Yankees Off Season 2017

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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby qwik3457bb » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:04 pm

BigGuy wrote:How Yankees' Aaron Boone said a lot saying little about Neil Walker signing
If Walker splits time with Wade at second, he'd probably also be the No. 2 first baseman, which would lead to Austin being optioned to Triple-A and Lind being released.

This. Keep in mind that not being able to dump Ellsbury means they have to carry 5 outfielders on the 25-man, and none of them play 1st base. Adam Lind and Tyler Austin can't play 2nd or 3rd.

So if the "regular" 2nd basemen (3rd baseman?) can back up at 1st, that saves a much-needed 25-man roster slot. Wade or Torreyes can back up and 2nd, 3rd, and short, but it's more likely that everybody's going to get 200-450 PA: Torreyes, Wade, Drury, Lind. Then Andujar either gets traded, or Torreyes or Wade does. When Torres is ready, he'll be up, though now, that might not be until the 2nd half. Or next year.

I think Adam Lind and Tyler Austin just lost their shot at jobs on the 25-man. Lind's Yankee career ended before it began, unless Bird gets hurt again.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby 1955Yanksfan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:49 pm

I've never been a big fan of Tyler Austin, but I thought he looked pretty good so far in this pre-season. He seems to be making more contact and clearly has some pop. I also thought he looked ok defensively at 1b. I thought he would have been a good backup 1bman who could also play a corner outfield position in a pinch. The Yankees are going to be forced to send down, trade or release a couple good players. Does anyone know if Torreyes can be sent down or is he out of options? I think Wade will be kept and that means no room for Torreyes.

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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby joeybagadonutz38 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:23 am

qwik3457bb wrote:
joeybagadonutz38 wrote:
1955Yanksfan wrote:The Yanks are reportedly signing Neil Walker. He's a guy I liked before we got Drury but now he doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I wonder if this means that we don't see Andujar or Torres this year and either Torreyes or Wade don't the 25 man squad.

I take that to be exactly what it means. Hate this move. The obligatory annual lets block a prospect with a 30-something average veteran player. No upside here.

The annual block a prospect move is usually for a below average 30-something player.
Walker is at least still average.

Walker will be going down with his annual back injury...
...right about the time that Torres is ready to be brought up to the majors.

I certainly hope you're right about that. The guy can't even be in baseball shape right now though and he's got 2 weeks to get it together. Maybe he'll hurt himself trying to ramp up for the season. I was really hoping to see Drury/Wade at 2B and Andujar at 3B. Maybe it happens eventually but I'd bet much later than sooner barring injury. At least Torres doesn't look ready and could use some time at AAA. I don't think the same of Andujar- quite the opposite.

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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby joeybagadonutz38 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:26 am

qwik3457bb wrote:Walker's marginal value is something like $15-20 million over a full season, so even if he plays just 1/3 of a season, his value covers his salary.

They'd have done with Todd Frazier months ago if Frazier would've settled for a one year deal, but he wanted at least two years.

Is Scott Boras making up these numbers? Whoever is making them up needs to put the bottle down. 1.4 WAR is decent but it's nowhere near $20 Mil a year and if it really is then it certainly shouldn't be. Silly values like that has led to the market correction, which was much needed if they want to play with a cap and penalize large market teams for spending money.

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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:13 am

Yankees 1, Twins 2: Masahiro Tanaka made one mistake

At least this one was over quickly?

By Tyler Norton@TylerDNorton Mar 12, 2018, 9:27pm EDT

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees played under the lights at George M. Steinbrenner Field tonight, and fans were treated to a close matchup. Unfortunately they couldn’t pull off the win. The Bombers dropped the game to the Twins by a score of 2 — 1.

Masahiro Tanaka made his second start of the spring tonight, and for the most part, it was a success. At the very least, it went far better than his first time out. Tanaka held the Twins to two runs over four innings. He struck out six in the process, generating a number of whiffs on his slider.

The only blemish on his outing came courtesy of a two-run homer off the bat of Bobby Wilson during a laborious second inning. Serving up home runs to backup catchers is never great, but it wasn’t a particularly bad pitch. It was off the plate and maybe a little high. I would give more credit to Wilson than blame to Tanaka here.

“Things are starting to come together,” Tanaka told reporters following his outing. Given the way his stuff looked tonight, I agree with him. He gave up a cheap home run — it just cleared the right field wall — but otherwise looked sharp. More of this moving forward, please.

As far as offense is concerned, the Yankees went quietly all game. The only run they pushed across came via a Tyler Austin solo home run. He took Phil Hughes deep in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was a blast straight to center field.

I have to say, it’s a lot more fun to be on this side of a Hughes-issued home run.

The team had a few other opportunities to score but couldn’t capitalize. Their best chance in the third inning after Ronald Torreyes got things started with a double. Tyler Wade followed with a double of his own, but Torreyes misread it off the bat. Instead of breaking for third, he hesitated and tried to tag up at second. Phil Nevin waved him home, anyway, and Torreyes was thrown out by a mile. Oops.

They also made things interesting in the ninth inning. With two outs and two on, Jace Peterson lined a pitch towards shallow left field. Edgar Corcino came flying in, however, and made an impressive diving catch. That sent the Yankees packing, preventing them from at the very least tying the game.

The rest of the game went by quickly without much action. It will be worth checking in on Austin Romine, who may have exited the game with an injury. He took a Domingo German pitch to the knee. Erik Kratz pinch hit for him bottom of the seventh. We will have any news on his condition as it’s made available.

The Yankees host the Tigers tomorrow afternoon in a game that will also be televised on YES. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:16 am

How Yankees' deal with Neil Walker came together

Updated 6:20 AM; Posted 6:20 AM

The Yankees are saying that they plan to play Neil Walker, a free agent acquisition on Monday, at second, first and third this season. (Benny Sieu | USA TODAY Sports)

By Randy Miller rmiller@njadvancemedia.com,
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TAMPA --Giancarlo Stanton's first home run in a Yankees uniform was an opposite-field blast into the right-field seats at Steinbrenner Field last Saturday that GM Brian Cashman didn't see.

"I missed most of the game," Cashman said. "I was doing something else."

Tyler Wade seemed to be the favorite to open the season as the Yankees' starter at second base until Monday when free agent Neil Walker was signed.

Contract talks with free agent second baseman Neil Walker were getting serious.

Cashman tried trading for Walker last August when he was looking to add depth and he tried to sign him early this winter when the Yankees were trying to find a starting third baseman.

The Yankees missed out on Walker last summer when the Mets dealt the switch-hitter to the Milwaukee Brewers, then gave up on signing him in mid-February when they filled their third base hole by acquiring Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team trade.

At the time, Walker's asking price was just too high for Cashman, who had fewer dollars to spend this offseason due to managing partner Hal Steinbrenner's order to keep the 2018 payroll under baseball's $195 million luxury tax threshold.

"While we were having discussions with Neil's representation, we also were having discussions with Arizona on Drury," Cashman said. "We made a decision at that point to trade for Drury. The financials (for Walker) were higher back then."

By last week, with spring training about half over and Walker unsigned, Cashman received word that the price was dropping. Desperate, Walker made it known through his agents that he was ready to take what he could get, preferably from a contender like the Yankees.

Hearing that, Cashman made an offer last Friday, then he spent all day Saturday trying to negotiate a signing.

By Monday morning, Walker accepted a contract for a gigantic pay cut from the $17.2 million that he made in 2017, one season at $4 million with a chance to make another million in performance bonuses.

"We had a really good player fall into our lap essentially," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

"We're glad to have him," Cashman added. "It certainly wasn't part of game plan at first (following the trade for Drury), but it wasn't something we could ignore when the opportunity still existed."

With Drury now the probable starter at third base, Walker likely will share the second base duties with Tyler Wade while also seeing some time at third and first.

"We value his abilities," Cashman said of Walker. "We think he's a professional hitter. It gives a different dynamic for us as we move forward and we're deeper because of it. He's been an everyday guy for a long time and he'll have a chance (to start). We'll not going to douse his competitive spirit. If he takes something from somebody over time, so be it."

Walker is fired up about the opportunity to play for a club that made to Game 7 of the ALCS last year and has higher expectations this year with Stanton onboard via an offseason trade with the Miami Marlins.

"It was certainly a crazy offseason, but more than anything my hope was that I would land somewhere with a chance to win," Walker said. "So at the end of the day ... I'm just happy to be here. I'm happy to be on a contending team."

Walker will begin working out for the Yankees on Tuesday and likely play in his first game on Thursday or Friday.

As of now, it appears Boone wants Walker playing different positions, but he isn't ruling out him winning the second base job at some point.

"Look, his track record speaks for itself, but I wouldn't say he's coming in here as that," Boone said. "You're going to see him in some games there (at second base) obviously, but we feel like we have other good options as well. We just feel like he adds to our versatility and our matchup capabilities. We got better."

Cashman is amazed at how this all worked out for the Yankees.

"My job until (the) Aug. 31 (trade deadline) is to constantly look for opportunities" he said. "I would have traded for Drury in the winter time earlier if I got the right match. We had so many conversations and it took that long to get both sides to match up and it took a three-team trade.

"All I can tell you is if we see something that makes sense, we'll get aggressive on it. Despite the Drury addition, along with all of the players that we feel that we're excited about having, it still felt like it made too much sense not to complete something here. Hopefully it protects us and improves us."
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:23 am

Gleyber Torres’ immediate future looks pretty clear now

By Dan Martin March 13, 2018 | 12:24am

Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

TAMPA — Neil Walker in The Bronx almost certainly means Gleyber Torres will have to wait to see if he’ll be able to make an impact in the majors.

The 21-year-old has had a disappointing spring, going just 3-for-23 in Grapefruit League action, and Torres admitted he’s not hitting as well as he’d like — but he welcomed the addition of Walker.

“If the team tries to make the team [better], that’s the most important thing,” Torres said on Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “If this guy helps the team, he hits pretty well, I’m happy for that.”

As for his own issues at the plate, Torres said his time off after suffering a torn UCL last season may have played a role.

“Everything is not right right now,” Torres said. “I’m working and trying to do my job. … It’s not that easy to have nine months [off] and come back and play well right away. Right now, it’s not that good, but soon, it’s coming, for sure.”

He added that he’s felt more comfortable at the plate recently, despite the lack of results.

The Yankees can delay Torres’ free agency for a year if he stays in the minors until mid-April — which seemed likely even before Walker’s signing.

“I don’t control that,” Torres said of potentially heading back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “I control playing my game every day. I stay focused and humble and will try to help my team. I don’t know what’s gonna happen right now.”

And Tyler Wade, whose solid play this spring had put him in the conversation for second base on Opening Day, also took the Walker news in stride.

“It’s a big bat for us,” Wade said of the switch-hitting Walker. “If I play my game, everything takes care of itself.”

Wade has spent most of his time at second this spring, but has also played the outfield, which could help him stick around in the majors — especially if Jacoby Ellsbury doesn’t recover from his oblique injury in time for the start of the regular season.

“I played the outfield for a full year in the minors, so I can do it,” Wade said.
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:26 am

Lance Lynn wasn’t on Yankees’ radar for one simple reason

By Dan Martin March 13, 2018 | 12:10am

Lance Lynn AP

TAMPA — While the Yankees took advantage of a team-friendly free-agent market to sign Neil Walker on Monday, general manager Brian Cashman said they were not in on Lance Lynn, who ended up in Minnesota.

The Yankees rotation is set — for now — with Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery, along with Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up two runs in four innings in a 2-1 loss to the Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

He also gave up his second homer of the spring after surrendering a career-high 35 home runs last season.

Tanaka said he isn’t concerned about his results at this point — including the homers.

“I’m trying to work on things,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I think things are starting to come together. Obviously, this was better than my first game here. My mechanics are a little bit off.”

With Lynn in Minnesota and Jake Arrieta in Philadelphia, the only established pitcher remaining on the market is Alex Cobb.

The Yankees could re-enter the market during the season, especially given their wealth of prospects, but if they need added starting pitching, they may also consider their own prospects, such as Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield.

Reggie Jackson injured his right knee Monday morning when he fell while walking in Tampa and will undergo surgery on Tuesday, according to the Yankees. He was treated by the Yankees’ medical staff and was said to be in good spirits. The 71-year-old Hall of Famer is a frequent presence at spring training in his role as a special adviser with the team.

Aaron Boone said while Jacoby Ellsbury is making progress in his comeback from an oblique injury, he might not be ready for Opening Day.

“We’re probably getting into that range where we’re butting up against it,’’ Boone said of whether Ellsbury would have enough time to be in game-shape for the first series in Toronto. “That could become a factor, no question. Even so, for the long-term, he’s moving in the right direction. Whether it’s delayed by a few days at the start, I don’t think it’s gonna be that big a deal. He’s close.”

Ellsbury still needs to start running, but Boone believes he will be able to play in a Grapefruit League game soon.

“I don’t want to get into days, but we’ll start to get it on the schedule, depending on how these next couple days go with everything starting to progress the right way for him,’’ Boone said.

With Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks , Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton all healthy, the Yankees don’t need to rush Ellsbury back.

Clint Frazier, who has been out with concussion symptoms, was “status quo,” according to Boone.

Greg Bird insists he’s not concerned with his lack of production at the plate this spring.

“I feel good,” Bird said before Monday’s game. “I’m focused on being ready for Opening Day and I feel like I’m on track for that. I’m not worried about results right now. As long as I feel good, I’ll be fine.”

Bird missed all of 2016 after shoulder surgery and was sidelined for much of last season after fouling a ball of his ankle in the Yankees’ last exhibition game of the spring in Atlanta.

Monday’s signing of Neil Walker helped lead to several other moves by the Yankees, including the release of Danny Espinosa . To make room on the 40-man roster, they designated OF Jake Cave for assignment. In addition, infielder Kyle Holder was reassigned to minor league camp.

Tyler Austin hit his third homer of the spring when he took former Yankee Phil Hughes deep in the fourth.

Ronald Torreyes had some difficulty on the basepaths after leading off the bottom of the third with a double. He misread Tyler Wade’s shot to right and started back to second before reversing course and was thrown out at home.

With his velocity down after TOS surgery, Hughes said he looks at CC Sabathia as a role model for how to keep succeeding after your fastball diminishes: “A lot of people thought he was done, and he got another one-year contract.”

Sabathia takes the mound when the Yankees host the Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday.

— with Ken Davidoff
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:30 am

Neil Walker’s free-agency loss turned into huge Yankees steal

By Dan Martin March 12, 2018

Neil Walker Bill Kostroun

TAMPA — Neil Walker’s frustration with a free-agent market that doesn’t value players over 30 like it used to became the Yankees’ gain, as they were able to sign the former Met to a one-year deal that could be worth $4.5 million with incentives.

The arrival of Walker, 32, gives the Yankees a quality veteran infielder to put at second base and allows them to keep to their goal of staying enough under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold that they will still have room to add another piece during the season.

Top prospect Gleyber Torres has struggled at the plate this spring after missing much of last season following Tommy John surgery to his non-throwing elbow while with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and likely could use more seasoning in the minors. Tyler Wade emerged as a possible candidate with a strong start to spring, but Walker’s availability at a bargain-basement price was too good for the Yankees to pass up.

“It was certainly a crazy offseason, but more than anything my hope was that I would land somewhere that was gonna be competitive and had a chance to win,” Walker said after arriving at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “I’m just happy to be here, happy to be on a contending team.’’

General manager Brian Cashman said the switch-hitting Walker’s late arrival means he will compete for the job at second, along with Torres and Wade, who has had a good spring and had two more hits in a 2-1 loss to the Twins.

“It certainly wasn’t part of our game plan at first,” Cashman said of Walker’s addition. “But it was something we couldn’t ignore when the opportunity existed.”

To make room for Walker on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated outfielder Jake Cave for assignment and released Danny Espinosa.

Walker almost ended up in The Bronx last season, but a trade with the Mets didn’t come to fruition and he ended up in Milwaukee.

The Yankees had discussions earlier in the offseason about Walker, but when they traded for Brandon Drury, it seemed Walker would no longer be an option.

That changed last week, with Walker among the veteran free agents who were unable to find jobs, and he and the Yankees reconnected.

“We had a really good player fall into our lap, essentially,” said manager Aaron Boone, who added Walker could be in a game as soon as Thursday. “His track record, I think, speaks for itself. But I wouldn’t say he’s coming in here as [the starter].’’

The next challenge for Walker will be getting ready in time for Opening Day. He said he got between eight and 12 at-bats at the camp held by the MLBPA in Bradenton, Fla., and he will get some extra work in at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“One thing you’re happy about as a player is to have the opportunity to get to the playoffs and get to the World Series,” said Walker, who will wear No. 14. “You look around here and there’s arguably the best group of guys that there are in the league. I’m excited to be a part of this whole process.”

The Yankees were linked to Walker earlier in the offseason, but insisted they were comfortable starting the season with Torres at second and another rookie, Miguel Andujar, at third.

Now, they have acquired Walker and Drury. Both have significantly more MLB experience and the ability to play multiple positions in the infield.

The move comes with little risk for the Yankees, who have the luxury of allowing the 21-year-old Torres to start the season in the minors. He is just 3-for-23 this Grapefruit League season.

“Gleyber is obviously still competing here, but right now, obviously, Tyler Wade is having a tremendous camp, and Gleyber is trying to get back on track,” Cashman said. “He missed a lot of time, so it doesn’t affect Gleyber in any way, shape or form in terms of taking a chance. He’s competing for a job here. If not, he’s going to go to Triple-A and wait for his opportunity.”
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Re: Yankees Off Season 2017

Postby BigGuy » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:32 am

Yankees youngsters were never going to carry them all the way

By Ken Davidoff March 12, 2018 | 11:11pm

Miguel Andujar N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

TAMPA — Tough spring training for the Baby Bombers.

Good spring training for the Yankees.

You love your young pinstriped guys, the more homegrown the better, for good reason. You monitor their development and celebrate their arrival in The Bronx.

Nevertheless, it’s indisputable that, with Monday’s signing of Neil Walker, the Yankees will depart camp with a stronger, deeper roster than with which they kicked off workouts here at George M. Steinbrenner Field. A club that’s better positioned to contend at the outset and better leveraged — in talent, although not in dollars — to further upgrade their outfit by late July.

“All I can tell you is, if we see something that makes sense, then we’re going to get aggressive on it,” Brian Cashman said after the Yankees officially announced the Walker acquisition.

Cashman described the 32-year-old Walker, one of the game’s more reliable second basemen for eight years running, as someone who “at least in the short-term is expected to come off the bench while he competes for an everyday job.” Aaron Boone sounded even more intrigued by the idea of capitalizing on Walker’s ability to play third base and first base.

Eh. We’re still talking about a guy whose major league breakdown reads like this: 1,008 games at second base, 19 at third base, 17 at first base. Has Tyler Wade, with a .333/.387/.407 slash line this spring and an underwhelming rookie campaign last year, impressed so much as to shrug off Walker’s considerable track record? I’ll bet on Walker being the primary second baseman by the end of April. Gleyber Torres, who has endured a rough Grapefruit League, will play every day at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — alongside Miguel Andujar, who saw his path to the majors get blocked last month when the Yankees traded for veteran third baseman Brandon Drury.

For now, Andujar and Torres rank among the Yankees’ untouchable prospects. Stuff happens, though. A year ago at this time, the Yankees had zero interest in trading outfielder Dustin Fowler or pitcher James Kaprielian. Then both suffered major injuries, and both got packaged alongside Jorge Mateo in the trade-deadline deal for Oakland’s Sonny Gray.

So who’s to say? If the Yankees have a chance to get, say, young Tigers ace Michael Fulmer in July, they’d probably have to lead the package with Andujar or Torres to make it happen. Or perhaps they’d have to include one of the pair to get the Rangers to eat some of the money owed veteran Cole Hamels, whose $23.5 million salary for 2018 might not fit under the Yankees’ mandate to stay under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold, especially now that they gave Walker $4 million with another $500,000 attainable in incentives.

Those exceedingly team-friendly terms — “He fell into our laps,” Boone said — resulted from this nuclear winter for free agency, and for that, the Yankees got a guy who doesn’t strike out much (his career 17.4 whiff percentage pales in comparison to Giancarlo Stanton’s 27.7 and Aaron Judge’s 32.3), offers steady if not spectacular defense, has earned a reputation as a clubhouse leader and knows what it’s like to play in New York after spending 2016 and most of 2017 with the Mets.

Teams need youth in these times of tougher drug testing. The Baby Bombers played a huge role in getting the Yankees all the way to Game 7 of last year’s American League Championship Series. Yet you don’t want to overdo the youth movement when you’re trying to win it all, and in Walker and Drury, the Yankees found upgrades that simultaneously make them less dependent on the kids while not blocking their long-term chances to make it here.

“These aren’t easy conversations to have,” Cashman said, “but when you’re having them, especially after all the dialogue we’ve had, as you walk through it, you can’t be afraid to ask the next question. … If you don’t ask, you might not get the result we have today.”

That result increases the likelihood of the Yankees attaining their optimal result. Even if it’ll be less of a storybook tale.
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