Friday, December 5, 2014

Cashman Not Ruling Out Anything After Trading For Gregorious, Signing Miller

Three things happened Friday that could lead to the Yankees pursuing a top starting pitcher at next week's Winter Meetings.

They acquired a $506,000 shortstop in Didi Gregorious, traded away a potential rotation piece in Shane Greene, and likely ended their interest in David Robertson by inking Andrew Miller for $16 million less. Basically, they made two money-saving deals while getting rid of someone many thought would be throwing every five days for them next season, the perfect storm for a run at a Max Scherzer.

And while he wouldn't say anything too specific on the subject, Yankees GM Brian Cashman did stay open to the idea when asked about it recently at an event in Stamford, though nothing he said was that groundbreaking. 

“There are certain things that can impact us," Cashman told The Star Ledger's Steve Politi, "and we can change our course of action that we weren’t necessarily pursuing early."

That course openly included shying away from this offseason's top free agents, the aforementioned Scherzer included. The Yankees were said to have offered him a six-year deal last weekend, but now it appears that report wasn't true.

Nonetheless, the Yankees have certainly been busy since missing the playoffs for the second time in as many seasons, swapping Francisco Cervelli for Pittsburgh's Justin Wilson and re-signing Esmil Rogers over the last few weeks.  

“I’m not trying to chase you guys into some big story," Cashman said, making it clear nothing is guaranteed with his team right now. "I just think we’re open to evaluating the marketplace as it evolves, and how our efforts evolve, as well.”

One such possible change Cashman may be referring to could be that of Robertson, whom the Yankees have said their willing to negotiate with if he cheapens his price tag. 

Robertson has wanted a four-year/$52-million contract for the past month, but still appears to be on the Yankees radar. He's been a reliable contributor to their bullpen since 2008, and considering the dominance that could come if he joined up with Miller, Wilson and Dellin Betances, it's a safe bet New York's intrigued by the thought of keeping him.

Yankees Sign Andrew Miller to Four Year Deal

More to come when I am not mobile. Why is it that every time I am in the car news breaks?

Shane Greene For Didi Gregorius?

It happens all the time...

Somebody here at The Greedy Pinstripes reports on a bit of news, and I go to the comment section to give my thoughts on it. I get a few sentences into my reply before I finally realize that I might as well write a post instead. So here I am.

I like Shane Greene, but I'm not about to shed a tear over losing him. While his strikeout rate was pretty good last season, it was actually better than what he did in the minors, which isn't a good sign. Not that he'll for sure strikeout less hitters in 2015, but a betting man would land on the pessimistic side of that gamble.

And while trading away Greene makes things a little more sketchy when it comes to what the team's starting rotation will look like next season, the fact is there are a number of guys available to replace him.

In the Yankees' system you have guys like David Phelps, Bryan Mitchell, and Manny Banuelos. And while the team was surely going to acquire at least one pitcher in free agency, be that a stud like Max Scherzer or good pitcher like Brandon McCarthy, they can instead look to get two of them.

But just because the team isn't that hurt by the loss of Shane Greene, doesn't mean they did well in the trade. I mean, is Didi Gregorius any good?

Well, if any of you out there believe Gregorius is going to hit like Derek Jeter in his prime, I'm sorry to inform you that the odds of that happening hover barely above nil. Sure, Didi is only 25 years old, so he could figure something out and replicate his AAA numbers (.278/.350/452), but chances are we're going to get somebody closer to the Gregorius that hit .252/.332/.373 in 2013.

As for Didi's defense, we're in for a treat there. Especially if you compare him to what we had at shortstop the past few years. His arm has been rated a 70 out of 80, and along with some good range, he's sure to save a few runs throughout the season.

To sum it all up, the Yankees are definitely in a better position now than they were a few hours ago. Now it looks like they will go out and sign a couple of starting pitchers, which could be Max Scherzer and Brandon McCarthy (yummy).

I'm not sure if they will stick with the offense they currently have in place, meaning one of Refsnyder or Pirela at 2B with Prado at 3B, or if they'll bring back Chase Headley. Either way I'm okay with it.

Alexi Ogando the Next Yankees Swing-Man?

The Texas Rangers made Alexi Ogando a free agent after not tendering him a contract before the deadline this week, should the Yankees take notice? Would Ogando fit in as the next Yankees swing-man who can easily jump from the bullpen to the rotation as needed joining David Phelps? If he's healthy, and the Rangers said he was before non-tendering him, then I believe he should at least be in the discussion.

Ogando struggled in 2014 posting a 6.84 ERA in just 25 IP but I truly believe, with nothing to back this up unfortunately other than a guy feeling, that the right hander battled the injury all season long and will be more along the lines of his career 3.35 ERA (including the ugly mark last season) going forward.

The Rangers loss could be the Yankees gain as the team was reportedly upset with Ogando's refusal to pitch in the Winter League's this winter which could have factored into the non-tender decision. Ogando is just 31 years old and used to the abuse that comes along with switching between the pen and the rotation and could essentially save Phelps' arm for the long term for an incentive laden one year contract. I don't see an issue with signing him and letting him play it out in Spring Training and hopefully the Yankees don't either.

Jon Lester Really an Upgrade over Brandon McCarthy?

First and foremost I want to start by saying that the rumors and the fake information that is running around on Twitter right now is absolutely ridiculous. It seems like every 14 year old kid who claims to be an MLB "insider" can post whatever nonsense they want without credibility or any truth (or repercussions) whatsoever. I apologize for all those who have nothing better to do with their time and their lives then to make up fake rumors on Twitter to get us, the true fans, up in arms excited or mad. With that said one of the rumors I've read and reported on yesterday was that the Yankees were making a late and significant push for free agent starting pitcher Jon Lester. Immediately I was excited and then I got thinking whether he would truly be an upgrade over Brandon McCarthy or just another bad contract we're having to work around in three or four years.

I found it interesting to compare these two specifically because Max Scherzer and James Shields far exceed these two in WAR and come with draft pick compensation attached. Both McCarthy and Lester were traded mid-season and their teams were unable to extend qualifying offers to the players. Also it gives a nice and equal sample size of stats such as WAR with their new clubs to take a look at and analyze.

McCarthy posted a 1.6 WAR with New York after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks while Lester posted a 1.9 WAR with Oakland. It is worth mentioning that McCarthy had almost a full month worth of starts in New York before Boston traded Lester to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes and others making what Lester did all that more impressive. Lester also posted a 2.7 WAR with Boston before the trade while McCarthy struggled with a -0.5 WAR with Arizona. I am willing to throw out Lester's time with Boston only because McCarthy was a different pitcher after coming to New York which begs the question, how much of an upgrade would Lester be with comparable WAR numbers in half a season?

Lester is the better pitcher, no one would argue that, and throws from the left side which could neutralize some of the bigger threats in the AL East but how much better is he? Lester is probably getting  in excess of $20 million a season for at least six or seven seasons while I would be surprised to see McCarthy eclipse a three year deal and $15 million annually. The Yankees don't need their next bad contract they need consistency and while I agree with shoring up run prevention if you can't add to run production I think Lester may be excessive for, theoretically, another win or two per season. With that said the Yankees should just sign McCarthy and hope for the best with the development of Luis Severino and Manny Banuelos.

BREAKING: Yankees Acquire Didi Gregorious

Hey look at this, a credible source reporting a big time deal involving the New York Yankees. What I take from Sweeny's tweet above is that the Detroit Tigers would acquire Shane Greene, the Yankees would acquire Didi Gregorious and the Arizona Diamondbacks would acquire some prospects.

Yes please, as much as I love Greeney.

UPDATE: It's a done deal. Gregorius is a Yankee.

Would Juan Francisco Make Sense For New York?

The Boston Red Sox designated corner infielder Juan Francisco for assignment and then non-tendered him to make room on the roster for Pablo Sandoval making Francisco a free agent, would he make sense for the Yankees bench in 2015? In a word, abso-freaking-lutely. Francisco is a first baseman and third baseman in name only at this point in his career, honestly he should be a DH full time, but he can get it done in a pinch. Francisco is not likely to be exposed playing an inning or two here or a game or two a week there. His bat may not be adequate to land an everyday job, even as a DH, but his power would be a welcomed addition to the 2015 edition of the New York Yankees.

Francisco is a career .236 hitter so the team would not be getting a .300 type hitter that is going to change the dynamic of the lineup. Instead the Yankees would be getting a left handed power hitting bench option that could stumble into 10-20 home runs in Yankee Stadium if healthy and productive. Francisco can play some third base and some first base backing up Martin Prado, Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira or whoever else is plugged in between then and now while taking a turn a game a week at the DH position.

At 27 years old Francisco has been asked to come off the bench, fill in at both corners of the infield, hit for power and hit at the bottom half of the lineup. That's nothing more than the Yankees would need or ask of him in 2015 and he makes a ton of sense for what is looking like an offensively deficient team next season.

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Wake Up at Winter Meetings

The New York Yankees have been unusually quiet to this point in the offseason but I think that all changes when the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings kick off on Sunday and run through Thursday. Yankees will sign/acquire at least two players is my prediction.

Vote in our poll!

Reminder: Winter Meetings Start Sunday

Baseball Winter Meetings footer

Just a quick reminder to get your Friday morning kicked off right into the weekend as the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings kick off on Sunday in San Diego. This will be the 113th edition of the MLB Winter Meetings and this is generally the time where the most, and the biggest, free agent names come off the board. Be sure to stay tuned to that and stay tuned to the blog as we will bring you as much Yankees related and MLB news as we possibly can.

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/5: Yankee Stadium and Citi Field

On this day in 2001 mayor Rudy Giuliani announced that he wanted to get new stadium deals in place for both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets before he left office. This was coming off the heels of the September 11th attacks on New York and Washington and was thought to boost morale and finances for New York.

Also n this day in 1984 the Yankees acquired Rickey Henderson and pitcher Bert Bradley from the Athletics for pitchers Jay Howell and Jose Rijo along with outfielder Stan Javier and minor league players Tim Birtsas and Eric Plunk. The Yankees, in a separate deal, also acquired pitcher Brian Fisher for catcher Rick Cerone.

Finally on this day in 1975 the Yankees hired Yogi Berra as their manager after he was fired unexpectedly by New York in 1964 following a 99-63 record and an American League pennant. Billy Martin was also hired to be Yogi's bench coach this season.