Four Reasons Why the Yankees Should Trade for Papelbon, Make Him Closer

The trade deadline is just two weeks away. The Yankees are in a great position to the buyers. That said, I don’t think anyone wants the Yankees to completely sell the farm and mortgage the future yet again. So here’s a trade target they can pick up for little while still improving the team: Jonathan Papelbon.

You know him. The Phillies have him signed to an over-market contract at $13 million with a vesting option that is almost sure to hit for next year. They don’t want him. He doesn’t want to be there. You probably hate him too. I know I did for years. But he’s the perfect low-cost piece for the Yankees to add at the deadline. Here’s why:

He’s still very good

Papelbon has been on a terrible Phillies team for a few years now, so I know I’ve tended to forget how good he is. His headline numbers since signing:

  • 2012: 70 innings, 2.44 ERA, 2.90 FIP, 11.9 K/9, 2.3 BB/9
  • 2013: 61.2 innings, 2.92 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 8.3 K/9, 1.6 BB/9
  • 2014: 66.1 innings, 2.04 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 8.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9
  • 2015: 33.2 innings, 2.60 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 9.4 K/9, 1.9 BB/9

He’s pretty good!… Click here to read the rest

Game 89 Quick Recap: NYY 4 SEA 3

Sorry for the late recap.  I was out getting free t-shirts at the Brewer game and celebrating a little too hard post-game.  Part of that celebration was due to A-Rod’s game-winning home run for the Yanks, a big hit to save a second half-opening win over the Mariners.

If it wouldn’t have been for the existence of Kyle Seager, Masahiro Tanaka would have had a spotless performance last night.  Seager got to him for a solo home run in the 3rd to get Seattle on the board and a 2-run shot in the 5th to give them the lead.  Other than those 2 hits, Tanaka was on point last night.  7 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts.  Probably not good enough for some NY sports writers, but plenty good enough for me.

The Yankees bookended their 4 runs with solo homers, Chris Young‘s to start things in the bottom of the 2nd and Alex Rodriguez‘s to pull back ahead in the 7th.  … Click here to read the rest

Game 89: Tanaka vs. Montgomery

Let’s start the second half off with a bang, ladies and gents. Here’s your game thread for this evening. Tonight’s lineups are:

Seattle Mariners New York Yankees
Brad Miller, SS Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Kyle Seager, 3B Brett Gardner, LF
Robinson Cano, 2B Alex Rodriguez, DH
Nelson Cruz, DH Mark Teixeira, 1B
Seth Smith, RF Brian McCann, C
Austin Jackson, CF Chris Young, RF
Dustin Ackley, LF Chase Headley, 3B
Logan Morrison, 1B Didi Gregorius, SS
Mike Zunino, C Rob Refsnyder, 2B
Mike Montgomery, SP Masahiro Tanaka, SP

Enjoy the game!… Click here to read the rest

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 7/17/15

Baseball is finally back, baby!  The Yankees get back to work tonight against the Mariners and now that we’ve crossed over to the second half of the season I’m starting to think in postseason mode.  I want to extend that division lead this weekend and keep shaving that magic number down.  It’s at 71 for the division right now if I’m not mistaken.  Now onto the links.

– On Tuesday, Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley interviewed John Sickels and got his thoughts on the Yankee farm system and many of its top prospects.

– El duque of It Is High… offered some quick firsthand takes on some SI Yankee prospects and presented the list of retired Yankee numbers that are still in use in their farm system.

– Nicolas Stellini of BP Bronx commented on Brett Gardner’s great season and how he’s gone about becoming a more dangerous and effective hitter.

– On Wednesday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes laid out his plan for handling the roster returns of Carlos Beltran and Brendan Ryan.Click here to read the rest

Friday News And Notes: 7/17/15 (UPDATED)

Carlos Beltran played right field for 5 innings last night and went 1-3 with a single and a K for High-A Tampa.  Via Nick Flammia, he’s slated for 7 innings in right tonight, so it doesn’t sound like Beltran will be activated until this weekend at the earliest.

– Keith Law released his midseason top 50 prospects list yesterday over at ESPN.  The full article is IO of course, but the pertinent information for Yankee fans is Aaron Judge coming in at 13 just like he has on multiple other lists recently.  Law did not have Luis Severino in his top 50, although he did come in on the list of honorable mentions.  Law still sees Severino as a reliever long-term.

– Via George King, Brian Cashman said he thinks Slade Heathcott will be able to return to game action this season.  He isn’t so sure about Mason Williams, however, saying “if the rehab doesn’t go well he might need surgery” in reference to Williams’ recent 60-day DL transfer.… Click here to read the rest

And on the first day, the Yankees…

It’s the first day of baseball after the All-Star break (Thank goodness!) so in that vein, I thought it would be interesting to see how the Yankees have fared the last five years in their first game back from the break.

Last year, the Yankees played the Cincinnati Reds and won the game 4-3. David Phelps got the win against Mike Leake, Jacoby Ellsbury was 2-4 with a two-run home run and Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran also picked up an RBI apiece. (Fun fact: I attended this game with a friend who was sitting in a different section so I was alone and surrounded by Reds fans, but I had a great time anyway.)

In 2013, the Yankees were up in Fenway Park and lost 4-2 to the Red Sox. Felix Doubront picked up the win and Andy Pettitte got the loss. None of the Yankees hit a home run but Robinson Cano, Lyle Overbay and Chris Stewart all hit doubles.… Click here to read the rest

Should Bryan Mitchell Be Sent Back Down To Work As A Starter?

If there’s one place the Yankees could really stand to add some depth before the trade deadline, it’s the rotation.  We’ve been through the talking points a million times already this season, so nobody needs to be reminded of why that is or what the concerns are.  The bottom line is that the Yankees have multiple concerns in their rotation with over 70 games to play and their organizational starting pitching depth is not what it was at the beginning of the season.  That being the case, let me ask this.  Does it make sense to send Bryan Mitchell down to Triple-A to stretch back out and work as a starter?

Based on what we’ve seen in his 9+ Major League relief innings, the quick answer is no.  Mitchell’s already plus stuff has played up as expected out of the bullpen.  He’s been firing mid-high 90s heat and a nasty curveball, and along with Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve he’s helped to stabilize and even solidify the Yankees’ middle relief.… Click here to read the rest

2015 Draft Update: Kaprielian Signs And More

Tomorrow is the deadline for all 2015 MLB draft picks to sign.  Here’s an update on the Yankees’ latest signings and a final recap of their haul from this year.

– As Jason reported earlier, the Yanks have officially signed 11th round pick Josh Rogers to an above-slot $485,000 bonus plus additional money to complete his college education.  I liked the Rogers pick when it was made and I’m really glad the Yanks were able to sign him.

As first reported by Jim Callis, the Yankees also agreed to sign their 1st round pick James Kaprielian yesterday.  The final bonus figure was $2.65 million, slightly over slot money for the spot.  Now that we know he’s in, it would be awesome to see Kaprielian get a little game action before the MiL seasons end.

– Also signed to above-slot bonuses were 12th round pick Terrance Robertson (170k) and 20th round pick Isiah Gilliam (550k).  Gilliam is already playing in GCL games and has a .400/.450/.500 tripleslash in 25 PA.… Click here to read the rest

Looking Ahead to the Yankees’ First Week Back

The last time I wrote a weekly forecast for the Yankees, maybe a month or so ago, the feel was optimistic. They had a week full of unspectacular pitchers to look forward to, and they took advantage of each one of them. This next week will be a bit different.

On tap the Yankees will face Seattle then Baltimore, before heading to Minnesota – all while clinging to a 3.5-game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays and a 4-game difference over the Baltimore Orioles. They’ll all be coming out with guns blazing, showcasing their best pitching talent.

Friday, July 17th vs Seattle – Masahiro Tanaka (5-3, 3.63 ERA) vs Mike Montgomery (4-3, 2.29 ERA)

Montgomery has been solid since the Yankees last saw him make his Major League debut June 2nd. A 2.62 K:BB ratio is nothing to shake fist at, and his HR/FB rate (5.4%) is encouraging – especially as he enters Yankee Stadium. Limited walks combined with a low tendency to allow home runs makes this a difficult matchup for the Yankees on paper, especially since they’ve hit lefties worse this season (.242 BA vs.… Click here to read the rest