Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com http://bronxpinstripes.com Bronx Pinstripes - A New York Yankees Community for the Fans, by the Fans Tue, 19 Feb 2019 03:02:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://bronxpinstripes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/cropped-BP-Blue-Cirlce-32x32.png Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com http://bronxpinstripes.com 32 32 What the Yankees hope Miguel Andujar will have fixed by Opening Day http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/what-the-yankees-hope-miguel-andujar-will-have-fixed-by-opening-day/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/what-the-yankees-hope-miguel-andujar-will-have-fixed-by-opening-day/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 01:52:08 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65620 All signs indicate that sophomore third baseman Miguel Andujar is plenty motivated to take the next step.  The Yankees just want to make certain that his step is taken properly — literally. While Andujar’s bat earned him 2018 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up honors — he hit .297 with 27 home runs, 47 doubles, and 92 RBI in 149 games — the soon-to-be 24-year-old’s offseason included time spent with infielder instructor Carlos Mendoza in both Tampa and his native Dominican Republic.   […]

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All signs indicate that sophomore third baseman Miguel Andujar is plenty motivated to take the next step.  The Yankees just want to make certain that his step is taken properly — literally.

While Andujar’s bat earned him 2018 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up honors — he hit .297 with 27 home runs, 47 doubles, and 92 RBI in 149 games — the soon-to-be 24-year-old’s offseason included time spent with infielder instructor Carlos Mendoza in both Tampa and his native Dominican Republic.  

The goal?  To fix and adjust Andujar’s pre-pitch setup at the corner bag. 

In 2018, Andujar committed 15 errors, which was tied for fourth-most among all major league third basemen.  His .948 fielding percentage was also tied for third-worst among 20 big leaguers who played at least 700 innings at third. 

Poor footwork, positioning, balance, and arm angle were the causes of Andujar’s frequent defensive issues, and the Yankees hope the tweaking to his pre-pitch setup will make a noticeable difference once Opening Day arrives.  

“I think he has worked really hard at making a handful of subtle adjustments over there and is in a really good place as far as his pre-pitch that is putting him in a good, athletic position,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.  “I want to see him using his athleticism over there… Infield is so much about feet and using your legs to create hops and create athleticism.  We talk about hands all the time, but really, the great fielders have great feet and are able to stay athletic.  I feel like he’s in a much better place even now from where he was a year ago.”

Since Andujar’s defense was a liability last season, there had been speculation as to which position he would play in 2019.  First base and left field were brought up from time to time. 

But the Yankees don’t share the same level of enthusiasm.  Unless the club unexpectedly signs free agent star Manny Machado in the coming days or weeks, Andujar will remain their starting third baseman. 

And don’t count on him moving around, either. 

“I don’t expect him to.  He’ll play entirely at third,” Boone said last Wednesday during his introductory spring training press conference.  “That said, there may be a day or two that we pick to have him on a back field just to get some first base in, which we may do with [backup catcher Austin] Romine or [starting catcher] Gary [Sanchez] just to keep some versatile options when you get into a little bit of a bind.  But [Andujar’s] game work will be, I’ll say now, pretty much at third base.”

In Game 4 of last season’s ALDS against the Red Sox, the Yankees chose not to start Andujar at third base.  Instead, Neil Walker received the start — for defensive purposes — and Andujar watched the entire game from the bench.

Andujar recently told ESPN Radio’s The Michael Kay Show that Boone’s decision in Game 4 didn’t bother him.  He wanted to stay positive, in case he was eventually called upon. 

Andujar has the confidence.  He works on mental preparation.  So if he faces further issues on defense this spring, it won’t be due to some lack of effort, or care. 

“I’ve been working on my first step and my coordination and movements laterally, so I feel real good about where I am defensively heading into spring training,” Andujar said.

The Yankees are scheduled to play their first Grapefruit League exhibition game on Saturday, February 23 against the defending World Series champion Red Sox in Fort Myers, Florida. 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton weighs in on Machado, Harper, free agency drama http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-giancarlo-stanton-weighs-in-on-machado-harper-free-agency-drama/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-giancarlo-stanton-weighs-in-on-machado-harper-free-agency-drama/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 23:42:47 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65600 While it’s true that Giancarlo Stanton can’t relate to what unemployed stars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper have encountered this offseason, the Yankees’ designated hitter and outfielder does realize that baseball’s league-wide free agent freeze hasn’t been normal. Nor encouraging.  “It’s nothing like what I’ve seen since I’ve played, an offseason like this,” Stanton told reporters on Monday, the day Yankees position players officially reported to spring training camp at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex in Tampa.  “I think […]

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While it’s true that Giancarlo Stanton can’t relate to what unemployed stars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper have encountered this offseason, the Yankees’ designated hitter and outfielder does realize that baseball’s league-wide free agent freeze hasn’t been normal.

Nor encouraging. 

“It’s nothing like what I’ve seen since I’ve played, an offseason like this,” Stanton told reporters on Monday, the day Yankees position players officially reported to spring training camp at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex in Tampa.  “I think there are some issues that need to be addressed.”

Stanton is one of several players who have voiced opinions on the rapidly growing labor tension across Major League Baseball.  However, the 29-year-old didn’t offer any potential solutions to the issues players are facing under the current collective bargaining agreement, which doesn’t expire until December 2021. 

In the meantime, all Stanton can do is exhale, and then exhale some more.  Back in 2015, he agreed to the largest contract in baseball history — in terms of total dollars — when the Marlins offered him $325 million over 13 years.  According to Spotrac.com, Stanton will make $26 million ($22 million against the luxury tax) with the Yankees this season. 

So, as one of the richest players in baseball, does Stanton’s opinion toward the state of free agency hold much weight?  Well, that can be left up for debate. 

Both Machado and Harper are reportedly seeking long-term deals in the $300 million range, and according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, neither of their agents want to blink first, as this would result in one player gaining all the attention from interested suitors once the other player is off the board. 

Although it’s unclear what teams have offered Machado and Harper, the two 26-year-olds are on Hall of Fame trajectories.  Machado hit .297 (150 OPS-plus) with 37 home runs and 107 RBI between the Orioles and Dodgers in 2018, but he also damaged his reputation during the playoffs when he told The Athletic that he’ll never be “Johnny Hustle.”

As for Harper, the defending Home Run Derby champion and six-time All-Star hit .249 (133 OPS-plus) with 34 homers and 100 RBI for the Nationals.  According to FanGraphs, dating back to 1945, both Machado and Harper rank in the Top-20 of WAR (wins above replacement) accumulated through age 25.

Based on age, performance, and accolades, is either Machado or Harper worth that nine-figure valuation? 

It appears baseball owners beg to differ.  But Stanton is pulling for those two, as well as dozens of other free agents who remained unsigned with spring training camps already underway. 

“If they break [the 13-year, $325 million] contract, cool.  I’ll be happy for them,” said Stanton, who led the Yankees in home runs (38) and RBI (100) last season.  “But hopefully they can get signed over here.  I don’t know what the deal is.”

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Examining MLB proposed rule changes http://bronxpinstripes.com/across-mlb/examining-mlb-proposed-rule-changes/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/across-mlb/examining-mlb-proposed-rule-changes/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 22:02:08 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65569 Earlier this month, various rule change proposals were revealed. These include Adding a 26th man to the roster Further reducing mound visits Adding a pitch clock Changes to draft rules to prevent tanking A three-batter minimum for pitchers One trade deadline Moving or lowering the mound Adding the DH to the National League I am going to focus on a couple of the above: the pitch clock (and pace of play), the three-batter rule, and implementing the DH MLB-wide over the […]

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Earlier this month, various rule change proposals were revealed. These include

  • Adding a 26th man to the roster
  • Further reducing mound visits
  • Adding a pitch clock
  • Changes to draft rules to prevent tanking
  • A three-batter minimum for pitchers
  • One trade deadline
  • Moving or lowering the mound
  • Adding the DH to the National League

I am going to focus on a couple of the above: the pitch clock (and pace of play), the three-batter rule, and implementing the DH MLB-wide over the course of the next few weeks.

Pitch Clock

The current proposal is for a 20-second pitch clock. Below shows the 2018 distribution of pitchers’ “pace”, defined as the average time between pitches. This includes all pitchers with a minimum of 10 innings pitched.

The average was roughly 24.4 seconds. Only slightly over one percent of pitchers averaged a pace less than 20 seconds. Perhaps MLB’s definition of when the timer starts is slightly different, but this clearly would speed up most pitchers. For frame of reference, Aroldis Chapman averaged the most among Yankees pitchers at 29.0 seconds; David Hale averaged the least at 19.8 seconds. The team average was around 24.5 seconds.

I, for one, am not a huge proponent of the pitch clock. There are times when a pitcher needs to focus on varying his delivery times. For example, say there is a runner on first base who is a threat to steal. The pitcher must vary his timings, otherwise the baserunner will easily be able to get a good read and consequently a good jump to steal second. This involves the pitcher quick-pitching, holding set for a long period of time, and everything in between. Thus, assuming the way the times are calculated between Fangraphs and the MLB are identical, I think that perhaps using a pitch clock that speeds up a certain percentage of pitchers could be useful (but perhaps not all).

One very raw example would be taking the 75thpercentile for pace and setting the clock around there. For 2018 this was 25.9 seconds. This means that 25 percent of pitchers averaged longer than 25.9 seconds between pitches. The sample size was 618, so this would lead to roughly 155 pitchers needing to speed up their times.

The pitch clock is an element of a larger issue trying to be tackled by baseball: the pace of play. If you just look at the times of the games per nine innings, it certainly has risen over the history of the game. Here are the average game times per nine innings for the last three decades.

Decade

Avg. Time/9 Innings

2010-2018

2:57

2000-2009

2:50

1990-1999

2:49

That seven-minute spike this decade is quite significant. However, 2018’s average time per nine was an even 3:00, down from 3:05 in 2017.

There is one important point though: time of game does not equal pace of play.

Time of game simply tells us how long a game was from first pitch to last pitch. Pace of play has more to do with the tempo and excitement factor.

As seen above, the amount of pitchers used per game has steadily increased since 1999. This can be attributed to factors such as some teams adopting “openers” as well as the rise of analytics that has caused managers to look deeply into different matchups. The rule of having a pitcher face a minimum of three batters was proposed in order to rectify this. Pitches per plate appearance have also risen slightly, which sometimes can slow the game down.

But many fans will look at one main culprit of this debate: commercials. Major League Baseball’s revenue was $10.3 billion, and it is a business. Reducing commercials and other advertising doesn’t seem like a viable solution. In 2017, the total value of commercials during games was $313.4 million. However, another proposed change was having split-screens at the beginning of innings to cut down on the inter-inning times.

Again, time of game does not appear to be too drastic of an issue – it has been rather constant. But picking up the pace of play isn’t such a bad idea. And while the proposed changes will not be implemented in 2019, they could come sooner rather than later. Those include implementing some form of a pitch clock as well figuring out how to reduce the time between innings without losing out on ad revenue. What about the three-batter minimum?

Well, I hope to dive into that into more detail in my next article…

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MLB Pipeline releases its annual Top-30 prospects list for Yankees http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/mlb-pipeline-releases-its-annual-top-30-prospects-list-for-yankees/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/mlb-pipeline-releases-its-annual-top-30-prospects-list-for-yankees/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 18:47:45 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65588   On Monday, MLB Pipeline released its annual Top-30 Yankees prospects list for the 2019 season.  Below are the Top-10 rankings, along with a scouting report and description of each player (some videos included), per MLB Pipeline. No. 1: OF Estevan Florial (2021 ETA) — Assuming the identity of Haniel de Oleo when registering for school in the Dominican Republic, Florial emerged as one of the top prospects on the 2014 international signing market, but MLB banned him from signing for […]

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On Monday, MLB Pipeline released its annual Top-30 Yankees prospects list for the 2019 season.  Below are the Top-10 rankings, along with a scouting report and description of each player (some videos included), per MLB Pipeline.

No. 1: OF Estevan Florial (2021 ETA)Assuming the identity of Haniel de Oleo when registering for school in the Dominican Republic, Florial emerged as one of the top prospects on the 2014 international signing market, but MLB banned him from signing for one year after discovering the discrepancy. After he produced a Haitian birth certificate with a slightly different birthdate, the Yankees signed him in March 2015 for $200,000, a fraction of what he would have earned without the controversy. He quickly established that he had the best all-around tools in the system, though his development was slowed by right hamate surgery that cost him two months last summer.

Florial excites scouts with three tools that grade as well above average: his raw power, speed and arm strength. With the bat speed and loft in his left-handed swing, he’s well equipped to take advantage of Yankee Stadium. He’s still raw and overly aggressive as a hitter, leading to concerns about whether he can make enough contact to realize his full potential, though he did post the best walk rate (13 percent) and second-best strikeout rate (25 percent) of his career during his truncated 2018 season.

Florial also has a lot to learn about basestealing, though if he puts everything together he could become a 30-30 player. He’s improving as a defender in center field and should be an asset there in the big leagues. His cannon arm will fit anywhere he’s needed.

No. 2: RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (2019 ETA) — Originally signed by the Giants out of Nicaragua in 2012, Loaisiga had a decent pro debut the next summer before missing the next two years with shoulder issues and drawing his release in May 2015. The Yankees signed him in February 2016 after watching him reach 95 mph during a tryout, but he blew out his elbow after making one start in Class A and needed Tommy John surgery. He has been a revelation since returning, needing just 77 2/3 innings to rise from Rookie ball to the Majors, where he blanked the Rays for five innings in his debut last June 15.

Loaisiga lacks physicality but makes up for it with a quick arm that produces three pitches that each can grade at plus or better at their best. He sits around 95-96 mph with his four-seam fastball, pumping it up to 98 with some late life. His fading changeup was his most effective offering in his first taste of New York, though it gets a bit firm at times, and his high-spin breaking ball combines curveball depth with slider velocity in the mid-80s.

Loaisiga has a history of pounding the strike zone, averaging 1.6 walks per nine innings in his first four Minor League seasons, though his control got away from him in his introduction to big league hitters. He has the upside of a No. 2 or 3 starter if he can stay healthy — though that’s a big “if.” He has a frail build and has yet to pitch more than 80 2/3 innings in a pro season after coming down with shoulder inflammation in his fourth start with the Yankees last summer.

No. 3: RHP Albert Abreu (2020 ETA) — When Gary Sanchez made Brian McCann redundant in New York, the Yankees traded McCann to the Astros in November 2016 for Abreu and fellow right-handed pitching prospect Jorge Guzman (whom they later spun to the Marlins in a deal for Giancarlo Stanton). Signed for $185,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Abreu has shown frontline-starter upside when healthy. A shoulder strain, appendectomy and elbow inflammation limited him to 126 innings in his first two seasons with his new organization, however.

All of Abreu’s pitches grade out as plus or better when he commands them, beginning with a 94-98 mph fastball that tops out at 101 with sink and run. His power breaking ball can absolutely wipe out right-handers, combining curveball depth with slider velocity in the mid-80s. His fading changeup can shut down lefties, though it wasn’t as effective in 2018 as it was in the past.

Abreu has a short-arm delivery that provides deception but sometimes hampers him from locating his pitches. He doesn’t dominate as much as he should because he needs more consistency with his secondary pitches and better command of his entire arsenal. If he can’t do that and heads to the bullpen, he could fill a high-leverage role.

No. 4: RHP Deivi Garcia (2020 ETA) — After spending $18.1 million on the 2014 international market, the Yankees were restricted to giving out bonuses of no more than $300,000 the following summer, yet they still landed a pair of quality pitching prospects in Dominican right-handers Garcia ($200,000) and Luis Medina ($280,000). While Medina has louder stuff, Garcia has much more polish and used it to rush from low Class A to Double-A in only three months at age 19 last year. He struck out 12 in seven perfect innings in the second game of a Class A Advanced doubleheader on Aug. 6, though his Tampa team lost the game (but not the no-hitter) in the eighth.

Garcia’s best pitch is a high-spin curveball with so much depth that he’ll have to prove he can land it for strikes when more advanced hitters don’t chase it out of the zone as often. He also gets good spin on his fastball, which plays better than its 91-96 mph velocity with deceptive riding life. He made strides with his fading changeup in 2018, creating optimism that it can become at least a solid third offering.

Though he doesn’t have the smoothest delivery, Garcia repeats it well and exhibits advanced control and command for such a young pitcher. Because he’s small and works with some effort, there are some concerns about his long-term durability as a starter, but his athleticism and efficiency help his cause. His fastball/curveball combination should play well in the late innings if he winds up as a reliever.

No. 5: RHP Clarke Schmidt (2020 ETA) — One of the best pitchers in the best conference in college baseball (Southeastern) as a sophomore and junior, Schmidt went 16th overall in the 2017 Draft despite having Tommy John surgery a month earlier. The Yankees knew he wouldn’t have lasted until their next choice, so they took him early, signed him for a below-slot $2,184,300 and used the savings to afford second-rounder Matt Sauer. Schmidt returned to the mound last June and showed the potential for four solid or better pitches.

Schmidt pitches off of a 92-94 mph fastball that peaks at 96 and generates ground balls with heavy sink. While both his mid-80s slider and low-80s curveball can be plus pitches at times, they sometimes lack consistency. There are days when his tumbling changeup is his best secondary offering, though his breaking balls are generally more reliable.

Schmidt has a history of throwing strikes, but can get knocked around when he doesn’t keep his pitches down in the strike zone. His 6-foot-1 frame doesn’t create a lot of downhill plane on his pitches, and his size and less-than-smooth delivery created concerns about his durability even before he blew out his elbow. He has the best four-pitch mix among Yankees pitching prospects, so they will continue to develop him as a starter.

No. 6: C Anthony Seigler (2022 ETA) — Seigler’s notoriety as a switch-hitter and switch-pitcher who could throw in the upper 80s with equal effectiveness with either arm sometimes overshadowed the fact that he was one of the best catchers in the 2018 Draft. New York made him the first prep backstop selected, signing him for $2,815,900 as the 23rd overall pick. If he reaches the big leagues, he’ll join Jacoby Ellsbury as the only members of the Navajo Nation to do so.

The Yankees often prioritize slugging over hitting ability and defense at catcher, but Seigler doesn’t fit their usual profile. He’s extremely athletic for his position and could develop into a Gold Glover behind the plate. He has promising receiving and framing potential, and his plus arm plays even better because he has such a quick transfer.

A proficient hitter from both sides of the plate, Seigler controls the strike zone and drills line drives to all fields. He has a contact-oriented approach with solid bat speed, and while he’s not loaded with raw power, he has the hitting ability to get the most out of what he has. He’s close to an average runner and has good instincts on the bases and in all phases of the game.

No. 7: OF Everson Pereira (2022 ETA) — After two years in MLB’s penalty box for outspending their international bonus pool during the 2014-15 signing period, the Yankees faced no restrictions in 2017 and gave seven-figure bonuses to four different position players. The most advanced of the group is Pereira, who signed for $1.5 million out of Venezuela. Not only did he come to the United States for his 2018 pro debut at age 17, he also skipped a level and held his own as the youngest regular in the Appalachian League, an advanced rookie-level circuit.

Pereira couples all-around talent with advanced instincts. He uses a compact, quick right-handed stroke and impressive hand-eye coordination to lace line drives all over the field, and his 33-percent strikeout rate last year was more reflective of his youth than his future hitting ability. He has gotten stronger since signing and should develop close to average power.

Pereira has plus speed and presently uses it better in center field than on the bases. While he’s still developing basestealing savvy, he already shows the ability to chase down balls from gap to gap. He also has solid arm strength and is capable of handling all three outfield spots.

No. 8: RHP Trevor Stephan (2019 ETA) — Stephan saw more action at first base than on the mound in high school and didn’t become a full-time pitcher until he got to Hill (Texas) Junior College. He transitioned from relieving to starting after transferring to Arkansas in 2017, when he led the Southeastern Conference in strikeout rate (11.9 per nine innings) and pitched his way into the third round. He has advanced quicker than expected in pro ball, reaching Double-A 11 months after signing.

Stephan relies heavily on his fastball, which gets a heavy dose of swings and misses within the strike zone. He sits at 90-95 mph and touches 97 with significant running action that comes from his deceptive crossfire and uphill delivery. After struggling to develop a curveball, he scrapped it and had more success with a slider/cutter that has high spin rates.

His changeup is more of a work in progress after he relied mostly on his fastball in college, and it wasn’t as effective once he got to Double-A. He usually throws strikes and commands his fastball to both sides of the plate, though he struggled more than usual to locate his pitches after his promotion. There are some questions as to whether his delivery and arm action are suitable for starting every fifth day, but the Yankees envision him eventually claiming a spot in the middle of their rotation.

No. 9: OF Antonio Cabello (2022 ETA) — When the Yankees failed to sign Shohei Ohtani after the 2017 season, they regrouped and spent their surplus international money on Venezuelan position players Raimfer Salinas ($1.85 million) and Cabello ($1.35 million) in December. Scouted and signed as a catcher, Cabello had atypical athleticism for the position and moved to center field before his 2018 pro debut. He showed enough in one week in the rookie-level Dominican Summer League for New York to decide he needed a tougher challenge and to bring him to the United States at age 17.

Cabello has advanced discipline and bat-to-ball skills for a teenager. His bat speed and strength also give him plenty of raw power, which translated into him topping the rookie-level Gulf Coast League with a .555 slugging percentage. He should develop even more pop as he adds more loft to his right-handed swing.

Cabello’s speed earns well-above-average grades from some evaluators, a major factor in the Yankees’ decision to move him from behind the plate. He’s still learning as a center fielder, but should become at least an average defender once he improves his reads and routes. He has average arm strength and enough offensive ability to profile as a regular if he has to shift to a corner.

No. 10: RHP Roansy Contreras (2022 ETA) — Though international bonus rules prohibited the Yankees from paying more than $300,000 in individual bonuses in 2016 after they overspent two years earlier, they still landed some intriguing talents. Slick-fielding shortstop Jose Devers ($250,000) became part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade with the Marlins, while right-hander Yoendry Gomez ($50,000) has precocious polish. The best of the group is Contreras, who signed for $250,000 out of the Dominican Republic and reached low Class A last year at age 18.

Like many of the Yankees’ best young pitching prospects, Contreras generates high spin rates on his fastball and breaking ball. His heater sat around 91 mph when he signed and now ranges from 93-97 with riding action up in the strike zone. He has nice feel for spinning a hard curveball with good shape and the potential to give him a second plus offering.

Contreras is also making progress with a fading changeup that will help him against left-handers. He repeats his delivery well and fills the strike zone. Though he’s only 6 feet tall, his sound mechanics, strength and athleticism should allow him to remain a starter.

Here are some other notable names that appear on MLB Pipeline’s Top-30 list:

RHP Michael King (No. 12, 2019 ETA)

RHP Luis Medina (No. 14, 2022 ETA)

RHP Matt Sauer (No. 17, 2021 ETA)

RHP Osiel Rodriguez (No. 18, 2023 ETA)

INF Thairo Estrada (No. 19, 2019 ETA)

RHP Chance Adams (No. 20, 2019 ETA)

RHP Domingo Acevedo (No. 23, 2019 ETA)

OF Josh Stowers (No. 25, 2021 ETA)

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Yankees, Betances’ agent have discussed extension http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-betances-agent-have-discussed-extension/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/yankees-betances-agent-have-discussed-extension/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:25:53 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65582 With Manny Machado and Bryce Harper still available on the open market, it seems as if the Yankees have pivoted to taking care of their own. Last week, Luis Severino signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension with an option for a fifth year. Now, there are rumblings that Dellin Betances‘ agent, Jim Murray, has had conversations with Brian Cashman about a new deal. Betances said Jim Murray, his agent, has had discussions with the Cashman about a possible contract […]

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With Manny Machado and Bryce Harper still available on the open market, it seems as if the Yankees have pivoted to taking care of their own.

Last week, Luis Severino signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension with an option for a fifth year. Now, there are rumblings that Dellin Betances‘ agent, Jim Murray, has had conversations with Brian Cashman about a new deal.

Betances, who turns 31 on March 23, is entering his final year before free agency. The New York City native has been one of the best relievers in baseball since 2014. In 2018, he became the first reliever in MLB history to strike out at least 100 batters in five straight seasons.

Cashman said recently to Joel Sherman of the NY Post that the organization is “open for business” regarding players who are just short of free agency. Along with Betances, keep an eye on walk-year guys like Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks and Austin Romine, and even Aaron Judge, who isn’t arbitration eligible until 2020.

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Severino Extension, Boone Press Conference, & CC’s Final Season – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/severino-extension-boone-press-conference-ccs-final-season-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/severino-extension-boone-press-conference-ccs-final-season-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:42:40 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65576   The Bronx Pinstripes Show #301 There was a ton of news from the first official week of spring training. We discuss Luis Severino’s contract extension, takeaways from Aaron Boone’s press conference, injury updates on some key players, relationship between Boone and Gary Sanchez, the first base battle, CC Sabathia’s retirement announcement, and analytics behind if the batting lineup matters. Mailbag questions about locking-up the next core Yankee, Masahiro Tanaka’s contract, Brett Gardner’s Yankees legacy, and big surprises in 2019. […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #301

There was a ton of news from the first official week of spring training. We discuss Luis Severino’s contract extension, takeaways from Aaron Boone’s press conference, injury updates on some key players, relationship between Boone and Gary Sanchez, the first base battle, CC Sabathia’s retirement announcement, and analytics behind if the batting lineup matters. Mailbag questions about locking-up the next core Yankee, Masahiro Tanaka’s contract, Brett Gardner’s Yankees legacy, and big surprises in 2019.

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MLB hot stove: How does Yankees GM Brian Cashman view the availability of Machado, Harper now? http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/mlb-hot-stove-how-does-yankees-gm-brian-cashman-view-the-availability-of-machado-harper-now/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/mlb-hot-stove-how-does-yankees-gm-brian-cashman-view-the-availability-of-machado-harper-now/#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 21:34:38 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65529   If the Yankees have recently reassessed their attitudes toward superstar free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, don’t count on general manager Brian Cashman sharing that news willingly.  He’s still conditioned to choose his words carefully and, when necessary, bite his tongue.  Three days shy of the Yankees’ first full-squad workout in Tampa, Cashman refrained from answering questions about the availability of both Machado and Harper, who are reportedly seeking long-term deals in the $300 million range.  But he did […]

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If the Yankees have recently reassessed their attitudes toward superstar free agents Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, don’t count on general manager Brian Cashman sharing that news willingly. 

He’s still conditioned to choose his words carefully and, when necessary, bite his tongue. 

Three days shy of the Yankees’ first full-squad workout in Tampa, Cashman refrained from answering questions about the availability of both Machado and Harper, who are reportedly seeking long-term deals in the $300 million range.  But he did tell reporters that his communication with players on the open market isn’t going to stop.  The phone lines will remain open as spring training rolls along. 

So, just another tease?

“I’m doing my job,” Cashman said Saturday prior to workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field.  “Whether that’s those two players or other players or players that aren’t as of significant name value, the job at hand is to constantly be open-minded to ways to make that work the best it can possibly work, clearly within a framework, clearly with pressure points and clearly within the constructs of the system that we all signed off from, owners to players. 

“We’ve just got to work within those confines and find the best ways to make it all fit and so we like what we’ve done to this point but we’re never a finished product until at the very least August 31.”

At the moment, the Yankees’ are operating above this season’s $206 million luxury tax threshold.  According to Spotrac.com, the Yankees ($124.5 million) are second only to the Nationals ($183.3 million) in terms of money spent on free agents this offseason.  Thus far, they’ve acquired five free agents, including relief pitchers Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino ($66 million combined), starting pitcher J.A. Happ ($34 million), and infielders DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki ($24.5 million combined). 

The Yankees also just signed 24-year-old starter Luis Severino to a four-year, $40 million deal that bought out his remaining arbitration years and potentially his first year of free agency ($15 million club option in 2023).  Overall, the Yankees’ total winter spending comes out to $218 million, which is the highest mark in baseball. 

While the odds of either Machado or Harper playing in the Bronx are slim, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said last week that he’d be all ears if his staff continues to present him roster ideas that involve big-ticket items. 

“Look, if somebody comes – I haven’t changed – I mean if somebody comes to me with a suggestion or a proposal, I’m going to seriously consider it right up until Opening Day or after.  That’s part of my leave-no-stone-unturned [policy], right?” Steinbrenner said during the owners’ meetings in Orlando.  “But I’m excited about the roster.  I think we’ve definitely got a better club Opening Day than we did Opening Day last year, particularly in pitching, which was my biggest area of concern.”

Although it’s unclear what teams have offered Machado and Harper, the two 26-year-olds are undoubtedly on Hall-of-Fame tracks.  According to FanGraphs, dating back to 1945, both players rank in the Top-20 of WAR (wins above replacement) accumulated through age 25.

The Yankees are scheduled to play their first spring training game on Saturday, February 23 against the defending World Series champion Red Sox. 

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Yankees Twitter Reacts (Feb. 9-15) http://bronxpinstripes.com/social-media/yankees-twitter-reacts-feb-9-15/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/social-media/yankees-twitter-reacts-feb-9-15/#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2019 20:32:13 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65514 Welcome back to Yankees Twitter Reacts, my column filled with the best and worst takes, funniest tweets, reactions to Yankees news, and everything in between from our beloved Yankees Twitter. I want this to be as fan interactive as possible, so remember to hashtag #BPYankeesTwitter or tag me at @T_Danks_to join the conversation and submit the best and worst tweets of the week! This week was one that Yankee fans have been waiting for since October, as pitchers and catchers finally reported to Spring […]

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Welcome back to Yankees Twitter Reacts, my column filled with the best and worst takes, funniest tweets, reactions to Yankees news, and everything in between from our beloved Yankees Twitter. I want this to be as fan interactive as possible, so remember to hashtag #BPYankeesTwitter or tag me at @T_Danks_to join the conversation and submit the best and worst tweets of the week!

This week was one that Yankee fans have been waiting for since October, as pitchers and catchers finally reported to Spring Training. From that, to Severino’s extension, to the news on Ellsbury, here’s this week’s edition of Yankees Twitter Reacts.

Check out last week’s roundup in case you missed it.  

NEWS OF THE WEEK – SEVERINO SIGNS EXTENSION

There was a lot of Yankees news this week, but perhaps the most important was that Luis Severino and the Yankees agreed on a contract extension on Friday. The 4-year, $40 million dollar deal secures that Severino is in pinstripes through 2022 with a club option for 2023. This deal is great for a lot of reasons, but especially because now Severino will avoid arbitration entirely.

YANKEES TWITTER REACTS TO SEVY’S EXTENSION

 

YANKEES REPORT TO SPRING TRAINING

The wait is over! On Wednesday, Yankees pitchers and catchers reported to spring training 127 days removed from their ALDS loss to the Red Sox. While this was the official starting date for pitchers and catchers, most players reported to Tampa last week.

Here’s how Yankees Twitter reacted to the Yanks reporting to Tampa (Spoiler: they were excited).

ELLSBURY TO MISS START OF TRAINING CAMP

Aaron Boone notified us that Jacoby Ellsbury would not be reporting to camp with the other positional players due to a plantar fasciitis issue. However, Boone said he expects him back in March.

Ellsbury has become one of the more hated Yankee players, as his massive contract has not nearly matched his output. Ellsbury is entering his 6th year with the Yankees, and he’s played just over three seasons worth of games… and the Yanks have been paying him more than $20 million a year.

WORST TAKE OF THE WEEK

These types of tweets have been a common theme for this section of the column. It boggles my mind that there are people out there who actually believe the Yankees had a bad offseason and that they are being cheap. What stands out in this particular tweet for me is the “get used to a losing culture.” That statement comes a season after the Yanks reached 100 wins, never mind the fact that they have 27 titles. I could go on about how bad this tweet is because it sounds too stupid to be real, but it is undoubtedly the worst take of the week.

I’ll just leave this here:

BEST TAKE OF THE WEEK

You can say what you want about Severino, but you can’t argue the fact that he is a top tier starter in baseball. So many people were on his case for his poor second half, but as Max says, it happens. Keeping Severino in the Bronx for just $10 million a year is a bargain, especially if we see the first half version of Luis Severino again.

FUNNIEST TWEETS OF THE WEEK

Thanks for reading this week’s edition of Yankees Twitter Reacts! Remember, if you see something that you think deserves to be in the column next week, be sure to hashtag #BPYankeesTwitter or tag me on Twitter @T_Danks_ ! And be sure to listen to the most recent episode of The Bronx Pinstripes Show: http://smarturl.it/YankeesPodcast 

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Report: Yankees to extend Luis Severino http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/report-yankees-to-extend-luis-severino/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/report-yankees-to-extend-luis-severino/#respond Fri, 15 Feb 2019 17:23:53 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65520 According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Yankees and Luis Severino have agreed to a four-year, $40 million ($2.75 million buyout included) contract extension with an option for a fifth year that would take the deal to $52.25 million. The extension, pending a physical, buys out Severino’s four remaining arbitration years, and possibly his first year of free agency eligibility. Hear #Yankees and Luis Severino avoided an arbitration hearing by reaching agreement on a multi-year deal pending a […]

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According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Yankees and Luis Severino have agreed to a four-year, $40 million ($2.75 million buyout included) contract extension with an option for a fifth year that would take the deal to $52.25 million. The extension, pending a physical, buys out Severino’s four remaining arbitration years, and possibly his first year of free agency eligibility.

This should be considered as a great deal for both the team and player, as Severino now has security and a nice payday and the Yankees have their ace under team control through his age-29 season.

Sherman noted that the Yankees have largely avoided extensions with arbitration eligible players in recent years because the Average Annual Value (AAV) is factored into the luxury tax payroll.

However, since the Yankees have made a concerted effort to get underneath the luxury tax threshold, they felt the time was right to extend an important piece of their core. Severino will now cost $10 million annually for tax purposes, according to Sherman, which raises the payroll from $215 million to $220 million for 2019.

Severino, who will turn 25 on Feb. 20, went 19-8 with 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts in 191.1 innings in 2018. He faded in the second half, and said recently that he changed his diet and workout regiment over the offseason to ensure he doesn’t get tired over the course of the season.

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CC Sabathia to hold press conference on Saturday http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/cc-sabathia-to-hold-press-conference-on-saturday/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/cc-sabathia-to-hold-press-conference-on-saturday/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2019 18:06:17 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65488 With pitchers and catchers reporting this week, New York Yankees lefty CC Sabathia is ready to get back to work. But not before addressing the media with his plans following the 2019 campaign. According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Sabathia will hold a press conference on Saturday. Sabathia assured the media it had nothing to do with his health but it’s likely he’ll discuss his retirement after this season. CC Sabathia is having a press conference […]

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With pitchers and catchers reporting this week, New York Yankees lefty CC Sabathia is ready to get back to work. But not before addressing the media with his plans following the 2019 campaign.

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Sabathia will hold a press conference on Saturday. Sabathia assured the media it had nothing to do with his health but it’s likely he’ll discuss his retirement after this season.

Sabathia signed a one-year contract back in November, while consecutively declaring it as the final one in his 19-year career. In 29 starts, Sabathia went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.314 WHIP in 153 inning.

In conjunction with 2019 being Sabathia’s final campaign, he is slated to miss the first five games of the season due to suspension. He’s slated to return to the Yankees on April 3 against the Detroit Tigers.

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Yankees seasons ending in nine http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/yankees-seasons-ending-in-nine/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/yankees-history/yankees-seasons-ending-in-nine/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2019 17:40:00 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65441 The year 2019 means a year ending in nine for the New York Yankees. Some of them ended in triumph, others in tragedy. A final title for the core four. A team crowned team of the decade, most successful franchise of the century. We said hello and goodbye to captain Thurman Munson. Goodbye to the Iron Horse and the end of a quartet of consecutive titles. Hello to the OL’ Perfesser and the ushering in of the longest consecutive run […]

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The year 2019 means a year ending in nine for the New York Yankees. Some of them ended in triumph, others in tragedy. A final title for the core four. A team crowned team of the decade, most successful franchise of the century. We said hello and goodbye to captain Thurman Munson. Goodbye to the Iron Horse and the end of a quartet of consecutive titles. Hello to the OL’ Perfesser and the ushering in of the longest consecutive run of championships (five) in baseball history.

Only time will tell if the 2019 squad will have a special season. Below, we take a look back at the years ending in nine.

1909

Still, a second division squad, the New York Highlanders went 74-77 and finished in fifth place with George Stallings at the helm. Starting Jack Warhop paced the team with a 4.3 WAR and boasted a 2.40 ERA. Outfielder Clyde Engle topped the club with 137 hits.

1919

The fortunes of the Yankee franchise began to take a turn for the better under the stewardship of Miller Huggins. Boasting a mark of 80-59, that squad finished in third place. Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh‘s 6.3 WAR topped the club, as did his .390 on-base percentage. On the pitching side, Bob Shawkey tossed 22 complete games, won 20 games and fanned 122.

1929

The stock market crashed and after winning two consecutive titles, the Murderers’ Row filled roster took a dip as well. Huggins wouldn’t finish the season because of illness and died in September. Those Yankees went 88-66 and finished in second place. Babe Ruth slugged 46 home runs. boasted a WAR of 8.0 and an OPS of 1.128. Lou Gehrig swatted 35 home runs. Tony Lazzeri batted .354. Rookie catcher Bill Dickey posted a .324 batting average. Yet, the pitching was not quite as stellar.

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1939

The first dynasty of the Silent Generation, “Marse Joe” McCarthy’s club earned its fourth consecutive World Series title. The Yankees were 106-45 and swept the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0. A dying Gehrig would deliver his “luckiest man” speech, perhaps the most famous in baseball history. Joe DiMaggio topped the Bronx Bombers with an 8.1 WAR and cracked 30 home runs. Joe Gordon smacked 28 home runs. Red Ruffing tossed five shutouts, 22 complete games, pitched to a 2.93 ERA and won 21 games.

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1949

The first dynasty of the Baby Boomers. First-year skipper Casey Stengel would guide his Pinstripes to the first of five consecutive World Series titles. The Bronx Bombers went 97-57, turned back hard-charging Boston Red Sox at the end of the season and defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-1. Much as the 2009 squad listed below did, this team celebrated its share of walk-off victories, including eight during the regular season. Despite being slowed as part of a hobbled lineup DiMaggio’s 4.4 WAR and 1.055 OPS topped the Yanks. DiMaggio also made his famous “I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee,” speech. Old Reliable Tommy Henrich socked 24 home runs and won Game 1 of the World Series with a 1-0 walk-off home run. A stellar staff of Vic Raschi, Eddie Lopat, Allie Reynolds, Tommy Byrne and Joe Page, helped carry New York. Dr. Bobby Brown hit .500 in the Fall Classic.

1959

A run of four straight AL Pennants came to a close for the defending champs in the only season in which they won less than 92 games during the decade. With Stengel still at the helm, these Yankees went 79-75 and finished in third place. Mickey Mantle swatted 31 bombs.

1969

By 1969, Mantle was gone but there were some signs of promise despite a dismal year. Under “the Major,” Ralph Houk, New York finished at 80-81, fifth place in the AL East. Mel Stottlemyre led the squad with a 6.1 WAR, earning All-Star honors with 20 wins, a 2.82 ERA and 24 complete games in 303 innings. Roy White was also an All-Star with a team-leading .818 OPS. Munson also made his Yankees debut, appearing in 26 games.

1979

Following a run of three straight AL Pennants and two consecutive World Series titles, 1979 was a down year in more ways than one. Under Bob Lemon and Billy Martin, New York was 89-71, fourth in the AL East. Munson would perish in a plane crash. It was also the final season in pinstripes for White and Catfish Hunter. Ron Guidry topped the club with a 6.5 WAR and 201 strikeouts. Reggie Jackon cracked 29 home runs.

1989

The 1980s remain the last, most recent decade without a title (hint, hint, 2019 team) and under Dallas Green and Bucky Dent they went 74-87 and finished in fifth place in the AL East in 1989. Don Mattingly wrapped 23 home runs and boasted a .828 OPS. The Yankees said hello to Jesse Barfield and adios to Rickey Henderson. The pitching was abysmal.

1999

Party like it’s 1999. In the midst of a three-peat, Joe Torre‘s Yanks cemented themselves as the team of the decade and most successful franchise of the century. The defending champs went 98-64, 11-1 in the playoffs, sweeping the Texas Rangers 3-0, dismantling the Red Sox 4-1 and lowered the broom on the Atlanta Braves, 4-0. After DiMaggio passed away, the team honored him by wearing his No. 5 on their uniform sleeves. Eight players in the lineup reached double digits in home runs. David Cone twirled a perfect game against the Montreal Expos. Derek Jeter set a then-franchise record for shortstops with 24 home runs. Bernie Williams clubbed a walk-off home run in the ALCS against Boston and Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez earned ALCS MVP honors with a 1.80 ERA in two starts, fanning 13 in 15 frames. Future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera placed an exclamation point on a regular season which saw him pitch to an ERA of 1.83 with 45 saves, by earning the World Series MVP, tossing 4.2 scoreless frames in three games against the Braves.

2009

A new house was christened with a title. Moving across the street with the core four intact and some new mercenaries, Joe Girardi‘s team went 103-59, restoring New York to the top of the baseball world. It was also a year of wild walk-offs and pies from A.J. Burnett and Nick Swisher. Jeter batted .334. Mark Teixeira slammed 39 home runs and was second in AL MVP voting. CC Sabathia led the staff with 19 victories and earned ALCS MVP honors with a 1.13 ERA in two starts against the Los Angeles Angels. Rivera, Phil Hughes and David Robertson were lights out in the pen. Alex Rodriguez came up clutch with six home runs throughout the postseason against the Minnesota Twins, Angels and Philadelphia Phillies. Andy Pettitte won the clincher in all three rounds of the playoffs. Hideki Matsui went out with a bang, earning World Series MVP honors with a 2.027 OPS. During the Game 6 clincher at Yankee Stadium, Matsui became Pedro Martinez‘s daddy, smacking a home run and tying a single-game World Series record by plating six runs.

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Luis Severino and Yankees previously engaged in extension talks http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/luis-severino-and-yankees-previously-engaged-in-extension-talks/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/luis-severino-and-yankees-previously-engaged-in-extension-talks/#respond Wed, 13 Feb 2019 17:27:26 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65475 The New York Yankees and ace Luis Severino are scheduled to convene with an arbitrator to discuss Severino’s salary for the 2019 season. However, the Yankees have also shown interest in keeping the left-hander for the long term. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Yankees and Severino previously had extension talks, although it’s unclear how close either side is in the negotiation process. Yankees and Luis Severino have had extension talks, as well, but no word they are […]

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The New York Yankees and ace Luis Severino are scheduled to convene with an arbitrator to discuss Severino’s salary for the 2019 season. However, the Yankees have also shown interest in keeping the left-hander for the long term.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Yankees and Severino previously had extension talks, although it’s unclear how close either side is in the negotiation process.


It’s a rarity for the Yankees to hand out or even discuss extensions; the last time the team agreed to an extension was in 2014. New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner agreed to a four-year, $52 Million contract, which took him into the 2018 season. The team recently bought out Gardner’s previous contract and provided him with a one-year deal in 2019.

Severino went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP in 191.1 innings in 2018. However, Severino had a poor second-half of the season, going 5-6 with a 5.57 ERA in 12 starts.

Severino’s second-half struggle could be a deciding factor in his upcoming arbitration hearing. The 24-year-old recently filed at $5.25 Million while the Yankees countered at $4.4 Million. MLB Trade Rumors projects Severino will make approximately $5.1 Million in 2019.

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Report: Posada to join Miami Marlins front office http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/report-posada-to-join-marlins-front-office/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/report-posada-to-join-marlins-front-office/#respond Tue, 12 Feb 2019 21:48:08 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65443 Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are set to work together once again. Source confirms that Jorge Posada is joining the Marlins organization as a special advisor to baseball operations. @CraigMish was first with the news. — Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 12, 2019 According to Craig Mish of Sirius XM, Posada has accepted a role within the Miami Marlins organization. As a member of the Marlins front office, Posada will serve as a special advisor to Baseball Operations. It shouldn’t be […]

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Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are set to work together once again.

According to Craig Mish of Sirius XM, Posada has accepted a role within the Miami Marlins organization. As a member of the Marlins front office, Posada will serve as a special advisor to Baseball Operations.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Posada is joining the Marlins front office staff, as his friendship with Jeter off the field has been well-documented.

Posada will look to help Jeter bring a winning tradition to Miami. The Marlins are currently in a complete rebuild, as the franchise traded away some of its key assets (including Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich) when Jeter took over as the face of the organization last year.

The Marlins have a few Yankee connections currently within their organization. Gary Denbo (former Yankees Vice President of Player Development) is actively serving as the team’s Director of Player Development and Scouting, while long-time Yankee Don Mattingly is the team’s manager.

It will be interesting to see if Jeter can turn around the franchise with the help of Posada. Maybe this move is a sign that Jeter will ultimately look for more of his prior Yankee connections to assist him with the organization’s turn around.

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How the Yankee pitchers stack up: Part 1 Rotation http://bronxpinstripes.com/pitching-staff/how-the-yankee-pitchers-stack-up-part-1-rotation/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/pitching-staff/how-the-yankee-pitchers-stack-up-part-1-rotation/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 13:53:52 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65418 Anyone who’s familiar with my writing knows that I absolutely love Statcast. In addition to providing us data and statistics that we never had before, they also do an incredible job of turning that data into visualizations that help us better understand what is going on in the field. Recently they unveiled a new visualization about pitcher percentile rankings which can help show us how pitchers compare to the rest of their league in a variety of measures. This week, […]

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Anyone who’s familiar with my writing knows that I absolutely love Statcast. In addition to providing us data and statistics that we never had before, they also do an incredible job of turning that data into visualizations that help us better understand what is going on in the field. Recently they unveiled a new visualization about pitcher percentile rankings which can help show us how pitchers compare to the rest of their league in a variety of measures.

This week, I am going to take a look at the Yankees’ rotation, and then next week we will take a look at the Yankees star-studded bullpen.

Luis Severino

Everyone knows that Sevy is one of the best pitchers in the game, and this graphic helps explain why:

You can see how in addition to great fastball velocity, Severino has great spin on that fastball. That helps the pitch have a rising effect, which makes it look even faster. Used up in the zone, his fastball is nearly untouchable. That goes a long way to how he racks up so many strikeouts with his fastball despite not being the tallest pitcher around. Even though Severino throws so hard, his batted ball profile is near league average. Great stuff + good batted ball profile = one hell of a pitcher.

James Paxton

With the Yankees’ shiny new toy, you see a bit more of an extreme profile:

Paxton has elite fastball velocity and an elite K%, yet when batters make contact they hit the ball hard. Average fastball spin rate and a below average curveball spin rate can help explain why batters are able to square Paxton up more than they should. Despite the hard hit tendencies, Paxton is able to sustain a low xwOBA and xSLG which means batters are not doing too much damage against him. The encouraging part with this is that it shows Paxton’s potential. If he can limit the hard hit damage, all the tools are there for Paxton to be an ace.

Masahiro Tanaka

Tanaka’s visualization is especially interesting because it seems to highlight what he does poorly rather than what he does well:

Other than K%, Tanaka is at or below average in all of these respects. You can see that his fastball velocity and spin are both below average, which explains why this is such a poor pitch for him. His curveball is also more of the “get me over” type rather than a hard, biting strikeout pitch. Despite all this, Tanaka is an effective pitcher because of two things not shown here: his slider and his splitter. Both of those pitches are highly effective for him, and his splitter might be the best in baseball.

J.A. Happ

Happ has one of the more interesting profiles because he is fastball dominant, yet he has a below-average fastball velocity:

And the picture shows why – despite low velocity, Happ has a great spin rate which makes the pitch more effective. And despite being so fastball heavy, Happ is still able to maintain above average K%. It is also encouraging that his batted-ball profile is above average because of Happ’s older age. If we start seeing him give up more hard hits or a higher xwOBA, we should start to be worried about age-related decline. Similarly, if his spin rates start to drop, it might be worrisome.

CC Sabathia

Last but certainly not least is the big fella, and lol is his chart something.

Really low fastball velocity and spin but amazing batted-ball profile. CC succeeds now not by overpowering batters, but by preventing them from hitting the ball hard. You can see how his exit velocity allowed is right up there with the league leaders, and this leads to great numbers in hard hit %, wxOBA, xBA, and xSLG. So long as CC is able to keep hitters off-balance and making soft contact, we should be in for one final year of great back-end rotation pitching.

Summary

You can see the variety of stuff and approaches that the Yankees’ staff has. Severino is reminiscent of a fireballer who dares batters to catch up with his fastball and the same goes for Paxton. Tanaka relies on his off-speed pitches and only uses his fastball when necessary. Happ is somewhere in the middle with his fastball-heavy approach but not overpowering fastball velocity. And then we have late-career CC who uses his cutter and slider to perfection by avoiding barrels.

The point of all this was to show how these pitchers attack batters differently based on their stuff and that there is no one best way to pitch. Next week we’ll take a look at the ridiculous Yankees bullpen.

Spoiler alert: they’ll be a lot of red in the visualizations.

You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20

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Celebrating #300, MLB Rule Changes + Yankees Mailbags – The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/celebrating-300-mlb-rule-changes-yankees-mailbags-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/podcast/celebrating-300-mlb-rule-changes-yankees-mailbags-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 12:16:29 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65437 The Bronx Pinstripes Show #300 Today is our 300th episode! We take a minute to talk about the 4 years we’ve been doing this podcast and send a big thank you to all the listeners. Topics this week include: MLB rule changes and how it could impact the game, rule chances we’d like to see implemented, the possible Gardner/Frazier platoon in LF, and mailbags about a reported offer the Yanks made to Machado, where Judge should hit in the lineup, […]

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The Bronx Pinstripes Show #300

Today is our 300th episode! We take a minute to talk about the 4 years we’ve been doing this podcast and send a big thank you to all the listeners.

Topics this week include: MLB rule changes and how it could impact the game, rule chances we’d like to see implemented, the possible Gardner/Frazier platoon in LF, and mailbags about a reported offer the Yanks made to Machado, where Judge should hit in the lineup, the team home run record, Ottavino being a cat guy, rooting for players vs. rooting for laundry, and more Yankees trivia. Best of 2018 season voicemails end the show!

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Yankees Twitter Reacts (Feb. 2-8) http://bronxpinstripes.com/social-media/yankees-twitter-reacts-feb-2-8/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/social-media/yankees-twitter-reacts-feb-2-8/#comments Fri, 08 Feb 2019 15:27:48 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65394 Welcome back to Yankees Twitter Reacts, my column filled with the best and worst takes, funniest tweets, reactions to Yankees news, and everything in between from our beloved Yankees Twitter. I want this to be as fan interactive as possible, so remember to hashtag #BPYankeesTwitter or tag me at @T_Danks_to join the conversation and submit the best and worst tweets of the week! It was another quiet week for Yankees Twitter, as it seems everyone is in their last stages of hibernation before pitchers […]

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Welcome back to Yankees Twitter Reacts, my column filled with the best and worst takes, funniest tweets, reactions to Yankees news, and everything in between from our beloved Yankees Twitter. I want this to be as fan interactive as possible, so remember to hashtag #BPYankeesTwitter or tag me at @T_Danks_to join the conversation and submit the best and worst tweets of the week!

It was another quiet week for Yankees Twitter, as it seems everyone is in their last stages of hibernation before pitchers and catchers report next week. At this point, everyone is itching for the season, especially with the lack of Yankees news from the past two weeks. However, even the quietest weeks of the offseason can’t keep Yankees Twitter silent – between Zach Britton changing his name to Zack and Bryce Harper posting a story with a clean shaved beard, here’s this week’s edition of Yankees Twitter Reacts.

Check out last week’s roundup in case you missed it. 

NEWS OF THE WEEK – ZACH IS BRINGING THE ‘K’ BACK

You know the offseason is hitting-hard when this is the biggest news of the week. Nonetheless, it is news, as the man we formerly knew as Zach will now go by Zack. I know this might be a lot to handle.

It seems as if Zack’s legal name actually is Zack, and that he just wants to return to being called that. I’m not sure if this was known prior to all of this, because I certainly didn’t know it. But hey, as Michael Clair from Yankees.com states, “pitchers can always use more K’s.”

YANKEES TWITTER REACTS TO THE NEW ZACK

Here’s how Yankees Twitter reacted to the major news:

BRYCE HARPER IS CLEAN SHAVEN?

Even if you consider yourself a casual Yankees fan, you probably know that all players on the roster must have a clean shaven face. A famous example of this is Johnny Damon, who had to shave his beard when he joined the Yanks.

Speaking of beards, Bryce Harper had one. Bryce Harper is also still a free agent, which is why his Instagram story (see above) caused so much hype.

Did Bryce shave his beard in preparation to sign with the Yankees? No one knows, but this has sparked a lot of speculation, especially from Yankees Twitter.

This isn’t the first time Yankees fans went nuts over Harper shaving. You may remember that Harper shaved his beard before the Yankees and Nats played a series last June. What did that mean? What does this mean? Time will tell…

THE COUNTDOWN TO PITCHERS AND CATCHERS CONTINUES

Now that the Super Bowl is over, the only thing on anybody’s mind is how many more days are left until pitchers and catchers report. If you read last week’s column, you’d know that the countdown has started even before this week. But the countdown is ticking closer to Ottavino, so here is an updated count from a few excited Yankees Tweeters.

The countdown will be over soon, everyone!

A BLOCKBUSTER (AND TERRIBLE) TRADE THAT THANKFULLY NEVER HAPPENED

During the winter meetings, there were some serious rumors swirling that the Yankees were in talks for a three-way trade with the Mets and Marlins in a deal that would’ve included JT Realmuto and Noah Snydergaard. Realmuto was finally traded to the Phillies this week, which inspired this tweet from MLB Network Insider Joel Sherman.

There are 100 reasons why this would have been a bad trade for the Yankees. But for relevance sake, it’s laughable to compare Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar to the return that the Marlins got today. I imagine Cashman hung up the phone with Jeter faster than a Giancarlo Stanton laser up the middle, because Sanchez and Andujar is far too much even for a stud like Syndergaard.

WORST TAKE OF THE WEEK

It’s one thing to be upset about the Yankees not extending for Harper or Manny Machado, but it’s another thing to accuse Hal Steinbrenner of not wanting to win. The “Hal is cheap” narrative is tired. Disagreeing on team direction is fine, but the argument that Steinbrenner is BS-ing the fans about wanting to win is a super cold take.

BEST TAKE OF THE WEEK

There is so much about this tweet that I love. Let’s break it down.

For starters, it’s clear that having Harper and/or Machado would improve the Yanks World Series chances. There isn’t anyone on the planet arguing against that.

BUT (there’s always a but) there is a hefty price to pay for players of their caliber, and that is no different in this situation. It’s so easy as a Yankees fan to expect Cashman to go out and buy anything he wants, but that’s not how it works. If the price is right, I believe Cashman would do it. But it doesn’t seem like any team is comfortable with their asking price considering it’s February and Harper and Machado are still free agents.

FUNNIEST TWEETS OF THE WEEK

Thanks for reading this week’s edition of Yankees Twitter Reacts! Remember, if you see something that you think deserves to be in the column next week, be sure to hashtag #BPYankeesTwitter or tag me on Twitter @T_Danks_ ! And be sure to listen to the most recent episode of The Bronx Pinstripes Show: http://smarturl.it/YankeesPodcast 

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Why Hal Steinbrenner hasn’t closed the door on Yankees adding Machado or Harper http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/why-hal-steinbrenner-hasnt-closed-the-door-on-yankees-adding-machado-or-harper/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/why-hal-steinbrenner-hasnt-closed-the-door-on-yankees-adding-machado-or-harper/#respond Thu, 07 Feb 2019 22:33:36 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65400   While a large contingent of Yankees fans are convinced the franchise won’t pony up the dough needed to acquire either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, perhaps it’s time to pump the brakes on that chatter. Hal Steinbrenner is still operating with a ‘never say never’ mentality.  The Yankees owner told Newsday on Thursday that he’ll be all ears if his staff continues to present him roster ideas that involve big-ticket items.  In this case, those big-ticket items are Machado and […]

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While a large contingent of Yankees fans are convinced the franchise won’t pony up the dough needed to acquire either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, perhaps it’s time to pump the brakes on that chatter.

Hal Steinbrenner is still operating with a ‘never say never’ mentality. 

The Yankees owner told Newsday on Thursday that he’ll be all ears if his staff continues to present him roster ideas that involve big-ticket items.  In this case, those big-ticket items are Machado and Harper — two 26-year-old superstars who, inexplicably, remain free agents as spring training looms. 

“Look, if somebody comes – I haven’t changed – I mean if somebody comes to me with a suggestion or a proposal, I’m going to seriously consider it right up until Opening Day or after.  That’s part of my leave-no-stone-unturned [policy], right?” Steinbrenner said during the owners’ meetings in Orlando.  “But I’m excited about the roster.  I think we’ve definitely got a better club Opening Day than we did Opening Day last year, particularly in pitching, which was my biggest area of concern.”

According to Spotrac.com, the Yankees ($124.5 million) are second only to the Washington Nationals ($183.3 million) in terms of money spent on free agents this offseason.  Thus far, they’ve acquired five free agents, including relief pitcherZack Britton and Adam Ottavino ($66 million combined), starting pitcher J.A. Happ ($34 million), and infielders DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki ($24.5 million combined). 

Overall, the Yankees’ total winter spending comes out to $178 million, which ranks third-highest in baseball. 

Steinbrenner also dismissed the criticism he’s recently received from fans and supporters.

“If there’s a narrative that we’re not spending money and being cheap, it’s just false,” he said.  “I mean, we’re well above $200 million [in payroll] – we’re at $220 [million] right now – and we’re well above where we were last year.  We did everything we wanted to do to really improve, again, the pitching, because that’s where I wanted improvement because as far as I’m concerned pitching was a big problem in the Division Series, more so than anything else.”

On Tuesday, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone told reporters that he believes the franchise has finished adding big pieces.

“I feel like in a lot of ways, we’re a complete team right now,” Boone said.  “You look at the moves we’ve made this winter, it’s hard to deny that we haven’t significantly improved our club… We feel like we have a team capable of hopefully going out and competing for a championship.

“I think our team is pretty much set… Obviously things happen that force Brian [Cashman, general manager] and his staff to pivot on certain things, but I think it’s safe to assume that we’re going to spring training with the team we expect to have… You never say never with anything, but I would also say we’re anticipating we have a great team right now and feel like we have a complete team that is ready to go compete for a championship.”

It’s not hyperbole to say Machado and Harper are on Hall-of-Fame tracks.  According to FanGraphs, dating back to 1945, both players rank in the Top-20 of WAR (wins above replacement) accumulated through age 25.

Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, February 13, and the team’s first full-squad workout is scheduled for Tuesday, February 19.

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Are the Yankees AL East favorites in 2019? PECOTA projections say… http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/are-the-yankees-al-east-favorites-in-2019-pecota-projections-say/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/news-rumors/are-the-yankees-al-east-favorites-in-2019-pecota-projections-say/#respond Thu, 07 Feb 2019 17:18:41 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65386   The Yankees haven’t celebrated an American League East title since 2012.  Will they finally reclaim the division in 2019? Let’s go with… definitely maybe.  Baseball Prospectus released its annual PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections on Thursday, and the Yankees are currently favorites to win the AL East with a 95-67  regular season record.  Trailing in the division are the defending World Series champion Red Sox (89-73, 2nd place), Rays (86-76, 3rd place), Blue Jays (76-86, […]

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The Yankees haven’t celebrated an American League East title since 2012.  Will they finally reclaim the division in 2019?

Let’s go with… definitely maybe. 

Baseball Prospectus released its annual PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections on Thursday, and the Yankees are currently favorites to win the AL East with a 95-67  regular season record.  Trailing in the division are the defending World Series champion Red Sox (89-73, 2nd place), Rays (86-76, 3rd place), Blue Jays (76-86, 4th place), and Orioles (59-103, 5th place).

PECOTA’s projections also include total runs scored and total runs allowed, and the Yankees are slated to score the most runs in baseball this year (801), while allowing the sixth-fewest (662).  

Last season, PECOTA projected a 97-65 first-place finish for the Yankees.  The team wound up winning 100 games for the first time since 2009, but their championship hopes were squashed by their arch-rival Red Sox in the best-of-five ALDS.  Of course, PECOTA’s numbers aren’t an exact science, as they determined that Boston, who won a franchise-record 108 games in 2018, would finish the year with a 89-73 record.

PECOTA also offers projections for all batters and pitchers on major league rosters.  Since there are dozens of free agents still available on the market (i.e. Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel), these roster figures will change once players agree to contract terms with teams.

In the meantime, here are some of PECOTA’s roster projections for the Yankees:

– RF  Aaron Judge:  .260 BA, .381 OBP, .511 SLG, 34 HR, 90 RBI

– OF/DH  Giancarlo Stanton:  .261 BA, .358 OBP, .519 SLG, 38 HR, 105 RBI

– C  Gary Sanchez:  .254 BA, .333 OBP, .474 SLG, 29 HR, 86 RBI

– 3B  Miguel Andujar:  .273 BA, .320 OBP, .464 SLG, 22 HR, 72 RBI

– INF  Gleyber Torres:  .260 BA, .337 OBP, .443 SLG, 20 HR, 65 RBI

– SP  Luis Severino:  174.0 IP, 29 GS, 17 QS, 14-6 3.55 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .294 BABIP

– SP  James Paxton:  156.0 IP, 26 GS, 16 QS, 12-6, 3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .302 BABIP

– RP  Aroldis Chapman:  52.0 IP, 2.39 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .296 BABIP, 35 SV

– RP  Dellin Betances:  57.0 IP, 2.53 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .292 BABIP, 5 SV

– RP  Zack Britton:  52.0 IP, 3.77 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .286 BABIP, 4 SV

According to Spotrac.com, the Yankees ($124.5 million) are second only to the Washington Nationals ($183.3 million) in terms of money spent on free agents this offseason.  Thus far, the Yankees have acquired five free agents, including relief pitchers Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino ($66 million combined), starting pitcher J.A. Happ ($34 million), and infielders DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki ($24.5 million combined). 

Overall, the Yankees’ total winter spending comes out to $178 million, which ranks third-highest in baseball. 

“I feel like in a lot of ways, we’re a complete team right now,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Tuesday.  “You look at the moves we’ve made this winter, it’s hard to deny that we haven’t significantly improved our club… We feel like we have a team capable of hopefully going out and competing for a championship.

“I think our team is pretty much set… Obviously things happen that force Brian [Cashman, general manager] and his staff to pivot on certain things, but I think it’s safe to assume that we’re going to spring training with the team we expect to have… You never say never with anything, but I would also say we’re anticipating we have a great team right now and feel like we have a complete team that is ready to go compete for a championship.”

Of the 10 teams that reached the postseason last October, PECOTA currently expects six of them to return in 2019.  Based on records, PECOTA projects that the Astros will obtain the best record in baseball at 98-64, followed by the Indians at 97-65, Yankees at 95-67, and Dodgers at 94-68. 

The six remaining playoff teams include the Nationals (89-73), Red Sox (89-73), Mets (88-74), Brewers (88-74), Rays (86-76), and Cardinals (86-76).  The Rockies and Phillies are also projected to finish with 86 wins. 

Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, February 13, and the team’s first full-squad workout is scheduled for Tuesday, February 19.

 

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at thanslin@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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Yankees outfield prospect Josh Stowers joins The Bronx Pinstripes Show http://bronxpinstripes.com/interviews/yankees-outfield-prospect-josh-stowers-joins-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/interviews/yankees-outfield-prospect-josh-stowers-joins-the-bronx-pinstripes-show/#respond Wed, 06 Feb 2019 18:35:43 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65365 Josh Stowers was traded to the Yankees about two weeks ago, but it didn’t take long for him to join The Bronx Pinstripes Show. On another special Tuesday edition, the newly-acquired Yankees outfield prospect talked to Scott Reinen about the trade, his Chicago roots, and much more. Stowers was a part of the three-team trade that sent Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds. In addition to sending Gray to the Reds, the Yankees also sent second baseman Shed Long to […]

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Josh Stowers was traded to the Yankees about two weeks ago, but it didn’t take long for him to join The Bronx Pinstripes Show.

On another special Tuesday edition, the newly-acquired Yankees outfield prospect talked to Scott Reinen about the trade, his Chicago roots, and much more.

Stowers was a part of the three-team trade that sent Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds. In addition to sending Gray to the Reds, the Yankees also sent second baseman Shed Long to the Mariners in exchange for Stowers.

Stowers was selected by the Mariners with the 54th pick in the 2018 MLB Draft after a successful college career with Louisville. He was named 1st Team All-ACC after his final season, a season in which he led the conference in stolen bases while ranking 2nd in OBP, T-5th in RBI, and 8th in batting average. He also ranked top five in all of Division I baseball in stolen bases and runs.

On the show, Stowers talked about his own scouting report, and highlighted that stealing ability as one of his strengths.

“I’m pretty good at stealing bases, and that’s pretty much why I walk a lot… I kind of use the stealing bases neck that I have to help out the hitter because you know [my] scouting report is about steals, so it usually gives the hitter a good pitch to hit. So even if I don’t steal the base, they’ll get a pretty good fastball that’s gonna be around the zone and I can go from first to third or first to home depending on where it’s hit.”

Stowers also discussed his preparation at the plate and what goes into account before he faces a pitcher.

Stowers acknowledged that there is value to analytics and that they matter to an extent, but he doesn’t want to overload himself with information while he’s at the plate. However, he emphasized the importance of watching his mechanics, mentioning that he always brings a tripod to video himself so he knows the difference between “a good hitting day and a bad hitting day.”

On the episode, Stowers also talked about:

  • His reactions and thoughts after being traded to the Yankees
  • His childhood in Chicago and what other sports he played
  • Whether he’s a dog or cat guy (as we know, this can say a lot about a person)
  • His takeaways from his first year of pro ball

Make sure to listen to the full interview to hear him talk about all of this and more!

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Extension or free agency? http://bronxpinstripes.com/roster-moves/extension-or-free-agency/ http://bronxpinstripes.com/roster-moves/extension-or-free-agency/#respond Wed, 06 Feb 2019 02:03:23 +0000 http://bronxpinstripes.com/?p=65370 It is quite apparent that free agency has been in a freeze the past two off-seasons. It is most notable this year, with a pair of 26-year-old generational talents out on the open market and not getting anywhere near what their stats dictate they should get. MLB revenues have been climbing for the past 16 years, and in 2018 it was at $10.3 billion according to Forbes. Yet the amount spent on players has not proportionately followed. Clearly, the current […]

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It is quite apparent that free agency has been in a freeze the past two off-seasons. It is most notable this year, with a pair of 26-year-old generational talents out on the open market and not getting anywhere near what their stats dictate they should get. MLB revenues have been climbing for the past 16 years, and in 2018 it was at $10.3 billion according to Forbes. Yet the amount spent on players has not proportionately followed.

Clearly, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) needs reform. The CBA runs through 2021, and thus it looks like players may face more tough times in the near future.

There is still some time before some Yankees becoming eligible for free agency. Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Luis Severino will hit the open market after the 2022 season. Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres will the following year.

Player (Opening Day Age) 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Gary Sanchez (26) Pre-Arb. 3 Arb. 1 Arb. 2 Arb. 3 FA
Miguel Andujar (24) Pre-Arb. 2 Pre-Arb. 3 Arb. 1 Arb. 2 Arb. 3 FA
Didi Gregorius (29) $11.75M FA
Gleyber Torres (22) Pre-Arb. 2 Pre-Arb. 3 Arb. 1 Arb. 2 Arb. 3 FA
Aaron Hicks (29) $6M FA
Aaron Judge (26) Pre-Arb. 3 Arb. 1 Arb. 2 Arb. 3 FA
Dellin Betances (31) $7.25M FA
Luis Severino (25) Arb. 1 (est. $5.1M) Arb. 2 Arb. 3 Arb. 4 FA

Ignoring the potential for a more player-friendly CBA before many current Yankees becoming free agents, the question becomes whether they should be more willing to negotiate an extension rather than testing the (freezing) waters. Would the Yankees get a better deal if they extend Aaron Hicks now rather than retaining him via free agency (assuming they want him back)?

Back in 2017, Matt Swartz of Fangraphs forecasted the dollars per WAR for the following five seasons. Their 2019 figure was $11.7 million. Hicks put up a 4.9 WAR last year. This estimate would put his annual value at $55.37 million. This, of course, is absurd, but these numbers are tied to the net average annual value (AAV) of contracts in prior free agent classes. Even given natural inflation of salaries and the ever-increasing revenue being raked in by the league, $55.37 million still seems high. But perhaps the real figures being floated out there today to current free agents are too low. The right answer is somewhere in the middle. A relatively more modest estimate of dollars per WAR is $8 million. This still would put Hicks at a $24 million AAV if he averaged a 3.0 WAR (he put up a 3.3 WAR in 2017).

Fangraphs’ Johns Edwards more recently estimated a player’s value based on WAR. Staying with Hicks – say, for example, that he was to receive a five-year offer and average a 3.5 WAR per season. That would be a total WAR of 17.5. By the chart below, that would put him in the neighborhood of an $80 million deal.

A.J. Pollock was reportedly looking for that this offseason, but he had to settle for a guaranteed $50 million over four years. Could Hicks beat that and get closer to his realized value? Maybe. But given the current climate, it may not be very likely as he will be going into his age-30 season in 2020. Therefore, if the Yankees offered him a four year, $60 million extension, would Hicks bite knowing that it would give him security should anything happen during the 2019 season? If he did, it would be a steal for the Yankees given his projected value on the open market.

Betances’ situation as a reliever is a little different. Since his breakout season in 2014, he has averaged a 2.32 WAR. Relievers tend to age better than position players, so let’s say he lands a 4-year contract and maintains that production – a total WAR of about 9.3. By the chart below for relievers, this would put his value at roughly $71.5 million. The largest total value obtained by a reliever in the last two offseasons has been Wade Davis at $52 million with the Rockies. The maximum for a non-closer reliever is Zach Britton with the Yankees at $39 million (he will not be primarily used as a closer). Is there any shot Betances gets over $70 million? Very unlikely.

The obvious issue is that owners do not want to spend the amount that the players’ perceive their value to be. Being the first Yankees up and having witnessed the sluggish pace of the market the last two years, Hicks, Betances, and Gregorius have a choice to make: take the security and sign an extension (should the team offer them extensions) or try for a big contract that may never come. The choice is especially interesting for Gregorius, as he will likely not return until late in the season and have to prove he can return to his former self.

All in all, if the Yankees want to hang on to some of their players they have a chance to be proactive and lock them up for a potential bargain in relation to what the numbers say they are worth. Or are they be willing to let them test free agency and see where the price settles?

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