New York Yankees News/Rumors: Chapman to miss first games, Clint Frazier no longer the “bad boy” (video)

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman, the New York Yankees closer, will miss the first two games of the 2021 season. Yesterday he had his suspension hearing for throwing at the head of Mike Brosseau at the bottom of the ninth inning of a game on September 1 at Tropicana Field in a game that the Yankees won 5-3.

Chapman was originally suspended for three games, but that was overturned by a special assistant to the commissioner, John McHale Jr., and reduced to two days. The original suspension was announced shortly after the incident by Chris Young, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of baseball operations.

The altercation happened during a tense game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on September 1 at the Rays Tropicana Field. Chapman threw a 101 mph fastball near Brosseau’s head on his first pitch to the pinch-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Rays on Sept. 1. Umpires convened before issuing warnings to both benches, and Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was ejected after coming onto the field to argue.

The Yankees and Rays have a history of throwing at each other, and it all boiled over when Chapman appeared to throw at the head of Brosseau. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash in an after-game interview seemed to threaten the Yankees by saying:

“We’re talking about a 100-mph fastball over a young man’s head,” Cash said. “It’s poor judgment, poor coaching, it’s just poor teaching, what they’re doing.

“The last thing I’ll say on it: I’ve got a whole damn stable of guys who throw 98 mph. Period.”

As it turned out, Brosseau got his “revenge.” Mike Brosseau was the new hero in the Tampa Bay region, as he homered off his arch-nemesis Aroldis Chapman to bring the Rays to the ALCS.

Clint Frazier’s girlfriend responsible for the big change?

Clint Frazier has had a long road to being an everyday player for the New York Yankees. That road has been filled with bumps, bruises, lousy field play, immaturity, and snarky comments and behavior.

This past season a new Clint Frazier appeared on the field. Great hitting and superior fielding led Yankee manager Aaron Boone to make him a regular player late in the season. It all became noticeable in summer camp when in the very first exhibition game, Frazier was the only one who chooses to wear a mask when hitting and on the field. When asked about it, he said it was no big deal; he needs to protect his fellow players.

Although Frazier has a quick bat and hits for contact, and shows power, his fieldwork has always dogged him. After one lousy game on the field, Frazier refused to face the media in a very immature move. Yankee players always take questions from the media. Later, when sent down to Scranton, he had many snarky comments and removed everything Yankees from his social media.

We may now know that his girlfriend may deserve the credit for the big change. Kaylee Gambadoro, whom he has been linked to since the summer, a happy birthday on Wednesday — and it came with a telling caption.

“went from Scranton’s bad boy to New York’s best behaved because of this one. I love youuuuuu scoop! from her instagram account.”

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: To fill holes the Yankees will get creative with trades

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees are in a bad situation this offseason. They need a bunch of help improving the team to get to another World Championship after suffering huge losses last season, while not knowing if they will have revenue in 2021. They also want to stay below the luxury tax threshold. So it appears they have a bunch to do and little money to do it with.

The Yankees in the last few seasons have been reluctant to trade away any of their players, but with the needs this year, they will likely spend some money and get creative with trades to get some of the pieces they need. The Yankees have already made it clear that they are shopping Gary Sanchez, who might be an upgrade for some teams but has pretty much failed for the Yankees the last few seasons. Unfortunately, is trade value is at an all-time low. Another obvious trade piece is Miguel Andujar, who could draw more value. Andujar could be star with another team; the Yankees don’t have any meaningful way to use him since the Gold Glove-like Gio Urshela replaced him.

Other less likely trade pieces include Luke Voit this past season home run leader for all of baseball, and still less likely is Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, but they will really need to get something big in return for those future Yankees stars. One interesting trade that is surely not out of the trade discussions is trading off closer Aroldis Chapman and letting Zack Britton take the closer role. Britton, in Chapman’s absence, got eight saves in a row for the Yankees. The Yankees have traded Chapman once before.

A Chapman trade might be more logical than then many would think. There are sure to be teams out there that would love to get the fireballer. He makes more money than Britton, even though Britton is the better pitcher. To put it into perspective Chapman is on a three-year deal worth $48 million, Britton is on a two-year deal that will keep him as a Yankee until the end of the 2022 season at $27 million. Chapman has a career 2.25 ERA but has blown the postseason two years in a row. Britton conversely was 1.81 without a blown save in 2020 and had an ERA of under 2.00 in five of his seven seasons. Taking a hard look at that, Mariano Rivera had a career 2.06 ERA, albeit for a much longer span.

If the New York Yankees can find a way to re-sign the award-winning DJ LeMahieu, that would make the Voit trade possibility much more likely, as the Yankees will try to find a way to move Gleyber Torres back to his natural position at second base. That would put LeMahieu at first base, making Voit expendable.

With the New York Yankees low on cash and with little willingness to go beyond the luxury tax threshold of $210 million, general manager Brian Cashman will have to get very creative and may use some of these trades and also trade off some prospects to make the deals he may be faced with. One thing is for sure; it is not beyond the possibilities that the Yankees may look very different next year.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: DJ LeMahieu, Tanaka, Chapman trade, and Sugano, all you need to know

Yankees offer DJ LeMahieu qualifying contract

As expected, the New York Yankees have made a qualifying offer to DJ LeMahieu. That offer is for one year at $18.9 million. The chances that DJ will accept that offer is the same as saying the New York Mets buy the Yankees. It just isn’t going to happen. DJ will want something in the $20 million range and for as long as four years.

LeMahieu has been everything the Yankees could have wanted and hoped for. He is an elite leadoff man, who won the batting title this year, won the Silver Slugger award last year, and has provided excellent defense for the New York Yankees at second base. DJ has three Gold Glove Awards to this name. All that said, If DJ demands much more than $20/4yrs in this cash strapped offseason, the Yankees could very well let him walk. With the qualifying offer, it will be more difficult for other teams to acquire him as they will have to give up a draft pick, which could be a high as a number one draft pick.

Is Masahiro Tanaka’s time with the Yankees over?

What is interesting in the LeMahieus qualifying offer is that the Yankees did not offer it to any other Yankee free agent, and that includes Masahiro Tanaka, who many thought if any pitcher were retained, it would be Tanaka. Could this indicate that the Yankees will be moving on from the “Tank”? The answer is yes but not necessarily? The Yankees could still negotiate with the free agent. If they do, they will be looking for a short contract at a very deep discount.

Tanaka has been a mostly dependable pitcher for the New York Yankees for the last seven years. But his record for the last two years has been shaky at best, even though he increased his average fastball by an mph last season. But that has been wiped out by decreased ground ball outs and his propensity to give up the long ball. If the Yankees move to keep Tanaka, they will likely offer him something in the ballpark of $12 million, the same they did for James Paxton, who also did not receive a qualifying offer.

Will the Yankee’s trade-off Aroldis Chapman?

There is a lot of scuttlebutt out there about the Yankees trading for this player of that player, so is it possible the Yankees will look to dump payroll in this cash short postseason by trading off Aroldis Chapman?  Probably not, but it is not beyond the realm of possibilities.

What makes this a possible scenario is that the Yankees exercised Zack Britton’s option and signed him through the 2022 season. Considering that Aroldis Chapman is no long unhittable and has given up postseason ending runs to the opposition two years in a row, it makes Zack Britton even more attractive to close games for the Yankees. When Chapman was tested positive for the coronavirus, Britton got eight consecutive saves for the Yankees.

Will the Yankees explore Tomoyuki Sugano, Japan’s best pitcher?

Baseball scouts and sportswriters alike consider Tomoyuki Sugano as Japan’s best pitcher. His team will likely post him, the Yomiuri Giants, the team the Yankees will have to pay a portion of his contract to if they sign him. Sugano has excellent numbers and is ideally suited to Yankee Stadium. This year so far, he has gone 13-1 with an ERA of 2.05. His eight year career numbers should be scary for any team facing him, he is 100-50 with an ERA of 2.35.

With all the talk of the Yankees targeting Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber, and Kevin Gausman, the New York Yankees could just forgo the American market and go for Sugano instead. If they did, they would get a bargain as Sugano only earns $7 million a year. Sugano would not be an ace in the American market, but according to reports would be a solid number three starter, which will likely make him interesting to the Yankees. He is still playing as the Japan League was delayed a month.

Sugano can be posted from Nov. 8 to Dec. 12 and must sign with a MLB team within a month of being posted. If he is posted, the Yankees will not be the only team looking at him to imporove their rotation. The rumor mill has the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays interested in the 30 year old pitching sensation.

 

 

New York Yankees: Who is your favorite in the postseason? Here’s what some Yankee fans hope happens

The New York Yankees are coming off a disappointing season and an even more disappointing postseason.  They lost both the division and the ALCS to the Tampa Bay Rays. The only bright spot in the postseason was that the Yankees blew away the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS by sweeping them. The ALCS ended going all five games with Mike Brosseau getting the deciding run off of New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman, who had nearly hit Brosseau in the head in an earlier game.

The two teams, Yankees and Rays, have become rivals in recent years; the two teams really don’t like each other after numerous run ins and bench-clearing incidents in past years, highlighted this year with the Chapman Brosseau incident. Chapman was suspended for 3 games, that won’t be reviewed until the coming season.

In 2017 the Houston Astros cheated in the ACLS in the series that the Yankees lost in six games.  The Yankees also think they cheated in the 2019 ALCS again, but was not proven by MLB like the 2017 season was. So it’s clear to any Yankee fan that we don’t like the Rays or the Astro, abeit for different reasons.

Those New York Yankee fans who are still engaged as the postseason progresses have some pretty strong feelings about who should win the ALCS and who advances and wins the 2020 World series.  Realizing these strong feelings, I thought I would poll several Yankee fan groups on Facebook.  First, I asked now that the Yankees are out of it, who would you like to see win the ALCS.

236 respondents indicated that they really didn’t care who won now that the Yankees lost.  Nevertheless, Yankee fans expressed their strong disapproval of the Astros in this pole.  Yankee fans still hold the Astros responsible for their loss of the 2017 ALCS. They voted in the poll to hope that the Tampa Bay Rays will win and advance to the World Series 784-36 for the Houston Astros.

The Yankee fans held to their dislike of the Astros and Rays when asked who they would like to win the 2020 World Series.  Again, there were a lot of Yankees fans that didn’t care who won (251), but with a wide majority, they wanted the Dodgers to win the Championship (764) with only 204 for the Atlanta Braves.  Only 136 respondents wanted the Tampa Bay Rays to take it. Not one single Yankee fan wanted the Houston Astros to be victorious.

I left the poll open to allow other additions to my questions.  Most of all of those comments I can’t repeat here.  One of the milder comments was that the person hoped the Rays and Astro’s team buses collide on the way to the stadium. Several didn’t answer the my questions but responded in both cases that anyone should win, as long as it wasn’t the Houston Astros.

The poll’s outcome shows that Yankees fans would rather a National League team win the World Series than their foes in the American League. It also shows that Yankee fan’s hatred of the Houston Astros has not diminished with a season passed.

Could the New York Yankees explore an Aroldis Chapman trade?

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

There is no question that New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is one of the best in baseball, but he has been a problem postseason.

In two consecutive years, Chapman has given up home runs to knock the Yankees out of the postseason. Last year it was against Jose Altuve, who launch a curveball into the bleachers, sending the Houston Astros to the World Series. This year, Rays’ Michael Brosseau received his revenge on Chapman, hitting a ninth-inning home run that ended the Bombers’ hopes of progressing.

While Chapman finished the 2020 regular season with a 3.09 ERA and three saves, his postseason numbers weren’t as convincing. In two games against the Rays, he allowed a 3.38 ERA and one home run, which cost the Yankees the series.

TOP ARTICLE: 17 players could leave the Yankees this year, find out who might stay! 

At this point, Chapman remains one of the more dominant closers in baseball with his ferocious fastball, but the Yankees could look to gain capital in exchange for him.

One team that makes sense in a potential trade would be the Philadelphia Phillies, who simply missed out on the playoffs due to their bullpen. Their 7.06 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, and .315 batting average against were all last in the MLB.

Gathering prospects or immediate starters would be beneficial for the Yankees, who could use the bolstering in their mid-bullpen and outfield. Chapman is scheduled to make $15 million in 2021 and will be a free agent after the 2022 season. That gives any given team two more years of control, and the Yankees could always elevate Zack Britton into the closer role, which he has enjoyed success in.

With Tommy Kahnle returning from Tommy John surgery next year, I expect the Yankees to go out and find another solid bullpen arm. Trading Chapman is only acceptable if Britton is forced into the closer role, which is reasonable, considering he finished the year with a 1.89 ERA and eight saves. He only allowed four runs and zero homers over 19 innings.

Aaron Boone’s managerial decisions may have cost the New York Yankees the ALDS

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Late Friday evening, the New York Yankees dropped a decisive game five against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS to be eliminated from the postseason. Many things went wrong for the New York Yankees, but maybe most importantly was Aaron Boone. Some of his decisions may have cost the Yankees the series, going back to game two.

Game two is when Boone pulled Deivi Garcia after just one inning and put in JA Happ. The goal was to flip the Rays lineup with lefty vs. lefty matchups, but Happ isn’t dominant against lefties. Batters had a .250 average off him from the left-hand side in the regular season. Happ would give up four runs in 2.2 innings, taking the loss.

The decision to pull Garcia in game two may have cost the Yankees a win in that game, and in that case, the team wouldn’t have even needed game five.

However for the Yankees, there was a game five. In the eighth inning, Boone pinch hit Mike Ford for Kyle Higashioka, resulting in a strikeout. Ford had just a .135 average in 2020, making Boone’s decision look skeptical. They should’ve either left Higashioka, who did an incredible job behind the plate this series, or pinch-hit Clint Frazier. Frazier bats a career .260 against right-handers, and would’ve been facing one of the toughest Rays right-handers in Diego Castillo.

And finally, Boone called on Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning to try and get the final seven outs, mind you the game was tied. Chapman threw 23 pitches the night before, and was likely a bit gassed. Yet, Chapman is blamed for giving up the game-winning home run in a poorly managed game while the Yankees had just three hits. This isn’t Chapman’s fault.

Throughout the ALDS, the Yankees dealt with some inconsistent offense and poor umpiring. But ultimately, it may have been poor decisions from Aaron Boone and the Yankees that led to the team’s elimination.

New York Yankees: Mike Brosseau and Aroldis Chapman downplay the “revenge” aspect of homer

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

In a disappointing turn of events, the New York Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs by losing the win-or-go-home Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-1, thanks to a late home run by Tampa infielder Mike Brosseau. Now, the Rays are moving on to the American League Championship Series and will face the Houston Astros starting Sunday.

Brosseau hit a solo home run in the eighth inning against Aroldis Chapman, after battling a 10-pitch at-bat. As you know, there is a little bit of history between the Rays infielder and the Yankees’ closer, as the latter threw a pitch near the former’s head in early September, and it resulted in some tension between the two teams.

However, Brosseau, and Chapman himself, denied that it was a “revenge” home run, saying that the issue is now in the past.

“The revenge aspect, it’s not a thought in my mind,” Brosseau said, according to Marly Rivera of ESPN. “We put it in the past and we moved on. We moved just straight to business. The battle that we’ve had all year with these guys, to go to Game 5 and have such an unbelievably played well-played game, well-executed – you can’t script it any better.”

The Yankees lost the game on that dinger

The New York Yankees’ fireballer was suspended three games after the September 1 incident, the same that resulted in Rays’ manager Kevin Cash comment that they also had a whole stable of guys that could throw 98 mph.

“I wasn’t thinking about (the Brosseau incident) at all,” Chapman also added postgame, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “That happened about a month ago. This is the way it worked out. He put a good swing on that pitch. I’ve got to give him credit.”

The game was tied at one run apiece in the eighth when Brosseau went yard against Chapman. The Yankees will now go home and start a very important offseason in which they will have to address starting and relief pitching, at the very least.

New York Yankees Postseason Recap: Yankees leave Petco to clean out lockers at Yankee Stadium

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Last night, at Petco Park the best team won the ALDS. The Tampa Bay Rays put down the New York Yankees for the final time this season.  They were the better team all season long, and they were in the postseason. The Yankees lost on the day they learned they lost the “Chairman of the Board,” Whitey Ford, who passed away at 91 on Thursday night.

Tomorrow on EmpireSportsMedia.com, I will tell the story of the great Whitey Ford in tribute.

On September 1, Aroldis Chapman buzzed the Tampa Bay Rays, Mike Brosseau; last night, Brosseau got back at Chapman, hitting the winning run off of him in the bottom of the eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, the dead bats that have been so prevalent throughout the season were dead again, and the New York Yankees lost the ALDS to the Rays and their fourth postseason in a row. The Yankees are now going to have to wait another year to get that 28th World Championship.

It’s far too early to talk about changes, but pitching wins games, and the Yankees, regardless of having one of the best pitchers in baseball, didn’t have the pitching staff to win games. You can have the best home run hitters in the game, but if you don’t have pitching, you don’t win games. One pitcher or one batter can not carry a team. The New York Yankees have failed again, but have nothing to be ashamed about. They battled and battled with another year of unprecedented injuries right up to the last out last night.

The night started with two pitchers, both on short rest. Tyler Glasnow went 2.1 innings and was replaced by Anderson, Fairbanks, and Castillo, who held down the Yankees striking out eleven Yankee batters. Gerrit Cole, for his part went into the sixth inning, holding the Rays to just one run. Zack Britton pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, and Chapman pitched a successful inning of work, until he gave up the homer to Mike Brosseau. The final score was 2-1, Chapman took the loss for the Yankees and Diego Castillo got the win for the Ray.

There will be a lot of finger-pointing tomorrow. Some will say it was the decision to start game 2 with two starters, some will it is was no hitting, some will say poor pitching, and some will even say Aaron Boone is a bad manager.  You can be sure that the Yankees brass will be examining everything over the next months.  The bottom line is that both teams played this last game very well, somebody was going to fail at some point, and this time, it turned out to be the Yankees.

 

 

New York Yankees Postseason Recap: Yankees win a war in Cleveland and advance to the ALDS in San Diego

The New York Yankees took to the mound in the first inning of the second game of the Wild Card game, ahead of the Cleveland Indians one game to nothing. But the early lead in the series was smashed as the Indians overwhelmed New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka by scoring four runs in the very first inning. Tanaka remained in the game, hoping along with manager Aaron Boone that the Yankee’s powerful lineup could back him up.

With the Yankees behind 4-1 at the top of the fourth inning, Gio Urshela put the Yankees ahead 5-4, with a Grand Slam, when it was needed most. Then, Carrasco allowed two walks in a row then Carassco’s night on the mound was over. Phil Maton took over for Carrasco with two on and no outs.  Ushela  been nothing but great for the Yankees. In the game he became the first Yankee third baseman ever, to hit a Grand Slam in the postseason for the Yankees. Aaron Judge was the ninth man of the inning to come to the plate for the Yankees, he flew out, but the Yankee damage was done, and the Yankees led the Indians 5-4.

In the same inning, the Yankees put men on the corners, still with no outs. The runners advanced, and it was a man on second and third with no outs. Giancarlo Stanton flew out, but Hicks scored from third for the Yankees 6-4 lead in the game.  Urshela up for the third time singled and they got the lead runner for the force out for the second out of the inning. With Urshela in scoring position, Phil Maton got out of the inning, giving up just the one run, but the Yankees were ahead in an elimination game for the Cleveland Indians.

At the bottom of the fifth inning, Masahiro Tanaka again took the mound for the Yankees with 70 pitches thrown.  Chad Green was ready in the inning if Tanaka faltered. He did, and exited the game with the two-run lead.  Before the game, DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit had already made their mark on the season.  LeMahieu already gained the batting title with a .364 batting average and Luke Voit captured the home run title with 22 home runs on the season.

With Chad Green in the bottom of the fifth, the Indians tied up the game, when Lindor scored off of a double by Ramirez. But Green got out of the inning by striking out two Indian batters and leaving the score tied at six apiece, when the Indians Ramirez flew out to Aaron Judge in right field.

At the top of the 6th, Gary Sanchez regained the lead for the Yankees with a two-run home run off of Indians reliever McKenzie. Yankees 8 and the Indians 6. Down 8-6 and their postseason in jeopardy of a quick ending, the Indians tied it in the seventh on pinch-hitter Jordan Luplow’s two-out, two-run double off right-hander  Jonathan Loaisgia. The Indians went ahead again in the eight inning for the 9-8 Indian lead

At the botton of the eighth inning, Gio Urshela turned an amazing double play while laying on the ground, that play saved the Yankees, and kept the Yankees within one. In the top of the ninth with the bases loaded Gary Sanchez popped out on a long fly ball driving in  a run and the score was tied at 9. DJ LeMahieu got a ground ball base hit through the pitchers legs and into center field, Gio Urshela scored for the Yankee’s 10-9 lead. At the bottom of the inning Aroldis Chapman, in his second inning of work, got the save and the win for the Yankees.  Brad Hand took the loss for the Indians.

In an absolute war in Cleveland, the New York Yankees came away with the sweep of the Indians in the Wild Card, in a game that saw a record tying 19 walks, two rain delays, and the lead going back and forth throughout the four hour and 50 minute  game.  But, with the win the Yankees advanced to the ALDS at Petco Park in San Diego on Monday. The Yankees are now seven wins away from a 28th World Championship. The Yankees were jubilant but did not celebrate on the field, instead, did their usual line of fist pumps.

After the game Aaron Boone, manager of the Yankees had this to say:

“I don’t know how you top that one — the back and forth, the amount of big plays. Tonight just had that feeling that these guys weren’t going to be denied. They weren’t going to lose.”

On Monday, in San Diego, the New York Yankees will face the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series, in a seven game matchup between two teams, that to say the least, don’t care for each other. The Yankees were 2-8 against the Rays in the regular season. The Yankees will have workout today, and later fly to San Diego.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: Aroldis Chapman’s suspension could be delayed until next year

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Back when the New York Yankees weren’t winning every game they played, they had some trouble dealing with the Tampa Bay Rays. During those games filled with tension, Aroldis Chapman threw behind Mike Brosseau and received a controversial three-game suspension.

That night had a benches-clearing incident and also some salty post-game comments from Rays manager Kevin Cash, who indicated that his team also had several pitchers capable of throwing high-90s heat directly toward the Yankees’ hitters.

The Yankees closer, however, may not have to serve his suspension in the shortened 2020 campaign, which is certainly a welcome development since the season is very short and even three games seem like a lot.

The Yankees’ All-Star closer insists he didn’t do it on purpose

According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said today that his All-Star closer could have a second hearing regarding his appeal of the three-game ban stemming from the contest against the Rays.

That development would delay the suspension until next season and allow the lefty fireballer to put the incident behind him for the time being.

Chapman, who had to deal with a bout of COVID-19 to start the season and missed some games, has gone on the record as saying that he didn’t throw at Brosseau’s head on purpose and, per Jack Curry of YES Network, isn’t happy about the length of the punishment.

It is the first time that Chapman has been suspended or punished for an on-field incident in his career. However, he did have to sit for 30 games in 2016 because of a violation of the league’s domestic violence policy.

This season, Chapman has a 3.72 ERA with a 3.71 FIP and a 2.83 xFIP in 9.2 frames. He had a rocky start, likely because of the rust, but has been back to his dominant self as of late and has a 16.76 K/9 mark.