Letting Robertson go could start a (bad) chain reaction

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The Yankees have plenty of things to do this offseason and one of the first things they should focus on is re-signing their homegrown closer David Robertson to a contract. Now, there are fans that want Brian Cashman to offer Robertson a qualifying offer and try to pursue him should he turn down the offer but there are also fans that want to see Dellin Betances take over the closer role and let Robertson walk. Now, let’s pretend the Yankees did let Robertson walk. What kind of chain reaction would happen if Robertson went elsewhere?

If Robertson walked away from the Yankees, Dellin Betances would be the closer but would be able to handle the closer role? What if he has a sophomore slump and doesn’t do as well as he did his freshman year with the Yankees? Would it be wise to slide Betances into the closer role after one good season versus several good seasons with Robertson?

The next issue would be bridging the gap from the sixth inning to the ninth inning. If David Robertson were on the team, the Yankees would only have to worry about bridging the gap between the sixth and eighth inning. However, let’s say Betances was moved all the way to the ninth inning. Who would fill the extra inning? Adam Warren? Shawn Kelley? Esmil Rogers? David Huff? All the names I listed are good, but there’s a common theme with these four; inconsistency. When they came out of the bullpen during the 2014 season, they were either very sharp or they were hit all over the place. If they bring that game plan ..read more

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Yankees make shopping list for the offseason

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Imagine you enter the supermarket with a list in your hand, a piece of paper with a list of all the essentials you need. Now apply that analogy with Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees. It’s not all that different; when you’re at the supermarket, you’re buying product goods and when you’re Brian Cashman looking through the free agent market, you’re buying the services of players to help make your team better.

Today, the Yankees are going to start looking through free agent scouting reports as they attempt to build the Yankees into a playoff caliber team. The first thing the Yankees need to do is to fill some of the holes on the roster and in order to figure out what holes they have, I made a quick list.

— Hitting Coach – First Base Coach – Starting Pitcher – Shortstop – Third Basemen – Closer

So now that we have the list all figured out, let’s go into depth about each.

— The Yankees need a new hitting coach and first base coach after firing Kevin Long and Mick Kelleher. The question is, who?

— Staring pitching wise, they could sign Brandon McCarthy after he impressed the team during the second half of the season but will the Yankees become enticed with the other names such as Jon Lester and Max Scherzer?

— Shortstop wise, the Yankees don’t have many options on the free agent market and once J.J. Hardy was signed to an extension with the Baltimore Orioles, the obvious option for right now seems to be Stephen Drew.

— Looking into the third base market, Chase Headley is one of the top prizes and he also expressed ..read more

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BBDP Yankees Top 15 Minor League Outfielders

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It’s been a big year for Yankees minor league outfielders. Tyler Austin finally turned it around, Aaron Judge emerged as a force, and Jake Cave became a household name for prospect enthusiasts. As with any year, there were some regressions, and a few guys who increased their stock. Overall the outfield is becoming a deep position for this farm, as is indicated by the fact that I had to make the list 15 players long. Here’s the list.

1. Aaron Judge – OF, 6-foot-7, 230-pounds, RHB, 22 – Judge came through this year big time. Many people, including myself, had their doubts when he was drafted given his size. He has shown that he can use his size to his advantage. He has a decent amount of swing and miss, but that comes with the territory of being a behemoth. He is surprisingly agile in the field with an excellent arm and good patterns to the ball. The power has been better than expected, and should only improve. He has good plate discipline to go along with everything else. The overall line was .308/.419/.486/.905 with 17 home runs, 24 doubles, four triples, and 131 K : 89 BB in 131 games this year. He was recently ranked the number 15 prospect in the Florida State League. He should start in Double-A next year.

2. Tyler Austin – RF/3B/1B, 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, RHB, 23 – Tyler Austin got off to another bad start this season making everyone concerned that this might be the end of the road for him as a prospect. Then something clicked with him and he began mashing about mid-way through the season. We all know what Austin can do. He can hit for significant power when running on all ..read more

Posted in 2011 MLB Draft, 2012 MLB Draft, 2013 MLB Draft, BBDP, Down on the Farm, List, Minor League Monday, Prospect Rankings | Leave a comment

Chris Young grateful for late-season turnaround with Yankees

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When Chris Young signed with the New York Yankees during the end of the 2014 season, fans ridiculed the deal based off his numbers with the New York Mets. However, Young didn’t look like the player that was struggling with the Yankees crosstown rivals; he was hitting the ball on all cylinders and during his lone month as a Yankee, he quickly became a fan favorite. Young was grateful Brian Cashman and the Yankees took a chance on him and he said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in pinstripes.

“I’m really happy that I did get this opportunity to come here, in this environment, in as big of a year as it’s been for the Yankees,” Young said to the New York Daily News. “To be surrounded by that, I’ve been able to create memories that’ll last a lifetime. Every little bit helps, for sure.

“I’m really grateful for that.”

Young had been ridiculed all season since Mets GM Sandy Alderson signed him to a pricey contract, the team eventually letting Young go after an abysmal season. However, the Yankees took a gamble and Young got to witness many things; he hit a walk-off home run, and had many clutch hits during a time where the Yankees were scratching and clawing for the second Wild Card spot.

When asked to describe his time with the Mets, he paused before adding, “It’s just a time,” he said. “You’ve just got to let it go. I did my best while I was there. I don’t have any regrets as far as anything I should’ve done different – the production should’ve been better.

“But as a player, you’re going out there and you know you’re working hard, trying your best. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and the ball doesn’t fall ..read more

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A week in review: Berra, Cashman, Headley, Kelleher, Long, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Qualifying Offers

Brian Cashman

The second week of the offseason feature more action than last week; some news was surprising and some news was as to be expected. Here’s the rundown of everything that happened this week.

— Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra‘s museum, located in Little Falls, New Jersey, was robbed, the thieves stealing several of Berra’s World Series rings, two of his MVP awards and the glove he use to catch Don Larsen‘s no-hitter. As of today, the items have not been located, but you only can hope that they’re found soon.

— The Yankees will keep their GM Brian Cashman around a little while longer. The Yankees announced this week Cashman was signed to a three-year extension which takes him into the 2017 season. The organization doesn’t blame Cashman for the Yankees struggles these last two seasons and instead put the blame elsewhere.

Chase Headley expressed his interest in returning to the New York Yankees, but only as a full-time player. With Alex Rodriguez aging, Headley could have a full-time position at third base, meaning the Yankees might have to find somewhere else for A-Rod to play.

— Following the re-signing of Cashman, the Yankees announced they had fired both hitting coach Kevin Long and first base coach Mick Kelleher. Both Long and Kelleher had a year remaining on their contracts and the Yankees explained the firing’s as Long being unable to get the Yankees offense going and Kelleher’s as more of a personnel move. The Yankees have not yet announced who will replace Long and Kelleher.

— During Cashman’s media call conference, he opened the idea of Alex Rodriguez playing first base. Cashman and ..read more

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Which former Yankees would make great hitting coaches?

Jorge Posada

The New York Yankees fired their hitting coach Kevin Long after eight seasons in the organization yesterday afternoon and while the Yankees freed up a spot at the position, they now need to find someone else to replace Long. So, who could it be? I thought it would be interesting based on observation to play the ‘which former Yankee would make a good hitting coach’ game. These options are unlikely to happen, but I can dream, can’t I?

1. Paul O’NeillPaul O’Neill would be a perfect choice for a hitting coach. He’s motivated, he can hit and let’s not forget he has passion for the game. In his 16-year career, he’s hit .288/.360/.470, so the numbers back up why he’s probably the right fit. While O’Neill is perfect for the job, O’Neill most likely won’t happen; he told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York that he has no interest in being a hitting coach. Well, maybe it was for the best…he’s pretty amazing on YES and if he were the hitting coach, he wouldn’t be able to entertain the fans when he’s in the YES Network booth.

2. Tino MartinezAlong with being on the Yankees during the Dynasty Era and having a career .271/.344/.471 clip, Martinez also has experience as a hitting coach; he was a coach for the Miami Marlins before quitting mid-way through the season in 2013. Martinez would be another good choice for the Yankees, but the Yankees reportedly aren’t viewing Martinez as a possible candidate to replace Kevin Long, which is a shame.

3. Jorge PosadaJorge Posada has the utmost respect for the game and has always been a hitter, not to mention he’s a four-time All-Star. When it comes to the game, Posada ..read more

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Cashman opens idea of having A-Rod play first base

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With Alex Rodriguez returning from his year-long suspension at the age of 39 and Mark Teixeira continuously missing time due to injuries, Brian Cashman seemed to have the idea that whenever Teixeira is out of the lineup, the person they could turn to play first base…is A-Rod.

Joe Girardi talked to him about getting some work at first base,” Cashman said during a conference call on Friday. “Until we see what he can do on a daily basis, it’s hard to assume anything.”

In theory, the move makes sense. It’s rare to see a 40-year-old third basemen just like it was rare to see a 40-year-old shortstop (Derek Jeter). First base is also less taxing and Teixeira admitted to the media he might not be able to play 150 games in a season again. However, it’s a lot of change for a player who’s been on one side of the diamond for his entire career, and the questions about Rodriguez don’t stop there. Some even wonder if A-Rod can play third base nowadays.

“I don’t think you can assume he can play third base,” Cashman said. “With his age and missing a full year and how it affected Derek [Jeter] and Mark Teixeira. … In the chair I sit in, it’s safer to assume this is something he might not be able to do the whole year.”

There’s also the question of how he’ll hit since he hasn’t seen any Major League action since 2013.

“I don’t know what to expect in terms of production from Alex,” said Cashman, who also added the team’s strength coach, Matt Krause, visited Rodriguez in Miami. “He’ll push hard and compete hard to be the ..read more

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Cashman on Long, Kelleher, A-Rod and Robertson

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After Brian Cashman signed his three-year extension, more news came out of the organization where hitting coach Kevin Long and first-base coach Mick Kelleher were fired. Cashman followed with a conversation with the media, discussing the direction the team was heading, the situations on Alex Rodriguez and David Robertson and his reaction to the firing of Long and Kelleher.

On Kevin Long: “I think he tried everything in his power. By his own assessment, I know when I talked to Kevin today he told me, he was like, ‘Cash, I wouldn’t do anything different, because I tried everything.’ I think Kevin can sleep at night knowing he tried every tool in the toolbox. I know that he publicly stated late in the year that he did everything and tried everything. It wasn’t sufficient, but the effort was sufficient. The results just weren’t.”

On Mick Kelleher: “That was more personnel-related. When we lost players like Cano, for instance, who was an exceptional defender, to free agency; or when we lost Alex to a suspension, for instance. We had Derek Jeter coming back, as well as Mark Teixeira, from injury. Those players possessed a certain amount of ability, and I think Mick addressed that to the best of his abilities. As we were able to acquire better defenders as the season went on and they presented themselves, we obviously improved our team defense. I would not hold Mick Kelleher responsible for any defensive deficiencies. That was personnel related.” 

On Alex Rodriguez: “Matt Krause, our strength coach, just visited with him yesterday in Miami to continue the process that I talked to you all about in Boston at Fenway Park at ..read more

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