Category Archives: New York Yankees

Twins trade Garcia to the Yankees

Starting Pitcher Jaime Garcia only made one start for the Twins and now he is being traded once again as Minnesota traded him to the New York Yankees in exchange for minor league pitching prospects Dietrich Enns and Zack Littell.

 

Twins analysis/grade:

The Minnesota Twins just gave a prospect in order to acquire Jaime Garcia from the Braves and he looked good in his one start against the Athletics. However, Garcia didn’t last long with the Twins as the team just traded him to the Yankees after only acquiring him a few days earlier. Minnesota is certainly getting a couple of really good pitching prospects in return for Garcia. Dietrich Enns is definitely the closest of the two prospects to reaching the major leagues. Enns is currently pitching at Triple-A mostly as a starting pitcher where he has been very good as he has a 1.99 ERA this season. Enns isn’t a hard-thrower, but he has outstanding pitch control which is why he is on the verge of making his MLB debut. He has a 1.87 career ERA in 6 minor league seasons which is amazing considering that he was a 19th round pick of the Yankees in 2012. Enns might be a good bullpen option for the Twins and it is possible that he could make his MLB debut this season. Minnesota also acquired 21-year old right-handed starting pitcher Zack Littell in this trade. Littell has had a very impressive 2017 season as he is 14-1 with a 1.93 ERA in High-A and he has a very good 3.24 career ERA in 5 minor league seasons. Littell can throw mid-90’s with his fastball and his recent success can be attributed to an improved changeup and curveball. If Littell continues pitching very well like he has this season then he could make it to the majors in a few years and he could be good starting rotation depth for the Twins. It is strange that the Twins would trade away Jaime Garcia right after they had just acquired him. However, this was ultimately a good trade for the Twins as they are getting two very good minor league prospects to help them continue to build for the future.

Grade: B+

 

New York Yankees analysis/grade:

The New York Yankees are once again playoff contenders mostly because of their improved offense and a somewhat improved starting rotation. However, the Yankees needed some more starting pitching depth which is why they added Jaime Garica. He is having an average season in 2017 as he is 5-7 with a 4.29 ERA, but he will be a good 5th starter in the Yankees rotation. The Yankees could even move him into the bullpen if they decide that Jordan Montgomery would fit best in the 5th spot in their rotation. Garcia is not an elite starting pitcher, but he still improves the team by adding much more depth to their rotation. New York gave up two quality prospects in order to acquire Garcia and that is why this trade isn’t as good for the Yankees, but Garcia should help the Yankees even if it’s just for a couple of months.

Grade: C

jaime garcia twins

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Todd Frazier and David Robertson traded to the Yankees

The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox pulled off a major blockbuster trade on Tuesday as the White Sox sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in exchange for Tyler Clippard, Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo.

 

Yankees analysis/grade:

This is a good trade for the Yankees specifically with the acquisition of 3rd baseman Todd Frazier. The Yankees now have one of the deepest lineups in the MLB and this move will allow the Yankees to move Chase Headley from 3rd base to 1st base since that position has had terrible production this season. Frazier is only hitting .206 this season, but he is still a good power hitter as he has 16 home runs. Also, Frazier is still a solid defensive player at 3rd base and he is the type of player that will help the Yankees out in a variety of ways. The Yankees also made major upgrades to their bullpen in this trade by acquiring relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. Robertson was the closer for the White Sox this season and he did well in that role as he had a 2.70 ERA and 13 saves. However, he won’t be the closer for the Yankees as New York has Aroldis Chapman as their closer and they also have quality setup man Dellin Betances in their bullpen. Robertson will likely be the 8th inning guy for New York and he will make their bullpen elite as the team now has 3 terrific late-inning options. Tommy Kahnle will add even more to the Yankees bullpen as he had a 2.43 ERA this season for the White Sox. Kahnle is an outstanding middle relief option for the Yankees and he will help add some quality depth to the bullpen. The Yankees did give up 2016 1st round pick Blake Rutherford and quality pitching prospect Ian Clarkin. However, this is a trade that makes the Yankees better immediately and it was a good trade for New York to try and make a push for a playoff spot.

Grade: A

 

White Sox analysis/grade:

It probably wasn’t easy for the White Sox to trade away all-star caliber players Todd Frazier and David Robertson. However, it was a deal that they had to make as they look to rebuild their roster and compete in a couple of years. Frazier was a free agent after the season and the team would have lost him for nothing. Also, Robertson is a free agent after the 2018 season and he is already 32 years old, so it wouldn’t make much sense to keep him around. Meanwhile, the White Sox are getting 3 good young prospects in this deal including outfielder Blake Rutherford who was the Yankees 1st round pick in 2016. Rutherford is a good all-around player as he is a solid defender and he also is an above average hitter. He has hit .302 so far in 104 career minor league games, but don’t expect much power from him as he only has 5 career home runs. If he can ever develop more power then he could be a very good MLB starter. Either way, he is still a good hitter and fielder which means he projects well as a decent starting outfielder at the MLB level. The White Sox also acquired another talented young prospect with left-handed starting pitcher Ian Clarkin who was a 1st round pick of the Yankees in 2013. Clarkin was the 19th best prospect in the Yankees minor league system according to MLB.com. He hasn’t made it past Class A yet in his career despite being 22 years old. However, injuries have stalled his career a little bit as he missed the entire 2015 season with elbow inflammation and he missed some of last season after having knee surgery. Clarkin has a good 3.19 ERA so far in his minor league career and he should continue to move up the White Sox minor league system as long as he can stay healthy. Chicago also acquired another interesting prospect with 22-year old outfielder Tito Polo who was signed originally by Pittsburgh in 2012. Polo has since continued to impress since being traded to the Yankees in 2016 as he hit .302 with 12 home runs for the Yankees High-A team. He recently was promoted to Double-A and he has been even better at that level as he is hitting .382 with 17 RBI’s in just 14 games. Polo isn’t a highly ranked prospect, but if he can continue to hit like he has the past couple of years then he might make it to the MLB in a couple of years. Finally, Chicago also received one major league player in this trade as they acquired Tyler Clippard from the Yankees. Clippard has been terrible this season as he has a 4.95 ERA, but he is expected to be the White Sox new closer for the rest of the season after the team traded away David Robertson in this deal. Clippard is just a temporary solution for the White Sox in their bullpen as he is a free agent after the season and the team likely won’t re-sign him since he turns 33 years old prior to next season. This is a good trade for the White Sox as they are continuing their fast rebuild by acquiring 3 quality young prospects.

Grade: A

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Biggest need remaining for every AL East team

Baltimore Orioles – Biggest need: Right Fielder

It appeared that the Orioles would try and bring back last year’s starting right fielder Mark Trumbo, but it seems less likely that they will bring him back in 2017. Now, the Orioles seem to be stuck with Joey Rickard as their starting right fielder next season. Rickard put up respectable stats as he had a .268 average with 5 home runs last year. However, he has limited MLB experience and it is a mystery how well he’ll do with the starting job in right field. Baltimore still could sign a right fielder in free agency for the right price possibly a player like Jose Bautista. Either way, the Orioles need to at least add some more depth and competition in right field.

Boston Red Sox – Biggest need: Catcher

Sandy Leon had a career year at catcher for the Red Sox as he hit .310 with 7 home runs with limited opportunities. However, Leon has been a backup catcher for most of his career and he has been relatively unproductive offensively until last season. He will now be asked to be the full-time catcher for Boston next season and it will be interesting to see how he handles that pressure. The Red Sox have enough depth at the catcher position, but they need to find a starting catcher that they are comfortable playing full-time.

New York Yankees – Biggest need: Starting Pitcher

Masahiro Tanaka is a very good ace for the Yankees heading into 2017, but he has struggled to stay healthy recently and it is a question as to how many innings he can pitch. Michael Pineda and C.C. Sabathia are both talented pitchers, but they are also really inconsistent. Luis Severino was awful last season with a 5.83 ERA and Adam Warren has been a relief pitcher for most of his career. There aren’t many starting pitching options left in free agency for the Yankees to choose from. However, they have the prospects that they should probably trade for a quality starting pitcher at some point.

Tampa Bay Rays – Biggest need: Bullpen

The major weakness last season for the Rays was that they couldn’t close out games with their bullpen. Alex Colome was an all-star closer, but the team had trouble just giving him save opportunities in 2016. The only strength in Tampa Bay’s bullpen is Colome and the rest of their relief pitchers are a major question mark. Xavier Cedeno and Danny Farquhar figure to be the 7th and 8th inning guys for the Rays, but both players have been inconsistent throughout their careers. There are still numerous bullpen options remaining in free agency, but the question is whether the cheap Rays will be willing to sign a quality relief pitcher.

Toronto Blue Jays – Biggest need: Bullpen

The loss of quality relief pitcher Brett Cecil in free agency will most likely hurt the Blue Jays as their bullpen appears to be a weakness heading into 2017. Roberto Osuna was a very good closer last season for Toronto as he had a 2.68 ERA and 36 saves. However, the team doesn’t have much else in the bullpen besides Osuna. Jason Grilli has been a decent bullpen option earlier in his career, but he is 40 years old and he was not very good last season. Danny Barnes would be the other setup man for Toronto, although he is inexperienced and he had a 3.95 ERA for the Blue Jays in 2016. Toronto needs to bolster their bullpen by signing a relief pitcher that can help them temporarily.

Yankees sign Chapman to a 5-year deal

The New York Yankees made a big offseason acquisition on Wednesday as they signed closer Aroldis Chapman to a 5-year/$86 million contract. Chapman played for the Yankees during the 1st half of last season before the team traded him to the Cubs at the trade deadline. He is one of the most dynamic pitchers in all of the MLB as he has a fastball that he throws at 100 MPH consistently. Also, Chapman has been really consistent as he has a career 2.08 ERA including a 1.55 ERA last season for the Yankees and Cubs. There is no doubt that this signing makes the Yankees a much betterĀ team. Dellin Betances was very good last season as the Yankees closer and now he can move back to his setup role. Also, the team has Tyler Clippard as another decent setup man for the 7th inning. If the Yankees have a lead in a close game heading into the 8th inning then don’t expect them to lose many games with Betances and Chapman available late in games. The Yankees still have a lot of work to do with their starting rotation and lineup. However, this signing is great because it makes their bullpen much better especially in the late innings.

Grade: A

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Matt Holliday signs 1-year deal with the Yankees

It appears that the New York Yankees have found their new full-time designated hitter as they signed Matt Holliday to a 1-year/$13 million contract on Sunday. This move kind of surprises me since I expected the Yankees to make an even bigger splash at the designated hitter position by possibly signing Edwin Encarnacion. However, it is hard to dispute how productive that Holliday has been throughout his career as he is a 7-time all-star. The only issue for Holliday in the past few years is that he has really struggled to stay healthy. He only played 110 games last season with the Cardinals and his batting average fell to .246, but he still has a lot of power in his bat as he hit 20 home runs in 2016. The Yankees still have a respectable lineup and as long as Holliday stays healthy then he figures to be a key part of their lineup. Holliday has been exclusively a left fielder for most of his career, although that figures to change next season with the Yankees. One reason is because he turns 37 years old in January and he can’t be the defensive player that he once was. Also, now that he’ll be a full-time designated hitter then it will make it more difficult for him to get injured. Holliday can still fill in as needed in the outfield, but the Yankees are signing him for one reason and that is for him to be a power threat in the middle of their lineup. Overall, this is a solid signing for the Yankees as the team expects to continue his productivity of hitting home runs and driving in runs. The only concern is that his play might decline because of his age and he also has a long history of getting injured. However, being a full-time designated hitter should keep him rested and healthy which should therefore allow him to stay a productive player. The Yankees still have a lot of work to do, but this signing at least makes their lineup a little bit better.

Grade: B

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Free Agent that every AL East team should re-sign

Baltimore Orioles – Mark Trumbo – Outfielder – 2016: .256 avg. and 47 home runs

It is really obvious that the Orioles need to re-sign Mark Trumbo. Sure, he is a liability on defense in the outfield and his offensive production worsened the 2nd half of the season. However, he led the major leagues in home runs last season and he is certainly the key to the success of the Orioles offense. The Orioles would still have a ton of offensive firepower without him, but they would miss his constant threat of hitting a home run. We’ll see if the relatively cheap Orioles are willing to dish out the money needed to keep Trumbo in town.

Boston Red Sox – Junichi Tazawa – Relief Pitcher – 2016: 3-2 and 4.17 ERA

Tazawa had a few really good years as a setup man in the bullpen for the Red Sox from 2012-2014 as his highest ERA during that time period was 3.16. However, the last two years haven’t been nearly as good including a 4.17 ERA last season. Tazawa is only 30 years old and he still has a lot of productive years ahead of him which is why the Red Sox try and re-sign him. Tazawa is still a really good setup man and Boston could probably keep him for a cheap price and hope that he can regain the type of player that he was only a few years ago.

New York Yankees – Chris Parmelee – 1st baseman – 2016: 8-at bats and 2 home runs

There isn’t really a free agent that the Yankees should retain or will likely retain, so I’m just going to say that they should re-sign Chris Parmelee for depth purposes. Parmelee only had 8 at-bats for the Yankees and yet he made the most of the opportunity by going 4-8 with 2 home runs. The Yankees have uncertainty at the 1st base position and by re-signing Parmelee to a minor league deal then they can keep him at Triple-A and then call him up when they really need him.

Tampa Bay Rays – Kevin Jepsen – Relief Pitcher – 2016: 5.98 ERA

Kevin Jepsen had a horrible year last season for the Twins and the Rays as he posted a combined 5.98 ERA between the two teams. However, the 2 years prior to that he had an ERA of 2.63 in 2014 and 2.33 in 2015. Tampa Bay needs bullpen help badly and re-signing Jepsen to a 1-year deal at a cheap price would be a really smart move because he will surely bounce back in 2017.

Toronto Blue Jays – Michael Saunders – Left Fielder – 2016: .253 avg. and 24 home runs

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are obviously the big name free agents that could be departing Toronto this offseason. However, the key to the Blue Jays continued success will be to retain Michael Saunders. He had the best year of his career in 2016 with 24 home runs and he might not be a middle of the lineup type player, but without him the Blue Jays would have a major void in left field. Saunders won’t command too much money, so it shouldn’t be that hard for Toronto to bring him back and they definitely need to do anything they can to re-sign him.

Yankees trade Brian McCann to Houston

Houston is certainly showing that they are serious about being contenders next season as they acquired veteran catcher Brian McCann from the Yankees in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman.

Yankees evaluation:

This is an outstanding trade for the New York Yankees in a variety of aspects. The first reason is that the Yankees really have no use at all for Brian McCann at the catcher position going forward. McCann has tremendous power as he still hit 20 home runs last season for New York. However, his offensive production has declined in recent years and he struggled mightily against left-handed pitching as he only hit .218 against them. Also, Gary Sanchez burst onto the scene for the Yankees last season as he hit a whopping .299 with 20 home runs in only 53 games played. Sanchez is only going to be 24 years old at the start of next season, so he is clearly the catcher of the future for the Yankees. Sanchez’s outstanding offensive production made McCann expendable as McCann isn’t nearly as talented as Sanchez and McCann has a $17 million salary next season as well. The Yankees will only be paying $5.5 million of that salary which makes it even better of a deal since they won’t have to pay him nearly as much. Meanwhile, the 2 prospects that the Yankees received makes this deal even better. Albert Abreu has a power arm and has a ton of potential, but he needs some better command as he walked too many batters last year in Single-A. Abreu is still a couple of years from the majors and he figures to start out 2017 in High-A for the Yankees. He had a 3-8 record with a 3.72 ERA, but I expect him to put up better numbers than that next season. Meanwhile, Jorge Guzman is only 20 years and he still has a lot of potential. However, he is far away from the major leagues since he only posted a 4.05 ERA in rookie ball in the Gulf Coast league. Guzman projects well as a powerful bullpen arm at the MLB level since he strikes out a lot of hitters because he consistently throws 100 MPH. It’ll take some patience for the Yankees to develop Guzman, but it’s difficult not to like his ability to throw hard. Overall, New York needed to get rid of McCann since Gary Sanchez is going to be the catcher long-term. Also, getting two quality pitching prospects makes the deal even greater for the Yankees

Grade: A+

Astros evaluation:

It is difficult to find catchers that have the type of offensive capabilities that Brian McCann has. McCann provides the Astros with a much needed left-handed hitter in their lineup and he will probably split time with Evan Gattis at catcher. Gattis will likely face left-handed pitching since McCann has struggled a lot against left-handed pitching. However, the one thing that McCannn can really provide is a power bat for Houston as he has hit 20 home runs or more in every season since 2007. His batting average has declined in recent years, but as long as he is driving in runs then I’m sure that the Astros are fine with that. Trading way quality prospects like Guzman and Abreu is never easy to do, but it was probably the right move since the Astros probably don’t have the patience to wait years before those guys can make an impact in the MLB. McCann will replace the inconsistent Jason Castro at catcher who is a free agent himself. McCann is certainly an upgrade at catcher and he’ll provide some more power to the Astros lineup. Overall, this is a pretty good trade for the Astros since they are getting an all-star caliber catcher that can make an immediate impact for the next 2 years at least.

Grade: B

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