Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com http://bronxpinstripes.com Bronx Pinstripes - A New York Yankees Community for the Fans, by the Fans Fri, 30 Oct 2020 15:57:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.4 http://bronxpinstripes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/cropped-BP-Icon-Retina-32x32.png Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com http://bronxpinstripes.com 32 32 Next Tigers manager won’t be Nevin, Thames, or Mendoza http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/next-tigers-manager-wont-be-nevin-thames-or-mendoza/ Fri, 30 Oct 2020 15:57:41 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82755 The Yankees have a lot of important decisions to make this offseason with regard to their roster. Between retaining DJ LeMahieu, improving the pitching staff, and figuring out what to do behind the plate, Brian Cashman figures to be quite busy between now and the start of spring training. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like the Yankees will need to spend time figuring out who belongs on the bench. While the Tigers had interviewed Phil Nevin, Marcus Thames, and Carlos Mendoza […]

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The Yankees have a lot of important decisions to make this offseason with regard to their roster. Between retaining DJ LeMahieu, improving the pitching staff, and figuring out what to do behind the plate, Brian Cashman figures to be quite busy between now and the start of spring training.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look like the Yankees will need to spend time figuring out who belongs on the bench. While the Tigers had interviewed Phil Nevin, Marcus Thames, and Carlos Mendoza for their vacant skipper position, it’s now clear that Detroit is on the verge of hiring former Astros manager A.J. Hinch. That’s good news for New York because all three guys (particularly Nevin and Thames) are key members of the Yankee staff.

Phil Nevin

Nevin became the Yankees’ third base coach prior to the start of the 2018 season. Since his arrival, he’s brought a bit of fire to the Bombers’ coaching staff. Phil is probably best known for his involvement in the Tyler Austin-Red Sox brawl and for lighting up the Yankees after they struggled against the lowly Orioles in 2018. This season, Nevin was ejected from a game against the Phillies after he got into a shouting match with Angel Hernandez.

I really hope that Phil is still a member of the coaching staff next season. He’s a former player, a good baseball guy, and a passionate leader. Phil is the bad cop on the Yankee staff, and his presence would have been sorely missed had he been hired by the Tigers.

Marcus Thames

Before he was a coach for the club, Thames actually played for the Yankees in 2002 and 2010. Thames was hired to be the Tampa Yankees’ hitting coach in 2013, then he rose through the organizational ranks. He served as the hitting coach in Trenton and Scranton before being named assistant hitting coach for the big league squad in 2016.

In 2018, Thames became the Yankees’ head hitting coach. In three seasons under his mentorship, the Bombers’ lineup has had serious success. Here’s how the Yankees rank against the rest of Major League Baseball since Thames took over in 2018:

  • 7th in Batting Average
  • 5th in OBP
  • 1st in HRs
  • 1st in Runs Scored
  • T-1st in wRC+
  • 1st in wOBA
  • 17th in K%

Sometimes the approach of the Yankee hitters can be frustrating, but the overall numbers are hard to complain about. With Thames coaching these players, the team has hit the snot out of the baseball. His return will be good news for the Bombers.

Carlos Mendoza

Mendoza isn’t as well-known as either Nevin or Thames. After floating around the Yankee organization as a defensive coach from 2013 to 2017, Mendoza was promoted to the big league coaching staff in 2018. This past season was Mendoza’s first as the Yankee bench coach.

It’s difficult to say how much of an impact Mendoza had in 2020. Gauging the value of a bench coach isn’t an easy task. While Mendoza is a bit of an enigma to Yankee fans, however, he’s garnered the interest of other organizations. In addition to interviewing with the Tigers, Mendoza has also been interviewed for the job of Red Sox manager. It will be interesting to see if any other teams reach out to the Yankee bench coach regarding manger vacancies for 2021.

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

Nevin, Thames, and Mendoza might be in consideration for other jobs around the league, but I still believe that all three will be back next season. The Detroit opening was probably the best bet for all three just a few days ago, and now that opportunity is essentially off the table. Expect this trio of coaches to be back in the Bronx as the Yankees chase a championship in 2021.

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Yankees pick up option for Zack Britton http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/yankees-pick-up-option-for-zack-britton/ Fri, 30 Oct 2020 00:08:18 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82782 Now that the World Series is over, teams across Major League Baseball will be forced to make some difficult decisions regarding some of their key players. One of the decisions the New York Yankees had to make was in regards to reliever Zack Britton’s option. Britton, a Scott Boras client, had a bit of a different type of option than we all are accustomed too. Boras has recently been negotiating “swellopts” in his clients contracts. For those of you are […]

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Now that the World Series is over, teams across Major League Baseball will be forced to make some difficult decisions regarding some of their key players.

One of the decisions the New York Yankees had to make was in regards to reliever Zack Britton’s option. Britton, a Scott Boras client, had a bit of a different type of option than we all are accustomed too.

Boras has recently been negotiating “swellopts” in his clients contracts. For those of you are unfamiliar with the term, here’s a bit of a breakdown:

For the club (in this case, the Yankees), if the player performs well, the club can opt in (contract swells).
For the player, if the club doesn’t opt in, the player has the choice to continue with the contract (swell) or opt out.

Looking at Britton’s contract, here’s the scenarios in which it could have played out:

-If the Yankees picked up his 2022 option (worth $14 million), then he would be under club control for the next two seasons (for approximately $27 million)

-If the Yankees declined his 2022 option, Britton had two options:

  1. Elect to stay with the Yankees on a one-year, $13 million dollar deal

OR

2. Opt-out of his current contract and become a free agent.

Ultimately, the Yankees decided to hold on to their valuable reliever.

According to multiple reports, the Yankees have picked up Britton’s option for 2022. This ensures that the 32-year-old will be under club control for the next two seasons.

Picking up Britton’s option makes a ton of sense for the Yankees. Since arriving in the Bronx in 2018, Britton has been stellar, posting a 2.14 ERA over 111 appearances.

Even though there was some speculation as to whether or not the Yankees would pick up his option, the club felt it was necessary to hold onto the two-time All-Star. Even though he’ll be heading into his age-35 season at the end of the deal, Britton is still a very effective reliever whose high ground ball rate plays very well in Yankee Stadium.

Before the official news broke, Britton took to Twitter to make an informal announcement of his own. Based on the tweet, you get the sense that the veteran reliever is happy to be staying in the Bronx.

Now that the offseason is beginning, expect this to be the start of a handful of roster moves for the New York Yankees this winter.

Continue following the Bronx Pinstripes team for all the latest New York Yankees offseason news and rumors.

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Yes, the Yankees should pursue Corey Kluber http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/yes-the-yankees-should-pursue-corey-kluber/ Thu, 29 Oct 2020 22:26:46 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82771 The Texas Rangers’ decision to decline their $18 million option to Corey Kluber opens the door for the Yankees to add rotation depth. The two-time Cy Young winner and three time All Star has gone through his struggles with injuries in recent years, starting with a fractured wrist in 2019, followed by oblique tightness upon his return. Kluber was traded to the Rangers last offseason, and in his first start with them, he tore his teres major muscle and has not […]

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The Texas Rangers’ decision to decline their $18 million option to Corey Kluber opens the door for the Yankees to add rotation depth.

The two-time Cy Young winner and three time All Star has gone through his struggles with injuries in recent years, starting with a fractured wrist in 2019, followed by oblique tightness upon his return. Kluber was traded to the Rangers last offseason, and in his first start with them, he tore his teres major muscle and has not pitched since then.

When he was healthy, he was a top 5 pitcher in the league. If he can stay healthy, Kluber can be a very important piece in the rotation and he provides a strong veteran presence for the younger pitchers and the clubhouse as a whole.  The Yankees should not shy away from him, he’s a low risk, very high reward caliber player.

The Yankees have a lot of question marks in their rotation behind Cole. Happ will not be back, Paxton and Tanaka are both free agents. They will need to add multiple starting pitchers and Kluber should be in the mix. A rotation of Cole, Severino, Garcia, Schimidt and Montgomery/German will not cut it in the postseason. Kluber appeared in the playoffs from 2016-2018, losing the World Series in 2016. Adding a once proven elite pitcher with the playoff experience he has is a step in the right direction.

Kluber will be 35 in April and has started 8 games since 2019. He likely will not be asking for a lot in free agency, but there will be a market for him. A one or two year incentive heavy deal would be ideal and makes sense for both sides. Kluber will have an opportunity to rebuild his value and have a chance to test free agency again before retirement. He also has experience working with pitching coach Matt Blake in the past.

In 2021, he will be three years removed from his last full season. While he may not be as dominant as he once was, he can still be a viable veteran option to complement Cole and another starter the Yankees bring in. He has yet to win a ring in his career and the Yankees provide a solid opportunity to do so. It can’t hurt to bring a proven competitor like him into the organization considering he will likely not be demanding a lot of money, just an opportunity to show he can still perform.

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Four Yankees named finalists for all-MLB team http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/four-yankees-named-finalists-for-all-mlb-team/ Thu, 29 Oct 2020 16:49:32 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82759 MLB opened voting today for the 2020 all-MLB team. There are pre-determined finalists at each position, and four New York Yankees made the cut. Gerrit Cole, Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu, and Gio Urshela are all finalists at their respective positions. The Yankees have 4 nominees for the 2020 All-MLB Team. Vote now through Friday, November 13 ➡️ https://t.co/y0LBWgwVx4 pic.twitter.com/aqccqm1nBb — New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 29, 2020 All of those guys definitely deserve consideration. I wouldn’t really say any Yankees […]

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MLB opened voting today for the 2020 all-MLB team. There are pre-determined finalists at each position, and four New York Yankees made the cut. Gerrit Cole, Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu, and Gio Urshela are all finalists at their respective positions.

All of those guys definitely deserve consideration. I wouldn’t really say any Yankees got snubbed, either. Maybe Zack Britton could’ve been considered? Regardless, I’m stoked for these four.

Cole lived up to the hype in his first season in New York. He battled through a stretch of a few mediocre starts to finish the season and playoffs on a dominant note.

Voit fought through his “foot stuff” to be a constant in the middle of a lineup ravaged by injury. He led all of baseball in home runs, an impressive feat no matter the season length.

Urshela kept the momentum from his breakout season in 2019 going. Going from a glove-first guy who was cut by two teams to an everyday player posting a .858 OPS is no small feat.

As for LeMahieu, he’s just unbelievable. He became the first player to ever win a batting title in both leagues. I pray that the Yankees re-sign this man.

Fans can vote for the all-MLB team once a day here. Tweet me your selections @ncostanzo24

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Gleyber Torres should be in the Yankees’ future plans no matter what http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/gleyber-torres-should-be-in-the-yankees-future-plans-no-matter-what/ Wed, 28 Oct 2020 14:09:35 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82747 The Yankees have a lot of interesting decisions ahead of them this offseason. DJ LeMahieu is a free agent, and I think I speak for the entire fanbase when I say we will riot if he’s not re-signed. However, while nearly all Yankee fans in agreement DJ should be back, whether or not Gleyber Torres remains at shortstop is a less agreed upon subject. An All-Star in his first two big league seasons, Gleyber had a disappointing 2020. He hit […]

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The Yankees have a lot of interesting decisions ahead of them this offseason. DJ LeMahieu is a free agent, and I think I speak for the entire fanbase when I say we will riot if he’s not re-signed. However, while nearly all Yankee fans in agreement DJ should be back, whether or not Gleyber Torres remains at shortstop is a less agreed upon subject.

An All-Star in his first two big league seasons, Gleyber had a disappointing 2020. He hit just .243 with 3 homers and a .724 OPS, a sharp drop-off from his 2019 production. Torres also missed a few weeks with strains to his quad and hamstring. On top of that, he looked extremely shaky at shortstop. Torres had 9 errors and posted a -9 defensive runs saved in his first season as the Yankees’ starting shortstop. No way around it, he was bad defensively.

Despite everything I just said, if I was allowed to pick just one position player the Yankees could keep long-term, it would be Gleyber Torres. Here’s why.

He’s still young

Had to start off with the obvious. And yeah I get it, he’s not THAT young anymore. Players such as Ronald Acuna jr., Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis jr. are all younger and better than Torres. But Gleyber is going into his age 24 season. He definitely still has his best years ahead of him.

He can improve in the field

No, I’m not saying he can turn into Andrelton Simmons defensively. But I’m not ready to give up on Gleyber at shortstop completely based off of 40 bad games. Torres played at second base his first two seasons while Didi Gregorius played at shortstop. After Didi left, Gleyber’s preparation to take his spot looked something like this: three weeks of spring training, four month hiatus due to the pandemic, two weeks of summer camp. Is that an excuse for how bad he was? No, but I don’t think it’s crazy to say that Gleyber can become a competent shortstop in 2021.

Even if he doesn’t, the kid can hit

If it’s ultimately decided that Gleyber can’t play shortstop, you find a spot for him. Second base, third base, outfield for all I care. He had 38 homers and an .871 OPS in his age 22 season. That’ll play moving forward. Just like I said I’m not going to completely give up on him as a shortstop after 40 games, I’m also not reading too much into a down 40 games at the plate.

He’s built for the moment

We’ve seen Torres come up big a few times in October. He had a 5-RBI performance in ALCS Game 1 in 2019, and hit a huge homer in Game 4 against the Rays in 2020.

Not only has he shown flashes of postseason greatness, he truly wants to be great. Torres isn’t just looking to put up numbers and get paid, he’s trying to go down in Yankees history. The end of an ESPN piece on Torres from a few months ago has really stuck with me:

But this — studying Yankees history in the buildup to his major league debut, as if some sort of pop quiz awaited him when he arrived — was a different level of foresight.

Mijares called Torres in bewilderment.

“You read all this?”

“Yeah,” Torres said. “Why?”

“No,” Mijares responded, “I wanna ask you — why?”

Mijares gets it now.

“I think he was preparing himself to be one of the most important Yankees ever.”

I mean, how can you not get chills reading that? You absolutely have to love Gleyber Torres.

So what do the Yankees do?

I don’t see Gleyber going anywhere. He has four years of team control left before he hits free agency, and a ton of potential. The interesting thing will be where the Yankees decide to play him. I’m in favor of giving Gleyber another shot at short, re-signing DJ, and bringing in a backup shortstop that’s better than Tyler Wade. But what if they don’t see Gleyber as the long-term solution at shortstop? Do the Yankees let DJ walk, move Gleyber back to second, and take a run at Francisco Lindor or Corey Seager next winter? I’d much rather roll with Gleyber and DJ, but who knows what the Yankees will do. If one thing is for sure, though, it’s that I hope Gleyber Torres is a Yankee for a very long time.

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On this date in 1999: Yankees repeat; team of the decade http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/on-this-date-in-1999-yankees-repeat-team-of-the-decade/ Tue, 27 Oct 2020 22:04:10 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82743 BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 1999, the New York Yankees repeated as World Series champions. The Bronx Bombers completed the 4-0 series sweep of the Atlanta Braves. They won Game 4 by a final count of 4-1 at Yankee Stadium. It marked the twenty-fifth title in franchise history. They became the first team to repeat as champions since the 1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays and cemented themselves as the team of the 1990s, winning three titles in four years. […]

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BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 1999, the New York Yankees repeated as World Series champions. The Bronx Bombers completed the 4-0 series sweep of the Atlanta Braves. They won Game 4 by a final count of 4-1 at Yankee Stadium.

It marked the twenty-fifth title in franchise history. They became the first team to repeat as champions since the 1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays and cemented themselves as the team of the 1990s, winning three titles in four years. As Bob Costas put it, “team of the decade, most successful franchise of the century.”

This Yankee squad more than validated the 1998 run and the ’96 team with besting the Braves again. While they sometimes are lost in the shuffle as the middle child of the threepeat, they were quite accomplished.

Along with sealing the team of the decade title and the repeat, they were essentially a 1998 clone. The ’99 squad went 98-64 and actually one-upped the ’98 team by going 11-1 in the postseason.

Tino Martinez led the team with 28 homers. Derek Jeter had perhaps the best season of his career with 219 hits, 24 home runs, and a.349 batting average. Bernie Williams’ .342 batting average was higher than it was in ’98 when he won the batting title.

Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez sparkled once again atop the rotation and earned ALCS MVP. David Cone twirled a perfect game. Andy Pettitte, newcomer Roger Clemens, and Hideki Irabu filled out the rotation nicely.

Mariano Rivera pitched to a 1.83 ERA in a season that culminated with the World Series MVP.

After sweeping the Texas Rangers 3-0 in the ALDS, cruising past the Boston Red Sox 4-1 in the ALCS, the Yankees swept the Braves in the World Series, 4-0.

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Is Gleyber the shortstop moving forward? http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/is-gleyber-the-shortstop-moving-forward/ Tue, 27 Oct 2020 15:55:09 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82666 This past year was a real struggle for Gleyber Torres in many different aspects. He didn’t stay healthy, only playing in 42 of 60 possible games, and dealt with injuries when the Yankees needed his bat most. Speaking of his bat, he failed to repeat the career year he had in 2019 by hitting only .243 and slugging below .400. His biggest failure, though, was on the defensive side of the diamond. He was tied for the second-most errors (9) […]

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This past year was a real struggle for Gleyber Torres in many different aspects. He didn’t stay healthy, only playing in 42 of 60 possible games, and dealt with injuries when the Yankees needed his bat most. Speaking of his bat, he failed to repeat the career year he had in 2019 by hitting only .243 and slugging below .400. His biggest failure, though, was on the defensive side of the diamond. He was tied for the second-most errors (9) at shortstop in all of baseball. His advanced metrics also took a step back. No matter how you slice it, Torres underperformed at the most important infield position in 2020. The question moving forward is whether he will improve. Brian Cashman recently said, “Gleyber is our shortstop moving forward.” If that’s the case, let’s look at whether he should play shortstop moving forward.

Position change

When he was coming up through the minors, Torres mostly played shortstop. When the Yankees swung the Chapman trade in 2016, they already had Didi Gregorius at short and didn’t have a reason to move him off that position, given his positive trend on offense and his stellar defensive prowess. Once he got into the Yankees minor league system, he started to play mostly second base. The Yankees knew that when Torres made his debut, it would have to be at the keystone position. That debut came in 2018 and Torres delivered – he made his first All-Star appearance and finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting that year. His defense was decent as well – he finished with 0.9 dWAR. It seemed that he was able to learn a new position and perform very well. Then in 2019, he had to move back to shortstop due to Gregorius’ injury. He played 75 games at shortstop before moving back to second base once Gregorius was healthy, and played 64 games there. It’s not as common as one would think – a player jumping between positions and maintaining a high level of performance. He’s not Ben Zobrist, and the in-season position changes probably hurt him defensively. Since his natural position is shortstop, it would stand to reason he would be capable of relearning that position and preforming well again with more reps.

He’s still young

Gleyber Torres is still a baby. He’ll be 24 on Opening Day in 2021, and he’ll most likely improve with more experience. However, it’s anybody’s guess how long it will take for those improvements to yield results. A good example of a best-case scenario currently plays for the Yankees. In 2019, Clint Fraizer looked lost in the field no matter where he played. He made a lot of bone-headed errors that veterans just don’t make. This year, however, Fraizer is a finalist for a Gold Glove and anyone who watched him play this year could see that the improvement he showed was amazing and unexpected. That could be Torres next year, and if the Yankees resign DJ LeMahieu, they could potentially have three Gold Glove finalists in their infield.

The weirdness of 2020

2020 was weird for everybody. Even though all of the teams in the league experienced this weirdness in the same way, that doesn’t mean that the effects it had on individual players were the same. The fact that the season was brought to a halt near the end of spring training, and then took months to restart, had to mess with the player development aspect of each team. For younger players like Torres, who were just starting to get used to a routine, starting and stopping is not what you want. Hopefully he has a normal offseason and 2021 progresses without any problems.

I think Torres is the shortstop of the future. There are a number of other options out there, like Francisco Lindor or even a Did Gregorius reunion. However, I think that Torres has the potential to be as good, if not better, than both of those players with the bat. The defense could get there too, if he has time to work on it and stays healthy next season.

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Players the Yankees may look to move this offseason http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/players-the-yankees-may-look-to-move-this-offseason/ Mon, 26 Oct 2020 22:34:22 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82727 After another failure of a season, Brian Cashman needs to take a close look at the roster and will have to make some difficult decisions. The team may look a little different next year so let’s explore some potential players the Yankees may look to trade away this offseason. Miguel Andujar Miggy’s time in New York has been weird to say the least. He was an integral part of the 2018 season finishing 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting […]

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After another failure of a season, Brian Cashman needs to take a close look at the roster and will have to make some difficult decisions. The team may look a little different next year so let’s explore some potential players the Yankees may look to trade away this offseason.

Miguel Andujar

Miggy’s time in New York has been weird to say the least. He was an integral part of the 2018 season finishing 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting as well as tying the franchise record for most doubles by a rookie in a season (47). In 2019, three games into the season Andujar suffered a torn labrum and missed the season. Then came along Gio Urshela and the rest is history.

Unfortunately, there is no place for Andujar on the team anymore and he needs to be moved during the offseason. He will have some value considering what he can do with the bat and the fact he is still only 25. He would make a great DH anywhere while he continues to work on his defense.

Adam Ottavino

When he’s on, he’s lights out, but when he’s off, it’s painful to watch. Ottavino hasn’t looked like himself since 2019. His command has not been the same, which is crucial for a pitcher that relies so heavily on his slider. After a great first season in New York, 2020 was a lot different. In 24 appearances, Ottavino had a 5.89 ERA and a 0.2 WAR. His BABIP was .375 as compared to .284 in 2019. It’s obvious the Yankees do not trust him anymore. Had he pitched like his 2019 self, the Yankees would not have asked Chapman to get seven outs in Game 5 of the ALDS. The injuries to the bullpen and Ottavino’s lackluster year played a major role in the Yankees disappointing season.

If they can’t put him in high leverage situations anymore, there is no reason to keep him. He will earn $9 million in 2021 and getting his money off the books would be huge for the Yankees so they can make other moves this offseason.

Gary Sanchez

This is one that a lot of Yankee fans want to see at this point, but they should not get rid of Sanchez just to free up a roster spot. After his horrendous 2020 campaign, his trade value has never been lower. His offense was atrocious but he still showed he could provide a big swing here and there. Gary is the definition of the type of player who relied so heavily on the home run ball. In 2020, 10 of his 23 hits were home runs. If a team offers a lucrative deal, then they should definitely pull the trigger, but if not, keep him and try to rebuild his value.

Sanchez is eligible for arbitration the next two years and will be a free agent in 2023. 2020 was a weird year for everyone. Maybe Sanchez was just a victim of the shortened season — he played in 49 games this year. If it was a full season and he performed poorly the first 50 games of the season and went on to get back to his old self for the remaining 112 games, we would not be talking about Sanchez the way we are. However, his inconsistencies have been going on way too long dating back to 2018, and with Kyle Higashioka becoming Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher in 2020, they are at the point where they need to explore all options for him. Even Brian Cashman is unsure if Gary will be the starting catcher next year.

Luke Voit

This one may come as a surprise, but hear me out. Voit is a great hitter, he led the league in home runs this year and will likely receive MVP votes. So you may be wondering why a team trying to win now would be willing to part with him? Voit will be 30 when the 2021 season starts and he does have a history of injuries. It may sound crazy, but we could see a decline in production from Voit sooner rather than later, especially on the defensive side of his game.

Voit has four more years of control left and will enter free agency in 2025, at the age of 35. If the Yankees were to sell high on Voit now rather than later, it can help solve some issues for them.

They have many bats in the lineup that rely on the home run ball, Voit being one of them. Moving him and obtaining a more contact oriented player to put in the lineup would help the team in big spots. His value will never be higher than this offseason so they could haul a good return for him and help potentially fill holes in the rotation or bullpen that the Yankees desperately need.

Conclusion

The Yankees roster will likely look a bit different next year and I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two names from this list are not on the team entering the season. The truth is, the Yankees are still missing a few pieces for a World Series run and trading away some of these players listed can help them find those missing pieces.

What do you think? Am I missing anyone? Am I completely wrong for suggesting certain players? Tweet me @SashaLueck with your opinion and reactions and follow @BronxPinstripes for all things Yankees.

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Underrated free agent targets for the Yankees http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/underrated-free-agent-targets-for-the-yankees/ Mon, 26 Oct 2020 13:36:37 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82722 In recent years, the best free agent the Yankees have signed was DJ LeMahieu. The Yankees received two MVP caliber seasons without breaking the budget. Finding hidden gems is critical for success in baseball. Last year, we saw Howie Kendrick propel the Nationals to their first World Series despite a modest contract. Finding a free agent that can enter the lineup and bring value to the organization without breaking the bank is likely one of the top goals this offseason […]

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In recent years, the best free agent the Yankees have signed was DJ LeMahieu. The Yankees received two MVP caliber seasons without breaking the budget. Finding hidden gems is critical for success in baseball.

Last year, we saw Howie Kendrick propel the Nationals to their first World Series despite a modest contract. Finding a free agent that can enter the lineup and bring value to the organization without breaking the bank is likely one of the top goals this offseason for Brian Cashman. While it is unfair to expect production similar to LeMahieu, one of these free agents could be the next sleeper.

Michael Brantley

Since his major league debut in 2009, Brantley has been one of the most consistent players in baseball. He hits .297 while averaging 15 long balls a year while playing good defense in the outfield. He doesn’t strike out a lot and it always seems to find a way to get on base. Unfortunately for Brantley, he has also consistently had injury issues, and turning 34 in May will likely impact his earning potential. With that said, his bat would give the Yankees another line drive hitter to pair with LeMahieu. As we are seeing players staying productive later in their careers, Brantley could be a nice lineup addition and give the Yankees a little more versatility at the plate. If the Yankees decide to move on from Brett Gardner, Brantley could split time at both corner outfield spots.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Staying in the outfield, the Yankees could look to their closes rivals to add to their outfield depth. While Bradley Jr. has never been a threat with the bat, he did hit a career high .283 last season and is highly graded in the outfield. Bradley Jr. is practically a human highlight real in center and would be a great late game defensive replacement for any position. Bradley Jr. will be entering his age 31 season and his average will likely regress to his .239 career number. Also a concern is that he strikes out a lot. Over the course of a 162 game average, he averages just about one strikeout a game.

Andrelton Simmons

Moving to the infield, Simmons is basically the infield version of Bradley Jr. A career .269 hitter, Simmons wouldn’t add much power to the lineup but he does bring a little bit of speed and his defensive abilities are unmatched. Simmons has exclusively played shortstop during his MLB career, earning three Gold Gloves, but would be asked to play around the infield in New York. And while he isn’t the biggest threat at the plate, he does not strike out anywhere near the same rate as Bradley Jr. Like Brantley, injuries have limited Simmons during his career, and at age 31 he likely will not find a big contract during the offseason.

Tommy La Stella

Sticking with former Angels, Tommy La Stella is an interesting target due to his recent successes at the plate. After playing in a strict utility role with the Cubs, La Stella enjoyed a break out season with the Angels in 2019. Unfortunately, he broke his leg on a foul ball and missed his only All-Star game. In 2020 La Stella saw similar success and a trade to Oakland. But La Stella will be entering his age 32 season, and grades as a below average defender. His market could be limited but his ability to play multiple infield positions could make him an intriguing fit.

Jose Quintana

A few years ago, Quintana was the darling of the trade deadline. He moved north in Chicago and unfortunately, so did his ERA, rising from a 3.51 with the White Sox to a 4.24 with the Cubs. A freak dish-washing injury shelved Quintana for most of 2020 and likely further impacted his next contract. Now, the former Yankee minor leaguer is probably headed for a new home.

If Quintana is looking to settle for a one or two year contract, the Yankees make a lot of sense. After Cole, the Yankees have quite a few rotation needs, especially if Deivi Garcia is placed on an innings limit. The Yankees would also love to have a player with Quintana’s durability. He’s pitched in exactly 32 games in every season since his rookie season except in 2013 when he pitched in 33. Perhaps Quintana could serve as a reclamation project for Matt Blake and the Yankees pitching coaches.

James Paxton

A few years ago, the Yankees thought they were getting a potential ace when they traded for the Mariners southpaw. After two years, Paxton still serves as a mystery. Is he the pitcher that went 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA and dominated the Astros in the 2019 playoffs? Or has his frequent injuries derailed his career? As Paxton, 32 in November, looks to answer this question for himself, he may be willing to settle for a one year prove it deal. If so, the Yankees could be a natural fit. The Yankees would still like the trade to be a success while Paxton seems to have been a good fit in the locker room.

Looking Ahead

As the Yankees move towards free agency, I expect the team to seriously consider these players. While they are unlikely to play to the level of DJ LeMahieu, they each fill a roster need and should be relatively cheap.

Who would you want to see the Yankees target? Let us know and make sure to follow Bronx Pinstripes for all Yankees off-season action!

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On this date in 2000: Yankees complete the threepeat http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/on-this-date-in-2000-yankees-complete-the-threepeat/ Mon, 26 Oct 2020 04:52:11 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82718 FLUSHING, N.Y. — On this date in 2000, the New York Yankees completed the threepeat. The Yankees defeated the New York Mets, 4-2 in Game 5 of the World Series at Shea Stadium. The Subway Series victory earned the Yankees their twenty-sixth title in franchise history. They became the first team since the 1972-74 Oakland Athletics to threepeat. No other team has even repeated as champs since this team. It also capped off a run of four titles in five […]

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FLUSHING, N.Y. — On this date in 2000, the New York Yankees completed the threepeat. The Yankees defeated the New York Mets, 4-2 in Game 5 of the World Series at Shea Stadium. The Subway Series victory earned the Yankees their twenty-sixth title in franchise history.

They became the first team since the 1972-74 Oakland Athletics to threepeat. No other team has even repeated as champs since this team. It also capped off a run of four titles in five seasons for the Yankees.

During the second stanza, Bernie Williams got the Yankees on the board with a solo homer to left off Al Leiter in the second stanza.

The Mets would score two unearned runs off Andy Pettitte in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.

Yet, in the sixth, eventual World Series MVP Derek Jeter smashed a solo homer to left off Leiter to tie the game at two.

With two down in the ninth, Jorge Posada coaxed a walk. Scott Brosius followed with a single to left. The ensuing batter Luis Sojo singled up the middle to plate Posada and the errant throw from Jay Payton, which hit Posada sliding home, enabled Brosius to score as well, for the 4-2 advantage.

Mariano Rivera entered in the bottom of the ninth and closed it out by getting Mike Piazza to fly out to Williams in center for the final out of the series.

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On this date in 1996: The birth of a new Yankees dynasty http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/on-this-date-in-1996-the-birth-of-a-new-yankees-dynasty/ Mon, 26 Oct 2020 04:51:44 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82713 BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 1996, the New York Yankees birthed a new dynasty. At Yankee Stadium, the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-2 in Game 6 to win the World Series. The series started with the Bronx Bombers in a 2-0 series hole where they were outscored 16-1 at home. Yet, the Yankees won three straight games on the road and capped off the series with a win at home. It marked the twenty-third title in franchise […]

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BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 1996, the New York Yankees birthed a new dynasty. At Yankee Stadium, the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-2 in Game 6 to win the World Series.

The series started with the Bronx Bombers in a 2-0 series hole where they were outscored 16-1 at home. Yet, the Yankees won three straight games on the road and capped off the series with a win at home.

It marked the twenty-third title in franchise history and the first since 1978.

As he did for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992, Jimmy Key won the Game 6 clincher against the Braves. Key spun 5.1 frames of one-run ball.

The pinstripes took care of business in the third inning against Greg Maddux. Paul O’Neill set the table with a double to right. Mariano Duncan moved him over with a groundout to second. Joe Girardi, Maddux’s former batterymate with the Chicago Cubs, made the Stadium shake with an RBI-triple to center. Derek Jeter followed with an RBI-single to left. After Jeter stole second and Wade Boggs popped out to right, Bernie Williams capped off the scoring by plating Jeter with a single to center.

David Weathers, Graeme Lloyd, and Mariano Rivera kept the Braves off the board and handed the ball to eventual World Series MVP closer John Wetteland in the ninth inning. Wetteland made it interesting, allowing a run but eventually got Mark Lemke to pop out in foul territory to third baseman Charlie Hayes to win the World Series.

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Yankees have two Gold Glove Award finalists http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/yankees-have-two-gold-glove-award-finalists/ Thu, 22 Oct 2020 19:48:19 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82702 On Wednesday afternoon, Rawlings announced their Gold Glove Award finalists for the 2020 Major League Baseball season. The New York Yankees have two finalists, and one may be rather surprising! The Yankees first finalist was none other than third baseman Gio Urshela. The 29-year-old has become a defensive standout for the Yankees, as he makes highlight-reel plays on a daily basis. Over 43 games this season, Urshela posted a .992 fielding percentage. He made just one error in 357.2 innings […]

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On Wednesday afternoon, Rawlings announced their Gold Glove Award finalists for the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

The New York Yankees have two finalists, and one may be rather surprising!

The Yankees first finalist was none other than third baseman Gio Urshela. The 29-year-old has become a defensive standout for the Yankees, as he makes highlight-reel plays on a daily basis.

Over 43 games this season, Urshela posted a .992 fielding percentage. He made just one error in 357.2 innings (121 total chances), and tallied 34 putouts as well as 86 assists.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa of the Texas Rangers and Yoan Moncada of the Chicago White Sox are the other two American League third baseman finalists for the award.

The other Yankee to be named a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove is… yes, Clint Frazier!

Frazier is one of three finalists for the American League right field Gold Glove, joining Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers and Anthony Santander of the Baltimore Orioles. This is Frazier’s first Gold Glove finalist nomination of his career.

Considering that a lot of people had doubts about Frazier’s defense, 2020 served as a bit of a “breakout” year for the 26-year-old. He showed tremendous improvement defensively to coincide with his already impressive offensive abilities.

Frazier played 34 games in the field this season and posted a .984 overall fielding percentage. While playing right field (the position he received the nomination for), Frazier made just one total error over 53 changes (spanning over 216 innings).

Based on their defensive play in 2020, both Urshela and Frazier are well-deserving of the nomination. We’ll have to wait and see if they bring home an official Gold Glove Award this season.

Rawlings will unveil their Gold Glove Award winners on Nov. 3, 2020 as part of a “Baseball Tonight” broadcast. The show will be aired at 7:00 PM, and will be broadcasted live on ESPN.

Continue to follow the Bronx Pinstripes team for all the latest news and updates regarding the New York Yankees.

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On this date in 1998: Best. Team. Ever! http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/on-this-date-in-1998-best-team-ever/ Wed, 21 Oct 2020 22:27:29 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82695 SAN DIEGO, Calif. — On this date, the 1998 New York Yankees cemented themselves as the best team in baseball history. The historic season culminated with a 4-0 World Series sweep at the hands of the San Diego Padres. A 3-0, Game 4 victory at San Diego, gave the Yankees their twenty-fourth title in franchise history. Following a then American League regular-season record of 114 wins, the team went 11-2 in the postseason for a combined ledger of 125-50. They […]

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. — On this date, the 1998 New York Yankees cemented themselves as the best team in baseball history. The historic season culminated with a 4-0 World Series sweep at the hands of the San Diego Padres. A 3-0, Game 4 victory at San Diego, gave the Yankees their twenty-fourth title in franchise history.

Following a then American League regular-season record of 114 wins, the team went 11-2 in the postseason for a combined ledger of 125-50. They eclipsed other legendary squads in franchise history, and baseball history most notably the 1961 and 1927 clubs.

Following a devastating loss to the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 ALDS and a slow start to the 1998 campaign, the Yankees took off.

The 1998 club spent 135 days in first place. Their largest lead was 22 games. The high-point was 66 games above .500. Their longest winning streak was 10. They shutout their opponents 16 times. Plus they had seven walk-off victories. The team clinched the AL East on Sept. 9.

It marked Brian Cashman’s first year as general manager and Joe Torre’s third as manager. Bernie Williams earned the batting title, batting .339. Derek Jeter collected 203 hits. David Wells pitched a perfect game. David Cone won 20 games. Darryl Strawberry hit two pinch-hit grand slams. Mariano Rivera pitched to a 1.91 ERA. They won a “home game” against the Anaheim Angels at Shea Stadium, after a beam fell at Yankee Stadium. Shane Spencer tore it up in Sept. I could go on and on and on with this team!

The Yankees carried out a 3-0 sweep of the Texas Rangers in the ALDS. In the ALCS, the Yankees exacted revenge on the Indians with the help of Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez and Wells the ALCS MVP. In the Fall Classic, Chuck Knoblauch hit a redemption three-run homer and Tino Martinez smashed a grand slam. El Duque continued dealing. Ricky Ledee hit .600 against the Friars. Scott Brosius wrecked Trevor Hoffman with his big Game 3 homer on his way to a World Series MVP, capping off his magical season. Andy Pettitte tossed 7.1 scoreless frames in Game 4 and Rivera sealed the deal.

It was the start of a dynasty run that won three consecutive World Series titles and four straight AL pennants.

I could be wrong but I’m not sure we’ll ever see a better, more complete team in my lifetime, one that in this baseball era that will actually attempt to challenge that wins record.

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On this date in 2000: It’s a Subway Series! http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/on-this-date-in-2000-its-a-subway-series/ Wed, 21 Oct 2020 21:33:14 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82690 BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 2000, the New York Yankees and New York Mets played in the World Series. For the first time in 44 years, New York became the epicenter of the baseball world in October. Game 1 of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium had all of the build-up, hype, and anticipation one could imagine. There was the Billy Crystal intro on FOX. Don Larsen threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Yogi Berra. Life was […]

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BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 2000, the New York Yankees and New York Mets played in the World Series. For the first time in 44 years, New York became the epicenter of the baseball world in October. Game 1 of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium had all of the build-up, hype, and anticipation one could imagine. There was the Billy Crystal intro on FOX. Don Larsen threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Yogi Berra. Life was great for New York baseball fans.

Fans got their money’s worth as the pinstripes won the four hours and 51-minute affair, 4-3, on a two-out single by Jose Vizcaino in the twelfth.

Earlier this year when reruns were our only recourse, I wrote about how exciting it was to experience a Subway Series for the first time:

I thought about The Babe’s Called Shot, Larsen’s Perfect Game, Maris with 61 in ’61 but technically this is a rewatch. The buzz before that series was palpable. A Subway Series. New York was the epicenter of the baseball world in October.

It was the first Subway Series World Series since 1956 and city bragging rights were on the line. How cool to experience something that was the norm for the first half of the century but hadn’t happened for a couple of generations.

This one had all of the emotional swings and a gritty, gutty Yankee victory. A sold-out Yankee Stadium with two bulldogs on the bump in Andy Pettitte and Al Leiter. The Ghosts keep Todd Zeile’s ball in the yard, David Justice throws it into Derek Jeter, who, like a QB on the run, fires home to Jorge Posada to nail the nonchalant lazy base-running of Timo Perez to escape the sixth. Justice, who was the Yankee MVP after the trade deadline, made the Metsies pay in the home half with a two-run double.

This game also had the trademark Armando Benitez blowup. Paul O’Neill coaxed a clutch 10-pitch walk in the ninth and came around to tie it at three on a Chuck Knoblauch sac fly. Then to boot, you got your money’s worth on the price of that token ticket with extra innings! Bottom 12, the Yankees loaded the bases and Vizcaino burned his old team by driving in Tino Martinez with a single to left for the winning run.

It was a backbreaker for the Mets and bedlam in the Bronx for the Yankees! New York – New York, all eyes on us, can’t beat it!

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Some of the worst Yankees takes you’ll ever see http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/some-of-the-worst-yankees-takes-youll-ever-see/ Wed, 21 Oct 2020 13:53:21 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82677 Yankee fans are some of the most passionate in all of sports. With that passion comes some terrible stupid, emotional takes. In 2020, those bad takes have spilled over to people who are paid to cover the Yankees. Joel Sherman suggested Tyler Wade start over Giancarlo Stanton in the playoffs, and Bob Klapisch thought Gerrit Cole should start on two days’ rest. But Randy Miller of NJ.com posted the worst piece of writing I’ve ever seen regarding the New York […]

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Yankee fans are some of the most passionate in all of sports. With that passion comes some terrible stupid, emotional takes. In 2020, those bad takes have spilled over to people who are paid to cover the Yankees. Joel Sherman suggested Tyler Wade start over Giancarlo Stanton in the playoffs, and Bob Klapisch thought Gerrit Cole should start on two days’ rest. But Randy Miller of NJ.com posted the worst piece of writing I’ve ever seen regarding the New York Yankees. Considering I’ve read my own blogs before, that’s saying a lot. I’m not gonna link the article and subject you guys to its nonsense. Instead, I’ll summarize what I thought were some of the worst parts. To be fair, these technically aren’t Miller’s opinions. Rather, they come from an “anonymous scout.”

“If Hal really wants to look at where one of his biggest problems is, it’s Cashman right now. That’s who has the Yankees worrying more about analytics than letting his players play.

Right off the bat, this doesn’t sound like an actual scout. Fans who are frustrated with Cashman, I hear you. I’m annoyed at the fact that he didn’t add any pitchers after the injuries to Kahnle, Paxton, and Severino. However, implying that the Yankees are too concerned with analytics after they just lost to the most analytically-driven team in baseball is a strange takeaway. Did they overthink the Game 2 decision? Absolutely. But the solution is to get someone who can pitch Game 2, not to abandon analytics completely.

“That’s who is responsible for the experiment to bring in the Eric Cressey pitching analytic guy that didn’t work.”

If things smelled fishy at the beginning of the article, here’s where they started to totally reek. First of all, for anybody who is supposedly a scout to refer to someone as a “pitching analytic guy” is strange. Second, Cressey has nothing to do with pitching nor analytics. He oversees strength and conditioning for the Yankees. I’m supposed to a “scout” who is blaming the strength and conditioning coach for pitching analytics tell me what’s wrong with the Yankees?

“It’s easy to read [pitching coach Matt Blake’s] body language just from watching on TV. And the lack of respect or attention that Yankees pitchers even pay to Blake…”

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or puke when I read this part. Are we seriously analyzing the PITCHING COACH’S BODY LANGUAGE when discussing what went wrong with the 2020 Yankees?

Because everyone knows that Larry Rothschild just exuded confidence every time he went to the mound.

Larry Rothschild is Yankees' fall guy

I did think it was time for Rothschild to go, but the pitching coach is never going to be the #1 reason for any team’s demise. As far as the notion that the Yankees’ pitchers don’t respect Blake, here’s what Gerrit Cole had to say when he was asked about him:

 “Everybody as an individual, I think Matt has a really good grasp on that. I think he balances kind of the old school pitching thoughts and working on feel and balance, and is able to translate that to some of these players.”

Blake was present in the Cole recruitment meetings. I’m not trying to make it seem like he’s the reason Cole is a Yankee, there’s 324 million of those. But to insinuate that Blake is disrespected when one of the best pitchers in baseball clearly appreciates him makes no sense to me. Even if that were the case, to blame a pitching coach’s body language for a team’s playoff loss is quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever read.

“Luke Voit hits home runs, but he’s a below-average first baseman.”

That’s your takeaway from Luke Voit’s season? That he’s a below-average first baseman? The guy led all of baseball in home runs and made great strides defensively in 2020, all while battling plantar fasciitis. Or, as it’s known in the medical community, “foot stuff.” To sell Voit’s 2020 season short because he isn’t a Gold Glove first baseman is truly mindless.

So who is this “scout”?

I honestly refuse to believe this guy is an actual baseball scout. Just way too many brainless statements in that blog. I have a few theories on who it could be:

-Miller pretending to be a “scout” to fire off his worst takes

-A drunk WFAN caller catfishing Miller into thinking he’s a scout

Or, my personal favorite:

If J.A. Happ ghostwrote an article attacking the Yankees, I would have no choice but to respect him.

What’s your reaction to the blog? Do you have any knowledge of who the anonymous scout is? Tweet me @ncostanzo24 with reactions, insights, or takes about Matt Blake’s body language.

 

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The oncoming problem in the bullpen http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/the-oncoming-problem-in-the-bullpen/ Tue, 20 Oct 2020 16:15:55 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82664 The Yankees could have a bullpen problem on their hands for 2021 and beyond.  There are several questions in their bullpen including whether to exercise a team option for the 2022 season on Zack Britton in the off-season before the 2021 season.  Will they get any meaningful innings out of Tommy Kahnle if/when he comes back from Tommy John Surgery?  Can Adam Ottavino get back to looking like the pitcher he was in 2019?  I think it’s safe to say […]

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The Yankees could have a bullpen problem on their hands for 2021 and beyond. 

There are several questions in their bullpen including whether to exercise a team option for the 2022 season on Zack Britton in the off-season before the 2021 season.  Will they get any meaningful innings out of Tommy Kahnle if/when he comes back from Tommy John Surgery?  Can Adam Ottavino get back to looking like the pitcher he was in 2019?  I think it’s safe to say the Yankees will pick up the option on Britton seeing as he was easily their most reliable bullpen arm.  Even if Kahnle comes back strong in the second half of the season and Ottavino returns to being an elite arm, both of them are slated to become free agents after next season. 

As of right now, the only relief pitchers you can count on being here come 2022 are Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman.  That would mean high leverage innings are going to be up for grabs.  Do we really feel comfortable with what the Yankees currently have in the organization to handle those innings?  Let’s take a closer look at three of those pitchers from last year.

Nick Nelson

Age

W

L

ERA

G

IP

H

R

ER

HR

24

1

0

4.79

11

20.2

20

13

11

4

BB

SO

ERA+

FIP

WHIP

H9

HR/9

BB/9

K/9

K/BB

11

18

90

5.56

1.50

8.7

1.7

4.8

7.8

1.64

Nick Nelson didn’t impress anyone with his baseline statistics in 2020.  Those are mop-up numbers for sure.  However, if you take out his 1.2 inning appearance against the Phillies on August 5th when he gave up seven earned runs, his numbers don’t look as bad.  Forgetting about that one bad outing, Nelson would have had a 2.63 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.  His BB/9 of 4.74 and K/9 of 8.5 still aren’t good but would have been satisfactory for a 4th or 5th guy in the bullpen. 

Is there room to improve?  His repertoire includes four pitches.  He’s got a four-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a change-up.  His fastball was thrown 56% of the time sits between 95 and 97 MPH.  It was also an above average groundball generator last year.  He threw his curve and slider 6.6% of time and 11.4% of the time respectively.  His real out pitch was his change-up that he threw 26.37% of time.  He throws it harder than the average change-up with his off-speed pitch sitting around 89 MPH.  Like his fastball, the change-up was an extreme groundball pitch for Nelson.  It shows armside fade and distinct, natural sink. 

If Nick Nelson can get his walks under control and continue to employ a worm killer change-up to get hitters out, there is potential for a high celling as a late inning reliever.

Jonathan Loaisiga

Age

W

L

ERA

G

IP

H

R

ER

HR

25

3

0

3.52

12

23

21

11

9

3

BB

SO

ERA+

FIP

WHIP

H9

HR/9

BB/9

K/9

K/BB

7

22

123

4.41

1.22

8.2

1.2

2.7

8.6

3.14

Jonathan Loaisiga began his career moving between the rotation and the bullpen.  He continued that trend this year and was used three times as an opener.  His 2020 numbers looked pretty good.  In fact, they represent his best numbers so far in his young career. 

His strikeout rate took a step back for sure though.  For the second year in a row his K/9 dropped after posting a 12 K/9 in 2018 and a 10.5 K/9 in 2019.  The difference this year was that he shaved off 2 BB/9 in 2020 posting a rate of 2.7 BB/9 after finishing 2018 and 2019 with a 4.4 and 4.5 respectively.  As a result, his K/BB rate last year was a career best at 3.14.  Why did this happen?  Looking at his pitch usage we might have a reason.  Loaisiga has five pitches.  He throws a four-seam fastball at 97 MPH, a sinker at 96 MPH, while mixing in a curveball at 84 MPH, a change-up at 89 MPH, and a slider at 89 MPH.  He made a change in 2020 in his usage though but throwing his curveball and four-seamer less and upping the usage of his sinker and to a lesser extent, his change-up.  In 2018 and 2019 he threw his curve more than 30% of the time.  When he first came up in 2018 he threw his four-seamer 55.5% of the time before switching to using a sinker more in 2019.  His usage of his four-seamer and sinker in 2019 were 46% on the four-seamer and 11.6% on the sinker. 

In 2020, he more than doubled the usage of his sinker to 25% while decreasing the usage of the four-seamer by about 4 percentage points.  What about the curveball?  That pitch went from being used over 30% of the time to just 16.3% of the time.  This translates into the on field results we saw last year.  By throwing more sinkers and less curveballs he was able to avoid the walks by throwing more strikes and forcing hitters to put the ball in play.  He avoided the long counts that lead to either strikeouts or walks and he clearly benefited from it.  As he gets used to his new approach next season, he may be able to rediscover his strikeouts as well. 

He’s a flamethrower with a heavy sinker which means he could be a go-to-option with runners on base late in games.

Luis Cessa

Age

W

L

ERA

G

IP

H

R

ER

HR

28

0

0

3.32

16

21.2

20

10

8

2

BB

SO

ERA+

FIP

WHIP

H9

HR/9

BB/9

K/9

K/BB

7

17

130

3.79

1.25

8.3

0.8

2.9

7.1

2.43

Just like Loaisiga, 2020 was a career year for Luis Cessa.  He also started his career flip-flopping between the rotation and the bullpen to begin his career.  Making his debut in 2016, Cessa’s number of games started has trended down each year until he became a full-time reliever in 2019.  Last season, his numbers had some good and some bad.  The good was that he posted the lowest ERA and second lowest WHIP of his five-year career.  The bad was that he posted a K/9 that was 1.2 points lower that it was in 2019 (7.1 vs 8.3).  It had been trending up since his debut and given the small sample size that the 2020 season was, it could just be an anomaly. 

Cessa has a pretty standard repertoire for a pitcher with a four-seam fastball that sits around 94 MPH with his out-pitch being an 84 MPH slider.  He also mixes in a hard change-up sitting at 88 MPH, a sinker at 94 MPH, and rarely used curveball sitting at 81 MPH.  What’s interesting is that as Cessa was used more as a reliever, the less he was using his curveball.  When he debuted in 2016 making nine starts that year, he threw the curveball 15.7% of the time.  In 2020, he threw the curveball just 1.6% of the time.  His four-seam usage trended down in a similar way.  He threw it 50% of the time in 2016 but only threw it 20.7% of the time last year.  As his curveball and four-seam usage dropped, his slider usage shot through the roof.  Throwing it 23.5% of the time in 2016, it was risen each year and was thrown 54% of the time in 2020.  He threw a first pitch slider 51.3% of the time in 2020 and it was his put away pitch 70.8% of the time. 

Cessa’s obviously transitioned to someone who pitches backwards and uses his best weapon, the slider, to get ahead of hitters.  His walk rate isn’t terrible either so this might be something that can work moving forward.

It remains to be seen what will happen with the current bullpen configuration next season with so many questions still lingering.  However, with the lack of impact options on the free agent market this offseason, the Yankees might be better off developing some of their young arms into long-term bullpen pieces similar to how they’ve done with Chad Green.  It was painfully obvious this past season that the highest paid relievers aren’t always the best options and that you can never have too many arms that can step up when the injuries occur.

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The complicated Zack Britton Contract http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/the-complicated-zack-britton-contract/ Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:11:15 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82669 The Yankees have a lot of decision to make this offseason about the players on the current roster with several of them becoming free agents. The first decision, while not exactly a free agent decision, involves Zack Britton’s complicated contract. The way it works is as follows: Three days after the World Series the Yankees must tell Britton if they are picking up what is essentially a 2 year club option for $27 million over the next two seasons. If […]

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The Yankees have a lot of decision to make this offseason about the players on the current roster with several of them becoming free agents. The first decision, while not exactly a free agent decision, involves Zack Britton’s complicated contract.

The way it works is as follows:

  1. Three days after the World Series the Yankees must tell Britton if they are picking up what is essentially a 2 year club option for $27 million over the next two seasons. If yes, he will be signed with the Yankees for $13.5 million per year through 2022.
  2. If no, Britton has a 1 year player option for $13 million to decide on within 2 days after the Yankees decline his club option. If he picks that up, he is signed for 1 year $13 million.
  3. If Britton declines that, he is a free agent.

This complicated mess is what Scott Boras calls a “swellopt” and is the latest machination of the opt-out clause. The question for the Yankees, and us, to look at here is about #1, namely should the Yankees pick up Britton’s 2 year option?

Reasons to Pick it Up

Britton was fantastic this year, both on and off the field. He appeared in 20 games this season around an IL stint, throwing 19 innings and recording 8 saves while Aroldis Chapman recovered from COVID-19. Most stats for relievers are useless because of small sample size, and for Britton the numbers I look at are his ground ball rate and walk rate because the sinker is his bread and butter. This year, batters pounded that sinker into the ground 72% of the time and he walked batters 9% of the time, which was his lowest as a Yankee.

He also came up huge in the postseason, throwing 5.1 innings in 4 appearances. In Game 5 of the ALDS, he was the first guy out of the pen throwing 1.1 IP of one hit no run ball one day after throwing 1.2 IP of no hit no run ball. He was the Yankees best reliever during the season and in the postseason this year.

His Statcast profile is also encouraging:

He doesn’t allow hard contact and batters struggle to slug off him. As we’ve seen in this postseason, home runs are the name of the game in 2020, and Britton’s best skills is not allowing them. In fact, he didn’t allow a home run all year.

Off the field, Britton was incredible this year. As the Yankees player rep during this crazy season, he was the players’ voice with the union and the Yankee front office while they negotiated if there would be a season at all, what it would look like, and how to keep players safe. He did such a great job with this that Brian Cashman gave him multiple shoutouts during his press conference last week according to Kristie Ackert of the Daily News.

So, great performance and great leadership. Both reasons to keep a guy around.

Reasons Not to Pick it Up

Age: Britton will turn 33 next year, and if the Yankees pick up the option they will be paying him over $13 million per year through his age 34 season. Relievers are as volatile as they come, and with a pitcher like Britton who has struggled with control at times, you’d rather lose him a year too early than too late.

Money: this is the big elephant in the room. Hal Steinbrenner said that the Yankees lost more revenue this year than any other team in the sport according to David Lennon of Newday, and while I don’t believe a word he says about the team’s finances, you can already see him laying the ground work to cut back on spending for next year.  Losing Britton and replacing him with a pre-arb player saves nearly $13 million in payroll. The Rays entire bullpen, which has been dominant this entire year, costs less than that. If pinching pennies is what Hal demands, bullpen is the easiest place to do it with minimal sacrifices to team performance.

What should the team do?

Thus far, Britton has shown no decline, and a pitcher who relies on a turbosinker instead of his four-seam fastball is likely to age well. Based on his performance and importance to the team, I think the Yankees should pick up their 2 year option and Britton and enjoy the security that comes with his groundballs. However…

What will the team do?

…I could easily see them not picking it up because a 1 year deal with Britton is easier for ownership to swallow than a 2 year deal. And if Britton opts out, you can try to sign him back for less or let him walk away. Either way, declining the option actually gives the Yankees more options when it comes to Britton. And in these times with every team crying poor, it’s easy to imagine no team will be willing to sign Britton for more than his current contract which means the Yankees will either get him back on a 1 year deal or have the chance to sign him for less than they would pay him otherwise.

You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20

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The return of Luis Severino http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-news-and-rumors/the-return-of-luis-severino/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:04:15 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82654 For a moment, imagine that you’re a hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves or any other National League contender. Its a cold October evening in 2021 and you look up to see 50,000+ Yankees fans yelling at you. Already down one game to none, you can feel the pressure of the situation mounting. The day before, you were dominated by Gerrit Cole and you know that no team has won a World Series down two games to none […]

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For a moment, imagine that you’re a hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves or any other National League contender. Its a cold October evening in 2021 and you look up to see 50,000+ Yankees fans yelling at you. Already down one game to none, you can feel the pressure of the situation mounting. The day before, you were dominated by Gerrit Cole and you know that no team has won a World Series down two games to none since 1996. You step into the batters box and looking back at you is the resurgent Luis Severino.

After two quick strikes you dig in and choke up on the bat, unsure if a 98 MPH fastball will blow you away or a slider on the outside corner. One thing that you do know, and so do the Bronx faithful, is that the Yankees have a dominant one-two punch and Major League Baseball is in trouble.

The Injury and Timeline

Last February, the Yankees received the devastating news that the young right hander would miss the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery. After missing most of 2019, losing Severino for a second year was the beginning of the Yankees pitching problems. Now, looking towards 2021 the Yankees rotation is filled with more question marks than answers. The Yankees will (thankfully) be losing JA Happ and may lose one or both of Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton.

The Yankees did receive an encouraging update regarding Severino’s arm.

While a June or July timeline may lead to some early season rotation struggles, Severino will be ready to go for a Postseason push. Having missed him the last two years, it is easy to forget how dominant he was. And at just 26 (27 in February) Severino still has the potential to become the next dominant pitcher.

In 2017 and 2018 Severino threw 384 innings, struck out 450 batters and pitched to a 3.18 ERA. Severino was one of the most dominant forces in baseball and if he can recapture his magic, Cole and Severino will be the best duo in baseball.

The Rest of the Rotation

Now let’s go back to imagining that you are Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuña  Jr. or Freddie Freeman. After a frustrating opening to the World Series, you get dominated by Severino. Scrapping just a few hits over the first two games you head back to the National League with your back against the wall.

Awaiting you could be a newly signed Trevor Bauer, James Paxton on a prove-it one year deal and/or the young but talented Deivi Garcia. This offseason the Yankees can turn one of their most glaring weaknesses into the beginning of a dominant pitching decade.

Mark my words, 2021 will be the year that Luis Severino makes his dominant return to baseball. And serving as the Robin to Gerrit Cole’s Batman, the Yankees will strike fear into the hearts of the rest of baseball.

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On this date in Yankees history: Reggie Jackson is Mr. October http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/on-this-date-in-yankees-history-reggie-jackson-is-mr-october/ Sun, 18 Oct 2020 16:26:39 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82649 BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 1977, Reggie Jackson helped put the New York Yankees back on top of the baseball world. The Bronx Bombers defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4, in Game 6 of the World Series, at Yankee Stadium. It marked the twenty-first title in franchise history and the first since 1962. Today in 1977, Reggie Jackson hits 3 homeruns against the #Dodgers in the World Series – all 3 came on first pitches!#TodayInSports @RE2PECT2JETER #WorldSeries #Postseason […]

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BRONX, N.Y. — On this date in 1977, Reggie Jackson helped put the New York Yankees back on top of the baseball world. The Bronx Bombers defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4, in Game 6 of the World Series, at Yankee Stadium. It marked the twenty-first title in franchise history and the first since 1962.

Mr. October made some history of his own in this contest. Jackson joined Babe Ruth’s heroics in 1926 as the only two players with a three-homer game in World Series history.

Mr. October wasn’t messing around either. All of his home runs came on the first pitch. A two-run homer to right off Burt Hooton in the fourth frame to give the pinstripes a 4-3 edge. A two-run shot to right off Elias Sosa in the fifth frame to make it 7-3. Plus a solo shot to center, into the black seats, off Charlie Hough in the eighth to increase New York’s advantage to 8-3.

Jackson would earn World Series MVP honors.

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On this date in 1999: Yankees top Red Sox for the pennant http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/on-this-date-in-1999-yankees-top-red-sox-for-the-pennant/ Sun, 18 Oct 2020 16:00:32 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=82643 BOSTON, Mass. — On this date in 1999, the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 6-1, in Game 5 of the ALCS at Fenway Park. The victory clinched the second consecutive American League pennant for the Yankees and their 36th in franchise history. Shortstop Derek Jeter staked New York to an early lead with a two-run homer to center off Kent Mercker in the first frame. Jeter spurred another rally in the seventh inning against Derek Lowe. The […]

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BOSTON, Mass. — On this date in 1999, the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 6-1, in Game 5 of the ALCS at Fenway Park. The victory clinched the second consecutive American League pennant for the Yankees and their 36th in franchise history.

Shortstop Derek Jeter staked New York to an early lead with a two-run homer to center off Kent Mercker in the first frame.

Jeter spurred another rally in the seventh inning against Derek Lowe. The Yankee shortstop reached on an error by third baseman John Valentin and advanced to second base. Paul O’Neill singled to right, setting up runners at the corners and chasing Lowe from the game. Bernie Williams coaxed a walk against Rheal Cormier to load the bases. The ensuing batter Chilli Davis reached on an error by second baseman Jose Offerman, enabling Jeter to score. Tino Martinez followed with an RBI-single to center.

Capping off the offense was a Jorge Posada two-run homer to right off Tom Gordon in the ninth inning.

On the bump, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who eventually earned ALCS MVP honors, breezed through the Bosox lineup. Hernandez shoved for seven strong, striking out nine batters. He did walk four and scatter five hits but his lone blip was a solo homer to Jason Varitek in the eighth inning.

Embed from Getty Images

From there, Mike Stanton, Jeff Nelson, Allen Watson, and Ramiro Mendoza sealed the deal.

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