Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Shohei Otani the Two-Way Player? That Scare Anyone Else?

The New York Yankees and all of Major League Baseball are simply salivating impatiently at the possibility of adding Shohei Otani to their rosters this offseason but at what cost? Don’t get me wrong I am driving the Otani fan club tour bus and I want the Yankees to do almost anything they have to in order to sign the 23-year old “Babe Ruth of Japan” but I would be lying if I said the thought of Otani potentially being a two-player player in the states didn’t scare the absolute crap out of me.

The Nippon Ham Fighters have agreed to post Otani this winter and the right-hander has selected Nez Balelo of CAA Sports to represent him so what am I so worried about? It certainly isn’t the potential $20 million posting fee nor is it the roughly $3.25 - $3.5 million in salary for six seasons of control of Otani but it is the fact that any team that signs him will potentially have to offer him the ability to not only pitch, but to hit as well in MLB. Now unless an American League team takes a huge risk and does that, the Yankees included, Otani is all but going to a National League team you would think. Now don’t get me wrong I would let him personally, and I think the Yankees will ultimately let him DH a few games a week when he isn’t pitching, but thoughts of Chein-Ming Wang rounding the bases in Interleague play and essentially destroying his heel and his career in the process are flowing fluidly through my head when I think about the possibility.

Otani has already hinted at wanting to hit at the Major League level including a quote this week from the USA Today where Otani said “there are still so many things I’m lacking, and I want to put myself in an environment where I can improve. Hopefully I can go to a club that suits my way of thinking.” Translation, I want to hit and pitch and if that’s not okay with you then let me know and I will go elsewhere. At least 15 teams will allow him to hit in some capacity with pitchers hitting for themselves in the National League so the Yankees will have to do something to set themselves apart. With international spending restrictions and such the way they are now the team cannot simply blow everyone and anyone out of the water, the team has to make promises they may not be entirely comfortable with including the possibility of having a two-way player.

Now let’s look at things and let’s look at the worst possible scenario, Otani gets hurt. The Yankees, again, would have six years of team control so losing Otani for a season would hurt, but it would not be the end of the world for either party. If Otani were hurt more seriously then the Yankees would merely be out a $20 million posting fee, which is a wash regardless, and less than $4 million in salary. The Yankees have wasted more on less. I’m not saying don’t sign Otani and promise him the world, do it 10 times out of 10, but I can’t say it doesn’t worry me just a tad.

Here’s An Idea, Jacoby Ellsbury to the San Francisco Giants

Brian Cashman, or someone in Brian Cashman’s ear anyway, reads my stuff so Brian, let me help you out a little bit this offseason. You have an outfielder on your roster that doesn’t need to be there, an outfielder that is taking precious at-bats away from players like Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks. You also have a team out there that is seemingly always in the market for speedy, top of the lineup hitting outfielders that are said to be “flush with cash” this offseason but are also a team that are said to be lacking in terms of prospects in the San Francisco Giants. The Giants may want Giancarlo Stanton but they won’t have the prospects or MLB ready talent to make that happen so do you think maybe you should pick up the phone and dump, I’m sorry…. I mean trade, Jacoby Ellsbury to the Giants… even if you don’t exactly get the best prospects in return for him? Or am I making too much sense right now for you guys?

Ellsbury can be the latest Giants center fielder to head out there after struggling with their former teams, see Angel Pagan as a recent example of this. San Francisco knows they cannot make a big splash if the moves involves prospects and the Yankees could move Ellsbury without eating any, or much, of his salary with that in mind. Ellsbury is an excess part, it truly doesn’t and shouldn’t matter what the team gets back from San Francisco because the salary relief (insert luxury tax threshold and austerity line here) in itself should be sufficient to the Yankees.

Ellsbury hasn’t been horrible and he has actually been pretty durable during his tenure with the Yankees, a concern of many when he was signed, so it’s not like I am asking to dump absolute trash on the Giants here without eating his salary. Ellsbury is still a useful player, he just isn’t as useful in the Bronx as he could be elsewhere with the emergence of all this young talent with New York.

Moving Ellsbury to San Francisco is likely easier said than done and a lot of chips would have to fall before this happened including the signing of JD Martinez and the trade of Giancarlo Stanton but this is definitely an idea that the Yankees and Cashman should keep in their back pocket. Or maybe we can just keep the guy and keep stunting Frazier’s growth and Hicks’ development, either way. Your call, I’m just a blogger.

Hearing Crickets at Yankee Stadium…

Waiting for breaking Yankees news...

We are moving into Day 3 of the GM Meetings but not much is happening in the Yankees Universe.

Managerial interviews were suspended while GM Brian Cashman participates in the Orlando, FL meetings.  But we do know that Hensley Meulens, currently the bench coach for the San Francisco Giants (formerly their hitting coach in the most recent season), will be interviewed when Cashman gets back to New York.  Meulens has managed Team Netherlands in the WBC Classic several times and the former Yankee has a good relationship with shortstop Didi Gregorius (both guys are from Curacao).  Meulens, like Didi, speaks multiple languages.  He is thought very highly of by the Giants organization and many believe that he is being groomed to eventually replace manager Bruce Bochy. 

Aaron Boone is also thought to be on the candidate list but no word when he’ll interview.  The latest name to be added to the list is Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward.  

The interest expressed by YES broadcaster John Flaherty and the very recently retired Carlos Beltran do not appear to be gaining any traction.  Among the potential candidates with no prior managerial experience, Beltran does seem to be a viable option.  He wants to manage one day and his leadership was evident during his time with the Yankees.  Perhaps he should take a coaching job first, but I’ve always believed that managerial experience is not necessarily a prerequisite for the right person.  The Boston Red Sox took a chance on a first-time manager with Alex Cora, but they ensured that Cora had a wealth of experience when former Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was named as his bench coach.  Beltran enjoys a good relationship with the New York media which is one of the requirements for the job.  He wouldn’t be my first choice as manager, but I wouldn’t object if he is hired.  

Credit:  Noah K Murray, USA TODAY Sports
The word is that Cashman has not yet reached out to everyone that he wants to talk to.  I still find it hard believe Cashman didn’t already have a plan when he made the decision to part ways with Joe Girardi.  Girardi, by the way, showed up at the GM Meetings yesterday as part of the MLB Competition Committee.  That must have been very weird for him, especially if he encountered any of the representatives for the Yankees.  I am sure that he and Cashman didn’t go grab a beer together after the day’s activities were over.

I thought it was interesting that the Yankees had asked for and were denied permission to speak with Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin.  

Even though a new manager has not been named, I was glad to see that the Yankees will be bringing back pitching coach Larry Rothschild for the 2018 season.  I’d like to see RailRiders manager Al Pedrique on next year’s coaching staff given his strong relationships with the Baby Bombers.  

Credit:  Jackie Shear, The Trentonian
Cashman did indicate this week that the future in the outfield is Aaron Hicks and not Jacoby Ellsbury.  With no apparent trade talks in play, it looks like Ellsbury will once again be Baseball’s highest paid pinch-runner. Hopefully things change and Cashman is able to use to cash to entice another team to take Ellsbury.  At this point, it would be addition by subtraction even if the Yankees have to pay the freight (a bulk of the remaining monies due on Ellsbury’s contract).  Cashman also stated that Gleyber Torres could make a run at the third base job next Spring.  That talk leads me to believe there will be absolutely no attempt to re-sign Todd Frazier.  We didn’t really expect Frazier to return but until he actually signs with another team, there’s always hope.  Unfortunately, those are odds that I’d never take despite how great the Toddfather fit with the Baby Bombers.  

The Yankees did have one free agent signing this week.  Well, it was a minor league free agent signing that may never have an effect on the Major League roster.  They signed former Phillies prospect, catcher Chace Numata, 25.  The organization has lost some catching depth through free agency this off-season and of course the Yankees parted ways with the great Erik Kratz.  Numata has never advanced above Double-A for the Phillies.  He was selected in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB Draft.  For AA-Reading this year, Numata batted .249 with 4 HRs and 28 RBIs in 84 games.  Even though Numata might not ever make it to the Bronx, the Hawaiian native will play a valuable role in the development of Yankees pitching prospects in the upper levels of the farm system.  

The Cincinnati Reds have signed lefty Joe Mantiply to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.  Mantiply spent the 2017 season with the Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Entering the off-season, my favorite managerial candidate was Dave Martinez, formerly bench coach for Joe Maddon in Chicago and my favorite general manager choice was Alex Anthopoulos, formerly an executive for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Martinez was hired by the Washington Nationals as their new manager, replacing Dusty Baker, while the Atlanta Braves this week hired Anthopoulos as their new GM (with President John Hart rumored to have a lessened voice in the organization).  I had thought Anthopoulos would have been a great choice for the Yankees if they had decided to make a change.  I think both guys will do very well with their new jobs.  

Earlier it had been reported that the Boston Red Sox had interest in trading for Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton but it sounds as though Stanton does not want to play in Boston.  The Los Angeles Dodgers are now rumored as a possible destination.  The Dodgers certainly have the financial strength to absorb Stanton’s contract but the human cost to acquire him will be huge.  You can be assured that Marlins CEO Derek Jeter is not going to give Stanton away.  Stanton, protected by Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner, would be very scary in the Dodgers lineup.  But I wouldn’t rule out the Red Sox until if/when a trade for Stanton actually happens.  

How many more days until Spring Training?  I’m ready.  Go Yankees!

Listen, I’m All for Getting Greedy But We Are NOT Getting Giancarlo Stanton

How is that for a little bit of irony? The guy who owns The GREEDY Pinstripes and the guy screaming up and down to “get greedy” and to sign this guy and that guy is about to make a post about how the New York Yankees are NOT going to get probably the top player available this winter via trade. Yes, it’s true and no, hell has not frozen over. I have always been greedy but that doesn’t mean I have always been levelheaded at the same time. With that in mind I am prepared to explain to you why the New York Yankees will not acquire Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton this winter, even if it means that Stanton heads to the Boston Red Sox.  

The New York Yankees set out years ago to get under the luxury tax threshold and while losing Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners and the domino effect of big signings that followed including the signings of Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury put that thought process on hold the plan is back and is now in full effect. This is the year that the Yankees get under and stay under the threshold for the entire 2018 season thus resetting the penalties that the team pays for every dollar they spend over the luxury tax threshold just in time to blow by the threshold again in 2019. Remember, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado lead a very strong free agent class next season that the Yankees are positioning themselves to take advantage of next season. Stanton will not win the Yankees a World Series Championship alone in 2018 and Stanton will all but keep the Yankees “financially strapped” and away from those big time free agents.  

Now I want to say that I believe Stanton is an amazing talent, an amazing selling point and attraction to the fans and that I personally, Daniel Burch the fan, would love to see Stanton in pinstripes playing alongside Aaron Judge next season. I would, but I cannot fathom the Yankees not only giving up the major prospects that it would take to acquire Stanton but I also cannot see the team being willing to pay the richest contract in Major League Baseball again just a month or two after getting out from under the last richest contract in MLB history before Stanton’s mega deal and a few other notable deals since including the Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw deals. It’s just not going to happen. Period. 

Stanton is 28-years old and is owed $295 million over the final ten seasons of his contract. No, that is not a typo. Stanton has ten years LEFT on his contract. Stanton has a full no-trade clause, something that would limit the Yankees down the road if he were to… I don’t know… not live up to the deal a la Alex Rodriguez, and would be under contract through his age 38 season. This would be a huge undertaking for a team that can usually afford to take these chances, but the team cannot here this offseason. They just can’t. The Yankees are looking to get under the $197 million tax threshold and giving Giancarlo Stanton $25 million (his AAV is much higher) just doesn’t fit the budget and is fiscally irresponsible for the team. 

Pipe dreams are nice every once in a while, but sometimes they have to remain just that, dreams. Giancarlo Stanton will not be a New York Yankees in 2018, period. Next question. 


Good morning everyone, I know it’s been a while and I know that it is the offseason but I was on the site the other day and boy was I just blown away. VIEWS THROUGH THE ROOF!!! Overall views are down, obviously it is the offseason and we aren’t at the Winter Meetings and such yet, but views were post are way, way up. I’m not sure what the difference is from a couple weeks ago but boy am I grateful, thank you to you all. I am truly appreciative of everyone that reads my content and everyone that supports the blog. Without you all, we are nothing in every sense of the word.

So what’s on the docket today, you know since views are up I felt compelled to write a lot today. We have an article about Shohei Otani and whether I think the Yankees will, and should, allow him to be a two-player pitching as a pitcher and as a hitter. We also have a trade idea that Brian Cashman probably hasn’t thought of along with a “Get Greedy” move with a twist. Stay tuned for those posts and more today and let’s keep these views per post numbers way up there.

Thank you all again, especially you. My rock, my world and my everything. Kari Ann Burch. I loves you. Always have. Always will. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/15: A Rod wins 2nd Yankee MVP

On this day in 2005 the Yankees Alex Rodriguez won his second MVP award in three seasons edging out the Red Sox David Ortiz in the vote. Ortiz may have won the award had he played a position and not been a full time DH, sparking a heated debate and controversy, but the Yankees and Alex will take it either way.

Also on this day in 2001 Roger Clemens won the American League Cy Young award with a 20-3 record with a 3.51 ERA. Roger would become the first player to win this award for the sixth time in his career and the first Yankees player to win the award since Ron Guidry won it in 1978.

Also on this day in 1961 Roger Maris won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award after setting the single season home run record with 61 round trippers. Maris only beat the second place finisher, his teammate Mickey Mantle, by four votes with a 202-198 vote.

Finally on this day in 1951 the Yankees Gil McDougald won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. It is worth noting that Willie Mays won the award in the National League on the same day. It is also worth noting that neither player were listed on their team’s original Spring Training rosters.