Report: Yanks Talking Outfielder-For-Pitcher Trade With Indians

The Brett Gardner trade rumor train keeps rolling down the offseason tracks, gathering speed as it goes.  Via Jon Morosi, the Yankees are one of several teams talking to the Cleveland Indians about putting a trade together involving an outfielder and one of Cleveland’s starting pitchers.  As Morosi points out, the Indians are dangerously light on quality MLB outfielders right now and won’t have Michael Brantley at the start of next season.  They also have a very deep starting rotation, with 6 legit big league starters in the mix.

If the Yankees are involved and the trade revolves around Cleveland acquiring an outfielder, of course it’s going to be Gardner whose name comes up.  There’s no way Cleveland would even entertain the idea of taking on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s contract.  But Gardner would be a good fit for them thanks to his well-rounded offensive skill set and ability to play center field.

With the Yankees openly looking to add more starting pitching, any of Cleveland’s young starters would be a good fit.  …

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Thoughts On The Early Offseason Happenings

Cash Stache

Still loving the Cash Stache as much this week as I did last week. Courtesy of the AP

You might have noticed a decrease in content on the site recently.  While that’s a natural occurrence once the season ends and there are no more games and updated stats to analyze, in my case it’s also a matter of real life taking a much bigger slice of the time pie.  My 9-5 cube monkey job has gotten very time consuming over the past month or so, to the point that I barely have the time or the mental energy to write anymore.

That can be frustrating when there’s news breaking and trades being made, as it’s never as much fun being the last blogger in with your take on something when all the relevant points have already been made, for the writer or the readers.  That said, I do want to take a little time now to go back and talk about what’s been going on in the early offseason for the Yankees because I do have opinions on this stuff and I want to try to get them out while I have the time.  …

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Report: Yankees Unlikely To Pursue Zobrist

Looks like I didn’t miss too much over the weekend.  The one new rumor with some juice that came out last night comes to us courtesy of The Post and concerns both the Yankees and the Mets and their respective plans to pursue Ben Zobrist this offseason.

Via Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff, the Yankees are unlikely to go hard after Zobrist because of his expected price tag.  The exact quote from the report says “the Yankees aren’t willing to spend as much as Zobrist likely will receive”, and that the Mets will make “a strong push” for Zobrist to address their multiple roster needs.  That information comes from the always reliable unnamed “industry sources”.  They’re better than just regular unnamed sources because they’re definitely in the industry, you see.

All jokes aside, this report makes sense to me.  The MLBTR projection for Zobrist was 3 years/$51 million, this report mentions 4/$60 mil as a possibility, and I’ve already said I don’t see the Yankees going all in on Zobrist for those types of commitments.  …

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GM Meetings Day 4 Recap: A Quiet Finish

There were no last-day fireworks for the Yankees yesterday on the final day of the 2015 GM Meetings.  Cash did his damage on Wednesday and in all likelihood laid some groundwork for bigger talks next month.  Most of the big news yesterday came from the rest of the league.

– The biggest news is recent former Yankee front officer and new Anaheim GM Billy Eppler making a splash and acquiring all-world defensive shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the Braves for Erick Aybar, prospects, and cash.  I like the move if the Angels think they can perk up Simmons’ bat, which Atlanta apparently did not think was possible anymore.  Anaheim is already in “win now” mode with the guys they’ve got, no reason for Eppler to not be aggressive if he thinks it improves the team.

– The Mariners kept dealing as well, picking up righty reliever Joaquin Benoit from the Padres.  The AL West should be fun next year.

– Via Ken Rosenthal, it sounds like Colby Rasmus will be the first player to accept his qualifying offer.  …

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GM Meetings Day 3 Recap: 1 Trade, 2 Trades, And The Rumor Mill Heats Up

Aaron Hicks 2015

Your new fourth outfielder… for now (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Very busy day for Hipster Cash yesterday.  He started off by clearing a 40-man spot and kept the trade momentum rolling with an out-of-nowhere swap with the Twins that netted him at least his Chris Young replacement.  Here’s a full recap of yesterday’s activities.

– The first trade was a straight up roster dump.  Cash said so himself.  The Yanks sent utility man Jose Pirela to the Padres for 20-year-old right-hander Ronald Herrera.  The move got them down to 38 on the 40-man roster and gave them a potential sleeper pitching prospect.

– The second trade was the big one.  The Yankees acquired outfielder Aaron Hicks from the Twins for backup catcher John Ryan Murphy.  This trade, while unexpected, followed a pattern Cash has established recently of dealing from positions of depth to acquire young MLB players with lots of team control remaining.  Murphy really came into his own in 2015 as Brian McCann‘s regular backup, and like Francisco Cervelli before him he will now get the chance to expand into a regular starting role.  …

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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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Report: Yanks And Mariners Have Had Talks About Brett Gardner

Here’s the other new story I alluded to in the previous recap post.  According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees and Mariners have “discussed” a potential trade involving Brett Gardner.  This comes as the latest example of the “Brian Cashman is open to anything” storyline that’s been gaining strength over the last week or so.

Sherman’s report is quick to state that the discussions are in the early stages and no specifics have been mentioned by either side, but there is a good fit and logical reason for both sides to pursue this.  The Mariners need to be competitive now and Gardner is the perfect type of top-of-the-order table setter they need in front of their big hitters.  Jerry DiPoto is the new GM in Seattle and has always liked Gardner.  From the Yankees’ side, Gardner is arguably their most trade-able main roster piece as an above-average player with a reasonable contract.  With Ellsbury locked in, Beltran coming off the books after next season, prospects waiting in the wings, and some intriguing FA outfield options, Gardner is the best chance for them to move a piece while also helping another area of roster need.…

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GM Meetings Day 2 Recap: Young, Profar, Mets Rotation, Gold Glove Shutout

It was another calm day at the 2015 GM Meetings yesterday.  The biggest piece of Yankee hot stove news actually came out super early this morning, so that post will wait.  Here’s the day 2 recap to get the morning started:

– Via Erik Boland, Cash confirmed that the Yankees are interested in bringing Chris Young back.  “Would we like to have him back? Of course. You couldn’t ask him to be any better” Cash said.  Young was a lefty masher on a cheap 1-year deal this past season.  Have to think he’s looking to cash in on that and his market development will determine how seriously the Yankees pursue him.

– FWIW, Bob Nightengale reported the Red Sox as one of the other teams interested in Young.

– Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees are one of several teams that have checked in on Jurickson Profar‘s availability.  Profar, the top prospect in baseball as recently as 2013, has missed the past 2 seasons with shoulder injuries for the Rangers but is playing in the AZFL right now to make up for lost time.  …

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GM Meetings Day 1 Recap: Cash Talks Murphy And 2016 Rotation

Cash GM Meeting Mustache

The Cash Man stylin’ and profilin’ (Courtesy of Mark Feinsand)

The 2015 GM Meetings opened in Boca Raton, Florida yesterday.  Naturally that meant Brian Cashman was going to be there, and be there he was as he knocked the fashion world on its collective ass with his stylish, hipster-y, Tobias Funke-esque arrival getup.

Besides that, there wasn’t anything major that went down yesterday.  There usually isn’t at these meetings.  This is more of a table setting for the Winter Meetings next month.  But there were a few tidbits worth talking about:

– If you were thinking of signing Daniel Murphy to play second base next year, don’t get your hopes up.  Via Mark Feinsand, Cash said “I think if we’re going to pursue something, we have two offensive-profile players already at that position, so if we did any changing there, it would be seeking more balance on both sides of the ball” when asked about Murphy.  For the money it would take to sign him and the draft pick, I’d rather pass and go with Ackley-Refs too.…

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