Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Boring Winter Ahead: Watch the 1996 World Series Game Two HERE

Part 1

Part 2

Okay So I Don’t Want to Trade Andrew Miller But….

During the offseason before the 2015 season many fans, bloggers and beat writers wondered if the New York Yankees would create the super bullpen that Brian Cashman has been trying to emulate for years now. The Kansas City Royals turned their franchise around with young players and a three-headed monster at the back end of the bullpen that Cashman, and many executives around the league to be fair, wanted to emulate. When New York signed Andrew Miller last offseason many wanted and wondered if David Robertson was also on his way back to the Bronx to complete the monster. Robertson ended up going to Chicago and Miller turned into a great closer for the Yankees which makes you wonder why now the Yankees went out and got another closer, Aroldis Chapman. I am not saying I want to trade Miller, that’s the exact opposite of the case in fact, but the New York Yankees may now be in a huge position of power with his services.

The New York Yankees could, and in my opinion should, hold onto Miller and throw out one of the best bullpens in all of Major League Baseball in 2016. And why wouldn’t they? The starting rotation is riddled with question marks and the team struggled to get length out of their starters all season long last year. Having a deep bullpen could alleviate these problems a bit, especially when most of the team’s current relief pitchers can pitch multiple innings while getting both left-handed and right-handed hitters out in any given occasion. It is interesting to think about what the Yankees could potentially get for Miller though, isn’t it?

If the Yankees made Miller available, and I mean truly available not this “he’s available but only if you blow me away” kind of available, there would be many teams that would show immediate interest. The Chicago Cubs would likely show the most interest and would likely have the most interesting pieces available in trade. The Cubs lack the young starting pitching that the Yankees would likely command for Miller but the outfielder pair of Jorge Soler and Javier Baez may be too good to pass up in the end. Another team that may be interested in Miller’s services would be the Washington Nationals and they very much have the young starting pitching that could intrigue Brian Cashman to make a deal. Names like Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez could start the discussion while a Tanner Roark could end it for the Bronx Bombers in any hypothetical trade.

The Yankees don’t need to trade Miller and honestly with six or seven starting pitching options and adequate depth the Yankees shouldn’t trade Miller. It is the offseason though and it’s interesting to see who the Yankees could get or may get in a potential trade. The sky is the limit right now and it is the time for new hopes, dreams and resolutions. I hope and dream that Cashman is resolute enough to keep Andrew Miller though. 

Jacob Lindgren the Forgotten One

Major League Baseball is a thankless job, isn’t it? It’s almost like parenting, you work your tail off and you’re still expected to do a little more. Give a little more. Do a little better. It’s a large weight to carry on your shoulders every day but like parents MLB ball players do it. Again, much like parenting, there are times that you succeed but the first time you fail it’s all washed away. I said all that to bring to light exactly what is happening right now to a Yankees prospect, a Yankees prospect that is being severely overlooked this offseason. Jacob Lindgren.

Lindgren was taken with the first pick the Yankees had in the 2014 MLB Draft and was expected to move through the Yankees system rather quickly. Lindgren made his MLB debut early on in 2015 but an elbow injury derailed the beginning of his MLB career. Lindgren has bone spurs removed from his left elbow and missed the remainder of the 2015 season with surgery. While in the majors Lindgren did well and seemed to be slipping his way into Joe Girardi’s Circle of Trust but now it seems like no one remembers the name or mentions him anymore. Jacob Lindgren, the forgotten one.

Lindgren was not listed on either of Baseball America’s or Baseball Prospectus’s Top Yankees prospects list, although he did make my personal list, and was not listed in the Top 10 on’s Pipeline list of prospects either. Lindgren is not being mentioned anywhere but here on The Greedy Pinstripes and that may be a good thing for him.

Lindgren went into the 2015 season with high hopes and expectations, entering the 2016 season he is the forgotten one. That’s a lot of weight off his shoulder and his left elbow and that may allow Lindgren to relax and do his thing like he did for Mississippi State or for the Yankees farm affiliates.

Don’t forget Jacob Lindgren ladies and gents or he’s going to make you regret it. 

Okay People…. Overreact Much?

The New York Yankees have ruffled the feathers of more than a few people by trading for Aroldis Chapman. Why? Chapman has been accused, although the case has been closed and no files were charged by the police to be fair to both sides here, of choking his girlfriend and firing eight rounds into a wall in his garage. Chapman more than likely made his girlfriend a victim of domestic violence and he will be punished for it, either by the league, his friends, family and peers or by his maker, but some people, I think the most accurate word I’ve seen was opportunists, are overreacting just a tad. And when I say a tad I mean a lot.

You can have strong feelings about what he did and you can truly not want the player on the team but some people are taking it to that next level. I have seen people say the Yankees have “sold their souls” in acquiring Chapman and that the organization doesn’t have class anymore. I guess we’re back to being the Evil Empire again in some households. I’ve also seen someone “burn their season tickets” because Chapman was acquired. First and foremost I don’t believe you burned your actual season tickets and secondly how is this hurting the team exactly? What point is this driving home? The Yankees want to sell tickets, they already sold those tickets. Sure you could cancel your subscription for next year but who is that hurting in the long run? Not the Yankees, and certainly not Chapman. No, just you.

Look. You can like a player and you can like this trade and not like the person inside the uniform. The Yankees are not the first to acquire someone with a troubled past or history and the Yankees won’t be the last. Who cares about the tradition and the class and all that jazz. The goal is, was and always will be winning and Chapman gives the team a great chance to win. That’s Brian Cashman’s job, to put a winning team on the field the best he can with the resources and finances that Hal Steinbrenner gives him.

I hate what Chapman did, and I’m sure most people do. My mother was a victim of domestic violence and I saw it first hand on more than one occasion. I’m sensitive to the subject but as a spiritual person I also believe that it’s not my place to judge him. The league will judge him and his maker will judge him. As a fan I root for the team to win and I root for anyone and everyone wearing the pinstripes. There’s a line that separates the man wearing the uniform and the player and some are crossing that line a bit much. Be pissed off, voice your opinion, etc. but it’s not fair to be criticized for my own opinion when I never once criticized you for yours.

Everyone. Chill. These things have a way of working themselves out in the end. This will to. Stay well. 

So What Did the Yankees Give Up Exactly for Aroldis Chapman?

The New York Yankees gave up four prospects for at least one season of team control for Aroldis Chapman but what did they really give up? You all know the names. Rookie Davis, Tony Renda, Eric Jagielo and Caleb Cotham but many don’t watch the prospects as closely as the next guy and may not know what the Yankees truly gave up in the deal. I will try to educate you a bit the best I can on this deal so you can make your own determination of whether the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman did well in this deal or not.

Rookie Davis is a big guy and a hard thrower, he was also one of my personal favorites out of the Yankees farm system. Davis stands 6’5” and is 22-years old. That’s the good of it, the bad of it was that he’s barely pitched above A-Ball despite being in the Yankees system for what feels like forever. Davis is not a huge strikeout guy, 129 strikeouts in 130.2 innings in 2015 will show you that, but he was a control guy, which was evident by his 26 walks. Rookie, or William Davis, saw his K/9 ratio drop to 6.5 in his six appearances with the Trenton Thunder last season, his first stint in AA. While Davis is a loss in the depth department he wasn’t on many Top 10 Prospects lists and he is very replaceable inside the organization. The Yankees have a ton of right-handed starting pitching depth in the minor leagues and much of it is in Triple-A. Davis will be missed by fans but the organization will go on without him, that’s baseball unfortunately.

Eric Jagielo is probably the best piece given up by the Yankees in this deal but he is one I am not personally real high on. Jagielo is now 23-years old and was a former first-round pick by the Yankees in the 2013 Draft. Jagielo finally reached Double-A last season despite being showcased as a polished college bat. If this tells you anything the Reds came out and said Jagielo would likely be a bench and utility player for them. They think about as highly about him as I do it seems.

Caleb Cotham is a relief pitcher that appeared in 12 games for the Yankees last season. Cotham posted a 6.52 ERA in those 12 games and gave up a ton of home runs coming out of the pen. You all know the list of names that could potentially replace him in the bullpen this season, he’s expendable and the Yankees traded from a position of strength. Somehow they traded the player they seemingly liked the least, based on usage, and still got some value out of him. Good trade.

The final piece in the trade was second baseman Tony Renda. Renda was acquired from the Washington Nationals in the David Carpenter trade. New York essentially got something for nothing with the trade for Carpenter after the team designated him for assignment and then was able to flip him for Chapman. Renda was left unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft this season and was not taken at 24-years old. Renda has not yet reached Triple-A in his career.

So basically, in closing, the Yankees gave up very little in the grand scheme of things and got a huge closer back in return, Chapman. If Chapman is suspended for 45 days or more he will be under team control for the 2017 season as well leaving the Yankees with even more of a victory in my eyes. 

Former Yankees Update: Stephen Drew Signs w/ Washington Nationals

Stephen Drew Sucks! Okay, I’m sorry I had to do it. It was meant as a comic relief and a throwback to the following on twitter that would not let a single Drew at bat go by without me saying that, regardless of the outcome. No hard feelings Stephen and we wish you well!

Drew was a member of the New York Yankees for a season and a half after Brian Cashman brought him over in a trade with the Boston Red Sox for Kelly Johnson in 2014. Cashman re-signed Drew for the 2015 season but he won’t be doing the same for the 2016 season. No, the Yankees have moved on and so has Drew as the Yankees second baseman signed a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals this week to presumably work off their bench next season.

Congrats on the new gig Stephen, I truly wish you well and I mean that. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/2: Lou Gehrig the Parole Commissioner

On this day in 1940, with Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in attendance, Lou Gehrig was sworn in as a member of the New York City Parole Commission. The term is for 10 years but Gehrig became too ill with ALS to even sign his name on the contract and has to ask for a leave of absence the very next year.