Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Yankee Fans! Or Is It?

Another off-season, following another disastrous year for the Yankees. What's next for Yankee Universe? Is there any hope of returning to those glory days, now fading away? Or at least some semblance of a team that George Steinbrenner would have put on the field?

Per media reports, the Boston Red Sox have signed both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. (Note: the Yankees can cross another potential Derek Jeter replacement off the list).  With that being said, Brian Cashman is now on the clock.

So far, the Yankees’ strategy has been to make an offer and play a waiting game. It worked for Chris Young, but it will not work for Chase Headley or Brandon McCarthy. We want to believe the Yankees’ will make their usual off-season splash, but will that be enough? No.

While signing Max Scherzer and/or Jon Lester would be “splash” worthy, the Yankees’ have a ton of holes they need to fix. Most notably, finding Derek Jeter’s replacement.  (Here’s A-Rod!) I’m kidding, or not.  

Yankees Offered "Utility Player" for Jimmy Rollins

According to Jayson Stark of ESPN the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies have had discussions recently regarding a potential Jimmy Rollins trade. Originally it was reported that the asking price was simply too high but now we have learned that New York offered a "utility player" for Rollins' services. The only conceivable utility player I could see the Yankees offering for Rollins would be Jose Pirela, no?

It is also worth noting that according to Stark Rollins was not interested in becoming a Yankee...

Yasmany Tomas Comes off the Yankees Board

Breaking news out of Arizona as the news has been reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed Cuban defecting outfielder Yasmany Tomas to a six year deal worth $68.5 million. There was never any indication of whether the Yankees were interested in Tomas or not but he is definitely off the board either way now.

Sabathia: Staying Healthy Necessary For Yankees' 2015 Success

Yankees' Pitcher CC Sabathia sees staying healthy as the key to the team's 2015 success.

Sabathia said so during a recent interview with the YES Network, in which he also commented on what the Yankees should do this offseason. Sabathia is coming off an injury-shortened 2014 campaign, and expressed his eagerness to return to the field.

However, he still made it clear that more players than just him have to stay off the disabled list in order for the Yankees to contend again next season, namely their other big arms. 

“Just to be healthy, I think, [would make a difference],” Sabathia said. “I don’t know how much we need [in terms of new additions] — I don’t evaluate the talent or anything like that – but I know myself, [Ivan] Nova, Big Mike, if we can stay healthy for a whole year, I think we have a better chance of making the playoffs.”

Yankees fans probably hope that's true, as the team has now missed the postseason for two consecutive years. The last time they did that was from 1992-1993, before Derek Jeter arrived.

And Sabathia, with his wounded knee, may just be another reason for their decline. He had a 4.78 ERA in 2013 and a 5.28 one this season, yet said that he can still be as a 200-inning, 30-start guy for them in the future. 

“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “I feel like I can. If you asked me that a couple of months ago, I would have said, ‘I don’t know,’ but the way I’m feeling now and being able to work out, definitely.”

Sabathia is likely guaranteed a spot in next year's rotation, so it's a safe bet he'll get a chance to back up that statement. He may not be in the front half of it for the first time in pinstripes, but nonetheless, he'll be throwing every five days. 

Sabathia, 34, was 74-29 with a 3.22 ERA with the Yankees from 2009-2012, but has noticeably lost velocity on his fastball since.

Updating My Offseason Ideas

First that shirt, and now Boston? Really, Hanley?

Now that the Boston Red Sox have signed Hanley Ramirez, my ideas for the offseason have already been ruined. Although, and I'm being honest here, I was never completely comfortable with the idea of Ramirez in pinstripes. It just seemed like the best way to fill the position, while also strengthening a poor batting lineup.

So it's time to update my offseason ideas.

One idea that I'm going to stick with is the one saying the Yankees should re-sign David Robertson. 

If you want the full rundown as to why I think it's important to re-sign Robertson, then you can click the link above for my previous idea article. Let's just say that whether Betances fills in as the new closer or not, losing David would leave a gigantic hole in the bullpen. And the past postseason clearly showed us how important a strong bullpen can be.

I'd rather not have to rely on a trade to fill a hole on the team, but at this point the Yankees don't have much of a choice. That's because the free agent crop of shortstops is not good. Stephen Drew? Asdrubal Cabrera? Jed Lowrie? Those three options make me think of a scene from Coming To America...

"___ you, ___ you, and ___ you. Who's next?"

So trade for Starlin Castro. Trade for Didi Gregorius. Trade for Elvis Andrus. Heck, trade for Jimmy Rollins. Just do not settle for one of those three stooges mentioned above.

Another story surrounding the Yankees' 2014/2015 offseason, which in my mind ties into the shortstop situation, has to do with their situation at third base. I had said that I wanted the Yankees to bring back Chase Headley, and I'm not completely changing that stance. 

Did you catch that? I said, I'm not completely changing my stance on that one.

See, if the Yankees end up acquiring somebody with an average bat to play shortstop, then I believe it would be ideal for them to get a more proven player at third base. For example, if they traded for Jimmy Rollins, then by all means bring back Chase Headley to man the hot corner.

However, if Cashman and Company were somehow able to deal for somebody like Starlin Castro, then allow either Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela to play second base while Martin Prado handles things at third.

The reason I say that is there's a better than zero percent chance that both Refsnyder and Pirela do not pan out. If that were to happen, and the Yankees have a poor hitter playing shortstop, then you're looking at another below average lineup in 2015. 

Take a look at this possible batting lineup...

1. Brett Gardner
2. Jacoby Ellsbury
3. Brian McCann
4. Carlos Beltran
5. Mark Teixeira
6. Alex Rodriguez
7. Martin Prado
8. Average Shortstop
9. Rob Refsnyder/Jose Pirela


Take out the kids, add Chase Headley, and you can feel a little better...

1. Brett Gardner
2. Jacoby Ellsbury
3. Brian McCann
4. Carlos Beltran
5. Mark Teixiera
6. Chase Headley
7. Alex Rodriguez
8. Martin Prado
9. Average Shortstop

Like I said... feel a little better. 

By the way, I didn't think that hard about the order. So tinker with that if you want, but don't rake me over the coals if you don't agree with it.

Either way, it doesn't look like the offense is going to be a whole lot better than it was last season. That brings me to my last idea.

Even though the Yankees have plenty of starting options going into 2015, too many of them have questions. Will Masahiro Tanaka's elbow hold up, or will he need Tommy John surgery? Can we trust Michael Pineda's shoulder? Is it dumb to think CC Sabathia can be effective ever again? Are Shane Greene and David Phelps for real? Will Ivan Nova return and be 2013 Nova or 2012 Nova?

So while I called for the re-signing of Brandon McCarthy in my last idea article, the need for great run prevention is just too much. Therefore, I'm changing things up and asking the Yankees to sign either Max Scherzer or Jon Lester.

I honestly don't care which guy it is. Both of them are solid bets to start 30+ games, are basically the same age, and should end their contracts being a middle of the rotation starter at worst. I guess I lean towards Lester since he's spent plenty of time in the AL East, is left-handed, and doesn't come with draft pick compensation. But comparing the two seems like splitting hairs. 

So let's break it down...

-Sign David Robertson.
-Trade for a shortstop.
-Sign Headley if the new shortstop is a weak hitter, or if the new SS hits well then just move Prado to 3B and Refsnyder/Pirela to 2B.
-Sign Jon Lester or Max Scherzer

Now, let's see how long before my ideas are shot to hell again.

What I’m Thankful For: New York Yankees Edition

Earlier in the day I got all sappy and I laid out everything I was thankful for and I urged people to also be thankful and help thy neighbor. I’m over the sappy mushy stuff now and it’s back to work as we take a look at what certain members of the New York Yankees have to be thankful for.

Brendan Ryan
“As of right now I am the Yankees starting shortstop.”

Masahiro Tanaka
My Japanese is rusty so something that loosely translated to “I’m thankful my arm has not fallen off.”

Alex Rodriguez
“I’m back #*%&$”

John Ryan Murphy
“See ya Cervelli”

Chris Young
“I’m thankful for two walk off hits and a hot two weeks in September that has kept me from unemployment checks.”

Brian Cashman
“I’m thankful for Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy bringing me three more years.”

Hal Steinbrenner

“The Greedy Pinstripes for giving me ideas to sign players that Brian Cashman doesn’t want.”

The Yankees Will Stay At Three Years For Chase Headley

Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees are not willing to give Chase Headley an offer above three years.

It's entirely possible that this is just posturing, as I'm willing to bet that it's going to take at least a four year offer to sign Headley, because there's plenty of competition for the third baseman. You have the Giants who just lost Pablo Sandoval to Boston, then there's the Indians, Blue Jays, and Padres showing interest.

While Chase is a couple years older than Sandoval, who just got a five year contract, the two are not that different when it comes to producing on the field. Headley had an OPS+ of 119 in 58 games with the Yankees, while Sandoval's OPS+ this past season was 111. In fact, if teams could be confident that Headley's injury woes would stay in the past, then a five year deal could certainly happen.

Furthermore, Headley turned down a three year extension with the Padres last spring. That doesn't mean that a three year offer definitely won't work, as Chase may have turned down San Diego's offer in order to try and catch on with a contender, but it strengthens my feeling that he's looking for at least four years this offseason.

If the Yankees do pass on Headley, then they could simply slide Martin Prado over to third base, and allow Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela to man second, which doesn't sound like the worst idea. However, due to the team's offensive woes this past season, I'd feel better with battle-proven players like Headley and Prado as regulars in the lineup over Prado and Refsnyder/Pirela.

No thanks, Alex.

IBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot

Los Angeles – The IBWAA released its 2015 Hall of Fame election ballot Tuesday, with the names listed below. Balloting will take place electronically between December 1 and December 31, 2014, with the results being released via Twitter on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. PST.
The IBWAA ballot compares identically to the BBWAA ballot, with the following exceptions:
1. Craig Biggio’s name does not appear on the IBWAA ballot because he was elected by the group in 2014.
2. Mike Piazza’s name does not appear on the IBWAA ballot because he was elected by the group in 2013.
3. Barry Larkin’s name does appear on the ballot because he has not reached the 75% threshold in an IBWAA election.
Per a group decision in 2013, the IBWAA allows members to vote for 15 players, instead of the previous 10, beginning with this election. Players’ names link to their respective pages on
Ballot tabulations by Brian Wittig & Associates.
The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Voting for full season awards takes place in September of each year, with selections being announced in November. The IBWAA also holds a Hall of Fame election in December of each year, with results being announced the following January.
In 2010, the IBWAA began voting in its own relief pitcher category, establishing the Rollie Fingers American League Relief Pitcher of the Year and the Hoyt Wilhelm National League Relief Pitcher of the Year Awards.

Among others, IBWAA members include Jim Bowden, Jim Caple, Mike Petriello, David Schoenfield, Mark A. Simon andDan Szymborski,; Kevin Baxter Los Angeles Times; Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports Hardball Talk; Bill Chuck,; Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; King Kaufman, Bleacher Report; Kevin Kennedy, Kostya Kennedy, Sports Illustrated; Jonah Keri, Grantland; Vlae Kershner,; Chuck Culpepper and Will Leitch, Sports on Earth; Jill Painter Lopez,, Bruce Markusen, Hardball Times; Ross Newhan; Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder,; Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News; Eno Sarris and Wendy Thurm, FanGraphs; Tom Hoffarth and J.P. Hoornstra Los Angeles Daily News; Pedro Moura, Orange County Register; Neil Payne,, Tracy Ringolsby,, Ken Rosenthal,, Dan Schlossberg, USA Today and Jesse Spector, Sporting News.

Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $20, or $35 lifetime. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available. Members must be 18 years of age to apply.

For more information please visit

What I’m Thankful for This Year

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and there’s no better time to be thankful then right now. I love the holidays, if you have been following the blog long enough you know that, so I tend to perk up a little more than usual this time of year. Good food, better friends, and family are my thing and I especially buy into the “giving and not receiving” category. This year I am especially thankful when I have more going on than ever just because I’m here, I’m alive, and I have you guys.

There is a ton going on in my life right now and it seems like everything I own is tearing up, stopped up, or won’t stop when it’s supposed to. Those things can be fixed, replaced, or redone but what cannot be redone is what I have built in my life. I have a beautiful Italian wife and two even more beautiful children that consume every bit of my heart. I have a successful blog that I love getting up every day and working on and I have a few guys and gals that get on, read my stuff, comment in the comments section, tweet us on Twitter, and seem to genuinely care about us. For that I am forever indebted and I am forever grateful, thank you all.

So on this Thanksgiving eve let’s make a vow to make this holiday season the best yet for everybody. So what your car is broke down and your toilet is stopped up because your four year old flushed a cell phone and it got in the trap. You’re alive and for that reason alone you’re blessed. If you’re fortunate enough to have everything you need and them some help someone who isn’t. If you’re not fortunate enough to have everything you need, I’m sorry, please tell me how I can help you.

I’ve babbled a lot longer then I planned to here but that’s only because I feel so strongly about it. Help people and be thankful that you can and if you receive help then be thankful that you did and pass it along. We can all have a great Thanksgiving and we can all have a great holiday season but it has to be done together. Stay well my friends and an early Happy Thanksgiving. 

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Go Quiet for Thanksgiving

I have a feeling it will be a quiet Thanksgiving holiday on the Yankees front as the team will not sign anyone on Thanksgiving day or Black Friday, not even minor league signings.

Vote in our poll!!

Boston May Be Signing All the Free Agents BUT….

We’re still the ones that killed Omar Gaddafi… just saying. Keep up Boston. Stay strong. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/26: Yankees Trade Drabek

On this day in 1986 the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates hooked up in a trade where the Yankees sent prospects Doug Drabek and others for Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante, and Pat Clements. I haven't heard much out of the three we got in return but I do remember Drabek winning the Cy Young Award for the National League in 1990 after posting a 22-6 record.

Also on this day in 1962 the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers hooked up for a trade when the Yankees sent first basemen Bill Skowron to Los Angeles for pitcher Stan Williams. Williams was coming off of a 14-12 season with a 4.46 ERA and Skowron was coming off of a season in which he hit .270 and slugged 23 home runs while knocking in 80 RBI's. In Game 2 of the World Series "Moose" Skowron will hit a home run against his former team as revenge.