Thursday, November 30, 2017

Turn the Page to December, Please...

Credit:  David Dermer, AP
The Yankees continue to search for their new manager and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead...

I think my stance against Carlos Beltran and his lack of coaching experience is weakening. After his post-interview comments, I felt that he provided the best responses of the candidates interviewed to date. You can find his words on other sites but in my opinion, he gave very knowledgeable and insightful answers for a guy who has never managed or coached in the Major Leagues. I am still not crazy about handing the keys to the kingdom to a "green" manager but if he proves to be the one, I'll get behind the choice.  Beltran clearly has much to offer any MLB team and I feel that he'd be a wonderful addition to the coaching staff. As manager, there's no doubt he'd need a very strong and seasoned former manager to assist as his bench coach. Beltran has the support of his former teammates and the local media plus it's apparent he has a good working relationship with GM Brian Cashman. There really isn't any candidate that stands head and shoulders above him.

Jennifer Lopez apparently feels strongly that Alex Rodriguez should be the next Yankees manager. She tweeted today:  "It couldn't be clearer...#arodforyankees manager" while forwarding an article written by Merritt Rohlfing for BTBS entitled "The best and only choice for Yankees manager is obvious".  While I personally would not want to see the circus that would ensue if A-Rod was named as the new manager, good for him that he got his girlfriend's endorsement. Maybe she just wants to get him out of the house more often.

I felt bad for managerial candidate Aaron Boone when his brother Bret came out with the jokes about sexual misconduct after NBC's dismissal of TODAY host Matt Lauer. Aaron quickly distanced himself from his brother but unfortunately the unwanted attention is hard to ignore. Bret's timing could not have been any worse. Still, I think Aaron and Carlos Beltran will make the cut to the next round for a visit to Tampa, Florida to meet with the Steinbrenner family. I don't always share my brothers' opinions and I am sure that holds true for Aaron and his brother.

I keep seeing the name of David Ross thrown around as someone the Yankees should talk to. Nothing against Ross (I personally think that he is a very knowledgeable and professional guy) but I don't really want to see a former Red Sock as Yankees manager.

Speaking of Red Socks...

Former Yankees Kevin Youkilis, Derek Lowe and Mike Lowell have been elected to the 2018 Red Sox Hall of Fame, along with John Frank "Buck" Freeman. Congrats to all of them. Lowell is the Yankee who should have never gotten away.  The 1999 trade that sent him to the then Florida Marlins for the forgettable trio of Todd Noel, Mark Johnson and Ed Yarnall felt like a huge mistake at the time of the trade.  

Youkilis and Lowe obviously came to the Yankees after they had finished their successful runs in Boston. Buck Freeman played for the Red Sox when they were known as the Boston Americans from 1901 to 1907.

The Van Dusen Bandwagon...

I keep trying to dismiss Bryan Van Dusen's continued pitch for Giancarlo Stanton under the primary assumption that there's no room for him in Hal Steinbrenner's 2018 Yankees Team Budget. But then I see reports like today (unsubstantiated or not) that state the Miami Marlins would accept second baseman Joe Panik and two prospects for Stanton if the San Francisco Giants are willing to pay $250 million (of $295 million) left on his contract.  That's a trade the Yankees could easily beat.  

I agree with Van Dusen that I'd hate to see Stanton go to the Red Sox but I am resigned to the fact the Red Sox will acquire another slugger this winter. It may not be Stanton but it will be someone like Jose Abreu or Eric Hosmer. Plus, it wouldn't surprise me if Dave Dombrowski swings a deal that is completely out of the blue as Boston tries to hold off the hard-charging Yankees. On the bright side, Dombrowski is ravaging Boston's farm system.

For as fearful as we are to see Stanton playing home games at Fenway Park, I'd love to see the Red Sox Nation watch Stanton join the Baby Bombers on the verge of a dynasty run...

Go Yankees!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Marlins Are Strong-Arming Giancarlo Stanton

By now you may have seen the reports....

Giancarlo Stanton has been told by the Miami Marlins that if he doesn't waive his no-trade clause he would be the only star on a rebuilding team, as the Marlins would apparently look to cut payroll by trading others.

I want to note that no names from within the Marlins organization have been attached to that message, but I really... really... hope it wasn't Jeter.

I was going make this another "You're A Tool" post, but I can't bring myself to say that when it's in any way pointed at Derek.

Unlike with Alex Rodriguez and his last huge contract, where those that were around when he signed that deal were still in charge and therefore shouldn't complain about it, the same can't be said with Giarncarlo. However, when the new ownership bought the team they knew what they were getting into with the current National League MVP. So it's ridiculous for them to treat Stanton like that.

I wouldn't be surprised if the MLBPA got involved here, as Stanton should not be strong-armed into giving up his no-trade clause if he doesn't want to. He earned the right to say "I don't want to play there, so I'm using my no-trade clause."

It's bad enough when a player gets traded by a team he loves playing for, and is visibly saddened by the news. But when a player has the right to decline a trade and is then treated like this it not only makes me sad for him, it makes me angry as well.

Especially if he were to be traded to the Red Sox. Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!

Turkey Leftovers Are History, Bring On Some Baseball Action! ...

Waiting for Otani...

Given every other writer (or blogger in my case) has written that this has been the slowest off-season in recent memory, I will do my obligatory part to say that it’s been so slow.  November 29th and the best we can say is that former Boston Red Sox starter Doug Fister has signed a free agent contract with the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox picked Fister up off the scrap heap last summer and he gave them some decent starts down the stretch when they had holes popping up in other parts of the starting rotation. Good for him that he parlayed it into some sense of short-term job security in Texas.

I expected the Thanksgiving weekend to be quiet and it was. No Yankees news other than the preparation by all teams for the much anticipated posting of Japanese superstar Shohei Otani which should occur shortly after Friday when the MLB Owners ratify the new posting agreement. The Yankees are obvious favorites but of course some teams have been very vocal about their intent to pursue the two-way star.  The loudest has been the Seattle Mariners. We know that this move is not about money so the fact the Yankees can offer the second highest amount of green does not necessarily mean anything. I’ve felt all along that this move, for now, is about the endorsement dollars. I read one writer say Otani could make up to $20 million per year in endorsement deals between the United States and Japan. I realize that Otani played in a smaller market in Japan for a “ham company” but I feel that if he wants to be the best, there is none other than the New York Yankees for him. He’d have the opportunity to play in the greatest city (highest potential for endorsement deals) and he’d join a young team on the verge of something truly special.  His age would fit nicely with the other Baby Bombers to ensure an extended competitive run for the duration of his stay. He’d have a pitcher on the Yankees pitching staff that could help serve as a mentor (Masahiro Tanaka) and he’d have access to one of Japan’s greatest baseball players with Hideki Matsui (who knew a thing or two about incredible clutch hitting), currently special assistant to GM Brian Cashman.

I think it is an easy decision for Otani but of course, at this point, it is anybody’s guess where he ends up. In the end, I do hope it is Team Yankees while recognizing there are risks with a player attempting to both pitch and hit on a regular basis. Otani is a special talent and there may never be an opportunity to get a player of his caliber for only $3.5 million under team control for multiple years. No question that fits into Hal Steinbrenner’s 2018 budget.

Next Up, Carlos Beltran...

Carlos Beltran will become the sixth man interviewed for the Yankees managerial opening today. I like Carlos and I value his ability to communicate with players and the media, but I struggle with the idea of the player-to-manager path with no coaching experience. I wouldn’t mind seeing Beltran as part of the Yankees coaching staff but I’d really prefer someone who at least has coaching experience as its new manager. I saw a bunch of tweets yesterday that compared Beltran to Joe Torre as a player who successfully made the transition. But no one was mentioning that Torre’s record with his first team, the New York Mets, was a .405 winning percentage (286-420). He didn’t experience post-season success until he managed his fourth team, the Yankees. Beltran may prove to be an excellent manager one day but for a team that is positioned for success now, I’d rather not have a guy learning on the job.  

Yankees fan yesterday, Yankee today...

Credit to Peter Gammons for this piece that I found interesting. Newly acquired RHP Michael King (who joined the Yankees in the trade that sent LHP Caleb Smith and 1B Garrett Cooper to the Miami Marlins) was a second team All-State performer for Bishop Hendricksen High School in Warwick, Rhode Island in 2012. That summer he played in the Annual Summer Rivalry Classic held for Northeastern high school kids at Yankee Stadium. Among the free offerings that day was bubble gum that King was very fond of, stuffing perhaps 6 or 7 sticks of gum into his mouth at one point. Asked what he did with that big wad of gum, King indicated that he stuck it under the bench. According to Gammons, King, a childhood Yankees fan, said, “I figured I’d get it back when I get back there to the bullpen as a Yankee.” I love that story and the optimism. I look forward to the dream being fulfilled.  

The Bronx, Home of MLB's Best Executive...

Congratulations to Brian Cashman for being named as Baseball America’s 2017 Major League Executive of the Year! It was a much deserved honor for the great GM. It probably doesn’t hurt the contract negotiations for his new deal either. Hal Steinbrenner issued a statement that read, “Brian plays a crucial role in our success, and I’ve known for quite some time how fortunate we are to have him leading our Baseball Operations Department. He cares deeply about this franchise and our fans, and he skillfully navigates the many challenges that come with holding the position he does in the media capital of the world.” Not bad for a kid who grew up as a Dodgers fan. He is ensuring that his name will be forever marked in Yankees history as one of the great pillars of success. Next stop, World Series!  

Credit:  Stan Grossfield, Boston Globe Staff
Like everyone else, I am ready for some real off-season baseball action. But I am sure that once the calendar page turns to December, we’d better hold on. It should be a fun ride! 

Go Yankees!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New York Yankees Organizational All Stars released the New York Yankees organizational All-Stars at every position this week so here is a quick glimpse into the future of the team. Congratulations to all on the list and join me in salivating at the thought of the future here in the Bronx. Enjoy your day!

Yankees 2017 Organization All-Stars

Catcher: Donny Sands
First Base: Mike Ford*
Second Base: Nick Solak
Third Base: Miguel Andujar*
Shortstop: Thairo Estrada*
Outfielder: Estevan Florial
Outfielder: Jake Cave*
Outfielder Billy McKinney
Honorable Mention: Isiah Gilliam
Utility: Tyler Wade*
LHP: Caleb Smith*
RHP: Chance Adams*
RP: Anyelo Gomez

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hopping Aboard The Giancarlo Train

I'm an assistant manager for a men's formal clothing store, and seeing as how Black Friday has pretty much come to an end it goes without saying that I'm not totally "with it" right now. So the following may be completely insane, but just bear with me. Cool?

I'm all about trading for Giancarlo Stanton. For a while I thought we may as well wait for Bryce Harper in a year. After all, at that point Harper will only cost money, and the Yankees could have plenty of it without have to live with a huge Luxury Tax hit. But then I looked at how much time is left on Stanton's contract, while comparing it with what Harper could get.

Going into 2018, Giancarlo has ten years remaining on his contract (assuming he doesn't opt-out after the 2020 season), which would take him through his age 38 season. Meanwhile, Harper could very well get a 13 year deal that would match the length of the one Stanton got, which would also take run through his age 38 season.

Not to mention that Stanton's 13 year deal was worth a total of $325 million, while Harper is likely to get around $450 million. So while money may not be a big deal to the Yankees after this next season, they could very well spend significantly less with Stanton than Harper... minus the value of the prospects in a trade for Giancarlo.

And the opt-out part of Stanton's contract doesn't bother me that much since Harper is liable to get an opt-out in his contract too. Although Bryce's opt-out would likely come a few years after Stanton's currently does, meaning the Yankees would have Harper for a little while longer during his prime years.

In the end I'm not going to be that upset if the Yankees do not trade for Giancarlo, which is a good thing since they likely won't. The only thing that would bother me is if he went to the Red Sox. But just imagine...

1. Brett Gardner
2. Aaron Judge
3. Giancarlo Stanton
4. Gary Sanchez
5. Didi Gregorius
6. Greg Bird
7. Chase Headley
8. Starlin Castro
9. Aaron Hicks

And by the way, I am seeing the bench consisting of Jacoby Ellsbury, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Austin, and whatever backup catcher.

Oh, and as for the guys being sent to Miami... Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, Tyler Wade, and a couple of other prospects in the low minors (yeah, yeah... my trade proposal sucks).

If you think he'll cost more than that then you've been smoking the same thing that Derek Jeter and his cronies have. I mean, sure, Giancarlo Stanton would probably get more on the open market (at least dollar-wise), but it's not so much more that he should cost a team more than that in terms of prospects. Heck, Miami would be getting three players with at least five years of team control, and a couple of others whose MLB clocks won't even start for 2-3 years.

If the Marlins would kick in some money, then fine... give them more in prospects. But if they expect the Yankees to take on his entire contract, then they should take that package and run with it.

It brings a tear to my eye looking back at that lineup. The 2-6 hitters could bash 170+ home runs alone. And with prospects like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, and Estevan Florial still to come.

And with that, my friends, it's time for me to get some sleep. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

My 2018 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

The 2018 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot has been released and there are quite a few interesting names on it as newcomers. To name a few of the newcomers we have Johan Santana, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Jamie Moyer and Andruw Jones. Let’s take a look at the complete ballot and decide who I would vote for if I had a vote with the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Here is the complete 2018 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot:

Johan Santana
Chipper Jones
Barry Bonds
Chris Carpenter
Roger Clemens
Johnny Damon
Vladimir Guerrero
Livan Hernandez
Trevor Hoffman
Orlando Hudson
Aubrey Huff
Jason Isringhausen
Andruw Jones
Jeff Kent
Carlos Lee
Brad Lidge
Edgar Martinez
Hideki Matsui (homer alert… as this is all hypothetical)
Fred McGriff
Kevin Millwood
Jamie Moyer
Mike Mussina
Manny Ramirez
Scott Rolen
Curt Schilling
Gary Sheffield
Sammy Sosa
Jim Thome
Omar Vizquel
Billy Wagner
Larry Walker
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano

BOLDED players receive my vote, capped at ten votes per ballot.

Thanksgiving…THANKS for GIVING us Otani? I hope!…

Much to be thankful for…

As Thanksgiving approaches, we have much to be thankful for this year. The Yankees clearly exceeded our expectations and they appear to be on the cusp of another great dynasty run.  It wasn’t that long ago that the Yankees were called an old team  with bare cupboards.  Thanks to GM Brian Cashman and his team, the MLB roster is loaded, the farm system is fully restocked and the future is excessively bright. I am grateful for the leadership of the Yankees and I am very excited about the upcoming seasons. 

So, New York Yankees, THANK YOU!

Hot Stove League simmering...

Aside from Monday’s flurry of activity as the Yankees worked rapidly to finalize the 40-man Roster of Record for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, it has been a very quiet week.  

Tuesday evening saw the MLBPA and Nippon Professional Baseball reach a tentative agreement on a new posting system to cover this off-season and the next three years. The MLB owners must still ratify the new agreement which should occur next Friday, December 1st. It is expected that Shohei Otani will be posted on Saturday, December 2nd, and MLB teams will have three weeks to sign the Japanese superstar. So, by this time next month, we should know whether or not Otani will be wearing Pinstripes in 2018. All I want for Christmas is Shohei Otani in the Yankees starting rotation…with bat in hand for his off days!  

Credit:  Masterpress/Getty Images
This off-season it feels like teams are raiding the Yankees. We’ve seen the Miami Marlins snag the Yankees VP of Player Personnel (Gary Denbo) and the Houston Astros grabbed Yankees third base coach Joe Espada to be their new bench coach replacing Alex Cora (who was named the new manager of the Boston Red Sox).  The Red Sox have also indirectly caused the latest departure from the organization.  When Boston named Ron Roenicke as their new bench coach for Cora’s staff, it created an opening on the Los Angeles Angels coaching staff.  Roenicke had been the third base coach for the Angels last year.  Angels bench coach Dino Abel was moved to third base to replace Roenicke and the Angels hired Yankees minor league coordinator Josh Paul, credited with the development of Gary Sanchez, to be their new bench coach under manager Mike Scioscia. When the Yankees parted ways with manager Joe Girardi, Paul’s name was quickly mentioned as a possible replacement but he was never formally interviewed. I assume that he was a possibility for the new Yankee manager’s coaching staff but he took the ‘sure thing’ with the opportunity to be the bench coach for the Angels where he’ll be reunited with his former boss, GM Billy Eppler. I am sorry to see Paul go given how highly he was thought of within the Yankees organization but you can’t fault the guy for seeking advancement. He’s positioning himself to ensure that he does get the next managerial interview.  

Credit:  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Dellin Betances was caught on record this week while participating with a turkey giveaway in the Bronx.  He gave an endorsement for Rob Thomson as the next Yankees manager.  “A lot of guys like to work with him.”  I hate to read into anything but “a lot” is not “everyone”.  I still prefer Thomson as a member of the coaching staff as opposed to its leader.  But I am not so strongly opposed to Thomson that I’d be disappointed if he is named manager.  Support by the majority of the team is a huge positive.

All Rise except Judge (he can keep his arm down)...

The Yankees announced that Aaron Judge underwent shoulder surgery earlier this week (“loose-body removal and cartilage clean-up”). It doesn’t sound too severe and Judge is expected to be ready when camp opens in Tampa next February.  The scariest part of the announcement was the surgeon…Dr Neal ElAttrache, the noted “Tommy John” surgeon and the team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Dr ElAttrache is the surgeon who performed the TJ surgery on former Yankees prospect James Kaprielian. 

Credit:  Barbara Davidson, Los Angeles Times
Happy Recovery to Aaron!  We’re looking forward to seeing him at 100% next Spring (okay, 99% works in his case).

Pitching his way to Sunny and 75…

Yankees prospect RHP Colten Brewer has signed a minor league free agent deal with the San Diego Padres. Brewer was only in the Yankees system for a year. He had been claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system last December. Brewer, 25, did well at A/AA this year but couldn’t continue the success when he reached Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In six appearances for the RailRiders covering ten innings, he gave up 17 hits and 13 earned runs (11.70 ERA). 

The Yankees Dream didn’t work out for Brewer but we wish him the best in San Diego.

Credit:  Martin Griff
Did they used to work for us?  Yikes!…

I do not blame the Yankees organization but it is a black mark that former Atlanta Braves GM John Coppolella received a lifetime ban from MLB for his involvement in the fraudulent international signings scandal perpetrated by the Braves. Atlanta’s former head of scouting Gordon Blakeley received a one year suspension. Both Coppolella and Blakeley have their roots with the Yankees organization. Coppolella was an intern during the George Steinbrenner regime. Blakeley was a former Yankees scout credited for signing Robinson Cano, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, and Jose Contreras. 

I am not blaming the Yankees for the actions of their former employees but admittedly, after their crimes, I wish they had been former Red Sox employees  (or some other team) as opposed to the Yankees.  However, I am sure the example set with the Braves and the penalties they’ve suffered will cause all teams to button up their processes for international signings.  

I have great respect for new Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos but he has his hands full…no doubt an understatement.  

Latest Yankees Managerial Candidate…

If outgoing WFAN host Mike Francesa is going to toss his name into the ring as a potential manager for the Yankees, I’ll throw one out…Bryan Van Dusen, co-owner of The Greedy Pinstripes!  The guy knows how to communicate with players and he loves statistical analysis.  Plus, he is a devout Yankees fan and has shown the ability to address the media in a highly effective manner.  Sounds like he checks all the boxes to me.  

Van Dusen for Yankees Manager!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Go Yankees!

Meet a Prospect: Juan Then

We have already met this young man’s former teammate with the Seattle Mariners in JP Sears so let’s meet the other arm that the New York Yankees acquired in a trade this week when they sent Nick Rumbelow and his 40-man roster spot west. His name is Juan Then, imagine the “Then and Now” jokes this guy is going to have to endure as he climbs the ranks within the Yankees system, and he is an arm that I am personally really excited to watch grow and progress. This is Meet a Prospect: The Juan Then and Now Edition.

Then is just 17-years old and was signed as an international free agent by the Seattle Mariners back on July 2, 2016. Now before writing this post I knew absolutely nothing about Then but I do know that the best of the best in terms of international free agents tend to get signed immediately as the international signing period opens up annually on July 2. Then signed as a 16-year old, usually another sign that the prospect has shown potential, in 2016 for just $77,000.

Then made his professional debut in 2017 in the Dominican Summer League posting a 20-2 record with a 2.64 ERA. Then made 13 starts for the DSL Mariners striking out 56 batters in 61.1 innings while holding opposing batters to just a .220 batting average against which was good for a 1.06 WHIP.

Then has a pitcher’s build standing at 6’1” and weighing in at 155 lbs. as a right-handed starter. Then has a lot of time and a lot of room to grow into his frame as he matures and gets older, which is scary when you consider that Then is already throwing in the low 90 MPH range with his fastball. Then also has a changeup and a second breaking ball that he will have to develop if he wants to be a starting pitcher long-term with the team.

Then has a lot of potential to be a great arm and addition for the Yankees and I personally look forward to watching him progress over the course of the next few seasons. Welcome to the organization, Juan, and also welcome to the Yankees family. 

Meet a Prospect: JP Sears

The New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners also pulled off a trade prior to the Rule 5 Draft deadline as New York sent RHP Nick Rumbelow to the Mariners for a pair of pitching prospects, JP Sears and Juan Then. Let’s meet them one at a time starting with Sears. This is Meet a Prospect: The JP Sears Edition.

JP Sears is a 21-year old left-handed pitcher that the Seattle Mariners drafted in the 11th round in this year’s MLB First Year Players Draft out of The Citadel. While at The Citadel Sears pitched to a 17-15 record with a 2.98 ERA while compiling 317 strikeouts in just 253 innings. Sears played in 46 games while at The Citadel starting all but four of them. As a polished college arm you would think that Sears could potentially be a quick mover through the Yankees system while giving them some depth once the likes of Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield graduate to the Major League level.

Sears did appear in 17 games after being drafted this season as a relief pitcher striking out 51 batters in 28 innings pitched. Sears is not a big guy, he is just one inch taller than Sonny Gray at 5’11”, and his fastball barely touches 90 MPH meaning that Sears relies heavily on deception, command and control of his secondary pitches that include an average curveball and a changeup that sets up his fastball.

Sears is not going to appear on any Top 10 prospects list any time soon, although he was the Mariners 21st best prospect in their farm system at the time of the trade, but I think that the lefty could still be useful. He reminds me a lot of a raw Luis Cessa or Chad Green in the way that many won’t be raving about his addition but in a couple years we may be all thankful that the trade happened. Brian Cashman has a sneaky way of making that happen a lot lately.

Win, lose or draw the Yankees cleared a 40-man roster spot and added two live arms to the organization so it’s hard to be upset about that. We’re rooting for you JP, welcome to the family. 

Meet a Prospect: Reiver Sanmartin

We all watched as the New York Yankees were extremely active before the deadline to protect prospects in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft. The Yankees made many moves over the course of a couple days clearing spots for the likes of Gleyber Torres, Thairo Estrada and others to be added to the 40-man roster at the expense of young players like Ronald Herrera who was sent to the Texas Rangers in exchange for A-Ball pitcher Reiver Sanmartin. Let’s meet the man that was brought over in the trade late in the evening on Monday. This is Meet a Prospect: The Reiver Sanmartin Edition.

Sanmartin is a left-handed starting pitcher that was signed as an international free agent out of Columbia by the Texas Rangers at just 19-years old. Sanmartin spent his first two professional seasons in the Dominican Summer League before making the big jump to the United States here in 2017 stopping at two affiliates for the Rangers.

In 32 minor league games, 23 of them as a starting pitcher, Sanmartin has compiled a 14-4 record with a 2.62 ERA along with 119 strikeouts in 137.2 innings pitched. Sanmartin sits at about 88-92 MPH on his fastball while complimenting that pitch with what is considered to be an average changeup and slider. All signs point to Sanmartin being a bullpen arm if and when he reaches the Major League level, and that’s okay if you’re the Yankees.

Most importantly for New York is that Sanmartin will not need protection from the Rule 5 Draft until this time next season. Worry about that when the time comes, until then welcome Sanmartin to the organization and to the Yankees family. Enjoy your stay and make us proud. 

So it Seems… Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning everyone, I hope everyone reading this is well. I know Thanksgiving isn’t technically until tomorrow but there will be no guarantees that I will be around then so I wanted to go ahead and send my warm wishes to you all today instead. Happy Thanksgiving to all reading who celebrate, and to everyone else… just enjoy your day.

May your day be filled with love, friends, family, food, football or whatever could possibly make this day special to you. Enjoy and remember, those $1.50 towels at Wal Mart and those “cheap” TV’s aren’t worth it people. They aren’t. Enjoy your day and thank you for your continued support of the blog.

Especially you. Hey you. I loves you. Everything I am is because of you so everything I am thankful for begins and ends with you. You are at the center of everything, you are my universe. You are my soul. You are my heart. I love you. 

Happy 4th Birthday to My Boy, Hayden

What else can I say that I don’t already say every single day about this kid? This kid is my heart and my pride and joy along with my other son, Evan, and while he wasn’t exactly part of the plan he was the best decision I never made. So today is your day little guy, Happy 4th birthday from Dad, Kari, Evan, Jacob, Brianna and everyone here at The Greedy Pinstripes. Enjoy your day kiddo. Dad loves you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

All Aboard the Yankees Train...

Credit:  Charles Wenzelberg, New York Post
The 40-Man Chess Match…

Yesterday figured to be a very busy day for the Yankees as MLB teams had to set their 40-man Rosters of Record for Rule 5 eligibility (draft to be held at the conclusion of next month’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, FL) and it was.

Before the past weekend, the Yankees only had two open spots on the 40-man. Then, a few trades later, the Yankees were able to protect six young prospects from becoming potential ex-Yankees. Granted, any player chosen in the Rule 5 Draft has to stick on a MLB roster for the entire year but it happened as recent as last year when the San Diego Padres held on to Yankees catching prospect Luis Torrens (even though the very young Torrens was over-matched at the Major League level).  


RHP Nick Rumbelow
RHP Ronald Herrera
LHP Caleb Smith
1B Garrett Cooper


LHP Reiver Sanmartin
LHP J.P. Sears
RHP Juan Then
RHP Michael King
International Bonus Pool Money ($250,000)


RHP Domingo Acevedo
RHP Albert Abreu
RHP Jonathan Loaisiga
INF Gleyber Torres
INF Thairo Estrada
OF Billy McKinney

Trade: Nick Rumbelow to the Seattle Mariners for LHP J.P. Sears and RHP Juan Then. I thought this was the best trade. Sears, 21, fits the Yankees mold as a former collegiate player who could be useful in the bullpen. Even though his fastball tops out at 92 mph, he has been something of a strikeout machine. In his final year at The Citadel, he led NCAA Division I with 142 K’s in 95 1/3 innings. Then (not the pitcher), last year, in his first year in the Minors, he struck out 51 batters in 27 2/3 innings. Then (the pitcher), 17, a projected middle of the rotation starter, is the only new prospect to crack MLB’s Top 30 Prospects for the Yankees (his debut is at #28 in front of RHPs Giovanny Gallegos and Trevor Stephan).  

Trade:  Ronald Herrera to the Texas Rangers for LHP Reiver Sanmartin.  Herrera provides the Rangers with an arm that is nearly ready while the Yankees buy some time with a lower level prospect. Sanmartin, 21, is a year younger than Herrera and has compiled a 14-4 record with 2.62 ERA over three minor league seasons.  

Trade: Caleb Smith and Garrett Cooper to the Miami Marlins for Michael King and Shohei Otani Money. The Yankees lose a valuable lefty with Smith’s departure but I figured that his roster spot was the least secure. Cooper did a decent job when called upon last year, but it was inevitable that the Yankees would have to make a decision between Tyler Austin and Cooper despite the latter owning a name that recalls the late great actor Gary Cooper and the movie classic The Pride of the Yankees. The writing was on the wall when Billy McKinney started working out at first base in The Arizona Fall League. This trade is being advertised as Derek Jeter’s first even if he probably didn’t handle any of the negotiations. Marlins VP of Player Development and Scouting Gary Denbo knows a thing or two about Yankees prospects. Many were calling this trade a huge win for the Marlins but I thought it served a very useful purpose for the Yankees. They cleared two spots on the roster which ensured that Thairo Estrada and Jonathan Loaisiga ("Johnny Lasagna") could be protected and added a lottery ticket with the 22-year-old King. Maybe King never realizes his dream, but the additional international bonus pool money gives the Yankees a total of $3.5 million to pursue Shohei Otani. If the Yankees are successful in signing Otani, it would be very hard to look at this trade as a failure for the Yankees regardless of how Smith or Cooper eventually perform for the Marlins.  

The Yankees should gain better clarity about the availability of Otani later today. The MLBPA extended the posting agreement deadline, which had been scheduled to expire yesterday, by 24 hours. The new deadline is tonight at 8 pm ET.  If the parties are able to agree on a new posting agreement, it ensures that Otani will be posted this off-season and will make his much anticipated trip to the United States to choose his next team (or as I prefer, sign with the Yankees).

Credit:  The Japan Times
The Yankees will need to make additional roster moves should they sign Otani and/or re-sign CC Sabathia but for now, the Yankees are prepared for next month’s Rule 5 Draft. I am fearful of losing LHP Nestor Cortes, RHP Cale Coshow, and/or RHP J.P. Feyereisen, among others, but it speaks to the strength of the Yankees farm system that the potential losses will hurt. 

I can’t end this post without mentioning another transaction that occurred yesterday even if it was non-Yankees news. The Toronto Blue Jays waived former Yankees fan favorite Rob Refsnyder and he was claimed by the Cleveland Indians. While I wish Refsnyder well in Cleveland, I kind of wish that he’d go somewhere like San Francisco where the Yankees wouldn’t have to routinely see him. I hold out hope that Refsnyder will achieve the promise he once held but admittedly his flame of potential is growing dimmer. 

Credit:  Mark Lomoglio, Icon Sportswire
Now that the 40-man roster maneuvering has been completed, I fully expect the next week to be very quiet. Perhaps there are more managerial interviews but most likely, we’ll be on the other side of the Thanksgiving Weekend before we see any notable Yankees news.  

While I would have loved being able to protect every valuable prospect, I thought the Yankees did a very good job covering the best of the best. Project Next Dynasty continues on its very very bright and positive path. We are now accepting applications for Bandwagon Fans. Go Yankees!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Workin' on the Weekends...

The First Round continues…

Brian Cashman, the general manager currently working on a handshake deal with Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner, was burning the weekend oil yesterday.  

After interviewing Hensley Meulens and Aaron Boone over the previous two days, Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward was in town to meet with Cash on Saturday. I don’t know Woodward and perhaps he may be a wonderful manager one day, but I don’t think he’s the right guy for the job right now. In his post-interview comments, he talked much about what Dave Roberts did. I am less concerned about what Roberts did and more concerned about what Woodward would do. I don’t want Dave Roberts 2.0.  Roberts did an outstanding job, but the new Yankees manager needs to be his own man. I know that Roberts name came up because the questions were asked about how Woodward gained insight working with the man who led the Dodgers to the doorstep of a World Series championship this year. But I really want a manager who is strong and confident in his own words and style. I thought Aaron Boone did a better job addressing the media despite the lack of any coaching experience.  

It is well known the Yankees want a manager who will accept analytics and input from the front office. When Woodward was asked about analytics, he responded, “As a coach, it took the progression from Seattle to L.A. for me to understand the benefit of it.” That tells me he didn’t come to fully appreciate analytics until the last two years considering he joined the Dodgers on December 17, 2015.  

Maybe I am overly negative about Woodward because I do not really know anything about him. I wasn’t in the room when he talked with Cashman, but he’s probably the least preferred (for me) of the candidates interviewed. I’d rank the candidates, based solely on those who have interviewed, in this order:

  1. Hensley Meulens
  2. Aaron Boone
  3. Rob Thomson
  4. Eric Wedge
  5. Chris Woodward
Here is my order for preferred bench coaches:

  1. Al Pedrique
  2. Eric Wedge
  3. Rob Thomson
  4. Jay Bell
  5. A name that has not expressed interest in coaching or managing…Jorge Posada (if he did have interest, I’d move Hip-Hip-Jorge further up the list)
I feel strongly that Pedrique needs to be part of the 2018 coaching staff. He knows the young Baby Bombers better than anyone. There is no one that has the same level of relationships that he’s built with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, Jordan Montgomery, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Chance Adams and others. He is credited for believing in a smallish-16 year old Jose Altuve when no one else would. After many other teams, including the Yankees, passed on Altuve for being too small, Pedrique talked the Houston Astros into giving the 2017 AL MVP and World Series Champion $15,000 to sign. That might be the best $15,000 ever spent in Major League Baseball, at least in modern times. Pedrique was able to see beyond the physical size to view the talent and the heart of the player. 

Credit:  Cheryl Pursell, via Pinstriped Prospects
I had to put Posada’s name on the list. I miss the guy’s passion and intensity. When he’s on the field, there’s probably not too many guys that want to win more.   

You may have different thoughts but that's fine.  No one said that we had to agree.

No word if the Yankees will continue to interview more guys before moving on to Round 2. I had expected Jerry Hairston, Jr to talk but there have not been any indications he will.  Brad Ausmus has made it known that he wants to take a year off before resuming his managerial career. He was interested in the Red Sox job only because it was close to his home in Cape Cod and he grew up as a Red Sox fan. Aside from the Red Sox, Ausmus wants to devote the next year to his family. You can’t blame him for his priorities. I thought maybe the Yankees should interview Pittsburgh Pirates coach Joey Cora so that the Red Sox-Yankees Wars could be the Battle of the Cora Brothers. Okay, I am just kidding on that one. For the reasons I cite Pedrique as the preferred bench coach, I believe he should be afforded the opportunity to interview for the managing job.  

We’ll see. The process continues and should gain better clarity over the next days and weeks as we move forward.

Making Room on the 40-Man…

Monday, November 20th is a big day for the Yankees. The 40-man roster of record for Rule 5 eligibility must be set by 7 pm Central Time. The Yankees had previously added outfielder Jake Cave and reliever Nick Rumbelow to the 40-man roster, which left two spots open. With big names like Gleyber Torres, Albert Abreu and Billy McKinney, among others, that need to be protected, something has to give on the 40-man roster.  

On Saturday, the first move was made when the Yankees sent Rumbelow to the Seattle Mariners for two lower level prospects…LHP J.P. Sears and RHP Juan Then.  Sears, 21, was an 11th round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. Then, 17, was an international signing for $77,500 in 2016 out of the Dominican Republic.  

John Patrick Sears pitched at Class A level after his draft selection last year. A reliever, he pitched a total of 27.2 innings for two teams.  In 17 games, he struck out 51 batters while walking only 12.  His ERA was a combined 0.65, but he did not give up any earned runs when he moved from Short Season-A Everett to Full Season-A Clinton (10 innings of work).  He is “Sonny Gray-sized”…alright, an inch taller (5’11”).  According to Baseball America, he works in the 88-92 mph range with a high spin fastball and uses deception from a low delivery slot.

Credit:  Citadel Athletics
Juan Then (man, did the ‘now and then’ jokes start popping up on Twitter) is obviously still very young (and raw). He carries high upside and projects as a mid-rotation starter.  Then pitched rookie level ball in the Dominican Summer League and was 2-2, 2.64 ERA in 61.1 innings. He struck out 56 batters. His fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range, and he also worked with a couple of offspeed pitches.  

It’s tough to see a Major League-ready arm depart for future hopefuls, but it is the price that must be paid when you own one of the best farm systems in baseball. The Yankees will lose quality talent through Rule 5 but moves like this help protect more players. Last year was tough when the Yankees lost young catching prospect Luis Torrens who stuck on the San Diego Padres’ roster all season. I expect this year to be no different. For Rumbelow, he’s 26 and will have a much clearer shot at making a 2018 opening day roster with an opportunity to join the Mariners bullpen already stocked with former Yankees David Phelps and James Pazos.  

I wonder if Brian Cashman is working today. Stupid question, I know he is. Go Yankees!