Aug
06

Deadline pickups already paying big dividends in the field

By
(Presswire)

(Presswire)

Heading into the trade deadline, it was clear the Yankees needed to beef up their offense. They were getting very little from right field and second base in particular, plus third base became a black hole as soon as Yangervis Solarte returned to Earth. The Yankees needed to do something to add to their lineup, something more than wait for Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran to turn their seasons around.

Improving the offense wasn’t their only need at the trade deadline. The Yankees also needed to upgrade their infield defense because it was disastrous. Truly one of the worst infield defenses I have ever seen and it would have been a lot worse if not for the club’s emphasis on shifting to compensate for the lack of range. The bad defense was the most consistent part of the team too — every day the infield would cost them. It was amazing to watch, really.

The Yankees are locked into Derek Jeter at short and Mark Teixeira at first for better or worse, though there was nothing standing in way of acquiring upgrades at second and third bases. Acquire those upgrades is exactly what they did, swinging a deal for Chase Headley last month and bringing in Stephen Drew just before the trade deadline. Headley has long been a solid gloveman and while Drew would be playing out of position at second base, his athleticism and quickness made him a decent bet to outperform Brian Roberts.

Headley’s bat hasn’t been anything special yet (86 wRC+ in 58 PA), but he has been outstanding in the field. He gobbles up everything hit his way and seems to really excel at going to his right for backhanded stops. Drew has been with the team for only five games, and while he hasn’t done much with the bat either (64 wRC+ in 18 PA), he’s looked pretty comfortable at second. We haven’t gotten much of a look at him, of course, but Roberts was bobbling routine plays towards the end of his time with the Yankees. Drew hasn’t done that.

With some help from the indispensable Baseball Savant, here is a quick and dirty look at how the Yankees have fared at turning ground balls into outs this season. Real basic stuff, how many grounders are being converted into outs with no adjustment for hit quality or hit location or anything like that. Obvious sample size caveats apply:

Total Grounders BABIP Grounders Per Error
Before Headley Trade 1,164 .255 28.4
Since Headley Trade 198 .227 66.0
Since Drew Trade 67 .194 67.0

The AL average is a .250 BABIP on ground balls this season, so the Yankees were just a touch worse than that before acquiring Headley. Even with all the shifts and whatnot, they were still a bit below-average because of the general lack of range and sure-handedness they had around the infield. It felt a lot worse, to be honest.

Since acquiring Headley though, that has dropped to a .227 BABIP, much better than the league average. The infield has also cut their rate of making an error — errors aren’t the best way to measure defense, but I’m mentioning them because the Yankees did seem to have a knack for getting to the ball and failing to make the play for much of the year — basically in half. That isn’t all because of Headley, but he is a big part of it. Solarte was sneaky bad in the field and Kelly Johnson never looked comfortable at the hot corner (or first base, for that matter).

The infield defense has improved even more since Drew arrived, though it has been less than a week, so who really knows. The numbers do match up with the eye test though, and that’s always cool. You don’t need to be a trained scout to see how improved defensively the infield has been the last few weeks. Headley is a tremendous upgrade over what the Yankees had at the hot corner for most of the year. Drew looks comfortable at second and has been better than Roberts.

Going from below-average defenders to above-average defenders at two of the four infield spots is a big, big deal. The Yankees had a weirdly built roster earlier in the season in that their best defensive players (Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury) were marginalized by a pitching staff that focused on getting ground balls to avoid cheap homers at Yankee Stadium. Thanks to the Headley and Drew additions, the Yankees now have an infield defense better suited for the strength of the pitching staff, and their impact in the field has been obvious.

Categories : Defense
  • acx

    I’ll be honest. I was against signing Drew so a number of reasons last offseason, but he seems to be fitting in, and hasn’t once complained about having to play a position he never played. He will be an interesting free agent as to whether we bring him in now that there is no draft pick attached. I want Tulowitski, but that is very expensive in dollars and prospects and he is hurt a lot!

    My guess is they target Drew, then possibly Hanley (though he will cost a team also).

  • acx

    Jon Heyman ?@JonHeymanCBS 8m
    before acquiring stephen drew to replace brian roberts, yanks checked into dustin ackley for 2b. talks never got serious tho
    ___

    About a week late to the party Jon…..

    • TWTR

      He was wrong about Eppler getting the Padres job too. He’s definitely slipping.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

    Arod issue aside, the Yankees would be very wise to seriously consider retaining Headley next year as their starting 3B. As Mike as mentioned in the past, the Adrian Beltre pillow contract seems to be a realistic option.

    • blake

      yes please.

    • acx

      I agree. Tell Mr. Rodriguez his role on this team for the next three years is a combo of DH/3B/1B. With Tex missing so much time, Alex would fit in as an alternative at first base. There is no way he can play everyday at 3B and Beltran will need DH time over the next two years (assuming he can ever play RF again).

      If it’s me, I do this:

      4/68 for Shields (realistically it may take that)
      3/33 for Drew (SS)
      3/45 for Headley (3B)
      5/55 for Robertson (i hope the years outweigh the AAV)

      I dont know if that gets any of those deals done, but thats that i realistically plan to offer.

      I tell A-Rod he will be splitting DH (50%) and backing up 1b and 3b.

      Prado’s contract is a rough one, but I guess you keep him as a super utility player (Ichiro will be off the books).

      Kuroda and his 15M are off the books

      I try to unload Brendan Ryan and his 2.5M.

      I hope the rotation of CC/Tanaka/Shields/Pineda/Phelps/Greene/Severino/Banuelos/Whitley/Mitchell can cover the rotation, and slide Nova back in when he returns next summer.

      I bring up Lindgren and maybe even one of the other lefties for the pen. Hell, maybe I deal Kelley (i dont know how much he is making).

      It can be that the only pen arm making more than $1M is Robertson.

      • acx

        Forgot about McCarthy. If there is room, bring him back too.

        I understand this brings us to well over $200M, but it’s time to remember this is the Yankees, and they can afford it.

        • TWTR

          If they can commit $22m to Prado through ’16, there is no excuse for not re-signing Drew, Headley, and adding a big starter.

        • blake

          probably close to 250 million in reality…..it’s fine with me….I’m not sure it’ll be fine with Hal.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Kind of has to be. You almost have to include CC and Alex in a separate “yeah, we know” budget line.

            • acx

              I think whether they add a BIG starter will depend on the rest of Tanaka’s season….

              If he doesn’t end up having TJS, I think they can get by with medium starters.

              After CC, i think they are gunshy about another big pitching contract….

              I can see them putting that money to McCarthy and maybe Dan Haren or something, and improving the offense with Drew and Headley.

            • blake

              you’d think….but remember they actually cut payroll this year to the lowest point since I think 2006. Maybe I’m wrong but I really don’t see Hal allowed a back to back spending spree….we’ll see. I think a lot depends on what happens with Tanaka…..if he needs surgery then there is really no way they can sell the 2015 rotation to the fanbase.

              • acx

                Agreed. But if Tanaka stays healthy, I see them resigning McCarthy to a shorter and cheaper contract, maybe getting Haren on a 1 year vet deal, and keeping drew and headley. I dont think drew and headley qualify as a ‘spending spree’.

                • TWTR

                  They each currently make over 10m per season. Do you think they are taking paycuts? I don’t. If not, that’s significant spending.

                  • acx

                    I think McCarthy and Haren are definitely taking a pay cut.

                    McCarthy was really struggling when he was traded.

                    Haren has been less than good this year.

                    Both are on the decline.

                    Both will end up with less.

                    • TWTR

                      No, I was referring to Drew and Headley. Sorry for any confusion.

              • TWTR

                The irony is that not making the playoffs may produce more spending.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                A comeback by Tanaka, but another nail in the CC coffin, would be the other scenario in which I think they dip into the starter’s market.

                Actually, with Kuroda’s probably exit, I think the chances increase further.

                I agree that we haven’t had “back to back spending sprees.” We also have never had to build a post-core identity. For all the prognosticating some want to do on here, I’m going to ignore what seems to be past precedent. I think this franchise continues to spend. I think they’ll be contenders for Lester. I think they’ll be contenders for Scherzer.

                • blake

                  Lestah! I think Scherzer is a very bad contract waiting to happen…..

                  I do think the 2015 payroll is a fluid situation but I just am not sure Hal will let it go up towards the 250 range….everything they have done the last few years is to try to eventually get it down. I guess we may find out how much George Hal actually has in him this winter.

                  • acx

                    I guess I don’t see it having to get to $250M.

                    Take out Jeter, Kuroda, Ichiro, Roberts.

                    Drew is making 10M right now (prorated), not sure what Headley currently makes. Same with Robertson.

                    Adding Alex back to the books basically covers jeter and kuroda, keeping drew for around what he is currently making, leaves the increased for headley and robertson (ichiro and Roberts 8.5) should be able what the increase is on those two.

                    So….. Counting McCarthy at what he is currently making, and assuming he resigns, am i missing something besides possibly one more pitcher?

                    Again assuming it isnt Lester or Scherzer, but rather Shields at 17M or a middle guy for 8-10M, you aren’t really changing much from where they are right now.

                    • blake

                      they are at 168 for 2015 right now according to cots and thats only really for the 10 set salaries on the book. That’s not counting arb cases or the 13 or so million in benefits that also count towards the luxury taxable payroll.

                      Drew, Headley, Lester/Scherzer, and Robertson will cost upwards of 50 million to sign….maybe closer to 60. If you add Mcarthy or another starter it’s even.

                      So from what I can see yea you’d be up close to 250 in taxable payroll to do all that.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    Agreed on Scherzer. Too many years of watching the other Scherzer on the mound.

                    • The Great Gonzo

                      Not in love (or even in like) with the prospect of Scherzer. I agree that he is, as mentioned above, a bad contract waiting to happen. Like, Zito bad.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Wouldn’t go as far as Zito, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he turned back into AJ Burnett, Jr. before this was all said and done.

      • Kiko Jones

        …his role on this team for the next three years is a combo of DH/3B/1B. With Tex missing so much time, Alex would fit in as an alternative at first base. There is no way he can play everyday at 3B and Beltran will need DH time over the next two years…

        Absolutely. That would be great.

  • Mark Teixeddarda

    Cashman has done wonders with these pick ups but it may be too little too late. They are 6 games behind the O’s and there are 4 other teams in the 2nd WC race. Kuroda is a 90 pitch pitcher. McCarthy has been brilliant but the other 3 starters are big question marks.

    They never should have went with Johnson and Roberts for so long. Going into the season they had no plan at 2nd and 3rd. Solarte bailed them out for the first 6 weeks.

    • Kentucky Bomber

      Kuroda is gassed at 80 pitches, much less 90. And we know what happened to him no matter what the pitch count the last 2 years after August 1. Smoke and mirrors got us nowhere last year and it’s looking like more of the same now.

      I personally feel that a lot of what’s being said about A-Rod is very optimistic. This is going to be a 40 year old, having missed a year and a half, having played partial seasons regularly since 2008. He couldn’t catch up to a fastball last year and his lateral movement was shot. I’m betting that he’s going to be a major downside to a 2015 Yankee season that will be pretty bad to begin with. I’d give him a full body MRI on Day 1 of Spring Training, send it to the Mayo Clinic, have them declare both his hips Disaster Areas and 60-day DL him forever. Then collect inusrance money.

  • mind2brain

    The defense would have been better had they not been playing everyone out of position.

    • vicki

      this is a fair point, actually.

  • Bigdan

    There’s no question the defense is significantly improved with the additions of Headley and Drew. You don’t need BABIP data to figure that out. But the open question is, will the new infield additions (plus Prado) improve the Yanks winning percentage? What drives the Yanks winning pct is not infield defense, but rather pitching and hitting. The big drag on the Yanks’ winning pct this year has clearly been the offense. For a perfectly average team record wise, their offense is bottom third and nearly last at home. That’s what needs to be fixed.

    So offensive upgrade is the true measure of the quality of the deadline acquisitions. So far, not so good. But it’s hard to believe that adding three players whose combined OPS was about .675 this year, well below league average, was going to be a real improvement.

    But they sure can play some D!

    • Rickk

      You do understand that the success of the pitching, particular a staff that generates a ton of ground balls, is largely predicated upon the infield defense, right? So, to Mike’s point, the improved defense should also help improve the Yankees winning %.

      • DF

        He doesn’t seem to understand that, no.

  • Farewell Mo

    Loving Headley so far. Reminds me of Scott Brosius in that he plays great defense, can steal a base, pretty good hitter, can drop down a bunt, just solid all around.

    He’s not a superstar but can be a glue player on a good team.

    • Masahiro Dinero

      +1

      I’ve commented many times to my wife/friends that Headley feels like having a Brosius back on the team

    • blake

      agreed…good 2 way player. I think the offense will come as well if he can get fully healthy again.

      • acx

        Beltran is the difference maker right now. He is actually hitting again and has become a real threat in the middle of the lineup. That is HUGE!

        • blake

          Very huge yes….they are a different team when he and Ellsbury hit. Hopefully Jacoby is heating back up

          • acx

            Imagine if Beltran AND McCann are hot at the same time?
            And Tex doesn’t faint?

            • blake

              McCann keeps showing these glimpses of breaking out and then he never really does…..I’m hoping he will bust out down the stretch because that would be really cool.

              • acx

                I am actually not worried about him.
                He has the first year FA issue we see here so often.
                Plus, learning 30 different pitchers (many are rookies), playing first base, etc…

                I think 2015 is going to be a HUGE year for McCann.

                • Scott47

                  Good point about the pitchers. I keep thinking about working with the new starting pitchers and in my head its the original 5. But he is literally learning 30 pitchers. Crazy.

              • The Great Gonzo

                I still expect McCann to have numbers that line up with his career norms.

                Or I am wishfully thinking that is where he’ll be at seasons’ end. Because that means he will have a Posada-esque August/September/October(?)

    • DF

      Absolutely. He’s a really solid player. Hopefully he understands that he’s more a glue player, as you put it, than the superstar he sometimes shows flashes of being, and signs a contract with us that’s commensurate.

      Really want Headley back, but I have this feeling he’s going to want way more money than he’s worth.

  • Masahiro Dinero

    I think getting through this next week is the bellwether moment for this team.

    If they can at least tread water through the TBA pitching day, then I think Pineda gets the call next week, and that’ll be the moment that will be looked back on in September when the team started to put it together.

    D is better
    Offense is coming around
    Bullpen has been stellar

    Just need that 1 dominant pitcher to change the tone

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Really gotta hand it to Cashman for his trades so far.

    Legitimately improved the team for very little in the way of prospect value.

    • acx

      Probably able to get Headley because Cashman talked his defense down so hard, the Padres didn’t even want him anymore.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Also of note… Solarte has an OPS+ of 134.

        • Evan3457

          After 13 games with the Yanks, his OPS+ was higher than that.

  • Bigdan

    Talking about the Yanks budget in terms of $200 or $210MM is really not all that helpful. The real budget is somewhere around $20MM-$30MM because that’s all they have to spend unless Hal seriously increases the budget above historical norms. And it’s actually a lot closer to $20MM or even less when you factor in Hal’s mid-season reserve for next year.

    So every additional expenditure means other options are off the table. That’s why the Prado deal was so significant. Prado’s salary next year amounts to about 1/3 of the real budget.

    With so little money left to spend, and given the state of the Yanks’ proposed starters next year, it’s hard to believe that that’s not where the money is going. At least most of it. And there’s still SS to consider. Headley is nowhere in the picture.

    • acx

      I disagree. I think they will recognize the struggles from the first half, the renewed interest in the team now, and see they have to spend a few extra bucks or risk fans not coming out.

      • Bigdan

        I was thinking earlier today that if you were one of the Yanks’ financial analysts, right about now you would probably be adjusting revenue projections to reflect the strong likelihood that the Yanks will miss the playoffs for the second straight year. I imagine that has a big impact on their internal projections and financial statements.

        I don’t know if that means Hal will spend more or less next year because of that.

        • acx

          It is a good question.
          I don’t know the answer to that.
          What I do know is not to listen to what is said right now about budgets, etc.
          They tried to go at it without filling all spots and it didnt work. They may have to get creative.

          • Bigdan

            Folks think when the Yanks revenue goes down because the team doesn’t make the playoffs, the team’s reaction will be to spend more. Actually last year, the Yanks spent less. But in reality it was about normal because 2013 was the outlier because of the injuries and Tex insurance.

            When revenues go down, that affects cash flow. Cash flow is what provides the funding for future payroll. So it’s quite possible that the Yanks will have to spend less next year BECAUSE they missed the playoffs this year.

            • trr

              At that point Dan, they would start turning into the Mets…

              Disagree that the team would necessarily have to spend less. This team has resources few other teams have. Consider the money made by selling the YES network.
              To be sure, I’m not advocating another spending spree;
              that way we always seem to end up paying past(or soon to be past)their prime stars to long term contracts that come back to haunt us. Like most, I’d love to see a new home-grown core emerge, then jusiciously add F/A’s as needed. Obviously easier to say than do.

              • vicki

                i agree. and would add that any reference to “historical norms” should consider historical spending relative to the rest of baseball.

                worth remembering is the increase in tv money for all pro sports teams (due to video recording technology and the value of advertising during live events).

              • Bigdan

                The Yanks aren’t cutting the payroll to Met levels ($85MM?) but it’s not inconceivable for it to go down $10-15MM or even just remain the same which in a sense is a cut in real dollars. None of us have a clue as to the actually financial condition of the Yanks since it is not a public company that discloses audited financial statements.

                The whole point of this is there’s not a lot of money right now to add players. They made their big long term expenditures last year. It’s more likely than not that they play out the next few years with the players they have. If the payroll remains static next year there’s really only room for one big FA acquisition, most likely in the area of starting pitching.

                • vicki

                  you admit none of us has a clue, but you’re a man obsessed, ahab.

                • trr

                  We don’t know the actually financial condition of the team, but I think it is a fairly safe assumption that it is rock solid, or close to it.

                  As far as not adding payroll, the problem with that scenario is that team performance will worsen as the team ages…and the fan base rages… More to the team’s concern would be lost playoff income, dropping attendance and declining TV ratings.

    • Clay_Bellinger

      I think Headley is surely in that picture. Especially if they can do something like the Beltre bridge deal mentioned above. No way Arod can be counted on to play everyday 3B. You have no idea what next year’s budget is. The total salary was near 230M as of last year. I’d expect it to be in that area again. Especially if they miss the playoffs.

      • Bigdan

        I actually think Hal will spend more next year, close to the $230MM rage. I really have no basis for that. It’s just a hunch. As I pointed out above, you probably can make at least as good a case that he’ll cut payroll because revenue is down.

        But even if he takes the payroll to 220-230 level, Headley is not in the picture. The Yanks have Arod and an expensive backup in Prado. Third base is covered. Lester alone will take the team to $210 and above. Then there’s SS. And Drob will be priority over Headley. And they probably need a pitcher like McCarthy as well. All of this gets you easily to $230MM (don’t forget the reserve) without Headley.

        • Clay_Bellinger

          Certainly no guarantee they land Lester. If they do, that would have a bigger impact than Headley, but it’s a huge if right now.

          If they don’t…

          Say they put Prado at 2B. Re-sign Drew coming off a very down year and put him at SS. Bring back Headley as the primary DH – something like 1/8-9. That pretty much solidifys the infield at a reasonable cost.

          The rotation can potentially be.. Tanaka, CC, McCarthy, Pineda, Phelps. Some big injury related if’s in there too, but all hypothetical. Yeah, we have big Al coming back on the books, but some money comes off too.. DJ, Kuroda, Ichiro… Too early to really figure any of this out and the budget is tought to predict, but it seems reasonable.

          In regards to cutting or increasing the budget, I’d lean towards an increase.. if you believe the juice is worth the squeeze. Having the second highest team salary in the league and not contending and generating full ticket/TV revenue just doesn’t seem like good business if you’re a 10%ish salary increase from fielding a significantly better squad.

          • Bigdan

            I’m not sure Lester is the smart play either. Lots of risk on a 6-7 year deal. The Yanks, with the same money, could sign Drob and McCarthy (who I really like as a YS pitcher) for three years each at much less risk of dead money in the future. And probably save $2-3MM a year to boot.

            But it’s highly unlikely the Yanks will sign someone to be a primary DH. I don’t think they believe in that. That’s why they’ve been trying to get Beltran to throw which seems terribly unwise since his elbow is the problem. For that reason, and given the expensive signing of Prado, I believe the Yanks plan on Arod at 3rd, Beltran in RF, Prado backing up both, playing 2b with Refs and an open DH so that Girardi can play his rotation game that he loves so much.

            Once again, no room or money for Headley, even without Lester. I don’t think Headley is remotely on their minds. What is on their mind is Drob. That will be a tough call. Don’t think they can go big for a pitcher and afford Drob as well.

            • Clay_Bellinger

              I think that you may be assuming a bit much when it comes to what’s on their mind. Neither of us are privy to that info. Also, didn’t you predict that DRob wouldn’t be back yesterday?

              • Bigdan

                I’m leaning to Drob not being back but that’s still a tough call. As I pointed out yesterday, the Yanks appear to have de-valued the bullpen as a financial priority in recent years and seem to be relying more on internal low cost solutions. Thornton is a great example of that.

                If the payroll remains static, the Yanks can’t afford Lester/Scherzer/Shields AND Drob. That’s a certainty. Money is not there.

                So if you were in their shoes, what would you choose?

                • Clay_Bellinger

                  I agree with not spending on relievers. The long-term track record for too many of them is ugly. Many good bullpens are built on depth and less expensive guys. There are very few worth spending on, but DRob may be one of them.

                  I’m not sold on them only being able to afford one of those two options at this point, but I would choose the starter.

            • Clay_Bellinger

              Whoa! Typo on my part up top. Should have read.. Headley as the primary 3B.. not DH! Arod as the primary DH under the scenario I was describing.

              • Bigdan

                I thought you meant that, but the point is the same. I don’t think the Yanks believe in a “designated” DH. Certainly not one making $22MM. Girardi likes keeping DH open to rest his vets. Beltran, Arod, Tex will need DH rest. It irks him to no end he can’t use the DH that way now.

                • Clay_Bellinger

                  We have no idea that it irks Girardi. It’s less than ideal.. sure, but I don’t think it drives him crazy. Neither of us know though, unless you’re friends with someone internal that I don’t know about.

                  They can still rotate other players through even if ARod is the primary DH. He’s not going to play 162 games or likely anything near it. He can play 3B at times. Beltran or Tex and take days at DH when needed. A lot of games to play with. Nothing needs to be set in stone by spring training. Anyway, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here.

  • mind2brain

    It speak volumes about their intentions though when the defense can be improved this much but Jeter is allowed to play SS almost every day.

    Couldn’t they at least push him to DH in the interest of “keeping him fresh”?

    With Ryan playing SS and if Pineda and Tanaka make it all the way back, this team could be championship caliber. They don’t have the offense though to carry Jeter at SS.

    • acx

      Move him to DH?
      Where do you play Beltran then?
      Jeter is not hurting the team at SS.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Yeah. He’s not pushing Beltran to the bench AND giving Ryan more at-bats. That’s a non-starter.

    • acx

      Show me one example of a time when Jeter at SS directly affected the outcome of a game?

    • blake

      you have like 2 more months to watch Derek Jeter play SS…..I say enjoy it….tell your grandkids about it….we can sit here and nit pick about every ball that Ryan or Drew might have gotten to but it’s not going to change anything. 2 more months folks….enjoy it.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Exactly.

      • TWTR

        And btw, his OPS+ is still higher than McCann’s.

    • trr

      This year has always been about Jeter’s swan song; And unless he totally loses it, he will be the team’s starting SS right up to the last day of the season. I mean playoffs. I mean World Series.

  • acx

    Trenton Thunder ?@TrentonThunder 4m
    Greg Bird ties 3-3 it with his second homer of the day and third in the last two games!
    ___

    Possible heir to Tex

    • Bigdan

      Bird is def the heir apparent to Tex. And perhaps the best pure hitting prospect in the system (but Judge gives him a run for the money–love Judge’s walk rate)

      The problem with Bird is the back. Backs suck.

      Not sure his defense would be as good as Tex’s though (nexus to thread topic ;))

    • The Ghost of Eric Duncan

      Lindgren with a three strikeout inning in that game as well. Trenton Thunder have some damn good talent right now.

      • acx

        Sanchez, Cave, Austin, MannyB, Lindgren, Bird, Bichette…..

        Until a week ago, I would rather watch the Thunder than the Yankees.

        • acx

          And of course Severino.
          Assume Judge will be there shortly too.

  • acx

    Yankeesource ?@YankeeSource 3m
    Jacob Lindgren strikes out the side. 1 IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K.
    ____

    He has already conquered AA.

    Promote him again! Get him into AAA and up here ASAP.

  • wanzies222

    acx…

    Great minds…lol.

    Did you watch?

    Steve

    • acx

      Nah i’m working and following twitter and commenting here.
      Multi-tasking :)

      • wanzies222

        I watched it on MiLB.tv…

        Slider hasn’t changed… still nasty.

        Set up by his 91-93 FB that runs in to LH.

        Tough combination.

        Steve

  • wanzies222

    Jacob Lindgren strikes out the side. 1 IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      And this is AA now.

      Holy shitballs.

      • acx

        But he did give up a hit.
        What a bust!

        • wanzies222

          A little flare to RCF….happens.

          • acx

            :)

    • trr

      Love it!

  • acx

    Not sure his defense would be as good as Tex’s though (nexus to thread topic ;))

    ___

    Hard to find many as good in the field as Tex.

    Don’t think anyone will hold that against Bird.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Good to see the improved defense passing both the eye and BABIP test. My gut feeling is that we’ll also feel the same way offensively after a couple of weeks.

    Slightly concerned about Headley offensively but, if we’re really going to trot out the corpse of Alex Rodriguez out there next year (and nothing would surprise me in either direction, at this point), pillow-contract Headley will be a wonderful thing to have around.

    • Jersey Joe

      Eh. I feel like Prado has second at the beginning, and once Refsnyder is ready, he’ll shift over to third. ARod would DH vs. lefties putting Beltran into RF, and ARod would also sub Teixeira a couple times at 1st. Really hope that ARod isn’t present in any capacity larger than this.

  • CountryClub

    Jon Heyman @JonHeymanCBS · 22h
    chase headley never saw himself as a new york kind of guy, but word is he’s told people around yankees he loves it there.

    • MTU

      Maybe he got tired of playing for a loser.

      • TWTR

        Like any impending free agent, why preclude the team with the deepest pockets? And he probably measn it, which makes it a complete no brainer.

        • CountryClub

          The question will be: how much do you pay him? Some of us think his bat will come back around. But what if his back has permanently sapped him of his power?

          How much is a good defense, no power 3B worth if he’s hitting .250?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            *plugs into machine*

            About 1/10.

          • acx

            try somewhere between 3/30 and 3/45 and if he doesn’t take it, just make Prado the 3B.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Too high. Not the “pillow” type deal we were discussing.

              Still coming off two down seasons, with health questions.

              If he can prove he’s healthy and increase his production, there’s no reason he should lock himself into a three-year deal.

              Right now, I wouldn’t go three on him either. Show me what you’ve got for a little longer than this cameo, then we’ll talk.

  • Hankflorida

    Next year an infield of Text, Prado, Drew and Headly with McCaan catching and an A-Rod who still would have something in the Tank at DH may be just what the doctor ordered if we have Beltran in right and Gardner in center with another corner outfielder who could hit lose to thirty home runs; as I said before, Ellsbury is being paid Rickey Henderson numbers and home runs below twenty and RBI’s way below one hundred will not cut it once you let loose a HOF player with power numbers at second.

    • Clay_Bellinger

      So you want to deal Ellsbury? Not happening. Not a chance.

      • Hankflorida

        You are right as they will never deal Ellsbury, but you cannot tell me that based on Granderson and Johnny Damon coming to the Stadium and increasing their power numbers, Cashman did not think that he would get the 2011 Ellsbury when he paid him Rickey Henderson numbers.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          He could still get that.

          But:

          1. I really doubt he will ever get that.
          2. I doubt he expects it.

          • Clay_Bellinger

            Exactly.

  • Delbert Grady

    I’d keep Headley, Drew and McCarthy without a doubt. They all seem to be better than the replacement level (or worse) junk we’ve been putting out there. I also like there being some continuity if this team makes a solid run going forward.

    Next year we should also be adding Andrew Bailey to the pen if he’s healthy from surgery as I think that was a 2 year deal with year 1 being rehab and year 2 being healthy.

    Headley is a marvel in the field and gives us a better 1b option whenever Tex gets his latest malady. With him and Prado on the team, Prado can cover 3b with Headley at 1b in that scenario.

    Give Drew SS with Ryan backing up. Give Refsnyder 2b and bat him 9th.

    As for Arod, I still don’t think he’s going to be on this team next year, but if he is, he should be given a 1b mitt. I actually think he’d outhit Tex there and embrace it.

    • acx

      I have been saying for a while that they should prepare alex to he a DH/3b/1b.

      I agree he may actually be happy to play 1b.

      • acx

        also, with Refsnyder a possibility, and Prado making 11M, i’d try to get rid of Ryan. If Refs doesnt work out, we will always have Wheeler, Pirela etc to fill the spot if necessary.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’d rather have Ryan at the extra cost as insurance over either Wheeler or Pirela.

        • Delbert Grady

          I’m not bothered by Ryan. I think he’d make a nice complement to Drew, He seems to hit LHP well.

          • acx

            I am not bothered either, but if you can save 2.5M to use elsewhere, why not?

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Everything I’ve read points to Pirela, at best, being an offense-first UTL. Not sure if that’s the kind of player I’m interested in.

              Wheeler’s a dime a dozen. Seems like a nice guy, though.

            • Jersey Joe

              Ryan is a pretty important piece, especially in a platoon with Drew. I don’t think 2.5 M is too much for Ryan.

              • acx

                The point is the Yankees are looking to save money wherever possible. Ryan is not a necessity. He is basically Thornton.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  That first sentence isn’t true. We have no proof to back up such an absolute statement like that.

      • Delbert Grady

        Plus with Alex talking to runners at 1b, we’re sure to get a lot of pickoffs or slow footed runners trying to turn singles into doubles.

        In all seriousness, if he’s a Yankee, it’d be a good spot for him with those hips. He probably can play as competent (or more) than Miguel Cabrera over there.

        I’d love for us to have an actual bat there to push the glass horse at 1b. I think he could do it. I’m just not sure he doesn’t push for medical retirement with all his $$$ still coming to him or a release or something.

        • Scott47

          Call me crazy but work with me here. I read today Alex has gone with a different lawyer to handle his reintegration back into the majors. This new lawyer is no longer a scorched earth policy, but a kindler gentler approach. Seems that A-Rod wants to work with baseball following his playing career. Alex is also a known “look at me, notice me guy.” Because of those factors, I’m predicting a good season out of A-Rod next year.

          I believe he will come into ST ready to get back at it. He’ll have his body ready (hopefully minus the PEDs). It will be his timing he’ll have to get back. I think he will have to accept being a DH/ backup 1B, with the occassional time at 3B. But I think the bat will play next year. I’m not saying 30 HRs, but 20-25 with a .270 avg.

          • vicki

            he’ll turn forty next summer. maybe quiet, subtle use of some enhancement will be in order.

  • acx

    Greg Bird having a heck of a day. 4-for-4, 2 homers, a double, 3 runs scored. Thunder lead 6-3 in the 8th.
    ____

    Several player on Trenton are going to be pushing for promotions real soon! So happy to see many of our players moving fast through the system for a change.

  • Tar

    If only Cashman showed faith in the youth at the ML level.

    • blake

      they haven’t had many guys worth having faith in recently….hopefully that’s about to change soon.

      • Clay_Bellinger

        +1

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Betances and Warren this year.

      Plenty of faith was shown in Robertson and Gardner.

      There’s not much else to be excited about. I know folks have their Zoilo thing, but I really don’t think he’s anything more than a platoon or fourth outfielder, at best.

      • blake

        He’s Chris Dickerson the next generation….a tweener. They give opportunities to the actual guys that can be big leaguers for the most part

        • Jersey Joe

          Nevertheless, it is very disappointing to see Zolio lose time to Ichiro. Cashman seemed to get over his obsession with veteran presents by cutting Roberts/Johnson/Thornton, but Ichiro is still taking up space in the outfield picture.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            If what Blake and I just repeated as Zoilo’s ceiling happens to be so, why is it disappointing?

            Perhaps he’d have made a decent platoon partner, but I’m not even sure of that.

            There’s no “obsession” here. You saw how this off-season played out just like everyone else did.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          And C-Dick is good for lightning in a bottle every now and then. Not sure that’s Zoilo.

        • Scott47

          Or a Justin Maxwell.

  • blake

    Jim Bowden ?@JimBowden_ESPN 6m
    Cubs claim Jacob Turner on waivers and have the rights #Cubs @Cubs

    now did he get this info from fake Joel Sherman or is this legit?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Legit.

      Nate Schierholz DFA’d. Fell off a cliff this year.

      No, not interested. There was a window in which he made a ton of sense, but that’s over now.

      • mustang

        THIS!!!

  • Jersey Joe

    Really like what Headley and Drew have to offer. Totally agree with Brosius comparisons; would love to have him for next year.

    If Prado keeps up what he’s doing, would we be able to trade him to make room for Refsnyder/Headley? Not sure I’d want Prado to be the primary RF next year. Perhaps we could package Prado + Murphy + additional prospect for a bat in right field?

    • Clay_Bellinger

      “Really like what Headley and Drew have to offer. Totally agree with Brosius comparisons; would love to have him for next year. ”

      I agree with all of this.

      Not so sure about the trade options on Prado though. If they can manage something, great. If not, I don’t mind him as the everyday 2B over Ref.

      • CashmanNinja

        I thought he also seemed like a Brosius type player. He actually has the potential to put up better offensive numbers. Either way…if he gives us 15-20 HR, 80 RBI, .275 AVG and plays solid defense…I’ll take it. They aren’t the best numbers in the world, but he brings more to the table than just offense. Plus he seems to fit in well with this team. I just like having this guy on the team and I hope they sign him for a few more years.

    • Scott47

      I believe Cashman made the Prado trade with an eye on next year. He can play 3B, 2B or RF. I think Cashman got him as insurance for 1) A-Rod not returning (though I think he will) or sucking at the hot corner, and 2) in case Ref isn’t ready to play 2B.

      I think he also got McCarthy knowing Kuroda is not coming back next year (I know McCarthy is not signed for next year, but I think it was an audition and so far so good), Nova will be out until June at the earlies, CC and Tanaka are big questions marks.

      • CashmanNinja

        I think they’re going to baby Nova until he’s completely healthy. The Yanks don’t have the best track record when it comes to guys dealing with TJS and I don’t think they’ll push the envelope with Nova. With that being said…they definitely bought low on McCarthy and he is passing his audition with flying colors at this point. I would gladly have Cash offer him a deal around 2/$20 mil.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Chase is a vacuum. Screw it, sign him long-term. Even league average offense at 3B with his glove is worthwhile.

  • dkidd

    give headley the “beltre pillow”

    the team wants nothing to do with a-rod, i’ll be shocked if he plays another game in pinstripes

    • TWTR

      Unless they identify a breach cf contract and get a quick resolution in the courts, I will be shocked if he doesn’t.

    • Kiko Jones

      So, do you think they’ll buy him out? Release/DFA him and eat that contract? Or make a deal with the Marlins in which they assume a huge chunk of his salary?

      I think A-Rod will be in the Bronx next season, at DH/3B/1B, as someone suggested above. We’ll see…

      • dkidd

        no idea what they’ll do, but the relationship is hopelessly broken and the team values image/make-up/clubhouse calm

      • dkidd

        and there’s the looming second biogenesis list, which may support the narrative that a-rod turns impressionable young teammates into PED users

        • acx

          It’s possible, but there is also the $$$ aspect. A-Rod draws. Like him or hate him, people come to watch him.

          • dkidd

            all true
            nothing to base my prediction on beyond a feeling that yankees management legitimately hates a-rod and will do anything to make him go away

            • acx

              I’d be on board with the ‘convince the Marlins he can draw for them, eat 75% of his salary and end this relationship’ idea.

              • Kiko Jones

                I don’t think the Marlins need convincing. But will the Yankees pay 75% of A-Rod’s salary so he can play elsewhere? Who knows?

            • TWTR

              A check for $60m would do it. I will believe it when I see it.

              • acx

                it won’t happen, just saying i’d be on board..

                • dkidd

                  there’s also the scenario of letting him play 2 weeks in april to show miami he still has something left and then doing what you suggested above

                • TWTR

                  Here’s a thought: Maybe Tex retires? His body is breaking down almost as fast as an octogenarian’s.

                  Nah, won’t happen.

                  • acx

                    Tex will do nothing for the benefit of the team.
                    He won’t bunt to beat the shift
                    He won’t try to go the other way
                    He wouldnt do what Victorino did last year and just bat righty so he could stay in the lineup
                    By his own admission he is too old to play through pain. Didn’t realize 34 was old when you have Jeter at 40 playing through everything short of a broken ankle.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Oh, come on now.

  • Kiko Jones

    Cashman is a damn ninja when it comes to making valuable scrapheap-type deals that pan out for very little. But the disarray of the farm system has been on his watch and somebody has to answer for that.

    • TWTR

      Well, apparently no one of consequence does have to answer for it.

      But they are at a crossroads again. The system is in a lot better shape than it has been since the Hughes/Joba/IPK/AJack/Montero days.

      We have no choice but to hope that they will finally have the ability to finish off the development of big prospects, and then have the patience necessary to integrate a couple on to the ML roster every season over the next few seasons.

    • CashmanNinja

      They seem to be slowly but surely righting that ship. They do have a lot of talent, but most of it is at the lower levels. And even then this is still a lot more talent than I can recall seeing in the last few years. They’re aware that they haven’t developed as much talent in recent years and have taken steps to fix that. That’s all you can really ask for right now, though. It’s much better than doing the same thing they’ve been doing, at least now there’s a chance for them to start really producing future MLBers…although it’ll still take some time. Baby steps.

  • acx

    Hopefully none of our guys are on the second Biogenesis list, though it would be nice to know now and not after the offseason when we cannot adjust accordingly.

    Watch them try to re-suspend A-Rod for another 211 games :)

    • Kiko Jones

      “Watch them try to re-suspend A-Rod for another 211 games :)”

      Ha!

      You know, there is that matter of A-Rod getting a PED dispensation from MLB which Selig says he knew nothing about. (Oh, sure.)

    • Kiko Jones

      The entire Yankees roster could be on the list and I’d be OK with it, as long as Big Sloppy is on there, too. (Yes, I’m exaggerating. But not by much.)

    • Farewell Mo

      It’s pretty funny how some people tried to defend Arod often citing a lack of evidence and/or inappropriately obtained evidence and now Bosch and Arod’s own cousin are carted off to jail by the DEA

  • GregD

    ARod will be back next year….they will not eat $60M

    • mustang

      agree

    • Clay_Bellinger

      Yah.. we know.

  • RayVT

    I think Arod plays next year. I think Prado will be at 2B & the Yanks resign Headley. I also think the Yanks trade Ellsbury for a SP. (Hamels???)

  • mustang

    Cubs Claim Jacob Turner Off Revocable Waivers

    I hate the Cubs.

    • acx

      Theo is in a position to pick up whatever he wants, short of getting majorly outbid.

      • mustang

        Yep, I was kidding it makes perfect sense for them what I don’t get is how the Rockies passed on a young starting pitcher with the propensity for generating grounders. I guess that’s why they suck.

  • tomingeorgia

    Hello, old friends, and I’ve been out of touch, but I’ve still been watching this Yankee team. If the baling wire, duct tape and WD40 hold up, we have a chance to stay in this thing. Let’s win tonight!

  • Shame Spencer

    Well, I’m pretty glad I registered here a little while ago….

    Drew wouldn’t be a bad guy to retain. Same for Headley. I wonder if we might see a four man platoon type deal between Headley, Prado, Tex and Alex at the INF corners (with Prado possibly playing a fair bit of 2B).

    Of course, it all depends on the cost for Headley, Drew, and (if they wanna do some forward thinking) an extension on McCarthy.

    • Shame Spencer

      Bleck.. I just realized my last point about McCarthy doesn’t really fit with the rest of my post. Sorry folks. It’s been a long hump day.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Careful, you might wake NYPLATOONS, a not-so-favorite troll around here.

      I could so see them running with Gardner/Ells/Prado in the OF next year and wondering where the home runs are going to come from again. Not sure if running with that complicated four-man matrix in the infield would be their thing. Would certainly help limit Tex’s and Alex’s at-bats, though.

      • Shame Spencer

        I really think they need a strong slugger for RF next year and Prado just isn’t that guy. He’s a great INF addition and I love that he can play all over the field if we need him to, but he doesn’t project well as a RF bat. Now…. if they had Beltre at 3B that might mitigate Prado in the OF.

        All of the above is prefaced on my assumption that Gardner won’t hit 25 HRs next year of course lol. I mean.. this guy is probably having a career year. If I didn’t love how the sun shines off of his dome so much I’d be suggesting we sell high.

    • TWTR

      That’s probably a $65+ million corner INF platoon and none of them are at their peak production phase.

      I don’t want Refsynder being blocked by Prado at 2B.

      • Shame Spencer

        Yeah I know, the cost is ridiculous. But Refs won’t be in the picture in ST, you can bank on it. This team is terribly slow at calling guys up. I’d think maybe the second half of next year.

        But if they don’t want Refs blocked that’s not a problem. Don’t keep Headley, go with Prado/Arod at 3B with Tex/Arod at 1B.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Not sure I agree on Refsnyder.

          I don’t think it’s his job to lose, but he’s going to get a looooong look. His ticket to Scranton isn’t an automatic punch.

        • TWTR

          The reason I didn’t want Prado is because of his contract and lack of power on a team that really needs power. I would rather give Headley that money.

          I guess there can always be a reason for the Yankees to delay integrating young layers on to the roster, but I hope that Prado isn’t the reason.

  • acx

    You know, there is that matter of A-Rod getting a PED dispensation from MLB which Selig says he knew nothing about. (Oh, sure.)

    ___

    Selig is such an a-hole and a fraud. He is no better than A-Rod in my opinion.

    Speaking of Ortiz and hopefully being on the list, i think we know by know baseball will do everything in their power to make sure Ortiz skates on any accusation. They will sit next to him and defend him while he blames GNC and plays the victim.

    • Kiko Jones

      After the way Selig elevated Ortiz in the post-season last year, I believe you are absolutely right.

  • Game 3

    I think Cashman has made some great, small moves. Team looks much better.

  • pete22

    Bit of a small sample there in the post trade numbers.

    I am a but surprised the BABIP was a low as it was. I seem to remember it being much higher earlier in the year and that a lot of balls seemed to be beating the shift. Maybe the shifting and IF defense has improved even pre-trade.

    There is no doubt that the IF defense right now looks pretty good. Jeter might be a weak link but he is sure handed and comes in well on balls, and is good at starting DP’s.

    Offense is still this teams biggest problem for now. Would love to see a hot streak where 4-5 guys get hot at the same time and lift up everyone else. That will be when this team can go on a run and win 10 of 12 or something.

  • Pete22

    So now were on Discus. I will need to keep a super computer to track all my usernames and passwords soon. LOL

  • Richmaur

    We’re all the other posts deleted?

    • Mister D

      Yeah, I’m feeling a little lost now. And I feel like I’ve appropriated Mister D’s name.

  • Guest

    Hmmm!