Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Obligatory “What About Chris Carter” Post

The New York Yankees have a long offseason ahead of them and the team is surrounded by more questions than answers unfortunately so when a player the caliber of Chris Carter becomes available you know we all have to ask the obligatory question, “Would Chris Carter fit in with the Yankees in 2017?” That is what we will look to explore in this blog post today, keep reading.

The New York Yankees need a DH type player and a player that can also play first base just in case would likely be near the top of Brian Cashman’s priority list coming into this offseason. Greg Bird is still a huge question mark, Dustin Ackley and Brian McCann are gone and the Yankees need depth now more so than ever. Another thing the Yankees need is power and Chris Carter checks every one of those boxes for a team.

Carter led the National League in home runs in 2016 with 41 but he didn’t do much else with the Milwaukee Brewers. His average will never be high but you’re not buying him for that, you’re buying Carter for his home runs and RBI totals in the middle of that Yankees lineup.

Carter is arbitration eligible this season and would likely come on a one-year deal. Should the Yankees get him in the fold? I’m leaning towards yes but I am honestly undecided. I like the 41 home runs and 94 RBI totals from 2016 but I am not entirely in love with the .222 batting average nor the 206 strikeouts last season. What say you?

Is Jorge Posada a Hall of Famer?

All this Hall of Fame debate and discussion that has been going on and not one time have we mentioned one of the pillars of the Yankees dynasty in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Jorge Posada. Posada was a switch-hitting second baseman turned catcher for the New York Yankees that spent 17 seasons with the organization. Did he do enough in those 17 seasons to warrant getting into the Hall of Fame eventually? Let’s take a look.

Posada was a five time All-Star during his playing career while also finishing in the Top 10 in the AL MVP vote twice. Posada has a Silver Slugger Award sitting on his mantle while hitting over 20 home runs in seven separate seasons which is pretty impressive when you consider he was doing this as a catcher, a position not well known for their offensive prowess throughout the years.

When discussing Posada and his candidacy for the Hall it’s easy to simply look at his home run numbers or sabermetric stats like WAR across the board but I find that to be a bit unfair. I would prefer to compare him to players at his position with those stats instead as I make the case for or against him so using WAR I see that Posada had a higher WAR than Hall of Fame players Roy Campanella, Roger Breshnahan and Rick Ferrell. Posada is also 8th all-time in home runs for catchers with five of the seven players in front of him in that department already in the hall. Only Lance Parrish and Pudge Rodriguez, who enters the ballot for the first time this year, have more home runs than Jorge and are not currently in the Hall of Fame. 

Posada was a four-time World Series champion in six attempts in the Fall Classic not counting the 1996 season when he was just a September call up and had himself a second career while in the postseason as a whole. Posada has played in the second most games in the postseason and ranks fourth in hits and ninth in RBI all-time in the postseason.

Will Posada make the Hall? Eventually, I think so. Yes. Especially in a “dirty” era. Will it be in 2017 though? No, probably not. Unfortunately.

Expect to See Eovaldi & Rumbelow Back in Pinstripes

The New York Yankees did a bit of roster cleanup this week when the team decided to designate Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Rumbelow and Joe Mantiply for assignment. These three have cleared waivers and all were released on Monday. This should come as no surprise as both Eovaldi and Rumbelow will miss parts or all of the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery at some point in 2016 but the Mantiply decision did catch me off guard a bit if I’m being honest. Don’t fret though Yankees fans as I fully expect to see both Eovaldi and Rumbelow back in pinstripes in no time.

The Yankees have made this a habit lately of releasing minor league free agents or players only to sign them to new deals later which basically circumvents the collective bargaining agreement in a way. We’ve seen it with Slade Heathcott, we’ve seen it with Mason Williams and others in recent years and I believe we’ll see it again this year with Eovaldi and Rumbelow. All this does is buy the Yankees some time with Eovaldi while the team could easily hand Rumbelow a minor league deal without a 40 man roster spot attached to it in order to get him back into the organization. It’s actually probably already done truth be told and we just haven’t heard about it yet.

Expect these two back Yankees fans and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the team at least make an effort to bring Mantiply back as well. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a long offseason.

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/30: Jeter Wins Another Award

On this day in 2009 the Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. The Yankees captain would be the first Yankee to ever be named the winner of the award since SI started giving out the award in 1954.

Also on this day in 2000 the New York Yankees signed Mike Mussina to a six year deal worth $88.5 million stealing him from the rival Baltimore Orioles. Mussina would stay with the Yankees through the 2008 season and finally get his 20 win season in pinstripes before riding off into the sunset.
Finally on this day in 1952 Jackie Robinson went on a New York television show accusing the Yankees of being racist for not having a black player on their team. The Yankees would not sign a black baseball player until three years later when they signed Elston Howard, nine years after Jackie broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Plan for the DH Position & The Youth Movement

You guys know me by now, I don’t go into anything without a plan. Now whether my plans are good plans are not is another discussion for another day but rest assured, I have a plan. My plan for the DH position is simple, cost effective and it fits in with the current Yankees youth movement as it involves relying once again on the Yankees farm system. In a rotation the Yankees young hitters should go in and out of the DH position but one man should be listed as the “every day DH” and that man is Aaron Judge. So who plays right field you ask? Well between Tyler Austin, Aaron Hicks and/or Mason Williams the Yankees should have that covered but just in case it may be a good idea to call up the Yankees top prospect Clint Frazier as well.

I know what you’re thinking, I’m nut. Well, I am but that isn’t the point. I know Frazier is young and has less than a full season at the Triple-A level and believe me that I am well aware that he struggled some in his limited time there. I get it. I also get that Judge has struggled with MLB pitching, again in a small sample size, but Judge focusing on hitting only can only help him in my eyes. Frazier on the other hand is talented and would step into a right field that doesn’t come attached to a “World Series or bust” type expectation level. The Yankees aren’t planning on competing in 2017 so why not let Frazier get his feet wet?

Frazier is the Yankees top prospect and the 15th best prospect in all of baseball according to and he comes with raw power and the ability to play any of the three outfield positions and do it well. That’s the kind of versatility and talent the Yankees need at the MLB level. Frazier could slowly get his feet wet and get acclimated to the Major Leagues by the team having that outfield rotation we discussed earlier while gaining invaluable experience and knowledge at the MLB level. Plus I think Judge would be helped as well as he can work with Marcus Thames, one of the Yankees hitting coaches, more one-on-one this winter.

It likely won’t happen because the Yankees are seemingly against rushing their prospects but it makes a bit of sense in my eyes so I presented it. What say you? Leave it below, thanks. 

What About Steve Pearce?

So the New York Yankees just acquired Zack Greinke, I’m calling it so go ahead and just play along with me, so now the team is going to have to get creative and get a bit frugal to fill out the roster. The team needs versatility, and they need it cheap which brings me to the idea of adding Steve Pearce to the fold for the 2017 season.

Steve Pearce knows the American League East and knows the pitching after spending time with the Baltimore Orioles and he knows how to simply mash the baseball. Pearce would add some right-handed pop to the middle of the Yankees lineup while also adding a ton of versatility in the field. Pearce can handle third base, hello Chase Headley backup and potential replacement if he were traded this offseason, first base, hello Greg Bird insurance card, second base, because every offseason Starlin Castro’s name will come up in trade rumors, and has even dabbled in some outfield from time to time throughout his career. Aaron Judge, I’m looking at you here bud.

The Yankees have already made it clear that Chase Headley and/or Brett Gardner could be traded this winter and if the Yankees need a talented infielder to replace the former then Pearce may be their man. Headley is solid defensively but he adds very little unfortunately in the offensive categories, especially in the power department, and could be easily upgraded on with Pearce in my opinion. Would Pearce be the number one choice if I were the Yankees GM? No, surely not. Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox would be or even Ian Kinsler would fit the mold but those players are going to cost more than I am probably comfortable giving up if I’m being honest while Pearce could be had for relatively cheap in terms of years and dollars.

One must remember that throwing money at the problem just doesn’t work anymore in this day and age. You have to plan for not only one injury but a slew of injuries and you have to do it all six months in advanced. It’s hard, maybe one of the hardest jobs in the game, but having players like Pearce who are cheap and versatile surely makes that job a whole lot easier. Pearce may even open up the potential for a Robert Refsnyder or Ronald Torreyes trade. Hey, you never know. Stay tuned.

The Yankees Should Not Trade For Trout

Although no deal is imminent, and few even think a deal as possible, there has still be a lot of talk about the Yankees trading for American League Most Valuable Player, Mike Trout.

I like to think he's smiling about the idea of being a Yankee.

Many Yankees fans are drooling over the idea of Trout wearing Yankee pinstripes, and for good reason. Mike is only 25 years old, just won his second MVP award, and was the runner-up for the award in his other three years in MLB. Mike Trout may be the best baseball player any of us will ever see in our lifetimes.

So it's quite easy to see why anybody would want him on their team. Whenever he comes to bat people stand, not expecting good things to happen, but knowing good things will happen. But do me a favor and answer me this...

Where did the Angels finish in the standings last season, and in 2014 (the other season Trout won MVP)?

In case you don't know, or didn't go check, I'll fill you in...

Last season the Angels finished in 4th place in the American League West, and in 2014... while they won the most games in the AL during the regular season... got swept by the Royals in the AL Divisional Series.

Want more proof that one guy does not make a winner? In 2015 Josh Donaldson won the AL MVP, and his team the Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Royals in the AL Championship Series. The 2013 Detroit Tigers, with AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, lost in the ALCS. And the 2012 Detroit Tigers, again with AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, got swept in the World Series.

Those aren't bad finishes, but just making the postseason is not the goal. The goal should always be to...

"Win the whole @#$%ing thing."

So I don't care about whether or not Mike Trout plays for the Yankees. What I care about is the Yankees winning the World Series. And while having an MVP caliber player like Trout certainly helps, it doesn't guarantee anything. Especially in a game like baseball, where the Most Valuable Player in the game gets the same number of at bats as the majority of all batters in the game.

To further drive home my opinion let's look at a recent trade proposal brought forth by Randy Miller of

Randy believes that the Yankees could trade the following six players for Trout...

Didi Gregorius
Luis Severino
Dillon Tate
Jorge Mateo
Dellin Betances
Clint Frazier

I'm not going to get into whether or not either team would accept such a deal, I just want to point out the ramifications of this for the Yankees.

For starters, it would mean banking on Gleyber Torres to develop into a strong MLB player, which is certainly no guarantee. Just ask those that thought the same thing about Brien Taylor, Todd Van Poppel, Ruben Rivera, Greg Miller, Joel Guzman, etc. There's a chance that Torres doesn't make it, and the Yankees end up reaching for somebody like Stephen Drew or Brian Roberts again. And nobody that wants the Yankees to win would wish for that.

Secondly, the Yankees' starting rotation future is very up in the air. While they have a number of prospects that could be strong contributors in the future, is it smart to take any away? Instead of a future rotation that could be filled by Severino, Tate, James Kaprielian, Justus Sheffield, and Domingo Acevedo, the Yankees could find themselves reaching in trades or free agency to fill their rotation even if all three of Kaprielian, Sheffield, and Acevedo work out. Which is not a good bet, as at least one of those three will probably become MLB relievers or fade away completely.

The third reason to be concerned about making such a trade is the bullpen. While it's true that the Yankees have been good at developing relievers, Dellin Betances is not just any reliever. While the Yankees could have Aroldis Chapman, who would they have to pair with him? Adam Warren? Jacob Lindgren? Who? Having a great closer can be big, but if the team struggles to get him the ball with the lead then does Chapman matter? Just ask Orioles fans, who just watched one of the greatest seasons by a closer ever, but still missed the postseason. Or ask Reds fans about when they had Chapman. Or Phillies fans when Ken Giles was wrecking it for them in 2015. Or Braves fans in 2014, when Craig Kimbrel was killing it.

"At least there was no pressure when my team finished 17 games back from first place."

Here's one more final thought... 

While the Yankees have outfield prospects like Aaron Judge and Blake Rutherford, they are not Clint Frazier. Judge had big problems with a large strike zone in MLB last season, and has had trouble keeping his strikeout total down at any level. Blake Rutherford is just 19 years old, and a ways away from MLB. And I can't say it enough... look again at the number of former top prospects that went nowhere. The Yankees outfield could very well be left with Jacoby Ellsbury, a right fielder that strikes out a ton while running into the occasional home run, and a third outfielder that is no better than replacement level.

While I would love to see Mike Trout wear a Yankees' uniform, I do not want them to pay the price to acquire him. I think many fans would agree that the Yankees will have plenty of chances to win in the near future without him. 

Shock the World & Make THIS Trade

Hello again Yankees family. This morning we are coming to you live from the land of the crazies again as I bring you another trade that the Yankees could and possibly SHOULD make this offseason. Now remember when reading this that I was also “crazy” when I discussed the possibility of the Yankees making a huge splash this winter acquiring Mike Trout, well until Sweeny Murti “had the idea” and it was all of a sudden a great idea, and I’m back at it again with another off-the-wall trade proposal that would not only shock Major League Baseball and turn the game upside down but it also might just work for the New York Yankees.  

Brian Cashman, pick up the phone and ask the Arizona Diamondbacks what they want for Zack Greinke. The Arizona Diamondbacks almost need to trade Greinke this offseason in order to push the franchise forward and do really anything this winter. His contract is an organization buckling type deal for a team like the Diamondbacks and the team in the desert is already talking about trading him. Who could blame them, Zack Greinke is in no way, shape or form a $34 million pitcher in my opinion, especially through the 2021 season, but because of that not many teams besides the Yankees can and will take on a contract of that magnitude. For that reason the Yankees have their bargaining chip.

The Yankees have a ton of money coming off the books this season and next and while this could also hamper the Yankees for quite some time, especially if Masahiro Tanaka does not opt-out after this season, with the influx of youth the team could remain competitive while still getting under the luxury tax threshold. Remember, the team only has to get under the cap for one reason to reset all penalties which is something that can easily be done with the Gary Sanchez’s, Aaron Judge’s and Tyler Austin’s of the world on the roster. The Yankees have over $50 million coming off the books this season alone so $34 million for Greinke plus $16 million for Aroldis Chapman, for example, and the team adds minimal salary through arbitration while being better than their 2016 version tenfold. 

If the Yankees take on the entire contract the prospect demand would be minimal, extremely minimal. Greinke had a down season in 2016, and truth be told most free agents do after signing contracts like he did before last season, and should bounce back in 2017. He didn’t lose velocity on his fastball and he was relatively healthy last season, he just didn’t have the defense, the run support or whatever else he was missing from the Dodgers on the Diamondbacks last season. Simple as that, it happens. If the Yankees can get Arizona to pay down some of that deal and send a pitcher like Brady Lail, who was not protected from the Rule 5 Draft, Chad Green or Luis Cessa and a smaller prospect package I think the deal could ultimately get done. Quite easily actually. -

Oh and before anyone brings up his anxiety and inability to pitch in the big markets like New York let’s remember how long ago Greinke actually fought anxiety and depression and let’s remember how he has pitched on the biggest of stages, i.e. the playoffs, the All-Star Game etc. He’ll do fine. Trust me. Famous last words I know but do it anyway, Greinke will be fine in New York or wherever he goes. Let’s just hope Brian Cashman has the balls to make sure where he goes in 2017 is New York. 

Will MLB Really Lock Out?

I was eight years old, soon to be nine. The Montreal Expos were the best team in Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees were well on their way to snapping a long postseason drought in the American League. It was the first year I watched a MLB season from start to finish and it’s when my true MLB fandom began. The year was 1994 and it was also the last time there was a work stoppage in MLB and the last time the World Series was cancelled due to the collective bargaining agreement not being agreed upon forcing the players to lock out. Could we really be gearing up for another lockout just a couple days before the current CBA expires? I sure hope not, let’s explore.

The major hang up reportedly is the inclusion of the International Draft in the new CBA. Some like the current system where players can ultimately choose where they want to go from the international market while others want a standardized and formalized draft much like the June Draft every season giving the power and control more so to the teams and organizations. This is actually a major hang up for some teams, especially those big market teams who are willing to blow past the spending restrictions every chance they get in order to rake in a haul of young talent every three or four seasons, and may actually cause a lock out in my opinion.

This would come down to pure greed if a lockout was to actually happen. There is so much money in the game right now with new television deals, merchandising and attendance that this would be about three steps back to lock out. Even if the MLB Players Union and the league worked out the new CBA before the beginning of the season and it was business as usual by spring training this will leave a bad taste in many people’s mouths if a lock out occurs and that’s scary because the International Draft is definitely something to lock out over, don’t be fooled. It’s the future.

1994 was the first season I ever watched Major League Baseball religiously and I got a bad taste in my mouth when the season and World Series was cancelled. Do not leave another bad taste in my mouth before the 2017 season or the 2016 season may ultimately be my last. I know this is irony at its best when the guy who owns the Greedy Pinstripes starts harping on the MLB owners and/or players about greed but enough is enough. There’s plenty of money to go around and there’s plenty of players to go around. If you lock out because of it there will be one less fan to go around though and I’m sure I probably won’t be alone.

You can bet on that. Bet. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/29: Drinks, Prepared to be Stirred

On this day in 1976 the Yankees got their drink stirred when they signed Reggie Jackson to a free agent contract worth five years and $3.5 million. Reggie would help the Yankees win four division titles, three American League pennants, and two World Series championships in his tenure thus becoming Mr. October.

Also on this day in 1966 the Yankees traded third basemen Clete Boyer to the Braves for outfielder Bill Robinson and a player to be named later.

Finally on this day in 1965 the New York Yankees traded Phil Linz to the Phillies for infielder Ruben Amaro. Over the next three seasons Amaro got famous for playing the harmonica on the team bus and playing in only 165 games before retiring after seven major league seasons.

Monday, November 28, 2016

ICYMI: "It's Not What You Want" Episode 5 featuring Jacob Westendorf, Matt Bove & Special Guest Alec Dopp

It's Not What You Want, the podcast from Jacob Westendorf and Matt Bove, is proudly brought to you by The Greedy Pinstripes and here we are already at episode five. During this podcast Jacob and Matt talk to Alec Dopp of the Arizona Fall League. There should be plenty of Gleyber Torres, James Kaprielian and Greg Bird discussions to be had so give it a listen, and enjoy.

Most Popular Article of the Week: Yankees Leave Several Good Prospects Available for Rule 5 Draft

The New York Yankees finalized their 40 man roster last week by adding six prospects to the 40 man roster and shuffling around a slew of others. Jorge Mateo, Miguel Andujar, Dietrich Enns, Ronald Herrera, Yefrey Ramirez and Giovanny Gallegos were added to the 40 man roster but there are a ton of talented players who were left unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft.

Jake Cave has been left unprotected once again after being taken with the second selection overall in the Rule 5 Draft last season by the Cincinnati Reds. Cave had another good season in Triple-A in 2016 and can play all three outfield positions so expect another team to take a waiver on him as their 4th or 5th outfielder this Rule 5 Draft as well.

Tyler Webb, I thought anyway, would be one of the reasons that James Pazos was traded this offseason but for whatever reason the Yankees have left Webb, another left-handed reliever, available to lose in the draft as well. Webb is 26-years old and has all but mastered Triple-A hitters pitching to a 3.59 ERA in 2016 so expect him to be in someone else’s bullpen in 2017.

The decision to leave Brady Lail out there also surprised me a little since Lail is one of the closest and better Yankees pitching prospects in the system. Lail is just 23-years old but he did struggle in Triple-A a bit this season so he is on the line of whether he will be chosen or not in my opinion.

Cale Coshow is one of the many Yankees pitchers that are drafted as relief pitchers only to be converted into a starting pitcher once in the Yankees system. For that reason Coshow is a bit behind on the curve reaching just Double-A this season. Coshow struggled some with the Trenton Thunder leading me to believe he will be with the Yankees in 2017 as well.

There are others but none of them, again in my opinion, has a shot at being taken and sticking on other roster. This is the list of potential Yankees prospects that could be taken this winter in the draft. Who do you see being taken? Leave it down below in the comments section. Thanks!

The Yankees and the 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot

The 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot has been released and the 2017 IBWAA ballot is now in my mailbox, it's that time of the year ladies and gentleman. Already once we've discussed here on the blog the possibility of certain players like Manny Ramirez and Pudge Rodriguez making the final vote and being inducted into Cooperstown but today we will focus on the Yankees connection to the ballot and see if any of our former heroes will be enshrined forever. Let's take a look.

Roger Clemens
Mike Mussina
Pudge Rodriguez
Tim Raines
Gary Sheffield
Fred McGriff
Jorge Posada
Lee Smith

Yes, Lee Smith spent exactly eight appearances with the Yankees if you didn't know that. It seems unlikely he, Posada, or McGriff (never played for the Yankees officially but was drafted by the team in 1981 and traded in 1982) really have a shot at making the ballot whatsoever in 2017.

Clemens and Pudge likely won't make it due to steroid concerns and questions and the same can likely be said for Gary Sheffield despite an impressive stat line for his career leaving Raines and the Moose.

Raines had 69% of the 75% necessary in 2016 and in the final year of his eligibility I think "Rock" finally makes the ballot which should bring up a whole new set of questions. Raines openly and admittedly used cocaine in the dugout and clubhouse during games, if that's not (A) illegal and (B) performance enhancing than I don't know what is.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/28: Steinbrenner Suspended

Just one short tidbit of news on this day in Yankees history as on this day in 1974 George Steinbrenner was suspended from Major League Baseball for two years. Then Commissioner Bowie Kuhn made the controversial decision after Steinbrenner was caught and convicted of making illegal contributions to the re-elect Nixon campaign. Whoops.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/27: Enter Graig Nettles

On this day in 1972 the Indians and the Yankees hooked up for a trade that saw Graig Nettles and catcher Gerry Moses head to New York for John Ellis, Jerry Kenney, Charlie Spikes, and Rusty Torres. Nettles would be a huge part of three American League pennants and two World Series titles in the late 70's, ask any Dodgers fan about him.

Also on this day in 1947 the Yankees Joe DiMaggio edged out Ted Williams to win the American League Most Valuable Player award by one point. Williams won the Triple Crown this year posting a .343 average with 32 home runs and 162 RBI's but DiMaggio's .315 with 20 home runs and 97 RBI's would take the award. This would be the second time in the 40's, the other in 1941, that DiMaggio narrowly won the award over a more deserving Ted Williams.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekly AFL Check In: Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade, the final check in for the day. The shortstop prospect turned center fielder for the Scottsdale Scorpions. That experiment went about as well as can be expected defensively but you still have to wonder if Wade has the bat to carry him in center field. I personally don't think he has it but I admit the Yankees likely know more than I do on the subject.

Stay tuned:

Support The Children's Home Society of New Jersey with Ticket Purchases This Holiday Season


The 12th annual Trenton Thunder Gift of Baseball program begins today, giving fans the chance to share the experience of cheering on the hometown team with underprivileged families in our community. For each Season Ticket, Pic-A-Plan and Mini Plan purchased before January 2, the Thunder will provide tickets for families in the Holiday Gift Outreach program run by the Children's Home Society of New Jersey to attend a 2017 Thunder game.

"Sharing the experience of a baseball game with family and friends is special and we are thrilled to partner with the Children's Home Society of New Jersey to provide that opportunity to deserving families," said Thunder GM/COO Jeff Hurley.

In the first 11 years of the Gift of Baseball program, the Thunder have donated 7,924 tickets to CHSofNJ.

"Trenton Thunder continues to be a strong and caring community partner," praised Donna Pressma, President & CEO of CHSofNJ. "The Children's Home Society of New Jersey is honored to have the opportunity through their generosity to offer the Gift of Baseball to so many of our children and families.

The emphasis on family values that the Thunder and CHSofNJ shares has remained a high priority for both organizations throughout their 11-year partnership.

"Family outings are often too rare for our children," said Pressma. "Spending a day at the ballpark watching our home team play with determination and heart gives hope and makes memories that our children will keep for the rest of their lives. Thank you Trenton Thunder and all of your caring fans who make this possible."

2017 Mini Plans are on sale now. Mini plans include five or six of the most popular games on the schedule, free food at each a game, a free Thunder gift, complimentary tickets to Opening Night and a select night in the picnic area, and start as low as $60. More information about Mini Plans can be found here: MINI PLANS
Pic-A-Plans allow fans to choose any 10 or more games that best fit their schedule. This flexible plan includes, a $1 savings on every ticket, a free food option, free tickets to Opening Night and a complimentary ticket in the Picnic Area as well as a limited edition Thunder gift. More information can be found here: PIC-A-PLANS

Season Tickets are available as either a full (70 games) or half (35 games) and include added value like early entry, a picnic with the players, bus trips and more. More information about Season Tickets can be found here: SEASON TICKETS

The Children's Home Society of New Jersey provides at-risk children and their families with a range of services that empower them to achieve their potential. They are child-oriented, family focused, community based and outcome-oriented.

The 2017 season, the 24th in franchise history, will begin at ARM & HAMMER Park on April 13 when the Thunder host the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox) at 7:00 p.m. Single game tickets will go on sale in March 2017. For more information on the Thunder, visit or call 609-394-3300.

Weekly AFL Check In: Miguel Andujar

As we continue our catch up posts on the finale of the Arizona Fall League we check in this afternoon with a prospect who had a ton to prove entering this year's AFL. See Miguel Andujar was Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter and the New York Yankees sent him down to the Scottsdale Scorpions to get one final look at him, and showcase to be fair, before deciding whether to add him to the 40 man roster.

The Yankees ultimately added him to their 40 man roster protecting him from the draft and that is due in large part to this stat line.

Weekly Arizona Fall League Check In: Dillon Tate

We're back ladies and gentleman. We hope you had a good break and Thanksgiving holiday if you celebrate it, I know I sure did. The belly is full, the fridge is stocked with leftovers and the batteries are recharged a bit. The Arizona Fall League is over so let's see what stat line Dillon Tate, the starting pitching prospect the Yankees got back from the Texas Rangers in the Carlos Beltran trade, finished his first AFL with.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/26: Exit Doug Drabek

On this day in 1986 the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates hooked up in a trade where the Yankees sent prospects Doug Drabek and others for Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante, and Pat Clements. I haven't heard much out of the three we got in return but I do remember Drabek winning the Cy Young Award for the National League in 1990 after posting a 22-6 record.

Also on this day in 1962 the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers hooked up for a trade when the Yankees sent first basemen Bill Skowron to Los Angeles for pitcher Stan Williams. Williams was coming off of a 14-12 season with a 4.46 ERA and Skowron was coming off of a season in which he hit .270 and slugged 23 home runs while knocking in 80 RBI's. In Game 2 of the World Series "Moose" Skowron will hit a home run against his former team as revenge.

Friday, November 25, 2016

"It's Not What You Want" Episode 5 featuring Jacob Westendorf, Matt Bove & Special Guest Alec Dopp

It's Not What You Want, the podcast from Jacob Westendorf and Matt Bove, is proudly brought to you by The Greedy Pinstripes and here we are already at episode five. During this podcast Jacob and Matt talk to Alec Dopp of the Arizona Fall League. There should be plenty of Gleyber Torres, James Kaprielian and Greg Bird discussions to be had so give it a listen, and enjoy.

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/25: Exit Bob Sheppard

On this day in 2009 the long time New York Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard announced that he would not be back to do any more games. The 99 year old Sheppard cited age and lack of stamina, imagine that, for the reason for his retirement. Bob was the voice of the Yankees, and the "Voice of God," for over 50 seasons and saw the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Derek Jetah, and Mickey Mantle in his time with the team.

Also on this day in 1980 the Yankees and George Steinbrenner hired Gene Michael to be their manager. Michael would be the 25th manager in Yankees history and would replace Dick Howser after he led the Yankees to a first place finish in the AL East and a 103-59 record. "Stick" did what Howser couldn't though when he won two American League pennants in his first two seasons as the manager.

Finally on this day in 1970 the Yankees catcher Thurman Munson was named the American League Rookie of the Year. Munson received 23 of the 24 first place votes in an absolute landslide over the Indians Roy Foster.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from The Greedy Pinstripes

Good morning everyone and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all. In years past I have loaded down the site with content like I have every other day on holidays such as today but you know what? Today as I sit here watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade with my two boys I simply just don’t feel like it, you know?

So enjoy the day off from listening to me ramble on about this and that and instead enjoy the day of food, family, football and fighting for stuff on sale at your local department stores. I joke about the latter, kind of.

Enjoy the day and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from everyone here at TGP. Much love.

Daniel Burch

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/24: Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving today because that's the only set of news I can report to you on this day. No MVP Awards were handed out, no big trades were made and no free agents were signed.

Carry on and everyone have a great day!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Let’s Discuss the 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot

Every winter when the hot stove begins to sizzle the Hall of Fame debate and vote heads to the center stage which always makes for a good discussion. This year will be no different with first-timers and former All-Stars Manny Ramirez and Pudge Rodriguez along with Vladimir Guerrero.

Let’s start with the new guys first. Manny Ramirez failed a steroid test in 2009 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and served a 50 game suspension for it only to fail another test in 2011 with the Dodgers as well. Rather than face his 100-game suspension Ramirez decided to ultimately retire to avoid the suspension. The next winter he applied for reinstatement and served another 50 game suspension for the failed test before riding off into the sunset for good after spending the 2012-2014 seasons in the minor leagues. Ramirez won’t make the ballot and he shouldn’t make the ballot. Period.

Pudge Rodriguez never officially failed a steroid test but he was named in Jose Canseco’s tell all book on steroids that was released in 2005. That shadow of a doubt alone will likely keep Pudge off the ballot in 2017 whether he really injected Canseco with steroids or not while a member of the Texas Rangers.

Vlad Guerrero was a nine-time All-Star in Major League Baseball and a 2004 AL MVP Award winner with the Anaheim Angels. Vlad finished his career with a .318 batting average, 449 home runs and 1,496 RBI in 16 seasons. If Vlad had reached that magical milestone of 500 home runs I don’t think this would be a discussion but at this point this looks more like a very solid career and less of a Hall of Fame career in my eyes. With the whole steroid era thing and Vlad being presumably clean though those 449 home runs as a clean player in a dirty era may look like 549 home runs to some of the voters.

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds also have steroid allegations surrounding them and will likely miss the Hall of Fame for the fifth time. Jorge Posada also joins the ballot along with Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Edgar Renteria and others but none of them seem likely to make the hall unfortunately. Most will likely not even be on the ballot this time next year. Someone else who won’t be on the ballot next year, either way, is Tim Raines but you know what? I think, and especially after getting 69.8% of the vote last year, Raines will finally get in on his final shot.

What say you?

Yankees Release 10 Minor Leaguers

According to Robert Pimpsner and Pinstriped Prospects the New York Yankees have released 10 minor league players from their contracts already this offseason. The Yankees have released now 11 minor league players according to Pimpsner including the release of RHP Jeris Casanova earlier in the month. All but two of these players played in the Dominican Summer League while two were from the GCL Yankees.

The list includes RHP Luis Rosario and  RHP Juan Escorcia, both from the GCL Yankees, and RHP Juan Rodriguez, RHP Arcadio Campusano, LHP Orby Tavares, LHP Eduardo Peluso, LHP Carlos Diaz, LHP Edintson Naranjo, 3B Kleiber Maneiro and SS Holman Miranda.

Check out THIS link from Pinstriped Prospects as Mr. Pimpsner has some information and write ups regarding the prospects that were released. Enjoy.

What About Mark Trumbo?

The New York Yankees want some pop added to the lineup while remaining youthful and versatile so why not add Mark Trumbo to the fold for 2017? Well like any other free agent there are some positives to adding him to the team while there are also some negatives so let’s explore both and you can decide whether the Yankees should make a run at the home run king from 2017.

The pros of signing Trumbo are obvious. The 2016 home run king is just 30-years old and coming off a season where he hit 47 home runs in a hitter friendly ballpark in Baltimore. Trumbo drove in over 100 RBI as he played 95 games in right field while the rest of his at bats came via the DH position, a positon that was recently vacated by the Brian McCann trade to the Houston Astros. Trumbo could slide in and out of right field if Aaron Judge were to struggle and he could also mentor the Yankees slugging prospect as Trumbo knows all about making adjustments and finding a way to win, see his years with the Arizona Diamondbacks as an indicator of this.

For every pro there is a con though and the biggest con is the fact that the Baltimore Orioles attached a qualifying offer and a draft pick compensation to any team outside the top 10 that signs him, including the New York Yankees. Trumbo’s home run numbers from 2016 are also inflated from hitting in Oriole Park and Camden Yards but he won’t be mentioning that when he goes to the negotiating table for his big money multi-year contract that the Yankees may or may not be comfortable handing out. Trumbo’s batting average (.256 in 2016) and defense in the field leave much to be desired as well but 40 home run power is almost non-existent at this point in the game.

So you have the pros and you have the cons. Do you sign Trumbo if you’re Brian Cashman? Leave your thoughts below in the comments section.

Yankees Leave Several Good Prospects Available for Rule 5 Draft

The New York Yankees finalized their 40 man roster last week by adding six prospects to the 40 man roster and shuffling around a slew of others. Jorge Mateo, Miguel Andujar, Dietrich Enns, Ronald Herrera, Yefrey Ramirez and Giovanny Gallegos were added to the 40 man roster but there are a ton of talented players who were left unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft.

Jake Cave has been left unprotected once again after being taken with the second selection overall in the Rule 5 Draft last season by the Cincinnati Reds. Cave had another good season in Triple-A in 2016 and can play all three outfield positions so expect another team to take a waiver on him as their 4th or 5th outfielder this Rule 5 Draft as well.

Tyler Webb, I thought anyway, would be one of the reasons that James Pazos was traded this offseason but for whatever reason the Yankees have left Webb, another left-handed reliever, available to lose in the draft as well. Webb is 26-years old and has all but mastered Triple-A hitters pitching to a 3.59 ERA in 2016 so expect him to be in someone else’s bullpen in 2017.

The decision to leave Brady Lail out there also surprised me a little since Lail is one of the closest and better Yankees pitching prospects in the system. Lail is just 23-years old but he did struggle in Triple-A a bit this season so he is on the line of whether he will be chosen or not in my opinion.

Cale Coshow is one of the many Yankees pitchers that are drafted as relief pitchers only to be converted into a starting pitcher once in the Yankees system. For that reason Coshow is a bit behind on the curve reaching just Double-A this season. Coshow struggled some with the Trenton Thunder leading me to believe he will be with the Yankees in 2017 as well.

There are others but none of them, again in my opinion, has a shot at being taken and sticking on other roster. This is the list of potential Yankees prospects that could be taken this winter in the draft. Who do you see being taken? Leave it down below in the comments section. Thanks!

Weekly AFL Check In: James Kaprielian

James Kaprielian finished the Arizona Fall League without a hiccup, success for the New York Yankees. The Yankees top pitching prospect and right-hander got his innings in, worked on a few things, tested out the elbow and made it out alive. Again, success.

Here is the final stat line for Mr. Kaprielian as he continues his path towards the Major Leagues in 2017: 

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/23: Enter Steve Sax

On this day in 1988 the New York Yankees signed free agent Steve Sax to a three year deal worth $3.75 million. The fan favorite Willie Randolph was the player that the former NL Rookie of the Year Sax would be replacing which came with a whole new set of responsibilities. The Yankees signed Sax to replace Randolph and the Dodgers countered by signing Randolph to replace Sax.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Zack Littell

The New York Yankees finalized their 40 man roster over the weekend designating players like Nick Rumbelow and Nathan Eovaldi for assignment, releasing players like Dustin Ackley and trading players like James Pazos to the Seattle Mariners for new prospects for us to meet like right-handed starter Zack Littell. Let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect: The Zack Littell Edition.

Littell is a 21-year old right-handed starting pitcher the Seattle Mariners drafted in the 11th round back in the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft. Littell was drafted out of High School back in 2013 and has progressed to A-Ball as recently as the 2016 season.

Baseball America listed Littell as the owner of the best curveball in the Mariners system at the time of the trade while MLB Pipeline had him ranked as the 14th best prospect in the Seattle farm system. had Littell as the Mariners Prospect of the Year after taking a big step in two Class-A Ball affiliates this season.

Littell owns a low-90’s MPH fastball and as previously stated he has a great curveball to go with it. Littell is also developing a changeup that he hopes to keep batters off-balance with. Not a bad pickup at all for a left-handed reliever with little MLB experience and a marginal stat line in a small sample size, huh?

Littell posted a combined 13-6 record with a 2.66 ERA in 28 games, 27 of them starts, in two stops in Class-A Ball in 2016 striking out 156 batters in 165.2 innings. Just another arm that could potentially reach the Major Leagues in a season or three for New York. These are never bad to have, especially for a pitcher like James Pazos who posted pitched well in stretches in 2015 and 2016 but could easily be replaced in the “Circle of Trust.”

Littell will begin his Yankees career down in Low-A Ball with the Tampa Yankees. Welcome to the family.

I Want To See Your Sources Jim Bowden

The Yankees didn't sign a free agent to a Major League contract last offseason, they have cut bait with overpriced veterans and are giving promising rookies a chance to play. They have a bevy of tantalizing prospects knocking on the door and are focusing on getting below the luxury tax (likely for the star-studded 2018 class.)

All this information seems lost on Jim Bowden who recently stated he expects the Yankees to land at least one of Edwin Encarnacion and Yoenis Cespedes if not both. You can check out the exact quote here. The Yankees have supposedly checked in on each of those players, as they should have. The Yankees have money and as long as they do they should check in on top free agents. Checking in on a player does not equate legitimate interest, however. In 2011 when Carl Crawford was a free agent the Yankees had not intentions of signing him but met to psyche Boston into increasing their bid.

The Yankees and Encarnacion connection seems at least somewhat plausible, they have a hole at DH and could use a complement to Greg Bird and Tyler Austin at first base. With Encarnacion being 33 he'd also be looking for a shorter contract than Cespedes so he wouldn't necessarily block younger players. Cespedes, on the other hand, seems like an odd fit. The Yankees have no hole in the outfield at the moment. They are rumored to be interested in dealing Brett Gardner possibly for starting pitching, but the Yankees would be swapping Gardner's two years left on his deal with Cespedes having 5+ years on his new deal. That would be an odd fit considering Ellsbury is going to have to move to left field to make way for Clint Fraizer as soon as the 2017 season. The Yankees could also look to make a bad contract swap and move Ellsbury, but that is a lot of moving pieces.

The free-spending days of the Yankees are in the past and despite what analysts think. I think a reunion with Aroldis Chapman is likely but I don't envision the Yankees investing a large amount of money and years into a hitter. The Yankees prospects are too close and the 2018-2019 free agent class is too tantalizing to throw that away.

Happy 3rd Birthday to My Boy, Hayden

What else can I say that I don’t already say every single day about this kid? This kid is my heart and my pride and joy along with my other son, Evan, and while he wasn’t exactly part of the plan he was the best decision I never made. So today is your day little guy, Happy 3rd birthday from Dad and everyone here at The Greedy Pinstripes. Enjoy your day J

Weekly AFL Check In: Gleyber “MVP” Torres

The Arizona Fall League is over for the prospects of the New York Yankees and the team has their third MVP in the history of the league, Gleyber Torres. Torres becomes the youngest player to ever win the Arizona Fall League MVP Award and joins Greg Bird and Eric Duncan as the other two Yankees prospects to win the award. Congratulations to him and the Yankees family.

Here is what an MVP stat line looks like: 

This Day in New York Yankees History 11/22: Enter Goose Gossage

On this day in 1977 the Yankees signed Rich "Goose" Gossage to a six year deal worth $2.75 million as a free agent. Gossage was coming off of a 26 save and 1.26 ERA season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Also on this day in 1957 Mickey Mantle edges out Red Sox superstar Ted Williams for the Most Valuable Player award for the American League. Two Chicago writers had Williams ninth and tenth on their respected ballots which slipped Ted to second place even though he had a .388 average with 38 home runs and a .731 slugging percentage.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Most Popular Article of the Week: Yankees Open to Dealing Gardner, Headley

Here’s a quick hit to end your day and a bit of a hot stove rumor that could be percolating. The New York Yankees are reportedly open to trade either one or both of outfielder Brett Gardner and third baseman Chase Headley. It seems as though the Yankees are at least comfortable with the idea of continuing their youth movement and cost cutting measures, at least temporarily, into this winter while continuing to build a strong farm system.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report that the Yankees would be willing to trade these two veteran players over at Both players are over that 30-year old plateau and both have two years remaining on their current deals which may motivate the Yankees to move them now rather than later. New York has been open about their plans to try and get under the luxury tax threshold after the 2017 season and moving the contracts of Headley and Gardner can only accelerate that plan.

Neither deal has a no-trade clause written into it so moving them will not be the issue, finding a taker who is willing to pay Brian Cashman’s kinds ransom will be though in my opinion. Stay tuned ladies and gents. Stay tuned.

ICYMI: I Have A Plan, A Better Plan, A Yuge Plan

From Bryan Van Dusen... Seen HERE

Only I'm not just going to say I have a plan, I actually have one and will share it with you.

Did any of you seriously think the Yankees were a World Series contender last season?

What about the season before?

Or the season before that?

Before that?

The truth is the Yankees haven't been serious contenders since 2012. Do you realize that CC Sabathia was the only regular that was on that team and is still here, albeit in his final season? The only others that even wore Yankee pinstripes that season were Brett Gardner (was injured for majority of season) and Adam Warren (threw just 2.1 innings).

I know, there are millions of fans out there that have never experienced their team winning the World Series, and I sit here having lived through six of them. But I'm not trying to get you or anybody to say "poor Bryan". What I'm trying to point out is that this is a totally different team, and it's time for us all to accept that and move on.

And it's not just fans that need to move on, Yankee management has to move on too. Stop trying to hold onto past glory and start planning for a future. And none of this half-assed "rebuild on the fly" stuff, either.

It's time to let go of the past and go all-in on the future. That doesn't mean cutting everybody that we don't see as part of the future, as it would be nice to win a few games next season. It just means that the Yankees have to make developing their prospects the #1 priority. Not "1a" or "1b"... just "1".

It's not like the Yankees don't have a good core of players for the future, either. Gary Sanchez looks like a rising star. Aaron Judge, while he had some big-time strikeout issues last season, could very well be the next great power hitter for the Bombers. And then there's Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo, James Kaprielian, Blake Rutherford... I could go on.

"No, please, keeping going."

Therefore, I wanted to look through the roster and make some decisions on players. First up let's talk about Brian McCann.

I had originally thought the Yankees should hold onto Brian. I believe catchers are, in general, the smartest players on the diamond. They not only call pitches, they have to know their team's pitching staff, and they have to know opposing hitters. They don't just sit in the dugout and think about their next at bat, instead they are oftentimes seen talking with coaches to figure out strategy for the next inning.

Not to mention that McCann just finished his 12th season in Major League Baseball, while having spent a solid chunk of time in both the American and National Leagues.

So who better to help Gary Sanchez, and other young players, learn to play in the Majors? Who would be better to help develop young pitchers like Justus Sheffield?

The one problem I saw in keeping Brian McCann would be his bat. While he was among the better hitting catchers in the league (which isn't saying much), that would mean little next season when he was set to be the primary designated hitter. And the fact is McCann's bat would not play well at DH.

But, like I've said, 2017 should not be about winning as much as it's about building the future.

But my thoughts on McCann are moot now, anyway. Hopefully Austin Romine, who first appeared in MLB in 2012, can help Gary keep working to be better behind the plate. While veterans like Jacoby Ellsbury and CC Sabathia can take it from there (foreshadowing?).

But what about others, who are still part of the New York Yankees? Let's see...

Nathan Eovaldi - Cut

Nathan's not going to be available to pitch next year, due to having his second Tommy John surgery in August of last year. So when it comes to the "Water Pistol", it's about whether or not we believe he can help the team in 2018 and beyond.

I'm not betting on it.

While he was able to lower his hit rate from 9.7 hits per nine innings pitched to 8.9, it wasn't enough for me to breath easier. And it wasn't nice seeing him give up home runs at a higher clip than he ever has (0.6 to 1.7 HR/9IP), although that may be an anomaly.

He simply has not improved like we hoped he would, and looks to be a career bottom of the rotation starter. Which is something the Yankees do not need more of.

Michael Pineda-Keep

Perhaps this is a case of me being masochistic... I'm not sure. But seeing that he was able to make 32 starts last year, he can miss bats (career-best 10.6 K/9 in 2016), he'll only be 28 in January, and he'll only make around $8 million in 2017 (MLB Trade Rumors projects $7.8 million in arbitration), I suppose it's a case of "why not?". 

While I don't see the Yankees having interest in CC Sabathia as a free agent (I'm going to get to him, hold on), I think there's an outside chance that Pineda has a solid season. And by keeping him around, hopefully he'd be willing to return on a more team-friendly contract than most starters are getting these days.

There's a part of me that thought maybe the Yankees should cut Michael, seeing as how they wouldn't be out much money. However, since there's a slim chance of him being a part of the team's future, unlike others, let's just keep him around. Besides, if he's a decent starter, there's a chance the Yankees could trade him to a contender at the deadline this season.

CC Sabathia - Wait & See

This one has been very difficult. On the one hand, I believe the Yankees should cut the guy and move on. Just give his rotation spot to somebody like Luis Cessa or Chad Green, and see what they can do with regular work. See, I do not believe CC is going to finish 2017 with another sub-4.00 ERA. And I'm not sure he'll start more than 25 games, let alone 30 like he did last season.

But on the other hand, the Yankees don't have a ton of depth at starting pitcher. Even if Brian Cashman is able to acquire Rich Hill, or some other starter, losing CC would leave seven guys. Seeing as how nine pitchers made at least five starts last year, that's simply not enough.

And what about what I said earlier in regards to Sabathia helping the development of young starters like Severino and Kaprielian? There is some value there, no?

The decision on CC comes down to options. If the Yankees are able to acquire a couple of starters, then let Sabathia go. But if their options are limited, along with having to fill in some bullpen spots, then keep CC around.

"Very good, CC, that is a baseball."

So what about the offense?

Chase Headley - Keep

I am not a Headley fan. Not that I despise the guy, but in his first two years under contract he's hit just .255/.326/.375. Out of 17 third baseman with at least 1,000 plate appearances over the past two years, Chase ranks dead last in both wOBA and wRC+.

So why in the World would I want to hold onto him? Well, like when it comes to deciding what to do with Sabathia, it comes down to options.

Who else do the Yankees have to play third base in 2017? Ronald Torreyes, he who hit .258/.305/.374? I don't think so. I like Torreyes, but the guy hasn't looked like anything special since 2011 when he played Class A ball for the Dayton Dragons. Miguel Andujar looks like he could be the team's future third baseman, but he's not only a couple years away from MLB, his name has come up in trade talks this offseason.

So it looks like we'll have to deal with Chase Headley for at least one more season. I don't necessarily like it, but I can live with it.

Brett Gardner - Trade

Unlike with Headley, I am a Brett Gardner fan. I've enjoyed watching him play ever since he first broke into the league about six years ago. So saying I'd trade Brett does not mean I don't like him. The thing is I'm a bigger Yankees fan than I am a Brett Gardner fan (that's true of any player, by the way).

But you can't deny that he's not the same player he was as a rookie in 2008. He doesn't steal bases like he used to, his batting average has dipped a bit, his power was nice in 2014 and 2015 but slipped last season, and his defense has gone from extraordinary to merely "good" (don't let Gold Glove awards fool you).

However, he still has value. He can likely still handle any outfield position. And although his bat isn't what it once was, he's certainly above "replacement level". So while he wouldn't fetch a "Clint Frazier" in a trade, we're not looking at receiving a "Dustin Ackley" either.

I guess the biggest issue with Brett Gardner is that he's a bit redundant. And that leads us to this guy...

Jacoby Ellsbury - Keep

Perhaps you've heard of this guy...

Bats around .260, will hit around 10 home runs, can steal around 20 bases a year, plays good but not great defense, and is 33 years old.

No, I'm not talking about Brett Gardner again. I'm talking about Jacoby Ellsbury.

In a vacuum it's a toss-up between keeping Brett Gardner or Ellsbury, but unfortunately MLB isn't played in a vacuum. It's played in an environment where some idiot decided to give Jacoby a seven-year contract worth $153 million. A contract that's all but immovable without basically giving the guy away.

That's why I'm about keeping Ellsbury and trading Gardner. We don't need both of these guys, and since the Yankees can get something out of Gardner, they might as well do it.

Within the next couple years I may be screaming for the Yankees to cut Ellsbury, but for right now I believe they should hold onto him.

That's the grin of a man that knows he's way overpaid.

I'm not going to do a full write-up on anybody else, but I thought I'd give you a few notes on them.

Tyler Austin - I like Tyler, and I can see him being a part of the future Yankees. Unfortunately, I don't see a spot for him on the 25-man roster on Opening Day. He's already spent a couple years in AAA, and I hope another year won't hurt him. However, I could easily see him getting the call back to New York due to the inevitable injury or two.

Bryan Mitchell - I could have very well put Luis Cessa or Chad Green into the starting rotation, but I'd really like to see Mitchell get a real chance there. Out of 123 game appearances in the minors, only five of them came out of the bullpen. And he looked nice in four of his five starts last season, particularly on September 28th against Boston, when he gave up just two hits and zero runs in seven innings of work.

Aroldis Chapman - I'm not sure if I'd rather the Yankees sign him or Kenley Jansen, but at this point it looks like it'll be Chapman. And I think that's the right decision, as we know what he can do in New York/American League, while Jansen has spent all of his 6+ years in the National League. Although Kenley has pitched just as well in interleague play. Oh well. Whatever. Just get one of them.

Mason Williams - Although he may not be long for New York due to Clint Frazier not being far away, and Jorge Mateo possibly getting moved to centerfield, Mason looks like the outfielder most ready to step into a regular role for the Yankees in 2017. I'm not his biggest fan, but I'd like to see what he could do with regular playing time. Will he hit .300 like he has in AAA? Probably not. But if there's a time to see what a guy can do, and not worry too much about the results, 2017 is the time to do it.

The Designated Hitter - I'm not sure what the Yankees will do, but I will tell you that I don't want them to commit a large contract here. For example, Edwin Encarnacion is a heck of a hitter, but he's in line to get a contract of 4-5 years. That's too much in my opinion. At least for the Yankees. Whereas Carlos Beltran could sign for one year, seeing as how he's about to turn 40 years-old.

The Bench - I not only looked at how good or bad a player was, but also at their versatility. For example, I went with Aaron Hicks because he can not only play everywhere in the outfield, but he's a switch-hitter as well. That versatility is one reason why Tyler Austin is not there, while Ronald Torreyes is.

Those decisions would leave the Yankees with the following Active Roster...

Starting Pitchers
Masahiro Tanaka
Michael Pineda
Luis Severino
CC Sabathia
Bryan Mitchell

Relief Pitchers
Aroldis Chapman
Dellin Betances
Adam Warren
Chad Green
Luis Cessa
Jacob Lindren
Chasen Shreve

Starting Batters
C - Gary Sanchez
1B - Greg Bird
2B - Starlin Castro
3B - Chase Headley
SS - Didi Gregorius
LF - Mason Williams
CF - Jacoby Ellsbury
RF - Aaron Judge
DH - ???

Bench Hitters
C - Austin Romine
1B, 2B, RF - Rob Refsnyder
3B, 2B, SS - Ronald Torreyes
RF, CF, LF - Aaron Hicks

So what do you think? Am I a genius? Am I an idiot? Should I go back into hiding, or perhaps stop writing entirely?  Although it's nice to feel inspired to write again, so I'd rather not give it up.

Either way, thanks for reading.