Sunday, December 31, 2017

THE NEW YEAR AGENDA WE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT


This past week, the week after Christmas, was pretty quiet as I am reminded by my non-Yankee fan daughter that, "it's not baseball season and what could I possibly write about" as we sit in the frigid cold weather plaguing most of the Northeast.  And then she said something brilliant that allowed me to break through my icy writer's block: "the Yankees have to have an agenda for 2018; write about that."  So I am, given the advice of my daughter, the Met fan.


To have an agenda is to have a "a list or outline of things to be considered or done," as the dictionary reminds us.  And for sure, the Yankees have a list of things to be done.  Much like the theory of backwards design, however, we have to front load the agenda in order for us to reach our goal of a 2018 World Championship.  So as pseudo-GM, here is the agenda I think the Yankees should follow through the end of October:

I. Trade for or pick up a quality starting pitcher through free agency that has both longevity and chemistry to mix with the current Yankee starting rotation and pitching staff.

II. Continue to grow and develop young players in the farm system leading up to Spring Training and beyond and don't give up on them too soon.

III. Invest in our club house leaders, support their fitness goals, endorse their ability to counsel newbies, heed their veteran advice and keep them actively engaged in the game.

Sure there are sub points within these three main agenda items, but let's focus on the big three.

I. Trade for or pick up a quality starting pitcher through free agency that has both longevity and chemistry to mix with the current Yankee starting rotation and pitching staff.


Source: YES.com

Last week we stood by headline, "THE YANKEES COULD PLAN TO DO WITHOUT."  And this principle has served them well over the last few trades/acquisitions.  Backed by Brian Cashman's words published in the NY Post on Saturday, "We are not prioritizing any one thing, we are ready to go with what we have got,” general manager Brian Cashman told The Post. “We are open-minded to opportunities whether they be positionally or pitching. We are not prioritizing to add to the youth competition at third and second over the rotation option. We will take any opportunity to improve the club. If it makes enough sense, we’ll execute it.”

Photo: New York Post
The price, the player, the person, has to be able to gel with the current team.  But at the end of the day, a pitcher seems to make sense, knowing that it takes time to build young players, at least two seasons like we saw in Luis Severino and even the greener, Jordan Montgomery.  Could someone like Patrick Corbin or Gerrit Cole still be the last link to the growing pitching chain for the Yankees, fulfilling agenda item one?  Maybe.  If it makes enough sense to do so.  A sweetener in the deal with the Pirates could be infielder Josh Harrison, who has quietly built some buzz around his fit on the Yankees or possibly the Mets in 2018.

II. Continue to grow and develop young players in the farm system leading up to Spring Training and beyond and don't give up on them too soon.


Source: NY Daily News

According to the NY Post in mid-November, "While (Gleyber) Torres, the centerpiece of the 2016 trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, was limited to 55 games in two minor league stops this season following Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow, he is expected to be ready for the 2018 season and could surface in the big leagues next season. (Albert) Abreu, 22, was one of two young pitchers the Yankees got from the Astros for catcher Brian McCann last November. He appeared in 14 games at three levels this summer."  We will likely see both of these players this season, with Torres expected to find his way into the opening day lineup should he perform as anticipated this spring.


We have to provide mentoring, top of the line instruction, facilities and opportunities for our young talent to soar and stay competitive and strong as they grow as prospects.  We have spent years growing our farm system as it holds a top spot in the eyes of MLB.  We need to keep the resources strong and vibrant for these young guys as they are the future of our franchise.

III.  Invest in our club house leaders, support their fitness goals, endorse their ability to counsel newbies, heed their veteran advice and keep them actively engaged in the game.

Never underestimate what the veterans provide for our team; never take them for granted.  They may have slowed, they may not be as fresh as they used to be, but they are hard workers, with tons of experience and their offerings to the Baby Bombers are invaluable.

Source: NY Post

Respected club house veteran, Brett Gardner is a leader on and off the field and his presence within the Yankees organization is priceless.  He remembers the impact good mentoring had on him and strives to provide the same impact to his current teammates. "Guys like Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi, my rookie year, I remember how those guys treated me and made me feel like part of the team, and I try to do that for these young guys. I just stress to them the importance of living in the moment and taking things one day at a time," reported the NY Daily News.

Source: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The CC Sabathia signing solidifies the presence of another leader who provides insight and experience for the growing youth of the 2018 team and counsel to its new manager.  "In truth, Sabathia is indispensable as first-time manager Aaron Boone will undoubtedly learn quickly how harmony and effective communication within the clubhouse will be essential for on field success, especially in the Yankees’ fishbowl. The pressures of managing the Yankees are enormous and having someone like Sabathia who could assist Boone as a clubhouse interpreter and spokesman while directing the daily traffic surrounding the ball club and its players is pivotal," reports Forbes.

Source: MLB.com

Leadership is a precious commodity and it is essential for long term success, particularly when seasonal pressures reach their highest during the dog days of summer.  "Boone’s support staff must include Sabathia as he intimately knows the attitudes and behaviors within the clubhouse."



With the New Year Agenda set, there is not one item on the list we can live without.  We need to add to the talent, we need to support the growth of our farm system, readying the Baby Bombers for the Show and we need to continue to engage veterans in leading our team, both on and off the field.  Looking forward to ringing in 2018 later this evening, knowing that after that, there is much to get accomplished and the Yankees are just the team to get it done.



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof














MY FAVORITE PERSON OF 2017

Some times you just need to tip your cap to good, hardworking people and remind them that their passion sometimes rubs off on others... and that's a good thing.


I have read Pete Caldera for years.  He is one of my favorite sports writers.  When I interviewed Pete for Bleeding Yankee Blue back in June of 2012 (read NO ONE DOES THE YANKEES BETTER THAN PETE CALDERA), it was such an honor for me because I was able to get to know a guy that I only read in the paper before that.  It was a personal success to get to know him.  


I always felt it strange that he wasn't bigger at the time. Don't misunderstand me... I mean sure, he was read daily by many, and that was a big deal... definitely to me. But Pete's a modest guy.  He doesn't self-promote. From what I can tell, he never has.  He's not one of those guys who bills himself as a 'baseball insider' or tries to fall over himself to get a rumor right and get clicks and all that stuff.  He's the 'nugget' guy as I like to call him.  I have always said that in every piece he does there is 1 thing I can pull out of it that I didn't know before.  And sure, maybe that me just liking his material... who knows.  I do know this... he's always impressed me and I've always admired him.

Pete's a friend these days and I'm grateful for that. And you know what I love about this guy most? He has a second passion that has probably kept him balanced all these years.  Caldera's a crooner too!

Photo Credit: Robert Casey / BYB
I've mentioned this on BYB a lot, but it's worth revisiting. If you have never seen the guy sing, you're missing out. He's amazing. My wife and I were able to catch him one night at the Carnegie Club together.  We had a few drinks, relaxed... I even helped Pete out with a photo portfolio of him doing his singing gig. A few of those shots are in this piece. Why? Well... because, when I believe in people and their abilities... I love to try and help. Especially if they are timid to self promote.  

Photo Credit: Robert Casey/BYB
I love seeing someone do something they love.  I appreciate it.

Since 2012 when I first interviewed Pete, he's been making a splash.  I love that.  I see that he's very active on Twitter these days.  Here's a few fun ones...






Using social media is good for Pete because he's literally and casually reinventing himself in a now stale newspaper world. Pete's big time!

And yeah, He's even doing the whole video blog thing, talking to his audience directly, as well as writing for the Bergen Record, something he is already a huge success at.  And I like it. Check this out...



Bottom line, this year on Bleeding Yankee Blue, I'd like to tip my cap to my favorite person of 2017. Pete Caldera... a great singer, an awesome writer and someone that everyone likes.

If you don't know Pete and his work... check it out.  No one better in the industry, and trust me, he's not gonna tell you about himself, so I might as well help my buddy out!

Happy New Year's Pete.  Don't get mad! It's something I needed to do. 

You're getting better and better every day, pal!










MIAMI'S YELICH COULD BE ON THE MOVE

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Looks like the Marlins are getting bites on Christian Yelich.  And if I'm Yelich, I am packing my bags A.S.A.M.F.P.  (if you don't know what that means... google it.)

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald has this...

Now, the Phillies are a loser right now, but knowing everything that has gone on in Miami, there are 2 things that are possible...

Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
For one, Yelich could be the leader of that Marlins club in a rebuilding year and stick around with his fingers crossed hoping Jeter can turn it around.  For 2... Yelich could just be super frustrated and ask to get the hell out of there.

Photo: Miami Herald
Prospects will be intriguing to Jeter. I'd be really curious to see if the Phillies do something like this and if the Marlins bite.

I have stated here on BYB that I am disappointed with the way Derek Jeter and company has dealt with a franchise like Miami that literally has nothing.  The drastic quickness of his moves look as though he has no regard for anything in that franchise.  I think personally there is a better, smarter way to dismantle a club without destroying it's fan base in the same swift motion.  But hey... I'm a writer, not an owner.  What do I know? It's my opinion.


I do know that Yelich isn't thrilled... especially with Stanton and Ozuna shipped out.  But we shall see what happens next with this rumor.

We'll keep you updated... keep checking here on BYB.




Friday, December 29, 2017

THE YANKS LIKE DARVISH, BUT YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS...


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Remember when I wrote that piece today about a slow few days in baseball news? It was titled THOSE FEW DAYS BEFORE NEW YEAR'S EVE WHERE NOTHING HAPPENS

Remember when I wrote:

"We are in this place in the year where the world stops. I mean sure, baseball insiders are writing their best rumors, but it's all the same stuff that's already been reported, it's just repackaged and that in turn gives them a few extra clicks until New Year's Eve."

Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle
Now remember when Bleeding Yankee Blue wrote this story about Yu Darvish on December 21st? It was called THE YANKEES HAVE CHECKED IN ON YU DARVISH. In that piece we discussed the idea of the Yankees being interested in Darvish.  December 21st. Remember that... that's significant with the next part of this post.

It's safe to say I'm 100% right.  Jon Heyman just tricked us all again.  Because once again... a story from over a week ago is now relevant again (not at all actually) on a slow baseball news day.  My God! At least try and fool us, Jon. He writes...


"New York Yankees people do like Yu Darvish, and at a reasonable price, he will be seriously considered. It seems everyone’s strategy this year is to wait for the price to drop."

Smart BYB readers KNOW this sentences actually provides NO information.  And trust me, I understand Heyman and for the most part, he's good at what he does.  But this is just obvious that it's an old story with old information.

If something happens with Yu Darvish, we will tell you.  This isn't something.

https://www.ae.com/aerie/aerie/s-cms/4840006

THOSE FEW DAYS BEFORE NEW YEAR'S EVE WHERE NOTHING HAPPENS


We are in this place in the year where the world stops.  I mean sure, baseball insiders are writing their best rumors, but it's all the same stuff that's already been reported, it's just repackaged and that in turn gives them a few extra clicks until New Year's Eve.  I'll be the first to tell you that there is literally nothing going on in the baseball universe and Yankee universe worth reporting until next year.  Nothing.

New Year's Eve is Sunday night... a night where we kiss 2017 goodbye and look forward to a new year with new dreams and new accomplishments... not only in Yankeeland, but in life.

I reflect quite often on what we have accomplished here at Bleeding Yankee Blue.  Many writers have come and gone for instance.  Many thought it was easy, but when you need to supply a story daily or are put on a schedule and you need to balance life too... well it's hard.  Many writers have left BYB because they couldn't hack it.  But don't get it twisted, that's not a swipe.  Writing for a website is no easy task.  For one, we're a free shop here.  We don't pay, we write because we have 2 passions... the Yankees... and writing.  We do it for the readers... we've built our own fan base because we rolled our sleeves up and got dirty.  Not many sites can say that... we can.  Not looking for sympathy... I'm just being honest. We don't have to do any of this, but I wanted to make a difference back in September of 2010.  I wanted to throw my voice in the baseball blog ring because I was honest about my thoughts about the Yankees.  If I didn't care for a player, I was no doubt going to tell you. If I had a theory, I went for it, and waited for people to tell me I was full of it.

I've been threatened for opinions.  I was told we'd never make it. I was told I was stupid.  The Internet is a dangerous place.  But when you have a passion, you go for it.  And that's where Me, Suzie, Jeana, Michael, O'Hara and Ike are these days.  We love the grind. We love intelligent dialog and we love to give you honesty and bring your our passion, every day.

But today, maybe tomorrow... those days right before New Year's Eve.... it's slim.  Not a lot of mouth watering Yankee news... not a lot of anything.

And so, if something happens today... we will bring it to you. But in the meantime, take a moment and read our archive.  Take a moment and see if you see anything you like in our BYB store.  And most of all... understand that I am a man of my word... I will not waste your time with non-stories.  Today appears to be one of those days.

I'll keep an eye out, but in the meantime, understand what we're doing here and respect that.

Thank you all for your loyalty to Bleeding Yankee Blue. It's an incredible feeling to know that you look for us to bring you news items, our opinions, and our passion.  It's refreshing to know that you like us, and even if you don't, many of you now respect what we are doing here.

I am ready to say goodbye to 2017.  I am looking forward to 2018.  For the Yankees... but for my life as a man with a love of my families achievements as well as everything we have done at BYB.  You all make my life rich, and I appreciate you all very much.

Look out for more news... obviously if it's out there, we'll bring it to you.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

YANKS NEED 1 PITCHER... AND AN INFIELDER APPARENTLY

Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America
I love when the Yankees are searching for a starting pitcher, have pretty much made it known that they'd like 1 more, and then there are rumors that they are talking about snagging infielders and such. Kind of comes out of nowhere.

Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review says that's happening with a kid named Josh Harrison of the Pirates.  Check this out:


Source: Justin Berl/Getty Images North America
"Several teams have inquired about infielder Josh Harrison, according to industry sources, as Pirates management mulls ways to retool the roster for 2018 and beyond. Harrison has been targeted by the New York Yankees, who also are interested in pitcher Gerrit Cole..."

And then MLB Daily Dish expands a bit...

Photo: Getty Images
"Harrison, 30, is coming off an All-Star season during which he posted a .272/.339/.432 slash line with a career-high 16 homers in 542 plate appearances. He served as the Pirates’ primary second baseman, starting 79 games at that position, but he also continued to display his exceptional versatility by starting 37 games at third base and six in left field. Harrison also has big-league experience at shortstop and in right field, so he’d be able to slot into most teams’ starting lineups..."

Photo: Getty Images
And so you gotta wonder what's happening here and if this is even true.

Look, my only guess is that the Pirates are willing to move Cole, but want to unload Harrison too... or the Yankees want a sweeter deal for what they are willing to give up.  Whatever it is, it's crystal clear to me that there's a standoff about Cole between the 2 teams and it's just a matter of what personnel each team is willing to move. Whatever the case, I just wanted to keep you all in the loop. That's what we do here at BYB.

Interesting stuff.


American Eagle


WILL WE BE STUCK WITH ELLSBURY?

Photo: New York Post
All of this Jacoby Ellsbury possible trade talk recently has been driving me nuts! It makes perfect sense for the Yankees to try and move him. They have too many outfielders and all of them are better options than Ellsbury who is expensive and not needed to be blunt. It makes sense for the Yankees to try and move on, but for Ellsbury it makes no sense to leave.

Photo: New York Post
Now don't mistake me here...I WANT Ellsbury to be moved. I just think all of this trade talk hasn't been as advanced as some sources may like for us to believe. The best outfield for the Yankees would be based around Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and....Brett Gardner? If he truly isn't the one who is trade bait here. Let's face it Ellsbury has the job security here compared to Gardner and Hicks just continues to improve so the Yankees aren't ready to give up on him either.

Through out all of these Ellsbury talks I have always had a hard time believing that he would be AS WILLING to waive his full no trade clause to play with the San Francisco Giants as rumors have stated. Sure, I can see him waiving it because he is a fifth outfielder and would be a bench warmer. I can see his desire to want to play would be a great motivator to be traded but....to the Giants?


If you break it down, the Giants were a bad team last year. It's hard to go from a contending team who have even higher expectations this year to go play for the last place NL West Giants. Maybe another appeal to get him to go would be to play with an improved team now that they have Evan Longoria and be back in an everyday role since they need an outfielder. Or maybe the idea of playing so close to home would be intriguing too since the Giants spring training home is in Arizona and Ellsbury has a home there.....but maybe once again, it makes more sense for one side than the other.


On paper, Ellsbury and the Giants match up well but the Giants have been chasing two other options. The Giants have been talking to Jay Bruce for awhile now and now according to MLB Trade Rumors HERE the Giants and Reds are active in talks that would send Billy Hamilton to the Giants. I could see why the Giants would prefer Hamilton. He is one of the best defenders in the game and he has speed. He could cover a lot of ground in AT&T Park and be a great fit. On paper, he may be an even better fit than Ellsbury especially since the Reds have interest in one of the Giants prospects.

I think it is going to be even harder to trade Ellsbury than we already knew it would be. If Ellsbury is traded it won't be until late in the off season after all of the outfield free agents like Lorenzo Cain, Carlos Gomez, Jon Jay, Jarrod Dyson, and Austin Jackson sign. Any teams that miss out on those guys could check in on Ellsbury and see how much salary the Yankees are willing to eat but by then they likely won't have any extra money to spend and stay under the luxury tax threshold. I guess at this point the Yankees just have to assume that they will still have Ellsbury at the beginning of the season.

This contract sucks and it is going to be harder than hard to get rid of.




--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj



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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

FRAZIER WOULD BE WISE TO SIGN A 1 YEAR DEAL IN NEW YORK

Photo: Getty Images
Win. Win.

Look, Todd Frazier is a great guy, and fun, and still has a decent bat and solid glove. But it's his energy that is what Yankee fans really fell in love with last fall.  And so, with the Yankees really looking to sign at least 1 more starting pitcher, and Frazier doesn't do that... it may be tough to bring back Todd. Especially with the Yanks wanting to keep under $197 million.

But again, we all like Frazier, and while energy and morale doesn't qualify for a multi-year deal, which is what Todd Frazier wants... it may be worth a sit down with the guy and just be straight with him and say, "Hey, you made $12 million last year. We'll give you a 1 year deal at the same price."  And that's it.

Photo: Getty Images
If he walks, he walks.  We have plans, and Frazier may not be in them.

Anyway... NJ.com Kuty writes this:

"The Yankees and Frazier would appear to be a fit, but at what cost? The Yankees have holes at third base and second base. General manager Brian Cashman has said the team could look internally to fill the positions.


Those options include three promising youngsters with little-to-no big-league experience (top prospect Gleyber Torres, a shortstop; third baseman Miguel Andujar; and utility man Tyler Wade) and experienced major-league utility man Ronald Torreyes. But the Yankees could prefer to fill at least one of the slots with someone more experienced, considering its early standing as a favorite to win the American League East."

Photo: Getty Images
And that comes back to being straight with Frazier... "We like you, we want you and your expertise, but we have a ton of nice talent coming up from the minors.  Teach them the ropes, lead them with your energy and if you sign a 1 year deal at $12 million and give us a nice season, we can talk more at the end of 2018."

That's it.  Take it or leave it... and you know what? When Frazier hears it, and realizes we have Boone at the helm, Stanton in the lineup and a new hungry Yankee team, I really think he'd be inclined to give it a shot. And if he doesn't because his agent gets in the way... he should fire his agent and sign anyway.  He can not lose, and neither can the Yanks with that deal.

Win. Win.  Thumbs down... all that stuff.

What do you say Todd?

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DECEMBER HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN A GREAT MONTH FOR THE YANKEES

Source: Sporting News

So far this December, we have had a good run.  We signed a new manager, we signed Giancarlo Stanton and we are taking our rightful post as best team in baseball from the farm upwards.  Historically, December has been a great month for the Yankees and it all started in 1919.


"In the winter of 1919, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee did the unthinkable: In need of funding for a musical he was trying to produce, he sold Babe Ruth -- deemed "more spectacular than useful" -- to the rival Yankees for $100,000. Four World Series titles, the all-time home run record and an 86-year curse later, it's one of the most significant moments in baseball history," reported MLB.com


Specifically, it was December 26th as the Twitter post boasts.  And there was no going back for the Yankees.  Now, almost 100 years later, the Yankees are sitting above the rest, building, sculpting a new dynasty filled with promise and excitement.


"With the December trade for reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees believe they have assembled a modern-day version of the fabled Murderer's Row, stacking their lineup with the right-handed power of Judge, Stanton and Gary Sanchez," reported MLB.com.

Source: New York Times

The leader of this newly assembled lineup is Aaron Boone, whose fit seemed unlikely to many who thought someone with managerial experience should take the helm.  But at the start of this great December, he was the candidate the front office believed could carry the Yankees to their next championship.

Source: NJ.com

 “Joe was great for the last 10 years, like Joe Torre was great before him. But the game is changing at such a speed that you’ve got to be able to not only jump on and go with it, but relate it to this generation of young stars," reported the New York Times earlier in the month.

Source: Newsday

Other Decembers where we made favorable "blockbuster-like" moves include 2014 when we picked up Didi Gregorius and Andrew Miller, Mark Teixeira in 2008, Hideki Matsui in 2002, Rickey Henderson in 1984, Catfish Hunter in 1974 and Roger Maris in 1959.

Source:  Getty Images / Elsa

In December 2008 we signed CC Sabathia for the first time and for the second time, Sabathia officially signed his new 2018 contract the day after Christmas.  Will he be the last signing before the New Year, topping off another great December?  Perhaps but there are several hours left for the Yankees to snag another pitcher in Gerrit Cole or Patrick Corbin?  Or another?  No doubt, that the Yankees have a little more room on their roster to make some further additions.

We will keep our ears and eyes open and report it out.  Happy December everyone!



--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof





American Eagle


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

THAT TIME CHRIS ARCHER WAS A YANKEE OPTION...

Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America
This rumor has been loosely floated, but nothing is really definite or even happened. And of course, the word "rumor" is important here.  That being said, BYB has historically written about how we like Chris Archer of the Rays and even connected him to the Yanks on occasion.  Now that that's out of the way... here's that rumor, brought to you by the Sporting News first...

Source: David Banks/Getty Images North America
"It remains to be seen whether the Rays’ front office will commit the cardinal sin of trading stars to division rivals, but if the Yankees can swing a deal for Archer, they should do it in a heartbeat."

You're looking at that sentence and saying "Well, that's not a rumor at all, it's a suggestion." Well... that's how it starts. Now here's the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

"The Yankees offered packages of prospects and young players similar to what they are offering the Pirates to the Tampa Bay Rays, for Chris Archer...Archer, 29, is under contract through 2019 for only $13.75 million total, with club options for 2020 ($9 million) and ’21 ($11 million). He also plays for a division rival, albeit one that is retooling."

Photo: Getty Images
And, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Rays said no way.  But again... this is a rumor... and interesting.  Look, the Yankees really could use 1 top pitcher.  Not a superstar, a winner that can fall into place with the current Yankee rotation of Severino, Tanaka, CC and company.

I would LOVE to see Archer in pinstripes, but I gotta be honest here... I will bet this 'alleged' offer and talks are now officially dead, even if this report is true.

Oh well...


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