Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Maeda May Not Get Posted This Offseason After All

In a happening that will likely ruin some team's winter, Hiroshima Toyo Carp Pitcher Kenta Maeda may not get posted this offseason after all. 

Earlier this month, it was reported by numerous sources that Maeda wants to play for either the Yankees or Red Sox in 2015, something that would probably benefit either club. Maeda, though not necessarily as good as Masahiro Tanaka, has gone 82-58 with a 2.43 ERA during his seven-year career, one which began back in 2008.

"We have the right," Carp Owner Hajime Matsuda recently said, via Japanese news outlet Kyodo. "We would like to let him go, but based on his production this year it will be difficult."

According to the New York Daily News, the Yankees started their post-season pro scouting meetings yesterday, where they meet to discuss their future options. Among their needs this time around is a new shortstop, along with maybe a hurler or two. 

So, in spite of the fact that Maeda hasn't been that dominant lately this revelation isn't great for the Yankees, who currently lack a reliable starter. Going into next year, each of the guys in their rotation (which could end up consisting of the aforementioned Tanaka along with CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, and Brandon McCarthy) are either coming off an injury or are entering their first full campaign with the organization, a fact that's rarely positive when one's offense is already weak.

Yankees Considering Omar Minaya For Scouting Department Position

The New York Yankees are considering the San Diego Padres VP of Baseball Operations and former New York Mets General Manager Omar Minaya for a front office job in the organization. The Yankees are likely interested in Minaya for some sort of scouting job although no official statement has been released. It seems clear though that Minaya is not being considered at this time to replace Mark Newman as the head of the Yankees farm systems.

Sanchez & Refsnyder Rank In Top Eastern League Prospects

Baseball America has been releasing their Top 20 prospects in every league in the minor leagues and this time it's time for the Eastern League to shine. In case you were wondering the Eastern League is Double-A where the Trenton Thunder play. Two Yankees made this list including Robert Refsnyder and Gary Sanchez. Luis Severino did not throw enough innings to qualify for this list unfortunately. 

The Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor topped the list followed by the Red Sox Mookie Betts and the Indians Francisco Lindor for the top three spots. Yankees prospects Tyler Austin, Bryan Mitchell, Manny Banuelos, and others presumably just missed the list. This was one of the more deeper lists that BA has released this offseason. 

Yankees Trey Hillman Hired By Houston

The Houston Astros fired their manager and bench coach this season and have now hired Trey Hillman away from the New York Yankees to be their bench coach. Between the Gordon Blakely move, the Mark Newman retirement, the Kevin Long and Mick Kelleher firing, and Hillman leaving the Yankees again there sure has been a lot of change to this team this month.

If Dante Bichette Is Named The Yankees Hitting Coach...

If Dante Bichette is made the hitting coach for the New York Yankees let's hope his hitting tips translates as well as they did when he was a player. Bichette had a pretty nice batting line as you can see below:

1988 21 50 46 1 12 2 0 0 8 0 7 .261 .240 .304 .544 54
1989 48 146 138 13 29 7 0 3 15 6 24 .210 .240 .326 .566 60
1990 109 371 349 40 89 15 1 15 53 16 79 .255 .292 .433 .725 103
1991 134 475 445 53 106 18 3 15 59 22 107 .238 .272 .393 .665 84
1992 112 411 387 37 111 27 2 5 41 16 74 .287 .318 .406 .724 104
1993 141 581 538 93 167 43 5 21 89 28 99 .310 .348 .526 .874 117
1994 ★ 116 509 484 74 147 33 2 27 95 19 70 .304 .334 .548 .882 111 AS,MVP-14
1995 ★ 139 612 579 102 197 38 2 40 128 22 96 .340 .364 .620 .984 130 AS,MVP-2,SS
1996 ★ 159 694 633 114 198 39 3 31 141 45 105 .313 .359 .531 .890 112 AS,MVP-20
1997 151 602 561 81 173 31 2 26 118 30 90 .308 .343 .510 .853 103
1998 ★ 161 695 662 97 219 48 2 22 122 28 76 .331 .357 .509 .866 108 AS,MVP-21
1999 151 659 593 104 177 38 2 34 133 54 84 .298 .354 .541 .895 102
2000 155 636 575 80 169 32 2 23 90 49 91 .294 .350 .477 .826 105
2000 125 514 461 67 136 27 2 16 76 41 69 .295 .353 .466 .819 103
2000 30 122 114 13 33 5 0 7 14 8 22 .289 .336 .518 .854 110
2001 107 415 391 45 112 30 1 12 49 20 76 .286 .325 .460 .786 104
14 Yrs 1704 6856 6381 934 1906 401 27 274 1141 355 1078 .299 .336 .499 .835 107
162 Game Avg. 162 652 607 89 181 38 3 26 108 34 102 .299 .336 .499 .835 107

Where Are They Now: Joey Gathright Discusses Playing Against Derek Jeter

Joey Gathright joins the Where Are They Now In Sports gang on Youtube and discusses everything from playing against Derek Jeter to hanging out with Michael Jordan in this video. Enjoy.

Should New York Take a Flyer on Rafael Soriano Again?

It seems extremely likely that the Washington Nationals will not have the roster space nor the money to keep Rafael Soriano and his club option after the 2014 season, should the Yankees prepare for a #untuck redux? Yes and no.

Soriano was the saving grace of the Yankees during the 2012 season as he filled in for the great, and injured, Mariano Rivera as he untucked his way to the American League Championship Series with New York. Soriano went from the most expensive 7th inning man in the history of Major League Baseball to the Yankees closer in a matter of a calendar year and was a free agent at just the right time. Washington swooped him up after that successful 2012 season and plugged him into an already strong bullpen to be the team’s closer.

Since then Soriano has fallen out of grace in Washington and has struggled mightily which led him to lose the closer’s job with the Nationals. Soriano had a vesting option in his contract for the 2015 season that did not vest due to his inefficiencies and will likely make him one of the better free agents in the relief market this season.

If the Yankees can get Soriano on a shorter term deal, one year preferably, then I don’t necessarily have a problem with it. With all his struggled withstanding in his first season in New York and his time in Washington Soriano is probably still better than either Shawn Kelley or Preston Claiborne. It would likely be an expensive addition by subtraction but an addition by subtraction nonetheless.

If New York can get Soriano to come in once again to be the 7th inning guy but this time at a reasonable salary and contract than I am all for it. If he wants to get greedy again then I just hope and pray that Hank and Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine aren’t reading and preparing another lucrative contract loaded with opt out clauses. 

2015 Yankees If I Were GM: The Bullpen

The biggest strength of the New York Yankees since manager Joe Girardi has taken over has been the bullpen. Girardi has been able to adjust on the fly and mix and match well enough to keep the Yankees bullpen at the top of the league in terms of effectiveness. Girardi got away from this philosophy a little much this season when he relied heavily on the strikeout factory of Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson and also used Shawn Kelley a little too much but overall it was another successful season for the bullpen. Now with the impending free agency of Robertson and his 39 saves the bullpen may be a weakness for the first time in ages.

First and foremost Robertson is getting a qualifying offer for one year and $15.3 million. If Robertson wants the stability of a long term contract over the huge payday and almost a tripled salary then I almost have to hand him a contract and tell him to fill it out, sign it, and get back to me. Many around the blogosphere are ready to hand the reigns over to Betances but I am not ready just yet. That is not meant to be a knock on Betances whatsoever it just goes to show you how valuable Robertson has been. Sure Robertson is replaced by Betances as the 9th inning guy but do we really want to rely on Adam Warren in the 8th inning? Kelly in the 8th? Robertson gets replaced but who replaces Betances? There is no Betances on the free agent market and there is no Betances in the farm system unless Jacob Lindgren lights up the place.

Speaking of Lindgren after I secure Robertson for the 9th, slide Betances back to the 8th, and hope that Warren and Kelley can hold down the 7th I call up the young lefty as a LOOGY and multiple inning reliever. I would also give Jose Ramirez an extended look in spring training along with Bryan Mitchell to see if either are ready to take the next step.

The final bullpen slots will likely be filled by the players who miss out on the starting rotation, namely David Phelps and Shane Greene. I would love to have both of them starting but realistically, unless the Yankees uncharacteristically go against the grain and go to a six man rotation, one of them seems destined for the bullpen without even signing a single free agent. If a James Shields or Jon Lester was signed it is extremely likely that both would head to bullpen.

That’s it, I stick to the plan and I keep the homegrown talent in the bullpen. Between Robertson, Betances, Kelley, Warren, and Lindgren there may not be enough strikeouts to go around and that makes for an exciting and effective bullpen. 

TGP Daily Poll: Kansas City Clinches the AL Pennant This Week

Apparently the Kansas City Royals do not lost in the postseason so I am predicting that they clinch the American League pennant and head to the World Series this week beating the Baltimore Orioles.

Vote in our poll. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/14: Chris Chambliss Wins the Pennant

Chris Chambliss will forever be known and remembered for his home run that won the pennant in the America League for the New York Yankees in 1976. Chambliss won the Yankees 30th AL pennant with his bottom of the ninth walk off home run to beat the Kansas City Royals in Game Five of the ALCS 7-6. Fans rushed the field, security lost control, and the Yankees are headed to the World Series. My, oh my I don’t believe it.

Also on this day in 2000 Roger Clemens strikes out a record setting 15 Seattle Mariners in a 5-0 victory in Game Four of the ALCS. The Yankees would win the game behind Clemens’ one hitter.