Monday Night Open Thread

So here it is, the first official open thread of the offseason. We’ve got another six months of these to go before the Yankees play another meaningful baseball game, though at least the postseason and hot stove will keep us plenty busy for most of the winter. The first night of the offseason is always the worst though. No Yankees baseball and the next game is just so far away. For shame.

Here is your open thread for the evening. There is no baseball tonight. The postseason starts with the AL Wildcard Game tomorrow (Athletics at Royals). The Patriots and Chiefs are playing on Monday Night Football though. Talk about that game, this afternoon’s press conference, or whatever else is on your mind right here.

2015 Draft: Yankees have 19th overall pick

Now that the 2014 regular season is over, the 2015 amateur draft order has been finalized. The Diamondbacks had baseball’s worst record at 64-98 and will pick first overall for the second time in team history. They selected Justin Upton with the top pick back in 2005. J.J. Cooper looked a possible first overall pick candidates earlier this month. There is no Upton/Stephen Strasburg/Bryce Harper-esque slam dunk prospect for next year’s draft, at least right now. Lots will change the next few months.

The Yankees finished the season with the 12th best record in baseball at 84-78 and will pick 19th overall next June. Here’s the full draft order. The Astros have a compensation pick (second overall) for failing to sign top pick LHP Brady Aiken this year, pushing everyone else back a slot. That’s why the Yankees are set to pick 19th instead of 18th. The last time the Yankees picked as high as 19th was 2005, when they took Oklahoma HS SS C.J. Henry with the 17th pick. The 19th pick came with a ~$2.1M draft pool value this year and the slots are expected to go up next year. It goes without saying the Yankees may forfeit this pick as free agent compensation.

Girardi’s Press Conference Notes: Coaching Staff, A-Rod, Offseason, Prospects, Leadership, More

(Jim Rogash/Getty)
(Jim Rogash/Getty)

The Yankees wasted no time jumping into the offseason this year. Joe Girardi held his annual end-of-season press conference on Monday afternoon, the day after the team closed out its regular season. Usually they wait two or three days. Not this year though.

There was no major news announced during Monday’s televised press conference — no coaching staff changes or surprise injuries, etc. — though Girardi did talk at length about all sorts of stuff. Especially Alex Rodriguez. People love talking about A-Rod. Here’s a recap of Girardi’s state of the team address.

On A-Rod

  • “We’ve gotta see where he’s at. That’s the thing we have to do,” said the skipper when asked what he expects from Alex next year. “We have to see where he’s physically at. If he can play the field, how many days will he DH, play the field … I don’t think any of us know about him until we get him in games in Spring Training.”
  • “I thought our guys handled it pretty well (when A-Rod returned in 2013),” added Girardi while acknowledging the first few days of Spring Training will be hectic. “Will there be a number of new guys in there? I’m sure … We’ll do everything we can to make sure it’s not a distraction, but until we get into it we don’t really know. My personal opinion is it won’t be.”
  • “I have a good relationship with Alex. Our team enjoys Alex (in the clubhouse),” said Girardi. “I don’t think that will be an issue. Will he have to deal with some angry fans? Yeah, but we’ll help him get through that.” (Girardi also joked that fans have been hating on A-Rod for years and he’s used to it by now.)
  • Girardi said the Yankees “absolutely” expect Rodriguez to be on the team next year. “He hasn’t played in a year. That’s not easy to do, to sit out a year … Do we expect him to be a player on our team? Absolutely.”
  • Girardi also confirmed they have not discussed having A-Rod work out at first base. “We expect him to be our third baseman,” he said. They’ve stayed in touch via text message over the summer.

[Read more…]

Ichiro indicates that he plans to continue playing

Following yesterday’s season finale, Ichiro Suzuki told Dan Barbarisi he feels great and strongly indicated he will continue playing. “Obviously there’s a lot of things that go on that the fans and the media can’t see, that goes on inside (the club), but what I can say is that the experiences I had this year, those experiences are going to help me in the future,” he said cryptically to Brendan Kuty when asked if he’d be open to returning to the Yankees.

Ichiro, who will turn 41 next month, hit .284/.324/.340 (86 wRC+) with 15 steals in 385 plate appearances this year. He seemed to be at his best in a limited fourth outfielder role. His production slipped once he was pressed into everyday duty. The Yankees will need a fourth outfielder next season like every other team, and the recently claimed Eury Perez offers a similar speed and defense skillset. It’s unclear if they’re open to bringing Ichiro back or if he even wants to be back at this point. He’s 156 hits shy of 3,000 and will probably need to play two more years to get there.

Fan Confidence Poll: September 29th, 2014

2014 Record: 84-78 (633 RS, 664 RA, 77-85 pythag. record), didn’t qualify for postseason

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