Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Boring Winter Ahead: Watch the 2001 World Series Game Seven HERE

Game 7 of the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.


The Yankees Tried to Hire Alex Anthopolous

I want to start this off by apologizing to the Yankees GM Brian Cashman and the entire Yankees organization. I went on a bit of a rant on Twitter recently (shameless plug, follow @GreedyStripes) wondering why the Yankees never seem to look outside the organization for front office help. When the Los Angeles Dodgers added former Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos to the organization I was a bit livid. First there were no reports of the Yankees being interested, until now, and secondly I believe Anthopoulos was the best GM in baseball and I wanted him on the Yankees. That didn’t happen but that’s not because the Yankees didn’t try.

New York and Brian Cashman did attempt to sell Anthopoulos on a job much like they have sold the likes of Jim Hendry, Kevin Towers and almost Omar Minaya in recent seasons before losing out to the Dodgers. The announcement did not mention specifically what job Anthopoulos was offered by the Yankees but it wasn’t a sweet enough gig to get him away from his new vice president of baseball operations job working under Andrew Friedman in Los Angeles.

Anthopoulos would have been a great mind to have inside the Yankees organization with a fresh outlook and opinion on the rest of the league but it just didn’t happen. Remember Anthopoulos was the man that not only brought David Price, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Revere to the Blue Jays but also made trades to acquire Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, RA Dickey and Josh Donaldson as well. You win some and you lose some I just hate that the Yankees lost out on this one. 

Fantasy Baseball: Who are the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros have been a major league franchise for 50 seasons now and unfortunately for many of those seasons the team has not been in contention. The team finally turned things around in 2015 as they won the American League’s second Wild Card and went on to beat the New York Yankees in the AL Wild Card Round. While Houston couldn’t manage to get past the American League Division Series the team’s season was still considered a success by many leading the ownership to add pieces and payroll as they fine-tuned the 2016 version of the club for another run at the postseason. Houston is here to stay in the American League West Division race but can their players help you sit atop your fantasy league this coming season? With a little help, sure they can.

You know the big names that will help any team win their fantasy leagues, names like Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel and Jose Altuve, but anyone who is serious about fantasy sports knows the league winners tend to win the later rounds as well. Anyone can do their homework and pick through the first 10 rounds or so when the names are recognizable and the talent is plentiful but it’s the later picks and the sleeper picks that tend to make all the difference. Names like Ken Giles, Mike Fiers and first base prospect A.J. Reed.

Ken Giles is the new Houston closer and with a dominant starting staff and an offense that lacks explosive power he should get acclimated to pitching in save situations inside Minute Maid Park early and often in 2016. Giles took over midway through the 2015 season as the closer in Philadelphia and dazzled with 15 saves and 87 strikeouts in 70 innings. Giles, assuming health, seems like a shoe-in for 30-40 saves and 90 or so strikeouts in 2016.

Mike Fiers is an underrated and under-appreciated part of the Houston Astros pitching staff. Sure many were wondering if and how he could replicate his 2.13 ERA from the 2014 season, and spoiler alert he did not as he took a step back down closer to Earth in 2015, but despite a bump in ERA his strikeout numbers remained steady. Fiers is one of those pitchers that you won’t hear anything about and before you know it he’s got seven or eight wins before the All Star break. Fiers is definitely a late-round sleeper pick but one you should definitely look into if you need pure wins and strikeouts, he won’t help much elsewhere in my opinion.

Finally you have the Astros top first base prospect A.J. Reed. Reed was the home run king of the minor leagues in 2015 and will get a serious look in spring training this season. Houston does not seem terribly enamored with current first baseman Jon Singleton and could plug Reed into the everyday lineup with a strong and powerful, pun intended, spring training camp. He may be worth the pick with one of your last picks just in case he makes the team. He has legitimate 20-30 home run power in the majors and will easily reach those goals in my opinion if he makes the team out of camp. If he doesn’t he can easily be stashed away on your roster or cut for another player of need without blinking an eye.

That’s it, those are your Houston Astros. Of course you take Altuve and Keuchel if you can and you probably take Correa as well despite his troubling signs at the plate from last season but these three men may help you in the later rounds of your draft. I hope this bit of information helps you dominate your draft lobbies!

Are the Yankees and White Sox January/February Trade Partners?

Even as we stand here waiting for the calendar to turn from January to February and as we wait on spring training camps to start no team probably feels like they are complete or without needs or flaws. This is especially true for a few teams, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox for instance. On paper the Yankees need another starting rotation arm and a rotation arm without more question marks than answers while the White Sox need an upgrade in their outfield. On paper you have to think these two teams would match up for January/February trade partners.

The Yankees need a 200+ inning starter and they prefer one that pitches from the left side of the pitching rubber. Almost every arm in their rotation is a question mark and coming off an injury or lackluster season other than Luis Severino and the team would like a “sure thing” without giving up too much to get it. David Price and Zack Greinke were too rich for the Yankees blood but former Yankees farm hand Jose Quintana is not. Quintana, 27 years old, checks a lot of boxes for New York including the fact that he’s a durable southpaw that would make a great number two or number three starter. Quintana has delivered three straight seasons of at least 200 innings and has never posted an ERA higher than 3.51 over that span. Most importantly though, depending on who you ask of course, Quintana is in the middle of a very team friendly deal that will only pay him $21 million over the next three seasons with two options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons valued at $10.5 million per year. Even Hal Steinbrenner can get behind that.

In return you have to think Brett Gardner would interest the White Sox although Jacoby Ellsbury may be preferable if you’re asking Yankees fans. Obviously a straight up trade wouldn’t work and the Yankees would have to throw in a prospect or three (and I don’t pretend to be an expert on the White Sox needs or the status of their farm system) but the deal could be made with this being the beginning of the structure work. Gardner would be an upgrade to Chicago over incumbents Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia although the White Sox seem content with Adam Eaton at the top of their lineup so who knows. I think Chicago prefers a power hitting outfielder like Yoenis Cespedes but the closer you get to March and April the more desperate teams get.

Could the Yankees take advantage of this desperation and grab a Jose Quintana or Carlos Rodon? Who knows, I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned. 

Yoenis Cespedes Stays In New York

There was little hope of the Yankees signing Yoenis Cespedes, and now there is none.

Oh, what could have been.

Jim Bowden of ESPN is reporting that Cespedes and the Mets have agreed to a three-year contract worth $75 million. According to those same reports, Yoenis can opt-out of the deal after this season.

While the Washington Nationals had apparently offered Cespedes a five-year deal, and the Baltimore Orioles showed interest before re-signing Chris Davis, the Yankees were never had serious interest.

There's been a lot of talk about the Yankees trading Brett Gardner, and I believe they would like that. However, Brian Cashman hasn't been able to get what he wants in return... good/young starting pitching.

I looked at the transactions that have happened this late in the offseason the past few years, and there's been nothing big. So if anyone had hopes of something significant happening I'm afraid you're out of luck.

Does Buying Low on Jonathan Lucroy Make Any Sense?

I love being a blogger and a writer. I do it here on the blog every day for free and I pump out a ton of content not because of any financial gains or because I am getting anything out of it but because I truly just love to do it. Sometimes as a blogger, and I think this gets confused by some who read my work, I like to play both sides of things. Sometimes I write about free agent targets or moves that I personally, the fan, would like to see while sometimes I just throw out ideas to gauge interest from you, my friends and everyone who reads this site. This is one of those ideas that I don’t necessarily think or want to happen but I am more interested in what you, the readers, think. Does buying low on Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy make any sense? 

Initially it really doesn’t look like it makes any sense. The Yankees already have a catcher in Brian McCann and presumably a backup catcher, albeit an unproven one at the Major League level, in Gary Sanchez so on paper the deal seems redundant but what if. What if the Yankees were worried about McCann’s .230 average from 2015 and his decline at the plate in every aspect but the power department, check his splits from Yankee Stadium to on the road by the way, and they wanted some insurance behind the dish? Also what if the Yankees aren’t entirely sold on Sanchez’s readiness and value as a backup catcher after dominating the Arizona Fall League and 35 games or so in Triple-A this season? That’s a legitimate concern I guess, although Greg Bird played in less Triple-A games and held his own in the majors this season, that may lead the Yankees to another backup catcher to give Sanchez another half season or so in Scranton. 

I only bring up Lucroy specifically because of his age and his value as far as his contract goes. Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t want to add payroll and he wouldn’t have to add much if Lucroy was acquired. Lucroy has two years left on his current deal with Milwaukee and is set to make just $4 million this season and $5.2 million next season before hitting free agency at age 31. I also bring up Lucroy specifically because he wants out of Milwaukee and wants to play for a contender. As recently as 2014 Lucroy hit .301 with 53 doubles which was good for a fourth place finish in the NL MVP voting before injuries limited his 2015 season to just 103 games and a .264 average. His bat would only improve the team, no one can deny that. 

You guys know me, I want Sanchez to not only take innings away from McCann to keep him healthy and fresh but I want him to take at bats away from Alex Rodriguez for the same reason. I want the Yankees farm system to bear another fruit and I want another Yankees farm system success to write about all season long. Sometimes we can’t always get what we want though and sometimes some things just make sense. Is Lucroy one of them? Leave your thoughts below in the comments. 

Fantasy Sports Trade Association Holds First Fantasy Baseball Draft of 2016

Fantasy Sports Trade Association and their experts conducted the first official fantasy draft for the 2016 season thus kicking off the fantasy baseball season. The FSTA put together a 13-team league and drafted their respective teams this week at the fantasy industry’s annual winter conference. At the conference were representatives from Scout Fantasy, Rotowire, USA Today Sports, Fanastistics, Baseball HQ, Sirius XM Radio, Fantasy Alarm and a few other companies and websites.

With the first pick in the FSTA Fantasy Draft Dr. Roto of Scout Fantasy selected Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Following Goldschmidt was Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, Nolan Arenado, Carlos Correa, Josh Donaldson, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, Manny Machado and Edwin Encarnacion in successive order.

The first closer to come off the board was Wade Davis of the Kansas City Royals who went also to Dr. Roto in the 6th round. This gives you an idea about how the experts rank these particular players and maybe it can help you at the beginning of your fantasy draft. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/23: History of the New York Yankees

There was actually no notable news on this day in New York Yankees history so rather than spam a "This Day in History" post with nothing on it I decided to change things up a bit. I decided to just post a generic history of the Yankees video for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.