Not counting the two Wild Card Games, there will be at least one winner-take-all game this postseason. The Brewers and Dodgers will play Game Seven of the NLCS later tonight. The loser goes home and the winner moves on to (probably) lose to the Red Sox in the World Series. Anyway, here are some links to check out on this Saturday.
Cashman says rotation will be a “focus point”
To the surprise of no one, Brian Cashman said during a recent radio interview that the starting rotation will be a “focus point” this offseason. “We’re excited about adding to our rotation, it’s going to be a focus point for us. There’s going to be a lot of competition regardless of the available players out there, but we need to continue to reinforce the rotation,” said Cashman on Mike Francesa’s show.
The Yankees begin their annual pro scouting meetings Monday — “We’re still in the infancy stage. We’ll be in a much better place to make recommendations to ownership (after the meetings),” Cashman said — at which point they’ll discuss everything. Strengths, weaknesses, targets, the budget, etc. With Sonny Gray likely a goner, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka are the only returning starters at the moment. Some heavy lifting will have to be done with the rotation this winter.
Yankees shut out in top FSL, Sally League prospect lists
Baseball America’s annual series looking at the top 20 prospects in each minor league has continued this month, and the Yankees were shut out in both the High-A Florida State League (subs. req’d) and Low-A South Athletic League (subs. req’d) lists. Huh. Here’s what Josh Norris (subs. req’d) said about OF Estevan Florial in the FSL chat:
Florial qualified for the league, but it was pretty much a lost year for him. He obviously missed a bit of time with the hamate injury, and he didn’t have a whole lot of time otherwise to show he’d improved significantly in the necessary areas, namely strike-zone discipline. The Yankees are still confident in him based on what they see on their internal metrics, and evaluators said he made some subtle strides defensively, but it was too deep a league to put him on the 20 with the disjointed season he had.
Florial hit .255/.354/.361 (110 wRC+) with 25.7% strikeouts and 13.0% walks in 75 High-A games around the wrist surgery this year. He was, by far, the best prospect on the High-A Tampa roster once RHP Freicer Perez got hurt. As for the Sally League, J.J. Cooper (subs. req’d) took no Yankees questions in the chat, and Low-A Charleston’s best prospect this year was 3B Dermis Garcia. RHP Deivi Garcia didn’t throw enough innings to qualify for the top 20 list at any level this season, so he’s getting lost in the rankings this year. Seems to happen with someone every year.
Yankees will buy back the YES Network
According to Barry Bloom, the Yankees intend to buy back controlling interest in the YES Network. The Yankees sold 80% of the YES Network to 21st Century FOX in separate transactions from 2014-16. The network was valued at $3.8 billion at the time and surely that number has only gone up. Bloom reports the Yankees will get no discount. They have to pay fair market value to regain controlling interest.
The sale of FOX properties to Disney for $71.3 billion will be completed next year, and, as part of the deal, FOX must divest itself of the various regional sports networks included in the transaction. The YES Network is one of them. I assume this means we’ll no longer be able to stream the YES Network on the FOX Sports Go app. That’d be a bummer. Hopefully there will be a replacement in-market streaming option for the Yankees. Aside from that, I don’t think the sale will change much for consumers.
Sabathia nominated for Marvin Miller Man of the Year
Earlier this month the MLB Players Association announced each teams’ nominee for the 2018 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. The award is giving annually to the player “whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement.” CC Sabathia has been selected as the Yankees’ nominee. Here are all 30 nominees.
The Marvin Miller Man of the Year award is selected through a player vote and three finalists will be announced in the coming weeks. Mariano Rivera is the only Yankee to win the award. He won it in 2013. Anthony Rizzo won it last year. Sabathia does a ton in the community — he is also the team’s nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award — and deserves the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award as much as anyone in baseball. Hopefully the big man pulls down an award in recognition of all that he does in the community.