Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell Traded to San Diego

The Yankees have traded Chase Headley back to the San Diego Padres, along with Bryan Mitchell. In return the Yankees will receive outfielder Jabari Blash. Also, the Padres will be taking on all of Headley's salary, which is $13 million. Making it clear that Brian Cashman is not done spending this offseason.

While Blash put up an impressive batting line of .285/.419/.617, with 20 home runs, last year at AAA El Paso, I don't see him as a regular in Major League Baseball. Jabari is 28 years old, and did appear in 61 games for the Padres last season, so he isn't a "nobody".

But another outfielder?

It's already been speculated that Jabari will be designated for assignment, but I can't help but wonder if there's more going on behind the scenes. Was Blash taken to keep outfield depth since Cashman has something in place to ship out Brett Gardner and/or Jacoby Ellsbury?

We shall see what's to come in what looks to be a very interesting offseason for the Yankees.

Solving The Logjam In The Outfield

There are a lot of ways Aaron Boone can fill the outfield and designated hitter spots in the lineup in 2018.

Mind you, I'm sure some of these guys could play the other positions. For example, Judge or Stanton may be able to pick up left field just fine. I'm just listing guys in those places based on where they've played recently, and fairly often.

When it comes to left field we have Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, or Aaron Hicks.

In center field there's Jacoby Ellsbury (did you know he hasn't played any other outfield position besides center field since 2010?), Brett Gardner, or Aaron Hicks.

And in right field there's Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier, or Aaron Hicks.

Furthermore, with his injury history, Boone will probably slot Stanton into the DH spot at least a couple of times a week. We'll also likely see Aaron Judge batting out of the DH spot at times, too, as this not only allows Judge to get a half day of rest, but it also allows Stanton to play right field (his normal position).

Having options when filling out a lineup card is great, but there is such a thing as too many.

First of all, it would leave Boone to constantly second guess himself, and be second guessed by others. He's already a first-time manager, so there's no need to make his job tougher. Every single day he'd hear something along the lines of "why didn't you start (insert name) instead of (insert name)?"

Secondly, the Yankees are not going to carry six outfielders on their active roster. With only three or four bench spots available to them, usually depending on bullpen needs at the time, chances are only one of them will go to somebody that exclusively plays in the outfield.

We've been hearing about ways the Yankees could trade Jacoby Ellsbury for a long time, but I just don't see it happening. Ellsbury has already said he doesn't want to leave the Yankees (damn that no-trade clause), and with three straight years of being a below average hitter, I don't see why anybody would want him... no matter how much of his contract the Yankees pay.

There's also been talk of trading Brett Gardner. I think the possibility of this is better than with Ellsbury, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for news of a deal to happen. Brett's OPS+ the last three years is exactly 100, which means he's an average hitter. His ability to not only play a strong left field, but center field as well, is great. However, with only one more year on his contract, he doesn't come off as a guy teams are looking to "rent".

Aaron Hicks would draw some interest, but I don't think the return would be enough that Cashman would seriously consider this possibility. Don't get me wrong, I like Hicks, as I believe what we saw in 2017 is more like the hitter he can be. And this Aaron can play any outfield position, and play them well. But would you trade anything significant for him? I don't think so. Perhaps if he has another season with the bat like he just had, but you can't forget 77 OPS+ he hit overall in his previous 1289 plate appearances.

That leaves Clint Frazier.

No... I'm not going to bother saying why neither Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge would be traded.

Clint didn't blow anybody away in his first taste of the Majors, but we're talking about a very good prospect (Keith Law ranked him 20th back in April). Frazier was actually the centerpiece of the group of players the Yankees received when they dealt Andrew Miller to Cleveland. At 22 years old he has plenty of prime years in front of him, and five of them will be under team control.

So there's no doubt that a large handful of teams would try and get him from Cashman.

To be clear, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury are not what makes me say the following. The fact that Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Aaron Hicks should play regularly, coupled with the fact that Clint Frazier is better than a fourth outfielder, is why I say this...

Trade Clint Frazier.

The Yankees starting rotation currently includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery. Severino looked like an ace last season, and isn't set to be a free agent until the 2022 offseason. Masahiro Tanaka had an up and down 2017, but he's closer to the 2016 guy we saw (when he finished 7th in Cy Young voting) than the one we saw last year, and he won't be a free agent until after the 2020 season. Sonny Gray is pretty darn good, especially when he gets some run support, and he's signed through the 2019 season. And while Jordan Montgomery would be one of the better pitchers on pretty much every other MLB team, he's currently the fourth best with the Yankees, and will not be a free agent until after the 2023 season.

So the Yankees do not need another starter. They could easily just sign CC Sabathia, sit back, and smile at a pretty awesome starting rotation. But why do that when you can do something better? Why "settle" for Sabathia as the team's final piece to the rotation? Trade a nice asset, at a position overflowing with possibilities, and get another good to great young starter.

Recently Gerrit Cole's name has popped up as a trade target. The Diamondbacks could use some offensive help, and have pitching to spare. The Brewers and Rockies also have some good starters but lack a bit offensively.

The fact of the matter is Clint Frazier is more valuable to the team as a trade chip than he is as a player. If Clint could play center field then we are not having this conversation. And if Stanton or Judge were not any good in the field, and thus should be relegated to DH, then we're not having this conversation.

In fact, the only reason I can see holding onto Frazier is if the Yankees either can not get a good return in a trade, or they are convinced neither Judge nor Stanton can play left field. I don't believe that first part, but if that second part is true then hold onto Frazier to take over left regularly either this year after Gardner is traded or next year when Gardy's contract is up.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Did Giancarlo Stanton "Rip" The Miami Marlins Today?

Giancarlo Stanton took to social media to say his goodbye's to Miami an hour before being introduced officially as a member of the New York Yankees. In his statement some think that Stanton intentionally took a shot at the Miami Marlins organization while others simply think many are looking too far into his words. What say you? Here is the text from his social media account, leave your thoughts on it below in the comments section and let's get this conversation started.

“Thank you to the Marlins Organization & the amazing city of Miami! The city that adopted me at 17 with open arms. I’ve loved this place over the years and it will always be special to me,” Stanton wrote. “I appreciate All my teammates & coaching Staff that battled day in and day out

"I feel for u fans, you’ve stuck with me as we’ve shared some roller coaster years. I’ve always tried to be as professional as possible during the unprofessional , circus times there! Regardless of the Ups&downs, I’ve grown n learned a lot as a Person/Player. So for that I give thanks, I hope there are better days in Miami . The city & the people are too great not to be! Stay positive & much love!.”

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Imagining a Lineup w/ Giancarlo Stanton

The deal that will bring Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx is all but done pending a physical so it is time to dream here in the Bronx. Here is the lineup I would throw out there on Opening Day in Toronto had I been chosen over that Aaron Boone guy.

Brett Gardner
Aaron Judge
Didi Gregorius
Giancarlo Stanton
Gary Sanchez
Greg Bird
Aaron Hicks/Clint Frazier
Chase Headley
Gleyber Torres/Tyler Wade/ Ronald Torreyes


The New York Yankees and the Miami Marlins have agreed to a deal that would send Starlin Castro and a package of "lower level prospects" to the Marlins for outfielder and reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

Yankees expected to take on ALL of Stanton's contract while holding onto top prospects like Gleyber Torres and others.

More as this develops.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Dawn of the Baseball Winter Meetings...

If you are going to dream, dream BIG…

Giancarlo Stanton.

Such a tease! For the last month, Yankees fans have dreamt of the idea of Giancarlo Stanton wearing Pinstripes. But with Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner’s budget and his drive to reset luxury tax penalties this year, the likelihood of Stanton coming to the Bronx appears to be about as strong as Shohei Otani changing his mind and deciding that he loves New York after all. 

Still, it’s tough to hear that the Yankees are one of four teams that Giancarlo Stanton would openly waive his no-trade clause for. The list includes the Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers (his hometown team and favorite growing up), the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs. I am mildly surprised that the Los Angeles Angels didn’t make the cut for the LA native (I know, they are not really in Los Angeles). It’s hard because the timing isn’t right for a team that is trying desperately to stay under $197 million for the payroll this year.

It’s possible that Stanton eventually accepts a trade to either the San Francisco Giants or the St Louis Cardinals but the longer this drags out, the more likely it is those teams will move on. If the Giants land Otani, it would seemingly improve their chances for getting Stanton to accept the already negotiated trade to the Giants. I tend to side with the majority that believe Otani will end up in Seattle, particularly now that they’ve gained an edge in international bonus pool money. Could this help the Yankees snag Stanton?  I guess time will tell as it often does.

For the Yankees, the decision to sign Jacoby Ellsbury four years ago yesterday to the seven-year, $153 million contract is the gift that keeps giving (in a negative way). Ellsbury, now Baseball’s highest-paid pinch-runner, is an albatross for Team Hal. As long as Ellsbury’s contract hangs around the neck of the Yankees, it will be difficult for them to find the creative way to bring Stanton to the Bronx even though they have the resources to pull it off.

The Seattle Mariners had looked like a strong potential trade partner for the Yankees depending upon how much of Ellsbury’s contract the Yankees were willing to eat. But the Mariners removed themselves from the conversation with their trade acquisition yesterday of second baseman Dee Gordon, whom they intend to move to center field. The Boston Red Sox just look at the Yankees, stuck with Ellsbury, and laugh. There were no tears shed in Boston when Ellsbury signed with the Yankees. My closest Red Sox friends were glad to be free of the King of the DL four years ago.      

It’s incredible to imagine Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same lineup. It will never happen (will it?) but the protection in the batting order the Yankees could offer Stanton would be immense. It would be fun to watch all of those balls flying out of Yankee Stadium.

I keep hoping that GM Brian Cashman and his team, against all odds, can find a way to get creative while staying in line with Hal Steinbrenner’s budget. By self-admission, Cashman is paid to think outside of the box. Here is his latest opportunity. Make it happen! The realist in me knows that it will not come to fruition but it is fun to dream about. Taking on Stanton’s contract would be far better than paying over a half-billion dollars to Bryce Harper next off-season.

I feel bad for Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly who now gets to watch as his team is stripped of its best Major League talent. Donnie Baseball deserves better. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter is obviously finding that it is not so easy sitting on the other side of the table with a strict budget in hand.

The Bronx Coaching Staff…

Now that the Yankees have their manager (Aaron Boone) and the return of the pitching coach (Larry Rothschild), the focus is on the remainder of the coaching staff. I have not heard Tony Pena’s name at all. He is a valuable coach and I’d like to see his return. We’ve heard the names of Yankees ‘thirty-something’ minor league coaches Reggie Willits and Carlos Mendoza as possibilities.  We know that Rob Thomson, Josh Paul and Al Pedrique are no longer options, having found MLB employment elsewhere.  It was odd that the first name drawing attention is current Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen coach Josh Bard. A former catcher, the possibility of adding Bard leads me to believe that there is no interest in bringing back Pena.  Bard and Boone played together briefly in Cleveland. I seriously hope that Bard is not under consideration for Bench Coach. At Boone’s press conference, when asked if managerial experience was a prerequisite for the bench coach, Boone responded that he wanted smart and confident sitting next to him. Sounds like a possible setup for Bard. I guess it’s not like there is no managerial experience on the bench. Larry Rothschild was the original manager for the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays when they entered the league in 1998. But regardless of Rothschild’s presence, I personally would prefer to see experience sitting with smart and confident to offer suggestions to the new first-time manager.

Bard played for five teams over 10 seasons during his pedestrian career as a backup catcher, yet I think of him as a Red Sock. That’s kind of funny considering that he only played 7 games in 2006 for the Red Sox. The intent was for Bard to catch knuckle baller Tim Wakefield, who ironically gave up Boone’s 2003 ALCS Game 7 home run. But 10 passed balls in those 7 games ended his time in Boston. 

Credit:  Jim Davis, Boston Globe
Based on GM Brian Cashman’s words, they’ve provided a list of names to Boone and Boone has provided names to them and they are going through the vetting process. So, it’s highly probable that other guys, beyond Bard, have been or will soon be interviewed. Boone talks about having a world-class coaching staff, but it’s tough when we’ve seen a few world class guys like Thomson, Paul and Pedrique walk away from the organization. I hope that Boonie is right. The team’s leadership will be very instrumental in the success of the young Baby Bombers as we move forward.

Note to Brian Cashman…

Please re-sign CC Sabathia. What are you waiting for?...

Credit:  MLB.com
I am always anxious to see what the Baseball Winter Meetings will bring. Those few days bring the most excitement of the off-season. It’s very possible that nothing happens for the Yankees but it should be a fun week anyway. With such a large concentration of media gathered in Orlando, Florida beginning this weekend, rumors of trades and signings should soon start flying fast and furiously.

I’d love to be working on a post next week entitled ‘How the Yankees Made the Stanton Dream a Reality’…

Go Yankees!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It was this day in 1941 that the Japanese bombed the port in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. With that act of war the United States was forced into a war they didn’t really want to be a part of, World War II. We all know the stories, the movies and the history behind Pearl Harbor and the war and I don’t know about you but I’d like to not remember the day. Let’s remember the people, the people that died, the people that lived and shot those Japanese planes into the Pacific Ocean and the people who were survived by the decease.

I can’t say it enough, thank you. Remember the people, remember the day, just don’t remember the event.

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/7: Enter Jacoby Ellsbury

On this day in 2013 the New York Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven year deal worth $153 million to join Brian McCann as the second new member of the Yankees this week. Ellsbury turned down offers from his former team the Red Sox, the Tigers and the Mariners to patrol center field in the Bronx.

Also on this day in 2001 the Yankees and the Mets made a rare trade as the Yankees acquired third basemen Robin Ventura for outfielder David Justice. This is only the sixth time these two teams have made a trade in the 40 years the Mets have been around and the first time since the 1992 trade of Kenny Tanaka to the Yankees for Kenny Greer.

Also on this day in 1995 the Yankees acquired a couple former Seattle Mariners players. First New York signed Tino Martinez to a deal worth $20.25 million on the same day his wife gave birth to replace Don Mattingly at first base. Also the Yankees swung a trade to acquire relief pitcher Jeff Nelson for Sterling Hitchcock and Russell Davis.

Also on this day in 1973 the Yankees acquire outfielder Lou Piniella from the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Ken Wright and pitcher Lindy McDaniel. The Yankees definitely won this trade as Piniella would hit .295 in 11 seasons as a Yankee including four trips to the World Series. McDaniel would only win six games in his two seasons in Kansas City

Also on this day in 1962 the Yankees rookie short stop and left fielder Tom Tresh would win the Rookie of the Year award from the BBWAA. The 24 year old got 13 of the 20 votes from the voters to win the award

Also on this day in 1939 the owners voted on a new rule that would prevent the team who won the pennant the previous year from buying, selling, or trading players the next season. Boy the efforts to hold the Yankees down have been going on forever. The Yankees would finish in third place the next season due to this winter meetings decision.

Finally on this day in 1939 the Yankees Iron Horse Lou Gehrig was elected into the Hall of Fame. The five year waiting period was waved for Gehrig, who played his final game on June 30th of 1939, because of Gehrig's diagnosis of ALS.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Hey everyone after a crazy couple weeks death in family.   I should be here now without any Interruptions and I want to hear from you questions and comments are welcome. Send them in to JamesCPalma at gmail dot com. 

Let’s go Yankees ! 

The Changing of the Guard...

Thoughts While We Wait for the Press Conference…

Aaron John Boone officially takes the reins as the 33rd Manager of the New York Yankees today at Noon ET. I continue to see so many opinions, both strongly tilted toward the pros and the cons. Being upset or taking a strong position that Boone is not the right guy serves no purpose. Regardless of how you feel, Boone will be the guy delivering the lineup card on Opening Day, March 29th, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. There is nothing that you can do or say that will change Boone from taking that walk. So, it is in our best interests to unite and support the next manager of the Yankees.  

Credit:  Sporting News Archive/Getty Images
Personally, I am excited to see what Boone can do. Admittedly, I wasn’t crazy about the lack of managerial or coaching experience but Boone has so many other positive attributes.  We’ve heard about his unique ability to relate with everyone, his sense of humor, his immersion into Major League Baseball as a youngster due to his grandfather, Ray Boone, and father, Bob Boone, both Major Leaguers.  Boone has said that he has prepared for 44 years for this job. Boone’s predecessor, Joe Girardi, won a Manager of the Year Award in his first season as a manager with no coaching or managing experience (2006 with the then-Florida Marlins). Granted, he was fired after the season, but still, there’s no reason that Boone can’t reach the same accomplishments (excluding the end of the year firing).  

The immediate decisions that face Boone is the composition of his coaching staff. Larry Rothschild is returning as the team’s Pitching Coach but so far, that’s the only official announcement. The bench coach will be a critical hire and needs to be someone with strong managerial experience. The Yankees lost very strong in-house candidates when Josh Paul, Rob Thomson, and Al Pedrique left to join the coaching staffs of other MLB teams. Eric Wedge’s name has been thrown out as a possibility but so far, there have been no strong indications who might take the role. Yankees minor league coaches Reggie Willits and Carlos Mendoza have been cited as possibilities for the staff but neither has the experience to serve as bench coach. I am expecting the return of Alan Cockrell, Hitting Coach, and Marcus Thames, Assistant Hitting Coach, although they could just as easily walk away. It’s been mentioned that Mike Harkey, the bullpen coach and a Girardi buddy, could return. That one does surprise me a little since he was a Girardi friend and hire. Tony Pena is someone the Yankees should bring back. He’s certainly qualified to serve as bench coach despite his years as the first base coach.  

Perhaps Boone addresses the coaching staff during today’s press conference or the staff is assembled over the next few weeks. Either way, I will be watching and listening with interest.  

Al Pedrique’s departure (to join the Oakland A’s as first base coach) creates an opening at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A replacement has not been named but I could easily see the elevation of High A-Tampa Yankees Manager Jay Bell to the position. I really hated to see Pedrique go. I felt he would have been the ideal bench coach…an experienced manager who has strong relationships with the younger Yankees. The A’s denied the Yankees permission to talk to their manager, Bob Melvin, but then stole one of the Yankees’ best coaches. Almost immediately, the A’s fans talked about the excitement of a coach who could help mold Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian based on his past experiences with them. Ouch!  He could have been doing that with the Baby Bombers.

Credit:  Jason Farmer, Scranton Times-Tribune
It was sad to see Rob Thomson take a lateral position with the Philadelphia Phillies, leaving the Yankees after 28 years in the organization. He will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge for Phillies rookie manager Gabe Kapler. Thomson must like sitting next to very physically-fit managers. It’s too bad he won’t be there for Aaron Boone but it’s probably hard to stay with an organization when you are passed over for a job you felt should be yours.  

It’s a tough time to fill a coaching staff considering most other teams have finalized their respective staffs. I keep half-expecting Bret Boone to added. No idea what qualifications he has other than being a former Major Leaguer but like Aaron, he obviously grew up in a baseball family. His recent jokes about sexual harassment probably nixed the possibility he’d join his brother’s team.  

Credit:  Alan Berner, The Seattle Times
The Yankees have cash to spend on the international market ($3.5 million) with the rejection by Shohei Otani but so far, the Yankees have been idle while Billy Eppler and the Los Angeles Angels have been very aggressive. Yesterday, the Angels signed two former Braves prospects including the top-rated shortstop Kevin Maitan and another shortstop, Livan Soto. The Yankees need to bring in more catching prospects but the Phillies grabbed former Braves catching prospect Abrahan Gutierrez.  

Baseball activity seems to be picking up in general. The minor free agent signings are picking up so there should be major movement with the free agent market over the coming days.  The Baseball Winter Meetings start Sunday in Orlando, Florida so next week should be a wild ride. Clint Frazier’s latest tweet (@clintfrazier) was “my cat has been staring at my shower drain for three straight hours and i’m freaking out”. We really need more excitement with the Yankees!  

Today should be a fun day. Welcome (back) to the Bronx, Aaron Boone! Go Yankees!