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.…
We heard last week about the Yankees putting in a call to Anaheim to check on the availability of second baseman Howie Kendrick, and while there’s been little indication thus far that the Angels are seriously considering moving Kendrick, he’s a player worth pondering.
31-year-old player going on 32; .292/.332/.424 career hitter; .297/.347/.397 in 2014; inconsistent power, but good average and a relatively low K rate; almost universally regarded as an above-average defensive player by all kinds of metrics; noted Yankee killer. He’s entering the final year of a 4-year deal that will pay him a modest $9.5 million and will become a free agent after the 2015 season.
There’s a lot to like in Kendrick, least notably the “Yankee killer” status. To even suggest that the team should pursue a player simply because that player has performed well against them is preposterous. There’s also the team’s current situation with Martin Prado and Rob Refsnyder to consider. While second base is a position of need this offseason, the Yankees have multiple internal options to address it.…
The announcement that 19-year-old Cuban prospcet Yoan Moncada was officially declared a free agent by MLB created some serious buzz on the international free agent circuit last week. Moncada is highly-touted, with some scouts seeing him as a legitimate 5-tool talent, and he held his first public workout for MLB scouts last Wednesday in Guatemala. There were 60+ scouts in attendance, and according to a report by Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com, the Yankees were out in full force. Here’s the money quote:
“The Yankees were reported to have a large contingent at his workout last week.”
Quick-draw reaction? Good. They should have a large contingent there. They played it safe and missed out on the last few big Cuban free agents, and Moncada comes with a much better scouting report attached to him at a much younger age than any of those other players. …
He didn’t have as dynamite a regular season as he did in 2013, but Greg Bird put an exclamation point on his stellar Arizona Fall League season by being named MVP of the league yesterday. Bird got off to a hot start in the first 2 weeks and kept his performance up over the length of the season, finishing with a .313/.391/.556 slash line in 99 at-bats. He led the league in home runs (6), runs scored (21), and hits (31), and was second in RBI (21). and total bases (55). Among hitters with at least 70 at-bats, his .947 OPS was best. He also did this.
Bird has been on the offensive upswing ever since the Yankees moved him out from behind the plate to first base prior to the 2013 season. He’s still nothing special defensively at the position, but he’s shown an ability to hit for plus average, plus power, and draw a ton of walks over the last 2 seasons, and he’s worked himself into serious consideration for a spot on the Major League roster in the near future. …
I made it back safe and sound from my week in Germany yesterday afternoon. It was a good week, as I expected it to be after my first training trip out there in July. But to be honest, I was pretty nervous about heading out there again. Nervous as a Yankee fan. For the last few years I’ve had a personal trend of big things happening when I’ve been away from blogging. In April of 2012 I missed A-Rod’s homer against the Red Sox to put him into sole possession of 5th place on the all-time home run list when I was attending a friend’s bachelor party. In September of that year, I missed the back-to-back extra-inning wins against the A’s participating in a bachelor party for another friend, and I was in the wedding for that same friend on October 13th when Derek Jeter broke his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS. I was celebrating my anniversary in Madison on April 20th this year when Ivan Nova suffered his season-ending elbow injury, and the Masahiro Tanaka injury and Brandon McCarthy trade both happened while I was in Germany in July.…
It’s no secret that the No.1 thing on Brian Cashman’s winter to do list is to find a replacement for Derek Jeter. Whether that is a short term or long term replacement remains to be seen. The good news is that it will be easy to improve on Jeter’s 2014 season.
The bad news is that the free agency crop of shortstops isn’t very good and full of players who may have to move off the position. The good news is that there are a good number of trade candidates available, but that would of course mean giving up prospects when the Yankees are trying to rebuild their farm system. Lets take a look at the candidates:
Hanley Ramirez- Ramirez represents what might be the greatest risk of any free agent on the market let alone the shortstop market. His bat is still extremely productive and that is huge in this day and age of baseball when offense is limited.…
It’s finally Friday! This isn’t quite a linkapalooza but here are some stories for you to look at on this lovely, cold November afternoon:
- Andy Pettitte thinks that Alex Rodriguez should come clean because if anyone knows about spilling his guts about PED use, it’s Andy Pettitte… (yes that was sarcasm.)
- Could it be Melky Cabrera 2: Electric Boogaloo? Michael Brown of Pinstripe Alley explores the possibility.
- Both the Yankees and the Mets see Stephen Drew as a fallback plan.
- Is Giancarlo Stanton worth $320M? It’s possible that the Marlins think so.
- The Yankees may have been inquiring about Howie Kendrick. I can understand why. It seems like Kendrick has a .400 BA against them.
Enjoy your day!
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.…
Brian Cashman said finding a shortstop is his biggest priority right now. #Yankees
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) November 13, 2014
Well, this is the most obvious statement ever so let’s discuss possible shortstop candidates, shall we? Have fun with it and be respectful to your fellow readers.
Here’s the list of free agents to choose from.