Monday, February 23, 2015

Yankees weren't comfortable matching Red Sox offer to Moncada

The Yankees have been reluctant to spend big throughout the course of this offseason, and it appears that hesitation was the reason they missed out on Yoan Moncada.

The Yankees weren't willing to match Moncada's $31.5 million offer from the Red Sox -- essentially knocking them out of the sweepstakes for him -- team GM Brian Cashman said Monday.

Moncada had had three private workouts with the Yankees prior to making his decision, but New York was informed by his agent Sunday they weren't going to acquire his services. The Yankees reportedly went as high as $25 million for the Cuban infielder, a deal that would have cost them over $50 million due to their surpassing MLB's international spending limit.

But the Red Sox were evidently still fine with sacrificing more, and in doing so managed to lock up a prospect many expect to speed through the minors. 

"He's got a lot of ability and projects to be a quality player," Cashman said of Moncada, according to ESPN New York. "I don't think anybody disagrees with the ability."

On the Red Sox, Moncada will join forces with fellow Cuban slugger Rusney Castillo -- whom the club also inked last fall.

Moncada follows Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Abreu and Aroldis Chapman as a few of the notable players to have come from the island in recent years, and will certainly not be the last to make the trip. Infielders Hector Olivera and Andy Ibanez and RHP Yadier Alvarez have too had their names mentioned this winter, and are each said to have received interest from the Yankees.

The Yankees are still disappointed they couldn't get Moncada, though, and Cashman says they were in on him until the very end.

"We went to where we were comfortable going, and [Boston's offer] was an uncomfortable number to put forth," Cashman said. "But it still fell short."

The Yankees will now likely look to youngsters Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela to represent their second base of the future, a plan they seemed to be content with before choosing to give Stephen Drew another chance last month. Refsnyder and Pirela were already set to compete for a roster spot at spring training, so the absence of Moncada in the system could help their development. 

And maybe, in turn, shine some light on a day Yankees fans probably want to forget. 

"It just comes down to how much money you were willing to commit," Cashman said.

Yoan Moncada Signs w/ the Boston Red Sox

Okay so I can bring myself to admit it now... Yoan Moncada signed with the Boston Red Sox today for approximately $31.5 million. With the penalties for going over the International cap Boston will be on the hook for $63 million. New York was willing to go around $27 million but it wasn't quite enough to land the 19 year old.

This is a damn shame and I am pretty upset about it but I am going to calm down and collect my thoughts before I put them on paper. I don't like using the "F" word on the blog.

Few Yankees Change Their Jersey Numbers

A few members of the New York Yankees changed their uniform numbers entering this season so I figured I would catch you up on that. Also we will cover the new faces in the Bronx and showcase what number they will be wearing in 2015 in the Bronx.

First holdovers Austin Romine and Jose Pirela changed their numbers entering spring training. Romine changed his number to #55 while Pirela changed his number to #63.

New faces in New York were Nathan Eovaldi who will wear #30, David Carpenter is wearing #29, Chris Martin is wearing #61, Justin Wilson is wearing #41, Andrew Miller is wearing #48, Chasen Shreve is wearing #64, Didi Gregorius is wearing #18 and Garrett Jones is wearing #33.

Surprisingly Masahiro Tanaka did not take Hiroki Kuroda's old number as expected. Not yet anyway.

Most Popular Article of the Week: My Handwritten Reply to Alex Rodriguez

My apologies for the penmanship, I’m an online blogger for a reason.

Greedy Pinstripes Top 28 Prospects List: #6

Prospects Month is in full swing and we're already up to our 6th best prospect in the farm system,Gary Sanchez. Not too long ago Sanchez was the Yankees Top Prospect and it wasn't even close. This goes to show you just how deep the Yankees system is getting year in and year out and is less of a knock on Sanchez.

Here is the write up from Kyle McDaniel on Sanchez:

Gary Sanchez, C Video: You’d think the toolsier, older catcher that’s proven at a higher level would be above Torrens, but the red flags on Sanchez are starting to worry scouts. Youthful mistakes and lack of maturity are expected for kids that get $3 million when they turn 16, but scouts are still regularly using expletives to describe Sanchez’s makeup. Multiple sources have been telling me for multiple years that Sanchez appears to have no interest in catching, despite having the raw tools to catch and a 70 arm. He’s a 30 runner at best that flashes 70 raw power with a max effort swing in BP, but it plays more to 60 in games.  While there’s some associated prospect fatigue with him being on the radar for so long and not quite breaking out, he’s performed well statistically in Double-A at the same age as a college junior.

Sanchez has above average bat speed and bat control, but still varies his approach from pitch-to-pitch so his results don’t always match the raw tools.  Most scouts assume he’ll become a 1B/DH, like previous huge bonus July 2nd Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero, and there’s still the tools for a 50-55 bat and 60 game power, which is enough to be an everyday bat anywhere you put him.  That said, some people just don’t want to bet on the makeup changing and Montero’s path gives a compelling case to steer clear of Sanchez.

6. Gary Sanchez
7. Jacob Lindgren
8. Ian Clarkin
9. John Ryan Murphy
10. Luis Torrens
11. Tyler Austin
12. Bryan Mitchell
13. Miguel Andujar
14. Eric Jagielo
15. Jake Cave
16. Austin DeCarr
17. Tyler Wade
18. Juan DeLeon
19. Dante Bichette Jr.
20. Domingo German
21. Slade Heathcott
22. Nick Rumbelow
23. Jose Ramirez
24. Ramon Flores
25. Gosuke Katoh
26. Chasen Shreve
27. Taylor Dugas

28. Johnny Barbato

Meet a Prospect: Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew was the latest member of the Boston Red Sox to either die a hero or live long enough to see himself become the villain as he switched sides and joined the New York Yankees. Obviously Drew didn’t have much choice as he was traded but still, it’s always fun to watch the responses of Red Sox fans when their players become Yankees. Anyway, I digress… Drew is part of the only trio of siblings in major League Baseball to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft. Drew is the younger brother of former outfielder J.D. Drew and former pitcher Tim Drew. Drew has come a long way since his father found his first baseball glove in a dumpster and is now a member of the New York Yankees. Well he will be after we introduce him to you anyway, this is meet a prospect the Stephen Drew edition.

Stephen Oris Drew was born on March 16, 1983 and spent him high school years in Valdosta, Georgia while attending Lowndes High School. Following in the footsteps on the aforementioned JD Drew the younger Drew played college baseball at Florida State University. Drew caught the attention of the Arizona Diamondbacks and was drafted out of college. Drew was polished so he started his professional career in High-A ball in 2006 and ended the season all the way in Triple-A. Drew was a player in the 2006 All Star Futures Game after tearing up the minor leagues. Drew was called up in 2006 when Craig Counsell injured his ribs and made his major league debut on July 15, 2006. In the same game against the Milwaukee Brewers was another player making his own major league debut in Tony Gwynn Jr. Drew would have a strong 2006 season ending with a .316 batting average with five home runs and 23 RBI.

Drew couldn’t follow up his successful 2006 season in 2007 and only hit .238 with 12 home runs. Drew had another disappointing season in 2008 that was only highlighted by hitting for the cycle on September 1, 2008 against the St. Louis Cardinals. On the same day the Seattle Mariners Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle. Drew bounced around with average numbers in 2009 and 2010 before the injury bug hit him hard in 2011. Drew missed the first four games of the season with abdominal pain and then on July 20 he slid into home plate and fractured his right ankle. Drew would miss the remainder of the season and ended the season with 86 games played and a .252 average with five home runs and 45 RBI. The ankle injury caused Drew to spend the early parts of the 2012 season on the disabled list as he did not make it back onto the field until June 27 of that season. August of the 2012 season the Diamondbacks traded Drew to the Oakland Athletics for minor league shortstop Sean Jamieson.

Drew finished the 2012 season with just a .223 batting average in 79 games with seven home runs and 28 RBI. The Oakland Athletics declined Drew’s $10 million option on his deal and instead paid a $1.35 million buyout making Drew a free agent for the first time in his career. Drew would sign with the Boston Red Sox before Christmas in 2012 on a one year deal worth $9.5 million plus incentives for an additional $500K. Drew had another typical Stephen Drew season in 2013 batting .253 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI and even hit a home run in the series clinching Game 6 of the World Series. This was Drew’s first World Series ring of his career and the Red Sox third in nine seasons. Drew was offered a qualifying offer after the 2013 season that was ultimately denied making him less attractive as a free agent.

Drew declined the one year deal worth $14.1 million and could not find a deal until May 20, 2014. Any team that signed Drew except the Red Sox would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign Drew and Drew ultimately signed with Boston on a one year $10 million deal with the Red Sox when it was all said and done. The deal equated to a prorated version of the qualifying offer that he declined earlier in the winter. Drew struggled through May and June before turning it on offensively in July just in time to get traded at the July 31 trading deadline. The Yankees and Red Sox swapped Drew for Kelly Johnson and Drew will be the Yankees every day second baseman.

Drew is back for the 2015 season on a one year deal worth $5 million to stopgap the second base position while keeping it warm for Robert Refsnyder. Drew will need to earn his second half with the Yankees because if he is hitting below .200 again in June or July I can see him going the same route as Brian Roberts did in 2014. 

Looking at the 2015 Draft: 6th Best Prospect

Continuing our look at the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft we take a look at the #6 ranked prospect expected to enter the draft. As always we will include the mini scouting report from as we introduce the #6 prospect, Kyle Funkhouser. Funkhouser is a RHP and Junior currently spending his time at the University of Louisville. 

Here is the write up from

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

Funkhouser ranked as the top prospect on the U.S. collegiate national team last summer, topping the staff with 36 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings. That capped a stellar sophomore season during which he tied for the NCAA Division I lead with 13 victories and helped Louisville reach its second straight College World Series.

Undrafted out of an Illinois high school in 2012 because of his commitment to the Cardinals, Funkhouser has a solid three-pitch mix that begins with a 92-96 mph fastball. Both his slider and changeup show flashes of becoming plus offerings as well.

Funkhouser's 6-foot-2, 218-pound frame is built for durability. There's some effort to his delivery, though not enough to lead scouts to think he'll wind up in the bullpen. His biggest need is to improve the consistency of his control and command.

6. Kyle Funkhouser
7. Kolby Allard
8. Daz Cameron
9. Dansby Swanson
10. Ashe Russell
11. Justin Hooper
12. Carson Fulmer
13. Alex Bregman
14. Nick Plummer
15. Trenton Clark
16. Ian Happ
17. Phil Bickford
18. Mike Nikorak
19. Kyle Cody
20. Cody Ponce
21. Riley Ferrell
22. Chris Betts
23. James Kaprielian
24. Jake Lemoine
25. Beau Burrows
26. Richie Martin
27. Kyle Tucker
28. D.J. Stewart

I Just Came Back From the Future

I just came back from the future in my DeLorean and here is what I saw....

This Day In New York Yankees History 2/23

While you have to love these February days with baseball back after a long winter, a few more free agents that you can lust over because they can be had for cheap, and there are games right around the corner. The bad thing is there is no news at all to speak of. Nothing happened on this day in New York Yankees history so maybe the Yankees will sign Yoan Moncada or someone and make this easier next year.