Monday, November 19, 2018

Big Maple Landing......

The Big Maple Has Landed!!!

James Paxton is a New York Yankee, Jutus Sheffield is not. Gone too our Erik Swanson, and Dominic Thompson-Williams. Trading Sheff is a move I saw coming specially when the Yanks didn’t use him during the rough patches of 2018. Our rotation today is better then it was yesterday. Cashman still has work to do bringing in another starter and 2 pieces of the bullpen. (Possibly). Once he accomplishes that it’s time to go BiG FisH hunting. Cough cough. 

Let’s G⚾️ Yankees!!


2019 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Mariano Rivera
Roy Halladay
Todd Helton
Andy Pettitte
Edgar Martinez (last chance on the ballot)
Fred McGriff (last chance on the ballot)
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Mike Mussina
Curt Schilling
Manny Ramirez
Sammy Sosa
Larry Walker
Omar Vizquel
Andruw Jones
Scott Rolen
Jeff Kent
Gary Sheffield
Billy Wagner
Lance Berkman (first time ballot)
Roy Oswalt (first time ballot)
Rick Ankiel
Jason Bay
Freddy Garcia
Jon Garland
Travis Hafner
Ted Lilly
Derek Lowe
Darren Oliver
Juan Pierre
Placido Polanco
Miguel Tejada
Vernon Wells
Kevin Youkilis
Michael Young

News & Rumors Wrap-Up

Between home stuff, work, and officiating basketball, the holidays and the time leading up to them are always very hectic for me. So I tend to be quiet around here during that time unless something big happens. But I'm going to try and write a weekly news and rumors wrap-up article each week. 

"Try" being the key word here.

To begin I decided to talk about what I see as the six biggest bits of news and rumors so far this offseason. If there is something you'd like to hear me talk about now or in a future article, then let me know. 

With that said, though, you're better off emailing me (link to the side of this page) or messaging me on Twitter (@Bryan_TGP), as I don't get into the comments here very often.

So without further adieu let's jump into it...

CC Sabathia & Brett Gardner Are Re-Signed

These two signings really showed how stupid some fans can be. First, the Yankees signed Brett Gardner, and the next thing I read was outrage from some fans saying this means the Yankees are out on Bryce Harper because Gardy will be the starting left fielder for the Yankees next season.

No... it doesn't. The Yankees can afford to pay their 4th outfielder $7.5 million. Besides, there are very few players in the history of baseball that you make room for, and Bryce Harper is one of them. That doesn't mean I believe the Yankees will definitely sign Bryce, but neither Brett Gardner nor $7.5 million is going to stop them from trying to bring in a 26-year-old elite player.

The same can be said for the signing of CC Sabathia. To be fair, the outrage was certainly to a lesser extent since the Yankees need to acquire more than one starting pitcher. Most of it came from people that believe CC's signing means the Yankees won't bring back J.A. Happ. But even if the Yanks signed Patrick Corbin, there's still room in the rotation for someone such as Happ. I'm not totally sold on Happ, so I'd like to see the team do better, but the bottom line is some fans need to step back from the edge and take a second or two to think.

CC and Brett are solid players and are leaders in the clubhouse, however, they will not keep the team from making splashier moves.

Possible Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and James Paxton Trades

Speaking of splashier moves that could be made, Yankees fans rightfully lit up when it became known that the Indians and Mariners were willing to move their star pitchers.

I have a hard time believing the Yankees could trade for Kluber or Carrasco without paying too much. The Indians won the American League Central division last season, and their only big loss to free agency is Michael Brantley. It's smart to listen to any and all offers because, regardless of who's involved, if it makes your team better that's all that matters. But the Indians are going to have to be swept away by an offer for either pitcher, and I don't believe the Yankees need to go there.

On the other hand, James Paxton seems like a good shot. Seattle may have won 89 games last season, but with the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics in their division, making some long-term plans is likely the way to go.

Although Paxton's strikeout rates the last two years are really good, I'm not blown away by the guy. I mean, I don't think there's any guarantee that he would be among the top three starters for the Yankees going into the postseason in 2019. If the Yankees do sign Corbin you have him and Severino as locks for a postseason start in any series, then you have Tanaka, who in five postseason starts has an ERA of 1.50.

So Cashman should absolutely take a look at James, but if Seattle wants anything that could be deemed as "a lot" for the guy then forget it. Like I mentioned above, just round out the rotation with someone like J.A. Happ instead. Then again, who knows what other pitchers are available?

Gary Sanchez Out Three Months After Shoulder Surgery

I'm absolutely on board with Sanchez getting surgery. The team had tried cortisone shots last year, but the problem hasn't gone away. And since Gary more than likely will be ready for Opening Day, I see no reason to hold off on just getting the shoulder cleaned out now.

Now, is that shoulder to blame for his poor season? I suppose it could have been a contributing factor, along with his groin issues, but let's not get too excited for an easy fix. My hope is that Gary eventually returns to baseball activity in mid-February, and works his butt off both at the plate and behind it. The team can't allow him to think that getting healthy is the only thing that needs fixing.

As for a possible replacement should Sanchez not be ready on Opening Day, I'd rather just go with what's in house. Brian Cashman has already said they'd be comfortable using Romine and Higashioka. If it turns out Sanchez is going to miss a month or more of the season, then I'd like to see Cashman get a better catcher to hold down the position, but if we're talking about just a couple of weeks then don't bother wasting any resources there.

The Yankees Are Not Interested In Paul Goldschmidt

This one I can believe. Not that the Diamondbacks aren't serious about trading Goldschmidt, as they'd be stupid not to try and get something good to great before he hits free agency next offseason. It's not like Arizona is in the same spot as Cleveland, as the D-backs have a tough hill to climb to unseat the Dodgers in the NL West. Even a wild card spot will not be easy thanks to teams like the Cubs, Cardinals, Rockies, and look out for the ready-to-spend Phillies.

As sad as it's been seeing the Yankees get little to nothing from what is traditionally a productive offensive spot, I don't believe Brian Cashman should spend big for a first baseman... at least as far as trading prospects. I feel the same way about trading top prospects for corner outfielders. Those positions are typically fairly easy to fill. If the Yankees are to spend big on those areas then do it with money, which is something they have plenty of. Holding onto prospects is the biggest reason the Yankees are so close to creating another dynasty right now.

I admit that writing a lineup that includes Goldschmidt would be freakin' sweet, but since this is reality and not fantasy baseball, I agree that the Yanks should pass.

Bryce Harper Can Play First Base

I don't doubt for a second that Harper could play first base. When going over my postseason plan a little while back I mentioned that Bryce is athletic enough to play well in left field despite the fact he hasn't played on that side of the outfield in over four years. And that is true even at first base, a position that he's never played at the professional level (Baseball Reference notes he made an appearance at 1B last season, but with zero innings).

Although I don't trust Scott Boras at all, as he's just trying to say the right things to get his client as much money as possible, I can't help but believe this bit of news is important to the Yankees. It allows them to take a chance on Luke Voit being able to build off of his great run with them last season, and have a backup plan in Harper should Luke need to be benched.

Hal Steinbrenner Will Spend If It Means Winning

For a long time now I've put up with Yankees fans calling Hal "cheap". And to a point, I agree with them. The Yankees make enough money that paying the Luxury Tax is not a problem. Just consider the Luxury Tax payment as paying for a 41st man on the roster, instead of it being a penalty for spending too much. Maybe then it would be seen as a good thing, rather than bad.

The fact of the matter is professional sports are businesses. Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, etc are there to make money. Hell, contrary to what they may say, those running the National Collegiate Athletic Association are about making money too. So it's silly to get all up-in-arms when a team's owner tries to save money. Does it suck? Yeah... sometimes. But it's a fact, so we can either deal with it or give ourselves heart attacks screaming about it.

With that said, though, I 100% believe that Hal wants to win. Like the saying goes... "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree", and George Steinbrenner wanted to win as much as any other "tree" in the forest. That's not to say that he's going to approve a payroll of $300 million, but I don't think any team has to spend that much to win, either.

I firmly believe the Yankees will sign Patrick Corbin and one of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, which alone would put them over the Luxury Tax threshold for next season. And I see them spending a little more on one of David Robertson or Zach Britton. And if they sign Machado, I could see someone like Micheal Brantley starting regularly in LF over Brett Gardner.

Hal wants to win, and he's not stupid. Even if there's something he doesn't know he has guys like Brian Cashman and Randy Levine there to inform him. Call me "naive" if you so desire, but I believe in those guys and the New York Yankees.