Friday, October 3, 2014

Could the Yankees Acquire Ryan Howard This Offseason?

Could the Yankees be players for aging Phillies' First Baseman Ryan Howard this offseason? Star Ledger baseball columnist Matt Lombardo says yes. 

According to Lombardo, who admits throughout his piece that Philadelphia just cutting Howard this winter is the most likely scenario, the Yankees could bring in Howard due to his experience and potential at the plate. Last December, the team signed a couple of notable veterans in Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran to respective contracts worth $17 million and $15 million annually, making the notion they'll do something similar with Howard not that far-fetched. 

Also, considering Howard hit .223 with 23 home runs and 95 RBIs this season (Beltran hit .233 with 15 homers and 49 RBI in 166 less at-bats; was on pace to hit 21 shots had he reached Howard's total) in one considered a failure by many it seems likely somebody of his caliber would be a minor improvement over what the club has now. Still, since the majority of the $60 million left on his deal would have to be paid by New York if they were to acquire him it's probable that they won't even bother, as spending all of that cash for slightly more production just doesn't appear worthwhile.

Read the rest of Lombardo's article here, in which he additionally lists the Mariners, Rangers, and A's as possible suitors for Howard.

TMZ Reports Derek Jeter Getting Married

According to Derek Jeter may or may not be getting married this weekend to the very beautiful Hannah Davis in Long Island, New York. Derek is supposedly throwing a "super secret" bash at the legendary Oheka Castle and the 24 year old Davis and the 40 year old Jeter are expected to be there.

Jeter mentioned that he was ready to start a family, one of the many reasons he decided to retire after 2014,  and Michael Jordan even asked Derek at Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium. I remember saying on Twitter that I could hear MJ asking Derek if he was getting married and Derek's response being inaudible.

This could be a retirement bash, or it could be a wedding, or it could be nothing. Either way, stay tuned.

Three Yankees Rank in Low-A South Atlantic League Prospects Ranking

Baseball America continues to rank the Top 20 prospects in every minor league stop and today BA covered the Low-A South Atlanta League, or sometimes referred to as the Sally League. Three members of the New York Yankees made the list including Luis Severino (#4), Aaron Judge (#8), and Ian Clarkin (#15). The Washington Nationals had the top spot and third spot on the list with RHP's Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. The Phillies shortstop of the future J.P Crawford took home the second spot in the rankings.

Hal Steinbrenner, Apology Not Accepted

On Tuesday afternoon the Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner had an interview with the YES Network’s and Yankees broadcast announcer Michael Kay in which he touched on a slew of topics. The final question given to Steinbrenner was something to the effect of “what would you like to say to all the Yankees fans?” in which Steinbrenner apologized. Well Hal, apology not accepted.

Here’s my set of questions for Mr. Steinbrenner.

Where were you during Derek Jeter’s last games at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park?

What are you doing to address the obvious needs for a new hitting coach and third base coach?

When will you stop simply throwing money at free agents and attempt to build a core?

What’s more important to you, and be honest, the on the field product or the green/black ink on your spreadsheet?

Who is in the naked pictures of someone in your family that Brian Cashman obviously has possession of that keeps him in a job? I want to scan a copy for Robert Refsnyder and Jacob Lindgren.

When are we going to win again?

Answer these questions for me Mr. Steinbrenner and then maybe I will accept your apology, not before. Until then this just sounds like another smoke screen, another sound bite, and another left hand waving at you to keep you distracted from what the right hand is doing. I’m not buying it and I’m not comfortable with getting into the habit of saying “there’s always next year” so get something done. You don’t have to be your dad, your dad was unique and special, but you have to be the owner because you are what you are. Act like it. 

Predicting the ALDS & NLDS

Wild Card Playoff rounds are officially over and it’s time for the American League and National League Divisional Series. For the AL we have the best overall AL West champion Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hosting the wild card Kansas City Royals. Also we have the AL East champion Baltimore Orioles hosting the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers. In the National League we have the best overall NL East champion Washington Nationals hosting the wild card winning San Francisco Giants. Also we have the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals. All series are best of five game series.

In the American League I truly believe that Los Angeles is going to be too much for just about anybody in the American League, especially the Royals. The other AL matchup will be a little more evenly matched and could easily go all five games. I give the pitching advantage to the Detroit Tigers and the hitting and bullpen advantage to the Baltimore Orioles and in the end I see Baltimore taking the series in five games using home field advantage to their advantage.

In the National League I cannot see the Giants getting past Stephen Strasburgh and the 19 other guys I could list from the Washington Nationals team. In the other match up I feel like the Los Angeles Dodgers are the better team but I feel like St. Louis is better suited for a postseason run. Sure Los Angeles has Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke but they don’t have Hyun-Jin Ryu and didn’t really squeak into the playoffs by any means. St. Louis fought until the very last game of the season before clinching the division title and I truly believe that will help them take down the Dodgers in a short series.

This sets up a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Baltimore Orioles match up in the AL and a Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals in the NL in both of the championship series. What say you?

The 2013 “Hal Cap” Is To Blame For The 2014 Season Struggles

The New York Yankees were one of the most oft-injured teams during the 2014 season and that in itself was to blame for much of the Yankees struggles this season, among other things. Star players that come over to New York in free agency generally need a season to adjust to the market, the fans, the environment, etc. so while the down years from Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran specifically received some of the blame as well I think those worries should be behind the team as well. The injuries will heal or be repaired this winter and the middle of the order should be better but the “Hal Cap” and the 2013 offseason is going to come back to haunt this team for a long, long time.

If New York had opened up the purse strings things would have been a lot different in New York. The Yankees had Russell Martin as their everyday catcher in 2012 before letting him walk away to Pittsburgh on a very team friendly two year deal. If the Yankees had been willing to give Martin that second year and a reasonable salary we as fans would not have had to endure Chris Stewart as an everyday catcher in 2013 and the team may not have Brian McCann for the next four or five seasons in the Bronx.

Torii Hunter was the same sort of situation as he wanted a multiyear deal from New York and the Yankees held on to their “one year only” philosophy. Hunter ended up signing with the Detroit Tigers for two years and, again, a very team friendly salary. In turn the Yankees signed Ichiro Suzuki to a two year deal and ultimately signed Carlos Beltran to a three year deal this winter. If the team had Hunter manning right field not only would the offense and defense have been better but Ichiro wouldn’t have received a two year deal and Beltran may be in Kansas City right now and not the Bronx.

The pitching I won’t nitpick with because overall the pitching was solid the last two seasons but one huge nitpick I will mention is the loss of Robinson Cano. If the Yankees don’t give mega million contracts to McCann, Beltran, and others then I truly believe Cano would still be in the Bronx. That may be the biggest factor into why the Yankees were not great this season and are likely to not be great, although they could be good, for the considerable and foreseeable future.

All this because Hal Steinbrenner wanted to clip a few coupons one season….

TGP Daily Poll: Washington Will Have Trouble with San Francisco

I think a lot of people are expecting any team that the Washington Nationals play this season will not have a shot this postseason and I disagree. While I don’t necessarily think the San Francisco Giants will beat the Nats I do think the series will go five games.

Vote in our poll. 

ICYMI: Hal Steinbrenner's 20 Minute Conversation

Here is the 20 minute radio interview from Michael Kay's radio show with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/3: Wild Card Winners

As we learned yesterday in this same series the New York Yankees and the Colorado Rockies became the first ever set of Wild Card winning teams when a fourth playoff team was added to the mix. On this day in 1995 the first American League and National League Division Series were played with the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, and the Atlanta Braves winning the first ever games.

Also on this day in 1947 in Game 4 of the World Series the Yankees pitcher Bill Bevens came within one out of pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. Cookie Lavagetto of the Dodgers came up with two outs in the ninth to pinch hit for Eddie Stanky and hit a two out double. The Dodgers would miraculously come back to win the game 3-2.