Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kill the Quintana rumors once and for all…

Just when you think the Jose Quintana rumors are finished, they raise their ugly head once again.  Even Peter Gammons on Saturday was tweeting that a package led by Clint Frazier for Quintana is “intriguing”.  At this point, I’d prefer to let the Atlanta Braves, the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Houston Astros overpay for Quintana.  I have reconciled myself to the fact that the cost is not worth the reward.

Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media floated a package consisting of Frazier, Jorge Mateo, Chance Adams and Dustin Fowler for Quintana.  I wouldn’t do it. 

There will be other Jose Quintana’s on down the road and perhaps a Chris Sale-type or two.  Who really knows?  There are surprises every year.  If all players simply played to their season prediction, it would be a very boring sport.  New diamonds in the rough will appear and it is GM Brian Cashman’s job to uncover the gems.   Life under owner Hal Steinbrenner is to maximize the return while minimizing the cost. 

It is time for the Yankees to see what they have with the young arms.  It is very possible that the Yankees will lose the top two pitchers in their rotation this fall.  Masahiro Tanaka could opt out of his deal and CC Sabathia is at the end of his long contract.  Another inconsistent season by Michael Pineda could signal the end of his time in the Bronx.  So, at this point, Luis Severino, Adam Warren, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, and Jordan Montgomery are not only fighting for the last two spots in the rotation, they’re fighting for the future of the entire rotation.  Converting Johnny Barbato to a starter is not the answer.

The day will come when the Yankees have to move a truckload of top prospects for pitching but let’s get closer to the potential arrival of Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado after the 2019 season.     

As much as I would love for Jordan Montgomery to make the Opening Day roster, the realist in me believes that the Yankees will go with Luis Severino and Chad Green for the final two spots in the rotation.  If someone is removed from the 40-man roster to open a spot, I feel that it’s more likely it would be taken by someone such as Pete Kozma to temporarily replace Didi Gregorius.  Kozma can be jettisoned after Didi returns with no loss in value for the organization.  It would be terrific if I am wrong about Montgomery but I do not see the opportunity with the 40-man roster at this point given the stronger immediate need at short. 

Chad Green worked four innings on Sunday for Single-A Tampa in a game against Bradenton.  He gave up four hits and three runs, walking one, in four innings of work.  But he did strike out 8 batters, even if they were A-ballers. 

Manager Joe Girardi has stated his job is “to win now” which also leads me to believe that he fill the open spots with guys who have major league experience. 

This has to be a stressful week for the manager and the players, particularly those on the bubble.  Girardi will be faced with some difficult decisions and conversations.  I certainly do not envy his job. 

The Opening Day dream ended for three Yankee hopefuls yesterday, leaving ten men remaining to await the guillotine in the march to 25.  SS Ruben Tejada will probably exercise an opt-out after being re-assigned to minor league camp.  Also re-assigned to minor league camp were C/1B Wilkin Castillo and infielder Donovan Solano.  

Congrats to Gleyber Torres for receiving the 2017 James P. Dawson Award,  an  award given to the most outstanding rookie in training camp every year.  Veni, vidi, vici…

Interesting stat that this season’s 22-7-1 Spring record is the best since the Yankees went 24-10 in the World Series championship year of 2009.  I am not trying to draw any parallels and certainly do not mean to imply that we’re headed to the World Series.  But it’s been a fun Training Camp.  We have seen exciting performances from younger players like Gleyber Torres, James Kaprielian, Billy McKinney, Dustin Fowler and others.  Greg Bird has removed any doubts about his recovery from shoulder surgery.  Aaron Judge has reduced his strikeouts.  Aaron Hicks is showing signs that he might actually help this year.  Masahiro Tanaka and Aroldis Chapman have proved, again, the aces they are.  And Gary Sanchez is the face of a new era.

I am ready and excited for the new season.  The 2017 Yankees will give us a team to be proud of and one that puts a strong foot forward down the path to the eventual 28th World Championship. 

Have a great Tuesday!

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