Tuesday, March 10, 2015

No, The Yankees Should NOT Trade For Hamels

Let me begin by saying that Cole Hamels is a very good pitcher. You don't earn Cy Young Award votes in three of the last four years by being just "okay". 

"I'd say 'thanks for the props', but I have a feeling this is a set-up."

While I could talk about his ERAs, FIPs, WHIPs, and other acronyms that will impress you, let me tell you about a few other things...
  1. Last season, Hamels' fastball actually averaged a mile per hour higher than his career mark.
  2. His ground ball and fly ball percentages are very respectable, especially to a team that would want a pitcher that gives up more ground balls and less fly balls.
  3. Since 2009, Cole has only missed 31 games (that's games... not starts) due to issues involving his throwing arm. Other than that, he missed seven games due to a strained ankle in 2009, and eight games in 2012 for general medical reasons. 
So, in a vacuum, it would be great to have Cole Hamels in the Yankees' rotation. But here are four reasons why I don't believe the Yankees should trade for him...
  1. Hamels is overpaid. He will make $22.5 million each season over the next four years (club/vesting option for $20 million in 2019). According to Fangraphs, last season was his highest value dollar wise, and that was $21 million. For comparison, Max Scherzer (who the Yankees could have signed for money only) was worth $32 and $30.7 million in the last two years.
  2. He's 31 years old, which means his best days are likely behind him. He's not getting better... he's getting worse. I don't mean to say he'll be the team's next Sidney Ponson, but it's more likely that he's the #3 starter on the team in the near future, rather than the team's ace.
  3. Cole's thrown 200+ innings in six out of his last seven seasons. That season he didn't throw 200 was in 2009, when he tossed 193.2. I mentioned he's been healthy throughout his career, but that high a workload is bound to catch up to him. And who wants a guy making over $20 million a year on the sidelines (*cough*Sabathia*cough*).
  4. Aaron Judge could be the anchor of the lineup for years to come, Luis Severino could be a top pitcher for years, and... especially being a second baseman... Rob Refsnyder could be very valuable to the team for a long time. And those three names were just the beginning of what Philadelphia apparently wanted in return.
The only way I could even fathom such a trade would be if Hamels was the final piece to a strong World Series contender. As the team stands, even with him, their best bet for the postseason may be one of the two Wild Card berths. And there's no way I would damage the future for the flippin' Wild Card.

Yankees Tried to Acquire Jayson Heyward/Andrelton Simmons

The New York Yankees attempted to trade for two Atlanta Braves this offseason in outfielder Jason Heyward and shortstop Andrelton Simmons. That's according to a report from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News anyway. It was not mentioned what was offered from the Yankees side, how close the two teams got or how interested the Yankees really were but it's still interesting to hear about the near deals and missed deals that GM's know about but the fans never hear about every July and every winter. It also gives everyone a look at the Yankees new way of doing business as the team went after a pair of defense first 25 year old established players rather than acquiring aging talent that is well past their prime.

It made me scratch my head a little when I heard that Heyward was being targeted by New York. The article stated that New York would have shifted Carlos Beltran to the DH position and allowed Heyward to take over right field. That makes sense on Playstation but what do you do with Alex Rodriguez? I'd be all for it personally, I'm greedy, but I don't find it realistic to bench Alex and not even let him take his turn at DH as he's making $61 million for the next three seasons.

The Cardinals gave up Shelby Miller and a former Top 100 prospect for Heyward so I couldn't imagine what the team would have given up for both Heyward and Simmons but New York would still have Shane Greene to offer up (since Didi Gregorius would have never been acquired) and a ton of prospects so you never know.

Yankees Give Hideki Matsui a Job

Hideki Matsui is back in Major League Baseball and he is back with the New York Yankees but he's not coming back as a player. Matsui has been assigned to the Yankees as a special adviser to General Manager Brian Cashman after spending seven seasons in New York and winning World Series MVP in 2009.

Here is the press release from the team:

In his first full-time role in the New York Yankees front office, Matsui will work closely with General Manager Brian Cashman and Player Development Vice President Gary Denbo. Matsui will spend the majority of the 2015 season traveling throughout the Yankees’ minor league system and focusing on aspects of hitting with managers, batting coaches and players.

Recap: Orioles 3, Yankees 1

Manny Machado went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Wei-Yin Chen threw three scoreless innings Tuesday as the Orioles worked around a nice start from Chase Whitley to beat the Yankees, 3-1, in a weekday matinee in Sarasota. 

Whitley Gets Out of Trouble: Whitley quickly found himself in a first-and-third, one-out jam in the bottom of the first, but got out of it without any damage after inducing an Adam Jones pop-up and a Matt Wieters ground ball. He then went on to put up zeros for two more frames, ultimately surrendering just two hits and three walks while striking out one. 

Rogers Impresses Again: Yankees right-hander Esmil Rogers didn't end up pitching for as long as many assumed he would, but continued to perform well nonetheless. He retired each of the three hitters he faced in the Orioles' half of the fourth, fanning two to keep his preseason ERA perfect.

Headley's Big Day: It's been a relatively-slow March so far for Chase Headley, so it was certainly a good sign to see him locked in against an AL East opponent. Indeed, Headley impressively went 3-for-3 with two singles and a double in six innings of play, recording the Yankees' only knock off Chen in the top of the first.

Pinder's Struggles Give Orioles the Lead: The Yankees and Orioles were still tied at nothing when the bottom of the fifth came around, an at-bat in which Baltimore finally plated the game's first runs. Facing Yankees youngster Branden Pinder, the Orioles crossed home twice thanks to a pair of run-scoring hits from Machado and Jonathan Schoop -- eventually causing Pinder to take the loss.

Sanchez Goes Deep: The Yankees were on the verge of being shutout when catching prospect Gary Sanchez homered to lead off the ninth -- his first four-bagger of the spring. The solo shot came off the Orioles' Logan Verrett, and cleared the left field wall easily to bring New York to within two. 

Next Up: Chris Capuano will try to rebound from a rough first outing when the Yankees welcome the Red Sox to Steinbrenner Field Wednesday -- a matchup likely to feature most of the Yankees' starting lineup. Joe Kelly is expected to get the nod for Boston when the two clubs meet for the first time this year -- beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Examining the Possible Opening Day Lineup

Yesterday afternoon the New York Yankees played host to the Tampa Bay Rays at home inside George M. Steinbrenner Field with a pretty interesting spring lineup. Joe Girardi posted what could be his Opening Day lineup yesterday against the Rays although he wouldn't confirm that. Let's assume this is the Opening Day lineup, how would this lineup stack up?

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

I thoroughly enjoy seeing Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the order. Ellsbury steals more bases and has better instincts as a leadoff hitter. Without having Martin Prado or Derek Jeter in the lineup Gardner makes a ton of sense in the second hole followed by Beltran, Teixeira and McCann. Me personally I am putting McCann in the four slot and Teixeira in the fifth slot but I'm not willing to really put up much of a fight on that one.

Having Rodriguez hitting seventh could be amazing if he can still turn on the fastball and hit 15 or so home runs. Stephen Drew could hit another 15-20 home runs out of the #8 spot and Didi Gregorius could be the best #9 hitter in the league if he hits like he did at the end of 2014.

The lineup all depends on health and production but this could be a playoff starting lineup. We're not the 2000's Yankees and we're especially not the 2009 Yankees but the second Wild Card could easily be within reach if who needs to bounce back bounces back.

Spring Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles 3/10

The New York Yankees will face off with another one of their American League East rivals this afternoon as a part of the Grapefruit League when the team travels to face off with the Baltimore Orioles. On the mound for the New York Yankees is Chase Whitley who will be facing off with the Oriole Wei-Yin Chen.

The game will be played at 1:05 pm ET and can be seen on television with MASN and MLB Network. Unfortunately I have to go to work to be able to afford to purchase MLB Network and Yankees tickets so I will once again miss the game but if you get to see it, enjoy it. 

Baseball is Back! Get Your RiverDogs Tickets March 15

Tickets start at just $6 for those who purchase in advance online, by phone or in person

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Get excited RiverDogs fans – Opening Day is right around the corner! Don’t miss the opportunity to secure your seats to the Opening Night festivities on April 9, the July 4 Independence Day Celebration or any one of the 70 RiverDogs’ home games at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park this season.

At 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, individual game tickets for the 2015 Charleston RiverDogs regular season will go on sale to the public with the convenience of purchasing print-at-home tickets online at www.riverdogs.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For those fans that prefer the old-fashioned way of buying tickets, The Joe’s box office will open for phone and in-person orders beginning 9 a.m. Monday, March 16. Open daily, the box office hours are Monday through Friday
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and on Sundays from 12 noon-4 p.m.

Early-bird fans who purchase their tickets over the phone or in person, will receive one FREE ticket to the Saturday, April 11 game against the Lexington Legends AND a one-game parking pass, courtesy of the RiverDogs. Tickets must be purchased between Monday, March 16 and Wednesday, April 8 to receive these special gifts.

“We are excited to have our single-game tickets go on sale,” explained RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols. “There’s just something special about Opening Day in baseball, and we are getting closer and closer by the day.”

Along the banks of the scenic Ashley River, the excitement at The Joe kicks off with an Opening Week (April 9-15; vs. Lexington Legends and Augusta GreenJackets) that features the season’s first Budweiser Thirsty Thursday presented by 95SX, ISHPI Red Shirt Friday and FridayNight Fireworks presented by Home Telecom, the first Saturday home game, in addition to Kids Opening Day on Sunday presented by Charleston County Parks and Y102.5 where kids eat free courtesy of Pepsi. Then, there’s the red-hot July 4th Independence Day Celebration against the Rome braves that features a massive post-game fireworks extravaganza. Those are among the 70 home dates that are always packed and often sold out.  

Once again, the RiverDogs have worked vigorously to keep the entertainment value of all tickets at a premium. A multitude of ticket opportunities are available, with pricing starting at just $6 for those that purchase their tickets in advance.  

For additional information and to secure your tickets, please head to www.riverdogs.com or contact the The Joe’s box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647). If you can't make the games, remember that RiverDogs baseball can be heard throughout the season on the flagship radio home, WTMA 1250AM.

Twitter: Should the Yankees Trade for Cole Hamels?

Yesterday afternoon “news” broke that the New York Yankees have been the closest team to acquiring the Philadelphia Phillies left hander Cole Hamels in a trade. Originally no names were released but the package for Hamels was said to be a prospects package and later we found out that Philadelphia at least wanted Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and Robert Refsnyder in the trade. You guys know me by now I am a huge advocate for the SOCIAL part of social media. I respond to your tweets, I don’t ignore your DM’s and I encourage everyone to get involved. Yesterday I asked our followers if they thought the team should acquire Hamels and honestly the results surprised me. I thought we would have a mixed bag of results but the vast majority of the people who responded were all in agreement with a big and resounding NO!

See below:

TGP Daily Poll: Yankees Fall to the Power of the Buck

The New York Yankees have played well this Spring Training thus far but I think that momentum and streak ends this afternoon when they face off against Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles.

Vote in our predictions poll on knoda.com

Reggie Jackson Selling Big Letters from Yankees Stadium

I know plenty of people that love to collect sports memorabilia, specifically Yankees memorabilia, and if you are one of those people then this post is for you. Reggie Jackson, the man who got his number retired from the Yankees after basically three at bats in a World Series, is selling off the big letters that he owns from the old Yankee Stadium.

The letters are 10 foot high and spell out “Yankee Stadium” and used to sit atop the original Bronx Ballpark. The estimated sale price for these is $300,000 to $600,000 according to Sotheby’s where they are being auctioned off at on April 1, 2015.

Jackson purchased the letters from the Yankees after the last game at the old Yankee Stadium in 2008 and now wants “a new generation to own and enjoy this icon of the Yankees and of New York City.” Or he just wants money if we’re all being honest here. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 3/10: David Wells is Fined

On this day in 2003 the Yankees fined David Wells $100,000 for his comments in his autobiography that the club felt were detrimental to their image. But pitching a perfect game while still legally drunk is okay.

Also on this day in 1999 Yankees manager Joe Torre was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While undergoing treatment Don Zimmer will manage the team temporarily.

Finally on this day in 1958 Steve Howe was born. Howe was a lefty relief pitcher for the Yankees from 1991 to 1996 but is probably more well known for his record seven drug related suspensions. How signed three free agent contracts with New York and saved 31 games during his Yankees career. How was killed in a car accident during the 2006 season.