New York Giants May Pay For Half Measures In Rebuilding

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants aren’t going to go all the way with their rebuild process.

Head coach Pat Shurmur was fired on Monday, of course – to the relief of many fans. It’s not that Shurmur was a bad person or a coach that players didn’t like playing for, but as far as on the field results, Shurmur also failed to deliver in two years and didn’t look better at most points than the much maligned previous coach he’d been brought in to replace.

The Giants weren’t going to win with Shurmur. Making the move to replace him is one of the first steps in getting back to a winning record and eventually the playoffs. But while Shurmur was replaced, General Manager Dave Gettleman escaped with his job despite being the one behind constructing the roster that Shurmur coached this year.

For whatever reason, the one that led the team was fired but not the one that constructed it.

Sure, there have been some good things that have come out of Gettleman being the General Manager. The most notable would be the selection of Saquon Barkley. But there’s also been a lot of bad. The secondary isn’t better than it was when Gettleman took over, perhaps even taking a step back, trading up for DeAndre Baker and having a general trend of acquiring too many defensive line players look like bad moves, giving Nate Solder a large contract has turned out to be a mistake, and Gettleman’s veteran signings have been panned by fans.

And as for the biggest moves Gettleman has made, drafting Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, it’s hard to give all of the credit to the General Manager for them. Sure, Gettleman selected Barkley. But that was the expected move for a team that had a chance to take the best player in the draft. It wasn’t a case of a General Manager making a tough call and taking a risk on a dark horse player who turns out to be as good as Barkley.

It was a good selection… But does it really say that much about the skill of the executive who made it, when compared to other executives? Most other General Managers in the same position would have done the same thing.

As for Jones, it can’t be said one way or another if he’ll turn into a franchise quarterback that looks good on Gettleman’s resume. Despite the early hype, his fumbles and interceptions do mean it will take some more time before truly giving him that title.

What’s already set in stone, though, are the numbers 5-11 and 4-12: the records of the New York Giants over the past couple of years. While it’s usually impossible to have a near immediate turnaround, the little improvement through Gettleman’s first two offseasons should concern the organization more than it has. As it stands now, it doesn’t look like the Giants are set to become the winning team in the third year of a rebuild.

Rather, based on Gettleman’s record so far with free agents, they look on pace to use their increased cap space to bring in a number of players who will likely attract some attention during the offseason but when things are said and done, will end up on their way out of the team in a couple of years after not making nearly enough actual impact on results.

You might not see things change too much for the Giants in 2020. Why? Because they’re taking half measures in a rebuild once again, just like firing Coughlin and keeping Reese in the past – something that in hindsight, a lot of fans would probably have liked the Giants to reverse.

The current leader of the team, the coach, is gone now and will be replaced this offseason. With the same architect at the top, though, can one really argue that change will happen?

New York Yankees: A Decade Without A Ring

New York Yankees

For just the second time since the 1910’s, the New York Yankees failed to win a World Series during a decade. The team won their first World Series in 1923, and the only other decade where they didn’t win one was the 1980’s.

In 2009, the team won their 27th ring, also in the inaugural season of the new Yankee Stadium. The 10 years following resulted in some success, just no World Series.

In 2010, the team swept the Minnesota Twins for the second consecutive year in the ALDS before falling to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. A year later, the team lost their ALDS series to the Detroit Tigers in five games.

Come 2012, the Yankees beat the Orioles in five games in the ALDS before being manhandled by the Tigers in a four game sweep. That was when Derek Jeter broke his ankle in game one, the series spiraling downhill from there.

Mid Decade Struggles

The next two years were rough for the Yankees. Guys were getting older and battling injuries. Mariano Rivera retired in 2013 and Jeter retired in 2014.

With a bit of a younger team in 2015, the team qualified for the AL Wild Card game but lost to the Houston Astros 3-0.

The Yankees seemed to get a bit older again in 2016, and ended up going into a mini-rebuild and selling at the trade deadline. They shipped off guys like Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for prospects.

A Fresh Identity

In 2017, the Yankees shocked all of baseball and qualified for the Wild Card game in a year where they were expected to go about .500. The team was young and very inexperienced, but that didn’t seem to matter.

They won the Wild Card game, and had an incredible comeback against the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. They were down 2-0, but proceeded to win the next three games to advance to the ALCS against the Astros.

Against the Astros, the team went down 2-0 but won all three games in New York to take a 3-2 series lead. However, the Astros won games six and seven to eliminate the Yankees.

In 2018, the team got back to 100 wins but got eliminated by the Red Sox in the ALDS.

Now enter 2019, the last chance to win a World Series this decade. Despite their best record in 10 years, they failed again to get past the Astros in the ALCS following an ALDS sweep of the Twins.

Turning the page to 2020 and a new decade, the Yankees are hoping to win a few rings to make up for lost time.

New York Yankees: Diving behind the scenes to sneak a peak at Aaron Boone’s life

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Did you know that the manager of the New York Yankees is married to a former Playboy Playmate of the month? Or that the couple is parenting two adopted children? It’s true.

Aaron Boone was born into baseball.  He played for the Reds, Yankees,  Indians, Marlins, Nationals, and Astros during his career from 1997 through 2009. He is the son of catcher and manager Bob Boone, brother of All-Star and 4 time Gold Glove winner Brett Boone. Plus he’s the grandson of former ML player Matt Boone.

Given that background, who would think that this man would fail as the new manager of the Yankees? Plus the fact that he hit the walk-off homer in the 2003 Yankees ALCS that everyone remembers? No one would.

Boonie was also employed by ESPN from 2010 through 2017 as a game analyst and color commentator. Remember him?

Aaron Boone was hired by the Yankees organization to become their 33rd manager last year. Given the qualifications outlined previously, I was skeptical. Who is this guy who is married to a Playboy Playmate and hit a huge homer for the Yankees? How can he effectively manage the Yankees?

But he has more than proven himself. Aaron Boone has made himself the voice of the Yankees through his “we’re the ******** savages in the box.” Who would have thought that he would have stood up for his team as he did?

Who would have thought that he could manage his way through the injury-plagued Yankees to the tune of the most on the IL at 30 players? The Major League record is 28 by the Dodgers in 2018. However, Boone managed his way through this. And won 103 games in the process.

Aaron Boone. Father. Player. Manager of the New York Yankees. He’s the best.

Who will be the odd man out in the New York Mets’ rotation?

Some teams, as currently constructed, have to scramble to find three or four solid starting pitching options. However, the New York Mets made sure that happened to them.

They entered the offseason with the certainty that Zack Wheeler was going to walk. With four starters in Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz, they knew they had to go to the open market to secure the services of a fifth starter.

They did that, and then some. They signed Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello within hours of distance between each other. That gave the Mets enviable depth, but also, a notorious problem.

Both Wacha and Porcello are established veterans that signed to be starters, not relievers. In fact, there are reports suggesting that both were promised starting gigs. Given that it is unlikely that the Mets deploy a six-man rotation, who will be the odd man out?

The New York Mets’ ace

If there is a safe spot for someone in the rotation, it is for Jacob deGrom. A two-time Cy Young winner, he has been the league’s best pitcher in the last two years.

Mets’ fans saw deGrom finish with a 11.25 K/9 and 1.94 BB/9 this season, not to mention his 2.43 ERA. He put up a 7.0 WAR season after finishing with 9.0 in 2018.

The sure things

Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman, if they are healthy, will be in the Mets’ rotation. Period. The former is a strikeout artist with a powerful arsenal that is coming from a somewhat down 2019, but has dominated in the past. He finished with a 4.28 ERA and a 3.60 FIP in 197.2 frames last season.

Stroman, meanwhile, doesn’t rely on strikeouts to be successful. Instead, he uses a deep arsenal to produce groundouts at very high rates (53.7% in 2019.) Last season, he had a 3.22 ERA (3.72 FIP) between the Blue Jays and Mets. He is a rock-solid, mid-rotation performer.

Three guys for two spots to round out the Mets’ staff

Stephen Matz (4.21 ERA, 4.60 FIP in 160.1 innings) Michael Wacha (4.76 ERA, 5.61 FIP in 126.2 innings with the Cardinals) and Rick Porcello (5.52 ERA, 4.76 FIP in 174.1 frames with the Red Sox) will vie for the fourth and fifth spots.

Matz was a solid back-end starter for the Mets and is “homegrown,” but Wacha and Porcello, especially the latter, will want to start. The former Cardinal has lost some of the luster that made him a top prospect, while the former Cy Young winner is well-removed from his spectacular 2016 season (22-4, 3.15 ERA.)

Wacha will make a base salary of $3 million plus incentives, while Porcello will be paid $10 million with further add-ons. Porcello may occupy one of the two spots left for these three arms, leaving Matz and Wacha to compete for the fifth starter job.

Spring Training will tell us a lot. For now, it would appear that Wacha will pitch out of the bullpen if the season started today. Unless there is a trade, of course, or an injury to one of the Mets‘ more stable starters.

What the Yankees Should Learn from the Mets About Josh Hader

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The Yankees offseason is now squarely rooted in relief pitcher, Josh Hader, of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hader is going to come with a hefty price tag, and, no, it’s not the generic “Yankee tax.” It’s “The Brewers know what they have, and they know everyone wants him. Why wouldn’t they ask for a king’s ransom for a guy who’s trade value is at ITS HIGHEST?!”

The Mets Went for Hader. Here’s What The Brewers Wanted

The Mets reportedly made a play for Josh Hader. The Brewers wanted first baseman Dominic Smith (.282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs in 89 games last season), Steven Matz (who plays a crucial part in the Mets rotation moving forward), and two “highly regarded prospects.” Could have been Ronny Mauricio, could have been Brett Baty, could have been Fransisco Alvarez, it could have been anyone. But with that kind of offer on the table, the Mets (understandably) went with Dellin Betances. 

Yankees Fans Should Take Note of This

The Brewers weren’t interested in Edwin Diaz, whom the Mets would probably like to unload after his abysmal 2019. They didn’t go for mediocre players who are, at best, average or over the hill. They didn’t go for guys who could be on the big club but aren’t because there isn’t room. They went for guys who are both A) Highly regarded, and B) Major League Ready.

That merely means offering Miguel Andujar, or Gio Urshela won’t cut it. And they won’t take Clint Frazier either because, with an outfield of Yelich, Cain, and former Yankee Ben Gamel, Frazier would downgrade their outfield. JA Happ wouldn’t interest them; they’d want Devi Garcia to go with the third baseman of their choice. They’d also want Johnathan Loaisiga, or Albert Abreu, as well as Estevan Florial, or Clarke Shmidt. 

The Brewers want a haul for one relief pitcher. We’re stocked to the gils with talent, and trading for a player shouldn’t require giving it all up. The Yankees realistically don’t need Hader. His effectiveness may plummet due to the fact he’s a National League pitcher, and his capabilities won’t fool American League hitters as much. 

If the Yankees need Hader, wait until mid-March to pull this trade. Striking when the value of a player is low makes more sense than giving up the farm for a relief arm that’s not a necessity. This only portrays the desperation of oner, Hal Steinbrenner.

What Bernie Williams thinks of the Yankees signing Gerrit Cole

New York Yankees, Bernie Williams

The pressures of New York can be overwhelming for the common folk, but when the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a record-breaking deal, they knew he could handle the fire. Cole, 29, was the league’s best pitcher in 2019, setting career highs in both ERA (2.50) and strikeouts (326).

Current and past Yankees players took to the media to express their confidence in Cole and his ability to weather the storm in high-pressure situations. He’s not only physically strong but mentally as well, which is an attribute that takes plenty of psychological refinement. James Paxton endured high-stake situations last season, as he was the Yankees’ top pitcher in the playoffs. The mental skills he developed throughout the year and therapeutic sessions all contributed towards his success on the mound.

One former Yankee great, Bernie Williams, has seen his fair share of ardent moments in Pinstripes, and he was one of the first to advocate for Cole’s dominance moving forward.

“He’s a player that has come into the city with a lot of expectations,” Williams said of Cole during an interview with MLB Network. “Obviously, every time he doesn’t do well with that side, kind of expectations, they’re going to throw his contract in. But I think, for me, has just has to stay the course. He, obviously, has a lot of confidence in his ability to play the game and to pitch. New York is going to challenge that ability and that confidence in many ways.

“So I think in order for him to be successful, he just has to kind of go back to what made him successful and stick with that plan. And no matter what happens, no matter the distractions and everything New York can throw at him, he has to stay firm with his course and having that confidence and his ability that have brought him in the first place to New York.”

The Yankees culture will test Gerrit Cole on all levels:

The fans in New York can be some of the most hostile in the world, especially to their own players. Dishing out $324 million over nine-years to a pitcher comes with its restraints, and Cole will face the harsh reality of failure if he cannot live up to expectations. However, he has proven to be successful in high-leverage situations, helping take the Houston Astros to the World Series in 2019 as their ace.

New York in September is a different type of intensity, though, and Bernie knows all too well what that can do to a fresh face.

New York Yankees’ Secret Weapon: Mike Ford

New York Yankees, Mike Ford

In 2019 we got to see a sample size of the big lefty Mike Ford. He had originally been called up as a backup at 1B when Luke Voit got injured and was a nobody to New York Yankees fans. He broke out towards the end of the year and captured the hearts of many Yankees fans, hitting longballs and being the power lefty bat the Yankees were looking for down the stretch. In 2020 Mike Ford could play a huge role in that lineup, and with Edwin Encarnacion’s departure to Chicago to play for the White Sox, Ford could get a lot more playing time and produce big numbers.

Undrafted and Expendable

Mike Ford went undrafted and signed as an amateur free agent in 2013 out of Princeton University. Without any status as a prospect and a long road ahead of him, Ford would play 7 seasons in the minors, and after lots of time in the farm system, he finally got his big break. He was called up and played his first MLB game on April 18th and after 8 games where he was slugging a mere .333, he was sent back down. He would be called back up and play two more games on May 1st and May 3rd, though he’d promptly be sent right back down after. After only one more game in July and another ticket right back to Scranton, it seemed like Ford was never going to get any real playing time. Then came August.

Dingers For the Dog Days

In the second half of the 2019 season, Mike Ford made pitchers pay, slashing .274/.333/.619 with a .953 OPS. He also clubbed 11 home runs in that 39 game stretch and hit his way into a starting spot for August and September. The Yankees lineup was deeper and had more variety with a power lefty bat to combat the heavily right-handed lineup. Mike Ford also had a lower strikeout rate with a high walk rate which made him a fantastic bat. He struck out 17.2% of the time compared to the MLB average of 21.7% and walked at a 10.4% clip compared to the MLB average of 8.3%. With his amazing talent at the plate, we could see Ford step up as a DH for the Yankees

A Power Lineup With Ford

The Yankees now have a power lefty bat, and with Ford, they can boast a lineup with some insane power:

Yankees Potential Lineup (With 2019 SLG %)
1. LeMahieu 2B (R) .518
2. Judge RF (R) .540
3. Stanton LF (R) .492
4. Ford DH (L) .559
5. Torres SS (R) .535
6. Sanchez C (R) .525
7. Tauchman CF (L) .504
8. Voit 1B (R) .464
9. Urshela 3B (R) .534

The Yankee lineup could be even more dangerous in 2020, especially since Stanton will be healthier and slug well above the .492 he slugged in his very limited action in 2019. With Ford bolstering the DH position, the Yankees have their lefty power bat to fit right into the heart of that lineup. With all of that offensive stardom in one lineup, the Yankees now are geared to win a Wolrd Series in 2020, and Mike Ford will be a big part of it.

New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton: Boom or Bust in 2020?

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees‘ Giancarlo Stanton was the longtime brute of the MLB who held the crown for the biggest and baddest slugger on the block — until Aaron Judge showed up. Now, two years into being teammates, both have struggled to stay on the field consistently. Stanton’s 2017 season that saw him demolish 59 HR’s, 17 in the month of August alone, en route to the NL MVP award, is now a thing of the past. For Stanton, 2020 is going to be arguably the most important year of his entire career.

Stanton’s time with the Yankees so far

In 2018, his first season with the Yankees, Stanton regressed from that monstrous 2017 season, but that came as no surprise to anyone that watched or knew the slightest bit about baseball. For any player to repeat a historic 59 HR season, they’d have to be Alex Rodriguez reincarnate. However, Giancarlo’s 2018 season was honestly fantastic, across the board. His OPS of .852 was — of the 10 Yankees to record at least 300 AB’s — third on the team, just .03 behind that of Miguel Andujar. His WRC+ of 129 was also third on the team, and his 38 HR led the team & was good for sixth in the entire league (tied with Nolan Arenado & Francisco Lindor). His 4.3 fWAR was also the third-highest of his — at the time — eight-year career. While he certainly didn’t reach the incredibly high bar he had set for himself the season prior, Stanton was still one of the best players in baseball.

2019 however, he only ended up playing in 18 games and missed the majority of his time with a lingering hamstring issue that kept him out of workouts and baseball-related activities. In an article recently posted by my colleague, Alexander Wilson, when discussing the “top four hitters projected in the 2020 LU”, he mentioned that the Yankees didn’t sign Stanton to stare at pitches that are in the strike zone, and instead to swing often, and to take those risks on pitches outside the zone — in hopes of him connecting with one for a devastating Home Run. I couldn’t agree more with that statement, as while I am personally a huge fan of players with great plate discipline (I feel as if it’s one of the hardest things to master), for Giancarlo Stanton, it wasn’t as if his plate discipline improved, it was as if he was being timid with the bat in his hands. Below is a table comparing a few of the numbers behind Stanton’s 2017 and 2018 seasons (info via Baseball Savant & Fangraphs):

YEAR Hard Hit % Barrel % Z-Swing % O-Swing % xSLG
2017 45.4% 17.4% 65.8% 27.4% .586
2018 50.5% 15.1% 65.3% 32.5% .473

As you can see by the stats above, aside from the HH%, Stanton was better in 2017 than he was in 2018, with the largest difference being the xSLG. The other thing that stands out to me was that Stanton was swinging at 5% more pitches out of the zone, and fewer pitches in the zone (even by a smidgen). What that says to me is that Stanton wasn’t as comfortable in the box in his first run-through in the Bronx under the bright lights. With that being said, he still put together — as previously mentioned — an All-Star caliber season. While 2019 was a forgettable season, I am not personally worried about Stanton’s production coming into 2020. Look for Stanton to swing at better pitches, and to be more patient in the coming years.

Giancarlo was distraught about not being able to be on the field with his teammates in 2019. One can only imagine just how badly he wanted to get out there and help his team win, as ultimately for Stanton that’s the main reason for playing baseball. Similar to Judge, in that he’s not one to bask in the spotlight, he plays to win and plays to bring a Championship back to the Bronx. When asked about whether or not there are concerns over Stanton’s future and health going forward, Brian Cashman had this to say: “I don’t know if [these injuries] are predictive of the future. None of the injuries were his fault and when healthy, he’s one of the best hitters in the game. I expect that to be the case next year.” For the General Manager of one of the premier organizations in all of sports to have — seemingly — no worries about Stanton’s future speaks bounds to me. While Stanton is slated to make $26,000,000 this upcoming season, there’s also an opt-out clause at the end of this upcoming season. While I don’t believe Giancarlo will opt-out, especially if he cannot put together a healthy season, there is still definitely something to play for.

I firmly believe that Giancarlo Stanton will come into 2020 with a massive weight on his shoulders, and that is the only thing that worries me. Whenever there are lofty expectations or unreasonably high bars set for players, it can only hurt their own confidence. While Stanton is one that — I think — can thrive under the bright lights, he hasn’t had that “Yankee Moment” that all fans are clawing at the air for. I expect that to change this upcoming season, and I am looking for Gian to re-establish himself as one of baseball’s premier players.

As John Sterling called on the first of Stanton’s many Yankee home runs: “Giancarlo, non si può stoparlo!” which means: “Giancarlo, you can’t be stopped!” — I don’t think that anyone will be able to slow down Stanton next year. Look for him to tear the cover off the baseball this upcoming season, and help contribute to what should be an onslaught of excellent offensive performances.

 

 

The 10 Best Yankees Moments of the Last Decade

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

While the 2010’s was the first decade that the Yankees did NOT appear in a World Series since the 1910’s, there were still plenty of great moments that happened to our boys in pinstripes. And since everyone is reflecting on what happened to them this past decade, I thought I’d share my top 10 Yankees moments of the last decade.

10. Aaron Boone’s Hot Start

How many managers start their career with back to back 100 win seasons? I mean, seriously, how many managers start their managerial career’s with back to back 100 win seasons?! Aaron Boone’s first two seasons as skipper are about as productive as you can get for a manager. And this includes the copious amount of injuries the Yankees sustained in 2019.

9. Jorge Posada Clinches the Division

2011 was a crazy year for the Core Four. Andy Pettite was a year away from leaving retirement early. Derek Jeter got his 3,000 career hit on a home run in a 5-5 performance. And Mariano Rivera got career save 602. 2011 was also the last season for long time, home grown, Yankee catcher, Jorge Posada. Having a lackluster season, it was thanks to Jorge Posada that the Yankees clinched the 2011 AL East title.

8. The Emergence of the Baby Bombers

Gary Sanchez had a 2016 that would make Shane Spencer blush. In 53 games, he hit .299/.376/.657 with 20 home runs. 2016 also saw Aaron Judge’s first career at bat (I was there. Good golly that was a hot day. But such a majestic shot!). The very next season, the Yankees emerged as one of the most dominant teams in the American League. 

7. Mariano Rivera’s Final Game

It was crazy watching the Yankees pay to have Metallica play “Enter Sandman” exclusively for Mariano on Mariano Rivera day, but there’s just something about watching a grown man reduced to tears over something as simple as one of his lifelong friends saying “It’s time to go.” Watching Giarardi sending Jeter and Pettite out to pull Mo from his final appearance at Yankee stadium was a stroke of genius. But you just wish the Yankees were able pull out the win.

6. 2017 Wild Card Through ALDS

It seemed improbable that the Yankees were going to make it to the post season in 2017, a rebuilding year. But they did. And with their ace on the mound, Luis Severino, it seemed like a sure fire thing that the Yankees would dominate the Twins in the Wild Card game. They went down early. But thanks to Didi Gregorius, the Yankees mounted a first inning comeback to win. And then… there was the ALDS. Down 2 games to none, they improbably came back in 3 straight games to advance to win the series and advance to the ALCS against the 100 win Cleveland Indians.

5. Savages

Aaron Boone was ejected on July 18th. And in his parting rant left us with “savages”. The rest, as they say… is history.

4. Next Man Up

2019 was a disaster of a season with a complete roster of players (and not just any players our best players) ending up on the IL for lengths of time. But with the emergence of DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela, the team was able to stay afloat for the incredible 103 win season.

3. Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hit

5-5 with a home run to cross the 3,000 hit plateau… the Captain always had the flair for the dramatic.

2. CC’s Final Pitch

CC Sabathia was a warrior for the Yanks his entire stay. Through all his injuries, the decline in velocity, CC fought hard on every pitch for us in the Bronx. And when it came to Game 4 of the ALCS, literally throwing his arm out of its socket, the man left it all on the field in a way that made his former manager break down and cry on MLB Network’s coverage of the postseason.

Derek Jeter’s Final at Bat

Derek Jeter was the final member of the Core Four to retire. It was tough watching all those Yankees greats that I grew up with finally ride off into the sunset like the legends of baseball they became. So when it came time for Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium, people were obviously pretty upset watching how upset Jeter was for most of the game. They took a lead early, but gave it back late. And then, it was magic hour. Tied at 5, 1 out, runner on second, and Jeter lines a typical Jeterian single to right, winning the game. Watching reruns of that game to this day still causes me to tear up a little bit.

And those are my picks for the 10 best moments of the first decade the Yankees didn’t appear in a single World Series.

New York Yankees news, rumors: Starlin Castro, 2 relief pitchers to target

New York Yankees, Starlin Castro

The offseason is far from over for the New York Yankees as GM Brian Cashman continues his quest to piece together a World Series caliber team for the 2020 season. Realistically, Cashman could leave the current team be, and they would undoubtedly have the highest probability for success, but several holes remain.

With Dellin Betances walking in free agency and Nestor Cortes Jr. being traded, the Yankees need to supplement the loss with another relief arm. Talks continue with Josh Hader, who has four years of team control remaining on his contract, but nothing tangible has crept through the grapevine.

Reports of Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, and a prospect being the Brewers’ desire has been noted, but Cashman refuses to give up that much value in a deal. He’s willing to part with Andujar and a prospect, but it boils down to who, and what value they have in the near future for the Bombers.

More news and rumors from the New York Yankees:

The idea of reuniting with Starlin Castro has been floated in the media, and it’s not a lousy thought considering his offensive quality. While with the Yankees in 2017, he slashed .300/.338/.454 slash line over 112 games. His reliable health also makes him attractive.

A one-year deal would make the most sense for Starlin, who would earn an opportunity to play on one of the best teams in baseball and have a chance at winning a World Series. Last season, he racked up 22 homers and 86 runs, logging robust defensive statistics, as well. His .979 fielding percentage at second base and .963 percentage at third base makes him valuable, especially regarding his versatility.

If the Yankees trade Andujar, Castro makes the most sense to reunite with. This is all theoretical, but something to chew on.

Two relief pitcher to consider:

1.) Alex Wood

Wood, who has been slowed by injuries in recent years, had a tough year with the Cincinnati Reds last season, posting a 5.80 ERA. The more attractive side of Wood is his lefty arm and expected low-price tag. Factor in his sub-.400 ERA over seven consecutive seasons, and he’s worth taking a look at.

2.) Will Harris

With the Houston Astros last season, Harris posted solid numbers (4-1 record, 1.50 ERA, 62 SO). He signed for one-year, $4.225 million, and could be a cheap option for the Yankees. He’s familiar with high-pressure situations and would fit the bill to replace Betances and Cortes. His 60.0 inning pitched is a rather small sample size, but he is a reliable option nonetheless.

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