Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Looking Ahead to 2019 & the Trevor Rosenthal Showcase

Let me be clear and let me be as frank as possible, my entire focus is here on the 2018 team. I am in no way conceding the playoffs, or even the division, and in no way am I counting against or rooting against my team, yes this is MY team in my heart and in my mind, here in 2018. Just because I am “all-in” on 2018 doesn’t mean that this has to be Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman’s only focus though. His focus should be on this season and beyond, and the beyond part of that statement may begin with Trevor Rosenthal and his pitching showcase that he will put on this October.  

Rosenthal has decided to sit out the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in late August of 2017 with his eyes on a return to the Majors in 2019. While some pitchers, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda for a couple Yankees-related examples, have decided to sign modest two-year deals while still rehabbing from the ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery, others, Greg Holland for example, have decided to simply sit out the season in hopes of getting a larger contract when they are physically able to pitch again. It is risky, but it is sometimes a risk worth taking if you look at it from a simple financial outlook. Eovaldi signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays after being released from the New York Yankees worth $4 million total, $2 million in each season now that the team option was picked up by the club this season. Meanwhile, Holland signed a one-year deal worth $7 million with a load of incentives and a vesting player option which, unless they have changed math since I have been in school, is at least $3 million more than Eovaldi will receive, and Eovaldi is a starting pitcher throwing 100-200 innings a season while Holland is a reliever that will likely throw less than 80 IP here in 2018.

Rosenthal will have youth on his side if and when he decides on a new home for the 2019 season as he was just 27-years old when he underwent the surgery and will be still just 29-years old when the 2019 season begins. If Rosenthal shows that he is healthy in October when he has his showcase and can replicate his 2017 success that saw the right-hander toughing 98 – 99 MPH with a 15.9% swinging-strike rate he would be a welcomed addition to any club, especially to a Yankees club that is presumably losing David Robertson to free agency.

Rosenthal will not likely sign a deal with a club to be their closer, so he could be the perfect and the most economical fit for the Yankees aside from calling up another young and talented arm from their farm system. It all depends on the health of his right elbow and how his showcase looks in October. I am not looking ahead too far right now, but Brian Cashman certainly should. Maybe he can even get a brownie point or two from Hal Steinbrenner if he books his flight now and saves the organization some money, money that could be then filtered to Rosenthal and back into the on-the-field product. Stay tuned.

The Yankees Don’t Need Curtis Granderson

The Toronto Blue Jays placed former Yankees and Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson on waivers as a part of the waiver wire trade deadline here in August, and recently the left-handed hitting outfielder cleared revocable waivers. What does that mean for Toronto? Well, in a nut shell that means that the Blue Jays can trade Granderson to any team for the remainder of the season and that they can presumably get more for the veteran’s services if they trade him before the August 31st trade deadline since Granderson would be postseason eligible. What does it mean for the Yankees? Honestly, it shouldn’t mean anything for New York because they don’t necessarily need him anymore.

The need arose for an outfielder for the Yankees when Aaron Judge was hit on the wrist suffering a chip fracture in his wrist that would require him to not swing a bat for at least three weeks. That was July 26th this is August 15th. This Friday, the 17th of August, will be three weeks. You have to assume that Judge will miss at least a week after being able to swing and pick up a bat and that he may even play in a rehab game or two. Is it truly worth acquiring another outfielder for, best case scenario, two weeks? I guess it depends on the cost associated with acquiring Granderson, but the Yankees are 10 games out of the division. Will two weeks of an aging Granderson really make that much of a difference, and is he worth taking at-bats away from Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Judge and Giancarlo Stanton once the Yankees regular right-fielder returns? I am leaning towards no.

And in no way am I bringing up the fact that the Yankees are down by 10 games as an excuse or as a reason to concede the division. I’m not. While I am comfortable with playing in a one-game playoff because I think this team is built better than any other to win a one-game playoff with their offense, bullpen, and potentially top-heavy rotation, I also wouldn’t mind watching the Red Sox play either the Houston Astros or one of the Oakland Athletics or Seattle Mariners either.

Trade for him, or don’t trade for him, I am indifferent really, but at the end of the day I truly do not believe that Curtis Granderson is necessarily a need for the New York Yankees.