Trade Deadline Thoughts And Afterthoughts

Well that was a pretty wild trade deadline day, no?  It started early when Jon Lester went to the A’s, and after an uncomfortably quiet morning the Yankees jumped in and made a few late moves to further upgrade their lineup.  They started out looking for starting pitching and some right field pop and they ended up getting another shortstop and a starting-quality utility guy, which doesn’t sound encouraging, but at the end of the day they made themselves better on the field for this season and future seasons and did so without giving up anything of major significance.

I was jotting down notes and ideas on the Yankee moves for most of yesterday afternoon and evening.  I know, I live a prettay exciting life.  I really couldn’t think of a way to weave them together into one coherent post though, so instead I’m going to take the easy way out and just throw them all together in a random thoughts post.  …

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IIATMS Podcast Episode 28: All Questions Answered

There was an idea to bring together a group of brilliant listeners/readers, and have them set the agenda for the latest It’s About the Money, Stupid Podcast. We sent out the signal, and they answered the call, and so Domenic and Stacey discuss the trade deadline, the Yankees front office, the meaning of life, and oh so much more.

Keep the questions coming! Tweet us @DomenicLanza or @StaceGots.

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Why Stephen Drew can help the Yankees

Stephen Drew is bringing his bat to the Bronx. (Photo: USA Today Sports)

Stephen Drew is bringing his bat to the Bronx. (Photo: USA Today Sports)

In one of the more surprising trade deadline deals in recent memory, the Yankees traded Kelly Johnson to the Red Sox in exchange for Stephen Drew. The Yankees later designated Brian Roberts for assignment, giving Drew the full-time job at second base.

On the surface, this is what the deal looks like: The Yankees picked up a player that is hitting .176/.255/.328 this season and who has never played an inning at second base in his professional career (majors or minors) to be their regular second baseman for the remainder of the season.

Huh? That doesn’t seem like a move that would help the Yankees chances of playing in October.

But those facts don’t tell the entire story of why Drew is an upgrade over Roberts and has a chance to help the Yankees down the stretch.

Heating up in July
Drew was signed by Boston at the beginning of June, so essentially he was in “spring training” for the first 4-6 weeks after joining the Red Sox, and it showed in his performance at the plate.…

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Trade deadline mayhem!

In case you were under a rock this afternoon you may have missed the two major moves the Yankees made this afternoon.

First, they traded Kelly Johnson to the Red Sox for Stephen Drew.

Joel Sherman tweeted and said that Drew told the Yankees he’d play second base. Drew, after holding out and waiting to sign with the Sox, is currently batting an abysmal .176/.255/.328 in 145 PAs.

Then the Yankees traded minor leaguer Peter O’Brien, who seems to hit home runs like they’re going out of style, to the Diamondbacks for Martin Prado.

From MLBTradeRumors:

Prado, 30, is hitting .270/.317/.370 in 436 plate appearances for Arizona this year while playing mostly third base. He was a major piece of the January 2013 trade that brought Justin Upton to the Braves. Shortly after the acquisition, Prado signed a four-year, $40MM extension with the D’Backs. He has about $3.6MM remaining this year, and $11MM in each of the 2015 and ’16 seasons.

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The young Al Downing was filthy

The 1963 New York Yankees won 104 games that season and finished over ten games in front of its nearest American League rival. And it wasn’t the offense that propelled them that season. Mickey Mantle only played 65 games due to injury and Roger Maris‘ run of greatness with the Yankees had ended as he only played 90 games himself. It was the pitching that propelled that team. Along with Whitey Ford and Jim Bouton having their best career years, a 22-year-old Al Downing was mowing down hitters at a league-leading rate.

Alphonso Downing, a kid from Trenton, was only twenty when he was signed by the Yankees in 1961. Assigned to the A-level Binghampton Triplets, he proceeded to go 9-1 for that New York State club with a 1.84 ERA. The success led the Yankees to give him a cup of coffee on that powerhouse 1961 Yankees team and in a handful of games, proceeded to strike out twelve batters per nine innings.…

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Are The Yankees Trying To Avoid Paying Brian Roberts?

Roberts E vs TEX

In case you were wondering, yes. That was a play he should have made. Courtesy of Getty Images

This was supposed to be a post asking how much longer the Yankees could afford to keep trotting Brian Roberts out as their everyday second baseman.  It was supposed to be posted on Tuesday, but Mike Axisa beat me to the punch and said everything I was going to say so I scrapped the idea.  That’s blog life.  It happens.  But then I was struck with a new Roberts-centric idea based on what’s transpired over the last few days.  Buried in Mike’s post was this point about Roberts’ contract that I had totally forgotten about:

Roberts is about to start making some decent bucks through bonuses — he has already banked $350,000 in incentives and is two plate appearances away from another $250,0000 — so there is a financial incentive to make a change as well. The Yankees would pay Refsnyder through the end of the season less than the bonus they’d owe Roberts if he gets those next two plate appearances.

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Yankeemetrics: July 28-30 (Brett Gardner Show)

Brett Gardner had a lot to celebrate during the series against Texas. (Photo: Larry W. Smith/EPA)

Brett Gardner had a lot to celebrate during this series against Texas. (Photo: Larry W. Smith/EPA)

Gardy Owns Yu
There are a lot of things you can’t predict about baseball. One of them is the fact that, after Monday’s loss to the Rangers, no player in baseball has hit more home runs against Yu Darvish during his career than Brett Gardner.

Gardner homered twice against the Japanese ace, his third and fourth career homers off Darvish in 11 at-bats. Two other players have hit four longballs vs Darvish: Brandon Moss (in 23 at-bats) and Mike Trout (34 at-bats). The only other player to go deep twice against Darvish in a single game was Matt Dominguez last year.

Derek Jeter had three hits, giving him 3,420 in his career to pass Carl Yastrzemski (3,419) for sole possession of seventh place on the all-time hits list. He also stole a base, putting him in an even more exclusive club.

He is just the second Yankee in the last 100 years with at least three hits and a stolen base in a game at age 40 or older, joining a 41-year-old Bert Campaneris in 1983 against the Twins.…

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Game 107 Quick Recap: TEX 3 NYY 2

Gardner K vs TEX

“Son of a biscuit!! Fiddlesticks!!” Courtesy of Getty Images

How quickly things have gotten back to normal in Yankeeland, eh?  Last night’s series finale in Texas was straight out of page 1 of the “Stereotypical 2014 Yankee Loss” catalog.  The offense did a whole lot of nothing and had its runs generated by the 2 guys at the top of the order who are supposed to be the table setters, the starting pitching fell victim to 1 bad inning and ended up turning in an outing that wasn’t quite good enough to win and just bad enough to lose, and of course there was some bad infield defense that contributed to the aforementioned big inning.

Hiroki Kuroda got the start and pitched a pretty typical Kuroda start for this season.  His final line was 7 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB,4 K, and his inability to keep his stuff down in the zone led to him getting hit big in the 1st, when he gave up hits to 4 of the first 5 batters he faced and 5 in all that accounted for all 3 Texas runs.  …

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Game 107: Kuroda v. Lewis

While you’re waiting for the game to begin, head on over here and leave us a question for our next podcast – we’ll be recording tomorrow evening, post-deadline.

New York Yankees Texas Rangers
Brett Gardner, LF Shin-Soo Choo, DH
Derek Jeter, SS Elvis Andrus, SS
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Alex Rios, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B Adrian Beltre, 3B
Carlos Beltran, DH Jim Adduci, LF
Chase Headley, 3B J.P. Arencibia, 1B
Francisco Cervelli, C Leonys Martin, CF
Zoilo Almonte, RF Robinson Chirinos, C
Brendan Ryan, 2B Rougned Odor, 2B
Hiroki Kuroda, SP Colby Lewis, SP
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