Monday, December 14, 2015

Washington Has “Significant” Interest in Aroldis Chapman

This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. The Washington Nationals are said to have “significant” interest in Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman, as we all know by now, was thought to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a pair of prospects before it came to light that he was involved in a domestic violence case that involved choking his girlfriend and expending eight bullets into the air from a gun.

So let me get this straight you want a guy who reportedly fired eight shots and choked his girlfriend in the same bullpen as the guy who choked out the team’s star player in the dugout for all to see on national TV and sit them both next to who Twitter has nicknamed “Emo Storen.” This sounds, again, like a disaster waiting to happen. Aroldish Chapman, Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon in the same bullpen? In the same stadium? Wow.

That’s a whole lot of personalities and not a big enough locker room or bullpen if you ask me, but that’s only if you ask me. 

Most Popular Article of the Week: The Road Towards Kenta Maeda

From Eliot Podgorsky SEEN HERE

The hot stove boiled over today in a big way. A brief recap below:
  • Cubs sign INF/OF Ben Zobrist to four-year $52 million deal
  • Cubs trade INF Starlin Castro to Yankees for Adam Warren and PTBN (reported to be INF Brendan Ryan
  • Braves trade SP Shelby Miller and PTBN to Diamondbacks for OF Ender Inciarte, SP Aaron Blair and SS Dansby Swanson
While only the Cubs moves directly affects the Yankees, I provided this recap because the Miller move could impact the rest of the offseason. 

The majority of fans commenting on the Yankees Facebook page are excited

The Shelby Miller trade is one that I look to that could impact the rest of the offseason. I believe that the Braves got a haul for a Miller. Miller has been a great pitcher in his three full seasons, notwithstanding his win-loss record but last year when he recorded a career low ERA he also had a bit of luck with a home run rate that fell by half. He seems like a solid number two starter and slot in nicely behind the Diamondbacks new ace Zack Grienke but that is a lot to give up for a number two.

This trade puts the cost for young quality cost controlled pitching into the stratosphere. The satiating thoughts of Jose Fernandez in pinstripes should evaporate with the Miller trade. If the Yankees try to trade for a young pitcher without giving up untouchables they will have to target someone below the level Nathan Eovaldi was when they acquired him last year (too many hits, too few strikeouts). Eovaldi barely contributed before the 2nd half so someone below that skill level would be working in the minors. With the cost of young pitching untenable I think the Yankees go after Kenta Maeda.

Kenta Maeda

Last week news broke Maeda will be posted by his Japanese team the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He was once considered the next great pitcher to come out of Japan a few years ago but the Carp never posted him. Now 27 going on 28 he will likely come stateside. With the posting fee capped at $20 million there are no concerns about a Daisuke Matsuzaka like fee. Maeda does have a lot of innings on his arm (1509.2) and the injury history for Japanese pitchers isn't great recently (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka) but he his young enough where a 5-6 year deal would not saddle the Yankees with the downside of his career.

If the Yankees are waiting for money to come off the books before the become players in free agency the 2016-2017 offseason won't be a great one. Stephen Strasburg is the only notable starter to hit the market next year.

The Diamondbacks who were all over Maeda earlier in the offseason have said they are no longer interested. The Giants were the only other team with reported interest in him and it has been reported they too are out. With only the "mystery team" as competition I think the Yankees should target Maeda. A five-year deal between $55-$60 million seems like it could get it done. 

Scouts have said that Maeda is more likely a number 3-4 starter due to his lack of electrifying stuff and is more of a control pitcher like Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda was pleasant and consistent rotation stalwart for three years and it would be great to add that to the rotation. In a world where J.A. Happ just got a three-year $36 million deal the contract I pegged for Maeda doesn't strike me as an overpay. Adding Maeda could allow the Yankees to trade Ivan Nova or move to a six-man rotation that could protect the arms of Maeda, Tanaka, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino. Kenta Maeda is an interesting target in the wake of the rising costs of free agents and trades. 

ICYMI: Imaging a Yankees Lineup W/ Starlin Castro

I like having a couple leadoff men and a whole lot of speed. The Yankees think that means you can stack a couple of leadoff hitters at the top of the order while I prefer to have the order turned over with Ellsbury hitting first and Gardner hitting ninth. Which lineup is better? Who knows but one thing is for certain having those two at the top has cost the Yankees runs, not gotten them more runs. Having them both there has made Joe Girardi gun shy when it comes to calling for stolen bases since he doesn’t want to take the bat out of the hands of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. This can be alleviated by having a high contact and high batting average/on base percentage guy in the two hole like Castro.


1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Starlin Castro
3. Alex Rodriguez
4. Mark Teixeira
5. Brian McCann
6.Carlos Beltran
7. Chase Headley
8. Didi Gregorius
9. Brett Gardner


1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Brett Gardner
3. Alex Rodriguez
4. Mark Teixeira
5. Brian McCann
6. Carlos Beltran
7. Chase Headley
8. Starlin Castro
9. Didi Gregorius

What’s your lineup? Leave it below in the comments section. Thank you. 

Pete Rose Denied Access Back into MLB

No man was more excited about the retirement of former Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig than Pete Rose, not even new Commissioner Rob Manfred. Rose almost immediately applied for reinstatement back into the game when Manfred was sworn in as commissioner in hopes of getting his lifetime ban from Major League Baseball overturned. Manfred met with Rose personally and swore that a decision would be reached an announced by the end of the 2015 calendar year. That decision came down today when Manfred denied Rose's appeal for reinstatement back into MLB.

Here is the press release from the New York Times:

If the Atlanta Braves Keep Selling…. Again

We have been doing a series of these posts showcasing the teams that are seemingly selling off players in hopes of a rebuild. Teams like the Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves have been showcases already and I feel the need to come full circle and showcase the Braves specifically once again. The first post was focused around a possible acquisition of RHP Shelby Miller, who ultimately went to the Arizona Diamondbacks for an absolute haul that the Yankees were not going to touch, so this time around I figured we’d focus on the pitching side of things. What about Julio Teheran?

The Braves don’t have much more they can really sell at this point. Andrelton Simmons is gone, Miller is gone, Cameron Maybin is gone, Mike Minor is gone and I’m sure I’m missing a few from this offseason. Left are recognizable names like Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Nick Swisher but the man that may intrigue the Yankees the most would be Teheran. Teheran is a 24-year old right-handed starting pitcher with four years left of team control. Teheran has shown flashes of brilliance in his young MLB career and may have ace written all over his forehead in the coming years.

I can’t see a Nick Swisher reunion making much sense for the Yankees now, especially without a Brett Gardner trade. Swisher can play the outfield and first base adequately and is a switch hitter but absolutely does not fit into the mold of the team getting younger or less expensive. The same can be said for Freeman, especially the expensive part. Freeman is obviously younger than incumbent first baseman Mark Teixeira but would only block up-and-coming prospect Greg Bird from taking over the position full time in 2017 making a trade for him both redundant and unnecessary. Markakis fits the mold of Swisher as well, the Yankees could use a younger right fielder but without a clear “out” for Carlos Beltran I just can’t see it happening. Even if New York did trade Gardner or Beltran I could see Aaron Hicks getting the shot with Dustin Ackley serving as the 4th outfielder before I’d see another trade or free agent signing. Teheran it is then!

Teheran would slip into the #2 hole behind Masahiro Tanaka quite well in my opinion and would give the Yankees one of the best starting rotations in all of the American League. I can’t think of, off the top of my head anyway, a better 4th and 5th starter than Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi plus Luis Severino makes a damn good #3 pitcher at this point in his career. It may not work for New York, mind you, because it seems like Atlanta could trade their bat boy for two top prospects right now (how in the world are they getting so much for everyone in every single trade?) but it’s worth the phone call in my opinion. 

ICYMH: Meet a Prospect Jake Cave

Instead of ICYMI, or In Case You Missed It, we’re going to switch things up a little bit today. We’re going to do ICYMH, or In Case You Miss Him. We’re going to give your our Meet a Prospect from last year for Jake Cave with it updated for the 2015 season… just in case you miss him. Cave was taken second overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the Rule 5 Draft and will try to stick on their 25 man roster all season long or be offered back to New York for $25K. It’s bittersweet since I want Cave back in the organization but I also want to see him get his shot, so stay tuned to see how it all works out.

Jake Cave was taken by the New York Yankees in the 6th round of the 2011 MLB First Year Players Draft out of Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, VA. Jake would ultimately sign with the Yankees for a $825K signing bonus which was the second highest bonus given out by the Yankees that season and more than their first round pick Dante Bichette Jr. Cave pitched from the left side all through High School but the Yankees announced that they drafted him as an outfielder on draft day, something that caught a lot of people off guard. Cave brings a frame that is a little on the smaller side at 6' 180 lbs and is listed as a 1B/OF/LHP so the versatility is there. Cave has only played outfield though for the Yankees so I wouldn’t expect to see him anywhere else in the Major Leagues.

Jake attended Hampton Christian Academy his first two years of High School and impressed in his sophomore year with a 10-0 record and a 1.23 ERA with 109 K's in 61 IP. After transferring to Kecoughtan High School he hit .621 with 4 HRs and 16 RBIs with 38 runs scored while being voted an Aflac All American before being drafted by the Yankees. Jake has only appeared in two at bats in the Yankees system before a knee injury derailed his career. He is deemed to finally be healthy now and is looked to make major strides in the 2013 season.

Cave began putting it all together in 2013 and turned around from a toolsy outfielder with lots of upside to a solid outfielder. Cave hit .282 in 2013 and got better with every stop along the way. Cave ended the 2015 season with the Scranton RailRiders in Triple-A where he finished, albeit in a small sample size, with a .458/.517/.667 slash in just seven games. Cave's defense is solid and his bat is better, he's looking more and more like a good all-around outfielder. 

The Reds will enjoy having Cave on their 25 man roster all season long. On a rebuilding team I cannot envision a scenario where he is given back to the New York Yankees this season. 

FYI: Nine Teams Can Help the Yankees Draft Status

The New York Yankees have all signs pointing to holding onto their first round draft pick this winter rather than sacrificing it to sign a high-priced free agent. This would likely take them out of the bidding for the likes of Chris Davis, Wei-Yin Chen, Yovani Gallardo and others leaving the other 29 MLB teams to bid and sacrifice their picks. The Yankees have a total of nine teams that can help them improve their draft status in 2016 and all they have to go is go out, go big, spend big and bring in a big name to excite their fan base all at the expense of their draft pick.

Just as a reminder, the first 10 picks in the draft are protected so the best the Yankees could do conceivably, although highly unlikely, is the 11th pick in the draft in a perfect world. New York started out 22nd overall and have seen two first round picks sacrificed by the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks leaving the Yankees in the 20th position.

These nine teams can help the Yankees and here they are in ascending order: 

Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Houston Astros.

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/14: F Youk!

On this day in 2012 Kevin Youkilis became the latest member of Red Sox nation to come over to the Dark Side and sign with the New York Yankees. Youk signed a one year deal worth $12 million to be the third basemen in New York.

Also on this day in 2010 Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees offer of $150 million for a $120 dollar deal to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee joins Roy Halladay in probably what is the best rotation in all of baseball down in Philadelphia.

Also on this day in 1985 Yankees outfielder Roger Maris dies after a two year battle with lymphatic cancer at age 51. Former Yankees teammates Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, John Blanchard, and Bill Skowron served as pall bearers.

Also on this day in 1960 Major League Baseball expanded its team base two additional teams with the "new" Washington Senators and the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees southpaw Bobby Shantz was selected by Washington and Yankees righty Ed Grba was selected by the Angels in the expansion draft.

Finally on this day in 1950 four owners were selected to choose a new commissioner for baseball, as soon as possible. The Yankees owner Del Webb, Braves owner Lou Perini, Cubs owner Phil Wrigley, and Indians owner Ellis Ryan were the four men who chose the new commissioner.