Saturday Links: Gardner, Rule Changes, Farm System Rankings

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

The Yankees continue the Grapefruit League season this afternoon on the road against the Tigers. Michael Pineda is making his first start of the spring. Unfortunately, the game will not be televised anywhere. Not on YES, not on FOX Sports Detroit, not on MLB Network, not online, nowhere. Sucks. Instead of a game, I offer you some links for the weekend.

Yankees had chances to salary dump Gardner

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees had trade offers for Brett Gardner this past offseason that involved no money changing hands. They could have sent Gardner and the $25M left on his contract elsewhere. Of course, chances are these offers were essentially salary dumps, meaning the Yankees wouldn’t have received much of anything in return. Gardner isn’t a star or anything, but giving him away as a salary dump would be kinda silly.

My guess is the Yankees will eventually trade Gardner, the longest tenured player on the big league roster and the longest tenured player in the organization, at some point in the next 12 months. And maybe that trade will be a pure salary dump. Who knows. Maybe the Yankees will eat some money to get actual prospects in return, a la Brian McCann. Gardner’s contract isn’t onerous and he’s the team’s best on-base player. I can’t blame the Yankees for not giving him away in a salary dump.

MLB implements new rule changes

Earlier this week MLB and the MLBPA announced a series of rule changes for the 2017 season. None of the changes figure to have a dramatic impact on the game. They didn’t raise the bottom of the strike zone or anything like that. Here’s the full press release and here are the highlights:

  • Intentional walks are now automatic. The manager gives a signal from the dugout and the batter is sent right to first base.
  • Managers have 30 seconds to ask for a replay review. Also, the review crew in New York has a “conditional two-minute guideline” to made their replay decision.
  • Carter Capps’ delivery is now illegal. Pitchers may not take a “second step towards home plate with either foot.”

The automatic intentional walk rule is whatever. I don’t like it but it’s not the end of the world either. The two-minute guideline for replay reviews does sound pretty great even though it’s not a hard limit, just a guideline. Some of those reviews take a long time. Waiting out a replay is easily my least favorite part of baseball these days.

As for Capps, both he and Padres manager Andy Green told A.J. Cassavell they believe his delivery is still legal, but we’ll see. Read the press release. The rule change reads as if it was written specifically for Capps (and Jordan Walden). All of these rule changes take effect right away, so they’re in place for the 2017 season.

(Future trivia answer: The last Yankee to receive a traditional four-pitch intentional walk was Mark Teixeira. Drew Smyly intentionally walked him in the sixth inning on September 20th of last season. The last player to get one is Addison Russell. He was intentionally walked in the tenth inning of Game Seven of the World Series.)

Torres. (Presswire)
Gleyber. (Presswire)

Yankees rank second in BA’s and BP’s farm system rankings

Both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus (subs. req’d) released their annual organizational rankings within the last few days. The Yankees ranked second behind the Braves on both lists. The same was true was on Keith Law’s farm system rankings. The BP list groups teams into tiers, and the Yankees and Braves were alone at the top. Here’s a snippet of the write-up:

I generally don’t care all that much if the seventeenth best prospect in your system has a chance to be a decent middle reliever or a useful bench piece. That’s true of the vast majority of systems in any given year. Now when you have thirty of those guys? It felt like half the Trenton pitching staff might pitch in the majors at some point … We didn’t rank Dustin Fowler on our Yankees (top ten, showing their depth) … These are two of the best systems I can remember in my six years of covering prospects.

The BA write-up (subs. req’d) mentioned OF Estevan Florial as the system’s high-upside sleeper and RHP Dillon Tate as the breakout prospect. Tate was the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft, remember. The Yankees got him for rental Carlos Beltran and he’s not even one of the ten best prospects in the organization. Pretty cool.

Yankees had $4M to sign Carter

I thought this was interesting. According to Jared Diamond, Hal Steinbrenner okayed one last $4M signing late in the offseason, after it became clear there were bargains to be had. The Yankees didn’t even need the full $4M to sign Chris Carter. He took $3.5M guaranteed. Prior to signing Carter the Yankees had been connected mostly to lefty relievers like Travis Wood and Jerry Blevins. The 40-homer dude made more sense.

I know saving $500,000 with Carter doesn’t sound like much, and it’s really not in the grand scheme of things, but what if it was enough to finish off the Jon Niese signing? He’ll make $1.25M at the big league level. Steinbrenner gave the thumbs up for $4M and they wound up with Carter and Niese for $4.75M total, possibly less because Niese might not make the Opening Day roster, and his $1.25M salary will be pro-rated. Anyway, I’m just kinda interested in how this worked out. The Yankees were done for the offseason until the free agent market collapsed.

Open Thread: March 3rd Camp Notes

The Yankees dropped their second game of the spring earlier today, and like the other loss, they rallied to tie in the top of the ninth inning before suffering the walk-off defeat. At least they have Fighting Spirit. Aaron Judge had a pair of singles and Ji-Man Choi had the game-tying two-run single in the ninth. Not much else happened offensively.

Luis Severino started and looked just okay. He allowed two runs on a Jose Bautista homer in 2.1 innings of work, and was generally all over the place. The camera angle was terrible, so I couldn’t tell whether he threw any changeups. I’m sure he did. Johnny Barbato struck out three in two innings. Here are the box score and video highlights for today’s game, and here is the rest of the day’s notes from camp:

This is the open thread for the evening. This afternoon’s game will not be replayed anywhere as far as I can tell, but MLB Network is showing games on tape delay all night. The Knicks, Nets, and Islanders are all in action as well, plus there’s some college basketball on as well. Talk about anything here, as long as it’s not religion or politics.

Poll: Second-Guessing the Matt Holliday Deal


When the Yankees signed Matt Holliday to a one-year, $13 MM deal back in December, the consensus was largely positive. Or, at the very least, a bit better than lukewarm. Holliday was coming off of a down year and was soon to be 37-years-old, but he was probably the best DH option this side of Edwin Encarnacion (who would require a large commitment and a surrendered draft pick) and Carlos Beltran. And that’s before you factor in his reputation as a great teammate and mentor for younger players (insert joke about ‘veteran presents’ here), which was undoubtedly a consideration for the Yankees in the midst of their youth movement.

A bit over two months later, however, the Yankees signed Chris Carter – a player whose best role would be that which Holliday was slated to play. The immediate reaction revolved around DINGERS!, but was followed promptly by questions about when and where the 30-year-old would play. His $3.5 MM salary (along with an extra $500,000 in bonuses based on plate appearances) is veritable chump change to this team (if not all organizations at this point in time, given the influx of cash into Major League Baseball), so it might not matter if he’s riding the bench more often than not. Moreover, there are always injuries: Tyler Austin succumbed to a broken foot already, Greg Bird missed the entirety of 2016 with a torn labrum in his shoulder, and the aforementioned Holliday has missed 50-plus games in each of the last two seasons. Phrased differently, opportunities for playing time are never too far away in the big leagues.

All that being said, the Carter signing – and the subsequent discussions – reminded me of the criticisms hurled at the Blue Jays when they signed Kendrys Morales to a 3-year, $33 MM deal. The signing happened what felt like hours after free agency opened, and was greeted with derision as much better options (including their own Encarnacion) remained on the market. It only looked worse in the weeks to come, as comparable-at-worst DH options were scooped up on cheap one-year commitments, eventually turning disastrous when Encarnacion signed with the Indians for 3-years, $60 MM. If it wasn’t clear that the Blue Jays jumped the gun way back in November, it certainly was once the new year rolled around.

And so the question becomes whether the Yankees jumped the gun with Holliday.

It’s a bit different here, on a few levels. The Yankees are not striving to contend this year, so Holliday’s off-the-field qualities mean a bit more to them. Moreover, they didn’t prevent themselves from signing a better option to a comparably superior deal. Carter was better than Holliday last season, but that doesn’t quite matter because (1) they still signed Carter, and (2) the projection systems see them as a toss-up.

Should we be looking at the opportunity cost differently, though?

Holliday will likely earn $9.5 MM more than Carter this year. If the Yankees could have signed Carter to this deal all along, it stands to reason that they would have had at least another $9.5 MM to spend – if not the full $13 MM, considering that Holliday’s deal didn’t prevent them from signing Carter. With that extra money they could have signed Brett Anderson as a reclamation project, or Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, or Jason Hammel to solidify the back of the rotation (or both Anderson and Hammel). Or they could have signed one of Anderson and Jerry Blevins (or Hammel and Blevins, if they had the full $13 MM to spend). There are several permutations out there that would have improved their rotation and bullpen.

This is laden with assumptions, of course. I’m comfortable saying that the Carter deal could have come to fruition regardless, given that the Brewers couldn’t get anything for him at the trade deadline or prior to non-tendering him, but everything else is guesswork. Even so, it seems clear that the Yankees could look better as a whole with Carter as the starting DH and between $9.5 MM and $13 MM invested elsewhere.

Did the Yankees act too soon by signing Holliday?
View Results

Spring Training Game Thread: Severino’s Second Start


Can regular season start already? Things are going so well early in Grapefruit League play. Hate to waste it on meaningless games. The Yankees are 7-1 this spring and they lead all teams in runs (55), homers (15), and extra-base hits (40). The bats are usually behind the arms this early in Spring Training. The Yankees have come out swinging though. It’s been fun. Hopefully it lasts another eighth months or so.

The Yankees are on the road to play the Blue Jays this afternoon. A few things to watch: Luis Severino, who is making his second spring start. He broke off some nice changeups last time out and I’d like to see him do it again. Also, Aaron Judge is in the starting lineup and have you noticed he’s struck out only once in 13 plate appearances this spring? That’s pretty cool. Maybe the new leg kick is working. Here is the Blue Jays’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Chris Carter
  5. C Austin Romine
  6. 1B Rob Refsnyder
  7. 3B Donovan Solano
  8. SS Jorge Mateo
  9. 2B Pete Kozma
    RHP Luis Severino

Available Pitchers: RHP Johnny Barbato, LHP Joe Mantiply, RHP Brady Lail, LHP Evan Rutckyj, RHP J.R. Graham, and LHP Jason Gurka are all scheduled to pitch. RHP J.P. Feyereisen, RHP Kyle Haynes, and RHP Matt Marsh also made the trip. Haynes and Marsh are up from minor league camp for the day.

Available Position Players: C Francisco Diaz, 1B Ji-Man Choi, 2B Ruben Tejada, SS Gleyber Torres, 3B Miguel Andujar, LF Clint Frazier, CF Dustin Fowler, RF Billy McKinney, and DH Wilkin Castillo will be the second string off the bench. C Jorge Saez, IF Ronald Torreyes, and UTIL Tyler Wade are on the bench but not scheduled to play.

The Yankees made the 20-ish mile trip west to Dunedin, where it’s nice and sunny with temperatures in the low-70s. Pretty windy too. Not a bad day for a ballgame. This afternoon’s game will begin a little after 1pm ET, and if you’re in the Blue Jays home market, which is basically all of Canada, you can watch on Sportsnet. If not, you can watch live on MLB Network, even in the New York market. There’s also as well. There is no YES broadcast of today’s game. Enjoy the game.

Mailbag: Mitchell, Sanchez, Andujar, Garcia, CarGo, Banuelos

We have eleven questions in the mailbag this week. As always, RABmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com is where you can send us any questions throughout the week. We get a lot of submissions and I can only answer so many, so don’t take it personally if yours doesn’t get picked.

Mitchell. (Presswire)
Mitchell. (Presswire)

Mike asks: I think we all have high hopes for Bryan Mitchell to be an important part of the rotation this year and based on his velocity, love his stuff. However, according to Eno Sarris on the Sleeper and the Bust podcast, he expressed concerns about his spin rate. Can you put those numbers into context? Are they fair concerns?

Spin rate is exactly what it sounds like: how fast does the ball rotate? Spin rate isn’t everything the same way velocity isn’t everything. It’s one tool in the shed. There’s been a lot written about spin rate recently (like this, this, this, and this) and, with fastballs, a high spin rate correlates well to swings and misses while a low spin rate correlates well to ground balls. That is not necessarily true for breaking balls or offspeed pitches though.

We don’t have a ton of data for Mitchell given his limited time in the big leagues. Here’s what we do have have on him, as well as the relevant league averages via Baseball Savant:

% Thrown Mitchell’s 2016 Spin Rate 2016 MLB AVG Spin Rate
Four-Seamer 51.5% 2,268 2,264
Cutter 23.7% 2,352 2,313
Curveball 21.4% 2,800 2,471
Changeup 3.4% 1,862 1,753

Spin rate is measured in revolutions per minute even though it takes less than a second for a pitch to reach the plate. Last year Mitchell had almost perfectly league average spin rates on his four-seamer and cutter. That’s not great, but it’s not automatically a bad thing either. It just means his fastball isn’t particularly conducive to whiffs or grounders. The pitch can still be effective through location, pitching sequencing, etc.

Mitchell’s curveball had a very high spin rate last year — among the 439 pitchers to throw at least 50 curveballs in 2016, Mitchell had the 30th highest average spin rate — and unlike fastballs, a high spin rate for curveballs correlates well to swings and misses and grounders. The curveball has always been Mitchell’s bread and butter pitch and there’s no reason to think that’s going to change. His fastball spin rate isn’t great, but his curveball’s is, and having a dominant offering like that gives him a chance to be successful.

Mark asks: Are the Yanks a better all around team with Carter at DH, Holliday in LF and Gardy in CF and Ellsbury on the bench?

I don’t think so. Matt Holliday is really bad defensively, we’re talking Ibanez-esque, and I think that would more than negate any offensive advantage gained by replacing Jacoby Ellsbury‘s bat with Chris Carter‘s bat. Also, Holliday is 37 years old now, so playing him regularly in the outfield is a good way to wear him down during the season. Chances are he won’t hit as well as a result of the extra fatigue. Given the available options, I’m totally cool with Brett Gardner and Ellsbury in the outfield, Holliday at DH, and Carter getting spot starts at first base and DH.

Kris asks: I know that the chances of every top prospect panning out is slim, but in a perfect world, if Judge/Frazier/Torres/Andujar all seem like solid starting options in the next couple of seasons could you see a scenario where the Yankees pass on the 2018 FA’s like Machado and Harper who they’re so often linked to?

Oh sure. I don’t think the Yankees want to sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper in two years. I think they will sign one of those guys if necessary — and if they get under the luxury tax threshold in 2018 — but Plan A is the kids. Cheap and productive Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier in the corner outfield spots, not Harper at $35M+ a year. Cheap and productive Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar at third base, not Machado on a ten-year contract with three opt-outs. The fact Harper and Machado are still so young — they’ll both hit free agency at 26 — makes me think the Yankees will be more open-minded about signing them to huge dollars. It’s not like they’re 31. But yeah, Plan A is the kids.

Jonathan asks (short version): If Gary Sanchez hits lets say 25-30 homers, has about a 280/350/500 slash and plays solid defense. Do you think he would be be a top 10 asset in baseball after this year? Like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are top 10 players easily but not type 10 assets since they will be a free agents in a year.

Yes, absolutely. A good defensive catcher who hits .280/.350/.500 with 25+ homers is an MVP candidate. Add in all the team control — remember how much we talked about Sanchez’s service time and keeping him down for 35 days and all that last year? Sanchez still has six years of team control remaining, and he won’t qualify as a Super Two either — and Sanchez would easily be a top ten asset in baseball. That level of production for a catcher is incredible.

No one asked me, but here is my really quick list of the top ten assets in baseball right now. Again, these aren’t necessarily the ten best players. These are the ten most valuable assets based on production, team control, etc.

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Francisco Lindor
  3. Kris Bryant
  4. Corey Seager
  5. Carlos Correa
  6. Mookie Betts
  7. Anthony Rizzo
  8. Christian Yelich
  9. Starling Marte
  10. Noah Syndergaard

I feel like I’m missing someone obvious. Keep in mind players like Nolan Arenado, Jose Altuve, Chris Sale, and Madison Bumgarner will all be free agents within three years. Everyone in the top ten has at least five years of contractual control remaining except Trout, who has four. He’s still No. 1 because he’s just that damn good. Sanchez doing what Jonathan suggested in the question would without a doubt make him a top ten asset at this time next year.

Sanchez. (Presswire)
Sanchez. (Presswire)

Bart asks (short version): In the 2002 Yankees article you mentioned “Ideally, that’d mean they’d face the AL’s worst playoff team (the 94-win Twins) in the ALDS, but instead they got the wild card winners, the 99-win Anaheim Angels.” Why did they play the Angels instead of the Twins?

The 2002 AL postseason picture was slightly complicated. Here are the records of the four AL playoff teams:

  • Yankees: 103-58
  • Athletics: 103-59
  • Angels: 99-63 (wildcard team)
  • Twins: 94-67

Notice the Yankees only played 161 games that season. That’s because they had a game against the (Devil) Rays rained out in September that they never made up. The Yankees won the season series over the Athletics, so even if the Yankees played that makeup game against Tampa and lost, they still held the tiebreaker over the A’s and would have been considered the league’s top seed going into the postseason. Because of that, MLB never made them play the makeup game.

The team with the best record in the league plays the wildcard team, so the Yankees were matched up with the 99-win Angels. But! Even if the A’s had gone, say, 104-58 to finish with the best record in the league, the Yankees still would have played the Angels in the ALDS. Back then two teams in the same division weren’t allowed to meet in the LDS, so an Athletics-Angels ALDS was impossible. Nowadays two teams in the same division can play in the ALDS. That rule changed when the second wildcard was added, hence the Yankees-Orioles ALDS in 2012.

Marc asks: Mike mentioned the idea of trading a few potential 40-man guys to acquire competitive balance picks which made me wonder if the Yanks could explore the same for international free agency bonus money. Not sure how the new CBA treats this and how beneficial it could be (i.e. likely not enough money to lure Otani).

The text of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has not yet been released, though from all the reports we’ve seen over the last few months, teams can still trade their international bonus money. Teams can only acquire an additional 50% of their bonus pool, however. The Yankees have $4.75M in cap space this year, so add in the extra 50% and their max pool is $7.125M.

Over the last few years trades involving international bonus money have been really minor. Two years ago the Braves traded four fringe prospects (in three separate trades) for $1.1M in bonus money. The Yankees might be able to deal someone like, say, Kyle Haynes for $200,000 or so in international money. These deals are rarely significant, and remember, we’re talking about money that gets spent on 16-year-old kids who are far away from MLB. I don’t love the idea of trading any of the Rule 5 Draft eligible prospects for a few hundred grand in international money. A Competitive Balance draft pick is much more valuable.

Brian asks: While the popular Yankee beat narrative has focused on breaking up Gardner and Ellsbury at the top of the order (please be Gardner 1 Ellsbury 8 or 9) I haven’t heard any discussion about pushing both of them further down in the lineup against lefties. Do you think they should? Last year Gardner had a .313 OBP vs lefties and Ellsbury .292. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put righties at the top of the lineup vs a lefty? Perhaps Hicks could lead off?

Well, Aaron Hicks was pretty bad against lefties last year. He hit .161/.213/.271 (25 wRC+) against them last season, and while his career numbers against southpaws are better (.234/.314/.387, 92 wRC+), he’s not someone you want to give more at-bats than anyone else on the team right now. I’m not sure who the Yankees could hit leadoff other than Gardner or Ellsbury. Starlin Castro? He doesn’t get on base nearly enough (.308 OBP vs. LHP in 2016). Didi Gregorius? Same problem. I can’t see Joe Girardi hitting Judge leadoff. For better or worse, Gardner is the best leadoff option on the team, even against lefties. He gets on base more than anyone.

Michael asks: I have a fallacious comparison for Miguel Andujar…is he not the mirror of Robbie Cano at the same age? The lack of plate discipline and polish, but the raw power and cannon arm. I know that most prospects the caliber of 2005 Cano were failures and he doesn’t have that beautiful swing, but let me dream will ya!!

That’s not fair to Andujar. When Robinson Cano was Andujar’s age, he hit .297/.320/.458 (105 wRC+) with 14 homers in the big leagues. Andujar just got to Double-A and set a career high with 12 homers. Cano’s bat-to-ball skills are truly elite, they’re the reason the guy is knocking on the door of the Hall of Fame, and while Andujar is really talented, he’s not a magician with the bat like Robbie. Let’s just let Miguel Andujar be Miguel Andujar. Comparing him to a guy like Cano does nothing but create unrealistic expectations.

Andujar. (Presswire)
Andujar. (Presswire)

Mike asks: In your opinion who has the higher ceiling – Miguel Andujar or Dermis Garcia? And then what percentage discount is that higher ceiling from Manny Machado’s ceiling?

Dermis has the higher ceiling, pretty clearly I think. He legitimately might have the highest offensive ceiling of any player in the farm system. We’re talking about a potential 30+ homer bat with high OBPs. Garcia is just so far away from the show that the likelihood of him reaching that ceiling is tiny. Andujar has a chance to be a pretty darn good player himself, and he’s much closer to the big leagues.

Machado is one of the what, five best players in the world? He’s right there with Trout, Bryant, and Harper. Machado is a legitimate +7 WAR player. Dermis and/or Andujar turning into a +4 WAR player would be an amazing outcome, yet they’d still lag so far behind Machado’s production. Similar to what I said with Andujar and Cano earlier, comparing Andujar and Garcia to Machado is unrealistic and unfair. It’s not particularly close.

Andrew asks: Any interest in Carlos Gonzalez next winter?  He wouldn’t exactly fit with the youth movement/rebuild/transition, but he’s a talented player and might not get a massive payday at 32. Would your interest be heavier if, say, Judge looks very poor this year?

I don’t think CarGo gets enough credit for being as good as he is because of the Coors Field stigma, though I don’t love the idea of pursuing him as a free agent. The Yankees are trying to trade one of their veteran outfielders (Gardner) and likely have to demote the other lower in the lineup with four years left on his contract (Ellsbury). Do they really want to add another big money veteran on top of that group, even if they trade Gardner? Even if Judge has a tough year, the Yankees still have others like Frazier, Dustin Fowler, and Tyler Austin to try in the outfield. Maybe Billy McKinney too. The time to get CarGo was a few years ago, when he was clearly in his prime. Now, with the Yankees in transition, signing him in his early-to-mid-30s probably isn’t the smartest move.

Daniel asks: Manny Banuelos‘ career obviously has not played out the way any of us had hoped. Looking backwards, were there any significant deals that did not happen, in part because the Yankees refused to trade him?

Like every other big name Yankees prospect, Banuelos was mentioned in plenty of trade rumors over the years, mostly because other teams kept asking for him. Here, via Manny’s MLB Trade Rumors archive, are the rumors over the years:

  • Summer 2011: Mentioned constantly in Ubaldo Jimenez trade talks with the Rockies.
  • December 2011: White Sox wanted Banuelos and Jesus Montero for John Danks or Gavin Floyd.
  • January 2012: Cubs wanted two of Banuelos, Montero, and Dellin Betances for Matt Garza.

That’s pretty much it. The archive jumps from the Garza rumor in 2012 to the actual Banuelos trade in January 2015. Nothing too exciting there, though I was all about trading for Ubaldo back in 2011. I thought he had legitimately turned a corner with his command and was poised to be an ace caliber starter for another few years. Whoops. Shows what I know.

March 2nd Camp Notes: Sabathia, Tanaka, Betances, Deglan

We play today, we win today, das it. The Yankees won again tonight, improving their Grapefruit League record to 7-1. Greg Bird and Billy McKinney hit long home runs — Bird’s left the damn stadium — while a host of others had doubles (McKinney, Jorge Mateo, Gary Sanchez, Kyle Higashioka). Matt Holliday also hit an opposite field dinger. And heck, it’s entirely possible the hardest hit ball of the night was Clint Frazier‘s line out to third in the sixth.

Eleven up, nine down for Adam Warren in his second spring start. He allowed a solo homer and not much else. That homer was the only hit the Orioles had until a bloop with two outs in the ninth. Aroldis Chapman made his first spring appearance and fanned two in a perfect frame. Tyler Clippard, Tommy Layne, and Dietrich Enns were all mighty impressive. Here are the box score and video highlights, and here’s the rest of the day’s news from Tampa:

  • Bryan Hoch has the day’s pitching assignments and hitting/fielding groups for everyone who didn’t play in tonight’s game. Jon Niese threw a simulated game. Have to figure he’ll get into a spring game fairly soon.
  • CC Sabathia threw another two-inning simulated game today and everything with his surgically repaired knee is going well. He’s expected to make his first Grapefruit League start Tuesday. [Meredith Marakovits]
  • Masahiro Tanaka, meanwhile, will make his next start Sunday. No extra day of rest after the quick two-inning outing Tuesday. Dellin Betances will pitch Saturday, then leave for the World Baseball Classic. [Hoch, Erik Boland]
  • Team Canada announced Kellin Deglan has been replaced on their WBC roster due to injury. No idea what’s wrong with him. Deglan last played Tuesday and figures to start the season with Double-A Trenton. (Update: Hoch says Deglan has a sore shoulder.)

Luis Severino is scheduled to make his second start of the spring tomorrow afternoon. The Yankees will be on the road playing the Blue Jays. There is no YES broadcast for that game, but it will be available live on MLB Network in the New York market. And on too.