Friday, July 27, 2018

Game Thread: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals 7/27

And just like that it is game time here in the Bronx between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. In the second of this four-game weekend set between the two clubs the Yankees will send out CC Sabathia to the mound looking for his first victory of the second half while the Royals will counter with rookie starter Brad Keller. The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX channel 11. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app, and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with the legendary duo of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter, @GreedyStripes, and “Like” us on Facebook, The Greedy Pinstripes, to keep up with us and the team all season long. Enjoy the game, let’s give a warm welcome to the Bronx for Mr. Keller, and go Yankees!!

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: National League West

The July 31st trading deadline is fast approaching here for the 2018 MLB season, so let’s take the chance to post a few bold predictions for every team in the National League West before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.

The Arizona Diamondbacks need a shortstop and a catcher, but their biggest issue will be the lack of prospects that their farm system has available in order to acquire either one of these positions of need. Another area of concern for Arizona this summer will be money, especially with the bulk of their allotted salaries going to RHP Zack Greinke. The window to win in Arizona is quickly closing as Patrick Corbin will hit the free agent market after the season leaving Arizona with no choice but to take advantage of the slow start by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018. The team will need to go all-in, but unfortunately the market for both shortstops and catchers is dry and barren. The team needs to make some additional moves in my opinion to hold off the rest of the National League West, but I just can’t see them having the pieces and the dollars to make any substantial moves.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already made the biggest splash to date in the July 31st trading deadline season and you would be a fool if you thought that they were done. The Dodgers stumbled coming out of the gates here in 2018 and have a lot of ground to make up, but the good news for Los Angeles is that now they are back within striking distance of not only the playoffs, but the division as well. The team needs second base help and could look at a veteran rental like Brian Dozier to team with Chase Utley and others as well as a relief pitcher or two to help get the ball to Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers are not done though, not by a long shot, so stay tuned.

The Colorado Rockies need a first baseman or an outfielder as well as more pitching, much like every single contender and potential playoff team here in 2018, so why wouldn’t the team get all that done in one major deal with the Cincinnati Reds. I truly think these two teams can matchup for a blockbuster trade that could bring in outfielder and first baseman Adam Duvall along with reliever Raisel Iglesias. If the Rockies truly want to get greedy they could also try and pry away Matt Harvey in the deal as well to plug in a hole at the back end of their rotation. The Rockies window for winning is closing as Nolan Arenado, their third baseman, inches closer towards free agency so the time to strike for this club may be now. They have already solidified the bullpen some this trade season, but this move may finally push the Rockies to the “All in” category. The team is close not only to clinching a postseason berth, but also close enough to potentially snipe the National League West away from the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks.

The San Diego Padres will trade Kirby Yates, Tyson Ross and Craig Stammen. The Padres are not going anywhere this season and will likely trade away all their valuable arms before the deadline much like the team did with Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. Kirby Yates is a true rental and is having a career-year, which to be honest was likely aided by pitching in baseball’s equivalent of Yellowstone Park, while Ross came back to San Diego this season on a Minor League deal. I could see a team like the New York Yankees taking a waiver on Ross just because of how cheap he is in terms of dollars and cents, or any other team for that matter who needs a starter including the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals or the Milwaukee Brewers.

The San Francisco Giants will trade Jeff Samardzija. Yes, I said it. The team went out and aggressively acquired Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen before the season, but to date their efforts have been for nothing as the team is once again on the outside looking in at the postseason as we stand here today. I don’t think the Giants are out of it enough to completely tear everything down, and I don’t think they are at the point yet where they will or where they need to trade Madison Bumgarner, so a simple trade that could net them a prospect or two in a weak pitcher’s market while also clearing some money off the luxury tax cap could be in order in San Francisco. Sorry, Giants fans… I know you expected more.

Disclaimer: BOLD predictions are meant to be BOLD for a reason. Keep that in mind before directing hate mail towards me or any of my writers on the blog or on Twitter. Thanks in advance.

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: National League Central

The July 31st trading deadline is fast approaching here for the 2018 MLB season, so let’s take the chance to post a few bold predictions for every team in the National League Central before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.

The Chicago Cubs will acquire JA Happ (went to the New York Yankees after this was written) or Steven Matz, whichever comes off the board last. The Yu Darvish experiment has failed, and Theo Epstein and company are in the market for a starting pitcher, specifically a starting pitcher that could potentially start a playoff game for the team behind Jon Lester and company. I would trust either Matz or Happ (Yankees) in a Game 3 or Game 4 situation if I were the Cubs, and I’d trust him a whole lot more than I would trust Darvish right now specifically. Chicago may also be in the market for lesser upgrades like a left-handed specialist in the bullpen or a bench piece, but a starting pitcher is likely the main target for the Cubbies as we speak.

EDIT: The team acquired Cole Hamels, does "close but no cigar" count?

The Cincinnati Reds will trade Matt Harvey, Scooter Gennett, Raisel Iglesias, David Hernandez, Jared Hughes, and Adam Duvall. While this sounds like a lot of movement for the Reds to accomplish in just five days I could totally see multiple players moved in a single deal. For instance, if the Boston Red Sox were to acquire Scooter Gennett, which I boldly predicted, then they might want to package a deal with Jared Hughes or David Hernandez as well. There will be many teams interested in Raisel Iglesias and he could fetch a premium in the trade market, but no team probably needs him more than the Colorado Rockies. After the money the team spent on their bullpen in the offseason this may come as a surprise, but if you check the stat lines for those highly paid relievers and if you then check how close Colorado is to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division the deal begins to make a little more sense. I can see a blockbuster deal going down between the Reds and the Rockies that also includes Adam Duvall along with Iglesias as both are needs for Colorado while the Rockies have the prospects to get such a deal done.

Milwaukee Brewers need a shortstop and a starting pitcher, everyone else around the league is telling Milwaukee to “join the club.” Obviously, that is my speculation, but it seems like every team that is contending or close to contending needs a starting pitcher and a shortstop. The Brewers revamped their outfield this winter and have a young and exciting team with plenty of prospects that could be moved in any number of deals, but I can’t see Milwaukee making those deals just for the sake of making them. That doesn’t seem like their style given their history over the past 10-or-so years. If the right deal comes along, for example a potential deal for James Shields to help with the rotation or a deal for Asdrubal Cabrera with hopes that he can handle the shortstop position again, then I could see the team making it. I just can’t see a substantial deal being made by Milwaukee, although watch out as they could look to acquire Yangervis Solarte from the Toronto Blue Jays with the hopes that possibly he could handle the shortstop position for the remainder of the season. 

EDIT: I mean, or they could acquire a closer or reliever like Joakim Soria and throw a monkey wrench into my whole post. Or that. 

The Pittsburgh Pirates will not make another move. The Pirates could win 12 games in a row, or they could win 25 games in a row, but I just can’t see the team doing anything substantial. Just a few weeks ago if I had written this post it would have been littered with a laundry list of players that the team was absolutely going to trade but winning a dozen or so games in a row has the tendency to change things. The Pirates management likely knows better that the team will eventually come back down to Earth here in 2018, and with that so will their hopes of a 2018 postseason spot in the National League.

The St. Louis Cardinals will also be quiet at the trading deadline in my opinion as that team is in that scary and uncomfortable position somewhere between obvious contender and should-be seller. The Cardinals have all but said that they would not move Carlos Martinez in any deal this summer and that all but told me that the Cardinals plan is to either go all-in and sell or stand pat with the core that they have now for potentially one last run at the playoffs in the 2019 season. If the team was at least open to discussing a trade for Martinez then I could see them tearing it all down, but since they wont I truly believe they will stand pat more than they will do anything before July 31st, 2018.

Disclaimer: BOLD predictions are meant to be BOLD for a reason. Keep that in mind before directing hate mail towards me or any of my writers on the blog or on Twitter. Thanks in advance.

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: National League East

The July 31st trading deadline is fast approaching here for the 2018 MLB season, so let’s take the chance to post a few bold predictions for every team in the National League East before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.

The Atlanta Braves need relief pitching and will likely be in the market for any rental arm or veteran bullpen piece that could become available. I believe the Braves could also be in the market for a starter with Mike Soroka likely not due back any time soon which could lead them to come knocking on the Kansas City Royals door for Danny Duffy. The Braves and Diamondbacks (who I predicted would acquire Duffy earlier) could get into a bit of a bidding war for the veteran lefty as both team’s sprint towards a potential playoff spot. Names like Fernando Rodney could also be an option for the Atlanta bullpen as the team tries to piece together a team that can make the postseason a year or two before even they thought they could. Does this mean next offseason they will acquire their own Giancarlo Stanton (like… say… Bryce Harper just for ironic purposes) like the New York Yankees did after they defied even their own odds making the postseason a year earlier than expected? Now that’s bold, stay tuned.

The Miami Marlins will sell J.T. Realmuto, Starlin Castro, Brad Ziegler, Martin Prado, Kyle Barraclough, Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider before the deadline. The Marlins tried to empty the cupboards before the beginning of the 2018 season but were unable to do so. Derek Jeter and company will finish the job this summer with huge trades for Realmuto, Castro and Ziegler while lesser deals will be struck for Prado, Barraclough, Conley who is emerging as a breakout candidate this season, and Steckenrider. Sell, sell, sell, sell, sell.

The New York Mets will not trade Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but they will deal Asdrubal Cabrera, Devin Mesoraco, Zach Wheeler and Steven Matz. Wheeler will likely command a Top 10 prospect and that prospect could currently be wearing a Cleveland Indians (or one of their affiliates) uniform at the time of this writing. Meanwhile Matz could be calling Chicago and Wrigley Field his new home for the rest of the 2018 season and beyond.  Many teams are looking at starting and backup catchers including the New York Yankees, but the Mets will have to eat much of Mesoraco’s salary in order to move him. The Reds are already paying for some of his salary after the trade for Matt Harvey so potentially Mesoraco could be drawing three different (not literally) paychecks from three different teams here in 2018. Asdrubal Cabrera is a mystery as to where he will land. I wanted to say a team like the Milwaukee Brewers could potentially look at him with the hopes of moving him back to shortstop, but with his recent slide and tempter tantrums thrown on the field your guess is as good as mine as to where the veteran second baseman will land.

The Philadelphia Phillies need bullpen help, shortstop help and third baseman help. Much like the Atlanta Braves I can see the Phillies being interested in any and all of the veteran relievers and the rental relievers that are on the market this summer including Fernando Rodney. The Phillies are sprinting towards the playoffs maybe a season or two earlier than expected and will look to bridge the gap between talented starters like Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, to the back end of their bullpen. The team will also look at acquiring position players on the left side of the infield and could look at renting Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals. The Phillies were said to be aggressive in their attempt to acquire Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles before the deadline so theoretically any shortstop that fits their price range could be of interest to Philadelphia.

The Washington Nationals biggest and most glaring need on the team this season has been at catcher. When the Nationals need an upgrade at a certain position the team and their GM have never shied away from making the big deal or the deal necessary to propel the team into the postseason, and 2018 will be no different. The window to win with Bryce Harper still in town is now, and with that thought process the team will do whatever they can and whatever it takes to acquire J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins. The Nationals may also dip their toes into the starting pitching marker after placing Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck earlier in the week. While I cannot see the team acquiring a big name and potentially an expensive name in terms of prospects like Chris Archer, I could see the team take on a player like Matt Harvey of the Cincinnati Reds. The team will not trade Bryce Harper to the Yankees with the stipulation that Harper will play first base, dreams are just that… dreams.

Disclaimer: BOLD predictions are meant to be BOLD for a reason. Keep that in mind before directing hate mail towards me or any of my writers on the blog or on Twitter. Thanks in advance.

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: American League West

The July 31st trading deadline is fast approaching here for the 2018 MLB season, so let’s take the chance to post a few bold predictions for every team in the American League West before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.

The Houston Astros will acquire a left-handed reliever Adam Conley from the Miami Marlins to solidify their bullpen after losing out on Zach Britton to the New York Yankees. After acquiring backup catcher Martin Maldonado from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim I believe the Astros are set and ready to try to defend their American League pennant, unless of course a deal comes up that they just can’t pass up.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will not make a single move. Again. Well, unless you count moving Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros as a legitimate move. I guess it counts. Let me rephrase then, the Angels won’t make any major or significant moves. Better?

The Oakland Athletics will not make another move. The team is young and exciting, but they are not close enough to being real and legitimate contenders in 2018 in my opinion. The team also doesn’t have many veterans that they can unload for prospects either unless the team decides to move Jed Lowrie or Jonathan LuCroy, but I just can’t see it given how close they are to a potential second Wild Card.

The Seattle Mariners will acquire Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays to help bolster their starting staff and to potentially take some innings off of a taxed, but albeit great, bullpen out inside Safeco Field. Also, I find it interesting what the Mariners will do with their whole Robinson Cano situation. Cano is ineligible for the postseason after failing a test for performance enhancing drugs this season, so will the team merely plug him back in at second base when he returns? Will they let him split time with Nelson Cruz as the primary designated hitter? Will they move him to first base to learn a new position on the fly in the midst of a pennant race? And will this lead the team to enter the outfielder market? So many questions, not enough answers, but one thing is for sure… even if Cano didn’t have a no-trade clause written into his contract you have to think his trade value is as low as it has ever been and will ever be. Comes with the territory I guess.

The Texas Rangers will trade Cole Hamels, Shin-Soo Choo, Keone Kela, Jake Diekman, and Alex Claudio. Cole Hamels is doing the team no favors by struggling at the worst possible time for the team, but thankfully for Texas the starting pitching market is that dire and barren right now that they could still get a decent return for him. Given the state of his hefty contract and the looming option that his contract holds for the 2019 season the Rangers may have to eat some of his salary to move him and depending on how much they eat will determine how good of a prospect or prospects that the team gets back in return. There is zero chance that Hamels is not traded in my opinion, of course barring an injury (Hamels was traded after this was written to the Chicago Cubs). The Rangers will likely look for a suitor for Choo as well, but again they may have to eat some of his remaining salary to make a trade work. Keone Kela is the team’s closer and seemingly has come out of nowhere here in 2018 which could lead to a decent haul in terms of prospects from a team like the Atlanta Braves who are in need of some bullpen help before the deadline. Diekman and Claudio are both left-handed relievers that have not had stellar results this season, but both could benefit from the constant need for left-handed relief pitching from basically every contender not named the New York Yankees.

Disclaimer: BOLD predictions are meant to be BOLD for a reason. Keep that in mind before directing hate mail towards me or any of my writers on the blog or on Twitter. Thanks in advance.

Step Back From The Ledge, Folks!

I'm not the least bit surprised to see so many Yankees fans overreact to the news about Aaron Judge's injury.

Before I get into why there's little to no reason to be worried, I want to say that losing Judge for a month or so stinks. Aaron is one of the best players in baseball. And yes, I said "players", not just "hitters". While I shouldn't have to go into why Judge is one of the best batters in the game, I feel the need to point out that he's also one of the best right fielders too. Among all qualified right fielders in Major League Baseball, Judge is #1 in Defensive Runs Saved. As for UZR/150, Aaron ranks 2nd behind Mookie Betts, and well ahead of the third place Max Kepler.

So don't confuse what I'm about to say, and make it into a "Bryan doesn't think the Yankees need Aaron Judge" type of things.

Aaron clearly makes this team better and is perhaps the biggest reason the Yankees made it to within one game of the World Series last year, and may very well get them all the way this season. But losing him for the next month is not a season killer what-so-ever.

Here are the teams the Yankees will face in the next month...

Kansas City - 3 times
Baltimore - 6 times
Boston - 4 times
Chicago White Sox- 4 times
Texas - 4 times
New York Mets - Once
Tampa - 3 times
Miami - 2 times

Now, let's look at each team individually...

Kansas City
The Yankees have not only outscored the Royals 27-11, Kansas City has the worst offense in the entire league with just 367 runs scored (the Yankees have scored 524)

The Yankees have outscored the Orioles 60-42, and Manny Machado was responsible for 10 of those 42 runs. Baltimore was already the second worst offense in runs scored, and they just traded away their biggest (and arguably only) weapon.

This is the only stretch of games in which I have any level of worry. I don't think losing this series would be the worst thing to happen (as long as they aren't swept), as they could still make up the 4.5 games they are currently behind, but the Red Sox are the only team the Yankees will face over the next month to have outscored them (53-49). But note that Gray has been better as of late, and he gave up a combined 12 runs in just 5.1 innings against them in two starts this season. Gray's not the only starter that's been hit hard, as Tanaka gave up six runs in five innings, and Severino gave up five runs in 5 innings. I don't know about you, but I firmly believe Gray, Tanaka, and Severino can and will do better.

Chicago White Sox
The Yankees have yet to face the southsiders, but I'm hardly concerned about the Yankees' four games against them coming up in the next month. The Bombers have scored 112 more runs than the White Sox this season.

The Rangers are not a bad offensive team, and in their three games against each other, the Yankees have only outscored them 24-23. But when I see poor starts from Sabathia (seven runs in 4.1 innings) and German (six runs in 3.2 innings), along with a couple bad relief performances from Shreve (two runs in .1 innings) and Robertson (a run in .2 innings), I'm actually not worried at all.

New York Mets
When you look at the fact the Yankees have only outscored the Mets 20-19 in their five games, there may be reason for concern. But keep in mind that three of the runs the Mets have scored came in that horrible relief appearance from Chapman. Furthermore, the Mets scored four runs against German in just 3.2 innings.

Tampa Bay
In three games the Yanks have outscored the Rays 51-36. Yeah... I think the Yankees will be okay without Judge's offense.

In three games the Yankees have outscored the Blue Jays 51-36, and there's a good chance the Toronto offense will be worse as the Jays may be selling some of their bats before the trade deadline.

And finally, there's the Marlins, who have actually hit the Yankees fairly well, as you can see by their 10 runs against us in just two games. But when I see that seven of those ten runs came in just five innings against Tanaka, and two more were against Cessa in just one inning, my level of concern drops very low.

So, like I said, there's very little reason to be concerned and absolutely no reason for Brian Cashman to make a knee-jerk reaction and trade prospects of any value for another bat. If the Yankees lose at all, and not just in the next month, the blame is much more likely to fall on the pitching staff. Which makes the acquisitions of Zach Britton and JA Happ that much bigger than what it already was.

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: American League Central

The July 31st trading deadline is fast approaching here for the 2018 MLB season, so let’s take the chance to post a few bold predictions for every team in the American League Central before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.


The Chicago White Sox will trade Jose Abreu, James Shields, Joakim Soria (traded to Milwaukee after this was written), and Avisail Garcia. The day the White Sox move Abreu will be a sad day for all their fans involved as he has become a fan favorite of the fans for his tenure with the team. Chicago is in the midst of a rebuild though and there are plenty of teams looking for first base help making a trade to a contender likely. While there are many teams that are looking for help at first there are even more teams looking for help with their pitching staffs, specifically in the starting pitching variety. James Shields won’t net the White Sox a Top 10 prospect by any means, but he could be a good consolation prize for the team’s that miss out on Chris Archer, Jacob deGrom, JA Happ (Yankees) or any other pitcher that could possibly be moved. Teams are always looking for bullpen help and Soria, a proven veteran closer, will be dealt to a contender either as a closer or as a setup man (ultimately went to the Milwaukee Brewers). The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers could be in on Soria’s services. Avisail Garcia is unlikely to be moved as many teams are set on outfield help, but the White Sox will most certainly be fielding calls and offers for him in the meantime.

The Cleveland Indians need an outfielder and a fifth starter, and it makes you wonder if two names I just mentioned would interest them, Avisail Garcia and James Shields. While both names would make sense on paper I cannot see the Indians settling with James Shields in a potential playoff rotation. Instead I could see Cleveland going after Zach Wheeler of the New York Mets to fill their void. Wheeler will likely cost the Indians a Top 10 prospect or more but would propel the team into the American League pennant conversation along with the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Cleveland could also take a waiver on Garcia of the White Sox, but it seems more likely that the team would go outside the division and acquire someone like Curtis Granderson from the Toronto Blue Jays instead. That seems like a similar deal to the Jay Bruce deal that the Indians pulled off with the New York Mets circa 2017.

The Detroit Tigers could trade Nick Castellanos, Mike Fiers, Shane Greene or Leonys Martin as we inch towards the July 31st trading deadline. Greene, the team’s closer, is fresh off the disabled list and will likely come attached to many doubts as to if he can hold up for the rest of the season, but ultimately a team like the Atlanta Braves or the Philadelphia Phillies will likely take a waiver if the price is right. I am leaning towards Castellanos remaining with the Tigers past the July 31st trading deadline, but I would not put it out of the realm of possibilities to see him traded before the August 31st waiver wire trade deadline. Fiers and Martin will be moved in lesser deals, but Michael Fulmer will remain with the organization at least through the end of the season after landing on the disabled list earlier this month.

The Kansas City Royals will trade Mike Moustakas, Whit Merrifield and Danny Duffy before the trade deadline as the team continues to revamp their farm system and rebuild from within. Moustakas could draw trade interest from any team that needs either third base or first base help and, in my opinion, will ultimately end up with the Colorado Rockies as a first baseman. Meanwhile, any team who needs bench and utility help will likely be in the market to acquire a player like Whit Merrifield. Teams that come to mind include the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies to name a few teams. Duffy has not been stellar, but I truly believe the Royals will benefit from the lack of strong starting pitchers in this year’s market. Duffy will be a team’s second or third option, but a switch to the National League and a switch to a pitcher friendly ballpark like the one out in Arizona could make all the difference for both the Diamondbacks, and for Duffy himself.

The Minnesota Twins will trade Brian Dozier, Kyle Gibson, Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke. I already predicted that the New York Yankees would acquire Gibson, but there would be plenty of teams lining up for his services and his extra year of team control if he were to be made available like we are hearing. Dozier is a true rental and a veteran second baseman that most teams would like on their team for the playoff stretch run, but ultimately, I see the Los Angeles Dodgers winning in a bidding war for his services. Every contender for the most part needs bullpen help, and I can see a veteran like Fernando Rodney helping a young team in the National League, see the Atlanta Braves or the Philadelphia Phillies as good examples of potential landing spots, while Duke, a left-handed reliever, could land with a team like the Chicago Cubs.

Disclaimer: BOLD predictions are meant to be BOLD for a reason. Keep that in mind before directing hate mail towards me or any of my writers on the blog or on Twitter. Thanks in advance. 

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: American League East

The July 31st trading deadline is fast approaching here for the 2018 MLB season, so let’s take the chance to post a few bold predictions for every team in the American League East before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.

The Baltimore Orioles will likely be looking to trade one or all of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop. The Orioles are officially open for business, which became evident with the trades of Manny Machado and Zach Britton to the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees respectively. I know saying that trading all three of these players isn’t exactly bold, but this is the Baltimore Orioles we are talking about. With their lack of presence on the international market and with them being sticklers in the medical department, nothing is a given with this team any longer.

The Boston Red Sox could likely use a second baseman and could be interested in Scooter Gennett. This just sounds like a move that the Boston Red Sox would make, thus sacrificing what little is left in the farm system that has been gutted by GM Dave Dombrowski. Gennett would make less than $3 million (prorated) this season and comes with one final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent before the 2020 season. The Red Sox may also look to bolster their pen a bit, but not with a big name and more likely with a minor trade like a trade for Joakim Soria of the Chicago White Sox than for a Keone Kela of the Texas Rangers, for an example.

The New York Yankees will acquire Kyle Gibson from the Minnesota Twins. We had a source contact us and tell us that the team was linked to him, which does not mean that they will necessarily acquire him despite what many took that to believe when we reported it on Twitter, and this guy has been good to us in the past. We knew about Curtis Granderson signing with the Mets before anyone else because of him, and he told us he was hearing “rumblings” about Giancarlo Stanton before he was traded, but he had already been acquired by the time I checked my direct messages on Twitter. Gibson is not the sexiest name out there, but he comes with team control and an affordable price tag both in terms of prospects and dollars. Plus, he has to be better than Luis Cessa minus his last two starts. He just has to be.

EDIT: Happ is a Yankee

The Tampa Bay Rays will trade Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, and Sergio Romo. The team will not trade Blake Snell, sorry Yankees fans. The Rays have already begun unloading talent with trades for Matt Andriese and Nathan Eovaldi and their GM will not stop there. You have to wonder though if Romo will be traded with the intent of using him in the bullpen or at third base going forward. I kid, but with the Rays you never freaking know for sure what they are going to do anymore. Not that this is a bad thing either, I am just saying in general. Ramos will likely not be dealt until August due to his injury and will have to clear waivers to do so, but ultimately, I can see him being dealt to a contender later this season.

The Toronto Blue Jays will trade Josh Donaldson, JA Happ (written before he was sent to the Yankees), Yangervis Solarte, and Curtis Granderson. Truth be told I had this post typed out previous to its release today as I have been working on it all week and I had Seung-hwan Oh traded as well, but not to the Colorado Rockies. I had him going to the Atlanta Braves so it’s a good thing I could delete that and didn’t have to admit to being wrong again, right? Also, I realize that Donaldson is injured and will likely not be traded until sometime in August, assuming he clears waivers. There are many teams that could be interested in help on the left side of the infield and in the outfield leading to both Solarte and Granderson being dealt, Solarte likely to a National League team and Granderson likely to an American League team that could also play him at designated hitter from time-to-time.

Disclaimer: BOLD predictions are meant to be BOLD for a reason. Keep that in mind before directing hate mail towards me or any of my writers on the blog or on Twitter. Thanks in advance.

Stanton Goes From "Want" to "Need"...

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Elsa)

Yanks lose despite win…

When the Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton last December, everyone talked about how it was filling a “want” and not a “need”. Sadly, he has become the “need” as he is now the team’s regular starting right fielder for the foreseeable future. 

Although I am a little concerned about the defense we give up with Stanton playing right field compared to Aaron Judge, the chip fracture in Judge’s wrist forced the move. I am confident we’re in good hands with Stanton…and August is normally his most torrid month. He’s fully capable of pulling the team on his back and charging toward the finish line.

The loss of Judge hurts, no doubt about it. It will be three weeks before he can pick up a bat again and he’ll need additional time to get back into form so we probably won’t see him again until September. If there is a positive in this, Judge should be rested and ready to go at the season’s most critical point. 

Losing the offense provided by Judge and Gary Sanchez, the other guys have to pick it up. At one time, it seemed like we had a glut of outfielders and now we have Shane Robinson on the roster. If he hadn’t been traded yesterday, I am sure that Billy McKinney would have been in the Bronx today. When you look at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre active roster, there is only one outfielder listed (Mark Payton). 

Who replaces Judge on the roster? The most likely candidate, to me, is Tyler Austin given his ability to play first base and the corner outfield positions. It’s not ideal but it is what it is. 

The big question is whether the Yankees should make another trade to provide an offensive bridge for the eventual return of Sanchez and Judge. I still like the idea of acquiring Mike Moustakas and we have a firsthand view of the player right now given his team is playing in the Bronx. Moose Tacos would allow the Yankees to use the DH rotation for him and Miguel Andujar. I’d prefer to see Moustakas at third over Neil Walker. The prorated portion of his salary would fit despite the acquisitions of Zach Britton and J.A. Happ. The Yankees have the ability to move some salary to make it fit if necessary. When Judge returns, slide Stanton back to left and use Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks in a platoon in center. Moustakas could also replace Walker as the backup support at first base for Greg Bird. There’s no guarantee Judge comes back 100%. Wrists can be very troublesome as we’ve seen with past injuries to other players. Moustakas is an excellent hedge. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Tom Szczerbowski)

I am glad to see that lefty J.A. Happ has joined the Yankees rotation but I thought the cost was excessive. I’ve said all season I like Brandon Drury despite his non-disclosure of health issues earlier this year which caused headaches for all of us. At the time of his acquisition, the Yankees felt there was much more potential in Drury’s bat than he had shown in Arizona and I still believe that to be the case. I would have been okay with the Yankees trading Miguel Andujar for a premium starting pitcher and playing Drury at third even if Andujar has the higher ceiling.  Starting pitching is the greater need. That’s a moot point now.  The Yankees no longer have the luxury of considering a potential trade with the inclusion of Andujar. Billy McKinney was a tough loss. I think he is going to be a very good Major League outfielder. From a trust standpoint, I have far greater faith in McKinney than I do Clint Frazier. Frazier seems too injury prone at the moment. Multiple concussion issues within a single season are a great concern. There’s no doubt the Toronto Blue Jays won the Happ trade. If the Yankees win the World Series, I’ll probably have a different point of view but as it stands right now, I feel that Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins got the better of Brian Cashman. 

It is interesting that our two big mid-season acquisitions are battle-tested AL East veterans. I really enjoyed it when Zach Britton took over for David Robertson in the eighth inning of last night’s game. Britton seemed to be in control from the first pitch and I had an immediate sense of confidence with his presence on the mound. I really like the guy and his stuff. Those deadly sinkers are unlike anything else we have on the pitching staff. It’s been my desire to see the Yankees sign Andrew Miller when the free agency period opens in November, but I have to say that I might prefer Britton. I love Andrew Miller but every time I look up, he’s on the disabled list. Sure, Britton knows the DL about as well as anyone not named Jacoby Ellsbury, but he’s a Yankee and I’d like to see him stay. If the Yanks can’t get Britton to sign, then they should definitely go after Miller. I am not really expecting the Yankees to make a strong effort to re-sign David Robertson, which pains me because he is another guy that I love having on this team. So, in my opinion, Britton should be a top free agent target for the Yankees in a few months.

Photo Credit: NY Post (Paul J Bereswill)

The Yankees did win yesterday despite the loss of Aaron Judge. They beat the Kansas City Royals, 7-2, behind surprisingly good home pitching from Sonny Gray, until he suffered his own hand injury, and a three-run bomb by Didi Gregorius. That throw by Aaron Hicks to nail Alex Gordon at the plate for the final out in the ninth inning was stellar. On paper, it looks like Chasen Shreve did his job.  An inning of scoreless relief after the three up-three down performance by Zach Britton. But those three hits that Shreve gave up could have been very costly if not for A-A-Ron’s heroics. I am really hopeful that Britton’s presence will eventually lead to Shreve’s exit. He continues to be the bullpen’s weakest link and my favorite candidate for DFA. 

While the Yankees (65-36) were winning, the Boston Red Sox were not. They dropped a 2-1 decision to the Minnesota Twins. Kyle Gibson held the Red Sox hitters at bay, a fact that probably did not go unnoticed by Brian Cashman and his staff. I believe it was TGP’s Daniel Burch who recently suggested the Yankees should go after Gibson. Not many guys have been able to shut down the Red Sox offense this year. Not only did Gibson hold the Sox to four hits and an isolated run over eight innings, he struck out seven and did not allow a homer to the dinger-happy Red Sox lineup. I know the Yankees just acquired J.A. Happ, but I’d gladly take Gibson too if we can get him. After all, we are the Greedy Pinstripes.

So, the Yankees begin play today four and a half games behind Boston in the division. There’s still plenty of baseball to be played. It hurts that we have lost Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge for the immediate future, but this is still a very good team. Perhaps Brian Cashman is finished with the heavy lifting but then again maybe he isn’t. The next few days should be fun.

Meanwhile, let’s continue to take care of business. Last night, the Yankees played like the team that went on the great run in May and June. They need to continue to be that team. If the Yankees make no further moves, so be it. I have confidence in this group of 25 guys. Well, maybe not Chasen Shreve, or Shane Robinson…or Neil Walker.  But this group of guys can win in the coming days and weeks, and will only get better in September when Judgey and El Gary come back. The division is not lost. The race has only begun. Buckle up, boys, let’s take down the Red Sox!

Go Yankees!

Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals 7/27

The New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals will continue their four-game weekend set tonight in the Bronx with the second game of the series. In the game tonight the Yankees will send out CC Sabathia to the mound to face off with Brad Keller for the Royals in what is quickly becoming a must-win for the Yankees, a must win if the team has any hopes of winning the division anyway. Frankly, I don’t care either way. The team was a Wild Card winner last year while the Boston Red Sox won the division and it was the Yankees who were one game away from the World Series, not the team assembled by Dave Dombrowski and his predecessors. Anyway, I’m blabbering so let’s get to it here in the Bronx.

Sabathia will enter the start tonight on extended rest due to the game between the Mets and the Yankees being rained out on Sunday. Thanks Mother Nature, again. Sabathia took a no-decision in his final start of the first half against the Cleveland Indians after allowing four runs in 5.2 innings of work and will look to be much better tonight back in the Bronx.

Keller, another rookie pitcher for the Royals, will take the mound for the first time against the Yankees and for the first time inside Yankee Stadium tonight. Keller was shelled in his previous two starts before bouncing back in his last start on Sunday against the Minnesota Twins where he allowed just three runs in seven-plus innings of work.

The game will be played at 7:05 pm ET inside Yankee Stadium and can be seen on WPIX channel 11. You can also follow along with the game on MLB TV, with the MLB At-Bat app, and by tuning into the Yankees radio broadcast on WFAN with the legendary duo of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Enjoy the game, tick tock Brian Cashman… tick tock, and go Yankees!!

Hello… T-Minus Five Days and Counting…

Good morning Yankees family and welcome back to the blog. Five days, the countdown has begun. T-Minus five days until the July 31st MLB trading deadline. Five days for the buyers to buy, the sellers to sell, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to stand pat like they always do. Five days to figure out if you’re a contender or a pretender. Five days to make or break and shape the rest of your 2018 season. No pressure and don’t mind the “tick, tock” in the background.

Five days for the rest of your season, potentially. Five days for the rest of my life with you my Kari, and forever still wouldn’t be enough. I love you.

This Day In New York Yankees History 7/27: Mariners Lose 17 Straight Against New York

This is not really New York Yankees history that we probably want to remember, but on this day in 2011 the Seattle Mariners made history against the New York Yankees. The Mariners snapped a 17 game losing streak behind seven strong innings from Felix Hernandez and an offensive outburst. The M's would win 9-2 to get their first victory in three weeks.