Game 108: Capuano v. Ranaudo

Stephen Drew will make his Yankees debut tonight, facing off against his former team in his former stomping grounds. He’ll be playing second base for the first time since 10th grade. Martin Prado has not yet joined the team, though he has been added to the active roster (Zoilo Almonte and Zelous Wheeler have been sent down to make room for the newest additions to the team). It is not outside of the realm of possibility that he will pull a Chase Headley, and end up on the field at some point tonight.

While you’re waiting for the game to begin, check out the ‘All Questions Answered‘ episode of the It’s About the Money, Stupid Podcast, where Stacey and I handled an agenda set by … well … you. Or you all. Or y’all, if you’re so inclined.

New York Yankees Boston Red Sox
Brett Gardner, LF Brock Holt, RF
Derek Jeter, SS Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF David Ortiz, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B Mike Napoli, 1B
Carlos Beltran, DH Allen Craig, LF
Brian McCann, C Xander Bogaerts, SS
Chase Headley, 3B Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, 2B David Ross, C
Ichiro Suzuki, RF Mookie Betts, CF
Chris Capuano, SP Anthony Ranaudo, SP
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Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 8/1/14

A little something to ponder on this Friday afternoon.  If a Yanks-Sox series takes place in August and no one is around to care about it, does it really happen?  Now onto the links!

- On Thursday, Greg Corcoran of Bronx Baseball daily offered up his list of “not top 50 prospects” as a capper to his midseason top 50 list.

- Vizzin of NoMaas compared the deadline strategies of the Yankees and Red Sox to show how the Sox are taking the Yanks to school.  I’m a big Cash supporter, you guys know that by now, but my man crush on Cherington is growing by the minute.

- Andrew Mearns of Pinstripe Alley examined the financial impact of the trade deadline acquisitions.

- Dave Schoenfield of Sweet Spot handed out his picks for deadline winners and losers.

- On Friday, William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog touched on the possibility of this year’s deadline additions returning dividends in 2015.

- SG of RLYW ran the projections to see how much the Yanks improved their offense with their deadline moves.  …

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Friday Afternoon Food For Thought: It Could Always Be Worse…

Our GM could be Ruben Amaro.  Remember that.

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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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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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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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