Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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

Game Five of the 1996 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves.

USA Today: The Best Team Realistic Money Can Buy

I love reading the USA Today, they always have great content put up on their site that you don't see at every other site. For instance the crew over there put together the bets team they felt that they could with a realistic payroll. One member of the New York Yankees made the cut. CLICK HERE for the entire post with the write ups and such and see below as I sample the team as an excerpt here on the blog.

C- Buster Posey
1B - Paul Goldschmidt
2B - Logan Forsythe
SS- Brandon Crawford
3B - Josh Donaldson
LF- Starlin Marte
CF- Mike Trout
RF- Bryce Harper
DH - Kendrys Morales

BN - AJ Ellis (catcher)
BN - Brock Holt (utility infielder)
BN - Brandon Guyer (utility outfielder)
BN - Ben Zobrist (absolutely freaking everywhere)
BN - Brett Wallace (first base and third base as well as pinch hitter for power)

SP - Dallas Keuchel
SP - Zack Greinke
SP - Carlos Martinez
SP - Marco Estrada
SP - Hector Santiago (no Luis Severino?)

SP - Jeurys Familia
SU - Dellin Betances
RHP - Darren O'Day
LHP - Tony Watson
LOOGY - Tommy Layne
LRP - Chris Young

MLB's Pipeline Updates Their Top 30 Prospects List

Major League Baseball's Pipeline showcases their Top 30 prospects for each and every MLB team across the league and constantly updates them periodically throughout the season and offseason. Two members of the Yankees Top 30 prospects according to MLB.com's Pipeline were Rookie Davis and Eric Jagielo and both were traded in the deal that brought Aroldis Chapman to the Yankees. MLB.com's Pipeline has updated their Top 30 adding Nick Rumbelow and James Pazos to the list so I figured I would bring you the updated list here.

1. Aaron Judge
2. Jorge Mateo
3. James Kaprielian
4. Robert Refsnyder
5. Gary Sanchez
6. Ian Clarkin
7. Jacob Lindgren
8. Tyler Wade
9. Kyle Holder
10. Brady Lail
11. Drew Finley
12. Mason Williams
13. Bryan Mitchell
14. Hoy Jun Park
15. Dustin Fowler
16. Luis Cessa
17. Luis Torrens
18. Miguel Andjuar
19. Juan De Leon
20. Dermis Garcia
21. Abiatal Avelino
22. Slade Heathcott
23. Jordan Montgomery
24. Cale Coshow
25. Domingo Acevedo
26. Leonardo Molina
27. Thairo Estrada
28. Ben Gamel
29. Nick Rumbelow
30. James Pazos

Congrats to both Rumbelow and Pazos. They are two reliable arms that will likely be a big part of the Yankees bullpen in 2016. Stay well fellas. 

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.

The Huge One-Year Deal for Justin Upton That Needs to Happen ASAP

The New York Yankees have been hiding in the dark corners and murky alley's all offseason long while they do their work in relative secret and with stealth. No one saw the Aaron Hicks for John Ryan Murphy trade coming and no one saw the Jose Pirela for Ronald Herrera trade with the San Diego Padres coming either. The Starlin Castro trade was mentioned in passing, although nothing was considered to be close, while the Yankees absolutely shocked the world with the Aroldis Chapman trade. Brian Cashman earned the name Ninja Cashman because many of his deals come together without you reading about it on MLB Trade Rumors for six weeks in advance and Cashman should be thinking about landing his next target, Justin Upton.

Upton is attached to a draft pick after declining a qualifying offer from the San Diego Padres this offseason and the Yankees should do whatever they can to hold onto that pick, unless it's worth it. Who is worth it? Jason Heyward was, David Price was too and Justin Upton likely is too. Upton is so unbelievably underrated it's not even funny. Upton is just 28-years old and is coming off a 26 home run season in 2015 while playing half his games in the MLB equivalent of Yellowstone Park, Petco. Upton is a former first overall pick, ahead of Alex Gordon, and he actually has the best WRC+ over the last three years. Upton has a higher WRC+ than Jason Heyward did, than Yoenis Cespedes has and more so than Alex Gordon as well. Upton steals bases, 113 stolen bases in the last eight season, he's durable, he's played in at least 149 games in each of the last five seasons, and he's great defensively, he's finished third in the NL Gold Glove race in each of the last two seasons.

The market for Upton has been remarkably quiet, this should give the Yankees the opportunity to pounce. This free agent market is absolutely stacked and the next two offseason's are pretty thin following this season, Upton and the Yankees can take advantage of this. New York should offer Upton a one-year deal, maybe even add a player option or second year to the deal, and give him an incredible AAV. Pay the man $30 million for one season or $25 million for each of the next two season's, who cares? The plan is to wait until after the 2017 season to get under the luxury tax anyway and this makes the team exponentially better with another right-handed power bat being added to a thin lineup.

Upton can take advantage of a weak free agent market in a season or two as the top free agent and the Yankees can get his best seasons on a small risk. It makes sense, but will it happen?

Single-Team MLB.TV Streaming is on the Way!

For the first time in sports streaming history Major League Baseball and their streaming service MLB.TV are offering an a la carte option to their fans. In year's past you had to purchase the MLB.TV service for all 30 teams if you wanted to see out of market games like myself and the price was a bit bulky. Sure I sucked it up and paid it anyway, I need to see my Yankees, but it looks like I may be getting a break as soon as the 2016 season as MLB.TV looks to be headed towards offering a one-team streaming service option.

The league will not confirm this until February according to FORBES but the league didn't deny it either saying this:

“… beginning next season MLB will make single-team, out-of-market streams available for purchase (alongside the out-of-market package) on MLB.TV.”

 There's no word on how much this will cost fans but it would presumably be considerably cheaper than the $130 a season that MLB.TV Premium costs now. There's also no word if this will start out as a "per game" experiment or if it will go all season long but you would have to think it would be the latter and not the former. It would make sense for them to do both in my opinion.

To give you an idea of where this is headed the NHL had a similar issue come out recently and they settled by offering one-team out of market streaming for a 20% discount (which would put MLB.TV at roughly $104 a season) of what it would cost to stream all the games live. Stay tuned, but it's coming.

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/5: Randy Johnson Retires

On this day in 2010 Randy Johnson announced his retirement after 22 big league seasons playing for the Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants. Johnson won five Cy Young Awards and 303 victories in his career including a perfect game, two no hitters, a World Series Most Valuable Player award, and 4,875 strike outs.

Also on this day in 1999 Yogi Berra received an apology from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner after his 1985 season as a manager was cut short after only 16 games and ended his self exile from Yankee Stadium. Yogi would then participate in future Opening Day and Old Timers Day festivities.

Finally on this day in 1920 Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee defends the selling of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for cash. Frazee calls Ruth "one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men to ever put on a baseball uniform." Ouch!