Yankeemetrics: Nightmare on River Avenue [April 19-21]

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Bonus cantos is no bueno
Free baseball is a great thing most of the time – except if you’re a Yankee fan watching the team at the friendly confines. Following their 3-2 loss in extra innings to the A’s on Tuesday night, no team has more extra-inning losses at home since the start of last season than the Yankees (eight). This latest disaster was their first loss to the A’s in the 11th inning or later at Yankee Stadium since August 9, 2002.

What made this loss so deflating – aside from their continued inability to cash in on scoring opportunities – was that the Yankees wasted Michael Pineda‘s best start of the season. He delivered six strong innings, limiting Oakland to two runs while striking out seven. That lowered his career ERA against the A’s to 2.25 in four starts, the sixth-lowest by any pitcher with than many starts versus the A’s since his debut in 2011.

Johnny Barbato gave up the game-winning hit with two outs in the top of the 11th, ending a run of brilliance to start his rookie season. He had pitched at least one inning in each of his first five outings, allowing zero runs and no more than one hit in each game. The only Yankee in the last 100 years with a longer streak like that to begin his major-league career was Joba Chamberlain in 2007.

The definition of insanity is …
Well, at least the Yankees are consistent — a consistently bad and frustrating team right now, that is. The Yankees fell into last place in the AL East after losing to the A’s, 5-2, in the middle game of this three-game series. The last time they were in the basement of the division this late into the season (game No. 13 or later) was 2008.

They keep finding new ways to lose, adding boneheaded baserunning plays (no, Didi, no) on Wednesday night to the stable of offensive woes, lack of clutch hitting and defensive miscues that has defined this awful stretch of baseball in the past week.

Nathan Eovaldi‘s performance was marred by one bad inning, but otherwise he spun a bare-minimum quality start (6 innings, 3 earned runs) with seven strikeouts and had probably his best effort of the season. It was his seventh straight start striking out at least seven batters, tying the longest such streak in franchise history, done previously by CC Sabathia (2009, 2011), Mike Mussina (2003) and Ron Guidry (1978).

The most obscure statistical nugget of the game probably came from the visiting squad, when the A’s were forced to have pitcher Kendall Graveman bat cleanup after infielder Danny Valencia got injured and the A’s lost their DH. Graveman became the first starting pitcher to bat in a game at Yankee Stadium since the designated hitter rule was enacted in 1973.

Party like it’s 1990
If there is something deeper than rock bottom, the Yankees have hit it — and there’s no light at the end of this tunnel yet.

Despite scoring first in each of the three games in this series, the Yankees were swept by the A’s after dropping Thursday night’s contest, 7-3. It is the first time Oakland has swept the Yankees at Yankee Stadium since June 9-11, 2006. Their 5-9 record overall is their worst 14-game start since 2005; the only other season in the Wild Card era that they lost nine of their first 14 games was 1997.

Following the loss, the Yankees are now an unfathomable 2-7 when drawing first blood this season; last year, they won 75 percent of the games in which they scored first. They’ve held a lead in 12 of 14 games this season, yet have gone just 5-7 in those 12 contests. Their seven blown losses are tied with the Blue Jays and Braves for the most in the majors.

Once again a Yankee starter — this time Luis Severino — delivered a solid outing, yet the Yankees couldn’t capitalize on the strong pitching performance. This game marked the seventh time that a Yankee starter allowed three runs or fewer and the team lost the game, tied with the Twins for the most such games by a rotation this season.

The most shocking part of this loss, though, was that the supposed strength of this team — the almighty bullpen — proved to be a weakness (along with the perennially slumping offense). They surrendered five runs in three innings, and four of those scores came via home runs. The Yankees bullpen had faced 173 batters in the first 13 games and had yielded just one homer, tied for the fewest given up in the majors entering Thursday’s slate.

4/19 to 4/21 Series Preview: Oakland Athletics

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The homestand continues this week with a three-game series against the Athletics. This is the first time the A’s have visited the Bronx in April since 2009. The Yankees are getting a bunch of home series against West Coast teams out of the way early, huh?

What Have They Done Lately?

Coming into the season, the Athletics were the one AL team that I thought had no chance to contend. They’ve gone 6-7 and have been outscored by six runs in the super early going. Oakland just wrapped up a six-game homestand, and they lost the first four games before rallying to win the last two. Yesterday was an off-day as they flew East.

Offense & Defense

Reddick. (Presswire)
Reddick. (Presswire)

Runs have been very hard to come by so far this season. The A’s are averaging only 2.85 runs per game with a team 77 wRC+, so they’ve been really struggling offensively. In fact, they’ve scored three or fewer runs in nine of their 13 games. Good gravy. Manager Bob Melvin has two injured players: IF Eric Sogard (knee) and OF Sam Fuld (shoulder). They’re both going to be out a while.

As always, the A’s have a lineup that is very heavy on platoons. The only constants are OF Josh Reddick (134 wRC+), 3B Danny Valencia (89 wRC+), and SS Marcus Semien (155 wRC+). Reddick and Valencia hit third and fourth, and after starting the season as the No. 9 hitter, Semien has seen some time in the two-hole of late. OF Billy Burns (96 wRC+) and OF Coco Crisp (61 wRC+) are sharing time in center field and at the leadoff spot.

UTIL Chris Coghlan (32 wRC+) has been sharing time at second base with IF Jed Lowrie (51 wRC+) and in left field with OF Khris Davis (21 wRC+). 1B Yonder Alonso (-21 wRC+) and 1B/OF Mark Canha (6 wRC+) are platooning at first, then you have DH Billy Butler (22 wRC+) soaking up at-bats. That was such a weird signing. Backup C Josh Phegley (154 wRC+) starts against lefties, so we probably won’t see him this series since CC Sabathia is not scheduled to start.

The A’s have an awful lot of underperforming players in the early going — again, they’re averaging 2.85 runs per game! — and I sure hope they don’t break out this series. Defensively, Melvin’s team is shaky pretty much everywhere but right field, where Reddick is a true stud with a rocket arm. Here is their runs saved projection visualization, via Sean Dolinar:

Athletics defenseIt’s weird, years ago the A’s were ahead of everyone when it came to the obsession with defense. They were the first team that was willing to accept a bad bat as long as it came with a good glove at positions that were traditionally offense-heavy, like left field and first base. These seem to have abandoned that. Weird.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday (7pm ET): RHP Michael Pineda (vs. OAK) vs. LHP Eric Surkamp (vs. NYY)
Remember back when the Yankees seemed to get shut down by every finesse lefty they had never seen before? That was a long time ago. Surkamp, 28, was once a pretty good prospect with the Giants, but injuries have derailed him the last few years. He has 66 total big league innings under his belt, including nine innings in two starts this year. Surkamp has allowed four runs on nine hits and five walks while striking out only three in those nine innings. He’s gotten a grounder on only 28.6% of balls in play too. Not a whole lot of data to look at. Surkamp, in typical crafty lefty fashion, works with an 88-91 mph four-seamer and a mid-80s cutter. An upper-70s curve is his main non-fastball, though he’s also thrown some low-80s changeups this year as well. Surkamp is in the rotation because fifth starter Felix Doubront blew out his elbow earlier this month and needed Tommy John surgery, and also because Henderson Alvarez is still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Wednesday (7pm ET): RHP Nathan Eovaldi (vs. OAK) vs. RHP Kendall Graveman (vs. NYY)
The 25-year-old Graveman came over from the Blue Jays in that ridiculous Josh Donaldson trade two offseasons ago. It looked lopsided at the time and looks even worse now. Graveman is a serviceable big league pitcher, one who owns a 3.90 ERA (4.42 FIP) in 131.2 innings, almost all of which came last year. He’s a ground ball (51.8%) and low walk guy (7.3%). Graveman doesn’t miss many bats (15.6%) and he can be homer prone (1.09 HR/9), but he has had close to no platoon split during those 131.2 innings. He’s essentially a low-90s sinker/upper-80s cutter/upper-70s curveball pitcher, which is an unusual combination. Very A’s like, I’d say. Graveman will throw a few mid-80s changeups per start, and he has a straight low-90s four-seamer for get-me-over pitches. His two starts this season have been solid: two runs in 5.1 innings against the White Sox, one run in six innings against the Angels.

Thursday (7pm ET): RHP Luis Severino (vs. OAK) vs. LHP Rich Hill (vs. NYY)
Hill turned four dominant starts (1.55 ERA and 2.27 FIP!) with the Red Sox late last year into a one-year, $6M contract with the A’s. Good for him. The 36-year-old has a 4.15 ERA (3.26 FIP) in 13 innings across three starts this year, and he’s managed a 30.7% strikeout rate with a 52.9% grounder rate. His walk rate (8.1%) is about average. All throughout his career, even back in the day with the Cubs, Hill was always way more effective against lefties than righties. His pitching style is very unique. He throws his mid-70s curveball roughly 50% of the time, so more often than his low-90s four-seam fastball. Hill will drop down and throw his curve almost sidearm at times (GIF via Karl de Vries) …

Rich Hill curveball

… and last year he led all pitchers in curveball zone percentage, so he throws it for strikes. That pitch is his bread and butter. Hill will mix in a few mid-80s changeups as well, but really, he’s a curveball pitcher who throws some fastballs on occasion. Unusual. Not bad necessarily, just unusual.

Bullpen Status

The bullpen was a total disaster for the A’s last season. Their 4.63 ERA and 4.36 FIP were the third and fourth worst in baseball, respectively. Only a bunch of rebuilding clubs got worse relief work. So, in an effort to improve the bullpen, the A’s signed RHP Ryan Madson (three years, $22M) and RHP John Axford (two years, $10M), and traded stalwart swingman Jesse Chavez to the Blue Jays for setup man RHP Liam Hendriks. Here is the relief crew to date:

RHP Ryan Madson: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
LHP Sean Doolittle: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 HR
RHP Liam Hendriks: 6 IP, 13 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
RHP John Axford: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
RHP Ryan Dull: 7.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 0 HR (!!!)
RHP Fernandez Rodriguez: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 0 HR
LHP Marc Rzepczynski: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Doolittle started the season as the closer, but then he started giving up dingers in bunches, so Madson has since stepped into the ninth inning. Hendriks and Dull have reversed roles with their performances; Dull’s seeing late-inning work and Hendriks is getting low-leverage innings. Rzepczynski is the left-on-left matchup guy.

Like I said, the A’s had an off-day yesterday, so their bullpen is coming in fresh. The Yankees were off yesterday too, so Joe Girardi‘s bullpen is in good shape. You should check out our Bullpen Workload page anyway.

The Rest of MLB [2016 Season Preview]

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The new season is upon us. Opening Day is Monday, which means it’s time to wrap up our annual Season Preview series. As always, we’ll end the series with a quick look around the league. Some of this is serious, most of it isn’t. Enjoy.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Why They’ll Suck: The middle infield is a mess and their corner outfield defense is going to be pretty bad if Yasmany Tomas plays left everyday. Also, they’ll probably trade some good players to unload a bad contract again.
Bold Prediction: Shelby Miller actually pitches well. I have no idea why so many analysts think he’s bad.

Atlanta Braves
Why They’ll Suck: Because they are trying to suck. Rebuilding is just a nice way of saying tanking.
Bold Prediction: Nick Markakis beats his ZiPS projection and slugs .370.

Chicago Cubs
Why They’ll Suck: They’re going to strike out way too much. It’s also only a matter of time until someone gets bit by some wild animal Joe Maddon brings into the clubhouse.
Bold Prediction: Adam Warren is their best starter. Boom!

Chicago White Sox
Why They’ll Suck: They lost their leader, Drake LaRoche.
Bold Prediction: We find out Adam LaRoche was the one who complained about Drake LaRoche being in the clubhouse all the time.

Cincinnati Reds
Why They’ll Suck: Their rotation is Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, Jon Moscot, and John Lamb. No, wait, that’s the list of their injured starters. Now they have to turn to the B-team.
Bold Prediction: Joey Votto finally loses his mind, but in a polite, Canadian way. He’s already doing this between pitches:

Joey Votto

Cleveland Indians
Why They’ll Suck: In all seriousness, their entire starting outfield is either hurt (Michael Brantley, Lonnie Chisenhall) or suspended (Abe Almonte). They’re a Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco injury away from 85 losses. Beware.
Bold Prediction: Francisco Lindor leads all shortstops in WAR.

Colorado Rockies
Why They’ll Suck: The Rockies exist in a perpetual state of suck. Fun Fact: They have never once won a division title. They’ve finished as high as second place only three times in their 23 years of existence.
Bold Prediction: They finally trade Carlos Gonzalez. I’m thinking … Orioles.

Detroit Tigers
Why They’ll Suck: They’ve punted defense at the four corner positions and, inevitably, the relievers they acquired this winter will stink.
Bold Prediction: Justin Verlander bounces back and finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting.

Houston Astros
Why They’ll Suck: Karma for doing very little in the offseason outside of adding a new closer and fifth starter. The rebuild is supposed to be over.
Bold Prediction: Carlos Correa is more Alex Gonzalez than Alex Rodriguez.

Kansas City Royals
Why They’ll Suck: They replaced Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist with Ian Kennedy and Christian Colon. Like, on purpose.
Bold Prediction: Kennedy wins 18 games and Colon hits .310. Eff the Royals, man.

Los Angeles Angels
Why They’ll Suck: The Angels have surrounded Mike Trout with as little position player talent as possible in an effort to make him look even greater by comparison.
Bold Prediction: Jered Weaver’s fastball hits 84 mph once or twice.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Why They’ll Suck: The Dodgers have surrounded Clayton Kershaw with as little pitching talent as possible in an effort to make him look even greater by comparison.
Bold Prediction: It becomes clear Yasiel Puig peaked early.

Miami Marlins
Why They’ll Suck: The fans and players are doomed to pay for Jeffrey Loria’s evil villian-ness. Fun Fact: They’ve never won a division title either. They’ve also never lost a postseason series.
Bold Prediction: Christian Yelich breaks out and puts up Andrew McCutchen numbers. I’m serious about that one.

Milwaukee Brewers
Why They’ll Suck: They’re another team that is going to suck on purpose. Before long they’re going to trade Jonathan Lucroy too.
Bold Prediction: Ramon Flores hits 15 dingers with a .350 OBP.

Minnesota Twins
Why They’ll Suck: I don’t know, but I’m sure Twins fans will blame it on Joe Mauer.
Bold Prediction: Miguel Sano plays right field better than Torii Hunter did last year.

New York Mets
Why They’ll Suck: They’re still the Mets. Case in point: the recent Matt Harvey bladder story. Last year’s pennant didn’t change anything in that regard.
Bold Prediction: They have to trade for a starting pitcher at the deadline.

Oakland Athletics
Why They’ll Suck: No joke, I can name only one A’s starter (Sonny Gray) and one A’s infielder (Marcus Semien). Is Bobby Crosby still playing?
Bold Prediction: Josh Reddick gets traded for a holy crap package at the trade deadline. I’m thinking … Royals.

Philadelphia Phillies
Why They’ll Suck: Still reeling from the 2009 World Series, obviously.
Bold Prediction: Someone not named Maikel Franco or Ryan Howard hits a home run.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Why They’ll Suck: The baseball gods will not let John Jaso’s hair go unpunished.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Bold Prediction: Mark Melancon is traded at the deadline. I’m thinking … Dodgers.

St. Louis Cardinals
Why They’ll Suck: The Cardinals will never suck. The only thing they suck at is sucking. Their ace made four starts and their highest paid position player hit four home runs last season, and they still won 100 games. The Cardinals, man.
Bold Prediction: Three years after learning to play second base and one year after learning to hit for power, Matt Carpenter picks up pitching and saves 46 games.

San Diego Padres
Why They’ll Suck: I’m not entirely convinced the Padres exist at this point. Are we sure MLB still lets them into the league? What an amazingly nondescript franchise.
Bold Prediction: Someone throws the first no-hitter in franchise history. I’ll go with Colin Rea, who is a real player and definitely not someone I just made up.

San Francisco Giants
Why They’ll Suck: They buy into the “even year trend” a little too much and give Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner weeks off at a time this summer.
Bold Prediction: Bumgarner out-slugs the starting outfield.

Seattle Mariners
Why They’ll Suck: I don’t know how it will happen exactly, but they’ll suck. The Mariners are the Wile E. Coyote of MLB. Every time they looked poised for success, they crash into the mountain with a tunnel painted on the side of it.
Bold Prediction: Bob Cano mashes 30 taters and finishes in the top three of the MVP voting. I’m expecting a big year from Robbie.

Texas Rangers
Why They’ll Suck: They won’t suck. They’ll be just good enough to get thisclose to winning something meaningful before having it ripped away again. Think Game Six of the 2011 World Series, or the seventh inning of Game Five of last year’s ALDS. That’s how the Rangers roll.
Bold Prediction: Josh Hamilton leads the team in home runs.

Washington Nationals
Why They’ll Suck: They’re the NL version of the Red Sox. They have talent and everyone buys the hype. It should work! But it doesn’t.

Homer Simpson

Bold Prediction: Bryce Harper is even better this year.

Sherman: Yankees called about Donaldson last offseason

(Victor Decolongon/Getty)
(Victor Decolongon/Getty)

This is not surprising at all. According to Joel Sherman, Brian Cashman called Athletics GM Billy Beane about third baseman Josh Donaldson early in the offseason, but was told he would not be traded. It’s been reported over the last few months that other teams were told the same thing. Donaldson wasn’t available … and then suddenly he was.

Sherman says Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos called about Donaldson and basically wouldn’t take no for answer. He kept upping his offer until the A’s said yes. “Alex is and was certainly relentless. That is his personality. But we didn’t trade Josh to make Alex go away,” said A’s assistant GM David Forst.

Furthermore, Sherman says the Athletics did not shop Donaldson around after getting an offer they liked from Toronto. That seems … unwise. Don’t you have to try to get max value for a player of that caliber? The four-player package sent to Oakland in the trade — Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, and prospect Franklin Barreto — looked light at the time and ridiculous now.

The Yankees needed a third baseman this past offseason and opted to re-sign Chase Headley, who’s had a poor year mostly because he suddenly forgot how to throw to first base. Alex Rodriguez can’t play the field anymore and the only other free agent third baseman on the market was Pablo Sandoval, who has been a total disaster with the Red Sox.

Of course, the Yankees could have kept Martin Prado at third base, but a) that means no Nathan Eovaldi, and b) Prado hasn’t been anything special this year either. Donaldson would have been an incredible pickup this winter. You don’t need me to tell you that. It’s hard to believe the A’s traded him for what they did. My guess is if they opened it up to the highest bidder, the Yankees would have priced out. So it goes.

2015 Trade Deadline Open Thread: Tuesday

Price. (Presswire)
Price. (Presswire)

We are now just four days away from the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline. The Yankees stretched their AL East lead to seven games with last night’s winFanGraphs has their postseason odds at 93.8% — but they’re in no position to coast. Ivan Nova left last night’s start with “arm fatigue,” reinforcing the team’s need for pitching help. They could also use a new second baseman and maybe a righty bench bat.

On Monday we learned … well … not much we didn’t already know. The Yankees are in on just about every pitcher, starters and relievers, and they remain interested in Ben Zobrist. Possible bullpen target Tyler Clippard was traded to the Mets as well. Oh, and Troy Tulowitzki was traded to the Blue Jays last night. How about that? We’re going to keep track of all the day’s Yankees-related rumors right here, so make sure you check back often. It really feels like a deal could happen at any moment now.

  • 2:31pm ET: Ben Zobrist is heading to the Royals for two pitching prospects. That is really disappointing. He would have been a massive upgrade at second base.
  • 2:21pm ET: The Yankees and Rockies never seriously engaged in Troy Tulowitzki trade talks. The combination of cost (both prospects and dollars) and injury risk was not particularly appealing to the Yankees. [Joel Sherman]
  • 2:10pm ET: The Athletics are “deep” in Ben Zobrist trade talks and he is expected to move soon. It’s unclear where he will end up, but the Yankees have been connected to him for weeks. Zobrist makes a ton of sense for the Bombers and pretty much every other team in MLB. [Jane Lee]
  • 12:29pm ET: The Phillies are asking teams for their “best” offers for Cole Hamels by Wednesday. That makes sense, Hamels is scheduled to pitch Thursday and they probably want to deal him before then. His stock can only go down following the no-hitter. [Jayson Stark]
  • 9:30pm ET: Craig Kimbrel‘s name has indeed popped up in trade talks with the Padres. There was nothing more than speculation connecting the Yankees to Kimbrel prior to this. The Yankees insist they will not trade their top prospects and apparently that stance will have to change to get Kimbrel. [Jon Heyman]
  • The Yankees and several other clubs are “waiting to hear” whether the Tigers will make David Price available. Detroit lost for the seventh time in eleven games since the All-Star break yesterday, though reportedly they’re going to wait a few days before deciding on a course of action. [Buster Olney]

Reminder: Your trade proposal sucks.

Second base option off the board: Zobrist goes to Royals

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty)
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty)

The best second base option is officially off the board. The Athletics have traded Ben Zobrist to the Royals for pitching prospects Sean Manaea and Aaron Brooks, the club announced. Oakland is in full blown sell mode, having now traded Zobrist, Tyler Clippard, and Scott Kazmir. The Royals, meanwhile, are all-in with Zobrist and Johnny Cueto.

The Yankees were said to have interest in Zobrist for the last several weeks and it made perfect sense. Stephen Drew hasn’t hit all year and Zobrist, a switch-hitter with contact skills and defensive versatility, has put up a .268/.354/.447 (125 wRC+) batting line with more walks (12.2%) than strikeouts (9.6%) this year. His batting average is higher than Drew’s on-base percentage (.263).

The Royals paid a fair price for two months plus one October of Zobrist. Brooks is an up-an-down depth arm, a David Phelps type but not quite that good, while Manaea is a high-end pitching prospect with a history of injury issues (hip and abdomen, mostly). Baseball America ranked him as the 81st best prospect in the game before season.

Going from Drew to Zobrist was the biggest possible position player upgrade the Yankees could have realistically made at the trade deadline this year. (#RealTalk: Going from Drew to Zobrist is a bigger upgrade than going from Jose Reyes to Troy Tulowitzki.) The best available second base option now is, uh, Martin Prado? Egads.

2015 Trade Deadline Open Thread: Monday

Hamels. (David Banks/Getty)
Hamels. (David Banks/Getty)

The 2015 non-waiver trade deadline is this coming Friday at 4pm ET. The Yankees are currently 55-42 with a +34 run differential on the season, giving them a 6.5-game lead in the AL East. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at a healthy 93.1%. Despite that, the roster could use some reinforcements, particularly at second base and on the mound.

“We’ve had conversations with every club willing to sell, finding out what they’re willing to sell and what their price tags are. You engage everyone about everything,” said Brian Cashman to Ken Rosenthal recently. The Yankees are said to prefer rental players — their trade deadline activity in recent years backs that up — but they’ve reportedly “sworn off” dealing top prospects for said rentals. We’ll see.

We’ll keep track of any Yankees-related rumors right here throughout the day. The team tends to do things very quietly, almost all of their major moves seem to come out of nowhere, so I can’t promise you many updates. Especially not this early in the week. Either way, keep tabs on everything  and talk about all things trade deadline right here throughout the day.

  • 6:17pm ET: The A’s have traded Tyler Clippard to the Mets for minor league righty Casey Meisner, the teams announced. So scratch Clippard off the list. Meisner was the Amazin’s third round pick last summer. He’s similar to a healthy Austin DeCarr, if you’re wondering.
  • 5:00pm ET: The Dodgers and Rangers are currently seen as the favorites to land Cole Hamels. The Phillies continue to demand either Judge or Severino from the Yankees. [Heyman]
  • 3:36pm ET: The Yankees continue to show interest in Ben Zobrist but they are one of many. The Pirates, Royals, Angels, and Cubs are also trying him to pry him away from Oakland. [Heyman]
  • 12:53pm ET: As expected, the Yankees continue to talk both starters and relievers with other teams, especially righty relievers. The plan could be to acquire a reliever then moving Adam Warren back into the rotation. [Heyman]
  • 11:30am ET: The Yankees have indeed contacted the Phillies about Cole Hamels, which is no surprise. They had a scout at his no-hitter over the weekend. The Phillies asked for either Aaron Judge or Luis Severino, but the Yankees are not planning to move Judge, Severino, Greg Bird, or other top prospects. Philadelphia is also said to be seeking a catcher in any trade. [Ken Rosenthal, Jon Heyman, Jim Salisbury, Buster Olney]
  • In addition to Hamels, the Yankees are keeping tabs on basically every available starting pitcher. That list includes Jeff Samardzija, Ian Kennedy, Yovani Gallardo, and Mat Latos, among others. It remains to see whether the Tigers will cave and make David Price available. [Joel Sherman]
  • The Yankees are a potential landing spot for Tyler Clippard, who could be dealt as soon as today. The club has also been scouting Padres relievers recently, presumably Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit. Kimbrel is Kimbrel, and the Yanks have shown a bunch of interest in Benoit in recent years. [Susan Slusser, Jon Morosi]
  • The Yankees are looking for an upgrade at second base. There’s not much out there aside from Ben Zobrist, however. They have zero interest in Aaron Hill and could simply recall Rob Refsnyder if they’re unable to make a deal for help at second. [Jon Heyman]
  • Marlins righty Mat Latos has been linked to the Yankees. The Marlins are in sell mode — they’ve already traded ex-closer Steve Cishek to the Cardinals — and have plenty of rental players to offer. Here is our Scouting The Market post on Latos and other Miami players. [Joe Frisaro]
  • Athletics director of player personnel Billy Owens has scouting Double-A Trenton recently. That is definitely not the most prospect-laden team in the system. Scott Kazmir has already been traded, but the Yankees have interest in Zobrist. [Matt Kardos]
  • The Yankees and Reds did have discussions about Johnny Cueto before he was traded to the Royals. Apparently Ivan Nova‘s name came up. Talks didn’t advance very far. [George King]

Reminder: Your trade proposal sucks.