Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Deadline To Claim Austin Romine Approaching

If no team claims Austin Romine by 1:00pm tomorrow, the Yankees will be able to send him to the minors. Unlike players with at least three years of MLB service time, and have also already been outrighted to the minor leagues before, Romine can't reject an assignment to the minors.

I don't see that happening, though, as somebody is bound to give Romine a spot on their active roster. It actually surprises me that the Yankees haven't already worked out a trade with a team like the Phillies or Padres... two teams that have shown interest in Austin.

Romine was once a nice prospect, but clearly fell behind other catching prospects like John Ryan Murphy and Gary Sanchez, making him expendable. If he does end up elsewhere he'll be missed, and I won't be alone in wishing him the best of luck.

Should New York Take a Chance on Carlos Quentin?

Carlos Quentin was part of the mega Opening Night trade between the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves that saw Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton Jr. heading to San Diego while Quentin was joined by Cameron Maybin and a couple prospects on the plane headed for Atlanta. As soon as Quentin heard the news of the trade he was texted again and told that he was designated for assignment by his new team, the Braves. Quentin is owed $8 million for the 2015 that Atlanta will be on the hook for this season making Quentin extremely cheap if he were to sign a major league deal and even cheaper if he were forced to sign a minor league deal. Should the Yankees be interested in taking a flyer on a right handed bat with limited defensive value?

Quentin is in his age 32 season and even after spending his last three seasons playing in Petco Park still averages 30 home runs per season in a 162 game average. Quentin played in no more than 86 games in any of his three seasons with the Padres after battling for playing time and battling to stay healthy for much of his tenure. The question is would he be worth the risk of wasting a 25 man roster spot and $507,000 in league minimum salary for the chance of him hitting 20-30 home runs in the Bronx.

If it was a minor league deal then I'd be all for it, I've never seen a minor league deal that I didn't like. If it was a major league deal, even if it was for as little as $507K and change, I can't say I'd be comfortable justifying the deal. Quentin adds no value defensively in the outfield and shows no signs of being able to learn a different position. If the Yankees didn't have Alex Rodriguez stuck on the roster I think I would be all for taking a shot at adding a career 162 game average of 30 home runs and 95 RBI but Quentin just isn't a good fit for this Yankees team unfortunately.

PNC Field Will Host Yankees Old Timer's Game

The New York Yankees host Old Timer's Day every single season that concludes with a game between former Yankees legends on the field at Yankee Stadium. The 2015 version will be a little different as the Old Timers Game will be coming to PNC Field, the newly renovated home of the Yankees Triple-A team the Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders. The game will be held on Sunday, June 21 in front of what will likely be a sold out ballpark. The Yankees will still hold their normal and annual game inside Yankee Stadium on Saturday, June 20 so don't fret if you can't make the trip down to Scranton this summer. 

The ballpark in Scranton will also host a meet and greet with autograph signings which will help raise money for Parkinson's disease research making the trip worth it with that alone. Grant Cagle, the Railriders co-managing partner, had the disease hit close to home recently when his friend, and former Yankees World Series MVP, Brian Doyle was diagnosed with the disease last year. Cagle is expecting between 18 and 25 former Yankees players and legends to make the trip for the game inside PNC Field this season with the Yankees offering to bus players from the Bronx to PNC Field if they wanted to participate in both games during the weekend.

Not "Could They Make The Deal?", but "Should They Make The Deal?"

Like Daniel, after I read about the Craig Kimbrel trade, I immediately wondered if the Yankees could have swung a deal with Atlanta instead of San Diego. It's no different than when a player like Max Scherzer signs with another team, and you think the Yankees should have made the deal instead. It's natural to want stars like that on your team.

I actually commented on Daniel's post regarding Kimbrel, saying I'm glad it didn't happen. The first reason was because I don't want Melvin Upton, and his ridiculous contract, in the Bronx.

For context, last season Carlos Beltran hit .233/.301/.402, with 15 home runs, and an OPS+ of 98. Is there any Yankee fan that would re-do that three year, $45 million, contract with Carlos?


With the Beltran thing in mind, allow me to point out that Melvin Upton slashed .208/.287/.333, hit 12 home runs, and had an OPS+ of 75. And for anyone that tries to tell me that he just had a really bad year, which was a total anomaly, I'd like to point to Upton's OPS+ of 54 the year before last.

Why am I making this comparison? Because Upton has three years and $46.35 million remaining on his contract. So the Yankees would be paying a guy more money to be a worse player for them. Woo hoo! That's smart baseball!

"No it's not."

But the Yankees would get Craig Kimbrel, thus creating a different three-headed monster than the one I begged for before David Robertson ran off to Chicago. So that part of the deal would make me very happy, right?


While it would have been great to have a bullpen with D-Rob, Dellin, and Miller, it certainly was not necessary. The Yankees bullpen is already one of the best in MLB. Unfortunately, if the Yankees' starters don't give the team something nice, then that great 'pen is all for naught. So while spending a lot of money for that relief trio would have been unnecessary, trading away any prospect in this case would be a bigger mistake.

And that brings me to my next point, which covers making any trade... not just the one for Craig Kimbrel.

The Yankees have to find people within the system to build around, and those players aren't always the most obvious candidates. There was a time when people thought Brien Taylor was the guy the Yankees could build a strong starting rotation around. How'd he pan out? Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Manny Banuelos, Jesus Montero, Austin Romine... I could go on and on.

The point is you don't know what prospect or prospects are going to break out. For example, Jorge Posada never got higher than 7th on Baseball America's Top 10 Yankees Prospects lists, and he helped lead the Yankees to four World Series titles. So it's best to hold onto as many as you can, unless trading away one or more of them truly makes sense. And Craig Kimbrel, or really anybody at this point, doesn't.

Yeah... I said that trading for anybody, at this point, doesn't make sense.

Okay, not "everybody", but let's be real here.

While we could easily see the starting rotation needing help at some point this season, they currently don't. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda are healthy, and make for a pretty darn good 1-2 punch atop the rotation. At the same time, Nathan Eovaldi could be a great #3 pitcher. And don't forget that Ivan Nova will be returning soon, and could be an awesome addition.

What other position or positions should they go after? The Yankees either have guys under contract to cover a position (McCann, Headley, Gardner, Ellsbury), just traded for a player that could be the team's long-term solution at another position (Gregorius), or have prospects on the verge of taking over a position (Refsnyder, Bird, Judge). And even if, like I said earlier, one of those youngsters doesn't pan out, there are others behind them that could step up (Mateo, Pirela, Austin).

I'm not saying the Yankees can't afford to trade away one or two of those prospects, but there's no point in doing so when you don't have an obvious need, and even filling that need wouldn't put you in that much better position to succeed.

Hell, let's just be happy that the Boston Red Sox didn't acquire another star like Kimbrel.

My MLB The Show 15 Simulation of the 2015 Season

MLB The Show 15 is the only reason that I bought a Playstation 4 because it's simply the best and most realistic game in the history of baseball console games. Well if you're a Yankees fan you're hoping that the game is THAT realistic because I had some pretty favorable results. I have seen a couple of these done where the Yankees finished in last place so I don't know what I did differently than anybody else. All I did was make Alex Rodriguez and Didi Gregorius everyday players and I kept Chris Capuano starting all season long. Anyway on with the results:

New York Yankees 90-73
Boston Red Sox 89-74
Baltimore Orioles 85-77
Toronto Blue Jays 82-80
Tampa Bay Rays 66-96

The team made the playoffs and faced off with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the first round of the American League playoffs. Tanaka got shelled in the first game as the Yankees fell to the Angels 5-0. CC Sabathia came back with a strong Game Two to even the series up at 1-1. Michael Pineda was ineffective in Game 3 against Jered Weaver as the Yankees faced elimination with Nathan Eovaldi on the mound. Eovaldi pitched well but the Yankees bullpen, namely David Carpenter, blew the game late and the Yankees were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. 

Jacoby Ellsbury

.304 14 HR 62 RBI

Brett Gardner

.274 15 HR 67 RBI

Carlos Beltran

.239 25 HR 80 RBI

Mark Teixeira

.256 17 HR 79 RBI

Brian McCann

.256 19 HR 64 RBI

Chase Headley

.26115 HR 61 RBI

Alex Rodriguez

.225 12 HR 31 RBI

Stephen Drew

.206 7 HR 28 RBI

Didi Gregorius

.240 12 HR 47 RBI

Garrett Jones

.206 14 HR 54 RBI

Masahiro Tanaka

17-9 2.23 ERA 254 K's

Michael Pineda

14-10 3.21 ERA 230 K's

CC Sabathia

17-10 3.13 ERA 190 K's

Nathan Eovaldi

16-11 3.04 ERA 117 K's

Chris Capuano

10-11 4.52 ERA 138 K's

Dellin Betances had 45 saves. 60 strikeouts and a 2.85 ERA while Andrew Miller had a 3.50 ERA with two saves and 60 strikeouts. David Carpenter and Adam Warren got beat up along the way while Justin Wilson was surprisingly strong for the pen.

Could New York Have Acquired Craig Kimbrel?

Maybe I am in the minority here but whenever a big trade goes down I always wonder if my team, the New York Yankees, could have pulled off a similar trade to acquire that tremendous talent. That tremendous talent in this trade was Craig Kimbrel when the Atlanta Braves closer along with Melvin (BJ) Upton Jr. was traded to the San Diego Padres for Carlos Quentin, Cameron Maybin and prospects (including a draft pick). 

We all know that the only way a team was going to be able to acquire Kimbrel was to take that franchise changing contract is Upton and that is a contract that the Yankees could have easily swallowed. Upton is set to make $14.45 million in 2015, $15.45 million in 2016 and $16.45 million in 2017 essentially as a bench player now in San Diego. That salary is on top of Kimbrel's $9 million in 2015, $11 million in 2016, $13 million in 2017 and his $13 million club option in 2018. That's an absolute ton of salary on the books for a team that is trying to get under the luxury tax threshold as soon as the 2017 season. 

The Yankees could have easily matched or beat the players that the Padres gave up. This trade was all about salary relief and Yankees GM Brian Cashman tends to shine on trades like these over his tenure in New York. Would it be worth it though? Depending on what the Yankees gave up in the deal, for instance whether Atlanta took on Carlos Beltran like they did Quentin, would decide whether it was worth it. I want absolutely no part on Upton on the team and I could not justify a $15 million-ish AAV in right field or on the bench, even if it mean't Kimbrel joined the team. The idea of having Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Kimbrel at the back end of the bullpen would have been awfully exciting but having yet another contract bringing the team down for the next three season is something I am looking to avoid. 

Kimbrel would have been nice but not at the expense of Upton Jr. If they wanted Alex Rodriguez, which they wouldn't, then we would have another story completely but we don't so I'd ultimately pass on Kimbrel and Upton. 

TGP Daily Poll: Seven Shutout Innings from Pineda

Michael Pineda has all the tools and all the making of being the best Yankees starter in 2015, that includes a rotation with a healthy Masahiro Tanaka, and will showcase that Wednesday evening with seven shutout innings over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Vote in our prediction poll on Knoda.com

New Stadium Food Coming in 2015

If you guys have been reading this winter you guys know that I love stadium food and ballpark food so I was excited when I saw all the new and great food coming to a ballpark near you in 2015. From the St. Louis Cardinals breaded chicken waffle sandwich to the Milwaukee Brewers nachos on a stick I was salivating looking at the food around the league that I will share with you today. Get hungry Yankees family because baseball is back!

I love garlic fries and the Chicago White Sox are taking that to the next level with Parmesangarlic waffle fries that are showcased in the picture above. I'm sold, hey D Rob send me some tickets bro.  The Kansas City Royals will have a steak and cheese dog this year with your run of the mill hot dog, steak pieces and melted cheese on top. Where do I sign up? I think my ultimate favorite though has to go to the Houston Astros who came up with a chicken and waffle cone, seen below. It looks like little pieces of popcorn chicken, yum, inside a waffle cone, yum, with mashed potatoes and honey mustard sauce. Yum Yum Yum.

And to wash it all down? The Philadelphia Phillies will be serving hard liquor at the stadium in 2015. I guess they knew what the team was going to do on the field and made the tough decision out of necessity, just saying...

This Day In New York Yankees History 4/7: Forbes Rates the Yankees

On this day in 2010 Forbes estimated the value of the New York Yankees to be worth approximately $1.6 billion, nearly twice as much as any other Major League franchise. The Yankees were reigning World Series champions and recently moved into a new ballpark and were using a new found $441 million in revenue after adjustments were made for its payment to baseball's revenue sharing program and the costs of financing Yankee Stadium III.

Also in case you were wondering the Tampa Bay Devil Rays retired  former Yankee and Red Sox Wade Boggs #12 uniform number on this day in 2000. Boggs got his 3,000th hit in Tampa Bay and hit the first home run in the franchise's history.