Category Archives: The Owner

Complaints about slow free agent market.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With 10 days now until pitchers and catchers report (at least to the Yankees’ spring training), players who are free agents, and still out there, and there are about 120 of them, including about 20 of the top 50, are starting to get antsy.

And accusations are flying.

A few observations.

One. There is a $197MM cap. Guess what. Some teams don’t want to go over that cap anymore. So if you don’t like that, boo hoo hoo.

Teams want to cut back. They are tired of going over that cap and paying a penalty as a result. They want to get under it and re-set the penalty. Nothing wrong with that.

But now players who expected these teams to do what they always did, which is go over the cap, are now facing a rude awakening.

The big spenders aren’t spending anymore since they want to get under the cap. A cap the players’ union agreed to.

It’s called sticking to a budget. Most of us hard-working Americans know what that is like.

So the big spenders, like the Yankees and Dodgers, aren’t spending because they want to get under the cap, esp. w/next yrs. free agent class being better than this year’s.

So with the big markets out of the picture, the players are looking for big market $$$ from the mid-market teams. Good luck with that.

Kind of like asking someone to pay Lamborghini prices when they want to purchase a VW.

It looks like the players are going to have to accept reality and accept mid-market prices, not only from the mid-market teams, but also from the big-market teams who, because they don’t want to go over the cap, can only afford to give out mid-market prices.

Plus, Scott Bora$$ is the agent for many of these players, and Bora$$ usually holds out to the last minute to squeeze every last $$ from franchises. Guess what, Bora$$, they are calling your bluff.

Good.

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$alary Cap limiting Yanks moves, now.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Brrrr. There was a game at Yankees Stadium today but it was a college football game and not a baseball game.

You think of college football games being played in the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl—warm weather sites.

But the Pinstripe Bowl is in Yankee Stadium, and Boston College and Iowa played in bitterly cold temps today. Iowa winning, 27-20.

The field was frozen, and instead of cleats, players had to resort to sneakers on a field that was like a hockey rink. Icy.

As for the Yankees themselves, the free agent and trade market is as icy as Yankee Stadium was today. But then, the whole free agent market has been like that so far.

With the Yanks, the problem is that Hal wants to get under the $alary cap, which is $197MM. Right now, depending on what source you are looking at, the Yanks are somewhere around $178-182MM, leaving little for arbitration raises or moves made mid-season 2018 at the trade deadline.

Of course, freeing themselves of some of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract would help, but how much can they free for a fifth OF making $21MM?

As far as possible deals to give more depth to the starting rotation, the Yanks apparently have offered Clint Frazier, Chance Adams and/or Tyler Wade/ Thairo Estrada for Chris Archer or Mike Fulmer and a little lesser package for Gerrit Cole.

Gleyber Torres, Estevan Florial and Justus Sheffield are off the table.

So the Yanks, for now, have their hands tied.

That includes trying to re-sign Todd Frazier, who probably wants a multi-year deal. He made $12MM last year, and even re-signing him for 1 yr at the same price puts the Yanks perilously close to the limit they want to stay under.

Why stay under? It would reset the Yanks luxury tax penalty which is currently 50 cents to the dollar.

Then they could actively go after free agents after 2018 with no penalty and next years class is a monster class which includes Kershaw, Machado, Harper and Donaldson for starters.

Boone’s hiring. Pros and cons.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So the Yanks have hired Aaron Boone as their new manager, so things will be quite interesting in spring training of 2018, without Shohei Ohtani. (See next post. Ohtani turns down Yankees).

What are the pros and cons of hiring Boone?

Pro: His age. At 44, he may be able to relate better to the younger player.

His broadcasting experience. Excellent communication skills with the players but also with the media, important in NY.

His playing experience, especially his brief time in NY. Been there, done that as a Yankee player. While only there briefly, he can relate to the pressure of putting on the pinstripes that others could not.

With the broadcasting, he was talking to and analyzing all 30 teams. This may be helpful. One of those “know your enemy” kind of deals. Boone, in his role with ESPN over the last several years was talking to all sorts of players, managers, GMs, front office execs all throughout baseball, not just one organization. Know thy enemy, know his weaknesses, attack those weaknesses.

Baseball pedigree. Been around the game his whole life. Grandpa, dad, brother and him all major leaguers, dad a former manager himself.

Cons: Never managed or coached anywhere before. How to manage and relate to players as a boss rather than a media/ex-player. How to relate to a player when you are benching him, sending him down. How to manage a pitching staff or a bullpen. Making in game decisions. Will the game be too fast for him? How quickly can he adjust? Knowing when to challenge a call. Knowing the rule book to challenge an umpire.

What kind of manager will Boone be? An Earl Weaver sit back and wait for the 3-run HR type of guy, or will he be aggressive, hit and run more, run more with stolen bases, use the bunt and the squeeze more (a Billy Martin type)?

What kind of growing pains will there be?

How quickly and in what style will he integrate youngsters like Gleyber Torres and others to the bigs? How will he team with Cashman or Hal?

It’ll be an interesting 2018.

 

Aaron Boone to be next Yankees manager

Yankee Stadium Frieze

It hasn’t been confirmed by the Yankees, but it is being reported that Aaron Boone will be the next Yankees’ manager.

Boone hasn’t coached or managed anywhere, but has worked as an ESPN broadcaster since retiring in 2009. He is famous for his HR that won the 2003 ALCS for the Yankees over Boston.

Boone’s grandfather, father, and brother were all major leaguers themselves. His father managed as well. Boone has been around the game since, well, since he was born.

Boone, 44, a third baseman, played for the Reds 1997-2003, Yankees 2003, and after having missed 2004 due to injury, was with the Indians 2005-2006, Marlins 2007, Washington 2008 and Houston 2009.

His 162 g. average was .263-18-78 with 15 SB, OPS+ 94.

2003 was his only postseason. In 17 postseason games, he hit .170-2-4. 2003 was also his only All-Star Game selection.

The Yanks were looking for someone who would communicate better with players and was into analytics. Boone, with his broadcasting experience, has the communication and analytics chops, but this is a gamble, since he has no coaching or managing experience. It’ll be interesting to see who his bench coach will be. Maybe Tony Pena?

Boone has said no nepotism, so he wouldn’t be hiring his dad, Bob Boone, a former manager, to be his bench coach. Rest assured, Dad will probably give some advice.

Last year’s bench coach, Rob Thomson, is rumored to now be headed to the Phillies to be their bench coach for new Phillies’ manager Gabe Kapler since Thomson didn’t get the manager job with the Yankees.

Apparently Boone must have really impressed people, because Hal Steinbrenner said that lack of experience would be a concern of his. Boone must have overcome those concerns.

Now for the rest of the coaching staff. Larry Rothschild is coming back as pitching coach, but the rest of the staff is up for grabs.

Also, it’s official. Shohei Ohtani has been posted and the scramble to get him begins.

 

First impressions, and an endorsement from an unexpected source?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

We can’t read the minds of the Yankees’ front office, but mlbtr.com through Jon Heyman reports that

The Yankees’ first round of interviews seemingly went well, Heyman writes. Boone and Meulens, in particular, “aced” their initial interviews, according to Heyman.

Meanwhile, Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens got support from what may be an unlikely source, an AL East manager he would have to be going up against if he gets the Yankees’ manager job—-Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Check out the story on the link below.

https://nypost.com/2017/11/18/hensley-meulens-has-all-the-intangibles-buck-showalter/

Boone interviews for Yankees’ managerial position, Woodward next?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Aaron Boone has interviewed for the Yanks’ vacant managerial position, the fourth candidate after Rob Thomson, Eric Wedge, and Hensley Meulens to do so.

Boone is the first to do so who doesn’t have previous coaching or managerial experience.

Chris Woodward of the Dodgers is probably slated to be interviewed next.

MLB.com has stated that Hal Steinbrenner has said that there will be less than ten candidates.

Some candidates, like Raul Ibanez, and Brad Ausmus have taken themselves out of consideration by stating that they weren’t interested at the present time.

From the NY Post:

Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 13. Position players arrive on Feb. 18 and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 19.

Their spring training schedule begins on Feb.23 against the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. They will visit the Mets on March 7 in Port St. Lucie and host their crosstown rivals on March 10.

The exhibition season ends for a second straight year in Atlanta, where they play the Braves on March 26 before they open the regular season in Toronto on March 29.

The Arizona Fall league has their championship game today, but Scottsdale isn’t one of the teams, so for the Yankees’ prospects, their Arizona Fall League is over.

Seve 3rd in CYA voting. AFL news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer were named the winners of the CYA in the AL and NL respectively.

The Yankees’ Luis Severino placed 3rd for the AL Cy Young Award, behind Kluber and Chris Sale.

I’m a little surprised that Scherzer beat Clayton Kershaw by such a wide margin (Scherzer’s teammate, Stephen Strasburg, finished third). Kershaw won more games, had the lower ERA. Scherzer struck out more because he started four more games than Scherzer. For Scherzer, his third CYA, matching Kershaw.

For Kluber, his 2nd CYA.

Tomorrow, we find out the MVPs and if Aaron Judge wins or is runnerup.

In the Arizona Fall League, Sxottsdale lost, 4-1.

Yankees prospects:

1b Billy McKinney 1 for 4, double. 2 strikeouts. .279

Andrew Schwaab RP, 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K. 6.35
Cody Carroll, RP, 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 0.00

Remember that recent Yankees’ prospects who have starred in the Arizona Fall League are Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres.

Hal Steinbrenner confirmed that he thought the same way as Cashman, that it was time for Girardi to go, and he’s felt this way for a few years, not a few weeks. Hal said that he agreed with the decision, and it was a confirmation of the decision from Hal, not a persuasion.