Saturday, November 14, 2015

UFC 193 Open Thread

Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm. Need I say more? Enjoy!

Predicting the BBWAA Award Winners for 2015

The 2015 Baseball Writers Association of America announced their finalists for the major awards this week on MLB Network. To no one’s surprise there was not a single member of the New York Yankees listed, although if Mark Teixeira doesn’t miss a chunk of August and all of September and October you have to think he is in the thick of things for American League MVP, and there are a ton of new faces vying for the awards. Here is who I personally think will win the awards, not that I think they deserve to win the award necessarily. You know how the voting goes though, sometimes it’s a popularity contest and sometimes they get it right. That’s baseball.


Most Valuable Player

Lorenzo Cain
  • ·         Josh Donaldson

Mike Trout

Cy Young

Sonny Gray
  • ·         Dallas Keuchel

David Price

Rookie of the Year
  • ·         Carlos Correa

Francisco Lindor
Miguel Sano

Manager of the Year
  • ·         Jeff Banister

A.J. Hinch
Paul Molitor


Most Valuable Player

Paul Goldschmidt
  • ·         Bryce Harper

Joey Votto

Cy Young
  • ·         Jake Arrieta

Zack Greinke
Clayton Kershaw

Rookie of the Year
  • ·         Kris Bryant

Matt Duffy
Jung Ho Kang

Manager of the Year

Terry Collins
  • ·         Joe Maddon

Mike Matheny

Would Alexei Ramirez Be Any Better Than Brendan Ryan?

The Chicago White Sox announced this week that the team has declined the $10 million option on shortstop and former All-Star Alexei Ramirez. The team will instead pay the Cuban-born star a $1 million buyout thus making him a free agent. With the Yankees uncertainty on the bench and the team’s constant need to upgrade, even marginally, would Ramirez be worth signing and putting on the bench at the expense of a $1 million DFA in Brendan Ryan?

Ramirez is currently 34-years old and has played his entire MLB career with the Chicago White Sox after defecting from Cuba. Ramirez is a career .273 hitter with 109 career home runs and 542 RBI in eight seasons. Ramirez was an All-Star as recently as 2014 but age, Mother Nature, a bad White Sox team around him, a lack of motivation or a combination of the four key items here contributed to Ramirez falling off in 2015. Ramirez finished the season batting a career-low .249 with 10 home runs and 62 RBI leading the team to buy out his contract. Would Ramirez be an upgrade over Ryan?

The Yankees presumably have two things in mind this season while they are building their bench. They need defensive versatility, flexibility and ability while also looking to add some right-handed pop into the lineup somehow, someway. Ryan has been considered to be a defensive wizard over his career but I haven’t seen it the last two seasons with the ball club. Ramirez is not going to win you any Gold Glove Awards anytime soon but the offensive edge goes to Ramirez and it’s not even close. Ramirez can play shortstop and third base, the two positions the Yankees need backup help at the most, albeit not as well as Ryan but well enough to justify carrying his bat for 162 games.

Would Ramirez accept a bench role and a spot on the Yankees? That remains to be seen but I can’t see the Ryan contract of $1 million stopping the Yankees from upgrading if they can. If that upgrade brings Ramirez to the Bronx, great. If it doesn’t then Ryan isn’t half bad himself in a small sample size I guess. 

Taking a Stab at Predicting the Top 40 Free Agent Signings

As many of you know I like to take a stab at predicting free agency signings every single offseason. Usually I do the entire 155 or so player free agent class but it becomes pretty redundant to be honest. There are players on the list very few have even heard of and players that even fewer fans truly even care about. For that reason I think I will stick to the Top 40 free agents this year and predict where I think these free agents will land before Opening Day 2016. If you agree, or disagree for that matter, leave your comments below in the comments section. Thank you!

David Price – Chicago Cubs
Jason Heyward – Detroit Tigers
Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers
Justin Upton – San Francisco Giants
Chris Davis – Washington Nationals
Jordan Zimmermann – Boston Red Sox
Yoenis Cespedes – Chicago White Sox
Alex Gordon – Seattle Mariners
Johnny Cueto – Toronto Blue Jays
Jeff Samardzija – New York Yankees
Ian Desmond – New York Mets
Matt Wieters – Baltimore Orioles
Mike Leake – Arizona Diamondbacks
Ben Zobrist – Kansas City Royals
Daniel Murphy – Colorado Rockies
Yovani Gallardo – Texas Rangers
Wei-Yin Chen – Boston Red Sox
Howie Kendrick – Chicago White Sox
Dexter Fowler – New York Mets
Scott Kazmir – Los Angeles Dodgers
Hisashi iwakuma – Seattle Mariners
Colby Rasmus – Houston Astros
Denard Span – Chicago Cubs
David Freese – Atlanta Braves
Marco Estrada – Toronto Blue Jays
Ian Kennedy – Baltimore Orioles
Darren O’Day – New York Yankees
Brett Anderson – Los Angeles Dodgers
Joakim Soria – Boston Red Sox
Gerardo Parra – St. Louis Cardinals
John Lackey – Los Angeles Dodgers
JA Happ – Kansas City Royals
Austin Jackson – Cincinnati Reds
Asdrubal Cabrera – New York Mets
Tyler Clippard – Arizona Diamondbacks
Doug Fister – Houston Astros
Ryan Madson – Houston Astros
Alexei Ramirez – Minnesota Twins
Mike Napoli – Colorado Rockies
Steve Pearce – New York Yankees

Andrew Miller for Stephen Strasburg Makes Sense Unfortunately

The New York Yankees are being aggressive as the GM meetings begin and the offseason kicks off in fashion. Brian Cashman is said to be on the phone and meeting with every GM across the league and has stated that no one is safe in the Bronx, the Bronx may be burning. Cashman mentioned one player by name specifically that either excited or infuriated many fans when they learned that he could potentially be shopped and/or traded and that was Yankees closer Andrew Miller.  As much as I don’t want to admit it to myself the deal that is being floated around, whether it be by the beat writers or the fans themselves, that would send Yankees closer Andrew Miller to Washington heads up for Stephen Strasburg makes sense for both teams… and I’m prepared to tell you why.

Before we get too in-depth with this let me put out a short disclaimer. I don’t want to trade Andrew Miller. Closing games in New York is not like closing games anywhere else and I don’t just believe that any closer can do it. I believe Dellin Betances could do it, mind you, but trading away a player that is meeting or exceeding his contract seems redundant on THIS team with so many who aren’t. Whether I want to let the fact that I am a fan of Miller’s or not cloud my judgement remains to be seen but I am level-headed enough to admit the deal makes sense.

The Yankees need an ace, bottom line. They have a ton of good pitchers that could be great but right now they don’t have that one guy that can stop a losing streak almost each and every time. Luis Severino could be that guy and up until now Masahiro Tanaka has been acting like that guy but Strasburg has all the makings to be that guy. Sure he’s been injury prone thus far in his career, some pitchers react differently to Tommy John surgery both mentally and physically, and sure he hasn’t lived up to the hype but it’s not often that #1 overall talent from the MLB Draft becomes available, especially to the Yankees. Acquiring Strasburg would give him and the Yankees a one-year audition and quite a long time to decide whether they want to offer him a qualifying offer or sign him to a contract extension after 2016.

The Yankees could take that money they cleared from the Miller contract and sign one or two relievers to “replace” him. Darren O’Day could come in and pitch the 8th inning with Betances sliding into the 9th inning role while New York fills out their bullpen with Adam Warren, Justin Wilson, Chasen Shreve and maybe a Joakim Soria or a Tony Sipp.

The deal makes sense and on paper and makes the team better on paper but that doesn’t necessarily mean the deal sits well with me. I’m a fan, I can’t help it. 

Weekly AFL Check In: Tyler Webb

Tyler Webb is watching the Andrew Miller trade rumors closely. The Yankees GM Brian Cashman is said to be making anyone and everyone available this offseason, especially those without a no-trade clause, and one name that has been mentioned more than most has been that of Yankees closer Andrew Miller. Webb, like Miller, is a left-handed relief pitcher that is knocking on the door to the Bronx for as soon as the 2016 season. If Miller leaves via trade you have to think that some combination of Jacob Lindgren an Webb will be vying for a roster spot out of Spring Training this spring.

Tyler Webb:

G: 7
GS: 0
IP: 8.2
W/L: 1-0
ERA: 8.31
K: 7
BB: 3
WHIP: 1.62

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/14: Enter A Rod… Again

On this day in 2007 Alex Rodriguez the reports started to fly around that Alex Rodriguez was close to a new deal with the New York Yankees somewhere in the neighborhood of $290,000,000. This was confirmed by Alex on his website and by the Steinbrenner family as well. This was done to try and soften Alex's look after the harsh criticism he received from opting out during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.

And the rest, as they say, is history...