Thursday, December 11, 2014

Boras Confident Scherzer Would Help Out Yankees

After trading away Shane Greene and failing to retain Brandon McCarthy this week, the Yankees have some holes to fill.

With just over two months left until the beginning of spring training, they have a depleted starting rotation essentially consisting of two unknowns, with three more recently-injured guys in Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia filling out its upper half.

Indeed, they're in some trouble right now when it comes to their pitching staff, but according to agent Scott Boras, they still may have hope at fixing things if they choose to pursue longtime Tiger Max Scherzer. Boras, of whom Scherzer is a client, thinks having an ace like the right-hander could help the Yankees contend again in 2015, citing the club's past decade of success as a reason. 

"That model of having 50 wins and 600 innings (from the top three starters) has worked very well for them," Boras told The Journal News' Chad Jennings Wednesday night. "You can go back and find when [Roger] Clemens was the No. 1, or [Mike] Mussina was the No. 1, or [Andy] Pettitte. They won a lot of world championships with that formula. The idea of them having No. 1 pitchers certainly would add protection to where their current pitchers are; take innings off of them, give them a little bit of an umbrella."

None of the candidates for the Yankees #4 and #5 spots next season are very experienced, so it's certainly arguable they will need some weight carried for them. David Phelps and Adam Warren have never been outside of the bullpen for a full year, and Manny Banuelos and Bryan Mitchell have a combined three major league outings between them.

However, since both Phelps and Warren looked good in 2014, it's possible they could be solid fill-ins while Ivan Nova is out, a period that's expected to stretch into May. 

“We have someone to lead, be the No. 1.," Boras said, referring to Scherzer. "I can’t predict what the Yankees are going to do, but I can tell you that a guy like Max fits into their starting rotation to develop a World Series caliber set that is similar to what they’ve had in the past when they’ve won.”

A group including Scherzer, Tanaka and Pineda definitely seems appealing, but when Scherzer's asking price is considered, it becomes somewhat less so. The 2013 AL Cy Young is reportedly seeking a seven-to-eight year contract worth $200 million, and the Yankees are relucant to hand out such length.

Not to mention, they probably don't want to surrender that kind of money, either, something heavily suggested by their Monday treatment of David Robertson.

Catch Up on the Final Day of the Winter Meetings

Yankees 2014 Rule 5 Draft Recap

No news is good news, right? I always believed that was a contradictory statement as if there isn’t anything then there can’t be anything, right? So no news is no news. I’ve always wanted to start a petition to say “no news is good” instead of no news is good news, kind of like how people “could” care less instead of couldn’t care less, but I never got around to it. Maybe next year.

ANYWAY, the New York Yankees left Kyle Roller, Mark Montgomery and others unprotected and none of them were claimed. They will all spend at least the 2015 season with the New York Yankees as of right now. New York had three open spots on their 40 man roster and did not pick anyone either. So no news is good I guess, carry on. 

Jon Lester, $25.84 Million in AAV & I’m Not Having Fun Anymore

Breaking News out of New York where reports are circulating that the days of the deep pocked Yankees and endless money supply seem to be over. In the days of The Boss George Steinbrenner would have snatched up Jon Lester just because it would hurt the Boston Red Sox. George operated in the red for many years while owning the Yankees as the team seemed to be his hobby and his passion and not so much his job like his sons portray. Lester earned a $25.84 million AAV for six years with the Chicago Cubs and while that’s a ton and he’s probably not going to be worth anything near that in four or five years, maybe six in the National League who knows, George would have done it.

The days of the hot stove and rumor seasons being fun are over I do believe. In its place are fiscal responsibility and the hopes of austerity after the 2016 and 2017 season when players like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and CC Sabathia are off the books. These have the potential to be dark times ahead in Yankees land ladies and gentleman and I don’t look forward to it.

Be wary and be warned. 

The Yankees' Offseason So Far

So far this offseason is like riding a roller coaster.

First there was the signing of Chris Young to be the team's fourth outfielder. I wasn't worked up one way or another by this signing, as it's just a bench player. However, I'd rather see that spot given to a youngster, since Young is hardly somebody that's going to be a difference maker. Speaking of which, I'm not fooled by his time with the team last season, as that type of output is way above what he's done in his nine year MLB career.

That signing was followed up by the signing of left-handed pitcher Jose De Paula. If I didn't care a whole lot about the signing of Chris Young, this acquisition certainly wasn't going to get me hot and bothered. My initial thought was that De Paula was going to be a 2nd lefty in the bullpen until Jacob Lindgren is brought up.

Finally came some fairly big news, as the Yankees traded Shane Greene to the Arizona Diamondbacks for shortstop Didi Gregorius. I was really happy with this move. Sure, it stunk seeing Shane Greene shipped off, but the deal made a ton of sense for a team in dire need of a shortstop to replace the retired Derek Jeter. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe Didi will be a star. However, the Yankees made a nice move to get younger and gear up for the future, rather than just shell out big money for somebody like Hanley Ramirez, or settle on a so-so veteran like Stephen Drew.

My smile got a little wider when I learned that we had signed Andrew Miller, a 29-year-old lefty reliever. Here we have a guy that's struck out 13.6 batters per 9 innings over the past three years, and should be an incredible compliment to Dellin Betances, a right-hander that stuck out 13.5 guys per 9 innings last season. Of course, I assumed the Yankees would bring back David Robertson to be their closer, and complete a vicious three-headed monster in the bullpen.

I understand that the Yankees have been able to build a strong bullpen year in and year out, so there's really no need to spend a lot of money on relievers. But why spend $36 million on Andrew Miller only to let David Robertson, a better reliever, sign elsewhere for just a couple million more dollars per season (Miller and Robertson both signed four year deals)? If they had only planned on signing one of them from the start, why not spend a few more dollars to get the better of the two? If Andrew were two years younger than David I could make sense of it, but Miller isn't even two months younger than Robertson.

Not surprisingly, my reaction was tame next to some of the hate spewed out towards the Yankees and Brian Cashman. But unlike some fans, who continue to be pessimistic about the teams chances to win in 2015 and beyond, I'm actually liking the way things are going.

The fact of the matter is the Yankees are getting younger, and they appear to be looking to the future.

Currently, the Yankees have young players like the aforementioned Didi Gregorius (25 years old, and under team control through 2018), Masahiro Tanaka (26, signed through at least 2017), Michael Pineda (25, under team control through 2017), Ivan Nova (27, under team control through 2016), Dellin Betances (26, under team control through 2019), Rob Refsnyder (23, under team control through at least 2021), Jose Pirela (25, under team control through at least 2021). And then there are other minor leaguers who could make an impact in MLB fairly soon, like Manny Banuelos, Jacob Lindgren, Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Ian Clarkin, and Greg Bird.

I'm absolutely not saying that the team shouldn't look at some of the bigger names in free agency, either now or in the future. But by building a solid base of younger, cost-controlled, players the team can afford to give a big contract to a stud player without suffering due to it should an injury occur. So sprinkle in a guy like Max Scherzer this season, who could turn a good rotation into a great one. Or possibly sign Justin Upton a year from now, once he becomes a free agent.

What the Yankees should never do again is sign aging stars to big contracts like we saw in the mid-2000s. The Yankees signed 39 year old Kevin Brown in 2004, and paid him over $31 million for two years and barely over 200 innings of work. Then there was Randy Johnson, who got nearly $32 million for his age 41 and 42 seasons, and was an average pitcher despite winning 34 games. And who could forget the Yankees giving 44 year old Roger Clemens $17.4 million in 2007, and seeing average output along with the worst strikeout rate of his career?

The bottom line is that this isn't George Steinbrenner's Yankees, and while I certainly miss The Boss, I'm perfectly okay with that. No longer should we see knee-jerk reactions to poor play, or reactionary signings to what teams like the Red Sox do. Perhaps Cashman and the team will sometimes over-think things, and therefore miss out on players that would otherwise be good for them, but that's better than throwing out huge money to guys that just happen to be at the top of some experts top free agent rankings.

Meet a Prospect: Didi Gregorius

Mariekson Julius “Didi” Gregorius was traded to the New York Yankees last week in a three team trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks in essentially cost the Yankees Shane Greene. Didi was born on February 18, 1990 and is one of only a handful of major league players ever to be born in Curacao. Didi has some rather large Nike Air Jordan’s to fill as he replaces the legendary Derek Jeter so let’s meet the man donned with the task.

Didi previously played for the Cincinnati Reds in 2012 and the Arizona Diamondbacks the past two seasons before coming to New York and is just 24 years old, 25 in time for the season to start. The Reds signed Gregorius as an amateur free agent in 2007 and stashed him in their minor league system until September of 2012 as he was one of many to make his debut as a part of September call ups. Gregorius made his major league debut five days later on September 5th and apparently did enough to garner enough interest from the Arizona Diamondbacks because the Snakes acquired Gregorius after the 2012 season.

The Reds, Cleveland Indians and Diamondbacks pulled off a three way trade in which the Reds acquired Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald while the Diamondbacks received Gregorius and relief pitcher Tony Sipp for a trio of pitchers they sent to Cleveland highlighted by Trevor Bauer and Matt Albers. Gregorius would hit his first career home run during that 2013 season with his new team inside Yankee Stadium conveniently against the Yankees and Phil Hughes. Gregorius spent much of his time in Arizona splitting time with the likes of Chris Owings and/or being assigned to Triple-A. Now Gregorius will get an everyday job, or pretty close to it, with New York and I think I speak for most when I say we’re happy to have him.

Welcome to the family Didi. 

On the Final Day of the Winter Meetings…

On the final day of the Winter Meetings Brian Cashman should give me, Max Scherzer under my tree.

On the third day of the Winter Meetings Brian Cashman should have given me, Jon Lester pitching and Max Scherzer under my tree.

On the second day of the Winter Meetings Brian Cashman should have given me, David Robertson as Houdini, Jon Lester pitching and Max Scherzer under my tree.

On the first day of the Winter Meetings Brian Cashman should have given me, a reliable third baseman someone like Chase Headley, David Robertson as Houdini, Jon Lester pitching and Max Scherzer under my tree.

But he hasn’t and he won’t. Fire Cashman?

TGP Daily Poll: Max Scherzer will NOT Sign Today

Quick, simple and to the point. Max Scherzer will not sign today or before the end of the Winter Meetings.

Vote in our poll and send donations to Hal Steinbrenner’s Paypal so we can sign some players. 

Reminder: Rule 5 Draft is TODAY

"Deuces, Roller." - Mark Teixeira

Just a quick reminder that the Rule 5 Draft is today at the Winter Meetings. The Yankees have left notable prospects like Mark Montgomery and Kyle Roller unprotected while the team has open 40 man roster spots to claim someone if they so choose. Stay tuned for that as this draft is always pretty fun.

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/11: Willie Randolph

On this day in 1975 the Yankees went crazy trading for players with multiple deals that shaped the look of the franchise. The Yankees acquired second basemen Willie Randolph and pitchers Dock Ellis and Ken Brett from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Doc Medich. The Yankees also acquired outfielder Bobby Bonds for outfielder Mickey Rivers and pitcher Ed Figueroa from the California Angels.

Also on this day in 1959 the Kansas City Athletics traded outfielder Roger Maris and two other players to the Yankees for Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern, and Marv Throneberry. The A's were banned from trading with the Yankees for 18 months because they were being accused of serving as a big league farm club for the Yankees. This was the first trade between the two teams since the year and a half suspension.

Finally on this day in 1951 the Yankees Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement at the Yankees Fifth Avenue suite. DiMaggio claims he "no longer has it" in his speech due to his age and his injuries and ends his career after 13 seasons. DiMaggio finishes with a .325 batting average and 361 home runs.