Olney: Yanks expected to listen to offers for Gary Sanchez


According to Buster Olney (subs. req’d), rival executives are expecting the Yankees to listen to offers for catcher prospect Gary Sanchez. The team has reportedly “sworn off” trading top prospects like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino, but Sanchez is a notch below those guys, and it makes sense to make him available with Brian McCann and John Ryan Murphy entrenched at the MLB level.

Sanchez, 22, is hitting .262/.322/.480 (129 wRC+) overall this season with 15 doubles and 13 home runs in 273 plate appearances with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton. That’s after hitting 19 doubles and 13 homers in 477 plate appearances at Trenton last year. It feels like Sanchez has been around forever, but he was 2.5 years younger than the average Eastern League player and is currently 4.9 years younger than the average International League player.

Should the Yankees make Sanchez available — and I expect they will — it would not at all be surprising. As I said in our recent trade chips post, the Yankees value defense behind the plate very highly, and Sanchez simply is not a strong catcher. He’s improving but still below-average. Both Jesus Montero and Peter O’Brien, two other bat first prospects faking it behind the plate, were dealt in recent years when they were hitting at the upper levels.

Sanchez now is a worse prospect than Montero was a few years ago but is a better prospect than O’Brien last year, so I guess that means his trade value is somewhere between Michael Pineda and Martin Prado. Not helpful! More than anything, Sanchez’s trade value will depend on whether other teams believe he can catch. That and how much they believe in the bat. All it takes is one club to think he’s an impact hitter to get a nice return.

DotF: Pirela, Refsnyder, Bird, Sanchez all have big days in Scranton’s win

Two puff piece-y articles to pass along:

  • Maria Guardado wrote about SS Jorge Mateo, who admired Derek Jeter growing up and wears No. 2 in his honor. He’s also quite proud of his 65 stolen bases. “That number means a lot to me,” he said. “I know that I’m going to keep moving forward because that’s what I like to do — getting on base in order to steal bases and score runs for my team. It’s one of the parts of the game that I enjoy most. My goal for this year would be to try to steal as many bases as I possibly can.”
  • Zach Braziller wrote about RHP Alex Robinett, this year’s 32nd round pick who is also a cadet at West Point. His military obligation begins in September and could last as long as five years, though he could apply for a waiver after two to play baseball. “That’s the ultimate goal for this season, to prove to the Yankees I’m a worthy investment,” said Robinett. “They have to know they can utilize me down the road. I think it’s important to show them you have a high ceiling for potential.”

Triple-A Scranton (10-5 win over Indianapolis) fifth straight game with no OF Aaron Judge

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-5, 1 BB, 1 K
  • DH Jose Pirela: 3-6, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K — well, there’s no doubt he can hit minor league pitching, that’s for sure
  • LF Ramon Flores: 2-6, 1 R, 1 RBI
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 K — 3-for-8 (.375) with two doubles since being sent down
  • 1B Greg Bird: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K — 14-for-37 (.378) with three homers in his last nine games
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — 4-for-15 (.267) with a double, a homer, three walks, and two strikeouts in five games since the promotion
  • RF Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB — batted ninth, which is indicative of his season to date
  • RHP Esmil Rogers: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 7/2 GB/FB — 61 of 91 pitches were strikes (67%) … remember when he was pitching high-leverage innings? that feels like a lifetime ago
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GB/FB — 19 of 25 pitches were strikes (76%)

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2016 Draft: MLB announces Competitive Balance Lottery results

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

Earlier today, MLB announced the Competitive Balance Lottery results for the 2016 Draft. In a nutshell, small market and low payroll teams are given extra draft picks each year for the sake of, ahem, competitive balance. Joey Nowak has a good primer if you’re unfamiliar with the system.

Here are the results from Wednesday’s lottery drawing:

2016 Competitive Ballance LotteryThe Yankees are neither a small market nor a low payroll team, so they weren’t eligible for a Competitive Balance Lottery pick. Haven’t been since the system was implemented a few years ago and won’t be anytime soon. At least the Cardinals didn’t get a pick this year. They have the last few drafts.

Anyway, these Competitive Balance Lottery picks can be traded! Just not during the offseason for some reason. (What a silly system.) The picks can be traded right away — the Astros received a 2015 Competitive Balance Lottery pick from the Marlins at the trade deadline last summer in the Jarred Cosart deal, for example — so that’s more ammo for those teams at the trade deadline.

The Reds (Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman), Athletics (Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard), Marlins (Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Martin Prado), and Padres (Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner) are all realistic trade partners for the Yankees prior to the trade deadline, so perhaps the draft picks get involved in a deal somehow. Otherwise this doesn’t have much to do with the Bombers.

DotF: Refsnyder, Flores double in Triple-A loss

Some roster moves, via Chad Jennings: 2B Rob Refsnyder reported to Triple-A Scranton, so RHP Danny Burawa was demoted to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot. Ouch. Also, RHP Eric Ruth was returned to Trenton following yesterday’s spot start and RHP Johnny Barbato has been promoted to Triple-A.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Indianapolis, walk-off style)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B
  • RF Jose Pirela: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB — went 13-for-25 (.520) during his little six-game hit streak
  • LF Ramon Flores: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 E (both fielding) — first two errors of the season
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K — back with a vengeance
  • DH Greg Bird: 2-3, 1 BB
  • RHP Kyle Davies: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 6/2 GB/FB — 56 of 96 pitches were strikes (58%)
  • RHP Chris Martin: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 12 of 21 pitches were strikes (57%) … ten straight scoreless inning since the six-run, 1.2-inning disaster last month
  • RHP Nick Goody: 1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 18 of 30 pitches were strikes (60%)

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Cashman confirms Vicente Campos could be added to 40-man roster after the season


According to Joel Sherman, Brian Cashman confirmed right-hander Vicente Campos could again be added to the 40-man roster after the season as long as he holds up physically. Campos had Tommy John surgery last spring. He has been pitching in minor league games for a few weeks now.

Campos, 22, was the other player the Yankees acquired in the Michael PinedaJesus Montero trade, back when he used to go by Jose Campos. He had a 3.55 ERA (3.23 FIP) with a 22.3% strikeout rate and a 5.2% walk rate in 111.2 innings with Low-A Charleston from 2012-13 before blowing out his elbow last year. Campos missed time in 2012 with elbow problems as well.

So far this season Campos has a 6.04 ERA (2.85 FIP) with 25 strikeouts and five walks in 25.1 inning split between High-A Tampa and the Rookie Gulf Cost League. He’s had his ups (nine strikeouts in five scoreless innings on June 27th) and downs (eight runs in 1.2 innings on July 8th), which is not uncommon after elbow reconstruction. It’s also his first stint at High-A.

Campos was a highly touted prospect back in the day — I had him as the team’s fifth best prospect prior to the 2012 season — thanks to his mid-90s fastball, good command, and promising secondary stuff. Obviously he’s fallen off the map since then, though Cashman says Campos is sitting in the low-90s now and touching the mid-90s. All the lost development time (only 137 innings from 2012-15) could mean his future lies in the bullpen.

The Yankees added Campos to the 40-man roster in November 2013 to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. They non-tendered him last offseason to get him off the 40-man roster then re-signed him to a minor league deal. Campos has two minor league options left (by my unofficial count) and can become a minor league free agent after the season if he’s not added to the 40-man.

I’m not sure whether using a 40-man spot on a potential reliever yet to pitch above High-A is a smart move, but it might be the only way the Yankees can keep Campos in the organization. Another club might be willing to give him a 40-man roster spot should he become a free agent.

DotF: Mateo steals three more bases in doubleheader

Got a bunch of updates to pass along:

  • Chad Jennings has a whole bunch of minor league notes to check out. Most importantly, Brian Cashman confirmed OF Aaron Judge is day-to-day with “some minor stuff,” so he’s been out the last three days but it’s not a big deal. Also Jennings hears LHP Ian Clarkin is not expected to have surgery. That’s … good?
  • Other stuff from Jennings: OF Mason Williams (shoulder) has resumed playing catch, OF Slade Heathcott (quad) is close to playing in minor league rehab games, and LHP Jacob Lindgren (elbow) is rehabbing but has yet to begin a throwing program. RHP James Kaprielian is working out in Tampa, but Cashman doesn’t know when he’ll make his pro debut. That’s up to farm system head honcho Gary Denbo.
  • IF Nick Noonan was released from Triple-A Scranton, reports Brendan Kuty. He hit .262/.308/.328 (83 wRC+) in 67 games before landing on the DL. This pretty much confirms IF Cole Figueroa will be the starting shortstop the rest of the season.
  • And finally, 1B Kane Sweeney was named the Appalachian League Offensive Player of the Week. This year’s 29th rounder came into the day hitting .273/.373/.568 (158 wRC+) with three homers in 14 pro games.

Know what I haven’t done this season? Updated the standings. So let’s do that now.

Triple-A Scranton (5-0 loss to Indianapolis) they’re 51-46 and a half-game back in the division

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 K
  • LF Jose Pirela: 2-4 — 13-for-25 (.520) in his last six games
  • 1B Greg Bird: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 2-3, 1 2B
  • RHP Eric Ruth: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 8/6 GB/FB, 1 E (throwing) — 58 of 88 pitches were strikes (66%) … his strong season at Double-A was rewarded with a Triple-A spot start in place of RHP Luis Severino, who is away from the team because his wife is having a baby

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DotF: Bird leads the way with four hits in Scranton’s win

RHP Luis Severino has been placed on the Triple-A temporarily inactive list. Joe Girardi told Andrew Marchand that Severino’s wife is having a baby, so congrats to them.

Triple-A Scranton (7-1 win over Louisville) no OF Aaron Judge for the second straight game, though I suspect he’s just banged up and not about to be traded

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Jose Pirela: 2-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K — 11-for-21 (.524) in his last five games
  • 1B Greg Bird: 4-5, 2 RBI, 1 K — ties a career high with four hits
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • RF Tyler Austin: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Diego Moreno: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 7/1 GB/FB — 37 of 53 pitches were strikes (70%)
  • RHP Jose Ramirez: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 3/1 GB/FB — 29 of 52 pitches were strikes (56%) … seems like every Triple-A reliever is getting stretched out to three or four innings

[Read more…]