Report: Yanks Don’t Have “A Serious Interest” In Yasmany Tomas

Well this isn’t good news:

“According to an industry source, the Yankees don’t appear to have a serious interest in Cuban defector Yasmani Tomas.”

This report by George King cites an anticipated price tag in the $100 million range as the primary reason for the Yanks passing on Tomas, which I don’t and will never understand.  I don’t care how much money they spent last offseason or on whom.  The Yankees still possess the greatest financial advantage over the rest of MLB and they should not be afraid to use it.  If the goal really is to put a “championship-caliber” team on the field, how can you pass on a 24-year-old with grade 70 right-handed power and a plus outfield arm?  Where is that guy in your farm system right now that allows you to say you can’t afford that player?

“What’s that?  Potentially the next Jose Abreu and we can lock him up through the best years of his prime without sacrificing a draft pick?  

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Headley And McCarthy’s Reported Interest In Returning Should Not Be Ignored

McCarthy vs KC

B-Mac says he wants to come back. Courtesy of Getty Images

With the divisional round done and the league championship series starting later this week, the time draws closer to when the Yankees can be active in the baseball world again.  Dom started laying out their list of offseason needs yesterday in preparation for the start of hot stove season, and 2 guys who will be very important in determining how those needs are addressed are Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley.  The trade deadline pickups were among the best players on the team post-acquisition.  Their performances in New York set them both up to earn pretty nice free agent paydays, and given that aforementioned list of needs, there’s a fair-to-good chance those paydays comes from the Steinbrenner checkbook.

The local media has already started covering these upcoming free agent cases and the stance coming from both Headley and McCarthy is that they would want to return to the Yankees next season.  …

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Sizing Up the Market: Second Base

In 2013, Yankees second basemen – which may be more accurately referred to as “Robinson Cano & Friends” – batted .318/.385/.521, with 43 2B, 27 HR, and a 154 sOPS+ (meaning that the team’s production at the position was roughly 54% better than the average). For comparison’s sake, the average second baseman hit .263/.323/.387 in 2013 and, yes, that includes Cano’s robust production.

This past season, the much less catchy “Brian Roberts & the Infinite Sadness” combined for a slash line of .246/.303/.390, with 34 2B, 13 HR, and a 101 sOPS+. All things considered, that isn’t too shabby when compared to the MLB-average of .256/.313/.373. Of course, that line is probably a bit skewed by Martin Prado slashing .403/.413/.661 in 63 PA as the second baseman – but, on the whole, the disappointing production at the position may well have been a result of Cano’s offensive dominance of the position for the previous half decade or so. The defense of Messrs Roberts and Kelly Johnson is a story for another day.…

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The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees (The Outfield)

OF vs TOR

Not pictured: The starting right fielder. Courtesy of Getty Images

The 2014 season review series began yesterday with a look back at the infield.  They were a sad, slow, frustrating group for most of the season.  They didn’t hit well or field well.  The best contributions came from players who weren’t expected to do anything or weren’t on the roster at the start of the season (Solarte, Headley, Prado), and the biggest letdowns came from the players who had the highest hopes/expectations attached to them (Teix, McCann).

While the general expectations for the infield were low from the beginning, they were much higher for the starting outfield.  That group was rebuilt in the offseason, with 2 big outside free agent signings joining an extended homegrown talent to form one of the potentially most balanced and talented outfields in baseball.  It didn’t quite work out that way, as team-wide injury problems prevented this group from ever performing in the roles they were expected to.…

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R.I.P. “Gus” Gotsulias

Friends of the site, as many of you know, Stacey’s dad, Constantine “Gus” Gotsulias, had been fighting some pretty serious illness the last few weeks. Which, understandably, is why you haven’t seen or heard from her much. She’d been too busy by her Mom’s and brother’s sides, trying to nurse Gus back to health. Unfortunately, this weekend (10/3/14), Gus succumbed and passed away. Although, Stacey told me they watched Jeter’s last game together in the hospital and was able to point up at the TV when Jeter doubled in the first inning, before falling asleep before the end of the game.

I’ve been reluctant to write about this out of concern for Stacey’s privacy, but at the calling hours last night, Stacey told me it was OK to post something. It’s worth noting that Stacey and her brother had a tremendous “NY” flower arrangement last night, and her brother James had on display a 1941 style Yanks cap in honor of the year of Gus’ birth.…

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Quick Hit: AZFL Begins Today

The season never really ends in the world of prospects, and the next stage of the 2014 cycle kicks off today with the opening of the Arizona Fall League season.  From a Yankee perspective, things have changed some since they announced the initial batch of participants.  Here’s a quicker refresher on who’s going and why.

Position Players: Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin, Greg Bird, Dante Bichette Jr., Kyle Higashioka

Bichette is in for the injured Eric Jagielo, who will miss the season due to his facial HBP and resulting surgery.  Bichette re-established his prospect value some this season with a .271/.352/.410 season at High-A Tampa, but he’s 4 years into his pro career now and just had his first good year since 2011.  There’s nothing he can do to really help or hurt his standing here.  Same goes for Judge, Austin, and Bird, although it would be great to see all of them continue their hot-hitting finishes to the regular season.  …

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The Yankees Off-Season Shopping List

Last week, I opined on what the Yankees should do with their free agents to be. As a result of injuries and poor performance, there was a great deal of roster flux this season, The team ended 2014 with in-season acquisitions seeing the majority of the at-bats at second base and third base, as well as a significant amount of playing time between right field and left field (as Brett Gardner slumped and Jacoby Ellsbury got hurt). The Yankees best position players in the second half were Chase Headley and Martin Prado (by fWAR), for example, and Brandon McCarthy may well have been the team’s best starting pitcher over that time. While that sort of performance is more than welcome, it does not change the fact that a team full of disappointments will see the return of the most egregious offenders.

As Cashman and co. create their gameplan for the off-season, it seems wise to tend to the team’s own free agents before delving into the marketplace.…

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2014 Season Review: The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees (The Infield)

Jeter Walk-Off vs BAL

The highlight of the year for the starting infield, one of precious few. (Courtesy of Getty Images)

It was a strange and disappointing season.  Disappointing in that the Yankees once again failed to make the postseason, this time after spending big to revamp the roster from the previously miserable 2013 season.  Strange in that it felt like the team never changed from game 1 to game 162.  There were plenty of player changes, sure, but all year long it felt like the big talking points were the same.  Rotation injury concerns, questions about the batting order, failure to hit in the clutch, and problems with bullpen workload.  It was like watching a baseball team play out McConaughey’s “time is a flat circle” speech from “True Detective” over 1 season.

Rather than go back and recap all those boring talking points in depth again, I thought I’d break the season that was down in the good old “Best & Worst” format.  It’ll give the posts a more balanced tone, touch on the high and low points of the year while still considering those general talking points, and hopefully make the exercise a little less painful to write and read.  …

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Aaron Judge Ranks 15th In Baseball America’s Top 20 Florida State League Prospects List

Fresh off his 8th place showing on the South Atlantic League’s list last week, Aaron Judge showed up again on the latest list released by Baseball America today.  His .283/.411/.442 tripleslash (.397 wOBA, 149 wRC+) was good enough to get him 15th place on BA’s top 20 Florida State League prospects list, and the dual recognition for both leagues gives him another feather in his cap heading into the Arizona Fall League season.  He was the only Yankee farmhand to make the list.

I was a little surprised to not see Jake Cave or Greg Bird crack the bottom of that list, but neither spent a lot of time at the level and both have already been shuttled up to Trenton.  Based on his .308/.419/.486 season batting line and selection for the AZFL, I have to imagine Judge will be joining them there to start 2015.

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