Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Another way to early lineup 

Howdy Folks Jay here getting ready for my 1st Full season here at the Greedy Pinstripes. I can not wait. Lately have been very busy with life and work, and have done a few short posts. This one will be no different :( as it’s 1:45 am. However just thought of a new look lineup based off the way to early spring training. Because of the time there won’t be anything explained like the last post but hope to hear your thoughts. Sorry In advance to Mr. Hicks. My Thoughts Subject To Change.  


1. Brett Gardner CF 

2. Aaron Judge RF/LF 

3. Greg Bird 1B

4. Giancarlo Stanton RF 

5. Gary Sanchez C

6. Sir Didi SS 

7. Miguel Andujar 3B 

8. Brandon Drury DH/Inf 

9. Gleyber Torres 2B 

James C. Palma is a writer for the Greedy Pinstripes an can be reached at JamesCPalma@gmail dot com 


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Just One of the Guys...

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Lynne Sladky)
A Meaningful Monday…

Not bad for a Monday. The day started with the arrival of Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in training camp to field grounders with Didi Gregorius and blast a few homers (six) for batting practice in a group that featured Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez. After the eventful day, third baseman Miguel Andujar capped it off with a dramatic 9th inning two-out walk-off home run to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3. 

Clearly, the story of the day was Russell Wilson. It’s funny how every news article, especially those in Seattle, expressly state that he has not suddenly decided to give up his day job (as if they are worried about it). Some Yankees fan think Wilson is a distraction, but I take it for what it is.  It is an opportunity to break up monotonous Spring Training by spending time with a Super Bowl-caliber professional athlete. I’ve always said there are guys who know how to play the game and there are guys who are winners. The rare combination is the guy who embodies both.  Wilson is one of those rare athletes. I think he has much to offer the young Yankees even if he never fields a single play or takes an at-bat in an exhibition game. Winners breed winners. I am glad that Wilson is a Yankees fan and is spending his off-season in a baseball environment around the Yankees. His five or six days in camp will pass quickly and he’ll be gone. But the impact of his visit will remain with the players as they march toward the start of the 2018 season and its grand expectations.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Lynne Sladky)
Maybe Wilson should spend some time trying to talk some sense into reliever Tommy Kahnle and his “overkill” love for the Philadelphia Eagles. Sadly, I think that’s a lost cause.



At the very least, I’d give Wilson an at-bat in one of the upcoming exhibition games but it is possible the Seahawks have imposed a moratorium on what Wilson can and cannot do while in Yankees Camp. It would be nice to see Stanton and Judge catch a few passes before Wilson departs.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Lynne Sladky)
Monday evening, in the first night game of the Exhibition Season, the Yankees continued their winning ways, fourth win in four games, to make Aaron Boone an undefeated manager to start his career. I know, these games mean nothing but it’s tremendous to see everyone embrace Boone’s desire to be “great”. I was disappointed the Phillies game was not televised as I would have enjoyed watching Sonny Gray’s Spring debut. He pitched two innings, giving up two isolated singles, but struck out 2 batters and did not allow any runs. He was throwing strikes as all 12 of his pitches were in the zone. 

Chance Adams made his debut (which is another reason I wanted to watch the game).  Adams got into trouble with the first batter he faced, his high school teammate Dylan Cozens.  Adams and Cozens were in the same class at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona (Class of 2012).  


Cozens, comparable to Giancarlo Stanton in size and weight, drew a walk off his friend to start the third inning. He stole second and then advanced to third when Rhys Hoskins hit a grounder to first. A sacrifice fly by Phillies free agent acquisition Carlos Santana brought Cozens home for the only run off Adams. The next batter, Cesar Hernandez, got the only hit off Adams over his two innings of work, with a single to left. Aaron Altherr followed with the second walk of the inning but Gary Sanchez rescued Adams when his throw to second caught Hernandez off base for the third out. 

The player of the game was, no doubt, Miguel Andujar. Andujar entered the game as a pinch-hitter for right fielder Billy McKinney in the bottom of the 7th inning. Andujar’s double to left scored Mark Payton, running for Brandon Drury, from third to tie the score at 2. Andujar stayed in the game as the replacement for Drury at third base. The Yankees had a chance to win it with a RBI single by Jorge Saez in the 8th, but Cody Carroll’s attempt to earn the save failed when he allowed a solo home run to Scott Kingery, another Arizonan, in the top of the 9th. No worries. Gleyber Torres and Mark Payton recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, bringing Andujar to the plate. After two balls, Andujar swung and missed at the next two pitches. On the fifth pitch from Phillies reliever Ranger Suarez, Andujar sent the ball over the fence in left clearing most of the Phillies off the field before Andujar could finish his home run trot. 

For a meaningless game, it sure was exciting. If only we had been able to watch it…well, those of us not so fortunate to be at Steinbrenner Field. So far, the battle for third base between Brandon Drury and Miguel Andujar has been very spirited. It’s early but the competition at third base has been better than second base. 

Photo Credit: Newsday


Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
The Yankees starting lineup for today’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida at 1:05 pm Eastern will be:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Miguel Andujar (aka “The Stud”), 3B
Tyler Austin, 1B
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Austin Romine, C
Jace Peterson, DH
Ronald Torreyes, SS
Billy McKinney, LF
Shane Robinson, RF

The starting pitcher will be Bullpen Ace Chad Green

I am not exactly a fan of Hanley Ramirez, but the Red Sox 1B/DH was popping off yesterday after Boston finally announced the signing of free agent slugger J.D. Martinez.  His words were something to the effect that they were going to step on everybody’s neck now. I harbor no ill will toward Ramirez, Martinez or the Red Sox but I am looking forward to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton putting on a display this year against the Red Sox, along with the other great young Yankees hitters. Let’s see whose neck gets stepped on. I hope, and I suspect, that this will not be a fun year for Ramirez. The best way to shut up Han-Ram is for the Yankees to win the American League East. I like our odds.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Go Yankees!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Yankees Spring Machine Rolls On…

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
A day without the Yankees is a long day…

For those of us not so fortunate to be in Florida, I missed watching the Yankees play yesterday  since the game was not televised. I suppose that I could have listened to the WFAN radio broadcast but it is not quite the same. I am glad that today’s game will be televised by the MLB Network.

Spring records do not really matter but the Yankees picked up their second win in two games with their 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. The big hit was a three-run homer by Billy McKinney in the top of the 9th.

The Yanks got a scare when Brandon Drury was hit in the left hand while batting against Pirates reliever Clay Holmes in the top of the third inning. Drury stayed in the game and finished out the bottom of the third before departing. Drury said he was fine after the game and no x-rays were taken, but he did ice the hand. It would have been horrible to lose Drury in his first game wearing the Yankees uniform. Miguel Andujar replaced Drury in the fourth inning and stayed for the duration of the game.

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
The only run scored by the Pirates was Gregory Polanco's home run off Dillon Tate in the bottom of the 5th.  

I enjoy all the social media posts that say Erik Kratz is the greatest hitting catcher in Yankees history with his 1.000 batting average. He was 2-for-2 last season, and so far this spring, he is 2-for-2 with a run batted in. He’s livin’ the life at age 37. Too funny…

This morning, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reported that the Yankees most likely will not be signing either of the top free agent pitchers, Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn. Per Manager Aaron Boone, “At this point I don’t see those guys as realistic options…it’s my understanding that those guys aren’t really in play for us.” Of course, if I was waiting for prices to fall, that’s exactly what I would say too.

He may be a writer for The Boston Globe and pro-Red Sox, but I enjoy the work of Nick Cafardo. He’s probably one of my favorites. Yesterday, he wrote about the twenty things to watch this baseball season. Number one was “The Giancarlo Stanton/Aaron Judge Show”.  Cafardo wrote: “The Yankees are near the center of attention in any season, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. Some are describing it as Ruth/Gehrig reincarnated.  Of course it could also be a flop, but we tend to doubt it. Will there be droughts?  Absolutely. But the upside should be quite a spectacle.”  We’re looking forward to the show as well.  

Cafardo also cited that Chris Archer could be the next Tampa Bay Ray on the move.  Although he did say the Los Angeles Dodgers have been forever linked the talented pitcher, he mentioned the Yankees as one of the teams that could be in the mix. Even though trades within the division are difficult, the Rays did just acquire a very talented young second baseman in Nick Solak from the Yankees in the three-way trade that netted Brandon Drury for the Yankees. The Rays don’t have to travel far to keep an eye on the young prospects in the Yankees organization since the minor league facility is in their city. It would be hard not to pay attention to the exploits of the High-A Tampa Yankees who will play this season as the  renamed Tampa Tarpons.

Give credit to Clint Frazier for his amazing attitude in camp. He is determined to win a spot on the Opening Day roster despite the greatest of odds. Barring injury or trade, the Yankees’ Opening Day outfielders appear to be Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and Jacoby Ellsbury. There’s probably not a fan in the Yankees Universe that wouldn’t want to see Ellsbury playing elsewhere to make room for Frazier, but the cold, hard reality is that Ellsbury will be wearing pinstripes this year unless GM Brian Cashman can prove he really is ‘The Miracle Worker’. I hate the thought that Frazier will have to open the season at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but at this point it does appear inevitable.

Photo Credit: New York Post (Charles Wenzelberg)
A-Rod is back…

The Yankees have announced that Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, and Hideki Matsui are returning in special advisor roles for the Yankees. They’ll be joined by Nick Swisher.    

Yo, Cash, you gotta stacked team…

Thanks, Swish.

It had been long-rumored that A-Rod and Hal Steinbrenner were talking about a role in the organization so I am glad that the Yankees will have his knowledge and insight at their disposal. You have to feel bad for Alex. He’ll have income from FOX Sports, ESPN, and the Yankees this year, any of the income streams alone should exceed what most of us will make. I’ve always enjoyed Swisher’s energy and enthusiasm and it’s great for a young team. I love the passion and love that both guys have for the Yankees.

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Spring Training, Game 3

The games of no meaning, except for individual player workouts, continue today at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, FL against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees will see an old friend in Phillies bench coach Rob Thomson.  

Photo Credit: USA TODAY
The scheduled starting lineup is:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Gleyber Torres, SS
Greg Bird, 1B
Aaron Hicks, DH
Austin Romine, C
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Ronald Torreyes, 3B
Billy McKinney, RF
Shane Robinson, LF

The starting pitcher will be Jordan Montgomery. The Phillies will counter with one of their best young pitchers, Aaron Nola.

Stay healthy, guys.


Go Yankees!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fun Times at Steinbrenner Field...

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Lynne Sladky)
Shhh, the Yankees are playing…

The primary takeaways from Friday’s exhibition opener at Steinbrenner Field which saw the Yankees defeat the Detroit Tigers, 3-1, were how great Giancarlo Stanton looks in pinstripes and how comfortably Aaron Boone fits into the manager’s chair. Sure, I was carefully watching Gleyber Torres and I held my breath when he laid out for the first inning grounder he was unable to handle, but overall he was solid for his five innings of work after missing so much time last year following Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm.   

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Stanton didn’t really do anything with the bat in the meaningless game but he has such a presence at the plate. You get the sense that when the games matter, this guy is going to be such a huge part of the team’s offense (in a classic statement of the obvious on my part). I watched parts of the Miami Marlins home game against the St Louis Cardinals later in the day and there is clearly a major difference in the vibe and energy generated by the home crowds (Tampa versus Jupiter). Starlin Castro hit a solid single to right before he was lifted for a pinch-runner in the Marlins game but maybe because I have no interest in the Marlins or the Cardinals, the overall mood of the game felt lethargic. Steinbrenner Field, by comparison, was buzzing with enthusiasm.  

Photo Credit: New York Post (Corey Sipkin)
I couldn’t help but think of Joe Girardi when Austin Romine was batting, wearing Girardi’s #28 jersey. I am sure in time Romine will make it his number but for as much as I like Aaron Boone, I did sentimentally think of Girardi and what he meant to the team for ten years.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Jeff Zelevansky)
The pitcher I am watching closely this Spring is Ben Heller. I think he’s capable of being the breakout reliever of the year for the Yankees. The right-hander is 26 (27 in August) and was 5-4 with 2.88 ERA last season with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He struck out 82 batters in 40 games covering 56 1/3 innings. He spent limited time with the big league club, striking out 9 batters in 11 innings, while giving up only 5 hits and 1 run. In yesterday’s game, Heller followed starter Luis Cessa and gave up 2 hits but no runs in 2 innings of work, while striking out 3. Heller is a high character guy and I am really pulling for him to succeed with the big league club this year. He was acquired in 2016, along with Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield and J.P. Feyereisen, from the Cleveland Indians in the deal that sent Andrew Miller to the Tribe. He may not break camp with the Yankees when they head north in late March but I am sure that we’ll be hearing his name frequently this season.

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Kathy Willens)
Waiting for J.D. Martinez and Scott Boras…

I haven’t been closely following the situation with J.D. Martinez in Fort Myers, FL with the Boston Red Sox but it’s funny that the team hasn’t announced the contract signing yet. Martinez took his physical on Wednesday but there’s been no word, good or bad. It is causing angst in the Red Sox Nation. I’ve heard things like the delay is normal in the off-season for free agent signings and that the team’s doctors are in Boston and not Fort Myers where Martinez had the physical. Manager Alex Cora has made comments that he is not concerned and I still fully expect Martinez to be in the heart of the Red Sox lineup this year but the drama surrounding his signing is enjoyable from afar. For the record, I find no humor in any potential physical issues that may be causing the delay. I do hope this works out for Martinez.


Help Wanted: Baseball Players to play for alleged MLB team in St Petersburg…

I really feel badly for the Tampa Bay Rays and their fans. It’s become worse than the Marlins situation as they continue to unload their best players. Days after being designated for assignment, the Rays traded their lone 2017 All-Star representative, outfielder Corey Dickerson, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dickerson will help make up for the loss of offense when the Pirates traded star Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants. The Rays received reliever Daniel Hudson, a minor league prospect and cash considerations from the Pirates for Dickerson. The Rays will also be without the services of top pitching prospect Brett Honeywell, one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, after it was revealed he has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will require Tommy John surgery. Looks like the Rays will be leaning very heavily on Chris Archer and “Nasty Nate”, Nathan Eovaldi, this season.

Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Times
Spring Training, Game 2…

The Yankees take on the Pittsburgh Pirates today at 1:05 pm for their second exhibition game. They’ll be at Lecom Park in Bradenton, FL. The lineup for today’s game is:

Tyler Wade, 2B
Brandon Drury, 3B
Tyler Austin, 1B
Clint Frazier, LF
Danny Espinosa, DH
Ronald Torreyes, SS
Estevan Florial, CF
Erik Kratz, C
Shane Robinson, RF

The starting pitcher will be Domingo German.

Credit to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com for this Aaron Boone quote, “I want us to be obsessed with controlling the strike zone. That’s one of our bumper stickers.”

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Hats off to the Yankees and Major League Baseball for the very classy decision to wear the Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps to honor the victims of the senseless tragedy in Parkland, Florida for the exhibition openers. 

Photo Credit: Associated Press (Lynne Sladky)
It’s fun to watch the Yankees back on the field against live pitching even if the games mean absolutely nothing. Good times.




Go Yankees!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The New York Yankees & Solving Their Outfield Logjam





Good afternoon everyone, it’s been a while. You all remember that movie “Angels in the Outfield” with that kid that could see and use ghosts to help the California Angels win games? Well I hear they are making a sequel in 2018, and I heard it will be called “Yankees in a Crowded Outfield” with the ghosts of Yankee Stadium helping to terrorize the rest of the American League, especially the Boston Red Sox. Now while the movie and movie title are a bit tongue-in-cheek, the fact that the New York Yankees have a crowded outfield (and ghosts that will hopefully continue to terrorize the Boston Red Sox) is not. The outfield is overcrowded with Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury possibly all on the active 25-man roster, although Frazier is likely to start the season in Scranton in Triple-A, and the Yankees may need to address this over-population sooner rather than later. The good news for them is I have a plan; the bad news is this may not be one of my most popular blog posts from this offseason and spring.



Before I put forth my idea to clear the logjam I will preface this post by saying that the Yankees have a plan, and that plan has already been put into place by Aaron Boone and his staff this spring. Reggie Willits, a newcomer to the Boone staff and to the Yankees coaching staff this season, is already working with both Judge and Stanton in left field this spring with the hopes that either could play there in a pinch this season. The team has also left the designated hitter position open with the hopes of rotating their outfielders in and out of the position to not only get everyone at-bats, but to give the players a half-day off as well. It is also worth mentioning that Judge has reportedly spoken with and asked manager Boone about playing some center field in 2018, an idea I am admittedly not really keen on personally, giving the Yankees yet another option to help with the logjam. Unfortunately, I do not think this will be enough and there will always be one or more players on the outside looking in so here are my ideas on how the team could clear up the clutter.



The team tried, and reportedly failed, to trade Jacoby Ellsbury and his three-years and $68 million left on his contract all winter long so why not try and trade the man that replaced him instead, Aaron Hicks. I know this won’t be a popular decision as Hicks did well in 2017 posting a .266/.372/.475 triple slash with 15 home runs in 88 games, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Honestly, I cannot see the value for Hicks getting any higher than it already is and as much as I would hate to lose the switch-hitting center fielder, it may make the most sense for the Yankees this season. The production from Hicks is replaceable, in my opinion anyway, by having Clint Frazier take over center field, something he did with the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees as a prospect and something he could do again until Estevan Florial is ready, while keeping Jacoby Ellsbury on the bench.



Trading Hicks could bring back a significant piece, especially if packaged with a prospect or two, to the pitching staff as well as a little bit of salary relief and roster space. It isn’t ideal losing Hicks, I admit that, but in my opinion, it isn’t ideal having Frazier down in Triple-A with nothing to prove either. That’s when bad attitudes and bad practices occur with a player, see Jesus Montero as a recent example of this. Trading Ellsbury would be ideal, no one would argue this fact, but for most of the same reasons the Yankees want rid of him other teams wouldn’t want him and his salary either. And don’t even get me started on his no-trade clause and his seemingly unwillingness to move it. More on that and bad journalism at a later time, I feel a rant coming on, but until then moving Hicks may make the most sense for the New York Yankees here before the 2018 season. I’m not sure where I would like to move him, or for who, but a move involving him just makes sense right now.


With that said and with the World Series in the Yankees sights I want to win at all costs. Sites like mytopsportsbooks.com has the Yankees' odds to win set at +550, just behind the Dodgers (+500) and level with the defending champion Astros. Agree? Disagree? Leave it below in the comments.

Brandon Drury vs. the AL East Pitching

PHOTO CREDIT: NJ.COM


Earlier in the day we took a look at what the newest member of Red Sox nation, JD Martinez, had done throughout his career against the pitching staff of the New York Yankees so it seems only fair that we do the same for the newest member of the Yankees family, right? Brandon Drury has played just three seasons at the Major League level and has spent all three of those seasons in the National League West with the Arizona Diamondbacks, so the sample size will be much smaller here than with Martinez, a former Detroit Tiger before he was also Drury’s teammate down in the desert, but these stats should paint a decent picture nonetheless. It is worth mentioning that Drury has been hitting in a pitcher friendly park out in Arizona and that his stats should improve somewhat while playing many of his games inside hitter friendly parks like Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Oriole Park and Camden Yards, the Rogers Centre and Tropicana Field.



Drury vs. Boston Red Sox





Drury vs. Baltimore Orioles



Drury vs. Tampa Bay Rays





Drury vs. Toronto Blue Jays







Big thanks to ESPN.com and Baseball Reference for the stats and for the images above.

JD Martinez vs. the Yankees Pitching



The Boston Red Sox felt like they needed to do just one thing this offseason to not only compete, but to win the American League East in 2018, and that was add some power to an already deep team and lineup. The team did just that this week when they added free agent JD Martinez to the club on a five-year deal worth $110 million. This post will not be about the extremely front-loaded contract or about the multiple opt-out clauses that the team needed to entice Martinez with just to get him to sign there, but instead we will focus on what Martinez has done against the pitching of the New York Yankees that he will have to see 20-or-so different times here in 2018. The sample sizes are small, the ballparks will be different, but the information will remain the same if history is any indicator of the future so here is a good look at what to expect here for the upcoming regular season.



Big thanks to ESPN.com and Baseball Reference for the stats and for the images above.




It's Time For Yankees Baseball...


Photo Credit: New York Daily News (Corey Sipkin)
It’s a meaningless game but hey, our guys take the field…

As Yankees fans, we’ve had a few enjoyable days so far this Spring. Pitchers and Catchers reporting on February 13th and everybody else, including the great Giancarlo Stanton, showing up last weekend. We’ve already experienced our first newcomer of 2018 with the trade that brought Brandon Drury to Steinbrenner Field to work out with his favorite childhood baseball team. Stanton is not a “newcomer”, he’s been here since last year (okay, December but still, Drury was an Arizona Diamondback until a few days ago). Today represents the first exhibition game of the season when the Yankees face the Detroit Tigers this afternoon at Steinbrenner Field. The game will be televised by the YES Network at 1 pm Eastern so we’ll get our first true glimpse of the 2018 Yankees even if guys like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez won’t be playing. Stanton will be there and is sure to attract a huge ovation. 

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Twitter is crazy place to follow Yankees baseball. There are so many fans that feel Drury is going to block Miguel Andujar and are upset about it. Personally, I don’t get it. The starter at third base on Opening Day will be the guy who earned it. Drury may have the leg up based on MLB experience, but Andujar can take the position with performance. I certainly have no problem with Andujar going back down to Triple A to further refine his defensive skills. For a team that is considered among the American League’s elite, there is no need to experiment with multiple rookies in the lineup. I’ve always liked Drury and his hard-nosed play. He strikes me as quiet but very focused and determined. Considering that he won’t turn 26 until August, his best years are ahead of him. I like his upside, and all things considered, I am pleased the way this turned out. Instead of overpaying Mike Moustakas (regardless of how much I liked his left-handed bat in Yankee Stadium) or signing a player in decline like Neil Walker, the Yankees brought in a high energy guy that will mesh well with the team’s youth.

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
It’s worth checking out Drury’s play through YouTube. There are some great highlights shown including the time he crashed into the wall in right at Chase Field in Phoenix to record an out against the Yankees. It was good to see old friend Brian McCann as a Yankee in that clip.

I really like the way Drury has embraced Pinstripes. His words echo how much he appreciates being a part of the team and his recognition that this can be a special team. He left a team that had a very successful season last year and continues to be one of the stronger young teams in the National League, yet I’ve heard no words of remorse. 

Many Yankees fans, at least on Twitter, have been livid that the Yankees traded outfielder Jabari Blash to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later or cash because it basically represents no return for the deal that sent Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres. Nothing against Headley but the Yankees got the Padres to take his salary by including a pitcher that was at risk for losing his spot on the 40-man roster. I liked Mitchell but I think he stands a better chance for success in San Diego than he would have in the Bronx. Eliminating Headley’s contract has given the Yankees a genuine chance to reset the luxury tax penalties which meets Owner Hal Steinbrenner’s objective. If Hal is happy, I am happy. Blash was never going to be a difference-maker for the Yankees. He was an excess outfielder on a team filled with quality outfielders. He became a 40-man roster casualty candidate from the moment he joined the Yankees. Maybe he becomes a late bloomer with the Angels. That’s fine, he would have never gotten the opportunity with the Yankees. I remain convinced the Headley/Mitchell deal was a good one even if all it brought us was a box of Dunkin Donuts. Plus, I am glad that we have Brandon Drury (or Miguel Andujar) at third over Headley.

While I am not trying to date myself, the subject of firsts made me think of the first regular season game that I experienced as a Yankees fan. The date was April 8, 1975 and the Yankees were in Cleveland to face the Indians. Sadly, the Yankees lost that day, 5-3. The starting lineup featured the following players that I remember well:

Sandy Alomar (Senior), 2B
Lou Pinella, LF
Bobby Bonds, CF
Ron Blomberg, RF
Graig Nettles, 3B
Ed Hermann, DH
Chris Chambliss, 1B
Thurman Munson, C
Jim Mason, SS

Doc Medich was the starter and loser. Future, now former, Yankee Gaylord Perry was the winner for the Tribe. The Indians lineup included Oscar Gamble (a personal favorite who recently passed away), Frank Robinson, George Hendrick, Buddy Bell, and a former Yankee at catcher, John Ellis.  Robinson and Boog Powell homered for the Indians in the victory. The Yankees didn’t pick up their first win until the fourth game of the season when Doc Medich’s turn in the rotation came up again. Medich was the winner in the Yankees’ 6-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. It’s good to see these names again (at least for me) so pardon the self-indulgence with the trip down Memory Lane. 


Back to today’s game, here is the starting lineup for your New York Yankees:

Jacoby Ellsbury, DH
Giancarlo Stanton, RF
Greg Bird, 1B
Aaron Hicks, CF
Didi Gregorius, SS
Gleyber Torres, 2B
Austin Romine, C
Miguel Andujar, 3B
Clint Frazier, LF

The starting pitcher is Luis Cessa but also pitching today (thanks to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com) are Cale Coshow, J.P. Feyereisen, Giovanny Gallegos, David Hale, Ben Heller, Jonathan Holder (I wanted to type Kyle), Brady Lail, and Trevor Lane.

Photo Credit: New York Yankees

Go Yankees!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Do You Choose Trade Number 1, Trade Number 2, Or Trade Number 3?


The acquisition of Brandon Drury has not only created many possibilities for this season, but it also creates many opportunities for the future. Brandon's only 25 years old, and won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season. And although his numbers don't suggest he's a long-time solution (.275/.323/.453 with an OPS+ of 95 in his last 269 games for Arizona), his youth and the hype surrounding him (Brian Cashman has been chasing Drury for a while now) makes it a definite possibility.

Look at it this way... Didi Gregorius hit .241/.314/.368 with an OPS+ of 88 in 183 games for the Diamondbacks before being traded to the Yankees, and now we're happy to have him as the regular shortstop for the team, at least through 2019 when he's scheduled to hit free agency.

So where do the Yankees go from here? Cashman has been after another starter this entire offseason, and I see a great opportunity to make it happen now. Let's look at the possibilities...


1. Brian Cashman can trade Miguel Andujar in a package for a starting pitcher, while Drury handles third base this season. However, I don't think Brandon isn't good enough to keep the Yankees from going after Manny Machado in the offseason.

2. If Cashman and Company aren't convinced Drury is good enough, they can hold onto Andujar to take over third base. In that case trade Clint Frazier in a package for a starter. Then, in the offseason, let Brett Gardner go and bring in Bryce Harper to play left field.

3. Nobody knows how good a pitcher the Yankees could get in a trade including Andujar or Frazier. However, a trade including Andujar and Frazier could surely net the Yankees an incredible return. So perhaps that's the way to go. In this case, the Yankees could go with Drury at third base regularly and sign Harper, or sign both Harper and Machado.

As for what I would choose...

First of all, let me say that I would rather see the Yankees sign Bryce Harper than Manny Machado. It's not that I don't like Manny, but Bryce is clearly the better hitter. Not to mention that another big lefty bat to hit around righties Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez would be great. And can you imagine how many home runs Harper could hit at Yankee Stadium?

So you can eliminate scenario 1.

Although Didi Gregorius has been a big hit for the Yankees, I don't have the confidence in Brandon Drury doing the same thing. I'll fully admit that I could be wrong here, after all Drury does make very good contact, but keeping Miguel Andujar around would be ideal.

And I'll go ahead and say this now... signing both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper would be insane. It would be hard enough having Harper signed for the next 12+ years, along with having Giancarlo Stanton signed for another eight (assuming Stanton doesn't opt-out). But throw in another guy signed for 8+ years? No thank you.

So you can eliminate scenario 2.

Yes, and it's not the first time I've said it... put Clint Frazier in a package along with Chance Adams and trade for a good/young starter. You might think that's not enough for somebody like Michael Fulmer, but after reading that Cashman was offering Frazier and Nick Solak for Gerrit Cole, as well as seeing some recent trades, I think it very well could be. Even if he traded for a guy that's not a future ace, but a top of the rotation guy under team control for a while, that would be great. Especially having Luis Severino around through 2022, Masahiro Tanaka signed through 2020, Sonny Gray being around at least through 2019, and prospects like Justus Sheffield and Albert Abreu.

So to reiterate, trade Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, and whatever smaller pieces (maybe flip Drury, as teams love guys that have as much MLB experience as Brandon does at such a young age) for a starter. Which could be done right now, instead of waiting to see what things look like at the trade deadline when so many other teams will be hunting for pitching. And in the offseason decline the team option for Brett Gardner, and sign Bryce Harper.

You think the current lineup looks like a monster? Check this out...

1. Gleyber Torres - 2B
2. Aaron Judge - RF
3. *Bryce Harper - LF
4. Giancarlo Stanton - DH
5. Gary Sanchez - C
6. *Greg Bird - 1B
7. *Didi Gregorius - SS
8. #Miguel Andujar - 3B
9. Aaron Hicks - CF (note: *Estevan Florial could make his MLB debut in 2019)
* - denotes left-handed hitter
# - denotes switch-hitter

And by being able to juggle Judge, Harper, and Stanton at designated hitter, you can keep them healthy longer (especially in regards to Harper and Stanton who would be under contract for a while longer).

Just for the heck of it, the possible starting rotation...

1. Luis Severino
2. Masahiro Tanaka
3. Sonny Gray
4. Michael Fulmer (or somebody like him)
5. Justus Sheffield

And there's still Jordan Montgomery hanging around, while Albert Abreu could make his MLB debut next season.

I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments or on Twitter. Which scenario from above do you like? Or maybe it's none of those, as you would pass on trading for a pitcher while keeping both Frazier and Andujar instead of signing either Machado or Harper?