Seven best Yankee off season trades since 1975

Blockbuster trades do not happen that often for the New York Yankees. Most of the off season news concerns free agents and waiver pickups. What few trades made over the Steinbrenner years seem inconsequential and the players involved quickly sink into oblivion. The last big off season trade involved sending Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos. The debates about that trade have been fun. The official tally so far is Pineda with 2.7 rWAR to Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi both at -0.4 since the trade occurred. We will have to give that one a little more time before the Yankees can be declared the winner. But what were the best trades?

I am just talking off season here or that period between the end of the season and the start of the next one. Obviously, the list will not include the most recent seasons because, again, time needs to occur before you can look at a long history of what happened after a trade.…

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Yankeemetrics: Jeter farewell edition

Derek Jeter's career is unmatched in baseball history.

Derek Jeter’s career is unmatched in baseball history.

As Derek Jeter‘s incredible career comes to an end, let’s celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the soon-to-be Hall of Famer with a list of my 10 favorite stats from Jeter’s 20 seasons with the New York Yankees. Special thanks to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index and the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia for many of these notes.

1. Jeter is the only player in major-league baseball history with at least 3,000 hits, 350 stolen bases, 250 homers and 1,300 RBI. Nada, no one else has done it.

2. Jeter and Hank Aaron are the only two players in MLB history with 16-or-more seasons of at least 150 hits, 20 doubles and 10 homers.

3. Arguably Jeter’s most iconic hit was his 3,000th, a home run off David Price on July 9, 2011. The only other player to reach the 3,000-hit milestone with a homer was Wade Boggs on August 7, 1999.

4. He is one of two players all-time with at least 3,460 hits for one franchise and none with any other team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.…

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VMart and Donnie Baseball

(Syndicated from The Flagrant Fan)

Victor Martinez is having a remarkable offensive season. And it isn’t just the 31 homers and 31 doubles and the .333 batting average. What is remarkable is that in the inglorious age of the strikeout, Martinez has only struck out 40 times all season. He is on pace to finish with 43 strikeouts. When considering that remarkable number, it made me curious as to how many times since 1961 someone has hit over 30 homers with less than 45 strikeouts. So I went to my trusty baseball-reference.com and checked it out.

First of all, why did I only go back to 1961? Good question. The answer is that 1961 was right around the first time when the strikeout rate averaged five strikeouts per team per game (1959 to be exact). And even going that far back is problematic. The average strikeout rate in 1961 was 13.2% compared to it being 20.3% this season. If you go back further than 1961, then a low strikeout rate with a lot of homers just wasn’t that remarkable.…

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Quick Hit: Betances’ Race For Strikeout History

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All Star, Yankee record holder, all-time great? Courtesy of Getty Images

Last night, Dellin Betances became the new Yankee record holder for most strikeouts in a single season by a relief pitcher with 132.  He passed Mo to do it after entering the night tied with him at 130, and considering that Betances needed 87.2 innings to set the new record compared to the 107.2 Mo needed in 1996, I think it’s safe to say that it’s quite the accomplishment.

With the Yankee record now in his possession and 11 games remaining in the season, the focus shifts to where Betances will end up on MLB’s all-time single-season reliever strikeout list.  The 132 currently puts him tied for 15th with Duane Ward of the ’91 Blue Jays, and looking ahead he’s got a pretty good shot to crack the top 10.

The all-time record is held by Dick Radatz, who struck out 181 batters in 157.0 relief innings pitched for the 1964 Red Sox.  …

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Yankees chasing history down the stretch

This Yankees team is on pace to set a dubious record.

This Yankees team is on pace to set a dubious record.

With the Yankees’ playoff hopes on life support entering the final month of the season, it appears that the biggest storyline for the team in September will be the (not) farewell tour of Derek Jeter.

However, Jeter’s final at-bats in a Yankee uniform likely won’t be the only history that fans will witness down the stretch….

If the Yankees maintain their current season pace, they would become the first team in major-league history to post back-to-back winning seasons while being outscored by at least 20 runs in each year.

Last season the Yankees went 85-77 despite a run differential of -21, their worst mark since 1991 (-103). Based on the amount of runs scored and allowed, the team was expected to win just 79 games.

This year they could easily end up with an even lower run differential and still produce a winning record – they currently have been outscored by 27 runs and are five games over .500.…

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Can Yankees Pull Off A 1995 Esque Run?

Every time you say you’re done with the 2014 New York Yankees they manage to pull you back in with a little glimmer of hope. Everybody was writing their obituaries of this year’s Yankees after two embarrassing losses to the Houston Astros on Tuesday and Wednesday, but they have come back to win four straight games and sit only three games in the loss column behind the Seattle Mariners for the second wild card spot.

Obviously, they have a lot to prove and four wins over the Astros and White Sox is not the greatest accomplishment. However, they did have some magic with two walk-off wins and a meeting among the position players and hitting coach Kevin Long might have sparked something:

We all came together as a team, Kevin Long had some things to say, and we’ve responded really well,” said catcher Brian McCann.

They can prove this week whether or not they will stay in the race for the remainder of the season when they play three other wild card contenders on the road in Kansas City, Detroit and Toronto.…

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1994: The Yanks coulda been a contenda

I really enjoyed Domenic’s piece yesterday about the 1994 Expos and Yankees playing each other in the 1994 World Series. As Domenic mentions, much has been written about the 1994 Expos and how the labor stoppage not only killed the Expos’ greatest chance at post season history, but perhaps killed the franchise as well. While the Yankees franchise has survived the labor unrest quite well, the team was poised to erase twelve years of post season inaction and it was quite possible the Yankees’ great dynasty at the turn of the millennium might have started two seasons earlier. What if the 1994 Yankees were able to complete that 1994 season?

The more I thought about this piece, the more variables I came up with. I am not going to present simulations. Number one, I’m not that savvy. Number two, Bill James did that for us back in 1995. What interests me more is the individual seasons it cut short and whether the team would have actually made it to the World Series.…

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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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Happy Anniversary, Derek Jeter!

Happy Anniversary, Derek Jeter! Nine years ago today, you hit your first (and so far only) career grand slam!

I was at this game, sitting in the left field bleachers and the Cubs fans sitting behind me couldn’t figure out why we were all flipping out so much over a grand slam that turned a 3-1 game into a 7-1 game in the middle of June. I can recall telling one of the girls behind me who was visiting from Chicago that it was Jeter’s first grand slam and she couldn’t believe it.

She said, “Wait, really? The first of his career?”

I nodded.

“Wow, that’s surprising. It seems like he’d have a few by now.”

Then I explained that his numbers up to that point with the bases loaded were really good (his average was north of .300 if I recall correctly) it was just that he had never hit a home run.…

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