About Domenic Lanza

Domenic is a staff writer for It's About the Money, and the host of the It's About the Money Stupid podcast. By day, he is a mild-mannered real estate attorney on Long Island, and an aspiring intellectual degenerate.

Service Time: A Greg Bird Story

A scant few hours ago, we learned that the man they (read: we) call #GREGBIRD would miss the entirety of the 2016 season due to shoulder surgery. Some have already begun looking for silver linings, generally revolving around the likelihood of Bird spending the majority of 2016 in Triple-A due to the presence of Messrs Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Carlos Beltran – but that is little more than scraping the bottom of the barrel for a silver lining. Shoulder surgeries tend to sap power (at least for a year or so), and Bird’s offensive game largely revolves around depositing the ball deep within the right field bleachers. And, of course, this ignores the full season of lost development for a 23-year old.

Oh, and it gets worse.

Due to Major League Baseball’s service time rules, Bird is all but guaranteed to garner a full year of service time in 2016. He is currently on the team’s active roster, which would put him on the Major League disabled list.… Click here to read the rest

Rounding out the Rotation

Last week, George King reported that the Yankees would look to add starting pitching depth through minor league deals. This has been a strategy for the team in recent years, and it worked out amazingly well with Bartolo Colon (2.1 bWAR in 164.1 IP) and Freddy Garcia (3.5 bWAR in 146.2 IP) in 2011. The Yankees have not had much success since then, albeit not for a lack of trying (Ramon Ortiz, Scott Baker, etc), but it makes sense that the trend would continue. After all, the worst case scenario is that the player opts out of his deal and costs the team a few thousand dollars along the way.

Realistically speaking, the pitchers that are willing to take a minor league deal have some sort of glaring flaw, which is oftentimes of the injury or poor performance variety (or some combination of both). Expecting a repeat of Messrs Colon and Garcia would be optimistic at best – but that should not dissuade us from those pitchers that could potentially be had on such a deal.… Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Aroldis Chapman is a Yankee

That happened quickly, didn’t it?

Baseball Prospectus ranked Jagielo 8th in the Yankees top-ten, and did not mention the other three. Baseball America ranked Davis 6th in its top-ten. My off the cuff analysis of the four prospects dealt would be as follows: Cotham is a reliever, Renda is a bench player, Davis could be a 3rd or 4th starter, and Jagielo has serious pop and a good approach, but he’ll end up at 1st (and he’s no #GREGBIRD).

More analysis is forthcoming, but for now enjoy some additional tweets.

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The 2016 IIATMS Hall of Fame Ballot

With less than a week to go before actual Hall of Fame ballots are due, we decided to put our heads together to create a fake (and yet far more important) ballot of our own. We followed the voting requirements of the Hall of Fame, selecting no more than ten players to make the cut. However, we also noted players that we would have voted for if the ballot were not unfortunately limited to ten players. Those marked with an ‘X’ represent our actual picks; those marked with a ‘-‘ are the woulda, coulda, shouldas. And while you have to wait until January 6 to see who will be joining the hallowed grounds of Cooperstown, you can dive into our results today.

The following players made the cut based solely on actual votes:

With expanded ballots, Messrs Edgar MartinezCurt Schilling, and Alan Trammell would have also been enshrined.… Click here to read the rest

IIATMS Podcast Episode 42: New York Yankees Hot Stove Heats Up

With the Yankees wheelin’ and dealin’, E.J. and I decided it was time to revive the podcast. We discussed the Jose Pirela/Ronald Herrera and John Ryan Murphy/Aaron Hicks deals, the Brett Gardner and Andrew Miller rumors, and the possible trickle down effects that all of this could have. We also stepped outside of #YankeesOnly land a bit, and talked about the Andrelton Simmons pseudo-blockbuster, and New York State’s newfound stance on FanDuel and DraftKings.

Enjoy!

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Yankees Send Murphy to the Twins for Aaron Hicks

It seems that this morning’s trade was a mere precursor for something with far greater ramifications for the 2016 season:

John Ryan Murphy was quite good for the Yankees this season, putting up a .277/.327/.406 (103 OPS+, 99 wRC+) line in 172 PA as Brian McCann‘s back-up. There was talk about an expanded role for Murphy heading into 2016, given McCann’s age and struggles down the stretch, so this comes as a bit of a surprise. Of course, that could also mean that Gary Sanchez could be in-line for a large role as something between a back-up and platoon player behind the dish – he’s certainly earned the opportunity.

As for Aaron Hicks, Keith Law actually wrote a bit about him as a trade target this morning. Here’s the crux of it:

No matter how you slice it, however, Aaron Hicks seems to be the most imminent victim of the roster crunch, right after establishing himself as a viable everyday player in center, hitting .259/.333/.432 as a regular after returning from a forearm injury in late June.

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Checking in on the Surprise Saguaros

If I was a betting man, I would hazard that the majority of folk reading this title wondered some variation of “what the heck is a surprise saguaro?” And, to be perfectly fair, I couldn’t blame you.

The Surprise Saguaros are one of the six Arizona Fall League teams, and they just so happen to be the Yankees affiliate (in addition to the Royals, Brewers, Cardinals, and Rangers). They are currently 20 games into their 31 game season, sitting at the top of the West division at 12-8. That doesn’t really matter, though, as the purpose of the league is developmental (much like the minor leagues as a whole, at least form the perspective of the Major League team). With that in mind, and with a few hours remaining until we will know who received a qualifying offer, now seems a good time to check-in on the Yankees’ eight representatives.

Domingo Acevedo, RHP
6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 5 K, 4.26 ERA

Acevedo made his full-season debut this season, and performed quite well (1.81 ERA in 49.2 IP).… Click here to read the rest

The Free-est Free Agents

With the new-ish MLB Draft slotting system, teams are oftentimes forced to choose between signing a noteworthy free agent and a few million dollars in pool money. Signing a free agent that received a rejected a qualifying offer requires a team to forfeit their top pick (unless they are picking in the top-ten) – in the Yankees case, that would mean eschewing somewhere between $2 MM and $2.3 MM in the upcoming draft, in addition to the pick itself. To say that that would serve as a detriment to the team’s draft would be an understatement, given the team’s lingering IFA penalty that already limited the team’s activity this year.

Luckily for the Yankees, there are at least a dozen players that would fill the team’s needs for 2016 without any repercussions (besides the whole decline and injury potential thing, but that’s another story entirely) as they cannot receive a qualify offer due to being dealt at mid-season. We’ll known on Saturday what players were offered and rejected qualifying offers, as well.… Click here to read the rest

Saving the 2016 Season in Three (Possibly) Easy Steps

The Yankees have not played a game in twenty-four days, and it feels even longer than that – which is unfortunate, because we’re still 156 days away from Opening Day (against those dastardly Astros, to boot). The off-season has begun for the Yankees, at least in earnest, and yet we’re still a couple of weeks away from the “real” off-season kicking off. As such, we’re stuck twiddling our thumbs as we await the beginning of hot stove season. And that gives us plenty of time to tackle rumors and rosterbate with a bit more than a simple glance at the available free agents.

In the interim, we decided to discuss moves that could be made to prepare the Yankees for 2016, and hopefully set them up to stay healthy and competitive for the entire season. Or, failing that, preparing them for the future. A few of us chipped in with three ideas apiece, which range from simple and (ostensibly) cheap, to somewhat laughable and/or expensive.… Click here to read the rest