Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My OFFICIAL IBWAA 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

  1. Each name is linked to that particular player's page.
  2. Asterisk (*) for first-time candidates
  3. You may vote for up to 15 candidates.
  4. 75% required for election.
  5. Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Tim Raines have already been honored in previous IBWAA elections, which is why you don’t see their names listed here.

Yankees Sign IFA Daniel Marten

We reported this on Twitter a few days back but we wanted to also bring it to you here as well without the 140 characters restriction. The New York Yankees have signed an international free agent this week and his name is Daniel Marten.

Marten is an 18-year old right-handed starting pitcher that was taken out of the Dominican Republic by the Yankees. Marten is listed at 6'0" and 164 lbs. but obviously has a lot of growing up to do both mentally and physically.

Marten will likely begin at one of the Dominican Summer League Yankees squads before coming to the states to make his professional debut.

JA Happ is Not David Price Either

It's the offseason and I don't know if everyone is just turkey drunk, the Black Friday deals are just that good or if the fact that the market is so deep that teams are taking their time but times are slow right now. With the extra time on my hands I have turned my attention to not only the New York Yankees but the other four teams inside the American League East, especially the Toronto Blue Jays. Earlier this offseason I took a look at the fact that Jesse Chavez, a recent acquisition for the Mark Shapiro led Blue Jays franchise, was not David Price but left the door open for a return to Toronto for the lefty. That door is probably officially closed now after the team also signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three year deal and no, he isn't David Price either.

Price was absolute money for the Blue Jays down the stretch posting a 9-1 record in 11 starts with a 2.30 ERA and 1.009 WHIP. Price faced the Yankees four times as a member of the Blue Jays and beat them three times including twice in the middle of their pennant race in September. Without Price that division tells an entirely different story, is Happ enough to replace that production and almost a 6.0 WAR in 2016?

Well Happ only threw to a 3.0 WAR and was less than stellar the last time he pitched in the American League. Happ is no stranger to the American League, the AL East or the Blue Jays as this is his second stint with the club. Remember, Happ was the one that hit Curtis Granderson (the second time) to break his wrist in his final season in New York on his way to posting a 19-20 record with a 4.39 ERA in three seasons. Happ in a National League pitcher at this point in his career.

Happ owns a career .469 winning percentage(four season) in the AL and a .527 percentage (seven seasons) in the NL. If that were not enough then surely his better ERA+, WHIP, WAR, K and his overall numbers across the board are better in the National League. Happ is not the pitcher he was in Pittsburgh for half a season last year and he's not going to be enough to replace David Price. Toronto isn't necessarily in trouble yet but over the course of a 162 game season the Blue Jays aren't running away with this division either, even with Marcus Stroman.

Early 2016 Rookie of the Year Award Hopefuls

Times are slow so I am looking ahead a bit to the 2016 Major League Baseball season. I'm excited for 2016 after seeing the 2015 season form into the Year of the Rookie with a multitude of young guns making not only their MLB debut's but huge impacts on their respective teams. Could we see a similar outcome in 2016? Judging by the early lot of potential Rookie of the Year candidates for the 2016 season it could be another year for the young guys.

This is a Yankees blog so we naturally start with two guys the Yankees could have competing for the honor, backup catcher Gary Sanchez and second baseman Robert Refsnyder. As it stands today it looks like Sanchez will get the opportunity to build off a huge Arizona Fall League and 2015 season while Refsnyder looks to be your Opening Day second baseman against a LHP Dallas Keuchel. At bats, games played and opportunities sometimes make or break a ROY season, see Francisco Lindor from 2015, and both of these men should get plenty of reps and opportunities. Refsnyder should play three or four times a week while Sanchez could back up Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez at the DH position all season long.

The Nationals have a pair of rookies that could make a huge impact in 2016 as well with infielder Trea Turner and RHP Lucas Giolito. Turner has 20-home run power or more and ranks 80 on a 20-80 scouts scale in speed while Giolito throws a mid-90's fastball and dominated Double-A and the All Stars Futures Game in 2015.

Corey Seager was the top overall prospect in all of Major League Baseball at the end of the 2015 season before the Los Angeles Dodgers called him up. Seager still has his rookie status and looks to make an impact with the team with the highest payroll in Major League Baseball history, and he has the talent to do so.

Jose Berrios is filthy, throws hard and is making opposing batters look absolutely foolish in Triple-A for the Minnesota Twins affiliate. He will be up in 2016 and could take the team, the AL Central Division and the league by storm.

There are always guys that aren't mentioned during the offseason that come up by mid-season and make an impact. Happens every year and it will likely happen again in 2016. This is your leading crop of rookies as it stands right now though in my opinion.

The Last Time the Yankees Had a "Maeda"

Last offseason many wondered if the next Masahiro Tanaka or the next Kei Igawa was on his way over from Japan in Kenta Maeda. Maeda expressed an interest in coming to the United States through the posting system only to spend another season in his native Japan. Once again Maeda is asking his team, the Hiroshima Carp, to post him so he can come to the United States and continue his professional career inside Major League Baseball. If the name “Maeda” seems familiar to some of you Yankees fans there is a very good reason for it, a reason that should scare all Yankees fans alike. The Curse of the Maeda Part II?

Back in 1996 when a familiar name called Jack Curry was writing for the New York Times he wrote about a Japanese pitcher that pitched for the New York Yankees and his name was Katsuhiro Maeda. Maeda was obtained from the Seibu Lions for roughly $350,000 plus a $1.5 million signing bonus and was immediately assigned to their Double-A affiliate at the time in Norwich, Connecticut. The Yankees fans and the team were excited about adding the “Dennis Rodman of Japanese baseball” according to Curry but the intrigue was short-lived as reality began to sink in.

Maeda was donned the Dennis Rodman of Japanese baseball because of the color scheme and the choice of how he wore his hair, usually orange. Maeda came over to the United States just a year after Hideo Nomo took over the league despite never won a game for the Yankees nor did he get a save in any of his three seasons with the Seibu Lions organization. Maeda had that blazing fastball and the personality to match it but his career 0-2 record, 4.88 ERA, 41 walks, 43 hits allowed and 42 strikeouts in 38.2 innings told a different story.

Does anyone know the rest of the story? Let’s just say this, it didn’t involve a trip to the Major Leagues or the Bronx under then GM Bob Watson or then manager Joe Torre. That Maeda threw 94-95 and got as high as 98 MPH and was scouted for months by the Yankees. This Maeda throws in the mid-80’s and relies on control and precision. From one Maeda to another I sure hope the Yankees pass on this one.

This post was meant to be funny and comical, not taken serious. Keep that in mind before emailing please. Thank you. 

Yankees Sign Spencer Mahoney to MiLB Deal

The New York Yankees have made a relatively minor signing this week, a depth signing if you will, when they added outfielder Spencer Mahoney to the organization. Mahoney played most recently in the Independent American Association. Mahoney is 22-years old.

Mahoney is listed as an outfielder according to and their transactions page but the 22-year old has seen time at third base, shortstop, first base and the outfield with the RailCats. This came after Mahoney graduated from Valparaiso University and went undrafted in the MLB Draft.

At Valparaiso Mahoney hit .295 with 38 doubles, six triples, four home runs and 83 RBI in 193 games played. Mahoney showed a good batters eye there walking 138 times while only striking out 131 times.

Mahoney is likely an organization prospect at this point but we have seen many of these signings work out across the league. No such thing as a bad minor league deal.

Enough to Get Pissed Off

Especially after the David Price news from yesterday afternoon....

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/2: The League vs. Jackie Robinson

If you have been reading these posts you know two days prior Jackie Robinson attacked the New York Yankees organization calling them racist for not having a black player in the league. Well it was on this day in 1952 that then Commissioner Ford Frick announced plans to take action against Robinson. Nothing much came of these comments or this plan from Frick so it must have all been simply water under the bridge.