Tag Archives: Gardner

Yanks bringing back CC, 1 yr, $8MM

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks are bringing back CC for what could be his final yr. at 1 yr., $8MM. It’s a $2MM cut from last year.

CC, like Gardner, is coming back at a reduced rate. That, I am ok with.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t have brought either back. Decisions are made with the brain, not with the heart.

Gardner, 35, hit .260 from the beginning of the season until July 9. About .206 thereafter. If back, he needs LESS playing time (platoon with Clint Frazier, if healthy?). Plus, Gardner has a track record of fading after the all-star break.

CC will be 39 next July. If back, it has to be as the #5 starter. Nothing more than that. I need starters that can give me more than 5 innings. Someone can go into the seventh. CC does not do that anymore. He is pulled before he faces a lineup the third time around, meaning he places further stress on the bullpen.

I don’t want age. Yes, experience helps, but once 35, productivity diminishes.

At least they both took pay cuts.

Yes, they are both big clubhouse presences.

But you have to perform between the lines.

You make decisions with the brain, not with the heart.

 

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Are teams dumping players/salaries? Can Yankees take advantage? GG winners announced tonight.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Recently the Arizona Diamondbacks picked up the $14.5MM option on 1B Paul Goldschmidt, but rumors still abound that Arizona may have a sell-off, and could look to deal him since he becomes a free agent after the 2019 season.

There are also rumors that Cleveland may look to unload some players that it won’t be able to afford, and ace pitcher Corey Kluber, 33 next April (20-7, 2.89 in 2018) could be on that list, along with  P Carlos Carrasco, 32 next March (17-10, 3.38). Could the Yanks not only use free agency to get a starter (Patrick Corbin from Arizona, (29, 11-7, 3.15) for example), retain one of their own (J.A. Happ, (36, 17-6, 3.65 combined Tor/NYY) currently a free agent) and ALSO get a third via the trade market like Kluber or Carrasco?

Kluber, a 2x CYA winner (who is a strong candidate again this year) obviously wouldn’t come cheap. Neither would Carrasco. Justus Sheffield, who the Yanks GOT from Cleveland in the Andrew Miller deal, could conceivably be a target for the Indians to get him back. It might be interesting to see if the Indians think that they could resuscitate Sonny Gray’s career as well.  If Kluber or Carrasco are available, what would it take to get one of them? Gray, Sheffield and a Estevan Florial? What other top prospect could be dangled?

It’s worthy to note the 2019 salaries of Kluber ($17MM) and Carrasco ($9.75MM). Getting Happ and or Corbin would cost more for one of those than Kluber alone, and twice that of Carrasco.

It is interesting to note what other prospects are available to be dealt. The Yanks did deal a lot of prospects away recently, like Billy McKinney, Jorge Mateo, Jake Cave, Dustin Fowler, Blake Rutherford, James Kaprielian, Tyler Austin …. so what is left?

But if the Yanks really want to go all out and get a killer rotation to go along with an offense that set a MLB record of 267 HR this year, maybe they could do something like this if Cleveland is in fact dealing.

Trade for Carrasco, the lesser of the two salaries between Kluber and Carrasco.

Sign Happ and Corbin. Let CC go (he’s 39 next July, and doesn’t go deep into games anymore).

Get starters who go into the seventh and beyond. Only Tanaka gave you even five innings in the postseason.

A rotation of Severino, Corbin, Carrasco, Happ and Tanaka looks awfully good. And …. two lefties, never a bad thing at Yankee Stadium.

or,  go big and have Kluber, Corbin, Severino, Happ and Tanaka.

Tanaka as a #5?

The postseason is for dreaming.

Gold Gloves are to be announced tonight. Tanaka, Gardner and Judge are finalists.

Gardner back; Classless Cora; RIP Willie McCovey, Hall of Famer.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will have Brett Gardner back in 2019, and it was a good move in how they are bringing him back.

The Yanks declined his $12.5MM contract, buying him out at $2.5MM. They then turned around and brought him back for 2019 at $7MM, saving $3MM in the process.

A good move on both ends. Gardner remains with the only MLB team he has ever been with, the Yankees. The Yankees don’t have to pay as much next year for a 35 year old coming off a bad season (.236-12-45, 16 SB, OPS+ just 86, 14% BELOW league average). Not only that, in the final couple of months, Gardner lost his job to Andrew McCutchen, expected to sign elsewhere as a free agent.

If Gardner can revert back to form in 2019, a good deal for the Yanks. Cost-effective production. If not, it is a 1-year deal, and the Yanks could trade or cut Gardner mid-2019, it won’t cost too much to do, and maybe Clint Frazier or Jacoby Ellsbury can do something in place of Gardner. Of course, both Frazier (concussion) and Ellsbury (various incidents inc. hip surgery) are question marks right now.

(Updated 11/4: I can see a platoon of Gardner/Frazier in LF if Frazier is healthy, and perhaps Frazier takes over. As for Ellsbury, who knows? At 35, Gardner’s playing time will probably be, and would have to be, reduced. Gardner hit .260 up until July 9, .206 thereafter.)

Alex Cora, manager of the WS Champion Red Sox, proved he has absolutely NO class. In the postseason celebration today, he said something that even if I were a Red Sox fan, I would be quite upset about it if I had a young child with me at that celebration. I won’t repeat it. He mentioned about how the Red Sox scored 16 runs in Game 3 of the ALDS and used a profanity afterward. No class. Hey Alex, congratulations on winning 108 and then the WS. Need I remind you that you were a great manager this year (I don’t know about the future) but that you were NOT that great a player? Really, I wonder how you lasted 14 years in the majors with a 162 G. average of .243-4-36, OPS+ 72 (28% below league average), and in only 5 of those 14 years did you play in 100 or more games. Pick up a lot of splinters in your ass while riding the pine? Anyway, can you imagine someone like Joe McCarthy or Joe Torre using those words to denigrate an opponent? And you wonder why the world is like it is in a lot of ways today. NO CLASS CORA.

Hall of Famer Willie McCovey died today at the age of 80. With two out and men on second and third in the bottom of the ninth of game 7 of the 1962 WS, McCovey scorched a liner right at Yankee 2B Bobby Richardson to end the game. If that ball were hit six feet to either side of Richardson, the Giants win the game 2-1 instead of the Yanks winning 1-0. Especially since the runner on second was Willie Mays. It was the last title of the Yanks’ great dynasty era. They lost the WS in 1963 and 1964 then the dynasty collapsed in 1965.

McCovey hit 521 HR in his career, the same total as Ted Williams and Frank Thomas. He won the ROY award in 1959,  when despite playing in just 52 games, he hit .354-13-38.

In his very first MLB game, he went 4 for 4 (single, triple, single, triple) against HOF pitcher Robin Roberts in 1959.

McCovey played in 4 decades, 1959-1980. SF Giants, 1959-1973, San Diego Padres 1974-1976, and back with the Giants 1977-1980.

He won the 1969 MVP Award, hitting .320-45-126, OPS+ 209 that year, leading the NL in HR, RBI, and the majors in OBP, SA, OPS, OPS+ and intentional walks. The runnerup for MVP that year was Tom Seaver of the Amazin’ Mets.

Three other times he finished Top 10 for MVP, inc. 3rd in 1968, when he also led the NL in HR and RBI.

He led the NL in HR 3X. RBI 2X. The majors in walks, once. He hit 2 HR in the 1969 All Star Game.

He was a 6x All-Star. He hit 18 grand slams.

McCovey Cove, the bay behind the RF wall at the Giants new ballpark, is named for him.

He played in 2 postseasons, the 1962 WS and the 1971 NLCS. In 8 games, he hit .310-3-7.

He was the 1977 Comeback POY at the age of 39.

Mostly a 1B, he did play some LF in his career.

His 162 g. average was .270-33-97, OPS+ 147.

After a rough 2018 in which he only hit .212-7-23, OPS+ just 79 in 63 games for Houston in 63 games, the Astros declined the option on Ex-Yankee Brian McCann. McCann did win a WS ring with them in 2017 when he hit .241-18-62 in 97 games, OPS+ 106. While with the Yanks 2014-2016, he was average. Had some pop, averaging 23 HR and 76 RBI / yr, but the shift killed him, as he only averaged a .235 batting average.

It appears his future (he turns 35 next year) is as a backup.

 

 

 

3 Yanks nominated for Gold Glove Awards; Twins name Baldelli manager

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Three Yankees are up for Gold Gloves. They are outfielders Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge as well as pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. We’ll see if any actually get the award.

The Twins named a new manager. Rocco Baldelli, the former Rays’ OF, replaces HOF Paul Molitor.

With Game 3 of the World Series tonight between Boston and L.A., the Yanks’ world is a bit quiet right now as they make plans for how they want to attack the offseason.

Game 4 ALDS. Yanks are eliminated, 4-3. Furious comeback comes up short.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

They’ll talk about that 16-1 beating all winter. They will talk about Boone leaving Severino in for the fourth, about Lynn coming in instead of Green, I don’t know if any of it would have mattered, considering the score.

We’ll remember the two one-run losses even more. Win those, and the Yanks would still be playing, despite that beatdown.

The Yanks lost Game 4 of the ALDS to Boston Tuesday night, 4-3, and therefore lost the series 3 games to 1. The Red Sox advance to face Houston in the ALCS.

You now wonder which players will be back. CC, Gardner (0 for 8 in the ALDS), Robertson, Britton, Happ, Lynn, Walker, Hechevarria and McCutchen (2 for 15 in the ALDS) are all free agents or have options that may not be picked up.

A couple of key hits here or there, liners that found Boston gloves or that went foul while their balls blooped in. Shots that fell short of the fence while theirs barely cleared the wall, that we’ll remember.

Aaron Boone did shake up the lineup, hoping to get more lefty oomph in there. Gardner started in LF, Hicks in CF, Walker at 3B. McCutchen and Andujar sat.

CC got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, but gave up 3 runs in the third. One of the hits a bleeder by Yankee-killer Steve Pearce. One RBI double appeared to be misplayed by Gardner, but to be fair, it was hit so hard it probably handcuffed him.

Boone’s bullpen management may be questioned a bit. It’s one thing that hopefully improves next year.

Zach Britton gave up a HR in the fourth to Christian Vazquez. 4-0 Boston. The HR just cleared the short porch.

The Yanks finally got on the board in the fifth when Sanchez doubled, Torres got an infield hit and Gardner a SF.

In the bottom of the ninth, Judge led off with a walk, Didi singled and after Stanton (4 for 18, 6 strikeouts in the ALDS) struck out, Voit walked. Walker was HBP to make it 4-2. Sanchez just missed a game-winning grand slam, getting under it and hitting it to the warning track for a SF, 4-3. But Torres barely missed beating out a dribbler and the game, series, and season were over.

Up until that ninth inning, the Yanks had only scored 2 runs in their previous 19 innings. That won’t get it done.

Just like in 2017, in those games in Houston that year, the Yanks couldn’t come up with the big hit when you needed it.

The homers are nice. That HR record is nice. But hitting with RISP, being able to get the bat on the ball, avoiding strikeouts, going the other way, situational hitting, those are things that need to be improved upon for the Yanks to advance to the next levels. Homers alone won’t do it. Also, baserunning. The Red Sox were 5 for 5 in stealing bases in the series, the Yanks didn’t even attempt one.

Starters who go deep would help too. The longest any Yankee starter pitched in this postseason was the five innings Tanaka went in getting the Game 2 win.

Hopefully for the youngsters, Torres and Andujar (1 for 9 in the series), this postseason was a learning experience. Same for veterans like Stanton, making his first postseason appearance. Learn from it.

The bullpen did a great job keeping the Yanks in the game and giving them a chance.

Gregorius 2 hits (out of the Yanks’ 5)

Sabathia (L) 3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 W, 1 K.
Britton 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Robertson 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 4 K.
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3  K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.

More post-mortem analysis to come in the coming weeks.

Game 2 ALDS. Yanks even series behind the Kraken.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Turn the page.

Gary Sanchez had a poor regular season. His .186 batting average was the lowest ever for any Yankee with 300 or more plate appearances.

But he did hit 18 HR. He hit 33 last season. He hit 20 in just 53 games in 2016. You knew the power was there, and that at any time he could put up a two homer, 4 RBI game.

That is the Sanchez we hoped would return, and in time for the playoffs. Make up for a bad regular season with a great postseason.

It is the Sanchez we got last night. Sanchez hit two homers and drove in 4 runs as the Yanks won 6-2 to even the series up. Game 3 is in the Bronx Monday night.

David Price started for Boston, and he has had a couple of problems lately. #1, he has trouble against the Yankees. #2, he has trouble in the postseason (0-9 record in 10 starts). #3 Gary Sanchez owns him. Not a good combination.

So Aaron Judge, the second batter of the game, hit a 445-ft. HR to give the Yanks a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Judge has homered in all three postseason games so far.

Sanchez came up in the bottom of the second and continued his mastery of Price by hitting a HR to make it 2-0 Yanks. With two out, Price proceeded to walk Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner. Gardner was starting in CF for Aaron Hicks, who has a tight hamstring. Hicks was available for pinch-hitting duty and the hammy won’t keep him out for the rest of the series (if it did, he wouldn’t be available again until the World Series–no ALCS).

Andrew McCutchen then singled off of the green monster to make it 3-0 Yanks and give Price an early shower.

Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka was on, and was his postseason bulldog self. (He is now 3-2, 1.50 in five postseason starts). He gave up a HR in the bottom of the fourth, but it was a solo one, and went five innings giving up just that one run.

In the seventh, the Yanks broke the game open. Judge singled and Voit walked. Stanton, who is struggling—so much so that lots of people are comparing him to A-Rod and A-Rod’s postseason struggles—hit a topper that at first it appeared as if Nunez’ throw hoping for a force pulled the fielder off the bag. But Boston reviewed and the call was overturned. Forceout. Hmm. The fielder must have kept his big toenail on the bag because it didn’t look that way. Nunez’ throwing was shaky all night long. He almost made 3 errors instead of the one he did make. But then again, when he was a Yankee, he had the nickname of Nun-E.

Hopefully Stanton comes around. Aim for RF in the Bronx, Giancarlo. You are strong enough to hit it out anywhere, especially there. Stay back.  No need to pull everything.

So it was first and third, one out, and here is where Sanchez hit his second HR of the game, a 479-ft. bomb that left everything and went out on the street. 6-1 Yanks.

Dellin Betances gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-2, but that was it. Yankees’ pitchers limited Boston to 2 runs and 5 hits. Good job.

I am a bit concerned yet about the Yanks’ hitting w/RISP. 2 for 10 last night (the Yanks had 8 hits and drew 7 walks, so they could have scored more runs than 6). Hopefully that picks up.

Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Voit 0 for 2 but drew 3 walks.
Sanchez 2 HR, 4 RBI
Gardner 0 for 2 but drew 2 walks.

Tanaka (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Betances (H) 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.

In the other ALDS series, Houston beat Cleveland 12-1 behind Gerrit Cole’s 7 innings and 12 K. Houston is up 2 games to 0.

The NL was off. Milwaukee is up 2-0 on Colorado and the Dodgers are up 2-0 on the Braves.

Game 159. Yanks rout Rays 12-1. Magic # for wild card game at home is 1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

$500,000? What $500,000?

I’ll get to that in a moment.

The Yanks (98-51) routed the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon 12-1 and with the win, the Yanks’ magic number over the A’s for hosting the wild card game is down to 1.

Meaning that any Yankees’ win or A’s loss this weekend means that the wild card game will be played in the Bronx.

The Yanks got off to a quick 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Gardner doubled, and with one out, Voit walked. Stanton walked. A WP moved everyone up and scored a run. Andujar hit a 3-run HR (27) and it was 4-0 Yanks.

To the fourth. Torres singles. PB. Romine singles. 5-0. Hechevarria singles. Forceout. Judge SF to make it 6-0. SB. Double by Voit. 7-0.

Bottom of the fifth. CC hits a batter with a pitch. Up 7-0, you cannot see it as intentional.

Top of the sixth. Romine is thrown at. No excuse for that. Hechevarria singles and Gardner triples to make it 8-0. Judge SF. 9-0. Voit homers (13, 12 as a Yankee) 10-0. Stanton hits his first of 2 HR on the game. 11-0.

In the bottom of the sixth, CC gets revenge for trying to hit Romine by hitting a batter. Both he and Boone are ejected. CC had a low pitch count at this point. Two more innings would have made an incentive bonus of $500,000 kick in. Instead, CC stuck up for his teammate, drilled someone, finished two innings short of kicking in that bonus, and said to hell with the $500,000, I am sticking up for my teammate.

Great job, CC.

Which is why his teammates love him. 

If the Yanks lose the wild card game, this could be the last game CC ever pitches for the Yankees. A free agent, CC turns 39 next July. He, because of the knee and age, doesn’t go into the sixth or beyond anymore. Whether he comes back at all, or whether the Yanks want him for 2019, is a question mark right now.

He would pitch in the ALDS vs. Boston. But do the Yanks make it that far?

Luis Cessa gave up a HR in the seventh. 11-1.

Stanton hit his 2nd HR of the game in the ninth (37), 12-1, the final score.

With the 4 HR, the Yanks have 260 with 3 games left. The single season record is 264 by the 1997 Seattle Mariners. The Yanks have 3 games in Fenway to get 5 HR to break the record.

Gardner 2 hits, 1 RBI, scored 3 runs.
Judge 2 RBI
Voit 3 for 3, 2 RBI. HR. Boy, is he hot.
Stanton 2 HR.
Andujar 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI
Hechevarria 2 hits.

 

Sabathia (W, 9-7, 3.65) 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 5 K
Cessa 3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.   4.67
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K.  5.56