Thursday, March 2, 2017

Do you know the way to Jose?…

No, no, no…

The Yankees should NOT trade for Chicago White starting pitcher Jose Quintana.  I do not dispute that he’s a good pitcher, but until last year, he had never won at least 10 games in a season.  From 2013 to 2015, Quintana won a grand total of 9 games each year.  Yes, he’ll give you over 30 starts, a sub 4.00 ERA, and over 200 innings pitched.  2016 was his best year yet, with a 13-12 mark, 3.20 ERA, 181 strikeouts and 208 innings pitched.  Solid numbers, but they do not put Quintana among baseball’s elite.  

Quintana is two months older than former teammate Chris Sale.  Quintana made his major league debut in 2012.  Since that time, Sale has never won less than 11 games.  Sale has the better career ERA, has won 28 more career games, and consistently strikes out more than 200 batters per year.  He is recognized as one of the premier pitchers in the American League.

The resumes are not the same, and it is unrealistic for the Chicago White Sox to expect a return comparable to the one they received from the Boston Red Sox for Sale.  

The Yankees need pitching.  I know it, you know it, and the Steinbrenners know it.  But it is not worth sacrificing one of the team’s top prospects in a package with other top minor leaguers to secure the rights to Quintana.  I am convinced that a prospect such as James Kaprielian will have a better major league career than Quintana in the long run.  Quintana made it to the Show much quicker, but injuries have held Kaprielian back.  He is a big league pitcher and it is only a matter of time before he’s handed his pinstriped uniform for duty in the Bronx.  

There is no doubt the Yankees need to make a trade for upper shelf starter, particularly since it’s possible that Masahiro Tanaka may walk at the end of the year.  But if the trades involving Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller have proven anything, they have shown Yankees scouts have a good eye for uncovering quality talent.  They obviously have the same ability to scout and uncover hidden pitching gems.  GM Brian Cashman has been doing this long enough that he is nobody’s fool and will only make a deal if it is clearly in the best interests of the Yankees to do so.

I do not expect the Yankees to make a trade for Quintana unless the price drops substantially.  Given the number of interested teams, it is unlikely the price is going to drop very far.  So, my vote, which is worthless of course, is no trade for Quintana.  I want to see Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier flourish in the Bronx.  I want to see James Kaprielian become his generation’s Andy Pettitte.  I want to see Blake Rutherford join Aaron Judge in the outfield and become the hitting machine he is destined to be.  

I am prepared to lose good prospects in a quality trade that makes sense.  Trading for Quintana does not.  So, let’s pass.

I was listening to the MLB Network on SiriusXM Radio yesterday morning and one of the announcers, I forget who, made the statement that it is a not question of "if" Dellin Betances will leave the Yankees in three years but rather he "will" leave the Yankees.  I understand the bitter feelings that the arbitration process created and of course the ‘gasoline on the fire’ was the subsequent remarks made by Yankees President Randy Levine.  But there’s still time.  

The Steinbrenner Family needs to make Betances feel wanted and appreciated.  When the time comes, they need to pay him his worth.  Three years is a long time to mend fences, but it is up to Hal Steinbrenner to lay the foundation now.  I had hoped they’d already begun this process behind the scenes, but according to today’s New York Post, Betances said he has not talked with anyone and that he is just focusing on baseball.  I am not convinced that it is a given Betances will leave, but the sequence of events through the arbitration process certainly made it a possibility.  

If Dellin provides another All-Star performance in 2017, the Yankees need to fork up the dough.  In my opinion, it would have been worth paying the additional $2 million to maintain a harmonious relationship with the Bronx-born pitcher.  But it’s not my money and I am not the one trying to get under the luxury tax threshold next year.  In all sports, teams get creative.  The Yankees have a collection of brilliant minds.  They can figure it out.  If the approach is continued denial until Betances becomes a free agent after the 2019 season, he will be gone and that dude on MLB Network was frustratingly correct.

The Yankees won their latest Spring game yesterday with an 8-7 squeaker over the Atlanta Braves.  Bryan Mitchell pitched masterfully for the first three scoreless innings, giving up no hits and only a walk.  Daniel Burch’s horse, Jordan Montgomery, gave up three runs (two earned) in the seventh when the Braves started their unsuccessful rally.  The Yankees moved to 6-1 with the win.  It would be wonderful if the Yankees could get off this same start in April.

It is still early, but so far based on performances, I’d have to say that Luis Severino and Bryan Mitchell are my current favorites for the #4 and #5 starting roles.

Have a great Thursday!

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