Wednesday Night Open Thread

We let the cat out of the bag on Twitter last night, but it’s time for the formal announcement on the site. We have (finally) completed our search for new writers. We’ve added two new members to the RAB team:

Thank you again to everyone who applied. There were a ton of quality submissions. Seriously. Whittling the list down was very difficult. And also thanks for your patience. It took us a good month to finalize things. Domenic and Steven will begin posting soon. Be sure to welcome them aboard.

Now that the official business is out of the way, this is tonight’s open thread. The Rangers, Knicks, and Nets are all playing, plus there’s a slew of college hoops games on as well. Talk about that stuff here.

Weekend Open Thread

Some news: we’re looking for a comment moderator and possibly a new writer(s). And yes, we will pay. You’re not going to get rich — at least not until I get rich! — but you won’t write for free either. If you’re interested, send writing samples (game recaps, analytical stuff, whatever) and anything else you think will help your case to riveraveblues (at) gmail (dot) com. Needless to say, knowledge of the Yankees and general baseball rules are a must. Serious inquires only. Thanks.

Here is the open thread for the weekend. Talk about the offseason or whatever else right here. Just no politics or religion please. Thanks.

Commenting Guidelines Reminder

Just wanted to send out a reminder on our commenting policy.  No one wants to censor you, just be adults and kind to each other.

River Ave. Blues is the premier independent Yankee blog. With multiple posts and thousands of visitors a day, River Ave. Blues has developed into a community of knowledgeable and outspoken Yankee fans. As such, we have to lay out some commenting guidelines for those of who wish to contribute to the site.

First and foremost, we urge everyone who reads to comment. We know a lot of regular readers don’t like to comment, but feel free to stop by and say hi anytime. Now, on with the guidelines:

  1. River Ave. Blues now requires registration through Disqus for commenters. You need a valid email address to register. Neither RAB nor Disqus will share or redistribute your email address, and all email addresses are safe from the prying eyes of spammers.
  2. For the most part, everyone reading and commenting on RAB is a Yankee fan. Those who are not Yankee fans choose to enter the fray anyway. When arguing and opining about the Yankees, remember that we are all fans of the same team. To that end, personal attacks and insults will not be tolerated. Any comments that we deem libelous, defamatory, abusive, harassing or threatening will not be tolerated, and we may ban repeat offenders from contributing to the site. The same is true for fans of other teams who are here to insult Yankee fans. Constructive conversation, however, will not be stifled.
  3. Do not post links to or make mention of any unauthorized retransmissions of Major League Baseball game telecasts. These comments will be removed.
  4. While we try to limit profanity on site, we have not censored comments for profanity. We ask that you be judicious in your use of profanity and keep in mind that fans from all walks of life read and contribute to RAB.
  5. Keep comments on topic. Every day during the regular season, we will host a Game Thread. In that thread, feel free to discuss the Yanks, the news of the day, what’s happening in the game, etc. For the rest of the posts, do your best to keep comments related to the topic at hand.
  6. If your comment does not appear or you receive a message saying it is awaiting moderation, email us or simply wait. Those comments marked for moderation usually fail one of our spam tests, and we’ll approve them as soon as possible.
  7. Any comment written out in all capital letters will be deleted. That’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t tell us that you were “first” to post in a thread. We don’t care.
  8. Do not post the same comment in multiple threads. If you post something in one thread before another more appropriate post is published, feel free to repeat it, but do not abuse the privilege. Any repeat comments will be deleted, and if you continue to repost comments you’ll be banned.
  9. Do not post false breaking news. This is a zero tolerance item. You will be banned immediately if you are caught making up information.

We don’t delete comments very often, but we will when we have to. RAB has developed into a successful site because of our readers, and we want to encourage you to contribute. We also want to keep the conversations relevant and respectful. You may disagree with us but do so courteously, constructively and critically.

2017 Draft Order Tracker

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)

Just a heads up: Our 2017 Draft Order Tracker page is now live. I put one of these together each offseason and use it to keep track of any changes to the draft order via free agent compensation. Seems to come in handy. The 2017 Draft Order Tracker is accessible at any time via the Resources tab in the nav bar at the top of the site.

Keep in mind the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement may change the draft order rules. It could change the way qualifying offers work, the way the 12 Competitive Balance Picks work, that sort of thing. In fact, MLB has not yet handed out those Competitive Balance Picks. Usually they’re issued at midseason. Instead, MLB is waiting until January because the new CBA is pending.

Ten players received qualifying offers prior to yesterday’s deadline and they have until next Monday to accept or reject. Neil Walker seems like the only serious candidate to accept, in my opinion. He had a nice season with the Mets, but it ended in late-August due to back surgery. I’m guessing Walker and his agent will spend the next few days gauging the market before decided whether to accept the qualifying offer.

The Yankees currently hold the 17th overall pick in next year’s draft. They could always surrender that to sign one of the qualified free agents, though I don’t think that’ll happen. The Yankees will move up in the first round if the Rockies, White Sox, Pirates, Marlins, Royals, and/or Astros sign a qualified free agent. Not sure how likely that is. Maybe the White Sox or Astros will splurge for someone. We’ll see.

So anyway, the 2017 Draft Order Tracker page is up and running. Check back often for updates.

2016 Draft: Draft Order Tracker page now live

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)

Yesterday was the deadline for free agents to accept or reject the qualifying offer. A record 20 free agents received the QO, and, for the first time ever, a player accepted. Three accepted, in fact. Colby Rasmus, Matt Wieters, and Brett Anderson all took the one-year, $15.8M QO rather than try their luck in free agency. That surprised me.

Now that the QO decision deadline has passed, our 2016 Draft Order Tracker page is live. We’ll use that to keep track of the 2016 draft order as draft picks change hands via free agent compensation — and also via trades next year, since the 12 Competitive Balance Lottery picks can be traded — this offseason. You can access the 2016 Draft Order Tracker at any time via the Resources tab in the nav bar above.

At the moment, the Yankees hold the 22nd overall pick in the first round. Obviously they could forfeit that pick to sign one of the 16 free agents who rejected the QO. The draft order is very much subject to change right now. The Yankees held the 16th pick in the 2015 draft (RHP James Kaprielian) but otherwise have not picked as high as 22nd overall since taking Ian Kennedy with the 21st pick in 2006.

The Yankees did not make any of their three free agents the QO, which was not surprisingly. Chris Capuano, Stephen Drew, and Chris Young were their only free agents. So the Yankees can not gain any 2016 draft picks via free agent compensation this winter. They can only lose draft picks.

After the first round, the Yankees currently hold the 60th (second round) and 98th (third round) overall picks. Again, that is subject to change pending free agency. Anyway, the 2016 Draft Order Tracker page is up. Make sure you check back for updates throughout the offseason.

Mailbag Update: New Email To Submit Questions

Just a heads up, we’ve ditched the “For The Mailbag” form in the sidebar. It was kind of a pain, mostly because it didn’t give any sort of confirmation message, so people were submitting their questions like ten times. Also, apparently the anti-spam question was harder than we realized. More than a few people emailed us asking for help with the answer.

Anyway, we’re going to go back to the ol’ “email us your questions” system. Here’s the email to use: RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com. Easy enough, right? There’s a little widget in the sidebar — below the YES videos and above the Aaron Judge Watch — with the mailbag email address in case you forget it and need it in the future.

As always, the mailbag is posted each Friday morning. I usually write it up Thursday afternoon/evening, so it’s best to get your question in before then if you want it answered that week. We do get a ton of questions each week, so don’t be discouraged if yours doesn’t get answered. There just isn’t enough time to answer ’em all.

Introducing our newest contributors: Katie Sharp and Sung Min Kim

As I mentioned in the open thread last night, we’ve added two new contributors to the site: Katie Sharp (@ktsharp on Twitter) and Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim). Sunny has written some stuff for us before and Katie is coming over from IIATMS. You’ll see their first posts very soon. To help you get to know our newest contributors, Katie and Sunny were nice enough to write up some background info, so consider this their introduction.

Katie Sharp

To be honest, I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love sports – whether it was playing them or watching them. My dad (a Long Island native) made sure that I was a Yankee fan from day one, and although our trips to the Stadium were rare when I was kid, I devoured box scores every morning and tried to watch as many games on TV as I could. After a few years of working in the finance industry following college, I realized that my obsession with sports was just too big for me to remain a desk jockey for the rest of my life. I somehow then landed my dream job at ESPN as a researcher, and spent seven years there working mostly on baseball, college basketball and college football shows.

I got my start in blogging while at ESPN (the Stats & Info blog and the ESPN New York Yankees blog), and it was also there that I developed my love for quirky stats and analysis-focused writing. A year ago, I left ESPN and relocated to Vermont where my husband had gotten a new job, and that’s when I started trying to do this sportswriting/blogging thing on a more permanent basis. I’ve been a long-time and devoted reader of River Ave. Blues and was absolutely thrilled when the guys asked me to come on board as a writer. As for the type of writing you can expect from me, I’ll be doing my Yankeemetrics series recaps on a regular basis (first one on Friday!), and also contributing other stats-based analysis posts that hopefully will make you a smarter Yankee fan.

Sung Min Kim

Hi all! My name is Sung Min Kim. People around here like to call me Sunny and that’s fine. You can also refer me as SMK, which is my unofficial moniker in the student newspaper I work at.

I became a Yankees watcher when I moved to Connecticut back in 2002 – I was 11 years old then. I started to watch baseball consistently starting 2004 (sad, I know) and I’ve been a RAB reader since 2008. The earliest memory of reading the website was around the time when we drafted Gerrit Cole in the ’08 MLB Draft. I balanced reading between this website and LoHud Yankees Blog for my daily dose of the Yankees as a teenager so I’m pretty stoked to join the RAB crew!

I am currently a student at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. I major in broadcast journalism but I work a lot in online/print multiplatform kind of stuff. Last semester I had classes taught by Kevin Blackistone (Around the Horn panelist) and George Solomon (former sports editor for the Washington Post) so that was quite awesome and it definitely intensified my interest in sportswriting. Besides that, I am a staff news photographer and a music blogger for The Diamondback, University of Maryland’s independent student-run newspaper. Recently I won a regional award for breaking news photography (for this article) so that’s one thing in my life I’m proud for. Lastly, I’ve also been a college radio DJ for three years. I have a show every Thursday from 6-7pm at WMUC-FM.

Okay, enough with shameless plugs. Needless to say, I love baseball and I love writing about it. I’m very excited and fortunate to have an opportunity like this. I hope I can deliver some good content for you guys from now on and represent the website to its best. My Twitter handle is @sung_minkim and I tweet a lot about baseball, music and college life stuff. Thanks for reading!