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YANKEES OFFSEASON NEWS (Old Thread)
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:33PM #1
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Its that time of year again. I'll be posting all the latest news on the Yankees and some of their competitors all offseason. Please feel free to copy any article to start a discussion thread. Comments are always welcome as long as they're civil. No trolls allowed ! 

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:34PM #2
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


Thoughts following the Wildcard Game loss to the Astros



(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Yankees season officially ended last night when the Astros walked into Yankee Stadium and shut the so-called Bronx Bombers out 3-0 in the AL wildcard game. The lethargic, uninspiring play we saw at the end of the regular season carried over in the wildcard game. It was not fun. Anyway, way I have some thoughts.


1. It is going to get second-guessed like crazy but benching Jacoby Ellsbury rather than Brett Gardnerwas absolutely the right move in my opinion. It looks awful in hindsight — Gardner went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts — but that move was based on more than Joe Girardi‘s gut feel. Gardner was very bad in the second half! But so was Ellsbury. Worse, in fact (67 vs. 59 wRC+). Ellsbury also had much worse numbers against lefties (112 vs. 83 wRC+) and ended the season with three hits in his last 21 at-bats. Before the game, hitting coach Jeff Pentland told Dan Martin that Ellsbury’s swing hasn’t been right since he crashed into the wall against the Red Sox last week — I assume it was the play when he crashed back-first into the wall in front of the visitor’s bullpen and stayed down on the ground a few moments, remember that? —  so there was a physical (i.e. non-numbers) reason for the move too. Gardner was awful last night, just like most of his teammates. But in a winner-take-all game, Girardi had to put his best players on the field, and at this point Gardner is simply a better player than Ellsbury. (Also, the fact Ellsbury was not in the lineup in a game of that magnitude in year two of a seven-year deal is damning.)


2. The offense was very bad last night and has been bad for a few weeks now, and I suspect it will be a hot topic in the offseason. The pitching was the real problem though. Not last night, just throughout the season. The Yankees were second in baseball with 764 runs scored this year but were 16th with a 4.05 ERA and 13th with a 3.93 FIP. The rotation specifically was 18th with a 4.25 ERA and 14th with a 4.04 FIP. The starters also ranked 21st with 927 innings. That was a big, big problem. The bullpen seemed to wear down late in the season and that’s because they had to get 10-12 outs per game in the first half. The Yankees have six starters either under contract (CC SabathiaMasahiro Tanaka) or team control (Nathan EovaldiMichael PinedaLuis SeverinoIvan Nova) next season, but do they really have six starters? Is that the makings of a title-winning rotation? I don’t think so. Exactly two of those guys (Tanaka and Severino) were even league average this year. Offense was a problem late in the season. It couldn’t be any more obvious. The pitching, specifically the rotation, was a bigger problem all year though.


3. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if things would have turned out differently had Tanaka not hurt his hamstring a few weeks ago. He had a 2.79 ERA and held opponents to a .207/.234/.396 batting line in the nine starts and 61.1 innings immediately prior to the injury. Tanaka never seemed right after the injury. He wasn’t locating as well and his pitches didn’t have the same finish to them. Maybe if he never gets hurt, the Yankees clinch home field advantage earlier, the regular position players get more rest, and they head into the postseason much more refreshed. Who knows? Tanaka wasn’t the reason they lost last night — he wasn’t great but two runs in five innings is winnable — but his hamstring injury rally short-circuited that great stretch he’d been on. Blame the NL, I guess.


(Presswire)
(Presswire)

4. In hindsight, the turning point of the season was Mark Teixeira‘s injury. Greg Bird played very well in Teixeira’s absence, about as well as anyone could have expected, but he’s no Teixeira. The lineup was suddenly short its top power hitter and a big middle of the order switch-hitting presence. Teixeira adds balance, depth, and more thunder to the lineup. Then there’s the defense on top of it. The offense never really seemed to get on track after Teixeira went down, especially against left-handers. I don’t know if he would have made a difference against Dallas Keuchel last night, but boy, it’s hard to believe the Yankees wouldn’t have been better off with Teixeira in the lineup the last few weeks. He was sorely missed even with Bird playing so well as his replacement.


5. Whenever a team gets eliminated from the postseason, the natural reaction is “blow it up.” Trade all the players we don’t like, sign a bunch of free agents, call up some kids, the works. It’s not just Yankees fans, everyone does it. That’s not possible this offseason and it’s not even realistic anyway. The Yankees have problems to solve and roster holes to fill like every other team. That said, this basically amounted to a rebuilding year for the Yankees. They sought youth last offseason in Didi Gregorius and Eovaldi, and when they needed help during the regular season, they called up kids from Triple-A. Bird, Severino, Slade Heathcott, the relievers, whoever. The only outside help they added was Dustin Ackley. (And I guess Rico Noel.) This was as close to a rebuilding season as you’re going to see from the Yankees, and they still managed to make the postseason. That ain’t too bad. The ending was disappointing, no doubt. There was also a lot of positive to be taken from this season thanks to the young players. It’s been a while since the Yankees had a crop of youngsters like Didi and Severino and Bird. Players who look like they can legitimately be part of a winning core in the not too distant future.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:36PM #3
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Cashman: “That team that we saw earlier wasn’t the team that finished”


Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 07, 2015



Brian Cashman


Standing in the middle of the Yankees’ clubhouse last night, Brian Cashman had his tie pulled just slightly loose and the top button of his shirt undone. He looked tired, not from the long night but from the slow months that made last night inevitable.


“There were periods of time this year when this team looked like it had a chance to do some serious damage in October,” he said. “But that team that we saw earlier wasn’t the team that finished.”


Jacoby EllsburyThat team that finished really wasn’t equipped for a long run through the postseason.


Nathan Eovaldi’s elbow inflammation and CC Sabathia’s alcohol treatment left the rotation short-handed. The bullpen had grown thin beyond the top three, and it might have gotten thinner had Adam Warren been used as a starter again. The lineup was no longer intimidating without Mark Teixeira in the middle and without Brett Gardner or Jacoby Ellsbury getting on base at the top.


Truth was, despite all the hand wringing about whether Gardner or Ellsbury should have been on the bench last night, chances are either one would have gone 0-for-4 and deserved those boos that Gardner heard after his final out.


Of course there was some hope that the team might suddenly turn it around. They did, after all, score the second-most runs in baseball. There was hope that the table setters would get one base again, that someone in the middle of the order would hit the ball out of the park, that Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino could lift the rotation, and that the bullpen could lean on its Big Three in the late innings.


But that hope could not logically reach the point of expectation.


“I can’t say you’re ever confident flipping the switch,” Cashman said. “You always believe your guys are going to go ahead and tonight’s the night you’re going to go get it going. Today’s a new day, and you’re going to get it going back to what you saw the first four months of the season. But it just never happened. … I didn’t know what to expect from this club (last night). I thought hopefully we could turn it on and now it’s a new season and we would kind of reset that button mentally, physically, emotionally. Didn’t happen. And that’s probably a credit to Dallas Keuchel, but it’s also more reflective of how we’ve recently been playing baseball.”


So what to do going forward?


There might not be an easy solution because almost everyone is still under contract. There is no massive amount of money coming off the books or some wide-open position to fill.


Dustin AckleyIf you count Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder as the second basemen, then the entire regular lineup is signed through next year. Of the 10 pitchers who started a game this season, nine are still under team control for next season. Same is true for every key reliever.


“I know what we’re capable of,” Cashman said. “I also know we’ve had some guys toward the back end of the season here not perform up to what we know they’re capable of doing. … We weren’t getting Ellsbury and Gardner, (who were) the dynamic duo on the front end, that dynamic changed completely on the back end. And then everybody through the lineup outside of Beltran, Bird and Didi, I think everybody else collectively went into a slump and just weren’t getting consistent success. Ackley came back and resuscitated some things in September for us as well, so he was swinging the bat well, and Ref came in and did some nice things the last 15 days of September, but for the most part, we really struggled to get some consistency with the lineup 1 through 9. That was a radical change from earlier and the big bulk of our season.”


Last winter, Cashman got creative on the trade market by moving several pieces of the Major League roster. He gave up a young starter to get a young shortstop. Gave a young catcher for a young reliever. Gave a veteran infielder and a young-ish pitcher for a veteran first baseman and an even younger pitcher. Gave up a prospect for two relievers, and gave a reliever for another prospect.


Perhaps this winter will bring more of the same, but Cashman said last night that he considers Alex Rodriguez to be nothing more than a designated hitter going forward, he doesn’t know if there’s a spot for Greg Bird when Teixeira is healthy, and it’s doubtful Aaron Judge will be ready to help the big league team out of spring training. In other words, wiggle room might be limited.


So Cashman enters the offseason — much earlier than he would have liked — with a roster that looked like a legitimate contender for one part of the season, and then looked like a lost cause for the other part.


“Am I comfortable with those guys moving forward? Yeah,” Cashman said. “Do I recognize that we have to find ways to improve ourselves at the same time and continue to find more weapons for Joe Girardi to utilize and this coaching staff to fall back on? The answer to that is yes, too.”


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:38PM #4
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings




Welcome to the last in-season addition of our 2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings.  We’ve been moving these pieces around since February, and the list continues to change with several players surging.


These rankings represent earning power in terms of total contract size, assuming everyone reaches the open market after this season and goes to the highest bidder.  Here’s MLBTR’s full list of 2015-16 free agents.


1.  David Price.  Even back in February, $200MM (sans deferred money) was getting tossed around in regard to Price.  The 30-year-old was traded to the Blue Jays on July 30th and his risen to the occasion, somehow pitching even better for his new team.  The goal is now clear: exceed the seven-year, $215MM extension Clayton Kershaw signed with the Dodgers in January 2014.  That contract includes an opt-out that could allow Kershaw to begin a new contract with his age 31 campaign.  Since Price is already 30, agent Bo McKinnis may not need to push for such a clause.


2.  Jason Heyward.  Heyward’s strong season has continued since we last checked in on August 6th.  Heyward gets on base, shows a touch of pop, and plays strong defense.  It’s a valuable package.  Since he turned 26 just last month, Heyward’s will be the rare free agent contract that includes mostly prime-age seasons.  An eight-year deal would only take him through his age 33 season.  As Yahoo’s Jeff Passannoted recently, an opt-out clause makes sense here.


3.  Justin Upton.  Upton hit .266/.382/.539 in 152 plate appearances since we last checked in, putting his oblique and thumb injuries behind him.  Upton is one player where an opt-out clause seems especially valuable, because it still seems like he could take his game to another level.  He’s a 28-home run guy who could become a 35-40 type, and would benefit from the chance to re-enter the market after three seasons.  He could get a bigger deal at that point, since he recently turned 28.  That could work out for the team too — sign him to an eight-year deal this winter but only have to pay for age 28-30.


Jul 24, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Chris Davis (19) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports4.  Chris Davis.  Davis can’t be contained, with 14 home runs in 35 games since we last checked in.  He has 42 in all.  Davis is five months younger than Yoenis Cespedes, and I’m starting to think he has slightly more earning power.  It’s an interesting contrast.  Davis seems a better bet for additional 35+ homer seasons, yet his rough 2014 season is hard to completely write off.  Cespedes brings more defensive value, though his strong marks this year are out of the ordinary.  Davis strikes out more, but walks more too.  Both players will be vying for seven-year contracts with mid-$20MM salaries.


5.  Yoenis Cespedes.  Cespedes didn’t even crack my top ten in February, and now he’s ascended all the way up to fifth.  Even when the Tigers traded Cespedes to the Mets on July 31st, he didn’t seem a good bet to finish with 30 home runs.  Then he went and smacked 16 in 40 games for the Mets, and he now has an outside shot at 40 bombs.  Jacoby Ellsbury’s seven-year, $153MM deal from December 2013 is a good benchmark for Cespedes, who should get more.  Cespedes’ contract wasmodified in September to allow the Mets to have a shot at retaining him.


6.  Zack Greinke.  Greinke ranked eighth on this list in February, when a five-year deal in the low-$100MM range seemed reasonable.  Sitting on an MLB-best 1.61 ERA through 29 starts, it’s time to seriously consider a six-year contract.  That’s a scary proposition, since he’s already 31, but the sixth year maximizes his total even if he backs off on the average annual value.  Greinke should be able to get past the six-year, $155MM contract signed by Jon Lester last winter.


7.  Alex Gordon.  Gordon returned from an eight-week layoff on September 1st, having recovered from a groin injury.  He says he feels 100%, and is now serving as the Royals’ leadoff hitter.  Since he turns 32 in February, a six-year deal seems like the limit.  I wonder if he can push his average annual value up to $25MM, netting $150MM in total.


8.  Johnny Cueto.  In our May power rankings, I gave consideration to putting Cueto ahead of Price, second overall.  A July 26th trade from the Reds to the Royals seemed beneficial to Cueto, who became ineligible for a qualifying offer.  Cueto began his Royals stint with a 1.80 ERA over 30 innings, but since then, the wheels have come off.  He’s allowed 28 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings, including 48 hits of which eight left the park.  His ERA has risen a full run in that time, from 2.46 to 3.47.  Perhaps something is wrong physically; you may recall Cueto went 13 days between starts this summer due to a sore elbow.


This story isn’t complete yet.  Cueto has three regular season starts left, and the Royals are going to the Division Series.  Still, Cueto’s last five starts probably took a seven-year contract off the table, and now I’m wondering whether he’ll match Lester.


9.  Jordan Zimmermann.  Zimmermann has a 2.66 ERA in seven starts since we last checked in, in what’s become another typically strong season from the 29-year-old righty.  He seems on track to become the first Tommy John survivor to reach $100MM, and may actually pass $130MM on a six-year deal.


10.  Mike Leake.  Leake’s hold on this spot has grown more tenuous, as the righty spent a few weeks on the DL with a hamstring injury.  Leake still has a shot at a five-year deal, as he doesn’t turn 28 until November.


Ian Desmond‘s season has been all over the map: he was decent in May, very good in August, and lousy otherwise.  There’s no real trend except that it’s his worst season since 2011 despite 17 home runs and counting.  I imagine some kind of four-year deal is in order, but this one is hard to peg.


Ben Zobrist is finishing strong, hitting .323/.398/.516 since joining the Royals in a July 28th trade.  Since he turns 35 in May, a four-year deal will be the limit.  Even that will be risky – it’s not like Victor Martinez’s contract is looking good.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:40PM #5
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


The Yankees' 2015 season was ultimately a success









Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports




Last night felt terrible, just as the end of any sports season that doesn't end in a championship does. It's hard, in those moments immediately following a loss that means it's all over for a few months, to rationally analyze what we've just season because the feeling of disappointment kind of consumes you. That's okay, and that feeling of disappointment will probably linger into the rest of the playoffs as we all wonder what might have been if the Yankees didn't play under .500 down the stretch and didn't blow their lead in the AL East and didn't have to be subjected to a one-game playoff against a Cy Young contender. However, this season was not a failure. Not by any means.


There is a loud faction of Yankees fans who believe that any season that doesn't end with hoisting the World Series trophy is a failure. Based on the success the Yankees have had in most of our lifetimes, it's easy to see why being used to winning turns into expecting to win. This team spends a lot of money each year and should, theoretically, not be an also-ran in the league. They should be able to compete. Unfortunately, that's just not how it works. Baseball is crazy. The Dodgers now have a higher payroll than the Yankees, so they don't have that claim to fame anymore. Teams are locking up their talent sooner than ever, ensuring that the free agent pool each year looks far worse than it did when all George Steinbrenner needed to do was wait for a player to become too good and too expensive before backing the money truck up to the player's house one offseason to gain his services. It's not the Yankees' playground these days. More and more teams are capable of signing big free agents, and more and more teams are keeping their stars from becoming free agents in the first place.


Winning has not become so expected rather than appreciated by me for me to think that it's World Series or bust. I want the Yankees to win every year for sure, but I know that a scenario in which that happens isn't realistic. Dynasties like the one we saw in the 90s just don't grow on trees. You don't create a Core Four, have them win a bunch of championships, usher them into retirement, and grow a brand new Core Four before repeating the process. If it were that easy every rebuilding team would get in on that method as quickly as possible. Anything can happen once the playoffs begin, as evidenced by the fact that two Wild Card winners played in last year's World Series. Favorites only means so much. Get there and you have a chance, and that's what the Yankees did this season.


The resurgent season of Mark Teixeira was so welcomed before it ended prematurely. I was one of the people who thought that Teixeira would never be the player he was before his wrist injury, but he carried the lineup for much of the season. His power returned in a big way, and he was once again the threat in the middle of the order that we knew him to be. Alex Rodriguez's comeback is one that had to be seen to be believed. Most people thought he'd never put on a Yankee uniform again, much less lead them to the postseason. I, myself, wasn't sure how the fractured relationship between Rodriguez and the front office could be repaired enough for him to rejoin the team, but they had a very nice ceremony honoring his 3,000th hit that seemed like a genuine truce. Rodriguez has said all the right things and done all the right things all season long. Who knows where this team would have been without him, but they almost certainly wouldn't have been worrying about winning a Wild Card game without the season he had.


Brian Cashman proved once again that he is a savvy GM, trading spare parts for Nathan Eovaldi and Didi Gregorius. Eovaldi was one of the team's most consistent pitchers in the second half, and Gregorius straightened himself out in a big way after a rocky start to end up leading position players on the team in fWAR. Justin Wilson was brought in as a relative unknown from Pittsburgh before becoming one of the trusted members of a strong bullpen. Chasen Shreve was so good in the first half that it was almost unbelievable, and his second half of struggles shouldn't totally erase that. Dustin Ackleywas brought in at the trade deadline, which impressed absolutely no one, but he proved to be one of the best hitters on the team in September. For all the Fire Cashman talk that gets thrown around, no one should overlook how many times he gets it right. He brought in huge assets this season without trading away any top prospects.


It's hard to say enough about how encouraging the MLB debuts of Luis Severino andGreg Bird were. Cashman refused to let either one go at the deadline, and their performance after being called up showed that to be a very wise decision. Both are so young with so many good years ahead of them. Severino showed the ability to dominate while being one of the youngest players in the league. Bird hit 11 home runs in under 50 games, giving a preview of what he could do at Yankee Stadium over the course of a full year. Their success means hope for the future, and we've been short on that recently. Nothing feels as good as seeing one of the prospects pan out, and we got to watch two of them emerge down the stretch this season. They will likely be critical parts of Yankee teams moving forward, and that's exciting.


The ultimate goal of every team is to win the World Series, and the Yankees didn't do that this year. They barely got to play in the postseason at all, and that is really frustrating. However, this team did more than most thought they could. We posted a preview on Pinstripe Alley before the season began and were called delusional for predicting 85 wins. The Yankees did us two better than we collectively predicted. Most of us would have taken a trip to the postseason if you had guaranteed it to us in March when things looked so uncertain. We got that after a long drought by our standards of not being invited to the postseason at all. This season shouldn't be looked at as a failure by any stretch of the imagination. The Yankees will be back and their future looks as bright as ever. That's what is most important.





"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:42PM #6
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Cashman looks back at trade deadline with no regrets



Brian Cashman


The Yankees’ best month was July. They went 17-7 that month, won four of five leading into the All-Star break, then won nine of 11 immediately after the break. It was in late July that the Yankees started the stretch during which they scored 90 runs in 10 games. It was on July 27 that they pushed their division lead to a season-high seven games. That’s probably when the Yankees looked their strongest.


Four days later, the trade deadline came and went without the Yankees making a move any bigger that the relatively small deal for Dustin Ackely.


We can now look back at that as some sort of tipping point. The Yankees simply weren’t very good after the trade deadline. Beginning August 1, they played to a sub-.500 record and lost control of the American League East to the reloaded Blue Jays.


Looking back on it now, does Brian Cashman have any regrets about his approach to the deadline?


“No, I don’t have any regrets,” Cashman said. “There was nothing that presented itself after the fact that I said, ‘I could have done it.’”


Here’s the way Cashman broke down his approach at the deadline:



Dustin AckleySECOND BASE


This was the position that most clearly could have been upgraded. Stephen Drew was still hitting below .200 at the time, and Brendan Ryan — despite his early success against right-handers — was a known quantity as a light-hitting utility man. The Yankees could have gone after an upgrade at the position.


The trade market was pretty thin at second base, but Ben Zobrist was available.


Cashman said he tried to get Zobrist, but the Athletics’ asking price was both Rob Refsnyder and Adam Warren. The Yankees weren’t willing to meet that demand, and Zobrist wound up with the Royals.


“The only second baseman we explored on was Zobrist and he got traded to Kansas City,” Cashman said. “It was going to cost me Warren and Refsnyder, (the) combination. I was like, I’m not going to do that for a three-month rental.”



OFFENSE


Naturally a team always looks for opportunities to upgrade offensively. In some ways, the Yankees did that with Ackley. While he might have been a similar hitter to Garrett Jones — who he replaced — Ackley was more versatile, meaning he could bring his left-handed bat to most positions (that proved important after Drew had his concussion problems).


But why not add a bat beyond Ackley? Why not find some other right-handed slugger or a new option for the top of the order?


“I didn’t have any place to put anybody,” Cashman said.


At the time, Mark Teixeira was still healthy and every other position except second base was filled by someone on a multi-year contract (or, in the case of the shortstop position, filled by a relatively young player showing signs of life). The Yankees already had outfielders, a second baseman, a power-hitting catcher and a first baseman waiting in Triple-A.


“I’d be piling guys on top of guys that didn’t have a place to play,” Cashman said.



Luis SeverinoROTATION


Throughout baseball, rotation upgrades were popular deadline deals this season. Every other American League playoff team made a trade for a starting pitcher: David Price in Toronto, Johnny Cueto in Kansas City, Scott Kazmir in Houston and Cole Hamels in Texas. The Yankees, though, added no one to the pitching staff.


“We had Severino coming,” Cashman said. “I couldn’t have traded for a pitcher — unless his name was David Price — who could have given us better performance than Severino.”


The Yankees did promote Severino immediately after the trade deadline, and he was remarkably valuable. He almost certainly would have started Game 1 of the division series had the Yankees won last night. At the deadline, Nathan Eovaldi was healthy, Masahiro Tanaka was back from the disabled list, Ivan Nova was still pitching well, and Michael Pineda’s injury was expected to be a short-term thing (which it was).


After the deadline, Tanaka stayed healthy, CC Sabathia got much better and Severino was terrific, but those three couldn’t make up for Eovaldi’s injury, Pineda’s inconsistency and Nova’s total downfall.



BULLPEN


Although bullpen help wouldn’t seem to be a priority for a team that already had Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller dominating the late innings, the Yankees saw the bullpen as the best way to upgrade their pitching staff. They didn’t want to pay the prices for a rotation rental, so they went looking for relievers.


“We tried to improve the bullpen,” Cashman said. “Made some significant offers to guys out there that were turned down.”


Among those offers was a potential blockbuster for Craig Kimbrel. Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees were willing to include top shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo in a Kimbrel deal, but the Padres turned it down. Instead, the Yankees kept shuttling relievers back and forth from Triple-A.


Cashman said he thought Bryan Mitchell in particular would stick and emerge as a key piece of the bullpen, but Mitchell simply wasn’t the same after that line drive hit him in the face. None of the other young, back-and-forth relievers really solidified a spot either.



POST-DEADLINE DEALS


After the deadline passed, the Yankees ran into some fresh injury problems. Most significantly, Eovaldi’s elbow developed some inflammation and Teixeira broke his leg on a foul ball. At that point, in a way, the Yankees first-half success was actually a problem.


“Unfortunately, after the trade deadline, 75 percent of the population of quality players got taken off the board with claims because we were in first place by seven games (and had lower waiver priority),” Cashman said. “When we started having our injuries hit — Eovaldi, Tex, CC’s knee, Mitchell’s broken nose, Tanaka had a hammy — there was nowhere to run outside of Scranton to try to plug the holes.”


Severino, Greg Bird and eventually Rob Refsnyder became key pieces of the puzzle after the trade deadline, but call-ups couldn’t fix every problem.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:43PM #7
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


Cashman confirms Yanks rejected Refsnyder and Warren for Zobrist at trade deadline



(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Given the way things played out this season, it’s only natural to sit here today and ask whether the Yankees should have approached the trade deadline differently. I wanted them to aggressively pursue upgrades because they were atop the division at the time, and also because 2015 might have been their last chance to win with the Mark Teixeira/Alex Rodriguez core.


Instead, the Yankees acquired Dustin Ackley and nothing else, and maybe the deadline inactivity wouldn’t have mattered at all. We’ll never know. Brian Cashman was asked about the trade deadline following last night’s game, specifically whether he regretted not making more moves. Of course he said no, but he did drop this interesting nugget. From George King:



“The only second baseman was [Ben] Zobrist and [Oakland] wanted a combo of [Adam] Warren and [Rob] Refsnyder,’’ said Cashman, who declined the offer, while Zobrist went to the Royals. “We tried to improve the bullpen and made a significant offer [to San Diego for Craig Kimbrel] and it was turned down. After the deadline, 75 percent of the players were claimed. There was nowhere to turn outside of [Triple-A] Scranton.’’



In a vacuum, trading Refsnyder and Warren for Zobrist is perfectly reasonable to me. I’m higher than most on Warren but am also probably the low guy on Refsnyder. He strikes me as a fine stopgap second baseman, but someone who has a team in contention constantly looking for an upgrade. In terms of talent and value and all that stuff, Refsnyder and Warren for Zobrist works fine.


The problem with that trade is the Yankees had no pitching depth to spare. No one was pitching deep into games in the first half and the rotation was stretched thin — Michael Pineda was placed on the DL immediately prior to the trade deadline, but Zobrist was traded two days earlier — so giving up Warren would have really hurt. They would have had to make another trade(s) for pitching help to compensate.


That would have been fine with me. I wanted the Yankees a pick up new second baseman and more pitching help at the trade deadline. Dealing Warren and Refsnyder for Zobrist, then flipping some prospects for arms would have made sense to me at the time. In the end, who knows. Maybe it doesn’t make a difference. Probably doesn’t. Warren and Refsnyder for Zobrist is a fair trade to me, but it wouldn’t have made sense without another deal for pitching.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:45PM #8
laurenfrances
Posts: 45,670
Ok moderator. .lets pin this thread!!!
7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:46PM #9
luvdayanks
Posts: 30,942

Oct 7, 2015 -- 1:36PM, BigGuy wrote:


Cashman: “That team that we saw earlier wasn’t the team that finished”


Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 07, 2015



Brian Cashman


Standing in the middle of the Yankees’ clubhouse last night, Brian Cashman had his tie pulled just slightly loose and the top button of his shirt undone. He looked tired, not from the long night but from the slow months that made last night inevitable.


“There were periods of time this year when this team looked like it had a chance to do some serious damage in October,” he said. “But that team that we saw earlier wasn’t the team that finished.”


Jacoby EllsburyThat team that finished really wasn’t equipped for a long run through the postseason.


Nathan Eovaldi’s elbow inflammation and CC Sabathia’s alcohol treatment left the rotation short-handed. The bullpen had grown thin beyond the top three, and it might have gotten thinner had Adam Warren been used as a starter again. The lineup was no longer intimidating without Mark Teixeira in the middle and without Brett Gardner or Jacoby Ellsbury getting on base at the top.


Truth was, despite all the hand wringing about whether Gardner or Ellsbury should have been on the bench last night, chances are either one would have gone 0-for-4 and deserved those boos that Gardner heard after his final out.


Of course there was some hope that the team might suddenly turn it around. They did, after all, score the second-most runs in baseball. There was hope that the table setters would get one base again, that someone in the middle of the order would hit the ball out of the park, that Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino could lift the rotation, and that the bullpen could lean on its Big Three in the late innings.


But that hope could not logically reach the point of expectation.


“I can’t say you’re ever confident flipping the switch,” Cashman said. “You always believe your guys are going to go ahead and tonight’s the night you’re going to go get it going. Today’s a new day, and you’re going to get it going back to what you saw the first four months of the season. But it just never happened. … I didn’t know what to expect from this club (last night). I thought hopefully we could turn it on and now it’s a new season and we would kind of reset that button mentally, physically, emotionally. Didn’t happen. And that’s probably a credit to Dallas Keuchel, but it’s also more reflective of how we’ve recently been playing baseball.”


So what to do going forward?


There might not be an easy solution because almost everyone is still under contract. There is no massive amount of money coming off the books or some wide-open position to fill.


Dustin AckleyIf you count Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder as the second basemen, then the entire regular lineup is signed through next year. Of the 10 pitchers who started a game this season, nine are still under team control for next season. Same is true for every key reliever.


“I know what we’re capable of,” Cashman said. “I also know we’ve had some guys toward the back end of the season here not perform up to what we know they’re capable of doing. … We weren’t getting Ellsbury and Gardner, (who were) the dynamic duo on the front end, that dynamic changed completely on the back end. And then everybody through the lineup outside of Beltran, Bird and Didi, I think everybody else collectively went into a slump and just weren’t getting consistent success. Ackley came back and resuscitated some things in September for us as well, so he was swinging the bat well, and Ref came in and did some nice things the last 15 days of September, but for the most part, we really struggled to get some consistency with the lineup 1 through 9. That was a radical change from earlier and the big bulk of our season.”


Last winter, Cashman got creative on the trade market by moving several pieces of the Major League roster. He gave up a young starter to get a young shortstop. Gave a young catcher for a young reliever. Gave a veteran infielder and a young-ish pitcher for a veteran first baseman and an even younger pitcher. Gave up a prospect for two relievers, and gave a reliever for another prospect.


Perhaps this winter will bring more of the same, but Cashman said last night that he considers Alex Rodriguez to be nothing more than a designated hitter going forward, he doesn’t know if there’s a spot for Greg Bird when Teixeira is healthy, and it’s doubtful Aaron Judge will be ready to help the big league team out of spring training. In other words, wiggle room might be limited.


So Cashman enters the offseason — much earlier than he would have liked — with a roster that looked like a legitimate contender for one part of the season, and then looked like a lost cause for the other part.


“Am I comfortable with those guys moving forward? Yeah,” Cashman said. “Do I recognize that we have to find ways to improve ourselves at the same time and continue to find more weapons for Joe Girardi to utilize and this coaching staff to fall back on? The answer to that is yes, too.”






The team that we saw earlier wasn't the real team.


Thanks for starting this thread again BG.

7 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2015 - 1:50PM #10
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


AL East Notes: Yankees’ Needs, Blue Jays, Anthopoulos




The Yankees’ offseason officially kicks off today after getting bounced from the post-season last night. Here’s the latest out of New York and the rest of the AL East:


  • GM Brian Cashman acknowledged the evident fact that the Yankees weren’t quite “good enough” this year, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. While things turned out better than many expected, says Heyman, there’s still plenty that will need to get done heading into 2016. Adding a significant starter is at the top of that list, he writes, though the team could also stand to fill out its relief corps. Otherwise, New York needs to keep plugging away at developing its young talent and focus in on a solution at second base, in Heyman’s estimation.

  • Also taking a look at the Yankees‘ offseason needs is Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider link). His priority list is somewhat different, especially at the top. For Bowden, adding a big, right-handed bat is the most important need.

  • The Blue Jays are now the only AL East club left standing, but the offseason could only be days away if they fail to advance. Baseball teams are always looking ahead, of course, and Toronto is no different, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca writes. GM Alex Anthopoulos says he’s “already stressed out of [his] mind” dealing with playoff pressure, but has already begun working on possible winter moves. “We have a sense from July conversations of who might be available in trade, but there’ll be another wave of players that no one’s expecting as we talk to clubs that we’ll get a sense of. That can be exciting,” Anthopoulos said. “The off-season can come up fast on you, so you don’t end up shutting it down.”


  • One notable factor in the Blue Jays‘ success this year was the durability of its pitching. As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes, the organization changed its approach to handling arms after the 2013 season, switching out of an innings-based system. “Generally speaking, we try to watch our players, we don’t treat everybody the same, which is maybe what we did early on,” Anthopoulos explained. He went on to say that he is “pleased with the results” of the club’s experimentation, though he wasn’t too interested in sharing the details. As Davidi writes, subtle reductions of stress and careful monitoring of effort that goes beyond innings thrown appears to be at the base of the effort. There’s a ton of information in the piece, so you’ll want to give it a full read.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
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