Category Archives: The Owner

Moncada, and looking at 2020

Ok, here are some things from MLB Trade Rumors (see italics) concerning the Moncada to Boston deal. Boston gave him $31.5MM (which with the penalty is $63MM). The Yanks liked Moncada, Cashman wanted him, but upper management bid $25MM ($50MM with the penalty) and would go no higher than $27MM/$54MM with the penalty.

 

  • The Padres made an approximately $25MM offer to Moncada, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports on Twitter. Meanwhile, the Brewers‘ were interested only to the $12MM to $15MM range, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets. Milwaukee came in early with an offer, learned it would not be competitive, and then bowed out, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
  • Though the Giants were interested in Moncada, but not at his price tag, GM Brian Sabean tells Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). “We were involved, not as much as other teams,” said Sabean. “We’re not built for that. Nor is most of baseball.” That sounds similar to the fate of the Tigers, who as Chris Iott of MLive.com writes had legitimate interest but bowed out fairly early on. “We scouted him,” said assistant GM Al Avila. “We had him here for a private workout. Once we knew where the money was going, it was just a point that we had our money invested in other areas.”
  • ESPN.com’s Keith Law (Insider link) writes that Moncada would have been the first or second player taken in this year’s relatively weak draft, and profiles as a top-ten talent in any year. As Law notes, the signing could be a piece of a push for change, as the league looks to hold down the bonuses going to young Cuban ballplayers.

Now Moncada projects to a 2B (and Pedroia is already there) or 3B (Boston just signed Sandoval). My gut feeling is that Boston may want to move the heavyset Kung Fu Panda (Sandoval) to DH once the 39-year-old Ortiz retires, opening 3B up for Moncada. The Moncada signing also would lessen the blow should Boston put together a package of prospects and get Cole Hamels from the Phillies.

Earlier this morning, the Red Sox reportedly struck an agreement with Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada, landing the 19-year-old switch-hitter with a $31.5MM signing bonus that will cost the team $63MM due to the 100 percent luxury tax it faces for exceeding its international bonus pool. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted shortly after the agreement was struck that the Yankees offered $25MM with a willingness to go to $27MM. Here are some more details on the tail end of a free agency that resulted in the largest signing bonus an international amateur has ever received…

  • The Dodgers never actually made a formal offer for Moncada, GM Farhan Zaidi tells Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register (Twitter links). Though general terms were discussed, the GM explained that Los Angeles weighed other considerations that tempered its interest: “There’s a lot of talent coming July 2. The calculus of that was a big part of our equation.”
  • Steinbrenner was “not the reason” that the Yankees didn’t go higher for Moncada, Matthews tweets, reversing his earlier report (see below).

Earlier Updates

  • The Yankees, Red Sox and Brewers were the three finalists for Moncada, tweets Sherman. However, the Dodgers may have offered the most money, but it came with a price; L.A. was willing to go to $35MM on the condition that Moncada wait until July 2 in order to sign. Doing so would have given the Dodgers unrestricted spending next period, giving them a shot at all the top prospects on the market without the Yankees and Red Sox to compete against. It’s also been reported that Yadier Alvares can’t sign before July 2, so the Dodgers likely could have made a run at both.
  • Indeed, Sherman tweets that the Dodgers are waiting until the new signing period begins on July 2 to spend significantly, and they plan to be very aggressive when that time comes.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman badly wanted to sign Moncada, tweets Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, but he couldn’t convince owner Hal Steinbrenner to spend any more than the reported $27MM figure. The GM told reporters, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (Twitter link), that New York was asked to make its best offer yesterday. He was subsequently informed that it was not sufficient.
  • There was “a feeling from some” that Moncada wanted to end up with the Yankees, but the team simply viewed it as too risky to spend $60-70MM on a prospect, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York (All Twitter links). The Yankees feel that they can buy a proven Major Leaguer with that type of money in the future, and the Red Sox ultimately valued him more, Marchand adds.
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that the Padres were also considered finalists along with the four teams mentioned by Sherman. One team involved in the bidding, Passan adds, was so confident in Moncada’s abilities that they believed him to be capable of jumping directly into the Majors. Instead, he’ll head to the lower levels of Boston’s minor league system.
  • Via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Twitter links), the Brewers‘ interest in Moncada was sincere. GM Doug Melvin believes that he was the first of any GM to submit a formal offer, but the team learned quickly that they wouldn’t be able to sign Moncada
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America notes (Twitter links) that some of the biggest winners in this scenario are Hector Olivera and next signing period’s crop of international amateurs. As Badlery points out, Olivera is being pursued by a number of teams who were also interested in Moncada, but the Red Sox aren’t involved in his market. Moncada signing with Boston means that Olivera didn’t lose a suitor. As for the rest of the international amateurs, they and their trainers are rejoicing, Badler says. The Red Sox were already over their bonus pool, so Moncada signing with them prevents another team (e.g. the Dodgers or Brewers) from going over their pool, giving the next wave of players another suitor.
Ok, we know that the Yanks are in a transition period, and their hands are really kind of tied until some people come off the books. I was hoping that Moncada would be signed with the Yanks as we look five years down the road. What could the Yanks be looking at in 2020 (20/20 vision?)? Best yet, these guys would be in their primes at that time. There is no guarantee any will make it or who may be traded away before then, but…
C Gary Sanchez, righty bat.  Brian McCann is signed through 2018 and has a $15MM team option for 2019. In 2020, McCann will turn 36, and if still with the team, may project better as a DH. Sanchez will be in his prime in 2020 at the age of 27. Sanchez will probably start this year at AAA SWB. Last year at AA Trenton, in 110 games, Sanchez hit .270-13-65.
1B Greg Bird, lefty bat. Mark Teixeira’s last year on his deal is next year, 2016. Teix, if he is still in baseball in 2020, would be 40 that year. I expect him not to be with the Yanks, if he is even in baseball in 2020. Bird would be 27 in 2020. He played in 102 games in 2014 between High-A Tampa and AA Trenton, hitting .271-14-43. In low A Charleston in 2013, he hit .288-20-84 and drew 107 walks. In 264 minor league games, well let’s divide by two. That gives 132…. and if we do that, he has averaged .283-18-70 and 94 walks. He had a great Arizona Fall League, and hopefully the power will develop further. That plate discipline is impressive.
2B Rob Refsnyder, righty bat. With a good spring, he could steal the job from Stephen Drew and open the season as the Yanks’ 2B. If Drew stinks like he did last year, and Refsnyder continues to rake, Refsnyder could take the job in midseason after starting the year at AAA. A converted OF, he may need some more work defensively at 2B, but his bat is impressive. He hit .318-14-63 between AA/AAA in 2014, 137 games. Refsnyder would be 29 in 2020.
SS Didi Gregorious, lefty bat. The just acquired SS would be only 30 in 2020. A defensive whiz, it still has to be proven whether he can hit. In 191 MLB games, he is at .243-13-57, which translates to a .243-11-48 162 g. average, OPS+ 88.
3B. Here is where it gets tricky. Here is where I wanted Moncada, a switch-hitter who would be 24 in 2020. So who COULD be here? Chase Headley is signed through 2018. He’d be 36 in 2020, so he, along with McCann, could be still on the team, and one, say McCann, could DH, and Headley could be backing up at 1B and 3B. But who would be at 3B? Two contenders:
Eric Jagielo, lefty bat. Would be 28 in 2020. In 146 minor league games, has 24 HR, 85 RBI but only a .259 average. .256-18-58 in 2014, 92 games, mostly at High-A Tampa.
Dante Bichette, Jr.  righty bat, would be 27 (28 at the end of the year).  .264-10-68 between High A Tampa and AA Trenton in 2014 in 127 games.
Both have shown some pop, Jagielo more so. But the batting averages haven’t been too impressive so far.
Brett Gardner has an option for 2019. He’d be 36, going on 37 in 2020. Somehow I don’t think he’ll be there in 2020.
Jacoby Ellsbury will be 36 going on 37 and he is still under contract for 2020. Somehow I think he will be there, but no longer in CF. I don’t see him in CF at that age. Maybe a move to LF.
Meaning the Yanks need to find a CF from a current minor leaguer, sign one, trade for one or sign a free agent CF.
RF. Aaron Judge, righty bat. Beltran will surely be gone by then, and Judge would be 28 (see all these players who would be in their primes?). Judge played in 131 games in 2014 between A and High A, hitting .308-17-78.
Looking at the starting rotation, the one thing lacking is a lefty. But Tanaka would be 30, Pineda 30, Nathan Eovaldi 30, Ivan Nova 33, Adam Warren 32 going on 33, Luis Severino 26.
As for the bullpen, Dellin Betances would be 32, and lefty stud prospect Jacob Lindgren 27.
So there is youth there that you hope develops, because they would be in their primes in 2020. The question is who will make it, who develops.
We don’t know who may be traded away. We don’t know what free agents may be signed between now and 2020. We don’t know whose careers get derailed because of injury.
But it would be refreshing to see a team where most of the players are in their prime years, not a team where most of the players have seen their better days.
You hope these prime years would be GOOD years and the players can develop into stars and not mediocrities.
Time will tell.

 

Forget about Moncada…. he goes to Boston.

I’ll have more tonight after I get home from work, but it’s Boston who lands prize prospect Yoan Moncada for $30MM. With the penalty, it’s $60MM for Boston (yes, the Yanks would have had to pay the 100% penalty also had they landed him).

Moncada, 19, is a switch-hitting infielder who is projected as a five-tool prospect at 2B or 3B. Probably a year or two from the majors. Yes, Boston has Pedroia at 2B and Sandoval (newly signed) at 3B but I’m wondering if, with Ortiz being 39 and Sandoval being heavy, they may have designs on the heavy Sandoval moving to DH once Ortiz retires with Moncada taking over at 3B.

More tonight after I get home from work.

One thing for sure. People arguing that “George would have signed him” need to face facts. The “Boss” is gone. 4 1/2 years or so now, and he wasn’t the “Boss”, what with his illness for a few years before his death. Hal isn’t his dad. Time to face that fact.

Nats land Scherzer. Super Bowl set.

Max Scherzer goes to the Nats, $210MM over 7 years, with 1/2 deferred. So $15MM over 14 years. I don’t know about paying someone $15MM between the ages of 37-44, esp. when they are a) washed up b) declining severely and/or c) injured. Not to mention d) retired.

The Yanks said they were not in for Scherzer or Shields, and some but not all, believed them. Maybe with Scherzer off the market, it can be believed now (Shields is still available). It seems last year’s big splash took them out of the market for any big splash (just little splashes–see Headley, Drew….) this year.

That said, there are a lot of free agent pitchers available next year. See this post

http://bronxbaseballdaily.com/2015/01/top-9-pitchers-yankees-can-sign-in-2016/

from our friends at Bronx Baseball Daily to see who may fit the Yanks needs in next year’s free agent draft. The problem is, who comes off the books? McCann has four years left on his deal, A-Rod three, Teix, CC and Beltran a couple. Then you have in-their-prime players like Ellsbury and Tanaka signed to multi-year deals. Even Headley has a four-year deal. Hal doesn’t want to increase the payroll, and there is little flexibility as long as those multi-year deals, especially the ones for aging, fading players, are on the books.

The Yanks did look at Johan Santana, a low-risk, high-reward option. I doubt anything will come out of it. I hope not.  Santana was pitching in the Venezuelan league in hoping for a comeback. Reports have it he was at 86-89 and pitching more on guile than anything else. Santana has missed all of 2011, 2013 and 2014. In his only season since 2010, Johan was 6-9, 4.85 in 2012 (with a tainted no-hitter, the only one in Mets’ history). ERA+ 79. He’s had two shoulder surgeries and turns 36 in March. Minor league deal with incentives? Maybe. But I wouldn’t expect much out of it. Santana had a nice career, not HOF, and it’s a shame his career came to an end basically at the age of 31. 2 CYA, 6x consideration, and 2x in the top 10 for the MVP award. 139-78, 3.20, ERA+ 136. Once great. Now?

I am heading up to the Stadium on May 24th. Hmmmm….. that’s about 1/3 of the way through the season, and A-Rod is 6 HR away from tying Willie Mays at 660. You can do the math. At 18-21 HR/yr. (how much does he have left, if anything?) that could be about the time A-Rod ties or passes Willie. If he does it in front of me, #660* or #661*, I won’t be applauding.

Not much else in Yankeeland right now. That, and busy at work, have me writing less.

The Super Bowl is set. The defending champion Seattle Seahawks vs. the New England Patriots. Interesting games yesterday on Championship Sunday. The Seahawks were outplayed by the Green Bay Packers for 57 1/2 minutes, and the Pack had a 19-7 lead with three minutes to go. TD Seattle with 2:09 left to make it 19-14. Recovery of an onside kick. TD. 2-point conversion to put Seattle up 22-19. Green Bay comes back to tie it on a last-second 48-yd. FG. 22-22. Seattle gets the opening kickoff of OT and scores to win 28-22. What a finish. What a choke by the Pack.

It was the fourth OT NFC title game in the last eight years.

In the AFC, no contest. New England wins 45-7 over the Colts. It’ll be SB #6 for the Belichick/Brady duo. Now the authors of “spygate,” Belichick and the Patriots, are being investigated for deflated footballs. Whatever. They still dominated and will be hard to stop.

It’s a pick ‘em right now after the line opened at Seattle by 2 1/2.

So does Seattle repeat for the first time since New England did it a decade ago, or do the Patriots add to their legacy?

 

Are the hands tied?

People are wondering why the Yanks haven’t done much so far, and a lot of blame is being placed on Brian Cashman.

I don’t fault Cashman as much as others do, but I do have to say, what can he do right now? He doesn’t control the $$$, Hal Steinbrenner, the owner, does.

The thing is, what kind of a budget are the Yanks looking for in 2015? For there isn’t much flexibility or maneuverability in that budget. That is why you aren’t seeing moves.

It’s one thing to say increase the payroll. It isn’t your money. But how much do you want to increase it to?

Let’s look at some numbers. The Yanks may not be able to do much for the next two or three years. BaseballReference.com has their budget right now at $179.4MM with an estimate of $193.4MM.

Now let’s look at 10 players and the quickest they would be gone from the Yankees (barring a trade, and let’s face it, a lot of these players would be difficult to move because of salary, age and the fact that the Yankees may need to eat a lot of the contract).

McCann $17MM for 2015. Signed through 2018 with a team option for 2019. He’s gonna be around for a while.

Teixeira $22.5MM for 2015. There again in 2016. I don’t expect the Yanks to bring him back for 2017 but you are stuck with him for 2015 and 2016. Honestly, who’d want his increasing injuries, declining production and that contract?

Prado $11MM. Contract through 2016. Could be tradeable.

Gardner $12.5 MM. signed though 2018. Team option of $12.5MM for 2019, $2MM buyout. Tradeable.

A-Rod $21 MM. Stuck with him through 2017. Really, who’d want him? 40 in July. 44 games played over the last two seasons, two hip surgeries, a PED suspension…. his nickname should be lightning rod (for trouble and controversy). Not only the salary, but a $6MM bonus if he gets the six homers he needs to tie Willie Mays on the all-time list.

Ellsbury $21.1MM. Signed through 2020, 2021 team option at $21MM, $5 MM buyout. Good player, but who’d take that salary?

Beltran $15MM signed for 2015 and 2016. He’s 38 and coming off a bad, injury-plagued year.

CC $23 MM. Signed 2015 and 2016. $25 MM vesting option for 2017, $5MM buyout, but that is based on shoulder, not the knee issue which cost him most of 2014. 17-17, 4,87 since 2012. Who’d take that contract now for a pitcher who has been below average over his last 40 starts, has knee issues, a diminishing fastball and who will be 35 this coming summer?

Tanaka $22MM, signed through 2020, player can opt out after 2017. An ace, and we hope his elbow holds up.

Miller $9 MM. Through 2018.

That is 10 players, $174.1 MM for 2015. Now let’s just say Hal put a limit of $205MM for his team, not the $193.mm listed above (which, as we know, will be unreasonable to match). Now you have 15 players left to fill out the 25 man roster, and you have just $30MM left for them.

Um, tough to do, isn’t it?

How can you bring back Robertson or McCarthy, or for that matter, sign a Shields or Scherzer? You can’t.

That is why Cashman’s hands are tied and why he has to bottom-feed right now—unless Hal increases the budget.

Those 10 are the core of the team—not only for 2015, but as you can see, for 2016 as well. Unless someone retires or you can trade one of them (and for a couple of them, that ain’t happening—-no takers) you are stuck with them. If they don’t produce, then…

and Beltran, McCann, Teix, CC all underproduced in 2014. Now we get a soon-to-be 40 year old A-Rod in 2015, who will probably underproduce.

Either this group finds past glory and steps up, or the next two years will be more of the same from 2013 and 2014.

But the thing is, there is only (even in Yankeeland) so much $$$ to go around, and most of it has been allocated.

Unless Hal wants to increase the payroll to $225 MM, or $250MM, or ….

but I don’t see it.

Which means maybe the next big move won’t be until after 2016, when you can take Teix and Beltran off the books. Maybe Prado, too. Probably not CC, since his vesting option (unless he has shoulder damage) kicks in. Maybe A-Rod won’t come back for 2017 but will retire because of diminishing skills/injury and to avoid himself the embarrasment of hanging on hitting less than .200.

But for now, what can one do? For those 10 players eat up most of your payroll. The Yanks have to hope that players under team control, who are making the major league minimum (or close to it) can step up in the next couple of years. This means a Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Manny Banuelos, Jacob Lindgren, Bryan Mitchell, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, etc., and this comes down to scouting and player development—areas that have been lacking in recent years.

 

 

Game 119. Yanks lose 4th straight, 5-3.

This was a killer. The Yanks’ offense didn’t do much, but they still had a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the 8th down in Baltimore. Dellin Betances was on the mound, and he’s been great all year.

But it was Betances’ third inning of work, a move that may have deeper complications, such as lost confidence in Warren or Whitley, both of whom have been struggling mightily lately, overwork of some members of the bullpen (especially because, with the lack of offense, there have been so many close games) or desperation.

Betances gave up a game-tying HR, then Shawn Kelley blew the game by giving up a 3-run HR in the same inning as the Yanks lost 5-3.

Forget the division. The loss puts the Yanks 8 behind Baltimore with 43 games to go. Only a drastic change and torrid hot streak by the Yanks and collapse by Baltimore will enable the Yanks to catch the Orioles. It looks like Baltimore will be the AL East champs. Getting tougher for the Yankees is trying to gain that second wild-card spot. At 61-58, the Yanks are 3 1/2 behind co-leaders Detroit and Seattle for that final playoff spot. Toronto is just ahead of the Yanks, 3 back. So the Yanks need to get hot and do some leap-frogging.

Francisco Cervelli gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead with his 2nd HR of the season in the third inning.

Michael Pineda, making his first appearance in almost four months after the pine-tar incident and injury, pitched very well, giving up just one run in the fifth inning. 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. In his five starts this year, his ERA is 1.82, but his record remains at 2-2, a sign of the Yanks’ lack of support. It also shows Pineda’s talent if he is ever healthy and his head is screwed on straight (no pine-tar stupidity).L

In the bottom of the 8th, Jonathan Schoop proved to be a Yankee-killer again. His 11th HR of the season tied the game. It’s his 4th against the Yankees this year, one against Betances, and two against Tanaka. Go figure.

The Yanks got a run in the top of the 9th on an RBI groundout and got the tying run to the plate, but to no avail.

Betances 2 1/3, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 4 K. 1.52.

Later in that same inning Shawn Kelley gave up a three-run HR to Adam Jones. That was the game.

Kelley (L, 2-4, 4.74) 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 walk, 0 K.

To make room for Pineda, the Yanks let Chris LeRoux go. You could see that coming when LeRoux was brought up a couple of days ago and Bryan Mitchell was sent down.

Brian McCann should be back on Saturday. Hiroki Kuroda will pitch Sunday.

The Yanks are off today (Thursday).

Earlier in the day, Hal Steinbrenner commented on the disappointing offense (after all, he shelled out big bucks to bring in Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran) and refused to comment on GM Brian Cashman, who is a free agent after the season. Personally, I don’t blame Cashman. He brought in players with track records. Although Ellsbury has done OK (and truthfully, he shouldn’t be batting third, but…) McCann and Beltran have been disappointing and others who are gone didn’t play to former potential (Soriano, Roberts). Hal also said he expects A-Rod to rejoin the Yanks in 2015. That is something I’m not looking forward to. Alex’ talents have gone down in the last few years, he will be 40 in July 2015 and after a year off, who knows what he’ll have left. Not to mention the circus and baggage there will be…

Game 55. D-Rob fails in 9th, Yanks lose 7-2.

It looked like Chase Whitley would get his first MLB win. The Yanks had a 2-1 lead entering the ninth, but one day after throwing 27 pitches in getting a save, David Robertson had nothing and the Yanks lost to the Twins, 7-2. Two recent ex-Yanks, Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez, helped beat them, Hughes getting the win and Nunez picking up a big two-run double.

Whitley in four starts this year hasn’t given length, 14 IP in four starts, but his ERA is 2.37. He still has no decisions.

The Yanks got two runs on three hits in the fourth, as Gardner tripled, Jeter singled him home (3367), Ellsbury singled, McCann walked and Jeter later scored on an Ichiro SF.

But those three hits were the only hits the Yanks got all game. With no Beltran for a while (and a while longer), no Teixeira, Soriano slumping (and he was benched for Ichiro today), there isn’t any power in the lineup other than McCann.

Once again, can you say Kendrys Morales? The 5th can’t come soon enough. (If the Yanks sign Morales before the 5th, they lose a draft pick. After the 5th, he is fair game). In the NY Post today, Kevin Kernan wrote what I’ve been writing about. The Yanks need to sign Morales, especially with the uncertainty regarding Beltran and Teixeira.

Betances was awesome. 2 IP, six up, six down and 5 K. 1.38. 56K in 32 2/3 IP now.

Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.71.

…and here is why I hate roles on a team. Robertson comes in… why? Because he is the “closer,” that is why. But Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, and Robertson threw 27 pitches yesterday. Granted Warren threw 20 pitches in the 8th, but why not leave Warren in and save Robertson, who threw a lot of pitches yesterday? Maybe Warren shortens the bridge by getting an out or two, or closes it completely with a two-inning save. I remember the days when Lyle and Gossage would get saves of over one inning.  They may have gone 2 2/3. You don’t see that anymore. Managers complicate matters for themselves by creating roles and making closers one-inning guys. Keep it simple. If the guy is hot, ride him. No need to bring in a closer just because he is the “closer.” I believe that if you start mixing and matching and bringing in too many pitchers, eventually you’ll find the guy who has nothing, just like in the saying “too many cooks spoil the soup.” D-Rob had nothing. First batter, a game-tying HR, and it got worse, because the Twins scored six in the top of the 9th to win it.

Robertson (L, 0-2) 2/3 IP, 5 R, 2 H, 3 walks, 2 K. ERA balloons to 4.50. (One friend of mine suggested making Betances the closer. Nice sentiment, and I could see it. But that won’t happen. Not yet, anyway.)

Daley one batter, and he gave up a hit. That batter later scored. 0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 H. 3.86.

Thornton got the last out, but gave up a big hit first. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 h, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.50.

Use the KISS method, Joe. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Guy’s hot? Leave him in.

That’s my theory, anyway.

The Yanks fall to 29-26, 3 1/2 back of Toronto now.

Start getting that contract for Morales ready, Hal and Cash….

Game 51. Defense, lack of O hurt Yanks, 6-0.

First off, let’s get one thing straight. David Phelps didn’t pitch that bad of a game tonight. He gave up four runs in the third inning, but really, should have given up just one.

I have lamented over the past week the fact that the Yanks, despite spending some $450-500 million or so in contracts for Beltran, McCann, Kuroda, Tanaka and Ellsbury, refuse to spend a couple of million on a LEGITIMATE backup 1B.

It is why I wrote earlier this week, that should Beltran have to be shelved for a while, that the Yanks should go after Kendrys Morales.

They are going with Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan as backup 1b for Teix. The other day, Johnson was charged with one error when he could have been charged with three.

He made one error tonight which was costly. On the very next play, Roberts made an error which was costly as well. If both players do their jobs, instead of giving up four runs, Phelps only would have given up one in the third.

Not that it would have made much difference, anyway. For the Yanks were shut out 6-0 and fell to 27-24.

Still, when Teix isn’t in the lineup, and you are playing in an NL park where the pitcher has to hit, you can’t give away three runs.

Phelps went 6, gave up 5 R, 3 R, 2 walks and 5 K. He falls to 1-2, 3.38, but in truth, should have given up just two runs. Ellsbury saved him from giving up a triple in the first with a great catch, but Johnson and Roberts burned him.

As I mentioned earlier this week, the Yanks need a LEGIT backup 1B. They can’t go with Johnson or Ryan as backup 1b to Teix. Before this season, Johnson had just five games of experience at 1B. Brendan Ryan had none.

For a team that spent half a billion dollars on four players, skimping on a backup 1b is unacceptable. We have seen this week some bad backup play at 1b. Spend the $ to get Morales or bring up a true 1b (Kyle Roller?).

Like I mentioned, Phelps deserved better. His D gave away 3 runs. His offense got nothing.

Alfredo Aceves went 2, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 3 K. I’m not sold on Aceves. ERA 5.19.

The Yanks got just five hits. Solarte is in a slump and down to .285.

The loss puts the Yanks 3 back of Toronto.