Thursday, November 23, 2017

THANKSGIVING DAY RUMOR: OHTANI IS ON THE WAY!


First things first, HAPPY THANKSGIVING from all of us at BYB to all of you. We hope that you spend the day with friends and family making memories, enjoying all of your family traditions and eating a lot of good food. The holidays are OFFICIALLY here now.

So now that the holidays are here we all probably have a wish list item or two. At the top of my Yankee wish list this year would have to be making an exciting free agent splash. What would be a more exciting splash then signing Shohei Otani? Or....is it Shohei Ohtani? Whatever the spelling, he's an exciting wish list item for any team.


I am trying not to get ahead of myself here but media reports everywhere are running with the Yankees as the "favorite" and likely team to sign him. The more hype I read, the more excited I get. Look at ESPN, and New York Post and the NY Daily News stories. ALL of them say insiders are giving the Yankees the best odds. Rumors can be wrong, but man....let's hope this one is right on the money!

ESPN says that cities that have a large Japanese population might have a greater chance is signing him (duh) and other Japanese players could be great ambassadors for their teams. It will be interesting to see if or how those factors will play a role in any of this.


I love the confidence that scouts have with Ohtani signing with the Yankees but the Dodgers are another good fit for him. Can you imagine a starting rotation led by Ohtani and Clayton Kershaw? That would be a devastating 1-2 punch. The Dodgers certainly have that Japan tie working in their favor with Yu Darvish, Kenta Maeda and even Hiroki Kuroda too before his Yankee days. The fact that he would also hit in the lineup easily could be appealing to him.


I wouldn't count the Seattle Mariners out either. They need pitching and have a history of signing Japanese players. They have ambassadors in Ichiro Suzuki and Hisashi Iwakuma but not as much money to sign him and aren't as competitive as other interested teams.

What about the Texas Rangers?  They need the pitching and they have the most money available to sign Ohtani but not by much. Maybe the small difference in money and the promise of being part of a contending young Yankees team will convince him to come to the Bronx.

I hope all of these expert reports are true and maybe Masahiro Tanaka can recruit and make this a done deal!

Happy Thanksgiving BYB family!



--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj




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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#ALLRISE HAS SHOULDER SURGERY

Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

Our Rookie of the Year, Aaron Judge, went under the knife on Tuesday to repair what the team is describing as a "loose-body removal and cartilage cleanup" on his non-throwing shoulder.  In his Judge-like ways, the Yankee right-fielder down played his left shoulder symptoms during the second half of the season, including the post season.  But, as we all witnessed, Judge's incredible defensive plays took a toll on the 25-year-old outfielder's shoulder and it hurt his offense as his batting average dipped after the All Star Break.

Source: Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

"In the first half, Judge hit .329 with 30 homers and 66 RBIs. He capped it off by winning the Home Run Derby. In the first 44 games of the second half, Judge hit just .179. In September, though, he got hot again, belting 15 homers and batting .311. Judge finished the regular season with 114 RBIs," reported ESPN.

Source: MLB.com

Judge's shoulder sustained a number of blows to the wall as he made terrific defensive plays, robbing a number of extra base hits and even some home runs.  According to the NY Times, "In the playoffs, the same shoulder took a blow when Judge crashed into the right-field wall to steal an extra-base hit from Houston Astros first baseman Yulieski Gurriel in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Judge tumbled to the ground after colliding with the wall."  We all cheered for him but at the same time, the impact was scary and worrisome.

Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

"On Aug. 30, with persistent questions about the condition of Judge’s shoulder, Manager Joe Girardi said the team and Judge had discussed the possibility of Judge getting a cortisone shot," said the Times.  There was no confirmation from the team whether or not Judge got the shot.

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

The good news is that Judge is expected to be ready for spring training so the timing of the surgery could not be better.  Wishing our runner-up MVP and Rookie of the Year a good recovery and lots of rest during this holiday and off season. 

Take care, #AllRise.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof




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HERE COMES OHTANI!


The big hurdle has been jumped.  Shohei Ohtani is coming to the Major Leagues.  That comes from the entire baseball world, but we'll go with Mark Feinsand's tweet on this one:

Now what? We wait and see.  I like this piece by John Harper of the New York Daily News though. Here's a portion:

"... great news for the Yankees, who many baseball people believe to be the favorite to sign Otani — and not because of their money, in this case. That’s what makes this situation so fascinating. Because he’s not yet 25, the MLB collective bargaining agreement severely limits his earning power, no matter which team signs him, which means Otani will be picking a team based on some type of personal preference.



But because he wants to hit as well as pitch, American League teams are believed to have an advantage, since it would be much easier for a team to allow Otani to hit as a DH than expose him to injury playing the outfield on days he’s not pitching. "

Look, all indications are the Yankees will eventually be that team to bring Ohtani to the the Major Leagues.  Hideki Matsui will help with that. Masahiro Tanaka will as well.  And don't get it twisted, the Yankees will try everything to get this kid.

Something special is happening in Yankeeland, folks.  You gotta be excited.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

YANKS MAKING ROOM FOR THE OHTANI PUSH

Photo: MLB.com
It's Otani... then it's Ohtani, but it was always Ohtani, but Ohtani doesn't translate well in the U.S.... and so it was Otani. And now it's not. Doesn't matter... The Yanks are gearing up to get Ohtani.

I found it interesting when the Yankees made that trade with the Marlins yesterday.  As I wrote in YANKEES SCORE ANOTHER PITCHER! GARRETT COOPER IS GONE!...

Photo: Caleb Smith / New York Daily News
"It's being reported tonight that the Yankees have traded Caleb Smith and future star first baseman Garrett Cooper for right hander Michael King and some 2017-18 International signing bonus money."

And the part about the International signing bonus money peaked my interest.  Now Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record maps it all out...

Photo: Getty Images
"The Yankees also added some international bonus pool money for their anticipated pursuit of two-way Japan League star Shohei Ohtani... And there’s likely to be a Kentucky Derby-sized field of suitors for Ohtani, the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher and lefty power hitter who is intent on playing in the majors in 2018... Also on Monday night, the Major League Players Association announced that it had agreed to a 24-hour extension – until 8 p.m., Tuesday - for a new posting agreement to be reached between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball.

And Yankees’ icon Hideki Matsui is ready to assist in delivering his fellow countryman to the Bronx. 'If he’s allowed to come here and the Yankees are interested, then I expect to be involved in that process as maybe trying to convince him or recruit him to the Yankees,’ Matsui told MLB.com on Sunday."

And that's the gist of it... positioning themselves with a shot at Ohtani.  We will know more tonight.  For now... we wait.  More Ohtani-Yankee Wonder.

Stay tuned.


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Monday, November 20, 2017

YANKEES SCORE ANOTHER PITCHER! GARRETT COOPER IS GONE!

Courtesy BC Athletics
And just like that, the Yankees have made 3 moves and got a crap load of pitching in just a few days.  Pretty damn incredible.  Go Cashman, go!

Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America
It's being reported tonight that the Yankees have traded Caleb Smith and future star first baseman Garrett Cooper for right hander Michael King and some 2017-18 international signing bonus money. And I found this interesting. According to FanRagSports.com...

"Miami already has 6-foot-3 first baseman Justin Bour on the roster. Adding the 6-foot-6 Cooper could potentially spell Bour against left-handed pitching, despite Bour hitting six home runs in 87 at-bats versus lefties in 2017."



Now, what about King.  I'll tell you... King is a righty,  minor leaguer and 22 years old.  He was 11-9 with a 3.15 ERA last season.

Great youth movement happening here folks.  Get on board. A ton of young Yankee future coming your way.

I can't wait to find out what happens next.

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