About Matt Bove

I have a Bachelor's degree in journalism from William Paterson University in New Jersey. Currently a high school sports writer for NJ.com, who has had a huge passion for the Yankees since birth. Contact or follow me on Twitter at @RAYROBERT9.

Should the Yankees Consider Justin Upton?

Justin Upton

Courtesy of Getty Images

(Editor’s Note- This post originally appeared on ESPN’s SweetSpot yesterday evening.  Thanks to the mothership for giving us a shout out)

The New York Yankees have yet to add any unrestricted free agents of note this offseason and have made it known that they are waiting until their big contracts come off the books until they go back into the high-priced free agent pool. They have managed to improve through trades for Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman, but not spending any money has left the team still weak in a few areas and with many questions.

There is, however, a free agent out there in his prime who could be exactly what the Yankees need to make another playoff push in 2016.

The top areas of concern may be the middle of the order and right-handed power. Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran all turned back the clock in 2015 and were extremely productive when healthy.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees To Be A High Variance Team Again in 2016

Entering the 2015 season the New York Yankees had a ton of different variables that were going to alter the course of their season. They were completely unpredictable and it was impossible to know what the answers to the variables would be. It turns out the Yankees got mostly good answers. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda stayed mostly healthy. Luis Severino and Greg Bird were ready to contribute. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira were able to turn back the clock. Didi Gregorious and Nathan Eovaldi took steps forward. As we fast forward to this season, many of those same questions have to be answered affirmative again for the Yankees to get back to the postseason and they’re once again almost impossible to figure out.

You used to always know what you were getting with the Yankees in the previous decade because they made sure they had a championship caliber team every season. They were about as low variance as you could get.… Click here to read the rest

Trying to Decipher the Yankees’ Plan

The New York Yankees have behaved very differently in the past few offseasons than they have at any point in recent memory. Their transactions have been aimed at acquiring young players who have many years under team control and should theoretically have their best seasons ahead of them. They have not been in the conversation for any big money players despite there being some very good ones available this winter. They’re not even in on small money guys either.

Clearly, the Yankees aren’t a championship caliber team at the moment, with questions everywhere, and they’re not aggressively trying to fill those holes. The only conclusion that leads us to is that the Yankees are trying to rebuild and winning is not a priority right now. The Justin Wilson for Luis Cessa and Chad Green trade perfectly exemplifies exactly what the Yankees are doing right now. When Brian Cashman tells you the team is trading a quality reliever because he is going to make some money soon, that tells you all you need to know.… Click here to read the rest

Current State of the Yankees’ Rotation

(NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) in action against the at Yankee Stadium on October 1, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 4-1. The Yankees clinched a wildcard playoff position and won their 10,000th regular season game.

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The awful offense of the New York Yankees down the stretch got most of the attention and blame for the downfall of the second half, but the starting pitching played a role as well and the Yankees are in an interesting spot this offseason when it comes to their rotation.

The Yankees finished 18th in starters ERA at 4.25, but eighth with a 3.75 xFIP. The biggest issue was a lack of innings, as the Yankees finished 21st in MLB in starters innings and it felt worse than that. CC Sabathia of all pitchers led the team with 167.1 innings. This really manifested itself down the stretch when the bullpen performance fell off due to too many innings.

The thing with the Yankees’ starting rotation is that it’s tantalizing with potential, almost like a tease. We’ve seen Masahiro Tanaka perform like an ace at times. We’ve seen flashes from Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi that suggest they can be good second and third starters.… Click here to read the rest

Potential Wild Card Matchups

With six games remaining things are close to certain for the Yankees as to where they stand in the playoff picture. They can clinch their first postseason berth since 2012 with a win tonight and losses by the Twins and Angels. They’re going to be in a one game playoff with the only question being who will it be against.

It’s hard to say which team you want to play in a one game playoff because one game in baseball can be so random, which is why the idea of a one game playoff is silly. The Yankees scored 21 runs in one game against Texas and allowed 11 runs to the Philadelphia Phillies twice. Baseball should be about the 162 game grind. However, the one game playoff is good for drama and ratings, so it stays.

The Houston Astros are a 1/2 game ahead of the Los Angeles Angels and 1.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins. This is probably the best case scenario for the Yankees if it stays this close.… Click here to read the rest

Going Back to the Trade Deadline

“Yankees Twitter” was filled with its normal outrage and cynicism after the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Troy Tulowitzki and David Price among others at the trade deadline and the Yankees only acquired Dustin Ackley.

We can get a little better picture of what has happened since then. Obviously, this season it has worked out better for Toronto. They went on a huge run to pass the Yankees in the division and they haven’t really looked back since. David Price has been amazing for them, while Tulowitzki struggled and got hurt.

Even though the Blue Jays have clearly gotten the better of the Yankees this season we can see why Brian Cashman did what he did. Yes, if the Yankees had Price they would likely be winning the AL East this season. It still would not have guaranteed anything in the playoffs. However, if Price would have left as a free agent anything less than a championship would be a failure.… Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Yankees Testing Jorge Mateo at Second Base

This article from George King of the New York Post about the Yankees possibly giving top prospect Jorge Mateo second base reps during the Instructional League is pretty intriguing,

This makes all the sense in the world with Didi Gregorius looking more and more like the shortstop of the future. That’s probably a big reason why the Yankees were willing to include Mateo in a deadline deal for Padres closer Craig Kimbrel.

Second base has been such a hole since Robinson Cano left, and that decision is looking more regrettable by the day since they gave Jacoby Ellsbury $153 million and only offered Cano $175 million. Cano has been the Cano we knew and loved in the second half, and the Yankees would probably be a real World Series contender with him in the middle of the lineup. Any team that makes the playoffs has a shot, but the Yankees are probably behind Kansas City and Toronto right now. As long and large as Cano’s contract is, it’s still better than Ellsbury’s.… Click here to read the rest

Is Rico Noel Worth A Playoff Roster Spot?

It’s no secret how the New York Yankees score their runs. They’re second in the league in home runs, and that’s what they’re going to live and die on for the rest of the season. The narrative that they hit too many home runs is folly, but their overall team speed does hurt the Yankees, not their approaches at the plate.

You can argue that five Yankees — Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Greg Bird — should be pinch run for in a big spot. Obviously, you can’t pinch run for all of them, but that’s a huge problem when the Yankees are trying to come back in games in later innings. If they’re down one run and one of those guys are on base it will most likely take two hits to score.

According to Baseball Reference, the Yankees take an extra base (more than one base on a single or more than two bases on a double) on 34 percent of their chances, which is 28th in MLB and one percent more than last place.… Click here to read the rest

What’s Up With The Yankees Attendance?

The only thing worse than how the New York Yankees played in their series against the Baltimore Orioles this week was the number of people in the seats.

The Yankees announced just over 31,000 people on Monday, and just over 30,000 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Quite frankly, those numbers seemed generous as to the amount of people actually there.

Empty seats have been an issue for the Yankees in recent seasons, but this was a new low. They’re averaging 40,007 fans this season, which is good for fourth in MLB, but nowhere near where they were in the previous decade when Yankee Stadium was sold out even in meaningless games. So, why the especially low turnout even for current times for these critical games?

When I was watching the Yankees on Monday I happened to flip over to the Mets and Nationals game in Washington, and it was right before Wilson Ramos hit a grand slam to put the Nationals up 5-4 after being down 4-1 in a huge game for them.… Click here to read the rest