Tuesday Afternoon Food For Thought: What Other Starters Should The Yankees Target?

It’s been an unexpectedly interesting few days in Yankeeland to say the least.  For every roster hole they’ve filled, they’ve created another one.  If the regular season started tomorrow, the Yankees would have 3 health-related question marks in Tanaka, Pineda, and Sabathia occupying the top 3 spots of their rotation and 2 guys at the back end in Phelps and Warren who have spent the bulk of their Major League time working out of the bullpen.  That’s bad.

What’s good is that we know the Yanks aren’t going to stand pat with what they have there.  Their primary focus for the rest of the Winter Meetings and the foreseeable future is beefing up the rotation.  But how?  And with whom?

Brandon McCarthy is the first name that comes to mind.  The next 2, based on logic and growing perception in response to the D-Rob move, are Jon Lester and Max Scherzer.  But what about after them?  Who are the next names that make sense to go after now that we know the team needs multiple starters?  …

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Quick Hit: Andrew Miller Gets It

Andrew Miller talked to the NY media for the first time yesterday, giving insight into why he decided to sign with the Yankees over his other pursuers and what role he saw himself playing in the new ‘pen.  The talk over who was going to do what was already intriguing before D-Rob signed with the ChiSox and it will only get louder now that he’s gone, either until the Yankees name Miller or Betances the closer or sign another reliever to handle that role.

To his credit, Miller said he didn’t really care where and when he pitched and that a promised closer role was never part of the discussion between he and the Yanks.  His take on how he should be used was actually one of the smartest things I’ve heard a professional baseball player say in a while (quote courtesy of Chad Jennings):

“I’m pretty confident in myself.  I think I can get three outs at any point in the game, wherever that may be.

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Waking Up To The D-Rob News And Not Knowing How To Feel About It

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So long, guy.

First things first, mad props to Stacey for being up and jumping on this “David Robertson to the White Sox” story last night.  I had long shut it down for the day when it broke and I barely made it past halftime of the Packer game before passing out in my armchair.  I didn’t find out about this until I turned on SC this morning, and after 20 or so minutes of pondering it while driving to the office, I still have no clue how I feel about it.

On the one hand, I understand it.  The Yankees need a lot more help in roster places other than the bullpen.  They just signed a younger pitcher who had a better 2014 season to a cheaper deal a few days earlier.  They have Dellin Betances coming off a historically dominant season, and they have a ton of other young, high-upside relief arms in the top 2 levels of their farm system.  …

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Report: Robertson Signs With The White Sox

Say bye bye to David Robertson. Looks like he’s heading to the Chicago White Sox. The early reports are saying he signed for four years/$46M.

Robertson, who took over as closer after Mariano Rivera‘s retirement, had a very respectable 2014, picking up 39 saves in 44 tries, which ranked him third in the AL in that category. He had a 3.08 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 96 strikeouts in 64.1 innings pitched. In his career with the Yankees, Robertson posted a 2.81 ERA with 524 strikeouts in 393.1 innings.

After Andrew Miller was signed over the weekend, Yankee fans wondered if maybe the team would re-sign Robertson and have Miller help set up, along with Dellin Betances. Guess that’s not happening now!

We’ll definitely have more reaction to this move after everyone else wakes up.…

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Winter Meetings Day 1 Recap: 12/8/14

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It wasn’t a huge day by any means, but the first day of the 2014 Winter Meetings was anything but slow or unproductive.  If you haven’t caught up yet, here’s all you need to know from Day 1:

– The biggest news of the day was the Indians and A’s completing the Brandon Moss trade.  Moss goes to Cleveland for 2B prospect Joe Wendle.  The tear down has set in for Oakland.  I’d really like it if the Yankees would call Billy Beane up about his starting pitchers.

– The biggest FA signing of the day was Jason Hammel going back to the NL and back to the Cubs on a 2-year/$18 million deal.  He was a fringe candidate to be pursued by the Yankees, probably something around a Plan C or D.

Jon Lester did not sign, but like Andrew Miller last week he did get the deadline put on him.  Multiple reports have Lester making a decision by the end of the day tomorrow, and the Giants, Cubs, and Red Sox are the leaders in the race to land him.…

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Report: Yanks Willing To Go 4 Years For Headley And D-Rob

Not much activity so far on the Yankee front on Day 1 of the Winter Meetings.  I don’t think Cash has even arrived in San Diego yet.  The big story of the day so far is this report from Andrew Marchand about the Yankees being willing to go to a 4-year deal for Chase Headley and/or David Robertson.  This goes against previous reports that hinted at New York not being willing to go more than 3 for Headley, and confirms that the team is still very much interested in and involved in talks with D-Rob even after inking Andrew Miller to a 4-year deal on Friday.

Of course, the Yankees’ reported interest comes with the always tricky “at the right price” contingency.  Headley has supposedly received a 4-year/$65 million offer from an unnamed team, a price tag that I can’t see the Yankees being interested in paying.  With that deal not signed, however, and more coming out today about how much Headley liked playing in New York, I wonder how real that offer is.  …

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Didi Gregorius Trade Thoughts And Afterthoughts

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Courtesy of Getty Images

For a guy who the Yankees had been trying to acquire for over a year, Didi Gregorius sure seemed to come as a surprise when he was announced as the center piece of the 3-team trade involving the Tigers and Diamondbacks last Friday.  Leading up to then, the bulk of the trade talk centered around Troy Tulowitzki and Alexei Ramirez.  The primary FA focus was on the trio of Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Stephen Drew.  There was no thought given to Gregorius, which is probably exactly what the Yankees wanted.

The reaction to the trade around the Yankosphere over the past 2.5 days has been mostly positive, with a noticeable contingent of fans expressing concern over Gregorius’ underwhelming performance with the bat to date.  He’s no stud 2-way shortstop, that much is certain.  But that’s a much rarer commodity in baseball these days than it was during Derek Jeter‘s golden years.  …

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Winter Meetings Start This Week; Yanks Have Plenty To Do

The biggest event of the MLB offseason gets started today in San Diego- the Winter Meetings.  The rumor mill will be running at warp speed for the next 4 days, with teams and players jockeying for prime position to work out the biggest and best deals possible and more than a few big names in play.  The Yankees kick started their offseason plan into gear on Friday after a slow and deliberate start, and they are expected to be among the most active teams during the meetings.  Adding Didi Gregorius and Andrew Miller filled a few big holes, but there are some that still need to be filled and the next 4 days will offer Cash and Co. a variety of possibilities to address them.

Starting pitching is an absolute must.  Giving up Shane Greene in the Gregorius deal has left the Yanks with a current projected starting rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, David Phelps, and Adam Warren.  …

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Report: Marcus Thames Hired As New Assistant Hitting Coach

At long last, some action on the hitting coach front!  An article in the NY Daily News early Friday hinted that this move was coming, and this tweet from Matt Kardos made it sound like it’s a done deal.  Marcus Thames, former Yankee and current hitting coach at Double-A Trenton, is going to be the new assistant hitting coach for the Major League club next year.

Thames was one of the first candidates named back in October after Kevin Long was fired.  It was never confirmed if he interviewed for the position, but I have to imagine there was some kind of meeting and discussion, formal or informal, if the Yankees made this decision.  The dual-hitting coach trend is pretty new to the game and for once, it’s good to see the Yankees following the trend in its early stages instead of scrambling to catch up later.  …

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