Wake Up Brian Cashman, the New York Yankees Need a Bat

Brian Cashman GM
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During this rebuilding process it has been hard to hammer New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman. However, this season is literally on the edge right now and most of the blame can be leveled at Cashman and all of it is deserving.

The Yankees entered the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline knowing that Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were hurt and would still be missing significant time for their wrist and groin injuries respectively. Both injuries are kind of serious. Wrist injuries are nothing to play around with and can take months to properly heal. Groin injuries, especially for a catcher who spends most his day squatting behind home plate, can be a major issue as well. We have already seen Sanchez come back from his earlier injury then play a game so badly that almost everyone, including me, thought he was just not hustling.

Cashman knew Sanchez and Judge, two huge bats, would be out of the lineup. His deadline dealing, however, focused only on pitching while dealing most of the upper level bat depth away in Billy McKinney and Tyler Austin. Dealing them shouldn’t have been an issue in reality. But dealing Adam Warren, a useful piece in the bullpen, for international bonus money, and less money at that than Caleb Frare got in a separate trade, is baffling. Cashman couldn’t trade another prospect for that money? He needed to send Warren to Seattle for that money instead of finding a bat to bring into the mix?

It has been over two weeks now since the deadline. Judge and Sanchez are still out. Judge played catch and said his wrist still hurt. Sanchez is slowly making his way back to playing in a rehab game but who knows when that exactly will be. Shane Robinson and Luke Voit have still gotten the lion’s share of playing time, though Voit was finally sent to AAA after posting a .188/.235/.188 line in 16 at bats. Robinson has appeared in 16 games and hit to just a .129/.229/.226 line. That simply can’t be allowed in a playoff race. Cashman has to own this.

If Clint Frazier had been healthy and not dealing with concussion symptoms all of that playing time would have gone to him. But he is hurt and it isn’t known when he will be back. Cashman has to go out and find a bat to plug into the mix. There are several names that make sense and many of whom passed through waivers. Instead, Cashman hasn’t done anything and the Yankees are moving through August like a horse on two legs.

There is no doubt that Brian Cashman has mostly done a phenomenal job. He held onto the right prospects, made astute trades and helped get the Yankees into being a playoff team one year into a rebuild. However, he can’t get the team this close and not acquire someone to give a floundering lineup a shot in the arm. Without another bat the Yankees very well might be on the playoff bubble.

The lineup without Judge and Sanchez is just not deep. It is Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar supported by Didi Gregorious, Neil Walker, and Aaron Hicks. Gleyber Torres is in the middle of a massive slump ever since he came back from the disabled list and is batting .210/.286/.390 in his last 30 games and just .107/.107/.143 in his last seven games. This is getting beyond just being a slump and a trip to the minors, while their seasons are still going on, might be a huge boost to Torres down the road. Getting another bat would allow the Yankees to move Walker back to second base and send Torres down to Triple-A where he can work on things. Getting another bat would allow the Yankees some flexibility, something that once allowed them to match up so well in different situations that they were an analytic nerd’s wet dream. Those days are gone, allowed to slip away by a general manager who seems to be more worried about the future than the present. How else does one explain trading Warren to a contender for nothing more than money to sign international prospects? He couldn’t get a bat for Warren? Just two years ago Warren was good enough, with Brendan Ryan, to land Starlin Castro. Now he can only net international signing bonus money, and less than Caleb Frare brought in from the Chicago White Sox? Something isn’t right in the Bronx.

There was a time not long ago where there was too much talent to get into the lineup every day. That is not the case after trades and injuries. It is time for Cashman to deal some of his coveted pitching and get a bat in this lineup before the season literally slips away.

The New York Yankees Need to Send Gary Sanchez a Big Message

Gary Sanchez

There were few more ardent supporters of Gary Sanchez than myself. No other catcher has hit more home runs since he was called up. I was willing to live with the spotty defense in return for the elite hitting. However, after last night, Sanchez has cashed in his last chit with me.

The lack of hustle he displayed running after the passed ball in the first inning was inexcusable. To be fair, Luis Severino wasn’t exactly busting his butt to cover home plate either and Jake Bauers exploited the laziness of the two stars and went from second to home on a passed ball.

Yankees’ fans are used to Sanchez gaffes. Some can be overlooked but lack of hustle isn’t something that can be overlooked. To compound matters, in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and two out Sanchez stepped to the plate. He hit a grounder that was fielded by the second baseman Daniel Robertson who tossed the ball to shortstop Willy Adames who tried to step on second. Aaron Hicks, however, beat Adames who then had to rush to throw to first. He got Sanchez by a step. Inning over, ballgame over. Sanchez, as the video showed, was barely jogging to first. He tried to turn on the jets when he saw the play developing. Too little, too late.

This isn’t the first time the Yankees had issues with Sanchez and his attitude, and that is what lack of hustle is, attitude. It wasn’t long ago that Sanchez got benched in Trenton for refusing to catch a bullpen session. The Yankees acted swiftly and Sanchez got the message and busted his butt to get better and improve his attitude.

The Yankees need to send a message to Sanchez and send it loud and clearly. Lollygagging can’t and won’t be tolerated. The veterans in the clubhouse need to get in Sanchez’s face at the same time management sends him a message by benching him, or better yet, sending him down to the minor leagues to work on his mechanics both behind the plate and with the bat.

This season has been tough on Sanchez. He got off to a slow start at the plate that just spiraled out of control and his defense behind the plate suffered as a result. To date, he is hitting just .188/.283/.416 with 14 home runs and 14 doubles in 66 games. That is a far cry from the .278/.345/.531 slash line he posted last season with 33 home runs.

The talent is there. The rest is up to Sanchez. His head isn’t in the game for whatever reason. The Yankees need to send a message to him that this kind of lackadaisical play won’t be accepted. Send him to the minor leagues to both send a message and allow him to work on his swing. Let him regain confidence. Let him understand that he hasn’t been living up to the standards of a Yankee in the effort department. At the very least maybe he can learn to lay off of sliders low and away. The Yankees need to do something right now, they can’t wait. The longer this goes on the worse it will get and it might spread to other young players in the clubhouse and lead to some serious issues. The time is now. Send the message.

Lack Of Urgency Will Cost The New York Yankees The Division.

The New York Yankees are one of the best teams in the major leagues against teams over .500. So why then are they in second place in their division? It has to do with their play against teams under .500 as well as the lack of urgency on the part of the organization.

The Yankees own the best record in baseball against teams over .500 but are 16th in the majors against teams below that mark. You can say “its baseball Suzyn” but the real problem is they play down to their opponents. They are often times unprepared and take teams for granted.

The Yankees had a chance coming off their All Star break to reconfigure their starting rotation and make sure they threw their three best pitchers at the Mets who are using their two best despite being in last place and lucky to win 75 games. Instead of the Yankees pitching Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka they chose to start their two worst starting pitchers by far this season in Domingo German and Sonny Gray.  That’s a lack of urgency despite being 4.5 games out already in the division because they’re playing a bad Mets team.

While the starting pitching market is thin, there are still upgrades out there available as mid rotation arms over German. Meanwhile they were engaged in third baseman Manny Machado and CL Brad Hand neither who fill the Yankees biggest need which is SP. In one aspect you can understand the leash that Sonny Gray has been given, he at least is a proven starting pitcher but what exactly has German done to earn such a long leash?

If the Yankees are content with the Wild Card then by all means keep sending German out there to try to develop him more. After all, Luis Severino was destined to be a reliever after his awful performances as a starter in 2016. However, if the Yankees goal is to win the division, which it should be, they better show more of an urgency before the division completely gets away from them.

New York Yankees You Forgot Were All-Stars

Yankees All Star Game

The New York Yankees are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. There have been a healthy number of Hall of Famers and great ballplayers who have donned the pinstripes. Many have appeared in All-Star games throughout the years. However, there are some players who have worn the Yankees’ uniform who you probably forgot appeared in an All-Star Game as a member of the New York Yankees. These are the Yankees’ All-Stars you forgot about.

New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers - Game Three

Phil Hughes, SP – Once upon a time Hughes was a top prospect in baseball. He was compared to Hall of Famers as he rose through the Yankees’ system and finally made his debut in 2007 as a 21-year-old. He showed promise but injuries and struggles prevented him from breaking out until 2010. At just 24, Hughes was named an All-Star. He had gone 11-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 16 starts leading up to the All-Star game in 2010. He also struck out a healthy 91 batters in 101 innings and posted a very good 1.17 WHIP. Hughes came in during the seventh inning. He got Joey Votto to ground out but then gave up singles to Scott Rolen and Matt Holliday. He was lifted in favor of Matt Thornton. Thornton got Chris Young to pop up, walked Marlon Byrd, then gave up a double to Brian McCann. Hughes was the losing pitcher that year. He also would never make another All-Star Game.

Scott Sanderson

Scott Sanderson, SP – Once upon a time the Yankees’ lone representative in a Midsummer Classic was Scott Sanderson. That was 1991. The game featured a ton of former and future Yankees like Rickey Henderson, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Danny Tartabull, Ruben Sierra, Jack McDowell, Jimmy Key, Jeff Reardon, Cecil Fielder, Mike Morgan, Paul O’Neill, Darryl Strawberry and Lee Smith. However, we all know the Yankees in 1991 were awful. Sanderson, who was 34 at the time, had signed with the Yankees as a free agent prior to that season. He would go on to win 16 games in 1991 but was 9-3 with a 3.93 ERA heading into the game. He would post a 3.81 ERA on the year. So, he wasn’t terrible. But he was the only Yankee that year and he never made it into the game. It was also the only All-Star Game he was ever chosen for in his career.

Baseball Game  1981 AL Playoffs  Milwaukee vs NY Yankees Game1

Ron Davis, RP – Yankees fans might remember Davis for his incredible 1979 season where he went 14-2 with a 2.85 ERA. Those same fans might be surprised to find out Davis didn’t make the All-Star Game that year. He did make it in 1981, however, and it would be his only All-Star nod in his fairly decent career. He would pitch one inning, yielding a home run to Gary Carter, the first batter he faced. He then got Manny Trillo on a flyball and Steve Garvey on a pop-up to shortstop before striking Pedro Guerrero out. He would be traded on April 10, 1982 to the Minnesota Twins with Greg Gagne and Paul Boris in exchange for Roy Smalley.

Johnny Kucks

Johnny Kucks, SP – Let’s face it, there aren’t many fans reading this who ever heard of Kucks. Fewer will have seen him play. Kucks had debuted for the Yankees in 1955 at the age of 22. In 1956 he was an All-Star and in the middle of a season where he would go 18-9 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. The future seemed bright for Kucks in 1956. However, he would never post another winning season in his career and would be traded to the Kansas City Athletics for Ralph Terry and Hector Lopez. Kucks would appear in his last MLB game in 1960 and would retire in 1963 after toiling in the minors for a few seasons. Kucks never made it into the All-Star Game.

Javier Vazquez

Javier Vazquez, SP – Once upon a time the Yankees thought Vazquez would be the answer in the rotation after they lost Andy Pettitte, David Wells, and Roger Clemens. Vazquez was just 27 in 2004 and everyone thought he would blossom into a star with the Yankees after being traded from the Montreal Expos. Things started out well for Vazquez. He went 10-5 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.15 WHIP while averaging 7.2 K/9. He looked like an ace. He even entered the All-Star Game in the fifth inning and struck out Mike Lowell, then got Miguel Cabrera to ground out to shortstop, and followed that with a strike out of Johnny Estrada. All signs pointed up. Then the second half began. Vazquez’s season fell off the rails. He went 4-5 with a horrendous 6.92 ERA and 1.487 WHIP. He gave up 61 earned runs in 79.1 innings. It was ugly. It got worse in the playoffs. He gave up five runs in five innings but got the win against Minnesota. Then, he got shelled in the ALCS by the Boston Red Sox giving up seven runs in 6.1 innings including surrendering three home runs. Prior to 2005 the Yankees shipped Vazquez off to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the Randy Johnson deal. He would make a return to the Yankees in 2010 but things didn’t fare much better for Vazquez. The 2004 All-Star Game would be his only Midsummer Classic appearance even though he did finish fourth in the NL Cy Young voting in 2009. Vazquez’s Yankee tenure was so bad it is hard to remember he was an All-Star for them once.

Matt Harvey Could Be Intriguing Fit for New York Yankees

Harvey

When the Cincinnati Reds acquired Matt Harvey from the New York Mets their intention seemed to be to try to fix Harvey and then deal him again. The Reds shipped former All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco to the Mets for the former ace who has looked like a shell of himself after thoracic outlet surgery. Now, it appears as if the Reds are fielding calls on the right-hander.

The last most people heard of Harvey was that he was struggling with his loss of velocity and was a problem in the Mets’ clubhouse. Some in the Mets’ organization had tired of Harvey’s attitude and his play on the field wasn’t warranting keeping him around anymore. Since then, Harvey has turned it around, at least on the field and things have been quiet off the field so far.

The New York Yankees are in the market for a pitcher. The media has connected the Yankees and Mets on a Jacob deGrom deal but unless something drastic happens it is hard to imagine the Yankees and Mets getting together on a deal. So, what about Matt Harvey?

The Reds and Washington Nationals have reportedly talked about a Harvey deal that could include reliever Raisel Iglesias. There has also been some speculation in the media about the Yankees and Reds getting together on a deal for Harvey and while that once seemed laughable it actually might make some sense for both teams.

In 10 starts with the Reds, Harvey has posted a 4-3 record, 3.86 ERA, 1.99 WHIP, and has fanned 40 while walking 12 in 53.2 innings. He has given up seven home runs as well but that was to be expected in Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. Over his last three starts, Harvey has posted a 1.47 ERA and struck out 14 in 18.1 innings and walking only two. Those wins have come against good teams with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers all taking the loss against the 29-year-old right-hander. He also hasn’t allowed a home run in his last four starts.

Harvey might never be the dominant pitcher he was with the Mets in 2013 and 2015 but he can still put together a nice career if his health holds up. His health history is an issue and will always follow him. However, he is adding velocity. According to Fangraphs, Harvey has added anywhere from 0.9 to 2.2 mph on his pitches, a nice step in the right direction. He may never throw as hard as he once did with the Mets but he is hitting the mid-90s with his fastball on a consistent basis.

The Yankees could easily give the Reds a couple of prospects for Harvey who is an impending free agent. He has postseason experience in New York. He would find a good role model in C.C. Sabathia in the Yankees’ clubhouse, something the Mets lacked. Harvey, who grew up a Yankees’ fan, would probably toe the line if the Yankees’ acquired him.

It would certainly be a big roll of the dice for the Yankees to acquire Harvey. But Cashman could stick it to the Mets and add a former Mets ace for what could be pennies on the dollar. Would Cincinnati say no to Thairo Estrada, Tyler Wade, and Chance Adams? Those are three pretty good prospects. Maybe it is a bit of an overpay on the Yankees’ part but Nick Krall and Brian Cashman are reasonable men who can hammer out a deal that works for both. Maybe Adams and one of those two or another prospect who seems to be blocked in the Bronx makes sense?

The Yankees adding Harvey would be an interesting play. It could be a great move for the Yankees or it could blow up in their faces. It would be a bit of a risk but it also could pay huge dividends come October and maybe beyond. If the price for other pitchers is too high perhaps Cashman rolls the dice and sees what Harvey looks like in navy blue pinstripes.

Justus Sheffield Could Be Answer to New York Yankees’ Pitching Issue

Justus Sheffield

The New York Yankees have been linked to several pitchers so far in early trade rumors. The trade market remains in flux because several teams with pitching assets are still alive in the playoff race as well as there being just a lot of underwhelming talent that is available. Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman has been looking to upgrade the rotation but he will only do so at his price.

The Yankees have been fortunate this season. For the most part their pitching has been good. There have been injuries to Jordan Montgomery and Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray has been ineffective and inconsistent. However, the Yankees’ young arms have filled in and Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga have been pretty good. There is also another option that has emerged in Moosic, Pa. with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, Justus Sheffield.

Sheffield began the year at Double-A Trenton but after five starts was promoted to Triple-A. He has pitched extremely well and should be an option for the Yankees if the trade market doesn’t offer any low-hanging fruit for Cashman to pick.

Through 10 games (nine starts but the game in which he didn’t start he went six innings) in Triple-A, Sheffield has allowed one run or less in six of those appearances. In fact, he has allowed more than three earned runs in only one start.

Sheffield entered the season as the top pitching prospect, and second overall, in the organization. The left-hander features a fastball that sits right around 95 mph and he can get it up to 97-98 at times. There is good movement with his fastball, featuring a little sink to it. He has become pretty good at controlling his fastball and picking his spots with it compared to last season. Also showing improvement this season is his slider and changeup. His slider generally sits in the mid to upper 80s and he is controlling it with a lot more consistency and getting great movement on it this year. His changeup is still a work in progress but he has shown improvement and should be good enough to keep hitters off balance in the Majors right now. He projects as a number two or three starter but he could get better.

Sheffield isn’t one of those guys that is going to come up and mow down hitters. He does have 49 strikeouts in 51.2 AAA innings but he relies on getting weak contact and ground balls. He is still walking a few batters, 22 in AAA so far, but he works through his jams and shows a mental toughness you like to see in a pitcher. He doesn’t allow one or two mistakes to effect his whole performance. Even with those 22 walks he still owns a 1.16 WHIP thanks to his ability to get those ground balls and his allowing only 38 hits.

The Yankees were panning on letting Sheffield stay the whole year in the minors and work on command. However, Sheffield has proven himself a quick study and is working his way into making himself an option for this season. He isn’t on the 40-man roster but the Yankees can easily create a spot for him by moving Montgomery to the 60-day DL.

If Cashman is going to acquire a pitcher he has to make sure it is an upgrade over what he has. Right now with the market as it is there aren’t many options. Sheffield could be the answer to the Yankees’ pitching problems if the trade market isn’t.

This Might Be the Underlying Reason Behind Tommy Kahnle’s 2018 Struggles

Tommy-Kahnle

The New York Yankees demoted Tommy Kahnle in a surprising move after their 7-4 win over the Detroit Tigers in the first game of a doubleheader. Kahnle was a major contributor to the Yankees’ bullpen last season after coming over in a trade with the Chicago White Sox that also landed the Yankees David Robertson and Todd Frazier. To replace Kahnle the Yankees activated Adam Warren off of the disabled list.

The 2018 season has not been kind to Kahnle. He has posted a 7.00 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, while issuing 10 walks and striking out 10 in nine innings. He went on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis on April 17 and has appeared in just two games since being activated on May 25.

Last season, his velocity say in the upper 90s with a max of 101.8 mph. This season he has topped at 96 mph but has mostly sat around 94-95 mph. This could be a case of an arm having a hard time adjusting to the workload he received last year. He appeared in 69 games, totaling 62.2 innings in the regular season with another four games and 6.1 innings tallied in the postseason. In 2016 with the White Sox Kahnle appeared in just 29 games and 27.1 innings. In 2015 with the Colorado Rockies, Kahnle appeared in 36 games and 331. Innings. So there was a dramatic increase in usage last season at the Major League level.

One must consider that Kahnle’s arm just wasn’t used to the high-leverage use that he received last year. The talent hasn’t gone away. His arm just needed to be eased into that kind of workload. Major League innings are much different than minor league innings and the stress on the arm is much different. Some pitcher’s arms just don’t respond well to the massive increase in usage and need a little time to rebound.

The Yankees saw Aroldis Chapman look like a different pitcher early on in 2017 after he logged a ton of innings and was used often and for multiple innings in the postseason with the Chicago Cubs in 2016. He lost speed on his fastball and his slider wasn’t as crisp as it had been. These things happen.

Kahnle might just need time and to be eased back in and let his arm catch up. That could be a month or it could be longer. Nobody can predict that. What is certain is that he lost speed on his pitches, suffered a shoulder injury, and was not anywhere close to the pitcher he was last year. It is better to treat Kahnle with kid gloves now and hope he recovers this year than keep throwing him to the wolves.

ESPN and MLB Need to Do the Right Thing With Sunday Night Baseball

ESPN SNB

The weather has not been kind to the New York Yankees in 2018. Now it is ESPN and Major League Baseball that are piling on the Yankees. ESPN announced it would be moving the July 8 game against the Toronto Blue Jays from 1:07 to 8:05 after the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles announced they would be playing a doubleheader on July 9.

That would mean the Yankees would be playing three games in 24 hours in two countries with all the travel and customs processing that goes with that. ESPN has defended itself saying they told the Yankees back in December the game was going to be flexed to Sunday Night Baseball. The only problem is nobody knew that at all. Even the MLB commissioner’s office didn’t know until after the Yankees and Orioles announced their doubleheader.

In a time when we see sports talking about player safety we now have a broadcaster dictating scheduling. Granted, ESPN has paid a hefty sum to televise games on Sunday night but that should not mean they are allowed to force a team with a doubleheader the next day in Baltimore to play a game at eight o’clock at night the night prior. It is a bad look and reeks of self-interest.

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone is livid with his former employer. The Yankees have asked for it to be changed. If ESPN does not change it the Yankees have said they will not answer any questions or grant any interviews to ESPN. That is a bad look for ESPN.

It would be one thing if the Yankees were in New York on Sunday. They aren’t. They are in Toronto and that means they would have to get to the airport after the game, probably at midnight or later, get on the plane, travel to Baltimore, go through customs, get to the hotel, turn around and get to the ballpark for a 5 pm start. The game was originally supposed to start at 4:05 pm but the Orioles agreed to push the game one start back one hour. That is also banking on Delta, the official carrier of the Yankees, to leave on time. There have been three issues in the last three weeks with the planes the Yankees have flown on and have delayed their departures from various cities over that time.

You can’t expect a team to play three games in 24 hours with international travel (even if it is just from Canada) in between. That will result in a bad product on the field. Bad products on the field are not good for any of the parties involved. Baseball is trying to sell their product and, like them or hate them, the Yankees are a draw. Nobody wants to see a team sleepwalk through a doubleheader.

There are also health risks involved. ESPN is literally putting the health of the Yankees at risk. Three games in 24 hours means there will be bullpen arms that will have to pitch on literally no rest. The chance for a major arm injury, or any injury for that matter, drastically increases.

No matter how you look at this it is a bad look for ESPN and Major League Baseball. The fact that ESPN announced they would be flexing the Yankees and Blue Jays game to 8:05 pm after the Yankees and Orioles announced their doubleheader looks awful. Is a Yankees-Blue Jays game really that much of a national draw? Sure, the Yankees are one of the more popular teams in the game but is it worth alienating them?

ESPN and Major League Baseball need to do the right thing here. They need to find a different game for Sunday Night Baseball and do it soon.

Yankees Should Say Hey To J.A.

The New York Yankees have the second best win percentage in major league baseball behind the Red Sox who have played 4 more games this season. The Yankees lead the league in homeruns, and pretty much every category offensively and when right they have the best bullpen in the game. If the Yankees are going to win the World Series though, they are going to need to upgrade the starting rotation. The Yankees would be wise to look at left handed pitcher J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays to fill that need; three reasons why.

First the Yankees have always had a left handed pitcher in every year they won the World Series; whether it was Ford, Guidry, Pettitte or Sabathia. A left handed pitcher is crucial for a team to succeed in Yankee Stadium; not only that but a left hander who can also eat innings.  While its true the Yankees already have left hander CC Sabathia, he is 37 years old and just can’t give them the innings they need averaging only five innings per start. On the other hand, Happ is averaging 6 innings per start and has pitched into the seventh inning four times.

The second reason is the Yankees are gearing up to make a World Series run and post season experience counts. The left handed J.A. Happ has that experience that guys like Pettitte and Sabathia have had in the past when he pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2016 post season and was their game 1 starter.

The most important reason might come down to cost, not only money but prospects that would have to be given up. While its true that guys like Michael Fulmer and Chris Archer are much younger than Happ, they’re also team controlled for more years and younger which means the return for them would be a lot more than the return would be for Happ. The Yankees dont seem to want to trade away guys like Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield or Estevan Florial but to get a guy like Fulmer, Archer or the dream of Madison Bumgardner of the San Francisco Giants, the Yankees would likely have to part with at least 2 of those guys. On the other hand, J.A. Happ is a free agent after this season so he will be a rental. The Yankees are stacked with pitching prospects; The Toronto Blue Jays not so much. A complication could arise with the Jays and the Yankees being in the same division, but with Happ due to be a free agent after this season wouldn’t it make sense for the Jays to get the best return possible for him? The Jays likely will not be competing with the Red Sox or the Yankees for the AL East this season so an in division trade for Happ likely wouldn’t be too much of a hurdle if they can agree on prospects.

The Yankees need another solid pitcher if they are going to win the World Series, if they want to go big and try to acquire a Bumgardner, Fulmer, Archer or someone of that nature then by all means go for it. If they fail to come to an agreement there however, the Yankees could do a lot worse than picking up a guy like J.A. Happ to slot into their rotation along with Severino and Tanaka and take their shot this year and try to add someone either by free agency or trade in the off season.

 

It’s Time for the Gary Sanchez Haters To Move On

Gary Sanchez

Fans of the New York Yankees haven’t had much to complain about over the two seasons. Last year the team undergoing a rebuild went to the ALCS and came within a game of the World Series. This season the Yankees have the best record in baseball. Still, there are Yankees’ fans that aren’t happy and find the need to complain. One major complaint is with Gary Sanchez’s defense.

The talk began last season. At least that was when the voices were loud enough, and numerous enough, to be heard. They complained about Sanchez’s ability to block a ball and how it will cost the Yankees in the long run. It didn’t matter that Sanchez has one of the best times popping up or one of the best arms at the position. It didn’t matter that Sanchez hit 33 home runs, drove in 90 runs, scored 79 runs and hit .278/.345/.531 in 122 games. All certain Yankees’ fans cared about was passed balls.

There is no denying that Sanchez led baseball in passed balls last season with 16. He leads the Majors this season with seven. That is enough for a section of the Yankees’ fanbase to demand he be moved to DH full time or even be tried at first base. Some even want him traded.

All of that is crazy talk. During the broadcast on Tuesday night, David Cone made light of Sanchez’s defense and came to his defense. Cone stated that Sanchez’s other defensive abilities and his offense more than made up for the passed balls. Cone said Sanchez could be his catcher all week and that he would love to throw to him. Cone is absolutely right here. Sadly it made the crowd who despise Sanchez’s defense even louder it seems.

The truth is every fanbase has their crazy section and Yankees’ fans who want Sanchez removed from behind the plate fit into that crazy demographic. It is crazy to want to move Sanchez from behind the plate. His offensive value is greatly increased while he is a catcher. Since August 10, 2016 Sanchez has hit 65 home runs, 26 more than second-place finisher Salvador Perez who clocks in with 39 over that same span.

Cone’s take on Sanchez was the correct one. We all know Sanchez has defensive short-comings. Sanchez knows it. Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman know it. They also know they will live with it. After all, Sanchez is still just 25 and will stay 25 all season long. He has the ability and athleticism to improve. He can’t do that if he is moved off catcher and stuck at DH.

There is no reason to move Sanchez to another position. He is good enough to stay at catcher. Any Yankees’ fan that wants Sanchez traded should be checked into a mental health facility. Thankfully, Boone and Cashman agree. It is time for Yankees’ fans to understand that Sanchez is the Yankees’ catcher and will remain so for many years to come. Its time to find something else to complain about.