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.