Monday, November 9, 2015

YES Network: Exit Interview with Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius is the man with the huge monkey on his back that oddly resembles Derek Jeter. Gregorius took great strides towards alleviating that monkey off his back this season with flashy glove-work at shortstop and nearly a .300 average after a horrific start to the season. Now Didi says goodbye to his first full season in the Major Leagues in this interview with the YES Network's Lou DiPietro, seen HERE. For the full interview click the LINK.

The New York Yankees' 2015 season ended at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night, thanks to a 3-0 loss to the Houston Astros in the American League Wild Card Game.

Following the game, many Yankees players, coaches, and officials were in a reflective mood, beginning both the look back on this year and the look ahead to 2016 - so much so that the team was able to conduct a series of "exit interviews" on the subjects.

Here now is the brief exit interview with Didi Gregorius, after taking over the position from Derek Jeter, and posting career-high numbers in his first season in pinstripes.

Q. How tough is it to have your season come down to one single game?

GREGORIUS: That's just how things happen. It's do or die right here, so everyone needs to go and be one, but there's nothing you can do right now. Just let it go and work on getting better for next year.

Q. What do you and the Yankees need to do to advance further into the postseason next year?

GREGORIUS: We've just got to keep it up and play better next year, make some improvements and a lot of adjustments.

Q. What can you personally work on to improve this offseason?

GREGORIUS: It's always work. I'll probably take a couple of weeks without doing anything to relax a little bit, but there's always next year. You've got to go out there and try to make adjustments, work on stuff you've got to work on in the offseason to try to get better, try to get stronger. Hopefully I'll get better in 2016.

Q. Are you disappointed in not being able to win a ring after the season the Yankees veterans had?

GREGORIUS: Yeah. If you don't get a ring, that's what everybody plays for. You don't play for just a couple wins, everybody plays to win. Especially with what they've been doing, being the veteran guys here helping all the guys that come up. They've been doing a really great job the whole year.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Donald Trump Wants to Own the New York Yankees

"You kidding me Amare? You're fired!"

Yes, please!

According to recent reports Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman and Republican Party Presidential hopeful, wants to own the New York Yankees. Trump grew up in New York City and made his millions in the greatest state, in my humble opinion, in the United States and would like to return there if he could land an ownership role in any sports team.

George Steinbrenner and Trump were known associates, business partners and friends and the similarities don’t stop there. Heads would roll when the team didn’t make the postseason in two consecutive years and player contracts would be eaten when they were no longer useful. Trump would own, run and manage the team like the $3.5 billion powerhouse that it is.

Trump would do is smart though, in my opinion. He wouldn’t be a tyrant, he would just do whatever was necessary to turn a profit. Trump understands the added revenue, attendance, merchandise sales and the growth to the brand that comes with the playoffs and would basically demand that the team make it there every season. He would also give Brian Cashman the power he had from 1998-2009 along with a blank check.

Trump was just asked a question and he answered it, he isn’t seriously considering making a run at buying the team and there is no speculation that the Steinbrenner family is interested in selling. This is the offseason and it’s time to dream and that’s what I did with this article, hopefully it’s taken that way by the reader. Enjoy as we dream about the return of the GREEDY Pinstripes.

ICYMI: Questions for New York w/ the Rule 5 Draft Looming

The New York Yankees have more than a few notable names and players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason including Minor League Player of the Year Ben Gamel and possibly their best pitching prospect currently in Rookie Davis. Who will get protected, who will be left out there for anyone and everyone and who will force the hand of the Yankees to create a 40 man roster spot? You're guess is honestly as good as mine, maybe better given my track record for predictions lately, but that doesn't mean it will stop me from taking a crack at it anyway.

Jake Cave:

Cave's biggest issue is that there are already three or four other Jake Cave's already on the team and one other similar player also up for protection in the Rule 5 Draft. Cave is a defensive first and speedy outfielder who doesn't have a lot of pop despite hitting left-handed. Cave will likely be left unprotected or included in a trade due to the fact that the Yankees already have Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Ben Gamel and Rico Noel to name a few.

Ben Gamel:

If one offensive player needs to be protected this time around it's Gamel. Gamel won the Minor League Player of the Year Award in 2015 for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and will almost certainly be claimed and hidden on a team's roster all season long. If it comes down to Cave or Gamel I think I have to go with Gamel.

Johnny Barbato:

Barbato was acquired in the trade that sent Shawn Kelley to the San Diego Padres. Barbato was left unprotected last year and wasn't selected and I don't think he did enough to warrant a team taking a waiver on him this season either. Especially after news broke shortly after the Yankees acquired him that he may require Tommy John surgery. He didn't but that alone makes him not worth the risk after his 2015 season in my opinion.

Rookie Davis:

If one player is protected this season it needs to be Rookie Davis. Davis hasn't pitched above Double-A but he has all the makings of being the next Adam Warren, David Phelps, Bryan Mitchell etc. type starter to come out of the Yankees system. Honestly, and I've followed Rookie for a while now, he may be the best out of the three mentioned above. Protect him.

Dietrich Enns:

This is one name I honestly haven't payed enough attention to in order to make a 100% responsible decision. I consider myself a self proclaimed "prospect humper" and if I don't pay attention to you then I have a sneaking suspicion other teams aren't going to take the risk of a 40 man roster spot with you. That's not a diss to Dietrich either, it's more of a sign that the Yankees farm system has come a long, long way in recent seasons.

Tony Renda:

In the world of roster flexibility and versatility that is evolving this day and time's game Tony Renda finds himself on the outside looking in. Sure, he's a good second baseman who possibly has enough of a bat to stick around but that's all he has in my opinion. Renda can't play any other positions, or hasn't in his professional career anyway, and doesn't have the type of bat or defense that makes you make room for him. Renda will be left unprotected and he may go elsewhere but he's not a great fit with the Yankees in my opinion.

Alex Rios the 2016 Version of Chris Young?

The New York Yankees had three members of their 2015 squad hit free agency that the team will have to replace in some way, shape or form. Those three men were second baseman Stephen Drew, long relief pitcher Chris Capuano and right-handed power bat off the bench Chris Young. All signs seem to point to a platoon of Dustin Ackley and Robert Refsnyder replacing Drew in 2016 while a laundry list of minor league pitching options including, but not limited to, Bryan Mitchell, Branden Pinder, Caleb Cotham, James Pazos and Jacob Lindgren could replace Capuano with relative ease. Finding a right-handed power bat that can play the outfield and come off the bench may not be as easy as finding the replacements for Drew and Capuano but one option the Yankees now have is former Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Rios.

The Kansas City Royals wasted no time in reshuffling their roster around after the World Series and the reshaping began when the team declined the mutual options on right fielder Alex Rios and starter Jeremy Guthrie. Rios is the player that would interest the Yankees the most and is set to enter the 2016 season at 34-years old. Rios had a $12.5 million option declined with a $1.5 million buyout that he did not play to for much of the 2015 season. Rios did redeem himself a bit with a few key hits in key situations in the World Series but it is obvious to many that Rios is no longer a $12 million AAV type player and no longer an everyday player.

A bench role with the Yankees, if he’s willing to accept one, would be an ideal fit for Rios giving him another shot at a World Series. The Yankees may not be the favorites to win it all in 2016 but they will at least be in the discussion in my opinion which could be attractive to Rios. Also the right fielder could take a one-year pillow contract and try to establish some of his value and worth back as he hits the free agency market again in 2017. This is all assuming that Young, who is probably better suited for the job in the Bronx, doesn’t return to the club on another one-year deal.

Would Rios be worth it? Without Chris Young back in the fold or a better player, then probably. 

MLB Players Choice Awards to be Announced Tomorrow

Major League Baseball's annual Players Choice Awards are going to be handed out tomorrow night at 8:00 pm ET on MLB Network. Only Alex Rodriguez is up for an award as a member of the New York Yankees for Comeback Player of the Year, although he did not win MLB's version of the award last week, but there are many awards that will be handed out that night including all the awards we will go over in this post.

Player of the Year:
TOR Josh Donaldson
WASH Bryce Harper
LAD Zack Greinke

Outstanding Player for the American League:
SEA Nelson Cruz
TOR Josh Donaldson
LAA Mike Trout

Outstanding Player for the National League:
COL Nolan Arenado
ARI Paul Goldschmidt
WASH Bryce Harper

Outstanding Pitcher for the American League:
OAK Sonny Gray
HOU Dallas Keuchel
TOR David Price

Outstanding Pitcher for the National League:
CHC Jake Arrieta
LAD Zack Greinke
LAD Clayton Kershaw

Outstanding Rookie for the American League:
HOU Carlos Correa
CLE Francisco Lindor
MIN Miguel Sano

Outstanding Rookie for the National League:
CHC Kris Bryant
SF Matt Duffy
PITT Jung-Ho Kang

Comeback Player of the Year for the American League:
TEX Prince Fielder
KC Kendrys Morales
NYY Alex Rodriguez

Comeback Player of the Year for the National League:
COL Carlos Gonzalez
NYM Matt Harvey
CIN Joey Votto

Marvin Miller Man of the Year:
MIA Dee Gordon
BAL Adam Jones
CHW David Robertson

Weekly AFL Check In: Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez is putting his name back on the map and back on the radar for the New York Yankees with an improved defense and game calling and an explosive bat. Sanchez has been tearing up the Arizona Fall League much like he dominated Double-A and Triple-A with the Trenton Thunder and the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. Sanchez has done enough to be under early consideration for the AFL MVP Award with the stats we bring to you below.

Gary Sanchez: 

Games: 15
At Bats: 64
AVG: .328
OBP: .353
SLG: .688
OPS: 1.040
H: 21
HR: 6
RBI: 17
BB: 2
K: 13

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/9: Yankee Stadium III

On this day in 2008 participants in a team sponsored high school program whose job was to help Bronx, New York youths pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction remove dirt from the old Yankee Stadium and bring it to the new Yankee Stadium. A few players helped with the cause while the rains came down as they hauled the dirt across the street to the new $1.3 billion field. The dirt was then mixed with the new stadium's dirt around home plate and the pitcher's rubber which were also removed from the old Yankee Stadium during the ceremony.