Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Boring Winter Ahead: Watch the 2001 World Series Game Four HERE

Game 4 of the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The "Andrew Bailey" MiLB Deal for Greg Holland

The New York Yankees have never been afraid to take a chance on an injured or aging veteran pitcher in hopes of getting a little lightning in a bottle out of them. We've seen it many times and a few examples of this are the Aaron Small signing, the Bartolo Colon signing, the Freddy Garcia signing and others and New York most recently did it with former Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics closer Andrew Bailey. Bailey was signed with the thought that he would not pitch in the first season of his deal but would presumably be ready for the second year, why wouldn't that work with former Royals closer Greg Holland?

Holland will miss the entire 2016 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and will attempt his comeback during the 2017 season. Holland is a free agent currently and may be looking for one of those two year minor league deals we have been seeing over the years. Why can't the team that gives Holland that deal be the Yankees?

The Yankees love having a super bullpen and they had one in 2015 with Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller and look to have one in 2016 as well with the trade of Wilson and the acquisition of Aroldis Chapman. What about the 2017 season after Chapman presumably leaves via free agency? Holland could step into the 7th or 8th inning, eventually, for the Yankees while Miller slides back into the 9th inning role for New York.

Even with a growing tear in his right throwing elbow Holland had 32 saves as we entered September of 2015 after refusing to get an MRI or sit down during the season. Holland is a gamer and a champion and wanted to be a part of the first World Series championship team in Kansas City in 30 years. Would he be worth the wait? Absolutely, especially if he comes back from the Tommy John surgery throwing darts the way he did in 2015 and 2014.  Will the Yankees do it? Who knows, but if Holland is willing then they should.

Many Yankees Training in Dominican Republic

picture credit Bronx Pinstripes

One thing that I heard many times throughout the 2015 season was that the team seemed to have an absolute ton of chemistry. The players seemed to enjoy each other's company and they seemed to have fun, even when they were losing. This team is going to have quite a few new faces, Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro for example, so you have to wonder if the chemistry will be there again in 2016. Well Dellin Betances and a few key Yankees are working on team chemistry already while getting their early work in.

According to reports Betances is down in the Dominican Republic with a few Yankees prospects and players already preparing for the 2016 season. Joining Betances is Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Domingo Acevedo and Jorge Mateo and they are all at the team's baseball academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.

Truth be told this is not the biggest news nugget but it's still interesting to see that three or four major players on the team next season are already working towards next season and more importantly working together. Here we go boys, spring training is right around the corner.

Six Possible Destinations for Yoenis Cespedes

Just as I was about to head off to bed on Monday night my phone rang with news of the Justin Upton signing. Upton signed a huge six-year deal with the Detroit Tigers to add another potent bat to an already potent lineup leaving one main cog standing alone at the top of the free agent heap, Yoenis Cespedes. I predicted that once Chris Davis signed the outfield market would get moving and it was just days after the DH re-signed with the orioles that the Tigers came calling after Upton. I also predicted that not long after Upton signed that Cespedes would find himself a new home as well so here are six possible destinations for Cespedes in my eyes right now.

The Chicago White Sox are the team I always come to first when thinking of possible destinations for Cespedes. They have a strong Cuban presence already on the team and a strong history of signing Cuban-born players and they have a need for another power bat in the middle of their lineup. Chicago was last in the AL in runs scored in 2015 but I bet they wouldn’t be in 2016 if they had Cespedes protecting first baseman Jose Abreu.

The Houston Astros are a team that is mainly homegrown and one that could benefit from a big draw as far as ticket holders go. Cespedes could be that big guy and would be especially interesting to the Astros since he is not tied to any draft pick compensation.

The St. Louis Cardinals have tried to spend big this winter and they specifically tried to spend big on outfielders, namely Jason Heyward, with no success. The Cardinals could use a replacement bat and a right fielder, both of which Cespedes could be.

The Atlanta Braves have become one of the most backwards organizations that I have seen since the 1997-1998 Florida Marlins. It would be right up their alley to sell off any and every major piece they had not named Freddie Freeman (he was smart enough to tie himself down beforehand) and then go out and sign a guy like Cespedes and push him as a “new stadium draw” to the fans.

The New York Mets would love to have Cespedes back, he did his best work as a Major Leaguer in Queens in my opinion. The problem here is the Mets don’t want to go beyond say a three-year deal and Cespedes will likely want more than that. If every team is only offering a three-year deal though, which is extremely unlikely, then Cespedes would likely return to the Big Apple.

The Miami Marlins are already pushing Marcell Ozuna in trades and the team has not been afraid of the major signing, they recently just signed Wei-Yin Chen and Dee Gordon to fat contracts, but most importantly the team is as unpredictable as they come. You never know what they are going to do. One thing is for certain though the Marlins are going to have to have support from the community and the fans to justify not trading away these high-priced players or before signing any more after posting the 28th best attendance record in Major League Baseball in 2015 out of the 30 teams.

The final team is the Toronto Blue Jays. How stupid, stupid meant in a good way, would the Toronto Blue Jays offense be if they added Cespedes over Michael Saunders in left field? I don’t even want to think about it. Jose Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki, Edwin Encarnacion and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in some combination 2-5 in the batting order is disgusting, in a good way for Jays fans.

There you have it. The way things are going for me lately Cespedes will likely sign before this post even goes live, but that’s okay. As long as he signs with one of the teams I predicted above I will still take solace in being right, not first…. The key to journalism. 

Chris Davis & Fantasy Baseball

The last time a member of the Baltimore Orioles did not lead Major League Baseball in home runs was the 2012 season. In 2012 Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers hit 44 home runs while Chris Davis led the league with 53 home runs in 2013. In 2014 it was Nelson Cruz who led the league in home runs for the Orioles with 40 dingers while Davis led the league in home runs once again in 2015 when he finished the season killing the New York Yankees hitting his 45th, 46th and 47th home runs of the season. Davis hit free agency following the 2015 campaign and ultimately returned to Baltimore on a huge seven year deal giving the Orioles a legit home run threat in their lineup but what will it do for your fantasy team?

Davis is a legit first round pick in my opinion. He has 50 home run power and especially has 50 home run power inside of Oriole Park in Camden Yards. At Camden Yards Davis is a career .270/.352/.575 hitter with 159 home runs in four seasons in Baltimore and is now entering the peak of his prime at 30-years old. Could these numbers conceivably get better in 2016?

Davis should have plenty of protection in this year's Orioles lineup as Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado and Matt Wieters and Davis adds versatility to your fantasy team as he is eligible at first base and the outfield. Davis is still going to hit around .250 and he's still going to strike out 200+ times a season but the 40-50 home runs are damn near impossible to find right now. For that alone I would take Davis early if you can, you can get your batting average elsewhere. You can't get home runs elsewhere. Get Davis if you can.

Reminder: Prospects Month 2016 is Coming

Just a reminder ladies and gentleman, brace yourselves, Prospects Month 2016 is coming. Ever since the inception of the blog way back four years ago we have done Prospects Month during the month of February and 2016 and Leap Year will be no different. In year's past we have gone hard getting you guys an interview for every single day of the month, we've done scouting reports, we've done draft preparations and we've brought you our top 28 Prospects list. In year's past we have worked on this month from December through the month of February but this time around I want this to be more spontaneous.

I have no script done for this month and I have no posts written up in advance. I don't even have my Top 29 (29 days this February ladies and gents) Prospects list done yet. I'm YOLO'ing it. Have no fear though it will be awesome, I wouldn't put my name on it if it wasn't.

Prospects Month is coming... Brace yourselves.

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/20: Joe Sewell

On this day in 1931 33 year old Joe Sewell signs with the New York Yankees after being released by the Indians. Sewell will hit .282 during his three seasons in New York before heading to the Hall of Fame after his 1934 retirement.