Tag Archives: Ellsbury

Yanks trade Cortes to Seattle.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Last week, in setting their 40 man roster, the Yanks DFA’d Nestor Cortes, Jr.

Today they traded him to Seattle for international bonus money.

From MLB.com:

Cortes, who will turn 25 on Dec. 10, posted a 5-1 record and 5.67 ERA in 33 games last year as a long reliever for the Yankees. He also made one spot start in September.

Since Greg Bird was DFA’d at the same time, it remains to be seen whether the Yanks can get something for him.

Jacoby Ellsbury was just released, not DFA’d.

Yankees hire a female hitting coach; Ellsbury departure could be ugly.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

From Bryan Hoch at MLB.com:

The Yankees are preparing to make history with the addition of Rachel Balkovec, who will become one of the first female full-time hitting coaches hired by a big league organization, The New York Times reported on Friday evening.

The 32-year-old Balkovec signed her contract on Nov. 8, according to the Times, and is slated to report to the Yankees’ Spring Training complex in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 1. Balkovec is expected to be based in Tampa and will serve as a roving instructor throughout the organization.

Yankees hitting coordinator Dillon Lawson told the Times that the club hired Balkovec based on her qualifications, which include two master’s degrees in the science of human movement and experience at several Minor League clubs.

“It’s an easy answer to why we chose Rachel for this role,” Lawson told the newspaper. “She’s a good hitting coach, and a good coach, period.”

A product of Omaha, Neb., Balkovec earned recognition as a part-time strength and conditioning coach in the Cardinals’ organization in 2012, prompting her appointment as the Minor League strength and conditioning coordinator for the Cardinals from 2014-15. As such, she became the first woman to hold a full-time strength and conditioning position in affiliated baseball.

Since August, Balkovec has been researching eye tracking for hitters and hip movement for pitchers at Driveline Baseball, a data-driven performance training center in Washington state. The Yankees tabbed Driveline’s Sam Briend this past summer to head their organizational pitching blueprint, and Balkovec hopes to apply her expertise to the club’s hitters.


No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. The Yankees signed Zack Granite to a minor league deal.

At first, when you read it, you thought you saw Zack Greinke, didn’t you? Like many others, you did a double take.

Nope, it is not the top-flight pitcher (who isn’t a free agent anyway), but an OF named Zack Granite, 27, lefty hitter who had 93 MLB at bats with the Twins in 2017. Of his 22 hits (.237), 19 were singles. OPS+ 66. 1 HR, 13 RBI. OF depth. Especially in CF.

Granite is from Staten Island and went to Seton Hall. He hit .290-3-37 at AAA (119 games, Rangers organization) in 2019. 25 SB. So has some speed, no power.


From the NY Post, the Ellsbury departure could get ugly:

On Friday, multiple sources told The Post, right after Ellsbury cleared release waivers, the Yankees sent a letter to the Players Association notifying them of their intention to convert Ellsbury’s contract from guaranteed to non-guaranteed, thereby liberating them from the outfielder’s $21 million salary for 2020 as well as a $5 million buyout of the $21 million team option for 2021. The basis of the effort is the Yankees’ contention Ellsbury, who missed the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons due to multiple injuries, received medical treatment at Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta for multiple years without the Yankees’ authorization. The exact time period is in question, hence the uncertainty about how much, if any, of the $127 million the Yankees already have paid Ellsbury will be in play.

The union, livid with the Yankees’ maneuver, made it clear it would challenge the team on Ellsbury’s behalf and hinted at a willingness to play offense as well as defense.

If Ellsbury, who is represented by agent Scott Boras, files a grievance against the Yankees, an independent arbitrator would resolve the matter unless the two sides can come to a settlement. Baseball’s Basic Agreement mandates a hearing take place within one year of the grievance filing.

The Basic Agreement, most importantly, asserts, on page 59: “Any treatment a Player receives for a Work-Related Injury by a health care provider who is not affiliated with the Club must be authorized by the Club in advance of the treatment in accordance with Regulation 2 of the [Uniform Player Contract].”

That’s the edict the Yankees allege Ellsbury violated. In order to prove that, the Yankees — who didn’t have insurance on Ellsbury’s 2020 contract, after getting reimbursed at a 75-percent rate for the $42 million he earned over the prior two seasons — must display that he received treatment there related to his work, rather than a personal-health issue.

As for the PA’s mention of potential contract violations by the Yankees, the union could investigate whether the team was responsible for a media report implying Ellsbury might have used illegal performance-enhancing drugs at Progressive Medical Center, an insinuation that could be viewed as breaking the rules of the game’s Joint Drug Agreement. Ironically, if baseball did discover Ellsbury used illegal PEDs, his contract would be protected, as per the Basic Agreement, and he’d serve a suspension, during which he wouldn’t get paid.


Lastly, stay tuned. The Houston cheating scandal could wind up with one hell of a punishment.

 

Yankees release Ellsbury, DFA Bird & Cortes.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees had to set their 40-man roster before the Rule 5 draft and wanted to protect a couple of youngsters from that draft.

In order to do so, they made some moves.

The first was that they released Jacoby Ellsbury. In doing so, they are eating the $21MM he is owed for 2020 and also paying him $5MM for a 2021 buyout. They are eating $26MM and yes, that money for 2020 still will count against the cap. Ellsbury didn’t play at all for the Yankees in 2018 and 2019.

Ellsbury did play for them 2014-2017, with his best year being his first, in 2014 (.271-16-70 with 39 SB, OPS+ 111). So the Yanks got NOTHING from him for the last three years of his contract and had to buy out 2021.

The Yanks also DFA’d Greg Bird and Nestor Cortes, Jr.

Bird hit .261 with 11 HR in 46 games at the end of 2015, filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira but has had trouble with injuries since. He missed all of 2016 due to injury, hit .190 in 48 games in 2017, .199 in 82 games in 2018 and was just 6 for 35 in 10 games in 2019. His big highlight was his HR in Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS off of Andrew Miller that won the game for the Yanks 1-0 and kept them alive in the playoffs that year.

Cortes, Jr. was 5-1, 5.67 for the Yankees in 2019, ERA+ 79, in one start and 32 relief appearances.

The Yanks added Estevan Florial, Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Brooks Kriske, Luis Medina, Nick Nelson and Miguel Yajure to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

Florial: 22 on Nov. 25. OF lefty bat. .237-8-38 at High A Tampa in 2019.
Garcia: 20. 5-9, 4.28 combined A+/AA/AAA in 2019. 165 K in 111.1 IP.  21 starts, 5 relief.
Gil: 21. 5-5, 2.72 at A/A+ combined in 2019. 20 starts. 123 K in 96 IP.
Kriske: 25. 3-3, 2.08 at A+/AA combined in 2019. 12 saves. 80 K in 60.2 IP.
Medina: 20. 1-8, 5.47 at A/A+ combined in 2019. 22 starts. 127 K in 103.2 IP.
Nelson: 24 on Dec. 5. 8-3, 2.81 at A+/AA/AAA in 2019. 17 starts, 1 relief. 114 K in 89.2 IP.
Yajure: 21. 9-6, 2.14 at A+/AA in 2019. 20 starts, 4 relief. 133 K in 138.2 IP.

No Q.O. for Didi. John, Munson, Mattingly on Modern Baseball Era ballot for HOF consideration. Boone up for MOY.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees did not extend a qualifying offer of $17.8MM to Didi Gregorius. If he leaves as a free agent, the Yanks receive no compensation.

It could be that the Yanks want him back, but at less than that figure. But Didi now can talk to anyone.

Didi made $11.75MM last season, when he missed a significant amount of time recovering from TJ surgery. He played in 82 games, and despite hitting 16 HR and driving in 61 runs, only hit .238 with an OPS+ of 87. It was his worst OPS+ since his first year with the Yanks in 2015.

One other problem is that Didi didn’t walk much. His OBP was just .276.

As such, the Yanks probably didn’t think a raise from $11.75MM to $17.8MM was warranted or deserved. IF the Yanks want him back, it probably would be for less than $17.8MM.

Didi hopes to return. We will see.


From MLB.com:

Gregorius was one of seven Yankees to hit free agency on Halloween, following right-hander Dellin Betances, outfielder Brett Gardner, right-hander Cory Gearrin (who I don’t expect back), outfielder Cameron Maybin (questionable), catcher Austin Romine (would he come back as a backup or does he want to start elsewhere) and retired left-hander CC Sabathia.

As you know, the Yankees declined a $20 million option on first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, instead paying him a $5 million buyout.

Of that group, the Yankees seem most likely to pursue a reunion with Gardner, who could man center field in the wake of Aaron Hicks’ Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees announced the following roster moves on Monday:

• Reinstated 3B Miguel Andújar, 1B Greg Bird, OF Jacoby Ellsbury and RHP Jonathan Holder from the 60-day injured list.

• Reinstated RHP Jake Barrett from the 60-day IL and outrighted him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

• LHP Tyler Lyons has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


BBWAA awards:

Aaron Boone has been named as one of three finalists for AL Mgr. of the Year.

D.J. LeMahieu may get consideration for MVP, but he won’t be in the top 3. The top 3 are Bregman, Trout and Semien but the order won’t be revealed until Nov. 14.


Also from MLB.com:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced 10 candidates under consideration for induction as part of the 2020 Modern Baseball Era ballot: Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker.

S.T. Game 11. Yanks fall 9-5. Besides Seve, CC to miss start of season too. Would Yanks use “opener”?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks lost to the Cardinals, 9-5 today, to drop the spring training record to 5-5-1.

We know that Seve will miss time, and now the Yanks have said that because of the knee surgery and stent put in, that CC will begin the season on the injured list. Remember that once activated, CC has a five-game suspension to serve.

So two of the five starters will NOT be starting the season. As of now, GM Brian Cashman wants to plug from within, meaning no Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez or Edwin Jackson.

Gonzalez has been rumored to be someone the Yanks might consider, but he’d have to agree to a bullpen move once Severino and CC are ready.

I like Loaisiga, and he shows great potential to step in as a spot starter now, and to replace CC in the rotation in 2020, but he is a raw talent. 5 out of his 7 outs today K’s, but gave up 5 Runs in 2 1/3.

With both Severino and CC out, we are looking at Cessa, German and/or Loaisiga filling those two spots unless the Yanks sign someone.

Loaisiga (Johnny Lasagna) had mixed results today. Good: 5 K in 2 1/3 IP. Bad: 5 runs given up.

Austin Romine had a 3-run HR today, Gleyber Torres 2 hits. Prospect Trey Amburgey had 2 RBI.

Loaisiga (L) 2 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR
Harvey (BS) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R , 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Coulombe 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Diehl 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Coshow 2/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR
Reeves 1 2/3 IP, 0 R , 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.

With Seve out until maybe late April, and CC out until about that time, could the Yanks, with their strong bullpen, consider an “opener” for a game or two in April?

Steven Wright of Boston drew an 80 game suspension (and would miss the postseason) for HGH ban. Hmm, why would a knuckleballer need HGH?

Jacoby Ellsbury (the Nowhere Man) is expected to join the Yanks in Tampa around March 17.

Hicks is still recovering from back pain.

The Yanks sent Domingo Acevedo down to Trenton, and sent Trevor Stephan and Brady Lail to minor league camp.

 

 

 

Midseason “acquistions.”

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A lot is made, has been made and will be made of the Yankees’ moves this offseason and what may be coming later in spring training and later yet, at the trade deadline this summer.

But let’s not forget two Yankee “acquisitions” that will be coming this summer.

The returns of Jordan Montgomery and Didi Gregorius.

Hopefully both would be healthy and ready to contribute. If so, both would be a big lift and could give a jolt to the team mid-season.

If so, no trade is necessary.

Let’s not think about Jacoby Ellsbury also being in that mix for now. That’s more a case of I’ll believe it when I see it.

Pitchers and catchers report and guess who is hurt again?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So as pitchers and catchers report, guess what Yankee player will miss the first couple of weeks of spring training because he is hurt again (foot)?

If you said Jacoby Ellsbury, this decade’s version of Carl Pavano, advance to the head of the class.

Personally, I’d like to just cut Ellsbury, eat the two years and $47mm and move on with Gardner and Frazier platooning in LF.

Anyone surprised at this news?

Manager Aaron Boone all but appointed Luis Severino the Opening Day Starter (barring something unforeseen). No shock there.

CC will have a press conference Saturday. Apparently to confirm his retirement at the end of the season.

Bad news concerning top prospect Michael King, who rose from High A to AAA last year. He’ll be shut down for 3 weeks due to elbow soreness. You fear TJ surgery.