The non-waiver trade deadline is roughly 48 hours away, and based on the way he’s been talking the last few days, it seems likely Brian Cashman will swing another trade or two in an attempt to improve the team. Another starting pitcher feels inevitable, and they’ve been connected to a bunch of right-handed hitting outfielders as well. Those two upgrades are the bare minimum to make a run in the second half, in my opinion.
The Chase Headley trade solidified the infield, at least in the sense that they replaced a collection of bad players at the hot corner with one potentially good one. Headley’s first week in pinstripes has gone very well — 9-for-27 (.333) with two doubles, a homer, and a walk-off single — and hopefully that continues through the end of the season now that he’s out of Petco Park and doesn’t have to be The Man in the lineup. The upgrade on defense has already been noticeable as well.
The Yankees are locked into Derek Jeter at shortstop and Mark Teixeira at first base for a few reasons, and so far they’ve lived with Brian Roberts at second. In fact, I wouldn’t even say they’ve “lived” with him, they seem legitimately happy to have him out there. Roberts has somehow managed to stay healthy and he always puts together a long and quality at-bat, which is not nothing. Given how hacktastic this lineup has become, seeing someone who doesn’t go down on two or three pitches each time out is refreshing.
The problem is that Roberts’ long at-bats have not led to enough production. He is hitting a weak .237/.300/.360 (81 wRC+) in 348 plate appearances this year, including an even weaker .226/.281/.352 (72 wRC+) in 171 plate appearances since June 1st. Roberts was steady in the field earlier this season but has been much worse defensively of late, making three errors in ten games since the All-Star break and bobbling just about everything that isn’t hit right at him. He’s a liability both at the plate and in the field right now.
Remarkably, Roberts have remained pretty healthy this season. He missed a few games with a minor back issue in April but that’s it. His 91 games played are his most since 2009, his last full, healthy season. Given his age and his lengthy injury history, it could be that he is simply wearing down in the second half of the season. That would explain the lack of hitting and reliable fielding. It’s tough to expect a 36-year-old who has averaged 48 games and 202 plate appearances per year over the last four years to be an everyday player across a full season.
Soon after the Headley trade, Brian Cashman told reporters that while he is looking to make big upgrades to the roster at the trade deadline, he is making smaller, incremental upgrades whenever possible. “We have to try to improve, reinforce and upgrade, certainly,” said the GM to Andrew Marchand last week. “We certainly we would love to have some significant upgrades but when you lose four out of five starters, it is hard to re-materialize the same type of abilities with the guys you lost. It is whether you incrementally upgrade.”
Unlike the rotation and right field, the Yankees may be able to make an incremental upgrade at second base without having to make a trade. Second base prospect Rob Refsnyder — who you have all heard about by now — is stashed in Triple-A, hitting .296/.400/.500 (151 wRC+) with seven homers in 44 games and 190 plate appearances with the RailRiders after dominating with Double-A Trenton early in the season. He has cooled down of late but still has a solid .250/.327/.427 (108 wRC+) batting line this month. When a young player hits like that, you have to take notice, especially when he plays a position of need, both short and long-term.
Despite his Triple-A success, Cashman made it clear he doesn’t believe Refsnyder would be enough of an upgrade to justify calling him up and dropping Roberts. “I don’t think he would be significantly upgrading at second base right now … If you did see [Refsnyder], he would be probably more likely an outfielder for us. It’s a super big jump to the big league level,” said Cashman during a radio interview last week. He also pointed out the 40-man roster issue — Refsnyder won’t be Rule 5 Draft eligible for another year and they don’t want to clog up the 40-man roster, though that seems like a lame excuse more than anything. I don’t think a 40-man spot would stand in the way of helping the MLB club.
Now, here’s the thing: I’m not completely sold on the idea of Refsnyder being an upgrade over Roberts either. The defensive question marks at second are real, and Refsnyder struggled immediately after being promoted to both Double-A and Triple-A this year. That’s not unusual, Brett Gardner had the same problem while he was climbing up the minor league leader, but it is something to consider. The whole “how could he be any worse/what’s the harm?” argument is totally silly because Refsnyder could absolutely be worse than Roberts, just like David Adams was worse than Kevin Youkilis and Austin Romine was worse than Chris Stewart. It could always be worse.
At this point though, I think Roberts has forced the team’s hand and given them every reason to try someone new at second base. He isn’t hitting and he hasn’t been reliable in the field. When a player’s only redeeming quality is the ability to foul off pitches and have long at-bats, it’s time to try someone new. Roberts is about to start making some decent bucks through bonuses — he has already banked $350,000 in incentives and is two plate appearances away from another $250,0000 — so there is a financial incentive to make a change as well. The Yankees would pay Refsnyder through the end of the season less than the bonus they’d owe Roberts if he gets those next two plate appearances.
I would like to think being pulled for a pinch-hitter last night was the team’s way of preventing Roberts from triggering that next bonus under the guise of improving their chances to win, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case. The Yankees love their veterans and seem to think Roberts has some very real value to the team, but I don’t see it. Not at this point. He isn’t hitting and he isn’t fielding. When all the GM talks about are incremental upgrades and you’ve got a this sort of second base situation at the MLB and Triple-A levels, I don’t know how they don’t make a move. Refsnyder might not produce when he gets called up. It’s a very real possibility. But we know Roberts isn’t producing. That part isn’t up for debate. If they’re not going to make a change now, when will they?
After taking full batting practice on the field before the game, Mark Teixeira came off the bench as a pinch-hitter last night. That’s a pretty good indication he’s over his mild lat strain and will return to the starting lineup tonight. Here are some more injury updates, courtesy of Bryan Hoch, Chad Jennings, and George King.
- Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) is still in New York and continues to receive treatment. Apparently three weeks out from the platelet-rich plasma injection has some sort of importance as far as knowing whether it’s working. Tanaka received his injection two weeks ago yesterday, so another six days to go. “Nothing’s really going to change until the three-week mark. He’s staying back and doing treatment every day. He feels better and better. You just kind of wait to see where you are after three weeks,” said Joe Girardi.
- Michael Pineda (shoulder) is scheduled to throw 45-50 pitches in three simulated innings down in Tampa today. If that goes well, they’ll continue stretching him out, and eventually he’ll head out on an official minor league rehab assignment. “As long as he feels good and is throwing the ball well, there’d be no reason not to bring him back. It’s the same as Spring Training. You build them up, when they’re ready to go, you send them,” said Girardi.
- Carlos Beltran (elbow) is already throwing from 100-120 feet as part of his throwing program. He has not had any problems or discomfort, and there is a chance he can return to the outfield as early as next week, when the team returns home. Beltran isn’t good defensively, but not being married to the DH spot will give Girardi some more lineup flexibility.
The non-waiver trade deadline is 4pm ET this Thursday, and between now and then there will be a ton of rumors and speculation. Some actual moves too. The Yankees have already swung trades for Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, but Brian Cashman has said he is still seeking another starter and another bat. I don’t know if they’ll get another deal done, but I fully expect plenty of Yankees-related rumors, hence a full week of recap open threads rather than one or two days.
Yesterday we learned the Bombers are “in on everything,” but they do not want to part with their top minor leaguers. Josh Willingham, John Danks, Jake Arrieta, and Chris Denorfia were among the names connected to the club. We’ll keep track of the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here in this post, so make sure you check back throughout the day. All of the timestamps below are ET.
- 12:52pm: Justin Masterson, who the Indians are “very willing” to trade, is not on the Yankees’ radar. Not only is he currently on the disabled list with a knee problem, but he also has a 5.51 ERA (4.08 FIP) and has lost nearly three full miles and hour off his trademark sinker. [Jeff Passan & Sherman]
- 10:35am: The White Sox have had scout Joe Butler trailing Double-A Trenton the last few days. In addition to Danks, the power-hitting Dayan Viciedo is also available. He’d fit as a righty hitting outfielder. [George King]
- 9:30am: The Yankees asked the Cubs about outfielder Justin Ruggiano but were apparently told he isn’t available. The team is said to be seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder and he’d fit the bill. [Jon Heyman]
- The Rays had special assignment scouting Bobby Heck at a recent Double-A Trenton game — special assignment scouts are sent to see specific players, not general coverage — likely doing due diligence in case the they become willing to trade within the division. [Joel Sherman]
- Not a rumor or anything, but check out this Larry Fleisher piece on the process of making a trade. Cashman is quoted extensively. “It seems like the new technique is texting. Some of it’s not as much by phone as it used to be but you just throw out a lot of ideas … I think it’s easier to insult somebody via text than it is to on the phone,” said the GM. Check it out.
The losing streak has suddenly hit three games. That happened quick, no? It would be easier to swallow if the first two losses didn’t come against a direct wildcard competitor and the third against the worst team in baseball. The Yankees came from ahead to lose Monday’s series opener to the Rangers by the score of 4-2.
All With Two Outs
This game started out pretty well for the Yankees. Brett Gardner hit two solo homers off Yu Darvish (more on that in a bit) and David Phelps was cruising for the first four innings, pitching around a two-out single/error combination in the first before retiring ten of the next 12 batters he faced. He was in total control of the game against an abysmal last place team … and then the fifth inning happened. It all came crashing down in the blink of an eye.
Chris Gimenez started that fifth inning off with a single, and he moved to second on Rougned Odor’s ground ball. Phelps got Shin-Soo Choo to fly out for the second out and everything looked to be fine because hey, Elvis Andrus stinks. At least at the plate. Instead, he laced a first pitch single to left to score Gimenez. Fine, whatever. Get the next guy. Nope. Alex Rios singled to center to put men on the corners. Then bam, Adrian Beltre doubles into the corner to score the game-tying run. Phelps walked someone named Jim Adduci (I think that’s him in the photo above) on four pitches to load the bases, then he threw possibly the worst 0-2 pitch in baseball history to J.P. Arencibia, who singled back up the middle to score two runs.
In the span of 14 pitches, Phelps went from having a two-run lead with a man on second with two outs to being down two runs with men at first and second and two outs. Five straight batters reached base with two outs in the inning, and the final two runs scored thanks to that awful 0-2 pitch to Arencibia. It was basically a flat cutter down the middle. A batting practice fastball. Arencibia has zero plate discipline whatsoever and Phelps had three chances to get him to chase something out of the zone. Instead, he grooved a fastball.
All told, Phelps allowed the four runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings of work. He struck out three and threw 66 of his 96 pitches were strikes (68%). That fifth inning ruined everything. Phelps was cruising right along like he had in his last eight starts or so.
Brett Owns Yu
Gardner hit two homers off Darvish! Go back to the game last week and he took him deep three times in the span of four at-bats. What in the world is that about? The first came on a 1-0 fastball in the third inning and the second came on a hanging 2-2 slider in the fifth. That one was a bomb out to center, just to right field side of the grassy knoll. The two blasts gave the Yankees a two-zip lead before Phelps coughed it all up.
Gardner joined Mike Trout and Brandon Moss as the only MLB players to take Darvish deep four times in his career. Both Trout (40) and Moss (26) did it more than twice as many plate appearances (11) as Gardner. I dunno, sometimes a guy throws just your speed and you pick the ball up real well out of hand. Gardner seems to have Darvish down pat. He was a one-man wrecking crew.
Gardner may have done all the damage against the Darvish, but the righty didn’t exactly shut the Yankees down. I mean, he did on the scoreboard, but they had base-runners. They had a runner on second with two outs in both the first (Carlos Beltran struck out) and third (Brian McCann struck out), runners at first and second with two outs in the fourth (Brian Roberts struck out and Ichiro Suzuki grounded out), and runners at second and third in the seventh (McCann struck out). McCann had no chance against Darvish. He was completely lost all night.
That seventh inning rally was their best chance to get back into the game, though the Yankees did put two men on base against lefty Neal Cotts in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Mark Teixeira came off the bench to single with two outs, his first game action in eight days. I guess batting practice went fine before the game. Pinch-hitter Zelous Wheeler popped up to end the threat, however. The Yankees took a big fat 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. I love the guy, but relying on Gardner to hit dingers to generate offense ain’t gonna work.
Jacoby Ellsbury pinch-hit for Zoilo Almonte leading off the ninth inning and for the life of me I can not understand why he didn’t bat instead of Wheeler in the previous inning, with the tying run on base. I know Joe Girardi wanted to get him the day off, but was the half-inning off his feet that important? Ellsbury has hit lefties (128 wRC+) better than righties (98 wRC+) this year, so I hope it wasn’t a platoon thing. I dunno. That was weird.
Gardner and Jeter had six of the team’s eleven hits (three each). They were on base seven times and the only runs scored when Gardner drove himself in. Beltran had two hits and the trio of Texeira, Chase Headley, and Frankie Cervelli had one apiece. Jeter drew the only walk — the Yankees now have a 6.2% walk rate in their last 28 games as a team (over 1,000 plate appearances), which is awful — and stole the only base.
Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton were the only relievers used after Phelps. Kelley got squeezed and walked a guy with two outs in his second inning of work for their only-base-runner. The bullpen gave the offense a chance to get back into the game, which proved to be a fruitless endeavor.
And finally, Jeter first tied and then passed Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time hit list with his first and second hits of the night. The Cap’n is now in sole possession of seventh place on the all-time list with 3,421 career hits. Next up is Honus Wagner at 3,430 hits and that’s probably Jeter’s ceiling. Passing Tris Speaker for fifth place all-time ain’t gonna happen. He’s at 3,514 hits.
Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Head over to MLB.com for the box score and video highlights. You can find some more game stats at FanGraphs and see the updated standings at ESPN. The Orioles were off and the Blue Jays demolished the Red Sox, so the Yankees are now 4.5 games back of the top spot in the AL East and two games back of the second wildcard spot.
It’ll be these same two teams again on Tuesday night. Brandon McCarthy and Nick Martinez will be the pitching matchup. Hopefully the Yankees will hit Martinez now that they’ve seen him once before. Color me skeptical.
- The Yankees have signed Lander University SS Graham Ramos as an undrafted free agent, according to Matt Eddy. The right-handed hitter hit .339/.396/.507 with seven homers in 55 games this spring.
- RHP Bryan Mitchell and OF Jake Cave were Baseball America’s Pitcher of the Day and Hitter of the Day, respectively, for their work yesterday. Pretty cool that Yankees farmhands swept the day.
- Mitchell and RHP Matt Wotherspoon were named the Pitchers of the Week for the Triple-A International League and Short Season NY-Penn League, respectively.
- Update: RHP Ty Hensley has been promoted … somewhere, according to Ian Clarkin’s Twitter feed. Short Season Staten Island or Low-A Charleston are the obvious landing spots. We’ll find out soon enough.
Triple-A Scranton (6-4 win over Pawtucket)
- 2B Jose Pirela: 3-4,2 R — had been in a 7-for-37 (.189) slump
- RF Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B
- DH Kyle Roller: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
- 1B Austin Romine: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI — 13-for-40 (.325) in his last ten games
- C John Ryan Murphy: 1-4, 1 RBI
- RHP Chris Leroux: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 7/2 GB/FB — 52 of 79 pitches were strikes (66%) … so I guess he cleared waivers and accepted the outright assignment after being designated for assignment the other day
- RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB – 14 of 17 pitches were strikes (82%)
In recent years, playing the Rangers seven times in a ten-day span would have really, really sucked. They were varying degrees of dangerous from 2010-13, and playing them that many times in that short a period would have meant a worn out bullpen and a few losses.
Things are different now. The Rangers are terrible, like worst team in baseball terrible, so seeing them on the schedule seven times in a ten-day span was a welcome sight. That doesn’t guarantee wins, of course. Any team can beat any team on any given night, but I’m sure glad the Yankees are playing the 2014 Rangers and not the 2010-13 Rangers so many times in these ten days. Here is the Rangers lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:
- CF Brett Gardner
- SS Derek Jeter
- 1B Brian McCann
- DH Carlos Beltran
- 3B Chase Headley
- C Frankie Cervelli
- 2B Brian Roberts
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- LF Zoilo Almonte
RHP David Phelps
It is oppressively hot in the Dallas area and there are some thunderstorms in the forecast for later tonight. Nothing heavy like last week. There would be a delay, if anything. Not a postponement or shortened game. First pitch is scheduled for 8pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.
Roster Move: Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees called up Zoilo Almonte and designated Jeff Francis for assignment, the team announced. They are back down to a normal seven-man bullpen and a four-man bench.
Injury Updates: Mark Teixeira (lat) feels fine and he will take regular batting practice on the field today. If that goes well, he will return to the lineup tomorrow … Jacoby Ellsbury is fine. Just a routine day off. He’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow.
The crew at MLB.com released the midseason update of their top 100 prospects list late last night. Twins OF Byron Buxton remains in the top spot and is followed by Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras and Astros SS Carlos Correa. The Cubs have three of the top seven prospects in baseball thanks to their high draft picks and recent trade with the Athletics.
Two Yankees farmhands cracked the top 100: RHP Luis Severino is 70th and C Gary Sanchez is 76th. “If Severino continues to fill the strike zone with three quality pitches, he’ll continue to accelerate his timetable,” said the write-up, which also said Sanchez’s bat “would make him a valuable Major Leaguer, even if he had to change positions, but he has star potential as a catcher.” As with all MLB.com lists, the write-ups include scouting reports/grades and video, and it’s all free.
MLB.com also released an updated top 20 prospects list for each team. Severino and Sanchez top the Yankees list (duh), and are followed in order by 3B Eric Jagielo, LHP Luis Severino, and OF Aaron Judge. I’m pretty sure you won’t see Judge ranked that low by any other scouting publication, which is fine. I enjoy MLB.com’s occasionally off the beaten path rankings. Again, scouting reports and everything else are free. · (30) ·
After a successful ten-game homestand to open the second half, the Yankees now head out on the road for a six-game, seven-day road trip against two last place teams. They open a three-game set at Texas tonight. The Yankees won three of four against the Rangers in the Bronx just last week.
What Have They Done Lately?
Texas dropped two of three to the Athletics over the weekend and they’ve lost seven of ten games since the All-Star break. They are 41-64 overall with a -119 run differential, both the worst marks in all of baseball.
As you saw last week, the Rangers currently have a below-average lineup due to injuries. Their overall season averages of 3.99 runs per game and a team 88 wRC+ don’t tell the whole story either. 1B Prince Fielder (neck), 1B Mitch Moreland (ankle), 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff (back), and IF Jurickson Profar (shoulder) are out for the rest of the season. C Geovany Soto (groin) and OF Jake Smolinski (foot) were placed on the disabled list since the last time these two clubs played as well.
Even with all the injuries, manager Ron Washington still has one outstanding hitter in 3B Adrian Beltre (140 wRC+). He’s the guy the Yankees can’t let beat them these next three games. OF Alex Rios (101 wRC+) is a nice supporting piece and OF Shin-Soo Choo (101 wRC+) has been very disappointing during his first year with the Rangers. OF Leonys Martin (89 wRC+) and 2B Rougned Odor (91 wRC+) have been good enough considering their defense.
SS Elvis Andrus (76 wRC+) has taken a big step back offensively these last two years at an age when he should be taking big steps forward. C J.P. Arencibia (28 wRC+) is now at first base and the trio of OF Jim Adduci (96 wRC+), IF Adam Rosales (63 wRC+ in limited time), and OF Daniel Robertson (69 wRC+ in limited time) are helping cover for the injuries. C Chris Gimenez (92 wRC+) and C Robinson Chirinos (75 wRC+) are the catching tandem. Keep Choo and Andrus off base in front of Beltre and everything should be okay.
Monday: RHP David Phelps (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (vs. NYY)
The Yankees lucked out and beat Darvish with the help of Mother Nature last week. The 27-year-old has a 2.92 ERA (2.80 FIP) in 19 starts and 129.1 innings this year with spectacular peripherals: 11.33 K/9 (30.4%), 2.99 BB/9 (8.0 BB%), 0.78 HR/9 (8.1 HR/FB%), and 34.1% ground balls. Yeah, he gives up a lot of fly balls, but he has one of the highest infield pop-up rates in baseball. Not every ball in the air is hit to the warning track, you know. Lefties (.322 wOBA) hit him a lot harder than righties (.245 wOBA) and he’s been much better at home (.253 wOBA) than on the road (.245 wOBA). Darvish throws six different pitches and uses his mid-80s splitter and slow upper-60s curveball the least, just a little more than 9% of the time combined. He throws his low-90s four-seamer, low-90s two-seamer, upper-80s cutter, and upper-70s slider regularly. The Yankees managed to score two runs in 4.1 innings against Darvish before the rain last week.
Tuesday: RHP Brandon McCarthy (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Nick Martinez (vs. NYY)
Martinez, 23, has a 4.73 ERA (5.74 FIP) in 72.1 innings across 12 starts and five relief appearances this year after making the jump from Double-A to help cover for the team’s injuries. He has exactly as many walks as strikeouts (3.98 per nine and 9.9%) and he gives up both a lot of homers (1.49 HR/9 and 9.8 HR/FB%) and a lot of fly balls (32.0%). Lefties pound him (.403 wOBA vs. .336 for RHB) and he’s been much worse at home (.443 wOBA vs. .339 on the road). A low-90s four-seamer is Martinez’a primary fastball, though he will also throw a few low-90s two-seamers and upper-80s cutters per start. His two secondary pitches are a slider and a changeup, both in the mid-80s. Martinez managed to throw 5.1 shutout innings in Yankee Stadium last week, annoyingly.
Wednesday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (vs. NYY)
The Rangers have been hit so hard by injuries this year that the 34-year-old Lewis and his 6.23 ERA (4.13 FIP) have made 18 starts and thrown 95.1 innings. They’ve simply run out of alternatives. Lewis’ strikeout (7.55 K/9 and 17.8 K%), walk (3.02 BB/9 and 7.1 BB%), and homer (1.04 HR/9 and 8.0 HR/FB%) rate are not great but not terrible either. He doesn’t get any grounders (33.2%) and lefties (.426 wOBA) have been less forgiving than righties (.353 wOBA). Home (.426 wOBA) hasn’t been as kind as the road (.364 wOBA) either. At this point of his career, Lewis works with an upper-80s four-seamer and a low-80s slider as his two main pitches. He’ll also throw a few low-to-mid-80s changeups and mid-70s curveballs per start. Lewis held the Yankees to three runs in 6.1 innings last week.
As you might remember, the Rangers traded closer Joakim Soria in the middle of their series with the Yankees last week. RHP Neftali Feliz (5.79 in limited time) has moved back into the ninth inning with RHP Roman Mendez (3.41 FIP), RHP Shawn Tolleson (4.81 FIP), and LHP Neal Cotts (2.76 FIP) handling setup duty. Both Mendez and Tolleson threw an inning yesterday.
The Rangers are currently carrying eight relievers (like the Yankees!), so the rest of Washington’s bullpen includes RHP Nate Adcock (13.14 FIP in very limited time), RHP Scott Baker (4.65 FIP), LHP Ryan Feierabend (2.87 FIP), and RHP Jerome Williams (4.33 FIP). Williams made a spot start over the weekend and won’t be available right away. Feierabend threw multiple inning yesterday. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of the Yankees’ relievers and Lone Star Ball for everything you need to know about the Rangers.
The non-waiver trade deadline is 4pm ET this Thursday, and between now and then there will be a ton of rumors and speculation. Some actual moves too. The Yankees have already swung trades for Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley, but Brian Cashman has said he is still seeking another starter and another bat. I don’t know if they’ll get another deal done, but I fully expect plenty of Yankees-related rumors this week, hence a full week of open threads rather than one or two days.
Over the last few days we’ve heard New York connected to John Danks (link) and Ian Kennedy (link). They do not have interest in Matt Kemp (link), however. The Rockies and White Sox are said to be keeping an eye on Francisco Cervelli (link). Obviously young catching is one of the team’s most tradeable assets. We’ll keep track of the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here in this post, so make sure you check back throughout the day. All of the timestamps below are ET.
- 5:35pm: The Yankees have been connected to outfielder Chris Denorfia, but they are not engaged in talks with the Padres about him. [Sherman]
- 5:11pm: The Red Sox are getting “hit hard” with inquiries about both Jon Lester and John Lackey, including from other AL East clubs. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Yankees called, but it would make sense if they did. [Ken Rosenthal]
- 4:03pm: The Yankees are “in on everything” but they are very reluctant to trade away their best prospects. If true, they won’t be able to make any big upgrades, just smaller, incremental ones. [Joel Sherman]
- 3:05pm: The White Sox have been scouting New York’s minor league catching depth in recent days, furthering speculation of a Danks trade. The Yankees are also focusing on a right-handed platoon partner for Ichiro Suzuki, which doesn’t really make sense given his splits the last few years. [Jayson Stark]
- 12:25pm: The Yankees and Cubs have discussed Jake Arrieta, though it would take a huge offer to pry the right-hander away from Chicago. Arrieta is in the middle of a breakout year following some mechanical and pitch selection adjustments. [George Ofman]
- 11:00am: The Yankees are eyeing Josh Willingham as well as other outfield bats like Alex Rios and Marlon Byrd. They prefer Willingham because he is a pure rental. The Yankees are included in Rios’ six-team no-trade list. Here’s my Scouting The Market post on Willingham. [Jon Heyman & Ken Rosenthal]
- Danks remains a target and is among the most likely players to be moved. There is no evidence they’ve talked with the Padres about Kennedy and they aren’t focused on Cliff Lee because his contract ensures he’ll be available in August. The Yankees do not appear to have interest in Wade Miley, Bartolo Colon, or Edwin Jackson. [Heyman]
- Just in case you got your hopes up after his appearance at Yankee Stadium yesterday, Troy Tulowitzki is not close to being traded to the Yankees. “I’m with my family. I wanted to see (Derek) Jeter play one more time,” he said. Tulo was in the area seeing a specialist about his hip injury. [Nick Groke]
Record Last Week: 4-3 (24 RS, 23 RA)
Season Record: 54-50 (418 RS, 441 RA, 49-55 pythag. record) 4.0 GB in ALE, 1.0 GB of WC
Opponents This Week: @ Rangers (three games, Mon. to Weds.), Thurs. OFF, @ Red Sox (three games, Fri. to Sun.)
Top stories from last week:
- The week started with four games against the last place Rangers. Texas took the series opener but the Yankees rebounded to walk-off with a win the next day. They won a rain-shortened game on Wednesday and won the series finale the following afternoon.
- The Blue Jays came to town for a three-game series next, and the Yankees took the opener thanks to the long ball and their bullpen. The Jays snapped their 17-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium the next day before winning yesterday’s game as well.
- Injury Updates: Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) still feels some discomfort. Michael Pineda (shoulder) has started facing hitters. Mark Teixeira (lat) took swings and grounders yesterday. Joe Girardi hopes he can return to the lineup tomorrow. Carlos Beltran (elbow) has started a new throwing program. Kelly Johnson (groin) was placed on the disabled list.
- The Yankees acquired Chase Headley (and cash!) from the Padres for Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula, addressing their third base problem. They also acquired Chris Capuano from the Rockies.
- With the trade deadline only a few days away, the Yankees have discussed John Danks but do not have interest in Matt Kemp. Both the White Sox and Rockies are keeping an eye on Frankie Cervelli.
- Chris Leroux and Bruce Billings were both on the roster and designated for assignment at various points this week. Capuano stepped right in the rotation.
- Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo held a showcase in Miami and the Yankees were among the teams in attendance.
- Joe Torre was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?