Yankees News/Rumors: Fans react to Hinch interview, Yankee Isaiah Pasteur, and Betts deal falling apart?

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts
Aug 27, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

A daily look at New York Yankees News/Rumors of interest to Yankee fans

Astros manager A.J. Hinch interviewed:

On Friday night’s interview with MLB Network’s Tom Verducci, A.J. Hinch was asked some pointed questions, and some of his answers were surprising.   Hinch was fired by Astros owner Jim Crane after the Manfred report, detailing the Astros sign-stealing scheme.  When asked if he thought that his 2017 team championship was tainted, he responded: “It’s a fair question, I think everyone is going to have to draw their own conclusions [as to whether the championship is tainted]. I hope over time and the demonstration of the talent of this team and the players and the careers that are being had — we have some of the best players in the entire sport all together on the same team — I hope over time it’s proven that it wasn’t [tainted]. But I understand the question. … Unfortunately, we opened that door as a group, and that question may never be answered. We may never know.

Hinch also said: “We’re going to have to live and move forward and be better in this sport, but unfortunately no one can really answer that question. I can’t pinpoint what advantages or what happened or what exactly would have happened otherwise, but we did it to ourselves.” During the interview, Hinch took responsibility for his role in the team’s sign-stealing scandal and the events that surrounded it. “It happened on my watch, and I’m not proud of that,” Hinch said. “I’ll never be proud of it. I didn’t like it. But I have to own it because … the Commissioner’s Office made it very, very clear, the [general manager] and the manager were in the position to make sure that nothing like this happened and we fell short.”

In other related news:  Also, on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Astros front office developed an algorithm in September of 2016 used to steal signs from opposing catchers throughout the 2017 season and for part of 2018.  They also reported Jeff Luhnow, the Astros general manager, “was aware of the existence and capabilities” of it.  Those capabilities led to the eventual sign-stealing scheme.  Hall of Famer Hank Aaron indicated on NBC’s Today show that the MLB got it wrong.  Adding, he was surprised at the whole scheme and suggested that the punishment of Astro players found to be involved should be banned from baseball for “the rest of their life.”

For the Astros players involved that have not been punished, the worst is yet to come.  As they travel to baseball parks all over the country, not to mention Yankee Stadium, they will surely be booed.  The Yankees do not meet up with the Astros in spring training, but they do meet up twice during the season.  On May 15th, the Yankees are at Minutemaid park in Houston for a weekend series.  Yankee fans have long memories; the players may be tempered in their disgust of the sign-stealing Astros but, the fans will make it painful for the Astros when they finally visit Yankee Stadium for a four-game series starting on September 21st.

A Quick look at speedy Isaiah Pasteur:

Isaiah Pasteur was drafted in the thirteenth round in 2018.   In 2018 he played for Tampa and the Pulaski Yankees.  During the last season, he played for the Charleston and the short single-A Staten Island Yankees.  Over the span, he has a batting average of .228 in 78 games with a .749 OPS.  At first glance, there is nothing special about this young (23) man out of George Washington University.   That was until MLB Pipeline named Pasteur the fastest Yankee in the minor league system.

The Pipeline cited:  After transferring from Indiana to George Washington, Pasteur won Atlantic-10 Conference player of the year honors in 2018, clocking a 6.2-second 60-yard dash and routinely getting from the right side of the plate to first base in less than four seconds. A 13th-round pick that June, he has 21 steals in 78 pro games despite batting just .228.

Although he had a poor year behind the plate last year, he is a multi-talented centerfielder that can play anywhere in the outfield.  He just 50 games he was 15-17 in stolen bases. The Yankees major league team’s best base stealer last year was Brett Gardner with, ten bases stolen in 141 games.  The Yankees could use some speed in the Bronx.   If the Yankee hitting coaches can find a way to get this kid hitting, he could be quite a prize.

Dodgers/Sox deal falling apart?

There are several reports that the Twins are pulling out of the three club trade deal that would send Red Sox Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to Los Angeles for lefty outfielder Alex Verdugo, the Sox would also get the Twins relief prospect Brusdar Graterol.  La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune was the first to report that the Minnesota Twins were pulling out of the deal and that they are keeping Graterol.  This, after the Red Sox, took issue with Graterol’s medicals and asked the Twins to include another player.

Either club did not announce the original announcement of the blockbuster trade, but multiple sources, including the Athletic’s Chad Jennings and this writer, indicated that the announcement would be forthcoming.  Now it appears from various sources that the deal may have soured.  CBS Sports MLB insider Jim Bowden has since confirmed that the Twins are unlikely to be involved in the final agreement.  The New York Yankees would like to see the deal go through, taking Betts and Price out of the AL East. We will have to wait to find out if it still can be completed.