To start todayâ€™s New York Yankees updates and news post, I figured itâ€™d be best to address some relatively breaking news, and that is that the Boston Red Sox are now being investigated for stealing signs in the 2018 season. Basically, what Houston did, but on a lesser level.
Initially reported by The Athletic, and reconfirmed by a flurry of sources, that Red Sox players would repeatedly visit the replay room to assess signs of opposing pitchersâ€™ and attempting to figure out what pitches correlated to what signs. Now that, is of course, very illegal. This doesnâ€™t bode well for manager Alex Cora, who was also a part of that Houston Astros staff that was accused of sign stealing â€“ to the zillionth degree â€“ the year prior. The replay room for Boston was right next to the dugout, en route to the batting cages, so it was easily accessible, and ultimately, the usage of it was abused and used to give the players â€“ and in turn, the team â€“ a massively unfair advantage. Boston won 108 games that season and posted an MLB best 57-24 home record.
With that being said, apparently, teams were wary of sign stealing come the postseason, and ultimately Boston wasnâ€™t as successful in their attempts to steal signs and utilize it throughout the Winter Classic. However, as Yankees fans, hearing that now BOTH Houston and Bostonâ€™s Championship seasons will likely come with an asterisk, is music to our ears. Look for more information in the coming days.
Yankees add OF depth
The Yankees appear to be addressing their worry about outfield depth, as they have brought in former Marlinsâ€™ OFâ€™er Rosell Herrera. For more information on Herrera, check out ESMâ€™s William Parleeâ€™s article.
This signing is an interesting one for sure, as the Yankees appear to love to take chances on guys that have yet to make a name for themselves, in hopes that the Yankees staff can work their magic. Previous examples would have to be both Voit and Urshela. While yes, Voit had a solid minor league track record with the Cardinals organization, the Yankees gave him tips and the reps he needed, and now Voit is one of the best hitters on the roster. As previously mentioned in one of my articles, I was led to believe that the Yankees would bring in Maybin, or nobody at all, and it looks like I was mistaken. Thereâ€™s also reason to believe that Herrera may not even be on the Opening Day roster and that this was a veteran signing to be tossed into AAA and called up if injuries, or poor performances, called for it.
Herrera, over the past two seasons with both Kansas City and Miami, posted an OPS of .602, across 421 PAs. With that, however, his AAA triple-slash â€“ fun to say â€œtriple-A, triple slashâ€ â€“ was .309 / .367 / .479 (good for an OPS of .845). Thereâ€™s a chance the Yankees can bring out the best in him, but this signing looks more to me like a depth signing, rather than an immediate roster impact one.
Players most likely to be shipped off this offseason
In other news, an article posted by SBNation today discussed the â€œMost Tradeable Yankees right now,â€ and Iâ€™d like to go through the list, briefly. The names featured were Clint Frazier, either Giovanny Urshela or Miguel Andujar, J.A. Happ, and Deivi Garcia.
Itâ€™s no secret that all of those names have been floating around across the course of this offseason, and ultimately Cashman doesnâ€™t seem to be fully finished reassembling the Evil Empire. Itâ€™s as if heâ€™s putting together his version of â€œThe Final Orderâ€ and plans to destroy all competition this upcoming season fully. With that being said, itâ€™s baseball, and everyone knows that anything can happen in baseball. Nobody couldâ€™ve predicted that the Yankees would see 30 separate players off to the IL this past year, but with that, nobody couldâ€™ve seen a 104-win season come with it.
With the players listed, I expect Frazier and Happ to be the two most likely to be shipped off â€“ likely in a package together. While I am a big fan of Frazierâ€™s abilities, especially his offensive tools, I understand why the Yankees are shopping him. I donâ€™t believe he has an â€œattitude problem,â€ more that heâ€™s just a passionate guy who gets flustered when things donâ€™t work out for him, or when he doesnâ€™t get the reps, he feels he deserves. Mind you, when he came over from Cleveland as part of the Andrew Miller trade, he was a perennial top prospect, and even across limited significant league time, has stepped up big â€“ offensively. Ultimately, everyoneâ€™s gripes with Frazier are over his attitude and his lack of defense. I think that with more consistent playtime, and more individual attention, Frazier can develop to be a solid defensive outfielder. Maybe, below average sure, but certainly better than he showed last season.
As for Happ, well, the Yankees are seemingly just waiting for someone to call and say, â€œWeâ€™ll take him,â€ and then heâ€™ll be off. With that being said, Cashman still knows that Happ has value, and in the off chance he can channel that 2018 season, then that right there could warrant more than a pure salary dump. Add to that the fact that he is still a consistent innings eater, and has that veteran appeal. Not to mention that offloading Happ right now would also mean the Yankees would have to include one of their better prospects â€“ I hope Garcia isnâ€™t the one to be paired.
For Andujar and Urshela, I am one that wants both to be on the Opening Day roster, especially with how great Andujarâ€™s hit tool is. Yes, the defense is a problem, but the idea floating around of moving him to first base long-term, or even a corner outfield role (he does have a cannon for an arm) could benefit him down the road. Keeping his explosive bat and incredible knack for hitting with runners on base; (.280 AVG with 15 HR and 17 2B’s, to go with 80 RBI’s) is a must, in my opinion. Plus, after having missed all of 2019, with that torn labrum, his value is at an all-time low, so why ship him off when he’s lost value due to questions about his form on return from injury? I think Cashman and co know this, which is why he hasn’t been sent anywhere as of today.
Finally, with Garcia, I expect that the only way he is to be traded is for a big-name player â€“ like Josh Hader. As mentioned in a previous article, I donâ€™t think that Garcia should be shipped off for anybody other than Hader, not even Brad Hand, if he were to be made available. The way I view it is, yes prospects are never sure things, and Garcia comes with some worries â€“ mainly about his frame and delivery â€“ but he has all the talent in the world, and showed that he could be one of the most electric arms for the Yankees in the future. I wouldnâ€™t dangle him and ship him off for just any player unless that player is to be a majorly impactful player that can benefit the team long-term â€“ a la Hader.
Keep your eyes peeled for more rumors and updates in the next few days.