Tag Archives: Gardner

Yanks sign Severino to 4 year, $40MM extension.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees avoided arbitration with Luis Severino by signing him to a 4 yr. $40MM extension.

It will be interesting to see who has a bounce-back year this year. The Yanks won 100 games last year despite Gardner hitting .236, Sanchez .186 and Bird .199. Imagine if they would have been their normal selves.

Speaking of Gardner, will he lead off this year or bat 9th? There is a case for Aaron Hicks leading off. The only problem is, on a team so righty-leaning, Hicks’ switch-hitting bat may be needed in the middle of the lineup.

But according to a recent article (I believe NY Post?) here are some interesting numbers from Hicks last year. .248-27-79, 11 SB, drew 90 walks.

In the three places where he had 100 or more plate appearances in 2018,

Batting first .276-11-21
3rd .222-6-19
6th .223-5-20.

Hmmm… interesting. And Hicks is more likely to lead off a game with a HR than Gardy.

We’ll see.

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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.

 

What will Yanks infield look like in 2019?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The NY Post reports that if Troy Tulowitzki proves himself capable, and even if the Yanks do land Manny Machado, that Tulo would be at SS (and what happens when Didi comes back?) and that Machado would be at 3B (meaning what happens with Andujar?)

Would Andujar move to 1B (meaning what happens to Voit and Bird?) or would he DH (meaning Stanton to LF and Gardner joins Ellsbury as backup outfielders, with Clint Frazier apparently headed to AAA since Frazier missed most of last year with an injury.)

Now I’ve also heard that if Tulo is the SS, and they land Machado and Machado is at 3B, that Andujar could be traded for a starter (Corey Kluber?). But with a rotation currently set as Severino, Paxton, Tanaka, Happ and CC, who would go? And remember, Sonny Gray is still on this team as of now, too.

From the NY Post and Joel Sherman (who also is with the MLB Network):

The Yankees reached an agreement with Tulowitzki with the plan, if healthy, to play him at shortstop even if they end up signing Manny Machado…

Tulowitzki had looked so good in a workout — athletic and lively in the Yankees’ estimation — about half the major league teams were looking to sign him for the low-risk, high-reward possibilities.

That Tulowitzki picked the Yankees without the assurance of 500-plus plate appearances exemplifies just how motivated he is to play for them. Tulowitzki wore No. 2 with the Rockies and Blue Jays as an homage to his idol, Derek Jeter, and — at 34 — decided if not now, when would he ever be a Yankee?

Both ex-Toronto Manager John Gibbons and MLB Network’s Dan O’Dowd said they believe Tulowitzki is healthy now. Their concerns were if he could maintain his health and how quickly and to what level his offense would return. As far as defense, both said they thought it would still be special. Gibbons said Tulowitzki took infield during batting practice while the Blue Jays were in Oakland in the second half and “he looked great. I have no doubt about his defense if he is healthy.

“If he gets to it, you are freaking out. He will make the backhand play as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. His off-balanced throws will be on the money. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

As far as offense, O’Dowd said because Tulowitzki’s power is to right-center, Yankee Stadium plays to his strengths.

“It is as good a move as you can make,” Gibbons said of the Yankees’ signing of Tulowitzki. “You have almost nothing to lose and if he stays healthy, you have one of the best shortstops of all time.”

Stay tuned. What happens with the infield is bound to be interesting.

 

 

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.

 

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.