Category Archives: The Front Office

Yanks sign LeMahieu, means probably out on Machado.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks most likely are out on Manny Machado after they signed D.J. LeMahieu to a 2 yr., $24MM deal today.

With the acquisition, the Yanks now have Voit, Bird, Torres, LeMahieu, Tulowitzki, Andujar and Wade for the infield, and I would guess that Wade (and perhaps Bird) would be starting the year at AAA.

That is seven infielders, meaning no room for Machado unless someone goes.

LeMahieu is 30, and yet another righty bat on a team needing lefty balance. Oh well, he does go to the opposite field a lot. In 2018, he hit .276-15-62, OPS+ 88. He won the batting title in 2016, when he led the majors with a .348 mark and finished 15th in MVP voting. For his career, his 162 g. average is .298-8-59, OPS+ 92.

His numbers, however, are skewed by playing for Colorado. He is a .330 hitter at Colorado but a .264 hitter on the road.

So I wouldn’t expect his bat to equal what he did for Colorado.

The Yanks, however, didn’t get him for his bat. That would be a bonus.

They got him for his glove. LeMahieu, a 2x All-Star, has won 3 Gold Glove awards. Primarily a second baseman, he can also fill in at the other infield spots.

The Yanks can use him as a utility infielder. Also, if the recently acquired Troy Tulowitzki cannot cut it as the starting SS, the Yanks can slide Gleyber Torres over to SS and start LeMahieu at 2B. Remember that Tulo missed all of 2018 and only played in 66 games in 2017. Tulo, a 5x All-Star, has 2 Gold Gloves of his own.

So an infield that has the defensively challenged Voit and Andujar got defensive stalwarts in Tulowitzki and LeMahieu, even if neither Tulo nor LeMahieu match the offensive numbers they put up in Colorado.

And we don’t know at what point in the season we get Didi and his lefty bat back.

With the firepower the Yanks have offensively, these moves for Tulo and LeMahieu were based on defense first, and anything they give offensively (and it could be a lot) is a bonus.

In making the signing of Zach Britton official today, the Yanks DFA’d Hanser Alberto, and he was immediately claimed by the Orioles.

A.J. Cole, DFA’d just the other day by the Yanks, was claimed by Cleveland.

Aaron Hicks agreed to a $6MM deal for 2019, and Austin Romine to a $1.8MM deal.

For Dellin Betances, $7.25MM.

The Yanks signed a couple of guys to minor league deals. Drew Hutchison and Matt Lipka.

Hutchison, 28, is a RHP who went 2-2, 6.75 for the Phils and Rangers in 2018. For his career, he is 32-23, 5.10, ERA+ 79. His 162 g. average is 12-9, 5.10 (38 games, 30 starts). As a starter for Toronto in 2014 and 2015, he went 11-13 and 13-5 but his ERAs were 4.48 and 5.57. He provides some pitching depth.

Lipka is 26, and an OF/SS who hit .240-4-30 with 21 SB at AA in 2018.

 

 

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Yanks appear out on Machado

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It appears that the Yanks are out on Machado, as they won’t give him the years or money he is asking for.

It appears that they haven’t even made an official offer, either.

It appears that the Phillies and White Sox (and the White Sox just recently added Machado’s brother-in-law as well as one of his good friends to the team) are the two teams he may go to, with the Phillies being the favorite.

This isn’t George’s Yankees anymore, it’s Hal’s. That’s becoming apparent with how they have handled (mishandled as some fans might say?) the Corbin and Machado dealings.

Note the word “appears.” We’ll see. Some rumors have the Yanks wanting to go no more than say 5 years, $130MM or so, not the 7-10 years and $210-$300MM that some say that the Machado camp is looking for.

It is becoming apparent that if Machado wants to go to his allegedly preferred destination, the Yankees, that it will be for less years and probably less money.

Despite the Dodgers having cleared some space by trading both Puig and Kemp to Cincinnati, the rumors are that Bryce Harper, instead of going to L.A., could be headed back to Washington.

Decisions for the two should be coming shortly. After all, we are just over a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting.

Soon, rumors will be facts.

Yanks sign OF to minor league deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks have traded away a lot of minor league outfielders recently, so they made a move to replenish a little of that depth.

A few days ago, they signed Billy Burns. Burns, a switch-hitting OF, hit .294 and stole 26 bases for the A’s in 2015, when he finished 5th in the ROY voting.

He did not play in the majors in 2018.

For his MLB career with the A’s and Royals, he’s played in 242 games. His 162 g. average is .270-3-37 with 31 steals, OPS+ 84. Decent average, no power, lot of speed.

One update to the Tulo signing: it comes with a no-trade clause.

 

 

 

Yanks lose D-Rob to Phils

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Well, now we see if the Yanks can keep Zach Britton or if they go after Adam Ottavino.

Yesterday David Robertson left the Yanks again via the free agent route. While last time he went to the White Sox, this time he goes to join the Phillies on a 2 yr. $23MM deal with an option for a third year.

Robertson was 8-3, 3.23 for the Yanks last year with five saves. ERA+ 136. In his time with the Yanks he is 38-22, 2.75 and when he was with the White Sox 15-10, 3.28. His total career record is 53-32, 2.88 with 137 saves. 162 g. average 6-3, 2.88, 14 saves, ERA+ 147.

Still no word on getting Manny Machado or in trading away Sonny Gray.

What will Yanks infield look like in 2019?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The NY Post reports that if Troy Tulowitzki proves himself capable, and even if the Yanks do land Manny Machado, that Tulo would be at SS (and what happens when Didi comes back?) and that Machado would be at 3B (meaning what happens with Andujar?)

Would Andujar move to 1B (meaning what happens to Voit and Bird?) or would he DH (meaning Stanton to LF and Gardner joins Ellsbury as backup outfielders, with Clint Frazier apparently headed to AAA since Frazier missed most of last year with an injury.)

Now I’ve also heard that if Tulo is the SS, and they land Machado and Machado is at 3B, that Andujar could be traded for a starter (Corey Kluber?). But with a rotation currently set as Severino, Paxton, Tanaka, Happ and CC, who would go? And remember, Sonny Gray is still on this team as of now, too.

From the NY Post and Joel Sherman (who also is with the MLB Network):

The Yankees reached an agreement with Tulowitzki with the plan, if healthy, to play him at shortstop even if they end up signing Manny Machado…

Tulowitzki had looked so good in a workout — athletic and lively in the Yankees’ estimation — about half the major league teams were looking to sign him for the low-risk, high-reward possibilities.

That Tulowitzki picked the Yankees without the assurance of 500-plus plate appearances exemplifies just how motivated he is to play for them. Tulowitzki wore No. 2 with the Rockies and Blue Jays as an homage to his idol, Derek Jeter, and — at 34 — decided if not now, when would he ever be a Yankee?

Both ex-Toronto Manager John Gibbons and MLB Network’s Dan O’Dowd said they believe Tulowitzki is healthy now. Their concerns were if he could maintain his health and how quickly and to what level his offense would return. As far as defense, both said they thought it would still be special. Gibbons said Tulowitzki took infield during batting practice while the Blue Jays were in Oakland in the second half and “he looked great. I have no doubt about his defense if he is healthy.

“If he gets to it, you are freaking out. He will make the backhand play as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. His off-balanced throws will be on the money. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

As far as offense, O’Dowd said because Tulowitzki’s power is to right-center, Yankee Stadium plays to his strengths.

“It is as good a move as you can make,” Gibbons said of the Yankees’ signing of Tulowitzki. “You have almost nothing to lose and if he stays healthy, you have one of the best shortstops of all time.”

Stay tuned. What happens with the infield is bound to be interesting.

 

 

Yanks sign Tulowitzki

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks signed a SS, but not the one you were waiting on. It doesn’t mean the Yankees WON’T sign Manny Machado, but just in case…

With Didi Gregorius going to miss at least half of the 2019 season, the Yanks did go out and sign former All-Star Troy Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki grew up admiring Derek Jeter and wore #2 as a tribute to Jeter.

Tulo, 34, a 5x All-Star and 2x Gold Glove and 2x Silver Slugger winner, will only cost the Yankees the league minimum. Toronto is on hook for the rest of his $20MM salary for 2019. They are also on the hook for 2020.

He missed all of 2018 due to injury and played in only 66 games in 2017, hitting .249-7-26, OPS+ 80. So it is a low-risk, high-reward situation.

HIs former Toronto manager, John Gibbons, assessed Tulo as still being strong defensively, but offensively it’s gone downhill.

Since 2011, Tulo has had only three seasons in which he played in 100 games or more, and none over 131.

Three times has he finished in the Top 10 for MVP voting, 2009-2011. His 162 g. average is .290-28-98, OPS+ 118, but he has not had a great offensive season since 2014 in Colorado—a season in which he only played in 91 games, hitting .340-21-52. He helped the Rockies to the 2007 WS, where they lost to Boston.

Tulowitzki has only played SS in his career, so there’s that, but if the Yanks do sign Machado, and Tulo proves he can play big league ball again, you wonder if the Yanks might use him as they did Neil Walker (currently a free agent) last year—as a utility infielder playing all infield positions. If so, then Tulo could be an upgrade over Walker, Tyler Wade, or (now with the Twins) Ronald Torreyes.

Now to see what’s up with Machado.

 

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Apologies to the late Tom Petty for the headline. And yes, I know I haven’t written anything in ten days or so.

But nothing has been going on, what with the holidays and all.

And I don’t want to deal or write about rumors. Where someone is going, how much $, how many years —- I want to deal with the facts and then give my opinion.

Just writing about rumors and something that may not happen is fruitless.

Some free agents did sign recently—-no, not Machado (we are still waiting on that) or Harper.

From Twitter, a great example of how Yankees’ fans are feeling right now:

But Japan’s LHP Yusei Kikuchi signed with Seattle on a 4-yr. deal. DH/OF Nelson Cruz to the Twins on a 1-yr. $14.3 MM deal.

There is a HOF tracker that has 1/3 of the votes counted. You need 75% of the writer’s vote to get in. Not 74.8 (they don’t round up) but 75% or more. So far …

Rivera 100%, Halladay 94.9, Edgar Martinez 91.2, Mussina 83.2 and Clemens a nail-biter at 75.2.

Barry Bonds 74.5, Schilling 73, Larry Walker 65.7.

Andy Pettitte is only at 8%.

And oh yeah, Sonny Gray is still a Yankee. Not dealt yet.

Nothing on Ottavino, Robertson or Britton either.

More when things DO develop.