Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Yasiel Sierra Makes So Much Sense for the Yankees

The New York Yankees have made it very clear that they want to add a starting pitcher to the team this winter if at all possible and they don't want another aging veteran with a ton of question marks. This team, no matter what method or terminology they use, is rebuilding and re-tooling at the same time and they want a young pitcher, preferably a pitcher with less than three years of Major League service time. What about a pitcher with zero years of MLB service time and what about a seasoned rookie that doesn't need to be groomed? What about Yasiel Sierra?

I know what you're thinking, he's Cuban so the Yankees probably won't be signing him. That may be true but for a long time after Hideki Irabu the Yankees didn't sign a Japanese-born pitcher until Kei Igawa. Then for a long time after Igawa the Yankees shied away from that market until Masahiro Tanaka became available. New York is overdue to sign a Cuban-born star and they may be more willing to now more than ever after acquiring one from the Cincinnati Reds in Aroldis Chapman. With every pitcher though there are pro's along with con's.

Sierra is just 24-years old and is a year removed from being privy to the international bonus pool rules that MLB has enacted. The Yankees cannot sign anyone for over $300K in the international market but since Sierra is 24 he is a true free agent after MLB cleared him and declared him as so. Sierra is no different than say a Wei-Yin Chen except for the fact that his price tag will likely be substantially less and he will not be attached to any draft pick compensation.

Baseball American ranked their Top 20 players still in Cuba last April, so they may be a bit outdated at this point, and Sierra was ranked 13th overall. Sierra is said to have plus stuff and pitched both as a starter and a relief pitcher in Cuba. Sierra moved to the bullpen full-time in late 2014 and struggled a bit posting a 6.10 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 31 walks in 70 relief innings.

Sierra is projectable despite what his stats say and he has a fluid motion and delivery. He seems very teachable to me and he has been facing international competition his entire career. There is a video that Ben Badler of Baseball American posted and most of it is him facing off against collegiate talent representing Team USA. As you can see in the video, SEEN HERE, he is dominating these hitters and making them look silly with a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a splitter that he has since scrapped and a changeup. Sierra moves his arm slot around a lot but a lot of Cuban pitchers do that to keep opposing batters off-balance, something I did not know until I did my research on Sierra.

Sierra would make a lot of sense for the Yankees rotation and organization going forward. It would bring in the Cuban market and some of the market that is pissed off at Aroldis Chapman and bring them back to the Bronx. He's got a rubber arm and has shown a lot of durability during his time in Cuba and can bring some of that to the Bronx with him. Whether Cashman will sign him or not remains to be seen, well more or less it will depend on whether Hal Steinbrenner will allow it financially, but he checks a lot of boxes for the Yankees this offseason.


  1. One problem Burch, The Yanks can't afford him. Its freaking hilarious to even say that but true

    1. Cuban's, especially the pitchers, generally don't get much in terms of dollars on their initial contracts. I can't see Sierra getting more than $5 million a year annually, or basically Ivan Nova's salary that can be dumped in a Justin Wilson esque trade and still improve the team.

  2. IVAN NOVA...seems like no takers. Even while on the clearance rack.
    Have a feeling that the Yankees will make him go away before camp opens.

    Yasiel Sierra....who were those guys swinging at his pitches
    on that video ? Weekend beer ball guys ? Costco workers ?
    Some of them actually levitated themselves off the ground trying to hit the high fast ball.
    Very funny.

    Daniel...Sierra, a number five, or seven, at best? Solves nothing.

    Eovaldi is the one to pin your hopes on. With some sort of good off-speed
    pitch, he will be the one to watch.

  3. WHERE IS LEVINE ? LEVIN ?....I'm starting to spell like someone else here.
    Where is he ? His input was terrific.
    Arrested taking all the bread sticks out of an Olive Garden joint
    down in Miami ?

  4. JACOB LINDGREN....if this guy bounces back from his injury, and performs
    to the level they think he can be....
    Then the Yankees will have perhaps the most dynamic trade chip,
    at the trading deadline....Chapman.

  5. Nice points Patrick!
    I have no idea on Yasiel Sierra at all, only what we have all read.
    Nova is a good pitcher for the back end of the rotation and this is his breakout year after his surgary so we should see a good/better pitcher than last year.
    I look for Lindgren to be up this year...sooner or later!
    Trading Chapman is dependent on how well our other pitchers work out, I should think. But, he along with Dellin, Miller,Lindgren, Pazos, Shreve and CC (I think) make a very good BP. I wouldn't trade Chapman unless I was convinced of getting a player well worth the deal...and I do mean very well worth the trade.

    1. Reed CC isn't going to the Bull pen anytime soon. I do agree with you that he should be there, however they aren't giving him his 25 mill to sit in the pen.

    2. Hay ken, why can't we deam? You are right, but it would be nice to do something with him taking up a spot for someone better. Unless, Daniel is right and CC comes back as a good #4/5 starter...which I could live with!

  6. I am looking forward to seeing Lindgren, Lail, Doming Acevedo, Mitchell, Ty Hensley and Coshow in spring traning this year. Also, Mateo, Andujar, Sanchez, Avelino, Refsnyder, and Torrens amoung others..


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)