Tag Archives: Yoshida

JUDGE RETURNS! But more needs to be done and a LF option is off the market. What about Rodon for rotation?

He is back! Aaron Judge will be a lifetime Yankee. 9 yrs. $360 MM. No trade clause. Expect him to be named captain as well.

Until a few days ago, the Yanks were still at 8/300 then 8/320 but with the Giants offering a 9th year, Judge and Hal Steinbrenner had a conversation. Judge really wanted to stay a Yankee, Hal really needed him back and so he got the extra year and $$.

The Padres tried to sweep in and offer a bigger deal at the last minute. Some say 10 yrs/and $400-410MM. But Judge wanted to stay a Yankee and needed to see fair market value and then give the Yanks a chance to match which he thought was fair, which they did.

I think of things on a couple of ends. For Judge, it is a chance to cement his legacy. An iconic player like a DiMaggio, Mantle or Jeter who is great for only one team, and that team is the most iconic in baseball. To go into the HOF as a lifetime Yankee. To have #99 forever on the wall in Monument Park. To be mentioned in the same breath as those Yankees whose numbers are retired.

Not only that but think of the endorsements Judge gets in NY. No offense to San Francisco, but Madison Avenue is in NY. Commercials, magazine covers, advertisements. That is just to name a few outside ventures that could bring Judge more money.

For Hal, marketing as well. How do you sell your team without its franchise player? Not only the face of the Yankees, but one of the top 10 if not the #1 face in the game itself? The Yankees had about 3.14 million fans come to Yankee Stadium last year. Without Judge, what would 2023 be? Would they lose 600,000 in attendance? 1 Million? Parking money? What about the YES network’s rating? The price of commercials on the YES network? Souvenirs? EVERYTHING would go down. Far less revenue.

MLB network surmised that in the last few weeks of the season, in which the Yankees had the division wrapped up and were playing Pittsburgh and Baltimore, that the Yanks still got $40MM more than usual because the fans came out and filled the Stadium because of Judge’s HR chase.

They needed each other. The deal had to be done. Imagine if free agency were around in the old days. Imagine the Yankees losing Joe DiMaggio right after WWII or Mickey Mantle after his triple crown season of 1956.

Yes, the last few years could bite the Yankees in the ass. But they couldn’t let Judge go. Judge wanted to stay. The Yankees NEEDED him to.

I am happiest for the little kids who wear Judge’s number. Remember the little boy in Toronto gifted a Judge HR ball and who met Judge? Remember his reaction? Now think how heartbroken he would have been if Judge departed. We are so happy when we get a great free agent. We forget how heartbreaking it can be on the other end, especially for a youngster. I still remember how I felt in 1974 when Bobby Murcer was traded to SF for Bobby Bonds.

But there is still a lot of work to be done and I am eagerly awaiting the Yankees next move. They are heavily involved in trying to get Carlos Rodon. I have advocated getting Rodon (27 wins and ERAs of 2.37 and 2.88 in the last two years) to make the rotation top notch. Cole/Rodon/Severino/Cortes/Montas. And you still have Schmidt and German in long relief if not traded to fill another need.

Speaking of that other need, the Yanks still need a LF. If you sign Rodon (looking for six years at $30mm per) and are then able to trade Schmidt or German, then they could be included in a deal with Pittsburgh for Bryan Reynolds. Benintendi, Conforto and Nimmo are still out there.

One guy that could have filled LF is Masataka Yoshida. He was posted this morning by Japan but went quickly even though there was a window for him up to January 20. Boston got him for $90MM over 5 years with a $15.4MM posting fee.

Taillon to Cubs; Yoshida posted

Well, I am still alive after the almost heart attack Jon Heyman gave me after an erroneous report on Aaron Judge that he retracted minutes after tweeting it. Still in all, he gave Yankees fans a heart attack for a few moments. Still no word on Judge.

UPDATE: JUDGE IS STAYING IN THE BRONX! 9/360. MORE LATER!

Meanwhile, Jameson Taillon, who led the Yanks in wins this past season (14) signed a 4-yr., $68MM deal with the Cubs.

Besides wanting to bring back Judge, the Yanks also need a LF. They would like to bring back Andrew Benintendi, but if they don’t, there is Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo out there. There also, as of today, and for a short while, is Masataka Yoshida, who was posted by his Japanese club today. Teams have until January 20 to sign him.

Yoshida will be 30 next summer. A lefty hitter, he has a .327 career batting average in the NPB. This past season, hie hit .336-21-89 in 121 games, and he consistently walks more than he strikes out. This past year was 82 walks and 42 strikeouts. Besides Conforto, Benintendi and Nimmo, Yoshida very well could be a Yankees target.

Cody Bellinger signed a 1 yr, $20MM deal with the Cubs to try to get back to what he used to be and to re-establish his value.

Free agency begins. Some Yankees moves.

From Major League Baseball Trade Rumors.com

The Yankees announced they’ve selected pitchers Jhony Brito and Matt Krook onto the 40-man roster. New York also outrighted outfielder Tim Locastro off the roster, and the speedster elected minor league free agency upon clearing waivers.

Both Brito and Krook have played seven seasons in the minor leagues. That’d have given the right to elect free agency this evening if the Yankees didn’t place them on the 40-man roster. New York clearly values both enough to keep them from hitting the open market, with each player cracking a 40-man for the first time.

Brito, 25 in February, is a former amateur signee out of the Dominican Republic. He’s a quality strike-thrower, and Baseball America wrote this summer that he could develop into a back-of-the-rotation starter. The righty split this year between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, working to a 2.96 ERA through 112 2/3 combined innings. He only struck out 20% of opponents but had a tiny 7.7% walk rate.

Krook spent the whole year in Scranton, starting 22 of 29 appearances. The University of Oregon product, a fourth-round draftee back in 2016, pitched to a 4.09 ERA over 138 2/3 frames. He had a solid 25.7% strikeout percentage but walked an elevated 12.1% of batters faced. The left-hander is generally regarded by evaluators as a likely future reliever.

Locastro, a 30-year-old outfielder, has seen sporadic action for the Yankees in each of the last two seasons. He appeared in 38 games this year but worked mostly as a late-game entrant based on his speed and defense. Locastro hit .186/.239/.349 in 46 plate appearances this year and is a career .227/.325/.331 hitter. He spent most of the season in Scranton, putting up a .240/.332/.395 line over 47 games.

The Yankees announced that they have added right-hander Jimmy Cordero to their 40-man roster.

Cordero, 31, logged 83 innings of MLB action across the 2018-2020 time frame, putting up a 4.55 ERA in that time. Unfortunately, he required Tommy John surgery in March of 2021, wiping out that entire season. The White Sox outrighted him at the end of that campaign.

He signed a minor league deal with the Yankees for 2022 and was able to return to the mound by June. He eventually made 32 appearances for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In 38 2/3 innings, he posted a 2.09 ERA, along with a incredible 31.8% strikeout rate and 51.7% ground ball rate.

Based on that strong showing, he’s earned his way back onto a 40-man roster. He has one option year remaining, which will allow the Yankees to use him as an optionable depth arm in 2023. He has between two and three years of MLB service time, meaning they can keep him around for years to come if he continues to hang onto that roster spot.



Also (and not from MLBTR) the Yanks are reportedly interested in Masataka Yoshida from Japan, who I wrote about a few days ago. Lefty hitting OF. Good bat-to-ball contact. Think Benintendi with more power.

The Yanks offered the qualifying offer to Anthony Rizzo ($19.65MM). We will see if he accepts or wants a little more, like 2 years/$40MM.

To no surprise, Aaron Judge added the Silver Slugger award to his Hank Aaron Award. We wait for all-MLB and MVP awards.

Notes from Boone/Cashman press conference




Since I’ve been out on disability for a while, I was able to watch the Boone/Cashman press conference yesterday. Here are a few takes from it.

Since everything revolves around Aaron Judge, they would like a deal sooner rather than later. Nothing would be as bad as being scorned and then having no backups to fall back on. Cashman denied any friction with Judge from this spring’s negotiations.

Neither thinks a drastic retool is necessary. They think the Yankees would have been far more competitive in the ALCS vs. Houston if LeMahieu, Benintendi and Carpenter were healthy. I can agree there. Judging by their comments about Benintendi’s and Carpenter’s injuries, it appears that they will be reaching out to both of them to see if they can get both back.

One thing that concerned me was their defense of Josh Donaldson. Now if anyone were on the trading block, neither Boone nor Cashman would be tipping their hand on that. But to state that Donaldson, 37 next month, underachieved offensively but still has something in the tank goes against everything we saw this year. He looked cooked. But with Donaldson’s contract being horrible, I guess they have to hope. They did think Donaldson deserved to be among the three Gold Glove finalists at 3B, though.

SS appears to be a competition next spring training. IKF could still be there but will be pushed by Peraza and possibly Volpe. Oswaldo Cabrera figures in here too. Peraza was described as impressive in his short 18 game stint at the end of the season. Other terms used for him was that he needed to improve and develop last year (done) hence not an earlier callup. Jack Curry, on the YES network, mentioned that IKF was a polarizing figure to the Yankees fanbase much as Sanchez was. Boone and Cashman were defending IKF at the presser, stating that IKF (as a bridge) did everything that was expected from him.

They would like Anthony Rizzo back. Rizzo will opt out of his $16MM deal, but the question is will he accept a qualifying offer of $19.65MM or go for more? Or accept more years at less than the qualifying offer? (2 yr/$18MM per). But the Yanks hope to work something out with him.

To no surprise, the Yanks WILL pick up Severino’s $15MM team option. One more rotation piece could be in play. It could be retaining Taillon (a free agent) or going elsewhere. After the front three of Cole, Cortes and Severino, there still is Schmidt, Montas and German even if Taillon goes, but you know what they say…. you NEVER have enough pitching.

The feeling is that Stanton was playing through something at the end of the year. I feel the same way. His batting average after June 1 was Gallo-like.

Cashman’s contract actually expired October 1. He wants to return, and Hal wants him back, so it is like Cashman is working pro bono as of now. But you figure something will be worked out soon there.

I wrote down notes haphazardly while the conferences were going on, but there is a quick synopsis for you.

UPDATE: One thing I didn’t like: From the NY Post: In other bits of info from Cashman’s press conference, he said he wouldn’t discuss trading players but noted that outfielder Aaron Hicks would be back and that the team felt he still had something to offer. Really? Ugh. But then, if he is on the market, they don’t want to say anything hurting Hicks’ trade value (which is probably low enough already).

Other things I came across:

A sad state of affairs. Graig Nettles states that the Yanks stopped inviting him to Old-Timer’s games and events some five years ago and he doesn’t know why. It’s a shame. Nettles should have a plaque in Monument Park (#9 is already retired for Roger Maris and I don’t think Nettles deserves that honor, but a plaque? Definitely). Apparently, someone in the front office has it in for Nettles, but who?

One tweet on Twitter accuses the Yanks of being more of a corporation than anything else, including a baseball organization. Looking at how they have the YES network, are involved with an Italian soccer team, have the Pinstripe Bowl, were in negotiations to play regular season games in France (and remember they played in England recently, also Japan) I have to wonder if that person is correct, and if so, that could be a scary thing. After all, I remember the CBS years, where the Yanks were not the priority of a corporation, but just part of it. You would like it to be 100% baseball. Does this explain the fan base’s exasperation with the owner and the front office? Or some of the postseason failures of recent times? After all, Hal is more corporate than the old man was as far as divesting his interests (or so it appears). And the last time the Yanks won, or even went to the WS, the old man was still alive (although much diminished in capacity). Hal’s track record does seem more corporate and bottom line than baseball oriented, and is that a problem and a cause of the postseason disappointments?

Finally, another Japanese player few have heard of to keep an eye on. Yesterday I mentioned RHP Koudai Senga.

Now, Masataka Yoshida. If the Yanks are not able to bring back Benintendi, Yoshida has many of the same skill sets as Benintendi. He is a lefty hitter. He turns 30 next July. He hit .336 with 21 HR and 89 RBI in Japan this season. His power would probably drop in the USA but then again, Benintendi only had five HR this season. Like Benintendi, a contact hitter. Benintendi had 52 walks and 77 strikeouts while hitting .304. Yoshida had 82 walks and only 42 strikeouts. Yoshida has hit .326 in Japan and has 427 walks to 307 strikeouts. He has had four seasons of 20 or more HR (which would be what here? 12-15?). If you take Yoshida’s career stats in Japan and divide by five, his average season in Japan comes out to something like .326-27-95 over 156 games. Taking into account the tougher MLB competition, could he hit .280-15-70 here? Be Benintendi-like for a cheaper price? Be a backup consideration if the Yanks can’t sign Benintendi? Just throwing his name out here because until recently, I hadn’t heard of Yoshida (or Senga) either. But most of us haven’t heard of these Japanese stars who could be MLB-bound. So just passing his name out there and informing you (and me).