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Yankees did right thing by throwing the towel

By trading away their most valuable assets, the Yankees have officially given up on the season.

Until the trade deadline the situation wasn’t quite as hopeless as many thought it would be. In fact, trailing by seven games at this part of the season, gives a team still a chance to reach the play offs, even though it is through the second wild card spot. But after being swept  by the lowly Rays, it eventually became clear that the chance to reach the playoffs wasn’t a realistic one for the Yankees. The pitching did not live up to the expectations as did most of the hitting.

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Yankees Switch Roles at Trade Deadline, Help Fuel Potentially Historic World Series Matchup

Whether you’re a fan of the New York Yankees or not, a couple things are universally known about the organization: they’ve won a lot of World Series titles and normally do whatever it takes to win. The Bronx Bombers could have an impact on the Fall Classic again come October, but not because they’re participating in it.

Actually deciding to be a seller at the MLB trade deadline wasn’t the shocking part. Given their average play, it made sense for general manager Brian Cashman to trade Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller (among others) when their perceived value was high. However, helping the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians – two teams suffering through very long championship droughts – possibly get over the hump was a rather interesting twist.

It’s been a while since either of these organizations reached the pinnacle of the sport, but they each have reason to believe this is the year it comes to an end.

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San Francisco Giants Should be the Most Aggressive Team at the MLB Trade Deadline

We’ve seen this movie before – it’s an even year and the San Francisco Giants are one of baseball’s best teams. Should we just hand over another World Series trophy to them and get it over with?

There are quite a few teams out there begging to differ – mainly in Chicago, Texas and New York, among others – but it’s hard to ignore the even-year trend going on in the Bay area. Whether the organization puts any stock into it or not, nobody can deny they’ve come out swinging since the end of last year.

Not only have they locked up homegrown players like Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt to affordable long-term deals, they bolstered big needs in the outfield with Denard Span and the front of the rotation by flanking Madison Bumgarner with Johnny Cuetoand Jeff Samardzija.

As well as the Giants have played through the first two months, things are about to get more difficult. Like most contending teams, there are concerns about specific parts of the roster. With outfielder Hunter Pence anticipated to miss at least two months with a hamstring tear, those concerns are only amplified.

The Giants were uncharacteristically one of the top spenders this past winter by committing nearly $300 million to Cueto, Samardzija and Span, but it probably won’t be enough. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of opportunity in the trade market this summer, but if they want a chance at continuing that even-year trend, they’ll have to once again make big splashes.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Andrew Miller To The Texas Rangers

Let me preface this article by saying that this deal will only be made if the New York Yankees are out of the playoff race near the trade deadline. As of right now, the New York Yankees are 22-24, and 6.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. Considering how competitive the American League East is, there is a good chance the Yankees will be out of contention near the trade deadline, which means they will be sellers in the trade market.

 

The Yankees’ number one asset to move will be one of their three elite relief pitchers, Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, or Aroldis Chapman. Of the three, Andrew Miller is the most likely to be dealt. Miller is under contract until 2018 (signed a four-year/$36 million contract in 2015), which is what makes him so valuable to a contending team. So far in 2016, Miller has appeared in 19 games, with a 2-0 record, 0.96 ERA, 33 strikeouts, and one walk in 18.2 innings pitched.

 

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New York Yankees Must Make Changes to Take Advantage of Their Greatest Asset

The New York Yankees entered 2016 with questions surrounding both the rotation and starting lineup, but nobody questioned one spot of the roster: the bullpen. Dellin Betances,Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman would combine for a three-headed monster of potentially historic proportions.

Games against the Bronx Bombers would basically be over before the seventh-inning stretch. Right?

While Chapman is still serving his 30-game suspension and hasn’t debuted yet, a sluggish April has prevented New York from utilizing what we all figured would be its greatest strength.

General manager Brian Cashman has toed the line between getting younger and remaining competitive for quite a while and has done a great job. He found Derek Jeter’s successor in Didi Gregorius and despite not signing an MLB free agent this past winter, he made what appeared to be solid additions in Chapman, Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks.

However, the one thing on Cashman’s to-do list that he couldn’t cross off was finding depth (or just better options) for the starting rotation. He even sacrificed some depth by sending Adam Warren to the Chicago Cubs in the Castro trade. This area was a cause for concern, but there seemed to be enough positives where an overwhelming bullpen would make up the difference.

It hasn’t.

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Tanaka Will Miss Over A Years Worth Of Work In 7 Season Contract From ‘TJS’ Avoidance

Pitching with a partially torn UCL in his pitching arm since july of 2014, the Yankees and Tanaka's camp have avoided having Tommy John Surgery thus far, but how far can they go in avoiding the procedure. I also make the point that even if the Yankees ace somehow eludes the injury for the duration of his 7 year contract - that the fans are only seeing him at 85 - 90%. I thought the move was to have TJ Surgery have been able to turn it lose upon returning.

Pitching with a partially torn UCL in his pitching arm since July of 2014, the Yankees and Tanaka’s camp have avoided having Tommy John Surgery thus far, but how far can they go in avoiding the procedure? I also make the point that even if the Yankees ace somehow eludes the injury for the duration of his 7 year contract – that the fans are only seeing him at 85 – 90%. I thought the move was to have TJ Surgery in 2014, and upon returning from it, he would be able to turn it lose like an ace should.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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What is better:  5 Years and an average of 200 Innings Thrown, or 6 years of throwing 150 – 165 IP?

The diagnosis of Masahiro Tanaka‘s slightly torn elbow was first disclosed in July of 2014.  Had he gone for Tommy John Surgery there for  repair, he could be back at full strength right about now in time.

Instead of going ahead with a procedure (that is operating at about an 86% rate of full return for pitchers,) the Japanese born Tanaka has been nursing the injury since the start of the 2015 season.

Having signed a 7 year deal worth $155 MIL – that also included a $20 MIL posting fee, the Yankees were hoping to land an ace that could pivot their rotation from 2014 – 2020.

While it is amazing the man can even throw with this lingering issue, Tanaka authored a great WHIP of 0.994 and a respectable ERA of 3.51 in 24 Game Starts during 2015.  Here is the problem though, he missed 2 months of the season when his elbow flared up.  Read the rest of this entry

Did The Yankees Make A Mistake Trading For Aroldis Chapman?

On December 29th, 2015, the New York Yankees completed a trade with the Cincinnati Reds that solidified what could be one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball history. The Cincinnati Reds sent closer, Aroldis Chapman, to the New York Yankees for prospects Rookie Davis, Caleb Cotham, Tony Renda, and Eric Jagielo. Prior to the trade, Jagielo was ranked as the Yankees 6th best prospect and Davis as the 10th best prospect in their system by MLB.com. It is worth noting that prior to this trade, it was reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, which involved top prospect Jose Peraza, but this trade fell through after some shocking news was released about Aroldis Chapman.

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New York Yankees Need To Go Full Bore To Start 2016: Seek Reinforcements Midway Through If Need Be

The Yankees were almost flawless in their 1st 33 games to start the 2015 campaign. Quick starts by Teixeira and A-Rod fueled the offense, while Miller and Betances did not yield a run in this stretch either. Pineda was 5 - 0, Tanaka was healthy, and their duo of Ellsbury and Gardner were hitting north of .300

The Yankees were almost flawless in their 1st 33 games to start the 2015 campaign. Quick starts by Teixeira and A-Rod fueled the offense, while Miller and Betances did not yield a run in this stretch either. Pineda was 5 – 0, Tanaka was healthy, and their duo of Ellsbury and Gardner were hitting north of .300.  The club was able to coast for the last 129 games of the year when injuries and age caught up to them.  Considering they spent no real money in the winter, they should go for bore early in the season, and then bring in a boatload of people late via trade  to compensate for injuries that will probably occur to their roster.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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On May.11, 2015 – the New York Yankees had just finished an 11 – 5 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Rays – and this led to a record of 21 – 12 to start their first 33 games.  It would be important on so many levels in completing the campaign.

You see – in the next 129 games the club would go just 66 – 63 to secure the 1st Wild Card Berth.

Mark Teixeira had clubbed 11 HRs over the wall with 27 RBI.  Alex Rodriguez had 8 big fly’s with many of them giving the Bronx Bombers a shot in the arm for victory.

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances both had not yielded a run to that point. Michael Pineda was a brilliant 5 – 0, and that was about the time that Masahiro Tanaka began having health issues.

You throw in Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner both hitting well over .300 – and it was easy to see how the Pinstripers had taken off to a great start. Read the rest of this entry

Top 5 Projected MLB Holds Leaders (AL + NL) In 2016

With so much uncertainty in the air about Mark Melancon's fate with the club, I can't pick Tony Watson to win this category for a 2nd straight year. He was also the runner up in the 2014 season. I say he is the Closer in the 2nd half of the year. His teammate Jared Hughes will get plenty of opportunities all year in late inning relief.

With so much uncertainty in the air about Mark Melancon’s fate with the club, I can’t pick Tony Watson to win this category for a 2nd straight year. He was also the runner-up in the 2014 season. I say he is the Closer in the 2nd half of the year. His teammate Jared Hughes will get plenty of opportunities all year in late inning relief.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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It is time to get our fantasy teams ready in 2016.  Because of the long winter year for certain players, the Relievers market has a pile of roster moves to go down before opening weekend in April.  There are some guys that could make the list, but I am itching to write my list.

For the reasons I was just talking about, Jeremy Affeldt, Matt Thornton, Casey Janssen, Manny Parra, Eric O’Flaherty, Tommy Hunter, Franklin Morales, Neal Cotts, Nathan Adcock, Wesley Wright, Matt Capps, Sergio Santos, Ryan Webb and Joe Beimel won’t appear – although only a couple of those guys are even relevant to the Holds stat.

The biggest questions to think of include trade possibilities.  Will the Pirates trade Mark Melancon?  If this happens, NL Leader of Holds last year, Tony Watson, may see some time as the Closer for the Bucs. Read the rest of this entry

Chapman To The Yanks Means ‘New York’ is In It To Win It For 2016

Aroldis Chapman is the most dominant Left Handed Reliever in the game right now - and is heading to the Bronx with the 2 other top Strikeout Ratio artists in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. The Yankees will be able to hold down plenty of leads. But this deal means more than just the player coming to New York. It is the first time we have seen the brass step up to say we are going to win this thing in 2016. Look for subsequent moves to be made now that this is the mindset.

Aroldis Chapman is the most dominant Left Handed Reliever in the game right now – and is heading to the Bronx with the 2 other top Strikeout Ratio artists in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. The Yankees will be able to hold down plenty of leads. But this deal means more than just the player coming to New York. It is the first time we have seen the brass step up to say we are going to win this thing in 2016. Look for subsequent moves to be made now that this is the mindset.  Chapman has 1 Year of Arbitration left before hitting the open market next winter).

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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We have given Brian Cashman a lot of flak about how he has run the Yankees in the last half dozen year or so.  While I like the Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro deals, this is the first deal where I felt the Pinstripers were serious about winning again.

Read about the deal for Chapman from MLB Trade Rumors

Everyone will be proclaiming them the best 1/2/3 knockout punch in late inning relief in the entire Majors.  You will also hear a ton of things about Strikeout Rates – and historical Bullpens.

You will also hear a lot about player integrity and character.  Since when do the Bronx Bombers ever care about whether a guy has some off field issues?

What I took out of yesterday’s deal is that the brass has given the green light to play ball in 2016.

With a payroll reaching $220 MIL now (easily payable with a team that makes as much as the Yankees), who cares if the team spends another $25 – $30 MIL after the Chapman deal? (more…)

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