Friday, March 17, 2017

Next Round of Spring Cuts Are In And…

The latest rounds of spring training cuts are in and the New York Yankees and I have to say that the team is breaking my heart. Keep reading.

The list of players cut from spring training camp on Wednesday includes Chance Adams, Miguel Andujar, Johnny Barbato, Dietrich Enns and Giovanny Gallegos.

Now while I know that none of these four had a realistic shot at making the team the Chance Adams demotion and assignment to minor league camp hurt especially. You know because the longer he stayed in camp the longer there was still a chance, lol, he made the team as the 5th starter. I also enjoyed watched Andujar, as raw as he is, and I look forward to him coming and knocking Chase Headley off the third base throne in the Bronx.

The Yankees are now down to 49 players and will need to be down to 25 players by Opening Day on April 2, 2017. This includes Ernesto Frieri who is being worked out by the team in hopes of latching on with the club in their bullpen. 

3 Yankees Pitchers toss a Spring No-No!...

"No hits for you!"

Masahiro Tanaka, Chasen Shreve, and Jordan Montgomery teamed up for a rare feat.  A spring-time no-hitter that means absolutely nothing.  Oh well, it was an awesome game!

Masahiro Tanaka, W
Chasen Shreve
Jordan Montgomery, S

The Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers, 3-0, to improve their Spring record to a Major-League best 16-5.

Congrats to the New York Yankees on St Patrick's Day!  Erin Go Bragh!

Is It Time to Reignite the Gardner for Paxton Talks?

The New York Yankees and their GM Brian Cashman have been very active in the trade market in recent years and one of the organization’s favorite trade partners seems to be the Seattle Mariners. These two teams have made many trades together over the past few seasons and have reportedly discussed a trade involving Seattle’s left-handed pitcher James Paxton and New York’s left fielder Brett Gardner which got me thinking today, should these two clubs reignite those talks for the 2017 season and does the trade still make sense for both sides?

In a word, yes. The Yankees and Mariners should spark up discussions again regarding these two players and possibly more because, yes, the deal still does make sense for both clubs. Gardner is an attractive trade partner for Seattle because at age 33 he has not seen a steep or sharp decline in the skills and stats that got him a four-year deal worth $52 million from New York. Gardner has just two years left on that deal and it may be wise for the Yankees to trade him now while he still has that value and stock with the likes of Clint Frazier and others waiting in the wings to fill his position. Also the Yankees need young starting pitching and Paxton and possibly a player like Chris Heston would fill the void for a player that is seemingly expendable for New York.

If the Yankees are concerned with Paxton’s ability to stay healthy and get MLB caliber players out, which is a legitimate concern mind you, then I could totally see a team like the San Francisco Giants getting involved as they need a left fielder and a leadoff hitter in the worst way on paper right now. Who they could give up in the deal would be anyone’s guess but a Rob Refsnyder and Gardner package could fetch a good amount for the rebuilding New York Yankees. 

If Dellin Betances is Still Upset in July Prepare to Take My Yankees Fandom Card Because…

I know what I am about to say and I know that this is not going to be a popular article at all so with that said, you have been warned. The New York Yankees and Dellin Betances got into this offseason over the Yankees set up man’s salary and things were said in the media and behind closed doors that should have never been said. Sometimes the player and the organization can look past that, apologize and move forward and sometimes grudges can be held until the player is either traded away or walks away. In no way, shape or form can the Yankees afford to just let Betances walk away for nothing so if the right-hander is still upset in July, and I absolutely cannot believe I am saying this in an open forum, the team should look at trading him before the July 31st trading deadline.

Now obviously a lot goes into this decision. If the Yankees are in contention then you absolutely do not trade Betances and you try to mend the bridges while hoping that time heals all wounds. If that’s not the perfect picture the team is painting in the standings though then it may be and should be time to continue the youth movement with another pillage of a farm system. You wait until July, besides the fact that you are waiting to see if the Yankees have a shot at making the postseason, because opposing teams get desperate before the trading deadline. The pretenders are selling, the contenders are looking to solidify their teams and the clubs stuck in the middle are a little more willing to part with pieces that they wouldn’t have been in March and April of the season. That’s where the Yankees come in pouncing as they rebuild their farm system and organization.

Here is an example that is relevant today but that may not be relevant come July because obviously a lot can happen between now and then. The Washington Nationals are faced with the possibility of having Shawn Kelley, former Yankee reliever himself, closing games for them this season. That just can’t happen if the team plans on challenging the New York Mets for that National League East Division crown and luckily for the Yankees the Nationals have never been shy about trading away from their strong farm system in a “win-now” type move.

Keeping with the theme of what Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman brought the Yankees in midseason trades last season I could totally see New York asking for and receiving, again this is dependent on the standings of both teams, the Nationals prospect and 7th ranked prospect in all of baseball Victor Robles. Maybe, maybe not but at the very least the team could pull off a deal that involved right-handed starter and top 60 prospect Erick Feede plus a few other prospects in the deal. That would still be a win-win for both teams in my opinion.

I hope it doesn’t come down to this, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not one to be caught with my pants around my ankles without a Plan B so here is mine. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments section down below or drop us a tweet on Twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Thank you!

Exploring the Trade Market for Rob Refsnyder

The New York Yankees have reportedly made one of their own available in trades if the right offer were to present itself. That player is Robert Refsnyder and as much as the fan in me doesn’t want to write this I want to explore the possible trade market and landing spots if and when Refsnyder actually is traded this spring. You know, so I can pre-order one of his jerseys in that team’s colors.

Refsnyder on paper knows a lot of positions including corner outfield, second base, third base and has even dabbled at the first base position but the problem for the now 26-year old is that he is seemingly blocked at every one of those positions going forward which explains why the Yankees organization would rather trade him now rather than have him toil in the minor league system. With that position skill set you would have to think a ton of teams could use him off their bench including the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers need backups for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and second baseman Justin Turner while the Giants need a left fielder in the worst way right now. Refsnyder could start every day in San Francisco and get the consistent at-bats necessary to become that near .300 hitter again that he was in the minor leagues as an everyday player. In either deal the Yankees would want pitching back in the deal for Refsnyder and may have to include another player, more on that later, to facilitate a deal. Travis Wood may be an option from Los Angeles and someone like Ty Blach from San Francisco may be intriguing to the Yankees.

Everyone bone in my body tells me that Refsnyder will be traded before Opening Day though so stay tuned to see if it will be to one of these two teams I mentioned above. 

Why not take a Gamble?…

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In honor of the occasion, I decided to profile a former Irish Yankee...the great O'Gamble!  Well, alright, he wasn't exactly Irish but Oscar Gamble did wear #17.

Younger Yankees fans might not know who Oscar Gamble is.  Most have probably seen the poofy Afro under the Yankees cap, or might know that he played for 7 teams over the course of a 17-year career.  But for me, he was an invaluable Yankee.  

Oscar, an outfielder and DH, played for the Yankees in 1976 and then returned in 1979 for 5 more years.  The Big O was never a full-time player for the Yankees, and his career year came the year after his first stint in pinstripes, while playing for the Chicago White Sox.  That year, 1977, he hit 31 homers with 83 RBI's.  His best year in the Bronx was 1982 when he hit 18 home runs, drove in 57 RBI's, and had a .272 batting average.

Despite minimal full-time starts, Oscar still managed to hit 200 home runs for his career.  I loved his batting style.  He would go into a deep crouch, and would explode on the ball.  There have been just a few Yankees that I truly loved their home run swings.  Darryl Strawberry was probably my all-time favorite, followed by Reggie Jackson, but the Big O was up there too.  I didn't get to see Mickey Mantle swing so that's the only reason he is not in the group.

I had enjoyed Oscar during his first season in New York in 1976.  I was saddened when he was traded to the White Sox at the start of the 1977 season, along with pitcher LaMarr Hoyt, who went on to have a very good career, and a minor leaguer for Russell Earl "Bucky" Dent. So, I was excited when he returned to New York in 1979 in a trade with the Texas Rangers although admittedly I was disappointed to see Mickey "Mick the Quick" Rivers head the other direction.  

Unfortunately, the joy was very short-lived as my favorite Yankee at the time, Thurman Munson, was killed in a plane crash a couple of days later.  Still, it was players like Oscar that helped me cope with that very difficult and devastating time.  

In early 1981 (before spring training began), I had the opportunity to meet Oscar.  Young and stupid at the time, I walked up to his house in Montgomery, Alabama, and knocked on the door.  Oscar answered it and gave me his autograph.  We talked briefly about the Yankees, and he spoke of how excited he was to play with outfielder Dave Winfield, whom the Yankees had just signed as a free agent.  I will forever remember that meeting.  He was such a gracious man and he was so patient with me that day.  I can't imagine walking up to a ballplayer's house today.  I'd probably get shot.  

So, here's to the great Oscar Gamble!  I will never forget your days in pinstripes and still carry your autograph with me to this day.  We go through life and there are certain people that leave a lasting impression. For me, Oscar was one of those people.  If I can go through life and be half the man he is, I will have done well for myself.

Credit:  Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

Also, I'd like to give a shout out to the current #17 so Happy St. Paddy's day to new Yankees designated hitter Matt O'Holliday!  Looking forward to the 2017 season when every day is a Holliday!

As expected, the Yankees signed reliever Ernesto Frieri on Thursday to a minor league contract with an invitation to MLB camp.  Joe Girardi has indicated that Frieri has a chance to make the Opening Day roster, but I think an extended stay in Tampa is the more likely scenario.  Nevertheless, if he pitches as well as he did in his short stint with Columbia (WBC) this month, Girardi could be right.  

In Grapefruit League action yesterday, James Kaprielian made his long anticipated first appearance against Toronto and did not disappoint.  He came on in the 7th and stayed for two innings.  He walked a batter but did not relinquish a hit or run.  He struck out 3 Blue Jays, and picked up the win.  This is just the first step of many before Kaprielian makes his Bronx debut appearance but I am so looking forward to that day. 

The Yankees overcame an early hole to win the game, 11-5, thanks in large part to four home runs.   The Yankees are now 15-5 for the Spring.  

Kaprielian was re-assigned to minor league camp after the game, but as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, “He’ll be back!”…

Outfielder Mason Williams was also sent down.

Luis Cessa, don’t let the door hit you on the way out to minor league camp when they call your name.  Cessa and his 11.25 ERA are not long for the major league camp.  Most likely, the competition for the #5 spot is down to Chad Green and Bryan Mitchell (Go Mitch!).  Severino has #4 locked up, and Adam Warren’s highest and best use is in the pen.  

Have a great Friday and a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

So it Seems It’s Time to Break the Internet

So it seems it’s almost time to break the internet ladies and gentleman. Now I may be exaggerating just a tad here because the last time I can remember the internet breaking was the last time Kim Kardashian showed her abnormally huge ass for all to see with a bottle of champagne in her hands. What we have in the works is not even a blip on the radar compared to that in the grand scheme of things but in Yankee Land it could be big. I think it will be big, it just depends on how far it goes and how many people we reach with it. When you see the article you will know which article it is and all I can ask, well besides that you obviously read it, is that you share it. An absolute ton of work went into this and this has been in the works for quite a while now and it would be appreciated if this can reach as many Yankees fans and people in general as possible. Not because we want to get exposed or get big or make millions, we do this for absolutely free and will continue to do so long after this article is posted, but because the message needs to be read and the ignorance needs to be slain.

So it seems it’s almost time to break the internet ladies and gentleman, get ready. I apologize for this now being the second time I am teasing this article and building excitement but what can I say… I like to GET BEHIND things. Have a great Friday everyone!

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/17: Charlie Finley Selling Players

On this day in 1977 a federal court ruled in favor of Bowie Kuhn's decision to void the 1976 sale of Athletics’ players by Charlie O. Finley. The Oakland owner sued the commissioner for illegal restraint of a trade when his deals to send Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox for $2 million and Vida Blue to the Yankees for $1.5 million were invalidated "in the best interests of baseball." This is definitely an influential and precedent setting case in the history of American sports and the judicial system.

Also on this day in 1936 Joe DiMaggio made his Major League debut in a big time way collecting four hits, including a triple, in an 8-7 exhibition loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Not bad for a 21 year old future Hall of Fame outfielder.