Friday, July 21, 2017


Jon Heyman says the Athletics know what they want for Sonny Gray from the New York Yankees.  But he's not telling anyone... probably because he doesn't know.  That's a 'baseball insider' for you... say something slightly provocative, and then a mic drop.  Silly.

But to be honest, Heyman's tweet is nothing new and nothing that important.

In fact, BYB and others have hinted about the idea of Sonny Gray to the Yankees for weeks now with the idea that it needs to be for the "right price"... according to the A's.  (Read READY FOR SONNY GRAY? for example.)

And let's be honest, it's what a baseball fan said after Heyman that everyone is really thinking about. I appreciated this much more:
Now look... the Yankees are in the mix, but other teams may be too, and the A's, who are willing to give away Gray want a lot in return. 

Photo: New York Daily News
It's very possible the Yankees pass, especially if the A's want top prospects.

And we need some of the very important top prospects on our farm. Otherwise, why did we really collect them anyway?

The Yanks aren't looking to win this year.  I mean, if it happens, it happens, but the truth is, they are building for next year.

Everyone relax...

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With the trade deadline soon approaching and rumors flying about players the Yankees should acquire, there is yet another issue that's being discussed. What is going to happen to Brian Cashman?

With his current contract about to expire at the end of the year, I believe that he is the biggest free agent the Yankees have to worry about this upcoming offseason. That being said, I came across this nugget from wondering if his days with the Yankees are numbered...

"When the 2017 Yankees season ends, major decisions on impending free agents must be made by general manager Brian Cashman.

That, of course, assumes Cashman is back to be the person making critical decisions with a roster poised for big things in the next few years...

ESPN's Buster Olney speculated that another team -- possibly the Miami Marlins -- could try to poach Cashman with a record-breaking offer in the fall....

'...Theo Epstein set a new bar for front-office pay last year when he and the Cubs negotiated a five-year, $50 million deal, and that standard could help Cashman in his talks in an era in which high-end executive talent is being valued more and more. What is unknown is whether competitive bids begin to develop for him as his contract expires, whether it be from whoever takes control of the Marlins at the end of the bidding process or a team looking for new direction...'"

The Marlins... who would have thought. Wow.

Now look, while it is normal for these issues not to be discussed during the season, this is an issue that will soon have to be addressed when the season ends. After all, it's pretty much necessary to have a GM in place before you can really worry too much about contracts and free agents.

Photo: New York Daily News
Brian Cashman has been the only GM, we Yankees fans have known for the past 20 years, taking over the full-time GM role from Bob Watson in 1998. He is also the longest tenured GM since Ed Barrow who was GM from 1921-44. The Yankees have the first chance to sign him to a deal if they want to keep him around and he wants to stay. I'm really not sure if he will sign a deal without seeing what he can get elsewhere. The Yankee brass may also be thinking that it might be time for a change. It's a major decision they need to make, and trust me, they don't want to blow this.

Regardless of what happens, I've really have to give it to Cashman.  He's has been able to do a lot of rebuilding and we are now starting to be a more competitive team.  And cutting salary and stacking the system with talent has been a long time coming and in my eyes, he has done one hell of a job. If he goes, his hand print will be on this team for quite some time. If he stays I hope he can keep up the great work.

Stay tuned...

--Michael Carnesi
BYB Writer

Follow me on Twitter: @sevn4evr

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Thursday, July 20, 2017


The Yankees got their bullpen arms and corner infielder this week....but is there more to come? Brian Cashman said he is going to "stay engaged" in trade talks but the Yankees are still going to be "careful buyers." Don't you just love Cashman talk? It's so vague and intriguing at times. As long as it works though I don't care. He carefully bought our latest additions, so maybe there is a chance he can do it again but with a starter this time.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
I don't know how much truth there is to this latest rumor, but there are at least 12 teams who have called the Atlanta Braves asking if Jamie Garcia is available according to Mark Feinsand. The Yankees could be one of them even though he probably isn't the first pitcher that comes to mind when fans think about adding another starter.

The Braves aren't actively shopping Garcia at this point but he is in the last year of his contract so they may choose to make him available for a decent prospect rather than just letting him walk at the end of the season. The Yankees have prospects now and they will definitely picked over later in the Rule 5 draft (like they were this year) so maybe giving up two kids that the Yankees could end up losing anyway for some pitching makes sense. I think it is safe to assume that Garcia should be considerably cheaper than what the Yankees gave to the White Sox because Garcia has some issues.

On the other hand, the Braves could also decide to keep him. The Braves could decide that they keep him if they don't get a deal that they like. They could argue that he is worth a qualifying offer and when he doesn't accept it they at least get a first round draft pick so he costs a top ranked prospect in return.

Photo: Getty Images
Garcia has a pretty ugly injury history and includes: Tommy John surgery in 2008, rotator cuff surgery in 2013, and surgery to treat Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2014 and that's just a short list. To be fair, he has been healthy since he returned in 2015 and hasn't missed any of his starts and even though he comes with some risk, there are also some positives. Garcia adds another lefty arm, he has five pitches he can use and the best part....he gets a ton of ground balls. That would be a huge plus in Yankee stadium with it's short porch.

Photo: Getty Images
Personally, I never thought about Garcia. He's very inconsistent but he may be one of the best short term rentals available. I admit, I like the idea of a Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish better but either of those seem unlikely. Garcia may only be a back-end of the rotation pitcher but he does fit the Yankees long term plan.

Does Cashman think Garcia is a "careful buy" and more importantly....should he? For now it's a "wait and see" as the trade deadline looms closer.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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Hope you're happy, Yankee fans.

Rooting for the kids  and toughing out this roller coaster rebuilding year required just a bit more patience than your winning DNA could handle -- and apparently, you had an ally in the owner's suite at the Stadium.

You wanted the team to make some moves? You got 'em. The questions of the hour though are: Were they moves that could transform this team  from the worst in baseball over the last six weeks to one that can rocket past the Rays and Red Sox into the playoffs with a real chance to win it all?

Or is that just the impression they give off to  wishful Yankee fans still sporting their spring "best in baseball" goggles who are so frustrated by relentless trips to the DL  and regression to the mean that any moves at all now resemble a yellow brick road to the Emerald City?

Let's take a quick look-see which is closer to the truth.  Remember, Brian had said they'd be "careful buyers" at the deadline and his focus would be "putting out the best effort possible, but not at the expense of what we feel can lead us to more championships, plural."

In the new paradigm, that mean's reducing payroll (aka hitting the tax threshold to eliminate the burdensome penalty the team pays now so they can start spending big anew down the road) and maintaining a fresh stock of young farmhands to keep the big club supplied with talented bodies so they don't have to keep dipping into the free market for beefcake whenever a starter goes bad.

So, boiling down the deal to its essence,  for the price of a pair of the team's top 20 prospects, an unranked throw-in farmhand, a certain inconsistent veteran reliever whose name rhymes with flippered who was in danger of being kidnapped from the player's parking lot by angry  mobs and fed to the Pizza Rat, and an additional $15 million added to the payroll,  Joe got in return:
  • A pair of top-notch bullpen arms for his binder -- one that will be with the team through next season making top-notch dollars, and one who'll be under team control through the next three that's pre-arbitration eligible.
  • A third baseman in his third consecutive year of decline but with some pop remaining in his bat and  only the remainder of this season to pay.

Clearly, Todd Frazier -- the 31-year-old infielder with a dozen more dingers at the mid-season break than Headley -- and a big-time closer-caliber arm like ex-Yankee setup man David "Sweet Home Alabama" Robertson" on short-term deals are more than enough to satisfy Brian's "putting out the best effort possible" advocates. 

And 24-year-old Tommy Kahnle, the big prize in the deal, certainly fulfills both "best effort" and "What we feel can lead us to more championships, plural" pledges.

And while the three prospects the team let go -- pitcher Ian Clarkin, centerfielder Blake Rutherford (both former first-round picks) and outfielder Tito Polo (the PTBNL in the Ivan Nova trade with the Pirates) -- all probably have futures in the Bigs ahead of them, with the Yankees all were stuck in lines behind more talented players  that likely meant years before they might see the Bronx and no protection in a Rule 5 draft.

Photo of: Blake Rutherford
So it was a very good deal for the Yankees. You can make a strong case it's great for the rebuild, and it's certainly better for the moment as it immediately makes their toasted grilled cheese bullpen firmer and deeper  and (hopefully) lessens the need to Joba-cize promising young starters into binder fodder so they can properly finish honing their craft on the farm as both they and the farm were intended  (a.k.a learning third and fourth pitches and mastering how to get through batting orders three times etc.).

And, of course, another big hairy bat in the lineup is always a welcome addition in Yankee Universe where anyone standing at home plate with lumber in hands is considered a runner in scoring position.

But here's the thing... The reason the bullpen was melting like Velveeta over charred Wonder bread in the first place was because the rotation was the weak link by not consistently providing length or staying out of trouble early. Remember?

And the infield position that was woefully under-producing was first base, not third base. Remember?

I mean, sure Frazier may provide a handful of dingers more than Chase in the second half. But he's also just one step ahead of tripping over the Mendoza line.

And moving Chase to first base where he's only played 14 games in his professional life and giving him a "crash course" so he can platoon with newly acquired rookie Garrett Cooper who's played  all of six MLB games there himself  sounds like rubbing two bad experiments together hoping one good one will come of it.  That's no upgrade, it's a wash at best. Frazier doesn't fill a hole. He just moves one.

No, my friends, if this team was truly "going for it" this season, you'd see the team going all in on at least one front-end type starting pitcher and at least one above-replacement level corner infielder -- preferably a first baseman that, you know,  actually has extensive experience  playing and hitting like a major league first baseman, no assembly or platoon required.  (Eating the last year of Chase's deal and snagging a certain young nifty third baseman wouldn't be a bad idea either if the O's go all garage-sale crazy and put Manny on the block like some have posited might be in their interest.)

Starting pitching and first base. Those were the two burning dumpster fires on this team before the trade and so they remain --  and calling it a blockbuster in big block letters doesn't change that fact.

So until I see Brian bring home someone legit to extinguish either one, rest assured he's sticking to the blueprint and -- absent any other moves to follow -- this trade tips toward future rewards far more than the present, which is just fine by me.

Like Bill Parcells once said when asked if his team was a winner or a loser, you are what your record says you are. And like ESPN's Andrew Marchand wrote, the Yankees are "losers of 22 of their past 32 games. That's a .313 win percentage, which wouldn't win you the batting title, let alone a division."

That's a helluva deep dark place to expect a couple of relievers and a meh infield bat to dig you out.

If over the next 11 days Brian  somehow manages to pull another whiz-banger of a deal out of his tailpipe that protects the rebuilding blueprint but provides those two precious missing ingredients handicapping this team's chances for a meaningful run at a ring this season, nobody will be more thrilled than yours truly.

In the meantime, please pardon me if I  continue rooting for the kids, demanding that performance and not paycheck size  decide playing time, looking forward to the Hot Stove and savoring what's left of this wild roller coaster ride.

I know a championship race when I see one and I'm enjoying every frustrating, exhilarating minute of the one we're in  -- for 2018.

--Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

Word on the street...Tyler Clippard is going to Chicago...White Sox that is.  And the Yankees are getting Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.


According to the NY Daily News, "Late Tuesday evening, the Yankees were close to acquiring 1B/3B Todd Frazier — the Toms River, N.J. Little League legend — and relievers David Robertson, the former Yankee, and Tommy Kahnle from Chicago, according to multiple reports."

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

Well, it appears the deal is done.

Also reports the News, "Top Yankee outfield prospect Blake Rutherford (and struggling reliever Tyler Clippard), according to USA Today, appears to be part of the package going to the White Sox. Pitching prospect Ian Clarkin, a first-round pick in 2013, is also in the deal according to multiple reports."

Hump Day Wednesday couldn't get much better...#LetsGoYankees.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @suzieprof

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