Yankees held private workout for Andy Ibanez in Tampa this week

Ibanez at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. (Koji Watanabe/Getty)
Ibanez at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. (Koji Watanabe/Getty)

According to George King and Dan Martin, the Yankees held a private workout for free agent Cuban infielder Andy Ibanez at their complex in Tampa earlier this week. The team also scouted him during a workout in Miami last month.

Ibanez, 21, has already been declared a free agent by MLB and unblocked by a Office of Foreign Assets Control, so he is free to sign at any time. King and Martin say he is expected to get a bonus in the $10M neighborhood, which would be taxed at 100% regardless of which team signs him. That would exceed all 30 bonus pools.

Before defecting, Ibanez hit .283/.348/.419 with 60 doubles and 13 home runs in 242 games in the Cuban league. He was on Cuba’s roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic but rode the bench in the deference to their veteran infielders. Here’s a scouting report from Ben Badler:

At 5-foot-11, 183 pounds, Ibanez has a thicker build for a middle infielder but he’s athletic and has good body control. With fringy speed and an average arm at best, Ibanez isn’t flashy, but he has a good internal clock and a high baseball IQ, fitting best at second base. Ibanez’s power is mostly to the gaps, projecting as a doubles hitters rather than a big home run threat, but what’s sold some scouts on him is his bat.

“He’s a strong guy who doesn’t have your prototype, ideal body for a second baseman, but he moves around well for his stature,” said another scout. “And he performs. He’s a good hitter. I liked his swing and the way he manipulated the bat.”

Ibanez is subject to the international spending restrictions, so the Yankees are free to sign him for any amount prior to June 25th. But, after that, they will only be able to offer him $300,000 as a result of the penalties from last July’s international spending spree. I’m not sure why Ibanez is waiting to sign. You’d think he’d want to sign quickly and start playing in the minors to get his career underway.

Inviting Ibanez in for a private workout really doesn’t mean much of anything. The Yankees had Aledmys Diaz in for a private workout last year and they had Yoan Moncada in for three separate private workouts this offseason, but didn’t sign either player. It’s been a while since the Yankees signed a premium Cuban player. Jose Contreras was the last.

Ibanez is not on the same level as Moncada but he has some ability and is expected to be able to help at the MLB level in the near future. Accumulating middle infield depth is always a good thing, and that goes double for the Yankees, since it’s unclear if they have a long-term shortstop or second baseman in the organization right now. (The jury is still out on Didi Gregorius and Rob Refsnyder.)

Until the Yankees actually step up and sign a top Cuban free agent, I won’t expect them to do it. They’ve done the song and dance with several players in recent years — Diaz, Moncada, Yasmany Tomas, Yoan Lopez, and others — but didn’t sign any of them. These private workouts are fake interest until they sign one of these guys, as far as I’m concerned.

A-Rod hits 660th homer to tie Willie Mays for fourth place all-time, leads Yankees to 3-2 win over Red Sox

They booed. They chanted “Ster-oids! Ster-oids!” And then he shut them all up. With one swing of the bat Friday night, Alex Rodriguez tied Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list with his 660th home run, and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead over the Red Sox at Fenway Park in the eighth inning. That score held and the Yankees eventually won 3-2. New York has now won eleven of their last 14 games. Oh baby. Let’s recap with bullet points since it’s Friday night:

  • 660: Gosh, what a moment. A-Rod did not start Friday’s game as Joe Girardi went with a lefty heavy lineup against Justin Masterson, yet he still had a big impact. The hard-throwing Junichi Tazawa fell behind in the count 3-0, and rather than simply take a pitch for the sake of taking a pitch, Rodriguez hunted a 3-0 fastball, got it, and lined a home run over the Green Monster. It was a frickin’ laser. Out of the park in a hurry. Fenway went quiet and A-Rod’s teammates mobbed him in the dugout. I would have loved to see Alex get his 660th in the Bronx, but a go-ahead blast to silence the Fenway faithful and give the Yankees a late-inning lead works fine too.
  • Just Good Enough: CC Sabathia threw the ugliest six innings of two-run ball you may ever see. He had runners on base in every inning but the first and sixth, and he got lucky breaks on two occasions with what would have been run-scoring extra-base hits — a fan reached out and touched Ryan Hanigan’s double in the fourth, so the umps sent Xander Bogaerts back to third, and Hanley Ramirez wasn’t allowed to score from first when Mike Napoli’s double hopped over the wall in the fifth. The end result was two runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. The end result was good. Getting there was … uncomfortable.
  • Score First, Score Last: Boy the Yankees really let Masterson off the hook. Nine of the first 21 batters he faced reach base, yet the Yankees scored just one run in that time, on a first inning double by Carlos Beltran. They stranded runners on second and third in the fourth and the bases loaded in the fifth. Boston took a 2-1 lead in the middle innings and it wasn’t until Masterson was out of the game that the Yankees rallied to tie. Didi Gregorius worked a leadoff walk in the seventh, moved to second when Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch, then scored on Brian McCann‘s single to tie the game. A-Rod did the rest.
  • Leftovers: The bullpen wasn’t great but it was good enough. Esmil Rogers walked a batter in a scoreless seventh — why he was pitching the seventh inning of a tie game, I have no idea — and Dellin Betances put two runners on base with one out in the eighth. He struck out the next two hitters. Andrew Miller tossed a perfect ninth for his ninth save … Jacoby Ellsbury (two singles), Brett Gardner (single, walk), Teixeira (two walks, hit-by-pitch), Beltran (single, double), and Gregorius (single, walk) all reached base multiple times … the Yankees went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Thanks goodness for dingers.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Red Sox will continue this series Saturday afternoon. It’ll be Nathan Eovaldi against Wade Miley.


Source: FanGraphs

Minor League Report: I don’t have time for a full version of DotF tonight. Sorry folks. You can find all the box scores right here though. Jake Cave and Angel Aguilar both went deep and Double-A Trenton walked off with a win in the 18th inning. 18th inning!

Game 23: Start of the Road Trip

(Jared Wickerham/Getty)
(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

As I mentioned earlier, the Yankees are about to begin a very road-heavy portion of their schedule. Fifteen of the team’s next 19 games are on the road, starting with tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox. Only four home games between now and May 22nd. Geez.

Of course, tonight is the start of a Yankees-Red Sox series, and that adds another layer of chaos to things. These games are rarely easy, pretty stressful, and they usually take four hours too. Wednesday’s loss notwithstanding, the Yankees have been playing pretty well of late, so it would be nice to start this extended stretch of road games off on the right foot. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  2. LF Brett Gardner
  3. 1B Mark Teixeira
  4. C Brian McCann
  5. RF Carlos Beltran
  6. 3B Chase Headley
  7. DH Garrett Jones
  8. 2B Stephen Drew
  9. SS Didi Gregorius
    LHP CC Sabathia

It’s on the cold side up in Boston but the sky is clear. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:10pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally, depending on where you live. Enjoy the game.

Injury Update: Chris Capuano (quad) is scheduled to throw four innings and 60 pitches for High-A Tampa tomorrow. It’ll be his first official minor league rehab outing, starting his 30-day clock. Capuano might only be two weeks away from joining the rotation if he’s already up to 60 pitches though. Good news.

Yankees set to begin a road-heavy and crucial part of the schedule

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

In a couple hours, the Yankees will open a three-game series with the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Those series are always tough no matter how good or bad each team may be, and right now both are playing pretty well. Get ready for a weekend of marathon four-hour games. You know what I’m talking about.

The series at Fenway is important because it’s an intra-division series, and given how tight the AL East figures to be this summer, every head-to-head matchup with a division rival is super important. This series also marks the start of a very difficult and road-heavy portion of the schedule. Just four of New York’s next 19 games with be at home in the Bronx. Four of 19!

Here is the May schedule from the team’s official site:

May schedule

That four-game series against the Orioles next weekend will be the Yankees’ only home series from now through May 22nd. The NYCFC guys are going to have free rein over Yankee Stadium for the next three weeks. Lucky them.

It’s not just the sheer number of road games either. They’re road games against good teams and AL East rivals. Fourteen of those 19 games are against AL East teams and the other five are against the Royals and the Nationals. The Royals have arguably been the best team in baseball this year, and by time the Yankees head to Washington, the Nats might be playing like the best team in baseball, which many expected them to be coming into the season.

It goes without saying this upcoming stretch of games will be very difficult and play a big part in deciding whether the Yankees are serious contenders this season or are just hopefuls like the last two years. You hope the Yankees can weather the storm and come out ahead, maybe 10-9 or 11-8 or something like that, but you also know they probably need to do better than that to remain in the hunt for a postseason spot.

These next 19 games aren’t going to define the season for New York. It’s way too early for that. These 19 games are going to be a real challenge though, and since most of those games are on the road against quality opponents, it’s a crucial stretch for the Yankees. It’s a chance to really come out ahead and feel good about what this team is capable of doing. It’s also a chance to get humbled and fall behind the rest of the pack in the AL East.

RAB Live Chat

5/1 to 5/3 Series Preview: Boston Red Sox

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

Time for another series against an AL East team. This will be the Yankees’ eighth series of the season and their sixth against a division rival. The only two non-AL East series were in the Detroit and the Subway Series last weekend. The Yankees are in Boston for three games against the Red Sox this weekend.

What Have The Red Sox Done Lately?

The Red Sox just took two of three from the Blue Jays at home, and it was their first series win in two weeks. Overall, Boston is 12-10 with a -10 run differential this season and a game back of the Yankees (13-9, +26 run differential) for first place in the AL East. It’s way too early to worry about that though.

Offense & Defense

As expected, the Red Sox have been one of the best offensive teams in baseball so far this season, averaging 5.14 runs per game. They only have a team 98 wRC+ though, mostly because their power hasn’t really shown up yet. They are currently without OF Shane Victorino (hamstring) and C Christian Vazquez (Tommy John surgery), neither of whom will return this series.

Sandoval. (Maddie Meyer/Getty)
Sandoval. (Maddie Meyer/Getty)

Manager John Farrell’s new-look middle of the lineup is anchored by OF Hanley Ramirez (165 wRC+), who already has ten homers on the season. OF Mookie Betts (84 wRC+) and 1B Mike Napoli (49 wRC+) are off to slow starts and DH David Ortiz (109 wRC+) hasn’t really gotten hot yet. 2B Dustin Pedroia (133 wRC+) and 3B Pablo Sandoval (136 wRC+) have fared well in the early going.

UTIL Brock Holt (174 wRC+) is the world’s most annoyingly productive utility player. OF Daniel Nava (7 wRC+), SS Xander Bogaerts (94 wRC+), C Ryan Hanigan (91 wRC+), and UTIL Allen Craig (-12 wRC+!) have been below-average thus far, in some cases substantially so. C Sandy Leon is the rarely used backup catcher. That Pedroia-Ortiz-Hanley-Sandoval middle of the order is dangerous. The rest of the lineup is navigable.

Defensively, the Red Sox seem to be either really good or really bad at each position. Hanigan, Pedroia, and Sandoval are excellent while Hanley and Nava are disasters. Obviously he’s new to the position, but man, Ramirez is as bad an outfielder as I’ve ever seen. Hit it to left field. Betts is good in center despite his inexperience thanks mostly to his athleticism. Bogaerts is error-prone at short and Napoli’s fine at first.

Pitching Matchups

Friday: LHP CC Sabathia (Career vs. BOS) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (Career vs. NYY)
The Red Sox rotation has been really, really bad. Even worse than expected (MLB worst 5.75 ERA). Masterson, 30, has a 5.16 ERA (3.57 FIP) and okay at best peripheral stats (20.0 K%, 9.0 BB%, 54.5 GB%, 0.40 HR/9) in four starts and 22.2 innings. As always, he has an extreme platoon split, holding righties to a .266 wOBA and lefties to a .347 wOBA. Joe Girardi has to load the lineup with lefties against Masterson, even if it means sitting Alex Rodriguez in favor of Garrett Jones. Masterson’s trademark sinker has lost a ton of velocity the last few years — the pitch averaged 91.7 mph in 2012, 91.1 mph in 2013, 88.5 mph in 2014, and now 86.5 mph in 2015. Yikes. He backs it up with an upper-70s slider he throws nearly 40% of the time nowadays. Masterson doesn’t have a changeup to speak of and he did not face the Yankees the last time these two teams met.

Saturday: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (Career vs. BOS) vs. LHP Wade Miley (Career vs. NYY)
Miley is a big reason Boston has such a poor rotation ERA. The 28-year-old has an 8.62 ERA (4.83 FIP) with more walks (14.9%) than strikeouts (13.5%) in four starts and 15.2 innings. His ground ball rate (43.4%) is a bit below-average and at some point his homer rate (0.57 HR/9) figures to climb in Fenway Park. Miley has a reverse platoon split so far this year (.419 vs. 339 wOBA in favor of lefties) but that’s a sample size issue and not in line with the rest of his career. Low-90s two and four-seamers are Miley’s main offerings, which he uses to set up mid-80s sliders and low-80s changeups. He tends to throw the two-seamer more than the four-seamer. The Yankees saw Miley at Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago and scored two runs in 5.1 innings against him.

Kelly. (Jim Rogash/Getty)
Kelly. (Jim Rogash/Getty)

Sunday: RHP Adam Warren (Career vs. BOS) vs. RHP Joe Kelly (Career vs. NYY)
Kelly, 26, has probably been the Red Sox’s most consistent pitcher so far this year. He has a 4.94 ERA (3.60 FIP) in four starts and 23.2 innings with a great strikeout rate (28.9%) and below-average walk (8.3%), grounder (42.4%), and homer (1.14 HR/9) numbers. Righties (.366 wOBA) have hit him much harder than lefties (.173 wOBA) and that’s a classic early-season sample size issue. Kelly has a big fastball, sitting in the mid-to-upper-90s with his two and four-seamers, though his mid-80s slider and mid-80s changeup lag. It’s no surprise he throws a fastball more than 70% of the time. Kelly held the Yankees to one hit and one run in seven innings earlier this month.

Bullpen Status
Like the Yankees, the Red Sox had an off-day yesterday, so their bullpen is fresh. Closer RHP Koji Uehara (1.75 FIP) either dominates or blows up spectacularly. There’s no middle ground and it’s been going on since last year. RHP Junichi Tazawa (3.83 FIP) is the primary setup man and probably the only other reliever Farrell truly trusts at this point. As bad as the rotation has been, the bullpen has a 4.03 ERA, which is also one of the worst marks in baseball.

The rest of Boston’s eight-man bullpen includes LHP Robbie Ross (5.53 FIP), LHP Craig Breslow (4.17 FIP), LHP Tommy Layne (2.74 FIP), RHP Edward Mujica (6.77 FIP), Alexi Ogando (3.60 FIP), and RHP Dalier Hinojosa. Hinojosa was just called up and his next appearance will be his MLB debut. Expect to see a lot of Ross, Breslow, and Layne this weekend. Teams know the Yankees are vulnerable against southpaws. Head over to our Bullpen Workload page for the status of the New York bullpen, then head over to Over The Monster for the latest and greatest on the Red Sox.

Mailbag: Hamels, Gardner, Sabathia, Defense, Severino

Got a dozen questions for you this week and some of them have long answers too. Use the “For The Mailbag” form in the sidebar to send us anything throughout the week.

(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

Many asked: What about Cole Hamels?

So this was inevitable after Masahiro Tanaka‘s wrist/forearm injury. Lots and lots of people asked about trading for Hamels. As I’ve said several times in recent months, the 31-year-old Hamels is a bonafide ace with a favorable contract — he makes $23.5M per year but is only signed through 2018, so you’re not stuck with him into his late-30s — who would be a multi-win upgrade for any team, including the Yankees. He’s a significant difference-maker.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. recently told Bob Nightengale the Phillies are willing to eat some of the money owed to Hamels to facilitate a trade as long as they get higher quality players in return. As far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant to the Yankees. They should be willing to take on the entire contract to keep the prospect package down. Flex those financial muscles, baby. Use them to get the ace and keep the prospects.

The Phillies are reportedly holding out for top prospects and I totally get it. Hamels is by far their best trade chip and this deal will be an important part of their rebuild. The team isn’t poor, they’re not desperate to get rid of the contract, so they want top prospects. I’d have zero trouble including Luis Severino or Aaron Judge in a trade for Hamels. Including both would be tough to swallow but it shouldn’t be off the table. Ultimately I think it’ll take three or four prospects, at least two of whom are very, very good.

As I said the other day, the Yankees are not the type of team to rush out and make a knee-jerk trade in response to Tanaka’s injury. That said, Hamels is the type of pitcher every team tries to add at any time, regardless of what’s going on elsewhere with the roster. If even if Tanaka was perfectly healthy it would make sense to pursue Hamels. I don’t think the Yankees will trade for Hamels — I expect another club (Dodgers? Red Sox?) to eventually step in and make an offer New York can’t beat — but if it’s doable, yes, bring him aboard.

(Leon Halip/Getty)
(Leon Halip/Getty)

Travis asks: I’m a Brett Gardner fan, but with a large group of outfielders in AAA/AA becoming more and more major league ready (ie: Ramon Flores, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Aaron Judge, Jake Cave), will/should the Yankees look into trade partners after the 2015 season? Keeping in mind that Gardner has been one of the most productive Yankees in the last 3-4 years.

Sure. I don’t think they should actively shop him, but they should certainly listen to offers. It would not only pave the way for a young outfielder, it would also save some money and allow the Yankees to get pieces to plug another hole on the roster. If they could get, say, a young middle infielder and a pitcher for Gardner, wouldn’t they have to consider it? As good as Gardner is, the Yankees have the same exact player in Jacoby Ellsbury. Freeing up an outfield spot would give them a chance to add a player with more offensive ability, especially in what would be the later years of Gardner’s contract. I love Gardner, but the Yankees have a lot of young outfielders and may be able to use him to improve the team elsewhere. Trading him can’t be off the table, right?

Chris asks: Do you think CC Sabathia‘s declining arm speed has hurt his slider more than his fastball? It used to be his best pitch and now it’s loopy like a slurve and hittable.

Yes, I think that’s very possible. Sabathia’s slider was once one of the best in the game, among baseball’s elite pitches, but its swing-and-miss rate has fallen from roughly 22% when he first to joined the Yankees to 13% or so since the start of 2013. Also, opponents have been hitting it harder and harder each year. Here is the SLG against CC’s slider, via Brooks Baseball:

CC Sabathia slider

Fastball velocity gets the most attention but Sabathia’s declining arm strength hurts all his pitches, including his slider and changeup. That same is true for every pitcher as they get older. Pitches will be less effective when you can’t throw them the way you did at your peak. Sabathia seems to lack a go-to pitch these days — his changeup was excellent in his start against the Tigers, for what it’s worth — and unless the Yankees can somehow reverse the pitcher aging process, I’m not sure CC will ever have one of those pitches again.

Asher asks: Who are your “Franchise Four?”

MLB is doing this “Franchise Four” thing, where fans vote for the four “most impactful players who best represent the history of each franchise.” Here’s the ballot and here are the eight candidates for the Yankees:Franchise FourMy four would be Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio. The best player ever, the best first baseman ever, the best switch-hitter ever, and the owner of the longest hitting streak in MLB history. All no-doubt Hall of Famers. The only change I would even consider is Derek Jeter over DiMaggio. I love Mariano Rivera, but I can’t consider a reliever to be one of the four most “impact” players in the history of this franchise. I’m certain my “backup” foursome of Jeter, Rivera, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra is better than the Franchise Four of several other teams. All those guys are Hall of Famers too.

Sam asks: I know the stats say the Yankees are horrible at the infield shift, But what about outfield positioning? Are they just as bad? My eyes tell me they take a lot of hits away out there, but when I look at advanced stats Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury don’t rate very well.

The MLB average BABIP on fly balls and line drives this year are .072 and .617 , respectively. The Yankees are at .065 and .598, respectively, so they’re a touch better than the rest of the league despite Carlos Beltran having the range of a sunflower blowing in the wind. BABIP on fly balls and line drives isn’t a great way to measure outfield positioning, but until people smarter than me start breaking down StatCast data, this is the best we have.

Anecdotally, the Yankees tend to shade Ellsbury toward right field and Gardner toward left-center to help cover for Beltran. Ever notice how they always make great running/sliding catches going to their left but not so much to their right? That’s because they’re already shaded towards right field to help Beltran. Defensive stats for Yankees’ outfielders always seem to be wonky — they say they’ve never had a good defensive center fielder in a year when Gardner was playing left, and, uh, no, look at Ellsbury last season — and I trust them less and less with each passing year. I’m greatly looking forward to the StatCast revolution.

Dan asks: If an MLB team were to go to a six man rotation, would those six starters be able to throw 115 pitches instead of 100 and still get a health benefit? Considering that’s what they do in Japan and are apparently healthier.

In theory, yes, pitchers would be able to throw more pitches in a six-man rotation than they would in a five-man rotation. But, as I’ve been saying for years now, everything in baseball is trending towards using pitchers less and less. My guess is a six-man rotation would result in no substantial change in the average number of pitches per start. Managers might be more willing to let a guy get up to 115-120 pitches on occasion if he’s cruising, but I don’t think it would be an every start thing. Baseball keeps using pitchers less and less. I don’t think it’ll be too long (within ten years?) before a six-man rotation is pretty standard around MLB.

Luke asks: It seems like the Yankees are going to great lengths to limit the number of innings their starters are pitching, using a 6th starter for a spot start and taking guys out with under 100 pitches all the time. Do you think this is something they’ve been forced into because of all the injury concerns in the rotation, or is this a glimpse of the pitching staff of the future?

Both! The Yankees came into the season with several starters who had injury concerns and they’re trying to do all they can to keep these guys healthy. It’s completely understandable why they’ve taken it easy on these guys early this season. (Of course, Tanaka got hurt anyway.) But, as I just said, everything in baseball says teams are using pitchers less and less. My guess is we’ll see fewer 100+ pitch starts throughout baseball going forward — the Yankees have only had three 100+ pitch starts in 22 games this year (one each by Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, and Adam Warren) — and eventually a six-man rotation will become the norm as well.

William asks: Rotation depth past the number six starter gets talked about a lot. We know Chase Whitley is the number 6, or at least I hope so considering he’s getting a spot start. Who would you rank from 7-10 after Whitley in order of who would come up next (ignoring pitching issues like starting in AAA on Monday so unavailable Tuesday for spot start)?

Right now the next starter in line to be called up is Bryan Mitchell, who’s in the Triple-A rotation, and the next guy after that might be Esmil Rogers. I think the Yankees would pull Rogers out of the bullpen and make him a starter before turning to another Triple-A option like Matt Tracy, Kyle Davies, or Jaron Long. One of those guys might get the call to be the long man in the case, but I think Rogers is ahead of them on the rotation depth chart. If they need another starter beyond Mitchell and Rogers … yikes. Let’s hope Chris Capuano and Ivan Nova come back soon, mmmkay?

Severino. (Presswire)
Severino. (Presswire)

Mike asks: In your opinion, what would be the best way for the Yankees to handle Luis Severino? What lessons have we learned about how to handle top arms?

That learning on the fly at the MLB level is hard and the Yankees should try to reduce that as much as possible. Severino needs to improve his breaking ball first and foremost. The Yankees shouldn’t call him up as a fastball/changeup pitcher with a show-me slider and expect instant results. He just turned 21, remember, and like it or not, he’s not some kind of pitching prodigy like Felix Hernandez or Jose Fernandez, the type of guy who has it all figured out at a young age and is ready to dominate big leaguers now. I think patience is the key. Severino has some very obvious things to work on — command and delivery are the big ones in addition to the breaking ball — and he should be given lots of time to work on them in the minors, where results don’t matter. Get as much development done in non-competitive environments as possible, basically. If that means Severino doesn’t make his MLB debut until the second half of next season, so be it.

JonS asks: How many players have thrown exactly ONE pitch for the Yankees?

Pitch count data at Baseball-Reference only goes back to 2000, so I can’t give a complete answer. I’m sure someone at some point from 1913-99 threw exactly one pitch for the Yankees, then never pitched for them again. No player has thrown just one pitch for the Yankees since 2000 though. Here’s the fewest pitches thrown as a Yankee since the turn of the century (via B-Ref):

Rk Player Pit G IP H R ER BB SO ERA FIP
1 Alberto Gonzalez 5 1 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 3.05
2 Dewayne Wise 7 1 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 3.10
3 Steve Garrison 9 1 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 3.03
4 Mike Zagurski 10 1 0.1 1 2 2 0 0 54.00 12.05
5 Dean Anna 17 1 1.0 3 2 2 0 0 18.00 3.13
6 Wade LeBlanc 20 1 1.0 2 2 2 1 0 18.00 9.13
7 Nick Swisher 22 1 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0.00 4.10
8 Sam Marsonek 23 1 1.1 2 0 0 0 0 0.00 3.05
9 David Aardsma 24 1 1.0 1 1 1 1 1 9.00 17.10
10 Jeff Francis 27 2 1.2 2 1 1 0 1 5.40 9.73

Four of those guys (Gonzalez, Wise, Anna, Swisher) are position players, so Garrison has the distinction of throwing the fewest pitches as a Yankee this century among actual pitchers. The team claimed Garrison off waivers from the Padres in 2010 and that one game in pinstripes is the only MLB game he’s ever appeared in. He’s only 28 though and is currently pitching in an independent league. Still time to make it back.

Bob asks: Can you list the Yankee players whose contracts will end in 2015, 2016, and 2017?

Sure, but you can find this information at any time at Cot’s Baseball Contracts, you don’t have to ask me. Here’s a real quick rundown:

The Yankees only have about $17.5M coming off the books after the season, assuming Ryan picks up his no-brainer $1M player option. Most of that money is going to go right to arbitration raises for Nova, Eovaldi, and Pineda. The big contracts don’t start coming off the books until after next season.

Tom asks: Why can’t money hungry MLB players honorably retire when they are no longer an asset to their team, instead of hanging around until the end of their contract? (I’m thinking about CC and Beltran)

Rant time: The only reason players are called “money hungry” is because fans have no idea how much the owners make. If anything, players are underpaid. MLB is setting a new revenue record every year yet the players are getting a smaller piece of the pie — as Nathaniel Grow wrote last month, players were getting 56% of revenue in 2002 but now it’s only 40%. The players generate the revenue. They’re the reason the sport exists and they deserve more money. A player declined at the end of a big money contract? Tough. No one complained when he was playing for a fraction of his market value early in his career. Honorably retire? Get real. How about owners honor their side of the contract and not try to weasel out of it like the Angels and Josh Hamilton or this A-Rod home run milestone bonus nonsense. I hope Sabathia and Beltran get every penny they’re owed. Teams are not victims. They’re more “money hungry” than the players will ever be.