IIATMS Podcast Episode 42: New York Yankees Hot Stove Heats Up

With the Yankees wheelin’ and dealin’, E.J. and I decided it was time to revive the podcast. We discussed the Jose Pirela/Ronald Herrera and John Ryan Murphy/Aaron Hicks deals, the Brett Gardner and Andrew Miller rumors, and the possible trickle down effects that all of this could have. We also stepped outside of #YankeesOnly land a bit, and talked about the Andrelton Simmons pseudo-blockbuster, and New York State’s newfound stance on FanDuel and DraftKings.


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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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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.


The awfulness of the New York Yankees offense 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.…

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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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Quick hit: Yanks trade Jose Pirela to the Padres

Some hot stove news!

Ronald Herrera is a right handed pitcher who made it to Double A last season so the deal opens up a spot on the 40-man roster. 20-year-old Herrera threw 43 2/3 innings for the San Antonio Missions. He gave up 48 hits, walked 14 and struck out 35.

Jose Pirela, who can play second base and the outfield, played in 37 games last year for the Yankees and batted .230/.247/.311/.558 in 78 plate appearances.

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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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