Archive for Other Teams
The Yankees were rained out this afternoon, so I figured I would post the open thread a little earlier than usual. The Braves and Dodgers are on TBS and the Mets are playing the Cubs right now, plus you’ve got NHL (Rangers!) and NBA playoff action going on this afternoon. No sense in waiting when everyone wants to talk about those games now. Later tonight, the ESPN game will feature the Tigers at the Rangers (Fister vs. Holland). That should be fun. Talk about any of that stuff and more right here. Go nuts.
Nine games against the Blue Jays, eight wins. That’s pretty awesome considering how Toronto was crowned the offseason champs while the Yankees were widely picked to finish last following their slews of injury. If they finish off the sweep behind CC Sabathia tomorrow, they will have won their first seven home games from their division rivals to the north. Dominance.
Here is your open thread for the night. MLB Network will air a game later tonight, plus you’ve got NHL and NBA (Knicks!) playoff action. Talk about any of that and more here. Have at it.
Another game against the Rockies means another 8:40pm ET start, so here’s an open thread to hold you over until the regular game thread. The Mets are playing and ESPN is showing Red Sox-Twins, plus you’ve got NHL (Rangers!) and NBA playoff action. Talk about any and all. Enjoy.
Got two small updates on former Yankees. First, Nick Johnson has decided to call it a career according to Sweeny Murti. The 34-year-old retires as a .268/.399/.441 (126 wRC+) hitter with a 15.7% walk rate, though injuries — specifically to his right wrist and hand — derailed his career. More than anything, this gives me a chance to post Johnson’s batting line with Double-A Norwich in 1999: .345/.525/.548 with 123 walks, 88 strikeouts, and 37 hit-by-pitches. Yes, 37 hit-by-pitches.
Second, Freddy Garcia has signed a minor league contract with the Padres according to multiple reports. Garcia, 36, should do quite well in Petco Park given his extreme fly ball ways. Plus it’s a minor league deal, so tough to complain about that. The sweaty one posted a 4.29 ERA and 4.35 FIP in 254 innings with the Yankees over the last two season. Good luck in San Diego, Freddy, see you in the World Series.
According to multiple reports, the Red Sox will sign shortstop Stephen Drew to a one-year contract worth $9.5M. The Yankees had some interest in Drew as a heavily-used utility infielder who would backup Derek Jeter and pre-hip injury Alex Rodriguez, but that was always a long shot. Drew was, by far, the best shortstop on the free agent market and there was little reason for him to accept a reduced role. The Yankees plugged their third base hole with Kevin Youkilis and are still seeking a utility infielder who can be an upgrade over Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez.
Self-promotion: Read my Drew post over at FanGraphs.
Had myself a nice little Saturday and I hope you all did as well. Here’s the nightly open thread to unwind. The Knicks and Nets are both playing, but talk about whatever you like here. Enjoy.
According to multiple reports, the Angels have agreed to sign Josh Hamilton to a five-year contract worth $125M. The Yankees were never really in the hunt for the slugger outside of a report that they were looking into his background, but it’s a major move that changes the AL landscape nonetheless. Gotta figure the Rangers, who are quietly having a nightmare offseason after a disastrous end to the season, will look into Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn to replace some of the lost production.
11:30pm: It’s Shields, Davis, and either a player to be named later or cash for Myers, right-hander Jake Odorizzi, left-hander Mike Montgomery, and infielder Pat Leonard. That one has “Royals GM Dayton Moore is trying to save his job” written all over it.
11:09pm: The exact details are still trickling in, but the Rays and Royals have agreed to a trade that will send both James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City for top prospects Wil Myers and others. Shields will be next to impossible to replace as a proven above-average AL East workhorse, but if anyone can do it, it’s Tampa Bay. Myers is one of the five best prospects in baseball and gives them a big bat to pair with Evan Longoria for the next six years. The 2013 Rays likely got worse, but the 2014+ versions got a lot better.
I don’t want to make too much of one game, but that was a really big win this afternoon. The Yankees were staring a one-game division lead in the face as late as the seventh inning, but they rallied late to hand the Orioles their first one-run loss since June 20th. June 20th! That’s insane. Three of Baltimore’s seven one-run losses on the season have come courtesy of New York. Now the Yankees are guaranteed to go into Tampa with at least a two-game lead on Monday, but I would much rather it be four. Let’s worry about that tomorrow and just enjoy the win.
It’s gorgeous outside (in New York, anyway), so I hope you’re out enjoying the evening and the long holiday weekend. If you have some time to kill, use this as your open thread. The Mets are playing the Marlins (Hefner vs. Johnson) and MLB Network will air a game as well. Who you see depends on where you live. I’m sure there’s a bunch of college football on as well. Talk about whatever you like here.
The trade deadline passed yesterday, and as usual there were a number of deals. While blockbuster trades for the likes of Justin Upton, Cliff Lee, or Matt Garza never happened, there were still a number of impact players that changed teams Contending teams looked to bolster their squads for the stretch run, while the teams who are out of the playoff hunt dumped assets to save salary and strengthen the farm. In this post, I will take a look at the moves made by the Yankees and their competition, both within the division and within the AL, to see how these deals will impact the 2012 playoff picture.
As has become customary for the Yankees this time of year, Brian Cashman and crew did not make any big, splashy moves, citing the excessive costs demanded in prospects and players. However, they did make a few moves to improve the team’s depth, fill holes created by injuries, and set the Yankees up for a deep run in October.
The Ichiro Suzuki acquisition was one where the hype and excitement is probably disproportionate to the expected impact of the player. Nonetheless, it was an important acquisition, giving the Yankees speed and defensive prowess that they have missed because Brett Gardner has missed most of the season, and shows no signs of returning anytime soon. While Ichiro had had a disappointing 2012 so far, anything the Yankees can get from him offensively is gravy. I think he still has something left in the tank, especially against right-handed pitchers, and he can be an effective table-setting presence from the bottom of the order.
The swap of Chad Qualls for Casey McGehee served two purposes. Not only did the trade rid the Yankees of an ineffective bullpen arm to clear a spot for the return of Joba Chamberlain, it also brought in a backup corner infielder with some right-handed pop who can fill in for the injured Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, and give the notably fragile Eric Chavez some extra rest.
While Boston is 7.5 games out and just 2 games over .500, the team is too talented to count out. However, they didn’t do very much at the deadline in terms of either buying or selling. They re-acquired lefty reliever Craig Breslow, but they didn’t make any moves to deal underachieving pitchers Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, as some speculated they might. Rob Bradford of WEEI reported that they did discuss a blockbuster deal with the Rangers that included Josh Beckett, Kelly Shoppach, and Jacoby Ellsbury, but nothing ever emerged from those talks. While the Red Sox did not wave the white flag by selling off any impact players, they didn’t exactly do anything significant to improve their team. This indicates that they think that they will improve naturally as their players get healthy and start playing better, or consider them too worthwhile to give up long-term assets to increase the small likelihood that they make the playoffs (though they are only 3.5 games out in the Wild Card).
Rays and Orioles
The Rays are 6.5 games behind the Yankees in the division and 2.5 games back in the Wild Card standings, and the Orioles are a game ahead of the Rays. Nonetheless, neither team showed a sense of urgency, as they didn’t make any trades that would increase their likelihood of winning the Wild Card or catching the Yankees.
The traditional thorn in the Yankees’ side made one of the biggest moves of the trading period, acquiring RHP Zack Greinke for Baseball America’s #55 prospect Jean Segura and 2 others. Greinke, who was having a strong season with the Brewers, adds another frontline-caliber pitcher to an Angels rotation that already includes Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and Dan Haren. With Greinke in the fold, the Angels’ deep rotation becomes even deeper, and that quartet of starters could prove formidable come playoff time. As a Yankee fan, it’s hard not to be nervous about a Weaver-Greinke-Wilson-Haren rotation come playoff time, especially when paired with Yankee-killer Mark Trumbo and 20 year-old superman Mike Trout.
The Rangers, the current AL West leaders, made two moves to improve their team in expectation of a trip to October. They acquired RHP Ryan Dempster, who was also connected to the Yankees, Dodgers, and Braves in trade rumors. Dempster is currently #2 in the majors in ERA, and while few expect him to finish that well after moving to the AL and Texas’ hitter-friendly park, Dempster should be a big addition to a pitching staff with some injuries and question marks. They also added catcher Geovany Soto, who will improve the Rangers’ defense behind the plate and allow them to use Mike Napoli at DH or 1st base more often. These two moves strengthened an already-formidable team, and while the Rangers still have questions in the rotation due to injuries, adding Dempster will provide some important stability.
The White Sox own a 2.5 game lead in the AL Central and made some additions at or around the deadline. While GM Kenny Williams reportedly tried and failed to acquire Zack Greinke, he did make a cheaper addition to the rotation in the form of Francisco Liriano. While Liriano has had an uneven season and injuries have kept him from fulfilling his incredible potential, he is talented enough that if he figures things out, he could be a major force in the Chicago rotation. Although the deal happened well before the deadline, the Kevin Youkilis acquisition has already paid dividends for Sox. He provides their lineup with some power and patience, and can adequately fill the 3rd base slot that was causing the Sox problems earlier in the year.
As we can see, almost all of the Yankees’ playoff competitors made significant improvements this trade season. The Angels adding Greinke is the move that scares me the most, but Texas’s acquisition of Ryan Dempster also provides a major upgrade to an already-strong team. The Yankees’ divisional competition didn’t do much to improve, which bodes well for their chances to win the division. While the Yankees failed to make any flashy trades, they filled some holes and should be well-positioned to win the AL East and enter the playoffs as a World Series contender. Healthy and effective returns by Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte will be of utmost importance here.