitchers.

Luis Cessa is 23, and went 8-10, 4.52 between AA and AAA last year. He excelled at AA, and ran into trouble at AAA.

Chad Green, 24, went 5-14, 3.93 at the Tigers’ AA team last year.

They provide minor league depth. Losing Wilson hurts. The Yanks must think the trio I listed above are ready, or another deal is brewing.

Having traded Warren and Wilson in consecutive days, something tells me another deal is brewing.

Yanks get Castro from Cubs for Warren, Ryan

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The Yanks have solved their 2B question for 2016, but the question now is, what do the Yanks now do with Rob Refsnyder?

The Yanks traded Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan to the Cubs for Starlin Castro. With the minor league signing of Pete Kozma last week, Ryan was expendable. Kozma is a younger version of Ryan…. good field, no hit.

Castro, who will be 26 next spring, is a 3x All Star SS who was moved to 2B by the Cubs late last year. After a terrible start to the 2015 season, Castro rebounded to hit .265-11-69, OPS+ 83 last year (average OPS+ is 100). So still a down year. He needs to show a little more plate patience. He walked just 21 times last season and averages just 34 a year.

But a 3x All Star before he has turned 26 is too hard to pass up. He is just one year older than Refsnyder and a 3x All-Star while Refsnyder has what, three weeks of MLB experience? The Yanks can keep Ackley who is more versatile than Refsnyder.

Castro provides a righty bat which the Yanks needed. They were very vulnerable to lefties last year.

Now since the Yanks got Castro, will they package Refsnyder in a deal for pitching? We’ll have to see.

Losing Warren hurts. He was 7-7, 3.29 in 17 starts and 26 relief appearances last year. Versatile. But you have to give to get. Maybe this opens a door for Bryan Mitchell in the spot starter/long relief role.

Heck, maybe the Yanks use Ivan Nova in this role if they don’t trade him. As of now, the Yanks have Tanaka, Pineda, Severino, CC, Eovaldi and Nova as starters. That is six guys for five spots. Warren would have been seven, if the Yanks were considering him as a starter. Then you have Mitchell.

We’ll see if the Yanks make another deal for a starter. Hopefully they don’t have to give up Miller to get that. Keep the Wilson/Betances/Miller trio for the endgame, and hope Shreve bounces back to what he was April-August before he collapsed at the end of the year.

But with this deal, the Yanks have a DP combo of Didi and Castro who are both young and have a few years until they hit 30.

Castro’s 162 G average is .281-11-66, 14 SB and an OPS+ of 97.

Now as for Ackley and Refsnyder….

Awards, and Yanks make a minor deal.

Gold Glove winners were announced in both leagues, and although three Yanks were up for the GG award (Didi, Teix and Gardner), none won.

The top three finishers were announced for the major awards, Mgr. of the Yr., ROY, CYA, MVP and no Yankee is among the top 3 finalists. Lorenzo Cain of KC is up for MVP. Nice to see the recognition of a good player who doesn’t have overwhelming stats, but who was the best player on the WS Champs.

Sad to see ex-Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson died of multiple organ failure. He was just 29. Autopsy and coroner reports to come.

I posted it elsewhere, but Yankees C prospect Gary Sanchez has been lighting up the Arizona Fall League and starred in their All-Star game, homering and throwing out a potential base stealer.

The Yanks may think Sanchez is ready to be a backup to McCann in the majors. They traded C John Ryan Murphy to the Twins today for Aaron Hicks.

Murphy, 24, had 155 AB for the Yanks in 2015, hitting .277-3-14, OPS+ 103. He has 262 AB in his MLB career, .267-4-24, OPS+ 91.

Hicks is 26, and a switch-hitter who can play all three OF positions. He hit .256-11-33, 13 SB for the Twins this year, OPS+ 95. For his MLB career, his 162 g. ave. is .225-13-51, 17 SB, OPS+ 80.

The Yanks also traded Jose Pirela to SD for a 20 yr. old minor league pitcher, Ron Herrera.

Pirela hit .230-1-5 in 74 AB with the Yanks this year, OPS+ 54 (100 is average). In his MLB career, 98 AB, .255-1-8, OPS+ 78.

Herrera, a 20 yr. old RHP, went 8-7, 4.08 between High A and AA this year.

Lastly, sad news for one of the greatest base stealers ever. Lou Brock had part of his left leg amputated due to an infection from a diabetic condition. Brock, most famous as a Cardinal, had over 3000 hits and 900 SB in his career.

Yankees to replace some coaches.

Hitting coach Jeff Pentland will not be returning in 2016, nor will bullpen coach/catching instructor Gary Tuck.

Mike Harkey, who was a bullpen coach for manager Joe Girardi before going to Arizona, is available, and could be returning.

2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

Game 145. Rookies lead Yanks, 3-1.

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Ok, I wanted Ellsbury benched for a couple games for the rookie Heathcott and Ellsbury did go 2 for 5 tonight (his three outs were all strikeouts) But he did get two hits and hopefully it is the start of a rebound.

The big story tonight is the kids that Cashman refused to trade at the deadline—Severino and Bird.

For the two of them led the Yanks to a 3-1 win tonight over the Rays.

Severino got the win to go to 4-3, 3.12. Bird got an RBI double and solo HR to drive in two of the Yanks’ three runs.

The Yanks struck first. In the second Beltran walked and Bird doubled him in.

The Yanks went up 2-0 in the sixth on an RBI single by Headley after a pair of walks.

The Rays got one in the bottom of the sixth when that joke of a ballpark had a ball hit into or through one of their catwalks and Ellsbury lost track of the ball.

Bird’s seventh HR of the season gave the Yanks an insurance run in the ninth. 3-1 for the final score. The win put the Yanks at 80-65 and kept them 3 back of Toronto in the AL East.

They are 3 1/2 up on Houston (see below) for the first WC spot and five up on the Twins for the second wild card spot.

Their magic # just to get into the play-in game is 13.

Severino (W, 4-3, 3.12) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 walk and  7 K
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 3.17
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 walks and 1 K. 1.43
Miller (34th save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.80.

Tanaka is going Friday for the Yanks, but you wonder what Girardi may have to do to line him up for the wild card game. As of now, Severino is lined up for the WC game & Tanaka for Game 1 of an ALDS (provided the Yanks win the WC game).

If you didn’t see it, Texas has passed Houston in the AL West, meaning the Yanks could see Houston and Dallas Kuechel in a WC game.