Tag Archives: Melancon

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


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?



Baseball Winter Meetings.

Yankee Stadium Frieze
No more action on the Yankees front since the signing of Matt Holliday.

They are rumored to be in discussions with Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Chapman is said to want a six-year deal, which is probably a bit much for a closer, although the Yanks did give a six-year deal to the Goose (1978-1983).

There also have been rumors of reuniting with Boone Logan for the bullpen, and of maybe going after Luis Valbuena as a utility man.

There are other relievers the Yanks are looking at also.

A couple of teams did make some moves.

Mark Melancon to SF. 4 yrs., $62MM.

Joaquin Benoit to the Phillies on a 1 yr. deal. $7.5MM

Steve Pearce to Toronto.2 yr. $12.5MM

Washington is still a rumor hotbed regarding them getting Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale or both.




WS Game 2: Cueto’s 2-hitter puts KC 2 up.

Johnny Cueto threw a CG 2-hitter, and KC beat the Mets 7-1 to go up two games to none in the World Series.

Both hits the Mets got were by Lucas Duda.

The Series resumes in NY on Friday night.

The relief awards were given out yesterday. The AL Mariano Award for best reliever went to Andrew Miller of the Yankees, and the NL Trevor Hoffman award to Mark Melancon of the Pirates.

Who gets Yu?

No, it’s not a psychological question as to your relevance. It’s a question of which major league team won the bid for  Japanese pitching star Yu Darvish.

Rumor is that the Yankees put in a modest bid. If it was modest, they’ll lose out. Rumor also has it that the winning bid is sky-high, over $50 mil. Maybe it is the same as the $51.1111111111 (whatever) bid that Boston put in for Dice-K.

Boston made moves today. They traded Jed Lowrie and another to Houston for Mark Melancon. You may remember when Melancon was in the Yankees system.

The Red Sox then went and signed Nick Punto to a 2-yr. deal.

Get this. MLB, in their new CBA, has a clause that players who want to change uniform numbers have to give 8 months advance notice or basically pay the warehouses that market MLB material for the backlog of their OLD uniform jerseys. I’m not kidding. Of course, if they are traded to a team in which their old number is retired, that doesn’t apply (for example, if someone wearing #3 was traded to the Yankees…).

All-Star breaks in the future, by the way, could be 4 days, not 3 according to the new CBA.

Kelly Shoppach back to Boston, which could spell the end of Varitek in Boston. Shoppach hit .176-11-22 for the Rays last season, OPS +72.

J.C. Romero to St. Louis.

Game 102. Yanks lose heartbreaker, 3-2. Besides Berkman, make another deal for Kearns.

The Yanks lead is down to one.

The whole game came down to one pitch and two swings.

The Yankees swing came by Nick Swisher, a two-run HR in the first. The Yanks opened the game with a single by Jeter and  Swisher’s HR. After that, 0 r on 2 H.

Hughes pitched great and had a 2-0 lead, & 3-hit shutout with two out in the sixth. Two on. One pitch away from getting out of the inning. A 2-2 count.

….and then he gave up his first road HR of the season. 3-2 Rays and that is how it ended.

The loss cuts the Yanks lead down to one. Each team had only 4 hits tonight. Ouch.

Hughes drops to 12-4, 4.07. 6 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 w and 6 K. One bad pitch, that’s all.

Joba went two and was the Joba we want. 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3K. ERA to 5.60.

Tonight, Alex didn’t look good at all. I’ll take no #600 as long as I see good swings, a hit, some ribbies. Saw that before. Not tonight. Tonight was bad.

But more Yankees news. I wrote about Berkman on a previous post. Now another Yankees deal as they get Austin Kearns from the Indians for a Player TBD or Ca$h.

Kearns is 30 and a righty bat. Mostly a RF, he has played LF and CF. He was hitting .268-8-42 for the Indians, OPS+ 111. He had lousy years in 2008-2009, but I like this move for the Yanks, and it could be a sign that Thames is gone. Kearns is far better than Thames defensively. It is a sign that Thames’ D was bothering the Yanks as much as it was me.

Kearns hit .315 as a rookie for the Reds in 2002 with 13 HR. He has some pop, hitting 15 in 2003, 18 in 2005, 24 in 2006 & 16 in 2007. His 162 g. average is .257-20-81 with an OPS+  of 104. I can easily see him playing LF against lefties (and providing better D than Thames), with Gardner switching to CF with the lefty-challenged Granderson sitting.

It bolsters the bench—a bench that had Thames (3 HR this year), Cervelli, Pena and Curtis (3 MLB career HR COMBINED) just got Berkman (326 career HR, 13 this year) and Kearns (113 HR, 8 this year). I can’t knock Cashman here. It improves the bench and the team.  

I like the moves. You?

I’d like Scott Downs yet. Buster Olney however, is saying Cashman is looking for someone who can play 3B when Alex DHs. Not good news for Pena.

Pena’s glove is ok. The bat isn’t. Hence the search.

Word is that Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes are headed to Houston.

Melancon was 0-0, 9.00 in two games with the yanks this year. In his MLB career, 0-1, 4.87 in 20 1/3 IP. 15 games. For SWB he was 6-1, 3.67 this year with 6 saves. The righty reliever is 25.

Paredes was a 2b, 21 (expendable with Cano) at low A Charleston. .282-5-48 this year, but with 36 SB. Switch-hitter. 4 levels down and with Cano…

Berkman for this? Great deal.

Odds and Ends.

Got and E-mail from Dan with the Glenn Beck Program,

There is a charity event going on for Special Operations Warrior Foundation. To raise money for the event we are having a charity auction. One of the auction items is tickets to the NY Yankees game, Yankees Vs. Houston Astros on June 12th in the Steinbrenner Box. This is being auctioned off on charityfolks.com (


Got another e-mail about Don Mattingly being an active blogger at lockerblogger.com. Want to check out Donnie? Go here.

Good points by Joel Sherman today. Randy Winn could be playing himself off the roster (and in my view, especially if Kevin Russo asserts himself). Then this on Jeter:

(before last night) .204 in May with a poor .247 SA. 2 for 19 with RISP. Before this year, 1.98 outs on the ground for each in the air. This year? 3.56 and he hadn’t made an OF out in five straight games. .358 at home, .580 SA but away? .198 with a .236 SA. Only .248 vs. righties. 30 SB last year, only 4 now.

Good points. You wonder if Derek is ok. Or as Sherman states, one of these years a slump won’t be a slump but the bellwhether of a decline of an older player. Jeter will be 36 soon. We hope a lot is left in the tank, but where is that needle right now?    

ESPN reporting Phils have interest in the White Sox’ Putz or Jenks.

NY Post reporting that Nats may have interest in dealing for Roy Oswalt of the Astros, who has requested a trade. 

Good news from AAA, where SWB had an afternoon game. Granderson was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI. SWB won 6-3. Melancon with the W. Jon Weber 3 doubles. Albaladejo’s 14th save (1.61).





Game 41 preview. Don’t look back…and injuries force Yankee moves.

From LoHud, moves. Some comments by me.

Chad Moeller up. (A no-brainer, with Posada on the DL. We’ll see a lot of the Great Gazoo, Cervelli, now. Some may ask why not Montero or Romine? For one thing, Montero is struggling at .230 in AAA. Romine is hitting well at AA but you can’t retard their developments by having them sit on the bench and not play. Another thing is this: Montero was just benched for a lack of hustle recently. You can’t “reward” him with a promotion at this time, either.  … and speaking of lack of hustle, more on that in a bit.)

Johnson to the 60-day DL to make roster room. Another no-brainer. Some may think that there should be another zero after the sixty the way Johnson’s injury history is.

Kevin Russo up. The Yanks could really use versatility now, and he and Pena provide it.

Melancon down. Maybe he’ll stick in the future, but he can’t come up and keep averaging a 9.00 ERA.

As for the lack of hustle…Hanley Ramirez’ comments about manager Fredi Gonzalez never  having played in the majors are so off-base. Hey, Hanley! Got some news for you since you probably can’t be bothered to know baseball history. After all, you can’t be bothered to hustle.

Ever hear of Joe McCarthy, Hanley? You may want to check his winning pct. as manager out. Pretty damned good, eh? Oh yeah, he managed seven WS champs…or, put it this way…he got seven more rings than you currently have. Jimmy Leyland has a WS ring and he never got to the majors. Walter Alston only played in one MLB game. He got 4 WS rings as a manager. Buck Showalter wasn’t a bad manager, no rings, but he didn’t do badly managing for someone who never played in the majors.

Uh, Hanley? Zip it.

The Yankee lineup tonight.

25-15. Very good after 40, but 4 GB of Tampa, and as Satchel Paige would say, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.” That something is the surprising Blue Jays, just one game back of the Yankees.

Jeter SS .266-4-23-4 OPS+ 93; don’t know if he is one of the injured and hiding it, but BA 50 points lower than career BA/OPS+ 27 below. Hits? 2793. Needs to pick it up.

Gardner CF .326-2-12-17 OPS+129; Who’d have thought his numbers would be like this and Jeter’s numbers would be like his are? Right now, Gardner is the OF “Stalwart.”   

Teixeira 1B .213-7-30-0  OPS+ 104; The Yanks really need him to carry the team. See Jeter, also.

Rodriguez 3B .295-6-32-2 OPS+ 143. See Teixeira, Jeter. 589 HR.

Cano 2B .340-9-28-2 OPS+ 170.

Swisher RF .293-7-24-0 OPS+ 151 Much needed return.

Miranda DH 3 for 17. .176. 1 HR and 2 RBI. Here’s your shot, Juan. Read them the act.

Cervelli C .373-0-17-0, OPS+ 159. He’ll see everyday time, now.

Winn LF .182-1-7-1, OPS+ 53. Yanks need him to step it up.

Pettitte, 5-0, 1.79 ERA+ 226; looking for career win #235, 1 behind Ford.

Team OPS+ 126; Team ERA + 106.
Record 1 worse than Pythagorean.

Game 40. Sizzling Rays push Yanks 4 GB. 10-6.

A.J. Burnett gave innings, but little else last night. His 2nd pitch of the game was hammered for a HR, and the Rays went on to a 10-6 win over the Yanks. The Rays (29-11) opened up a four game lead in the AL East over the 25-15 Yankees.

AJ went 6 2/3, giving up 6 R on 9 H, 4 walks and 4 K in falling to 4-2, 3.86. Boone Logan gave up 2 R in 1/3 of an inning and Mark Melancon gave up 2 R in 2 IP.

A-Rod hit #589.

The score wasn’t that close as the Yanks got four in the bottom of the 9th to make it closer than it appeared.

The Rays stole six bases. Many times the Rays are like the Angels in that their speed (on the bases and on defense) makes the Yanks and others look old. All the SB were off of Burnett/Cervelli, four in one inning (including a double steal and an error by Cervelli on a pickoff attempt).

You have to cut down the Rays running game.

Jeter was 1 for 5 and down to .266. Gardner 2 hits, .326. Cano 4 hits, .340. Miranda, Teix and Winn all 0-4, with Miranda and Teix each striking out twice. Winn has to start stepping up with Granderson out, and he hasn’t done it yet. Of course Teix has to come around.

Don’t look back, someone might be gaining on you. The loss also means that the Yanks are only one game ahead of 3rd place Toronto.

Minors: AA Trenton rained out.

AAA: SWB won 7-5. Chad Huffman 3-3, 2 RBI. Reid Gorecki 2 hits, 2 RBI. Romulo Sanchez 6 shutout innings, 1 H, 6 walks.

High A: Tampa 8-3 losers. 2 hits, solo HR for OF Jack Rye (.321). 7 R in  5 2/3 for Dan Kapala (1-3, 3.89).

Low A:  Charleston lost 12-5. Kelvin Perez 11 R, 2 ER in 2 2/3.

Game 39. Delayed, see if it gets in

Posada still out and day to day, according to LoHud


Yankees 25-13, 2 GB (and how hot are the Rays?)

Derek Jeter SS  .268-4-23-4, OPS+ 96 BA low for Derek.
Brett Gardner CF .323-2-12-17 OPS+ 125 Leads Yanks in BA
Mark Teixeira 1B .224-7-30-0 OPS +112
Alex Rodriguez 3B .284-5-31-2 OPS+ 134  588 HR, leads team in RBI
Robinson Cano 2B .322-9-24-2  OPS+ 161  Leads team in HR
Francisco Cervelli C .400-0-15-0 OPS+ 174   24 for 60
Marcus Thames RF .365-2-10-0 OPS+ 177  19 for 52
Juan Miranda DH .125-0-0-0   OPS+ 55   1 for 8
Randy Winn LF .213-1-6-1  OPS+ 73

LHP CC Sabathia  4-2  3.71   ERA + 108 


The game is delayed. Hoping for 8 instead of 7.  

Update: 740. LoHud reporting that the tarp is off. Golson sent down, Melancon here. 

Putting a damper on things.

It is raining here in Eastern PA, and I just checked the weather forecast for Yankee Stadium. Rain is expected right through Thursday. Tonight’s game (Boston) and tomorrow night’s (Rays) are both in jeopardy.

If you didn’t see it, check out Joel Sherman’s column today. It is not a knock on Nick Johnson, but it points out that Johnson’ injury could be a blessing in disguise for everyone except Johnson. With Posada turning 39 in August, Jeter 36 next month and Alex 35 in July, the injury to Johnson may help them. With Johnson out, a rotating DH spot may evolve between the trio. This may enable the aging players to stay fresh. Check out Sherman for more. Good article.  

Among the guys eligible for the batting title, guess which Yankee has the best BA right now? If you said Gardner, you win. .323

Reading where Melancon may be called up…that is, if it stops raining.

The Post also has a story about Thames rising to the occasion, and many times. I didn’t know about his mom. Good stuff.