Sanchez And Refsnyder Named To Baseball America’s Top 20 Eastern League Prospects List

Baseball America’s year-end run through the top 20 prospects in every minor league is almost over.  Today it was the Double-A Eastern League’s top 20 and the Yankees had 2 of their big names show up on the list.  Catcher Gary Sanchez came in at number 11 and second baseman Rob Refsnyder was lucky 13.

Sanchez hit .270/.338/.406 in 477 plate appearances over a full season at the Double-A level.  He continued to show great promise with the bat and improvements in his defensive game, but not at a level as high was what his original ceiling made him out to be.  Refsnyder was arguably the best position player in the Yankee system this year, and in his short stint in Trenton he hit .342/.385/.548.  Sanchez is no longer the top Yankee prospect on my board, but he and Refsnyder are both top 5 easily.  Refsnyder should be in competition for the starting second base job next spring and Sanchez could be in serious consideration for a roster spot in 2016.…

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To Qualify Or Not To Qualify: David Robertson

D-Rob vs DET

The look of a man who knows he’s getting paid this offseason. Courtesy of Getty Images

The League Championship Series are in the early stages, so we’re weeks away from the realistic deadline.  But with each passing game, that deadline for submitting qualifying offers draws closer.  I briefly touched on the increase of the QO price to $15.3 million last week and my plan was always to discuss the 2 top Yankee QO candidates in greater detail.  We’ll start that plan today with a look at the qualifying offer case for David Robertson.

Case For:

  • Consistent Elite Performance- One of the best relievers in MLB since 2011.  19th in IP (258.0), 5th in Strikeouts (354), 8th in K rate (34.0%), 3rd in Holds (97), 9th in FIP (2.40), 4th in fWAR (7.6).
  • Strong 2014 Season- One of the best closers in MLB this past season.  Finished T-8th in Saves (39), 10th in K rate (37.1%), T-13th in reliever fWAR (1.7).
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Sizing Up the Market: Shortstop

This off-season will represent the first time since 1995 that the Yankees will be looking for a full-time solution at shortstop. That may even be selling the transition for Derek Jeter to whomever a bit short, too, as Tony Fernandez was signed to be the team’s everyday shortstop in December of 1994, and he was pretty freaking good – at that time, he was still a strong defender with a league-average bat, which most teams would kill for at shortstop nowadays. Of course, that goes to show just how long it has been since the Yankees were faced with this sort of dilemma. To add a bit more context, in 1995 (the last of pre-Jeterian days):

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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.  …

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Fan versus the machine – 2014 hopes against the odds

Being a fan of a team and writing about that same team is a very difficult trick to pull off. The most difficult part is being objective and writing in a factual way without getting carried away by emotions. If you don’t fight the emotions, you end up writing screeds against the general manager or manager and players who don’t perform the way you expect or turn the other way and be exceeding in the praise. One way to really illustrate the problem is to look at the fan’s hopes during the season and cold, hard odds of making the wild card or winning the division as it is calculated every day by places like Fangraphs.com. It wasn’t until the end of the 2014 season when the hopes fell in line with reality.

What I did to illustrate the point was to list the day by day Fangraphs odds for the Yankees to either win a wild card spot or win the division from Game 1 of the season to Game 162.…

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Sizing Up the Market: Third Base

Alex Rodriguez?

Alex Rodriguez.

Alex Rodriguez?!

Alex. Rodriguez.

With that out of the way, it does seem as if the Yankees are already planning on going in another direction at third. And, to be perfectly blunt, it would be patently idiotic to count on a 39-year-old coming off of two hip surgeries and a calendar year-plus away from organized baseball to do much of anything, let alone man the hot corner for a would be contender. As much as it would be fun, and perhaps even deserved if we sat down and assumed that the Yankees would be so inept as to head into the season with that sort of player penciled into the Opening Day lineup, I simply cannot see that happening as of this moment – at least not at third base, or barring some sort of calamitous Spring Training injury.

The Yankees head into the off-season with a compelling free agent third baseman of their own in Chase Headley.…

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The Bachelorette, SS Edition: Drew Gets the Rose?

First of all, thanks to the gang for letting me join! I’m a native New Yorker who moved to Wisconsin and then Colorado for work (I’m a professor at U. Colorado Law School). As a Yankee fan since my first Stadium game in 1978 (when as a 4 year-old I understood almost nothing but loved the loudly chaotic “Bronx Zoo” atmosphere that grandpa was showing me at an arguably inappropriate age), I’m looking forward to chatting more with Yankee fans here.

In a feat of remarkably poor timing, I’d drafted a detailed comparison of the top SS options, Hanley Ramirez and the now-unavailable J.J. Hardy. Now the solid speculation is Stephen Drew may be the last man standing in what started out as a strong free-agent SS field, but is looking like a super-anticlimactic season of the Bachelorette, one in which the best bachelor departs mid-season for another woman, and the rest all prove underwhelming, leaving the looking-for-love starlet holding her nose in presenting the rose to the old guy who stank up their dates like Drew’s .150/.219/.271 batting line in NY.…

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Forget About A-Rod Playing Shortstop

After a season in which he was almost never mentioned, Alex Rodriguez is starting to creep back into the Yankee headlines.  He’s been working out in preparation for his return from this year’s suspension, the team has been speaking openly and positively about him rejoining the lineup in 2015, and all signs point towards A-Rod being the starter at some position on Opening Day.

What position, exactly, is up for debate and appears as though it could be something that’s not set in stone.  One suggestion that’s been talked about on our daily email chains and multiple times in the comment section of this blog is the idea of moving A-Rod back to shortstop.  That is an idea that any and all believers should stop believing right now.  Forget about it.  Because it’s not going to happen.

At 39 years old and turning 40 next July, and with 2 bad hips, A-Rod’s days of playing every day are long gone.  Cash used that point as the main reason why the team reportedly asked A-Rod to learn first base this offseason.

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Season Review Recap: The Best And Worst Of The 2014 New York Yankees

This past week was 2014 season review week at IIATMS.  We reviewed the 162-game results roster group by roster group to highlight the best and worst things that each group did.  Not only were the worsts more plentiful, they were also the more impactful happenings of the season for the Yankees.  That’s how you spend half a billion dollars in the offseason and finish with a worse record than you did the year before.  If you missed any of those review posts this week, here’s your chance to catch up.

- The Infield

- The Outfield

- The Rotation

- The Bullpen

- The Bench

Tomorrow we start shifting the focus forward, to the upcoming offseason.  Dom’s going to continue to evaluate the team’s biggest positions of need, I’m going to break down the qualifying offer candidates in greater detail, and Stacey will be making her long-awaited return to the rotation.  We’re also introducing a new writer tomorrow, so make sure to be around for that.…

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