Group Chat: Would You Sell Half the Farm for Tulo?

Scott: Matt’s Yankees Shortstop Options post was depressing, and rumors are flying about possible trades for Elvis Andrus or Troy Tulowitzki, with one rumor suggesting that the Yankees could have Tulo for something like Luis Severino, Greg Bird, and Manny Banuelos. Would you take that deal, or something like it? I absolutely would. (1) Severino is great, with no red flags to date, but has only 25 IP at AA; it’s a long road yet to being a real MLB starter, much less the sort of #1-#2 starter you might regret giving up for a Tulo. (2) Bird has real holes in his game – rough at 1B (1 error every 10 games) and striking in 23% of PA in the low minors (bad but more a yellow than red flag); his 7 HR in 95 AB at AA, and great AFL showing, may signal exciting improvement, but to regret trading him for Tulo, he’d have to show continued progress.…

Read more

Early Offseason Big Picture: Optimism vs Pessimism re 2015 – a Group Chat

Scott:The Worst is Yet to Come,” happy sunshine guy Dan Szymborski reports in predicting late-stage-empire decay of the post-90s/2000s Yankees. Let’s discuss: Agree or disagree?

         Quick initial take: Agree with Dan that (a) declining oldsters are preventing improvement at many positions, (b) imminent help from the farm is modest, and (c) the free agent pool has gotten shallower now that teams extend young talent before free agency. On the other hand, (a) they’re already an above-average team, (b) some free-agent and rookie talent infusions are likely for 2015-16, and (c) they won’t lose literally a whole rotation (5 starters) to injury every year (like in 2014), right? Can the impending improvements exceed the impending declines enough to net the several extra wins they need to make the playoffs?

William: My take on it is this: Predicting gloom and doom sells papers and creates pageviews and makes off season people read ZiPS. Teams like the Orioles in 2014 and yes, the Royals and Giants show that a lot has to go right for a team to get the golden apple and a lot can go wrong too.…

Read more

Report: Yanks Have “No Plans” To Pursue Top Free Agents

After being ahead of the pack on the qualifying offer situations yesterday, Mark Feinsand continued his hot streak with a report late last night that the Yankees are not planning on going after the top crop of free agents (Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, James Shields, Pablo Sandoval) this offseason.  Feinsand, so hot right now.  Feinsand.

“According to a source, the Yankees have no plans to pursue either Scherzer or Lester, the top two free agents on the market this winter. Shields, the third-best free-agent starter, is also off the Bombers’ radar, as is Sandoval, the Giants’ postseason hero who was given a $15.3 million qualifying offer by San Francisco before Monday’s deadline.”

The report also names Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley as 2 players the Yankees will try to bring back, which comes as no surprise.  It seemed like this was the route the team was planning on taking when the regular season ended, and the amount of money already committed to the 2015 payroll made pursuing the aforementioned big money guys extremely unlikely.…

Read more

The Puerto Rico Rays? Sí, se puede…

Yankee fans following road trips to A.L. East rivals may not have to visit one of MLB’s most humdrum parks and cities much longer: frustrated with MLB-low attendance and a notoriously weak park, the Tampa Bay Rays’ owner “has discussed moving the club … to Montreal.” Believe or don’t believe reports that “play[ing] to a half-empty (or worse) stadium night after night … wore on Maddon” in his decision to leave the team he managed for nine years. But clearly the Rays, despite being roughly tied with the A’s as the team most praised for innovative decision-making, are also roughly tied with the A’s as MLB’s most troubled team; the hit they’ll take from losing simultaneously one of the most respected GMs and one of the most respected managers just compounds their structural attendance and park problems.

Yet a team looking for a more devoted fan base would be making a curious decision by shacking up with Montreal, the one city MLB jilted by permanently confiscating its MLB team for lack of local support.…

Read more

Report: Yanks Will Name Gary Denbo New VP Of Baseball Ops

While we wait patiently for the new hitting coach to be named, the Yankees are reportedly set to fill an important front office hole with this move.  Denbo was considered a front runner for this position based on his longstanding history as a scout and MiL hitting coordinator.  He’s been around the organization for a long time, so take that as a good or bad thing depending on how much you wanted to see an outside voice take over for Newman.

Also via Feinsand, the Yankees have let Pat Roessler go as VP of player development.  Expect to see a replacement announced for that job soon.

Read more

Could Marcus Thames Be The Sleeper Hitting Coach Candidate?

Thames Trenton

He definitely passes the “early season hat style” part of the interview. Courtesy of Martin Griff/The Times of Trenton

We’re less than 2 days from the reported team-set deadline for hiring a new hitting coach.  We know the Yankees interviewed Dave Magadan last Wednesday, we know they interviewed Chili Davis on Thursday, and via Rob Bradford and Alex Speier, we know that Davis was hired by the Red Sox to be their new hitting coach last night.

The Yankees were scheduled to meet with a few other candidates on Friday and this past weekend, but as of yet we have not found out the names of those other interviewees.  One of the names that was connected to the job was Marcus Thames, most recently the hitting coach at Double-A Trenton and former Yankee player.  While Magadan appears to be the front runner for the job based on the reports that are out, I can’t help but think that Thames could be the surprise sleeper candidate from the rest of the pool.…

Read more

Rumor: Yanks Considering Omar Minaya For Front Office Position

This came out late-ish last night, and it may not be welcome news to some who are seeing it for the first time this morning.  Former Mets GM Omar Minaya’s name started floating around yesterday as one the Yankees were considering for a possible front office position.  Erik Boland reported that it was “strong consideration for a high-ranking position,” but Andy Martino later tempered that by tweeting that the role would be something in scouting or an advisory position and not a major one.  With Mark Newman leaving as Senior VP of Baseball Ops and Minaya currently holding that spot in San Diego, there is a potential lateral opening.

Just the name “Omar Minaya” is enough to make some Mets fans’ skin crawl, and his tenure as GM there was not a good one.  But he does have a very good track record of building strong farm systems wherever he’s been.  With the Yankees putting improving their farm system as a primary goal going forward, Minaya could be useful as someone to help guide the efforts.  …

Read more

Hal Speaks On The Season

Hal Stein

Courtesy of USATSI

Joe didn’t waste any time issuing his post-mortem on the season, holding his end-of-season press conference the day after the final game.  Hal Steinbrenner followed suit yesterday, talking to Michael Kay on his radio show at length about the season that was and what things he thinks the team needs to address to prepare for next season.  You can check out the entire interview here, but since Chad Jennings was nice enough to compile the money quotes, I’m going to cherry pick from those and highlight some of the more important/strange things Hal had to say.

“The hitting coach is responsible for the hitters, the pitching coach is responsible for the pitchers, and we’ve got an infield coach responsible for defense and fielding.  That comes with any position in life. You are liable for what goes on. We have not made any decisions yet as to what we’re going to do with any of the coaches.

Read more

Health Not All That Ails Yankees

All signs point to Brian Cashman returning as New York Yankees general manager. My feelings about that are mixed. You cannot deny Cashman’s overall success over a long period of time, and he did make several key pickups this season to keep the Yankees in contention.

On the other hand, his farm system has been not been good enough for awhile and it’s clear that the Yankees have to change the way they do things in order to compete in MLB’s new world. Cashman has been GM since 1998, which may be too long for anybody. Sometimes you just need a new voice and new ideas.

If the Yankees did try to replace Cashman there’s no guarantee they would find someone better. However, a recent Cashman quote is concerning to me.

“I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times you would not get this result,” Cashman said to John Harper of the New York Daily News

“You’ll see the real Carlos Beltran next year,” he said.

Read more