Monday, January 1, 2018

Bold Predictions Leading To Opening Day


If you'd told me a year ago that the Yankees would go all the way to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series I would have said something like "aw, that's cute" followed by a giggle and sarcastic smile. But not only did that happen, here we are looking at a team that may be the odd's on favorite to win the 2018 World Series.

Even after trading for Giancarlo Stanton (just in case you don't remember, or because I want to write it out again, Stanton's the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, who also led Major League Baseball in Home Runs and Runs Batted In) the Yankees clearly plan on making a few more moves to improve the team.

So what might those plans be? I don't know, but that's not going to stop me from making a few predictions...

For starters, Gerrit Cole will not be a Yankee.

We've seen it time and time again... there is nothing happening involving any sort of move by the Yankees then, all of a sudden, Twitter lights up with stuff about an impending trade, and a couple of hours later it's all but official. Brian Cashman didn't get the nickname "ninja" for nothing.

The Cole thing has been talked about for months. I suppose it could still be worked out, especially when Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish are signed, but if anything happens for a starter it will likely come out of left field. Cashman will deal for somebody that we didn't even know was available. And then some Yankees fans will be upset and call the deal "garbage". Why? Because there are always a few Yankees fans that like to crap on everything.

That's not to say the Yankees rotation is set. Sure, they could go with what they have and be just fine. But nobody in Yankees Universe, whether they work for the organization or cheer for it, is going to settle. But this prediction is going to be very difficult, because like I said earlier... "Ninja" Cashman.

I'm going to predict that the Yankees trade for Michael Fulmer.

On August 31st the Tigers traded Justin Upton, their regular left fielder, to the Angels. And I'm about 99.99% sure their regular right fielder last season, JD Martinez, is not going to re-sign with Detroit. That means the Tigers have lost both of their corner outfielders and their only clear starting outfielder for 2018 is "meh" (Mikie Mahtook). I took a peak at their prospect list on MLB.com, and they don't have a single outfield prospect that's played above AA in their top 30.

So I think Clint Frazier would be a very nice fit for Detroit. Add Chance Adams, and another solid prospect or two, and I think a deal will get made.

With that said here are a few more predictions...

1. Jacoby Ellsbury will not be a Yankee on Opening Day. There may not be anything in the works right now, but once a few free agent center fielders start getting signed, some team will step up and be willing to pay Ellsbury between $8 and $10 million a season. Yankees people tend to overvalue their players, but in this case I think Jacoby is undervalued. Just look at Ellsbury's Fangraphs page, where he was worth $12.6 million last year and $16 million the year before. Some team will be happy to pay him upwards of $30 million for the next three years. And I predict that team will be the San Francisco Giants.

Jacoby to the Giants is not exactly a bold prediction, as it's been said there is interest from both San Francisco and Ellsbury, but the fact that Jordan Montgomery (the odd man out of the rotation after the Yanks trade for Fulmer) will be involved is something.

The Giants need pitching, particularly young pitching, so including Montgomery in the deal with Ellsbury is what makes it happen.

I know that trading for Fulmer while trading away Montgomery is kind of strange. I mean, Michael and Jordan are very close in age. However with one more year in MLB, including a better rookie season (Fulmer had an ERA+ of 139 his rookie year, while Jordan's was 116), I think Michael is the better bet. Also, the Giants would be better swayed to deal for Ellsbury if a pitcher with MLB experience like Jordan was involved... rather than somebody like Domingo Acevedo who has yet to make his MLB debut.

2. I've been thinking that the Yankees would forego bringing in somebody to play second or third base, as their internal candidates would be better than any free agent that would take a one year contract for like $10 million, but once I saw Ellsbury getting moved I think there will be money to use at one of the two spots.

I think the Yankees are willing to start Ronald Torreyes at second base until Gleyber Torres is ready (I say by June). However, while Miguel Andujar is a really good prospect, I don't think the Yankees are willing to go into 2018 leaning on Miguel at third. Therefore, using the money saved trading Jacoby Ellsbury (3 years and about $30 million), the Yankees will bring in Todd Frazier to start at third base on Opening Day.

3. New manager Aaron Boone will decide that it's best to swap Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in right field and at designated hitter. Brett Gardner's defense, and solid hitting, means Boone will want to start Gardner in left field regularly. Which means we see one of two lineups regularly... Gardner-Hicks-Judge with Stanton at DH, or Gardner-Hicks-Stanton with Judge at DH.

4. The Yankees, along with most teams, will go with a regular bench of three players. Two of those spots will be filled by guys named Tyler. Tyler Austin will be there to backup first base, third base, and either corner outfield position. And Tyler Wade will be there to backup second base, shortstop, and the entire outfield. Which gives Boone a very versatile bench.

5. That leaves the bench needing a backup catcher. Austin Romine is projected to get a little over a million dollars in arbitration (thanks MLB Trade Rumors!), which may save his job. If he were to make any more money then I could see the Yankees releasing him and giving the backup job to Kyle Higashioka... who is already on the 40-man roster, and would make well under a million dollars as a pre-arbitration player.

I can see the team deciding to save about half a million dollars by going with Higashioka instead or Romine, but something tells me they'll just go with Austin instead.

With that all said, here's my projected Opening Day Active Roster...

Starting Rotation:
1. Luis Severino
2. Masahiro Tanaka
3. Sonny Gray
4. Michael Fulmer
5. CC Sabathia*

Position Starters:
C - Gary Sanchez
1B - Greg Bird
2B - Ronald Torreyes
3B - Todd Frazier
SS - Didi Gregorius
LF - Brett Gardner
CF - Aaron Hicks
RF - Aaron Judge
DH - Giancarlo Stanton

Position Bench:
1B/3B/RF/LF - Tyler Austin
2B/SS/RF/LF/CF - Tyler Wade
C - Austin Romine

Bullpen:
Aroldis Chapman*
David Robertson
Chad Green
Tommy Kahnle
Dellin Betances
Adam Warren
Chasen Shreve*
Jonathan Holder
* - denotes left-handed pitcher

3 comments:

  1. DUMB!
    This has to of been the dumbest post I've ever read.
    Are you drinking shoe polish ! Again.

    I started reading this post not knowing who was writing it, and as
    it moved along, I said this guy is nuts.

    The Frazier trade, could have been hatched in a crack house.
    The Ellsbury move is even worse, he gives the other team Montgomery in
    order to close the deal.

    Frazier, Chance Adams, 2 Ultra High prospects, Ellsbury, and Montgomery
    are all gone. Gone. The room has emptied.
    The return on all of these moves ? The Yankees get back Michael Fulmer ?
    A two year unproven pitcher who's era went up last year.

    The rest of this mental report is shoe polish gibberish.

    And then, at the end, I see who wrote this thing...Van Dozen.
    I take back my apology, that avatar of yours was dumb also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, I did forget to talk about extra players the Yankees would get back in those trades. It obviously wouldn't be high end, or A, prospects. But just like Harrison has been mentioned along with Cole in the return from Pittsburgh, Fulmer wouldn't come alone. But I didn't put that, so I screwed up.

      Secondly, you didn't mention that the Yankees would also be getting Todd Frazier for nothing (subtracting Ellsbury and signing Frazier, like I mentioned, is a wash).

      Fulmer's ERA went up? Seriously? That's your argument? ERA? Well, if you want to go there, fine... Fulmer's ERA went up to 3.83, which was still better than Montgomery's 3.88. How about Fulmer giving up less home runs? How about Fulmer being the ROY last season and an All Star this past season (two things Monty hasn't done)? How about FIP, which is also a better measurement of a pitcher? Fulmer... 3.71 in his two seasons, Montgomery... 4.07. Fulmer also walks less hitters. But no... let's talk about ERA only.

      So it's Frazier, Adams, Montgomery, Ellsbury, and some other stuff for Fulmer, Frazier, and some other stuff. The Yankees get a better pitcher, a regular third baseman that many fans want back, are free from Ellsbury and his contract (allowing their bench to be better by not having to carry a 5th outfielder instead of Tyler Austin), a couple other pieces from Detroit and San Francisco (nothing big, something on the level of a Josh Harrison), and it didn't cost them any more money than what's currently on the books.

      You can argue that the end result is not worth it. That's fine. But "shoe polish gibberish"? I don't think so.

      BTW... how do you drink shoe polish? I actually spread it on my toast in the morning.

      Delete
  2. Drinking shoe polish is dumb.

    Last night I asked Van Dozen, if he was drinking shoe polish ? Again ?
    Last night I thought Van dozen's mindless mental report was
    shoe polish gibberish.
    Valid points all, considering what I had to read through.
    I think it offended him.

    Today I was asked this pointed question, by last nights author.
    "BTW...how do you drink shoe polish? (Drink).....
    I actually spread it on my toast in the morning."

    Dumb question, dumber post.

    ReplyDelete