2015 Arizona Fall League Wrap-Up


The Arizona Fall League championship game was played on Saturday, with the Scottsdale Scorpions defeating the Surprise Sagueros 6-4.  The Yankees were well represented in the Surprise lineup, with Gary Sanchez starting at catcher and hitting cleanup, Tyler Austin starting in left field and hitting 6th, and Dustin Fowler starting in center and hitting 8th.  They all performed well too, each recording at least 1 hit in the game and Fowler hitting a home run.

With the AZFL season officially over, here’s a final tally for the Yankee representatives:

Sanchez: .295/.357/.625, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 16 R in 88 AB
Austin: .272/.344/.444, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 13 R, 7 SB in 81 AB
Fowler: .279/.313/.410, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 14 R, 7 SB in 61 AB
Tyler Wade: .220/.313/.268, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 6 R in 41 AB

Ian Clarkin: 24.2 IP, 34 H, 16 ER, 14 BB, 17 K, 5.84 ERA in 6 App
Chaz Hebert: 14.1 IP, 13 H, 7 ER, 10 BB, 12 K, 4.40 ERA in 7 App
Tyler Webb: 12.1 IP, 13 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 5.84 ERA in 9 App
Domingo Acevedo: 12.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, 2.25 ERA in 7 App

The standout numbers still belong to Sanchez, who fell short in his bid to win league MVP despite leading in homers and ribbies.  …

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Yankees Protect 3, Add Davis, Gamel, And Barbato To The 40-Man Roster

Guess the Yankees weren’t worried about leaving any roster spots open for free agent signings after all.  As the team announced, they added 3 players to their 40-man roster today to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft: Double-A right-hander Rookie Davis, Triple-A righty reliever Johnny Barbato, and lefty-hitting Triple-A outfielder Ben Gamel.  With the earlier move by the Rays to claim Chase Whitley off waivers clearing an extra spot, the 40-man roster is now full.

I’m actually a bit surprised.  I though the depth at their positions would be Barbato and Gamel’s undoing and instead it seems to be the reason they were kept over guys like Jake Cave and Chaz Hebert.  This tells me the Yankees are definitely planning to dip into that depth on the trade market.  …

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Quick Hit: Eppler Effect Nabs Two From Yankee Front Office

Slow day yesterday, but I did see something creep over the wire that was newsworthy in Yankeeland.  Via Sweeny Murti (who still has me blocked on Twitter), Billy Eppler has poached a pair of guys from the Yankee front office/scouting staff and brought them to join him in Anaheim.  Steve Martone, who was the Yankees’ manager of pro scouting, will be Eppler’s new assistant GM, and Eric Chavez has been named special assistant to the GM.  No word yet on whether Martone will have a special assistant to the assistant GM or if that position will be filled by a former Yankee, but stay tuned.

These aren’t devastating losses for the Yankees.  They’ll replace from within on the pro scouting job and they can always bring in more ex-players to be scouts and special assistants, but there’s some significance to the loss of Chavez.  He was reportedly instrumental in convincing the team to pursue the Didi Gregorius trade last offseason after playing with Didi in Arizona.…

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Quick Hit: Yankees Announce Mike Harkey’s Return And Rest Of 2016 Coaching Staff

Mike Harkey’s name was thrown out as a potential Gary Tuck replacement almost immediately, and the team made his return official a few hours ago with this tweet.  In addition to this move and the responsibilities of catching coach being reassigned to Tony Pena, the Yankees made official the returns of Larry Rothschild, Rob Thomson, and Joe Espada, and the hitting coach promotions for Alan Cockrell and Marcus Thames.  The full 2016 big league coaching staff is set.

Last offseason the Yankees waited a long time to replace the departed Kevin Long.  Not this offseason.  They were quick to make decisions on who they were letting go and quick to announce the new guys to replace them.  Good.  One more check in the box on the offseason to-do list and one less thing to worry about heading into the heart of hot stove season.…

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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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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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Thursday Morning News And Notes: 11/5/15

The early offseason roster shuffle continues.  Here’s what you might have missed yesterday:

Chris Martin has been released and has signed a deal to go pitch for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan.  According to Ben Nicholson-Smith, the deal was for 2 years and $1.7 million.  That’s more than he would have got here.  Props to Martin and best of luck to him over there.

– The Yankees activated their remaining four 60-day DL players yesterday.  For the time being, Jacob Lindgren, Mason Williams, Chase Whitley, and Domingo German are all back on the 40-man roster.  I believe Lindgren and Williams will be ready in time for Spring Training, and both have good chances to make the Opening Day team next year.  Whitley and German should return to full game action sometime in the middle of next season.

– In addition to those moves, the Yankees also added righty Vicente (formerly Jose) Campos back onto the 40-man roster.  …

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