Yankees Off Season Thread

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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:54 am

How Dellin Betances to Mets is good news for Yankees
Joe Giglio

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Ex-Yankees reliever Dellin Betances completes a talented Mets bullpen.

In theory, losing Dellin Betances is going to hurt the Yankees.

We’re talking about one of the best relief pitchers of the decade, outstanding strikeout artist and pitcher willing and able to take the ball in the biggest spots in the biggest games.

The Mets got a good one, but it also means they are out of the mix for a better one.

By signing Betances to a creatively-structured deal, the Mets are likely out of the running for Milwaukee Brewers lefty Josh Hader.

That, of course, takes one suitor out of the Hader bidding for the Yankees to compete with.

Hader, 25, is worth getting into a bidding war over.

Hader three seasons in the bigs haven’t just been star quality; they have been otherworldly. Since debuting in 2017, Hader owns a 2.42 ERA, 178 ERA+, 15.3 SO/9, 4.85 SO/BB and a 2.73 FIP. Think of the best of Andrew Miller, but younger and with the ability to pitch more innings.

While a deal for Hader isn’t imperative for the Yankees, having another lock down arm on non-Gerrit Cole days can change this team in October.

When New York’s $324M man is on the mound, the need for matchup by matchup bullpen moves by manager Aaron Boone likely won’t be necessary. But it will be on games started by Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino and James Paxton.

The Mets were first linked to a Hader deal around the time of the winter meetings.
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:56 am

Ten bold predictions for the New York Yankees in 2020
The new year is around the corner, and it’s looking very promising for the Bombers
Andres Chavez

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It’s the perfect time to be bold. The New York Yankees have assembled a formidable team, thanks to the Gerrit Cole signing and some other needed moves.

The talent in the Yankees’ roster invites us to make a full installment of ten bold predictions for the 2020 season:

Gerrit Cole will surpass 300 strikeouts… again

The Yankees’ newest and shiniest offseason acquisition, Gerrit Cole, just struck out 326 hitters in 2019. We are predicting here that he will post another 300-K season in 2020, which will make him the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2001 and 2002 to have more than 300 punchouts in consecutive seasons.

Johnson whiffed 372 hitters in 2001 and 334 the next year. Since then, no pitcher has surpassed the number in consecutive seasons.

The Yankees will win the AL East by ten games

The Yankees took home the AL East crown in 2019 with a seven-game lead. Bringing Cole in the fold and re-signing Gardner, plus a full season of a healthy Severino, will put the team in a position to run away with the division again, but with an even bigger lead.

The Tampa Bay Rays added Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, but traded Tommy Pham and lost Avisail Garcia. The Red Sox haven’t made substantial improvements, and while the Blue Jays have, they seem closer to the Rays-Sox tier than to the Yankees. It’s bold, but finishing with a ten-game lead is within reach.

DJ LeMahieu will have another 5-WAR season

The star infielder just had his best offensive season, with 29.2 batting runs according to FanGraphs. He also had his finest year, overall, with 5.4 fWAR. We aren’t projecting 26 home runs again, but his regression with the bat won’t be as substantial as lots of people think.

LeMahieu punished and squared the ball with authority in 2019 (92nd percentile in exit velocity, 90th percentile in hard-hit rate and 90th percentile in xwOBA) and figures to do it again in 2020. Good things happen when you hit the ball hard consistently.

Additionally, his 2.8 fielding runs are actually the lowest number he has had in the last three years. A slight increase is possible, which would boost his fWAR.

Luke Voit will take 100 walks

Luke Voit may strike out a ton (27.8 K% in 2019) but he is very good at taking his walks (13.9 BB%). He had 71 bases on balls in 118 games and 510 plate appearances. He can get to 100, which would be bold because only seven batters reached the milestone last season. The key for the success of this prediction will be playing time.

Miguel Andujar will be traded… to the Atlanta Braves


Josh Donaldson will sign one of the 4-year contract options he has on the table, and the Braves won’t trust Austin Riley to solve his contact issues (63.2 contact rate and 20.6 SwStrk%) right away. Atlanta, then, will make use of its extraordinary depth in pitching prospects to swing a deal for the Yankees’ infielder.

Mike Tauchman will have a 4-WAR season

Tauchman, fueled by a .277/.361/.504 line and 4.2 fielding runs, had 2.6 fWAR in just 87 games. With his defensive ability, he can achieve 4.0 fWAR in 2020 even with some slight offensive regression. A total of 42 position players reached the milestone, or 1.4 per team on average.

The Yankees will have four 3-WAR starters

If they are all healthy, Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka can each post at least 3.0 fWAR. We are predicting here that they will.

Cole will be closer to the 6.0 fWAR range and Severino is usually around 5.0 when healthy. Paxton and Tanaka are the wild cards but they are talented enough, especially the former, to surpass 3.0, which they both did in 2019. Not bold enough? Let’s raise the bar and say at least 3.5 for each in 2020.

Judge will fall just short of 50 home runs and finish with 48

Aaron Judge hit 27 home runs in 447 plate appearances in 2019, but he was stopped by a prolonged absence due to injury. We are forecasting that he will avoid any lengthy physical issues and hit 48 balls out of the park, just short of 50 and four shy of his 2017 career-high of 52.

The Yankees will defeat the Astros in the Championship Series… in six games

We are ready for a new era in the American League. The Houston Astros will still be one of the toughest opponents in 2020, but the Yankees will finally get over the hump and defeat them in the American League Championship Series, in six games.

The Yankees will win the World Series… defeating the Mets!

The Yankees will advance to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2009. There, they will meet with… the New York Mets! The Braves, Nationals and Dodgers look very good, but there is a very talented baseball team in Queens. However, the Bombers will be victorious in the seven-game battle to secure number 28.
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:58 am

Why the New York Yankees Should Brace for Andujar’s Comeback
Jack Suhadolnik

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Gio Urshela put up impressive offensive numbers for the New York Yankees last season, while his defensive numbers suffered. According to FanGraphs, Gio ranked 16 out of 17 qualifying third basemen in overall defense last season, with Matt Chapman and Nolan Arrenado taking the top 2 spots. Gio has so much pressure on him, a wide door is open for Miguel Andujar to come back.

What About Andujar’s Defense?

Obviously, as a man who’s played professional baseball since 2015, Gio Urshela’s defensive stats are skewed more in his favor than Andujar’s. And according to the same statistical source, Andujar’s defense in 2018 ranked in dead last, I’m not blind. But if Andujar can eliminate his double-clutch problem, even make 10% more throws eliminating that issue, Andujar’s defense will be better than Urshela.

What About Urshela’s Offense?

Gio Urshela HAS to prove, unquestionably, he HAS to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke offensively. Remember Brandon Drury? In Drury’s injury-shortened 2018, he was a drastic defensive improvement over Miguel Andujar. But guess what? Drury was hitting better than Drury. Urshela, in his career, never hit above .235 before last season. If he doesn’t hit between .270 and .290, and Urshela picks up right where he left off in 2018, Urshela will get benched for Andujar.

What About Andujar’s Injury?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a throwing program can begin at around 4 months post-surgery. This means that Andujar would be able to restart improving his defense in September. Urshela, would not be able to have started working on improving his poor defense from 2019 until after the team got bounced by the Astros in October. But, obviously, it would be until about November until he got to do anything.

Plus, we have no idea quick Andujar recovered from the injury. Remember when Didi came back earlier than expected from Tommy John? Maybe Andujar got cleared for baseball-related activities in August, maybe even July.

What About Urshela’s Recovery Time?


Gio Urshela never played more than 90 games in a season before last year. Gio Urshela was never an everyday player until last season. Gio Urshela never played that deep into October before. If Gio Urshela is STILL recovering from last seasons toll on his body by St. Paddy’s Day… Miggy got his job back.

I’m calling it. Miguel Andujar win’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020.
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:59 am

MLB rumors: Latest Red Sox’ Mookie Betts trade buzz is bad news for Yankees
Joe Giglio

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Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts could stay put at Fenway Park this winter.


A forgone conclusion may no longer qualify as one.

When the offseason began, the idea of a Mookie Betts trade out of Boston seemed like a matter of when, not if. Boston needed to shed salary, Betts was headed for free agency in a year and new executive Chaim Bloom entered with an edict of sustainability.

Yet, as the New Year approaches, Betts is still part of the Red Sox roster.

MLB Trade Rumors tends to think things will stay that way.

In the site’s latest edition of baseball’s top trade candidates, Betts dropped four spots on the list from the list released last month.

Here’s what was written about Betts and the idea of a trade.

Mookie Betts, OF, Red Sox (LR: 20): It’s tough to guess the odds of a move involving one of the game’s greatest players. It seems low, but there are some intriguing possibilities. New chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom came up with the Rays, who routinely spin off their best players as they near free agency. Might the Dodgers turn to a full-court press on Betts if they miss on other targets? Could some other team see a chance at vaulting past their rivals in one fell swoop? There has been much talk about how Betts may not be all that valuable on a one-year deal that’s likely to approach $30MM. Well … what about the rarity of the opportunity to rent a mid-prime, 6-7+ WAR player without promising him gobs of money into his late thirties? There’s immense appeal to that as well.


Of course, this is bad news for the 2020 Yankees. The AL East is much easier to navigate if one of the best players in the sport isn’t on the other side of the field 18 times. If Betts departs to, say, a National League team like the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees stand an even better chance to win the division in a run away.
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:01 am

How Yankees’ inexperienced pitching coach got big Gerrit Cole endorsement
Brendan Kuty

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Gerrit Cole tries on his jersey as he is introduced as the newest New York Yankees player during a baseball media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. The pitcher agreed to a 9-year $324 million contract. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

When the Yankees were courting ace Gerrit Cole — not long before he took their $324 million offer — the ace had a simple question for pitching coach Matt Blake:

“Have you done a mound visit?”

Blake told him, no, not at the major-league level — a shocking fact for a big-league pitching coach.

But Blake proceeded to impress Cole throughout the rest of their meeting, Cole told Brian Clark in a video posted to MLB.com the day after the 29-year-old’s introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium.

“Matt was pretty impressive in the meeting that we had when I first got to know him,” Cole said.

The Yankees hired Blake, a first-time pitching coach, in early November, not too long after dismissing longtime pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Rothschild had helmed the pitching staff since 2011.

Blake, 34, had recently been appointed the Indians’ director of pitching development and had been with the organization for three years.

“I’ve known a couple of pitchers that have come through the Cleveland system and I think any pitcher in the league has probably admired Cleveland from afar,” Cole said. “They're really unique organization, I think, in the sense that over the last 10 years, they haven't signed a free-agent pitcher starting pitcher.”

Cole cited Cleveland’s success drafting and developing starting pitchers, and Blake’s work with Indians manager Terry Francona and pitchers Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber.

“A lot of these guys have been able to find some continuity in their delivery and some consistency,” Cole said. “So I think it brings a really cool toolbox to the to the mix. It’s always great when you can have somebody that can articulate the analytics, because the analytics are helpful. He's probably looking forward to working with obviously a lot of really great pitchers that we have on this staff, and maybe trying to view the game through more of the players and coaches lens than maybe he has from a front office and analytics component.

“So if I think we mesh those two things together, we're going to have a really successful staff.”
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:02 am

The Yankees could have a problematic situation at third base in 2020
Alexander Wilson

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In 2018, Gio Urshela boasted a .233 batting average with a .608 OPS, thrusting his value downwards, in the opposite direction he would end up going in 2019, after joining the New York Yankees. Urshela emerged as one of the Yankees’ saving graces last season, logging a .314 BA with 21 homers and 74 RBIs, all career-highs for the former Toronto Blue Jay.

Credit the hitting coaches for the Yankees and their progressive mentality, focusing on launch angle and superior analytics. With only one good year under his belt, though, it’s challenging to justify expected success from the 28-year-old. At the third base position, the Yankees don’t have much defensive depth, as Miguel Andujar is expected to slot in behind Urshela. However, Gio has always been a quality defensive player. It’s his offense that has been in flux over the past few years.

If Urshela’s offensive production falls off in 2020, can they remain confident in starting him? The Yankees may play the hot hand at any given time between Gio and Andujar, who will be returning from a torn Labrum. His defense is the one significant deficiencies holding him back, which has brewed optimism he could be traded before the start of the regular season. Although, I believe keeping him on the roster and allowing him to log one more year of offensive efficiency would help increase his value tremendously. Theoretically, GM Brian Cashman could give him a substantial sample size of at-bats and ship him at the trade deadline to compensate for any given weakness at the time.

The Yankees aren’t ready to give up on Andujar:

Cashman has expressed his confidence in Urshela, stating that it’s essential his job to lose on the hot corner. His defense is far better than Andujar’s, creating a bit of a puzzle at the position regarding playing time. However, he also communicated his desire to get Andujar’s bat in the lineup, who laced 47 doubles and 27 homers in 2018. Getting him back to form is a priority for the Bombers, who could use him in a designated hitter role with confidence.

At this point in the progression at third base, Urshela has earned the right to get the first crack at being the consistent starter. Andujar must be factored into the strategy if he’s not traded, but his potential makes this a reasonable plan.
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:07 am

New York Yankees news, rumors: Underrated utility player, JA Happ replacement
Alexander Wilson

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The New York Yankees continue to hurl money in different directions to increase their probability of earning a World Series appearance in 2020. So far, they’ve made the right decisions to see them to the reality they desire. Signing Gerrit Cole was the first step in achieving a goal that has evaded them for a decade now, but the offseason isn’t over for GM Brian Cashman.

With talks proceeding with Josh Hader over Brewers, the Bombers may add another quality arm to their bullpen with the departure of Dellin Betances, leaving a potential void. Factor in Nestor Cortes Jr. being traded and the Yankees will undoubtedly be adding a relief pitcher to supplement the losses.

Hader would be a luxury, but settling for a lesser option like Alex Wood makes more monetary sense. However, Cashman doesn’t seem to intimidate by the luxury tax. J.A. Happ is still an expected trade piece, since he’s scheduled to make $17 million last season and was unusable as a regular starter in 2019. Replacing him should be no problem with the return of Jordan Montgomery, a sub-.400 ERA pitcher in his two lone seasons as a starter for the Yanks.

Do the New York Yankees have enough utility options?

Reports of the Yankees in search of another utility player have bubbled to the surface, but they should remain steady and give Tyler Wade the playing time he deserves. Wade doesn’t acquire a devastating bat, but he’s a solid defender, with the ability to play infield and outfield adequately. He’s also a stellar base runner, utilizing his agility and speed. Factor in his switch-hitting attribute, and Wade can be a very productive player if given the reps.

The Yankees need to give some of their lesser-used players a chance, instead of continuing to address needs through high-priced free agents or trades. Wade has the potential to be an influence, but he’s played springing the past few seasons.

Earlier in 2019, Wade was upset at being assigned to AAA-Ball, stating:

“Very disappointing. It blindsided me,’’ said Wade, after losing his spot to Mike Tauchman. “I did everything they asked me to do this spring and I played well and now my defense isn’t good enough.’’


Giving him a consistent chance should be a priority for the Bombers in 2020, as Wade has untapped potential.
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:11 am

The Baseball 100: No. 91, Mariano Rivera
Joe Posnanski

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Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, we at The Athletic will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

A few years ago, I wrote something about Mariano Rivera and Ernest Hemingway. Here is a part of that.

“They say his father was a fisherman. Maybe he was as poor as we are and would understand.”
— The Old Man and the Sea

I was re-reading Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” and I came upon the Joe DiMaggio references. Hemingway adored DiMaggio. He admired the grace with which DiMaggio played defense, the consistency of a man who could hit in 56 straight games, the quiet elegance with which he carried himself. All this turned DiMaggio into something more than a ballplayer. He became representative of a better time (“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio”). He became a hero for playing through pain. He became known as a paragon of baseball astuteness — “He never threw to the wrong base,” his old teammate Yogi Berra and countless others insisted.

DiMaggio became the model for Hemingway’s old man.

“I must have the confidence,” the old man says to the sea, “and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio, who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel.”

Obviously, I never saw Joe DiMaggio play. But as I read it, I had to admit, I kept thinking of a different Yankee. He too was the son of a fisherman. He too grew up too poor to understand. As a ballplayer, his career almost ended before it began. He was almost traded (twice) before he settled into his permanent role with the Yankees. He too was the very essence of gracefulness. He took the mound with a calmness that chilled opponents. It didn’t matter the heat of the moment, the importance of the pitch, the number of men on base, the score of the game. It didn’t matter if it was a breezy spring training game in Tampa, a pennant-chasing battle at Fenway Park or the championship-clinching game in the World Series, he looked entirely at ease, as if the game was already over and he was sitting in a recliner and retelling the story to his own grandchildren.

And then he would throw one pitch. He only had one pitch. People would call the pitch a cutter because of the way it cut sideways, but it wasn’t a cutter because it’s a pitch without a name. Other pitchers threw cutters. No, this pitch was different, unlike anything anyone else ever threw. “I learned the pitch,” he said, “from God.”

And no one could hit the pitch. It was just one pitch but for 18 years, nobody could hit it.

“You know what’s coming,” a hitter named Mike Sweeney once said. “But you know what’s coming in horror movies, too.”

Hemingway’s old man talked so often about DiMaggio, that the boy in the story says to him: “They have other men on the team.”

“Naturally,” the old man said. “But he makes the difference.”

Hemingway loved DiMaggio. But if he had lived in our time, it would have been Mariano Rivera.

Rivera finished more games (952), saved more games (652) and finished with the highest ERA+ (205) in baseball history.

From 1996 to 2013, he only once had an ERA above three — that was in 2007 when he was 37 years old. There was a sense then that maybe he was finally coming to an end, that hitters had finally caught up to that nameless pitch that broke a thousand bats and many more hearts.

The next year, he pitched 70 ⅔ innings, walked six batters (yes, six batters), saved 39 games and had a 1.40 ERA.

He pitched 141 postseason innings. He allowed just two home runs — one that mattered (Sandy Alomar homered to tie an ALDS game in 1997) and one that mostly did not (Jay Payton homered off him in a World Series game; Rivera struck out the next hitter to win the game anyway). He had an 0.70 ERA. He allowed a total of one run in his last 24 postseason appearances.

I bring up these numbers not only because they are impressive, but also because they would have been impossible only a few years earlier. Mariano Rivera became the first player elected unanimously by the BBWAA into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and many people were horrified by that, making the fair point that Rivera’s 56.3 career WAR was roughly the same as non-Hall of Famers Dave Stieb, Jerry Koosman and Kevin Appier, and that he threw a thousand or so fewer innings than Ron Guidry, Stieb, Bret Saberhagen and numerous others whose careers were deemed too short to be Hall of Fame worthy.

How could contemporaries like Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson, who threw four times as many innings as Rivera (and finished with more than twice as many Wins Above Replacement), not get elected unanimously while Rivera did?

I do not have a counterargument to any of this — Maddux and Johnson should have been elected unanimously, great starters with short careers have been overlooked by the Hall in my view — except to say that Rivera was unlike any pitcher before him and probably unlike any pitcher to come.

Rivera grew up in Puerto Caimito, Panama, and he never thought he would leave. He cleaned fish and pulled up nets as a young boy; the Yankees signed him for $3,000. Before he pitched a single big-league inning, he blew out his elbow and had Tommy John surgery. He did not actually make it to the big leagues until he was 25 years old.

He began as a starter and not a very good one. It is written in his permanent record: He made 10 big league starts and went 3-3 with a 5.94 ERA. He walked 20 in 50 innings, allowed eight home runs. Legend has it that owner George Steinbrenner himself was ready to trade Rivera to Seattle for shortstop Félix Fermin.* He was included in at least one other possible trade package.

*It’s unclear what sort of hypnotic hold Félix Fermin held for some, but just a couple of years earlier, Cleveland had traded Fermin to Seattle for possible future Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel.

But then the Yankees put him in the bullpen, and the difference was startling. He came into three games against Seattle in the ALDS in 1995. In Game 2, Rivera entered in the 12th inning with the score tied and a runner on first. He was electrifying. He struck out Jay Buhner to end the threat. In his first full inning, he got three outs without letting the ball out of the infield. In his second, he struck out the side (including that much-coveted Félix Fermin). He worked around two singles in the 15th, and the Yankees won the game.

He had two more scoreless appearances. And even though the Yankees lost the series, they never again listened to a trade offer for Rivera. “People inquire about him all the time,” GM Bob Watson told reporters. “But that kind of arm, you don’t give up.” They had seen the future.

In April the following year, Rivera was so good out of the pen, so unhittable, that Twins manager Tom Kelly said: “He needs to pitch in a higher league if there is one. Ban him from baseball. He should be illegal.”

And the following year, he was made a full-time closer and you know how it went after that.

None of this would have been an option in Tom Seaver’s time or Warren Spahn’s time or Satchel Paige’s time or Walter Johnson’s time. The closer role was invented just in time for Rivera, and Rivera’s one pitch was created just in time for the closer role.

And oh, that pitch. Jim Thome called it the greatest pitch in baseball history, and who can argue? Yes, we can talk all we want about Nolan Ryan’s fastball, Sandy Koufax’s curve, Steve Carlton’s slider, Carl Hubbell’s screwball, Bruce Sutter’s splitter, Gaylord Perry’s spitter, Pedro Martinez’s change-up and Satchel Paige’s Bee ball (so named because, as Satch said, “It be where I want it to be when I want it to be there”). But all of them threw other pitches.

Rivera threw no other pitches. He came into the game, and he came at hitters with that same pitch, one pitch, again and again, fastball, sharp break to the left at the last possible instant. He learned the pitch while playing catch with his friend and countryman Ramiro Mendoza in 1997. He just tried a new grip, and the pitch came out whole, unblemished, perfect — “a gift from God,” he always said.

Counterintuitively, Rivera was not an especially great strikeout pitcher. He averaged fewer than a strikeout per inning over his career and in one of his most celebrated seasons, 1998, he struck out just 36 in 61 1/3 innings. In his unmatched postseason career, he struck out just seven per nine innings.

See, his pitch wasn’t built to be missed. It was built for destruction. Surely, no pitch has ever broken as many bats as Mariano’s. It attacked lefty hitters like a swarm of bees. And it made righties reach out blindly, like they were trying to hit a shadow.

Beyond that, Rivera simply had the perfect closer persona. Nothing bothered him. He failed so rarely, but when he did he simply shrugged and moved on. In 2004, he blew two saves against Boston — the Red Sox were the one team that often had his number — and the next time he pitched in Boston, fans wildly cheered him when his name was announced.

His response? “I felt honored,” he said. “What was I going to do? Get upset and start throwing baseballs at people?”

No. Not Rivera. He pitched his whole life in New York, with the tabloid back pages ready to pounce on any blown save. He never looked worried. He never seemed stressed. He never offered any hope to hitters. It’s impossible to know exactly where to rank Mariano Rivera on the all-time list because there was never anyone like him. There’s no one to compare him with. I’ll just say if I had a lead in the ninth against the Devil, he’d be the guy I’d want on the mound.
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:49 pm

Yankees need to play Clint Frazier in 2020 or trade him
Mike Calendrillo

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 12: Cameron Maybin #38, Clint Frazier #77 and Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrate a win over the Detroit Tigers in game one of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on September 12, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. New York defeated Detroit Tigers 10-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

What do Clint Frazier and Chance Adams have in common? Both at one time were the No. 2 prospects in the Yankees system. Adams is now in Kansas City while Frazier is on his last leg with the Yanks, which goes to show how much of a gamble prospects are.

Chance Adams was recently traded to the Royals to clear a 40-man roster spot for Gerrit Cole. In return, the Yankees acquired 21-year-old shortstop Cristian Perez, who has yet to play above Single-A.

A decent infielder, Perez has little ability with the bat, slashing .252/.309/.285 with 37 runs scored, zero home runs, 42 RBIs and a 48:20 K:BB ratio in 424 plate appearances last season (his fourth year in the minors).

Although the Yankees were able to get something for Adams — a former fifth-round pick in 2015, a filler for the lowest depths of the minor leagues isn’t much considering Adams was once linked to the Pirates for a package revolving around Cole!

I reference Adams to Frazier because both were supposed to continue the organization’s parade of highly-touted prospects to the major leagues, following the likes of Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.

Greg Bird was another young player that excited fans, but injuries and inconsistency derailed his time in pinstripes, as he was DFA’d this winter and is currently a free agent.

Therefore, it’s only natural to worry that Frazier is next in line to fail to live up to expectations in the Bronx. Now 25, Frazier is running out of time with the Yanks — to prove he can stick in the big leagues; otherwise, general manager Brian Cashman would be wise to get something of value for him now.

The thing with Frazier is that most everyone knows he can hit. He’s done all he can at the minor league level and even slugged 14 doubles, 12 homers, 38 RBIs and a .806 OPS across 225 at-bats in 69 games with the Bombers last season.

While his 70:16 K:BB ratio needs to be addressed, it’s his defensive woes that soured many fans. A .963 fielding percentage was the result of several misplayed flyballs resulting in three errors, -12 Rtot and -8 Rdrs in 80 chances.

However, he did show off a solid arm, picking up six assists (five in RF) across 395.1 innings. But his poor reaction to fan scrutiny and increasing media attention buried him in Triple-A Scranton as Mike Tauchman flourished in New York.

Fast-forward to the 2020 season. Aaron Hicks is likely out until August following Tommy John surgery and Giancarlo Stanton is slated to man the DH spot primarily. With Brett Gardner re-signed for one-year to play center field, that leaves Tauchman and Frazier to battle it out for left.

However, will Tauchman, who had a career year before going down in September with a severely strained calf, perform the way he did following his arrival from the Rockies? Only time will tell. But if there was ever a time for Frazier to make an indelible mark, this is the season.

While it’s easy to be down on Frazier following his controversial 2019 campaign, I hate seeing wasted talent when it comes to those that wear the pinstripes.

The Yankees don’t have many holes on their roster. But if fan-favorite Cameron Maybin was re-signed, or 2018 Gold-Glove finalist Kevin Pillar, that could signal Frazier’s potential inclusion in a deal for an extra bullpen arm — perhaps in a package for Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader.

Yet I genuinely hope that Frazier, the crown jewel of the Andrew Miller to the Indians trade, is given every chance to win the job in spring training. Because if he can keep his head on straight and play to his potential, Frazier would only make the Yankees that much stronger for years to come.
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T15D23
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Re: Yankees Off Season Thread

Postby T15D23 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:51 pm

New York Yankees: Josh Hader Update
Daniel Cunningham

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The New York Yankees have been talking with the Milwaukee Brewers for weeks on a trade for star reliever Josh Hader. I recently spoke with some sources close to the situation in Milwaukee, and they seem to believe that Hader is going to be traded this offseason.

So why are the Yankees so interested in Hader? The simple answer is control. Josh Hader would come with four years of team control, which would give the Yankees a ton of flexibility. Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, and Tommy Kahnle would all hit free agency before Josh Hader. The Yankees are looking at this as an opportunity to secure arguably the best reliever in baseball who would also give them coverage if they were to lose any of those arms in free agency. The Yankees are also looking at this as a way to secure the most dominant paper roster in recent memory. If the Yankees would acquire Hader from the Brewers, they would arguably have the best lineup, starting rotation, and bullpen in all of baseball.

The Yankees Really Want Josh Hader

The Yankees do not need Josh Hader. The Yankees want Josh Hader. Sources told Empire Sports Media yesterday that the Yankees were aggressive in their push for Josh Hader. The same sources also believe that Milwaukee will deal him before Spring Training. Dan Federico reported of another “Informed” opinion that believes Josh Hader will end up in New York.

According to Jon Heyman, The Yankees have reportedly floated the idea of making Miguel Andujar the centerpiece of this deal. Andujar is coming off a lost season due to injury, but in his first full season back in 2018, he should have won the Rookie of the Year award in the American League when he set the Yankees franchise rookie record for doubles in a season at 47 (Baseball-Reference). The ole saying goes, “Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.” Well, I can tell you in this circumstance, there is a lot of smoke around Josh Hader and the New York Yankees. Time will tell if Josh Hader does get dealt, but if the news breaks that the star lefty is leaving Milwaukee, don’t be shocked if he’s heading to a barbershop close to Times Square.
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T15D23

- 11/25/03 GBMA

- 6/11/04 GBCJ

- 6/9/07 God Bless Leo

- 10/16/07 God Bless Huck

- 11/12/11 God Bless Mom

- 09/24/14 God Bless Dad

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