Category Archives: The Owner

Trade deadline. No major move done by the Yanks. Thoughts.

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The Yanks did not make a major move at the trade deadline.

They only made a minor one, trading rookie RHP Joe Harvey (1-0, 4.50 in nine games this year for the Yanks) to Colorado for LHP Alfredo Garcia. Per the NY Post: Garcia, 20, has pitched for Single-A Asheville and Boise this season. With the two teams, he’s combined for a 3-10 record and 6.00 ERA in 22 starts.

They apparently were looking at LHP Robbie Ray of Arizona but Arizona wanted OF Clint Frazier, RHP Clarke Schmidt (the Yanks’ #1 draft pick in 2017, who is now pitching at High A Tampa) and two other prospects. The Yanks thought that price was too steep.

Arizona did trade Zack Greinke to Houston (they made other moves as well). Now Houston is really scary with Justin Verlander, Greinke, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley.

Greinke never would have come to the Yankees. He has a no-trade to the Yanks, and with his problems with depression and anxiety early in his career (2005/2006) NY wouldn’t be right for him at all.

That is the situation at the trade deadline. Some teams are asking too much of you, like the teams that wanted Gleyber Torres for a pitcher that other teams say is an ace but you know they are middle to back end of the rotation caliber. And Torres shouldn’t be going anywhere. He is not even 23 yet, a 2x All-Star, and someone with 20+ HR in both of his seasons in the majors. Torres for Matthew Boyd of Detroit (6-8, 3.94 now, career 28-43, 4.82)? Please. Spare me.

Some players, like Greinke and Madison Bumgarner, have no-trade clauses. Whether Bumgarner would have waived his to go to the Yankees, who knows. But we also don’t know what SF would have wanted for him.

Some teams, like the Mets, won’t deal with the Yankees. I can see that with the Red Sox not dealing with the Yankees, but the Mets are in a different league. But the Mets have the fear of looking bad in a deal with the Yanks, and don’t want the Yanks to “take over the city” or is it “Citi”? LOL. But the Yankeephobia the Mets’ front office has hurts them if they are making trades with other teams and getting less return from them than in what the Yankees would give them for say, Wheeler or Syndegaard—and neither Wheeler or Syndegaard went anywhere.

So the Yankees don’t get a starter that could have helped them. No Minor, Bumgarner, Wheeler, Ray, Stroman, Boyd, Bauer, Roark, Leake, etc. Most, as I stated, don’t fall into the “ace” category.

They didn’t get relief help either. Shane Greene and Mark Melancon (both former Yankees, by the way) both went from their respective teams (Tigers and Giants) to the Braves.

By the way, ex-Yankee (twice) David Robertson, who went to the Phillies last offseason as a free agent, and who has barely pitched this year, is headed for elbow surgery that could include TJ surgery. If TJ (Tommy John) surgery, then he misses ALL of 2020.

So the Yankees have to hope some, or all of the following, get healthy enough to contribute soon: Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga and Dellin Betances. Loaisiga had a rehab stint (2 innings for AA Trenton last night). The others haven’t pitched yet in a game for any rehab assignment yet.

Either that or some pitchers need to pick up the slack and pitch better than they have so far this season (Happ/Paxton, even Tanaka).

I don’t know if I would call the Yanks’ efforts at the trade deadline here a failure. If you DO want to point any blame for not improving the rotation, I don’t think it is now, but things that happened BEFORE getting to this point.

For example, the free agent market. I didn’t mind bringing back Happ at the time (and that may be a mistake, given what he’s done this year and that he has a couple years left on the contract). But Happ wasn’t my first option. He was a fallback option. I think that the Yanks felt as I did. Getting Patrick Corbin being the top priority, with Happ as a fallback. But Corbin wanted more than the four years that the Yanks were offering, and got six from Washington where he is 9-5, 3.23. The Yanks sure could use that now.

Then there was Gio Gonzalez. The Yanks signed him at the end of spring training to a minor league deal, one that Gonzalez opted out of a few weeks later when it was obvious, at that time, that there was no place in the rotation for him. He is 2-1, 3.48 for Milwaukee right now.

Lastly, Dallas Keuchel. The Yanks wouldn’t go an extra mile to land him, lost him to the Braves, and Keuchel is 3-4, 3.86 right now.

Any of those three would not have cost players, just money. Now the question is why the Yankees were not more proactive towards those three? And that may not be the fault of Cashman, but of Hal Steinbrenner, who, let’s face it, is more frugal than his dad. Hal may have set a certain price that he wouldn’t allow Cashman to exceed, and if a deal then wasn’t made, the blame falls on Hal then, not Cashman.

If there is something to gripe about, I feel as if it isn’t because of what wasn’t done today at the trade deadline, but what wasn’t done BEFORE—namely, Corbin, Gonzalez and/or Keuchel. For those three have/had better potential and results than almost all of what was out there today.

One more thing. I wasn’t too keen this offseason about bringing back CC. He hasn’t been bad this year, but you are getting what you expected you’d get from a guy who just turned 39. Two trips to the injured list. Not much length in his starts. He has not recorded a “W” in more than a month. Yes, having him retire as a Yankee is nice. It’s his final season. But sentiment doesn’t win titles. You think with your head, not your heart.

Being a clubhouse presence and a great teammate is great. But you also have to do it between the lines, and of course, CC isn’t what he used to be.

So we hope now for help from within. Severino, Montgomery, Loaisiga, Betances. Maybe Deivi Garcia, but I doubt it. I’d be surprised. At 20, he probably needs a full season of AAA, so maybe 2021 for him (or late 2020?)

And after this season is over, don’t mess up on the free agent market. For example, Gerrit Cole of Houston, who the Yanks once drafted (he didn’t sign) and later coveted (traded by Pittsburgh to Houston because the Yanks wouldn’t give the Pirates Miguel Andujar) is a free agent after this season. He is 12-5. 2.94 for Houston now. He was 15-5, 2.88 for them last season. He struck out 276 last year and leads the majors with 212 strikeouts right now. Houston is one of your top competitors right now for AL supremacy. You can improve yourself and hurt Houston after this season in one move. Are you listening, Hal? Cash?

 

 

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Game 15. Yanks “slammed”. Lose 5-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The heavily depleted Yanks lost to Chicago 5-2 today to fall to 6-9 on the season.

Unfortunately, the lineup now looks like a spring training lineup with a lot of guys in it who really, if not for the injuries, would not be in the majors right now.

It’s good the Boss, George, isn’t alive right now, for it was at this time in the season (1982) when Bob Lemon got the axe (6-10), and in 1985 when Yogi (6-8) got canned.

This isn’t to say that Boone should get fired, but just giving some historical perspective. There’s not much Boone can do right now but hope to keep the ship afloat.

The Yanks did have an early 2-0 lead, but in the fifth, Tanaka gave up a grand slam and that was it.

The Yanks only got four hits.

Tanaka (L, 1-1, 3.22) 4 + IP, 5 R, 7 H, 3 W, 6 K. Gave up grand slam.
Cessa 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.08
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.86
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K.  1.13
Harvey 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  0.00
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.  9.95

One disturbing thing. It’s coming out that Paxton was probably tipping pitches against Houston? Severino apparently tipping pitches at the end of last year?

The pitching coaches need to see and realize this before it becomes an issue. This is on Harkey and Rothschild.

 

Extensions galore.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You wonder what future free agent classes will look like.

Maybe not that hot.

Recently we’ve seen extensions given out to Severino, Hicks, Trout, Verlander, Sale, DeGrom, Snell, Nola, Goldschmidt, ….

More probably to come, but like I said, you wonder how poor future free agent classes will look like.

Recent passings:

Randy Jackson, 2x All Star 3B for the Cubs in the mid=1950s. A .261 hitter, OPS+ 94, he hit 21 HR for the 1955 Cubs (19 in 1953 and also in 1954) and was an All-Star in 1954 and 1955. Cubs 1950-1955, Dodgers 1956-1958, Indians 1958-1959, back with the Cubs 1959. Played in the 1956 WS with the Dodgers. He was 93.

Chuck Harmon, a utility player for the Reds (1954-1956), Cardinals (1956-1957) and Phillies 1957. Hit .238 in 289 games, OPS+ 62.

 

Posada to work for Marlins and Jeter. Yanks’ pitchers and catchers report today.

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Jorge Posada will be working for Derek Jeter and the Marlins. The former Yankees’ great will work as a special adviser to CEO Jeter. Just like with Jeter last year, it’ll feel funny to see a Yankees’ great working for another team.

Pitchers and catchers report today for the Yanks.

Yanks appear out on Machado

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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.

Beltran appointed special advisor to GM Cashman

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Ok, let’s put some pieces of a puzzle together. Even though the Yanks say that Manny Machado has some explaining to do about his actions and statements in this year’s postseason, the Yanks are still meeting with him tomorrow. Obviously, with Didi out half the season, the Yanks could go with Machado at SS until Didi returns.

What they then do with Miguel Andujar is anybody’s guess. (Trade for a top-notch pitcher? A top-notch 1B if Voit/Bird don’t cut it? Move Andujar to another position? 1B? LF? But of LF, what of Clint Frazier? You get the drift).

But here is the rub. A-Rod, Machado’s idol, is a special advisor to the Yankees. Machado has made it clear he’d love to play in NY (in the case above, regarding Machado’s offseason, some columnists have suggested that maybe Machado needs to sell himself to the Yankees and not the other way around). #13, A-Rod’s number, hasn’t been retired, and wouldn’t Machado like to follow A-Rod by wearing the number Machado wore in Baltimore? (#8, which Machado wore for the Dodgers, is retired by the Yankees for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey).

Now today, the day before the Yanks meet with Machado, the Yanks announce that they have hired Carlos Beltran as an advisor to GM Brian Cashman. It just so happens that Beltran’s former agent happens to be Machado’s current agent. Now Machado’s brother-in-law, Alonso, was just traded from Cleveland to the White Sox, and blood may be thicker than water, but with A-Rod and Beltran both now special advisors in the Yanks’ front office, maybe that water is getting mighty thick.

Me? Here is my guess: that Machado does wind up a Yankee (with Harper going to the Phillies). Which could give a lineup of Gardner, Judge, Machado, Stanton, Hicks, Sanchez, Andujar, Voit/Bird and Torres come opening day.

Should Clint Frazier make the team (I doubt it, unless the Yanks can dump Ellsbury—keeping Ellsbury means AAA for Frazier—no room) maybe against lefties Hicks leads off, everyone below Hicks moves up a notch and Frazier bats ninth.

Just saying.

But an interesting move in Beltran (who by the way, interviewed for the Yanks’ managerial job last year….possible managerial material?) being hired by the Yanks the day before the Machado meeting.

Just trying to read the tea leaves here.

Hal Steinbrenner will probably not be at the meeting with Machado. After all, his mom just passed away.

But I keep thinking of Machado as another A-Rod. All that talent, but all that baggage that may be coming with it.

 

Joan Z. Steinbrenner, widow of “the Boss”, dies at 83.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Joan Z. Steinbrenner, widow of George and mother of four, Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica, died yesterday at the age of 83. She was married to “the Boss” from 1956 until his death in 2010.