Monday, July 6, 2015

Teixeira, Betances All-Stars - Gardner Final Vote Candidate

The final All-Star Game reserves have been announced and after not having a single starter in the game the New York Yankees sent two players to the game. Mark Teixeira is a reserve for the American League at first base while relief pitcher Dellin Betances also made his second straight Mid-Summer Classic. Congratulations to them both.

Brett Gardner could be the third Yankee to join the game but he needs your help. Gardner is a Final Vote candidate. You can vote for Gardner on Twitter by tweeting #VoteGardy an unlimited amount of time. I believe retweets count but don't quote me on it, just to be sure head over to Twitter to follow @GreedyStripes and retweet all the #VoteGardy's you see.

Ellsbury to Return Wednesday

ICYMI: Potential Yankees Trade Targets: Chicago White Sox

The New York Yankees are in the middle of a division race with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays in a division that could come down to who makes the best moves at this year's July 31st trading deadline. The trading deadline is where the pretenders and contenders are determined and the buyers and sellers do their things. The New York Yankees seem to be like they will be big time buyers at this year's trade deadline while teams like the Chicago White Sox will be sellers. Do the Yankees and White Sox matchup for a potential trade this summer?

First thing is first, what are the Yankees true needs this summer? The team could use an upgrade at second base, right field and of course pitching. New York's bench isn't great but adding Stephen Drew to the bench along with Chris Young the team has some home run potential off the bench joining Garrett Jones. Who is currently playing those positions for Chicago you ask?

Jeff Samardzija is posting a 5-4 record with a 4.56 ERA in his first 16 starts and at the time of this writing which is not really encouraging for the club. Samardzija has a much better record with much better peripherals in his career but you have to remember that the bulk of that career came in the National League Central, not the American League and definitely not the American League East. Samardzija has a live arm and has the fundamentals that you simply cannot teach but he's giving more hits up this season than Nathan Eovaldi and may not exactly be cut out for the AL.

Chicago may also move David Robertson after signing him to a bulky four year deal to close games with the White Sox. While it seems unlikely that the Yankees would have two huge contracts at the back end of their bullpen with Robertson and Andrew Miller but one can dream, can't they? Robertson has 16 saves a a 2.76 ERA to go with a 1.01 WHIP so adding him to Miller and Dellin Betances is every Yankees fan's dream.

No offense to Carlos Sanchez, Conor Gillaspie, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and others but the White Sox infielders simply don't fit into what the Yankees need. None of them hit for an especially high average and most of them are no better, or worse, than Drew at this point in the season. The outfielders on the other hand are a different story as the team currently trots out Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia. Melky is hitting just .251 through his first 299 at bats with little power while Eaton is posting similar stats through a comparable sample size. Garcia on the other hand is hitting .273 with seven home runs through 253 at bats and would add a right handed bat to the Yankees outfield. Garcia sounds like a great addition to the team until you remember he's just 24 years old and has just 716 at bats to his name in his career making Chicago more likely to build around him rather than sell him off this July.

Chicago may unload some contracts this summer but I can't see many, or any, of them coming to New York unfortunately. While Melky and Eaton may be better than Beltran there isn't a reason right now to make a trade just for the sake of it. The same can be said for the infield as well as Chicago's infielders are struggling just as much as the Yankees are at key spots, namely second base, while the pitching will be the key to the White Sox selling plan. If the White Sox want to make Chris Sale available or Robertson available for cheap then I'm at least listening but if not I think I'll have to pass at this point.

Most Popular Article of the Week: This May Be the Year We See Brandon Phillips in Pinstripes

Ever since Robinson Cano left the New York Yankees for greener pastures, and uniforms, the New York Yankees have had a revolving door and gaping hole at the second base position. Many names have been mentioned as potential replacements for Cano including the Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. Despite his declining defense and troubling offensive stats the Reds tried to pry Brett Gardner from New York in a trade in December of 2013 and that sort of trade may be proposed again except this time the Yankees may accept.

I am of the same mindset of Robert Refsnyder is lately, he’s not getting called up so why even give a crap. New York has proven this time and time again with the signing of Stephen Drew and the unwillingness to even give Refsnyder a shot. So if the team won’t call up Refsnyder and won’t give Jose Pirela a legitimate shot to work out the kinks then will that push the Yankees into the trade market?

Phillips looks a bit more attractive now than he did back in the winter of 2013 mainly because years and salary have come off his contract. New York was wise to keep Gardner then and would immediately hang up on the rebuilding Reds GM now if Gardner’s name were muttered. This time around Phillips would be more of a salary dump, Phillips is owed $34 million until 2017, and would cost the Yankees less in the terms of prospects and players. Honestly it may cost the Yankees Refsnyder, and I would seriously consider my place as a fan of this team if that were to happen, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I would rather see Refsnyder get a shot with Cincinnati’s big league club then to see him rot in Triple-A here only to be seen on our weekly prospects check ins. So is the curse of being a New York Yankees prospect I guess.

Phillips just turned 34 years old on Sunday and is currently slashing .290/.324/.371 with four home runs, 28 RBI and 11 steals in a hitting friendly ballpark in Cincinnati. Phillips is sporting a .316 BABIP, which is far above his career .293 BABIP, so a regression seems imminent for Phillips but I don’t think he’ll fall so far that we jokingly make comments about moving and renaming the Mendoza Line after him. Even if he does regress he can be better than Drew and force Drew to where he belongs, the bench, while still handing the club above-average defense, speed and stolen bases. Phillips may not lead the team to October baseball and the World Series alone but he would make many fans, including myself, worry far less about the future of the second base position.

Potential Trade Targets: Cincinnati Reds

The New York Yankees have reclaimed first place in the American League East all by their lonesome after a pair of walk-off victories in the Bronx this weekend and look to stay that way going forward. No team in the AL East is without flaws this season and no one is running away with this thing meaning that the July 31st trade deadline will undoubtedly separate the contenders from the pretenders in the division. The Yankees expect to be active at the deadline, although a blockbuster is unlikely, while teams like the Cincinnati Reds expect to sell so do these two teams match up in any potential trades this summer?

The Reds have a ton of talent available but the problem for the Yankees is most of the talent is top heavy and would come as rentals. I say top heavy because of the fact that Johnny Cueto is probably the best starting pitcher available and Aroldis Chapman is possibly the best closer available at the trade deadline presumably this season. The Yankees aren't keen on giving up Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and other top prospects so trades for either of these guys seems likely for New York and instead the club will focus on potential trades with Brandon Phillips, Mike Leake and possibly Marlon Byrd.

Phillips we have discussed before on the blog and will discuss again later as my piece was the most popular article of the week so we will focus less on him and more on Leake. Leake is just 27 years old and comes with less than 1,000 innings on his right arm. Leake is a true rental and is a free agent after the 2015 season meaning the Reds would presumably take less for him in a deal in terms of prospects just to get rid of the remaining salary left on his $9.78 million deal. At the time of this writing Leake was pitching to a 4.38 ERA in 100 innings in a very hitting friendly ballpark. Normally you would expect a full run to be added onto an ERA when a pitcher comes from the National League to the American League East but in a down year for the AL East mixed in with the fact that Leake has been pitching in the Great American Ball Park this season Leake may now be the pitcher we would see if he were pitching in the Bronx.

According to a fake Twitter account the Yankees acquired Marlon Byrd last year, only after I had a 2,300 blog post written about it did I realize that it was a fake account. The Yankees really could acquire Byrd at this year's trading deadline after seeing half the outfielders on the 40 man roster head to the disabled list. Byrd battled a wrist injury that many thought would end his season but is back in the lineup looking to add to his .240/.298/.466 triple slash and 14 home run and 32 RBI totals. Byrd is intriguing because he's right handed, adds some pop to the lineup, comes with a vesting/team option for 2016 and would allow me to finally post that 2,300 word blog post I've had saved as a draft for over a year now.

The Yankees likely won't make a run at Cueto or Chapman unless the deal absolutely makes too much sense to pass up but the team may be able to swing a deal for either Leake, Phillips, Byrd or all three. The Reds just need to get the idea out of their heads that they may be able to make a second half run and need to start selling off pieces, now.

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Sweep Oakland

The first time the Yankees and Athletics faced off this season Oakland shocked New York winning three games of four. That won't happen again as the New York Yankees stay hot and sweep the A's in three games.

Vote in our prediction poll on

Weekly Check In: Gary Sanchez

As Gary Sanchez waits to represent the New York Yankees and Team World in the MLB All Star Game's Futures Game "El Gary Sanchez" has been biding his time hitting home runs for the Trenton Thunder. Sanchez hit his 10th home run of the season over the weekend which is great for a Double-A catcher and shows how far his offense is finally coming along. Sanchez may never hit for .300 or higher in the minor leagues or the major leagues, although he is still pretty young for Double-A, but if he can hit 10-20 home runs and draw his walks as he does in the minors he will be fine.

To pull a bit of a "Kevin Millar" I can say that Sanchez has shown a little bit of sneaky speed this season with his five stolen bases and no caught stealing which gives him hope for the future. The Yankees don't steal a ton of bases as a team, not even with their speedy players like Brett Gardner, but if Sanchez can at least stay away from being a base running liability he should be fine.


This Day In New York Yankees History 7/6: Hello Brandon McCarthy

On this day in 2014 the New York Yankees acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Arizona Diamondbacks along with some cash to offset his salary for starting pitcher Vidal Nuno and a prospect. McCarthy was a great trade for the Yankees as he reinvented himself and kept the team in the playoff chase for much of the second half.

Also on this day in 2014 the Yankees finally designated struggling outfielder Alfonso Soriano for assignment to make room for Bruce Billings in the bullpen. Soriano had burst onto the scene in the second half of 2013 with the team but could not replicate that success in 2014. Soriano would later retire after the designation.

Also on this day in 2002 the Yankees were in a center field plaque kind of mood again as they unveiled one for Reggie Jackson prior to Old Timers Day. Jackson spent five seasons in New York and helped the Yankees reach the playoffs four times and win two World Series in 1977 and 1978.

Also on this day in 1941 the Yankees construct and unveil and center field monument for the late Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium. The memorial was much like the memorial the Yankees bestowed on Miller Huggins in 1932. This was a tribute from Gehrig's teammates to their beloved captain who died just a month earlier of ALS.

Finally on this day in 1938 and the All Star Game was being played at Crosley Field with the New York Yankees Lefty Gomez on the mound to start against the National League. This was Gomez's fourth All Star start and his first loss as the NL beat the AL 4-1. The NL shortstop Leo Durocher becomes the first Dodger to start in an All Star Game and gets a bunt home run.