New York Yankees: Big wigs weigh in on the Yankees dismal start

New York Yankees fans are outraged and frustrated at the Yankees’ dismal start of the 2021 season. Now to respond to fans who threw balls out onto the field during one game and after the loss Sunday in the finale for a team sweep, fans loudly booed the team as it left the field; management is talking to the media.

Aaron Boone on the poor start

Before the sweep of the New York Yankee by the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Aaron Boone gave his usual patient, rosy outlook when facing the media. But after losing five in a row, including that sweep by the Rays, Sunday finally seems to be taking on a different tone, one that says we have to play better.

The fact of the matter is the if your name isn’t Gerrit Cole, you have not pitched dependably; if your a hitter, you, with few exceptions, have not hit consistently or situationally. If you’re a player on the field, you have provided some pretty sloppy play. Sunday’s game was a mess with several mistakes you might not see in Little League play.

Finally, Friday night, after another loss in the opener with the Rays, Aaron Boone called for a team meeting immediately at the games’ end. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has the most RBI’s this season, said that Boone seemed angry. The Yankees only performing starting pitcher Gerrit Cole had more to say about it:

“I haven’t played with Aaron quite as much as some of the other players,” Cole said before Saturday’s Yankees-Rays’ game at Yankee Stadium. “But I’ve certainly been reamed out by a few managers in my day. It was pretty par for the course from what I’ve seen in my experience in the big leagues. I think the players listen to (Boone), and I think it was impactful.”

“I think there’s a handful of different variables, the first one being that baseball is a hard game. A lot of times when everything’s going well it can seem easy. And when everything’s not going well, it can dumbfound you at the same time. I think it is early and we all were looking to settle in.

“A streak like this after two or three months of really solid baseball will get overlooked, but we don’t have that backdrop right now. We’re kind of scuffling here and we’re starting off the season with a less than ideal record. It is what it is, and we’ll take it one game at a time and keep trying to improve.”

After Friday night’s brutal loss and a team meeting, Boone had a night to think about the slow start; although still confident the team will pull out of it; he had this to say on Saturday morning:

“I think [I’m] more pissed off at the way we’ve come out of the gates here, not playing our best,” Boone said Saturday before his team tried to get back on track against the Rays at Yankee Stadium. “But I think we all share that in that room. Look, I concern myself with all things our club. As far as big picture and where I think we’re going, I’m still as confident as ever that we’ll work our way out of this and get rolling here eventually and be the team we expect.

“It’s always frustrating when you’re going through a tough time, but it’s also part of being a major leaguer and part of the 162-game season. Adversity’s going to show up for you. You don’t know when and where, how often, but you gotta be able to deal with it. That’s part of it. I’m confident we will.”

After the reaming out Friday night, although there was some spark in Saturday’s matinee, Sunday’s game was a disaster when the Rays completed their sweep. No matter how hard the team tried, they lost two more games seeing them at the very bottom of the American League.

Cashman on his part this season

“Our record is reflective of our organization,” Cashman said. “Obviously, Aaron’s a piece of that, as am I. But otherwise he’s doing everything he needs to do. … Obviously he spoke to the team after that tough loss (on Friday night). He obviously engaged the group in a strong way. So he’s doing everything he needs to do, and most importantly supporting these guys because we trust our players and we trust their abilities and we trust over the course of time that will, as it normally does, correct itself with a lot more games on the belt. So I think Aaron Boone is doing everything he can do within his power currently.”

Cashman on owner Hal Steinbrenner

“He’s disappointed, clearly,” Cashman said Monday in a Zoom media call. “Hal obviously has got a lot invested in this situation, but he’s also a fan just like we all are. Our expectation is to provide great Yankee baseball for those who come to the games or those who are watching the games, and we haven’t done that here in the beginning of April.”

This writer wants New York Yankee fans to realize, the bottom line in all of this is to remember this is not the end of the world, it’s a long 162 game season, and these first 15 games are just a blip in that season, even the best of teams in their best years have ups and downs in a season. In 1997 the Yankees got off to a 5-10 start and then won 18 of their next 25 games. They did lose the division that year and the Wild card berth. But did win 4 World Series Championships in the surrounding five years.

The unfortunate part of this slow start is that every loss this early in the season can be impactful at the end of the season. The Yankee pitchers have to pitch better and longer. The defense needs to get down to basics and clean up their act. I do not doubt that the Yankees hitters will start hitting, but they must start doing it sooner than later.

The New York Yankees now have a hole to dig themselves out of, and hopefully, that will start today when they face the Atlanta Braves. They have faced the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays an inordinate number of times to start the season. After the short 2 game series with the Braves, they will face the Cleveland Indians, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Detroit Tigers. Hopefully, they can turn themselves around in their search for the elusive New York Yankee 28th World Championship.

The New York Yankees “Golden Boy” Dr. Bobby Brown has passed away at 96

The New York Yankees have lost another great. This morning Dr. Bobby Brown the Yankees “Golden Boy’ passed away at the age of 96. Up until the coronavirus, Bobby Brown was a fixture at every Old Timer’s Day celebration. He won four championships with a batting average of .439 across 17 World Series games in his time with the Yankees. Yankee owner and general partner Hal Steinbrenner had the to say upon learning of his passing:

“Few people who have worn the pinstripes have lived such an accomplished, fulfilled, and wide-ranging life as Dr. Brown, who was beloved by our organization for his warmth, kindness and character, He represented the pinstripes with elegance throughout his playing career and in subsequent decades as a frequent, welcome guest at Old Timers’ Day. We also hold the utmost respect for the myriad of other accomplishments in his life — from service to our country, his stewardship of the American League and his longtime career as a cardiologist. The Yankees extend their deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones as we reflect on his incredible life.”

Few living New York Yankee fans know much about Bobby Brown, but you should. He was quite a guy, to put it mildly. He only played eight years for the Yankees and wasn’t their top player due to the megastars he played with, so he tends to get overlooked. Many of us see him as that old man at the Old Timers Day Game each year but know little about him.

Robert William Brown was born in 1924 in Seattle, Washington. There are few parallels in baseball that equal Bobby Brown. For the Yankees, he held down the hot corner for eight years. When you play for the Yankees, you don’t have a lot of free time, but Bobby, during his time with the Yankees, also studied to become a successful Cardiologist. He was an intelligent guy and knew he needed a job to fall back upon when his baseball days were over. Back then, players weren’t set up for life, with the big contracts given today. Bobby served in the military in 1953 in the Korean War before returning to the Yankees.

His baseball years

The “Golden boy” of the Yankees was an excellent defender at third base. Many that recall his play say he was as good as Graig Nettles. He wasn’t a home run hitter, but he was a lifetime .279 hitter with 22 home runs in his career. He would have had better stats, but he only played in half of the games, as he shared the third base with Billy Johnson. It was common during the period for managers to platoon players. He played with the likes of Billy Martin, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, and Joe DiMaggio. Bobby and DiMaggio went to the same high school together.

Brown had a bases-loaded triple in Game 4 and a two-run triple in the championship-clinching Game 5 of the 1949 World Series. He tripled again in the final game of the 1950 World Series. All and all, he was a champion in four World Series while batting .439 in seventeen games.  In three of his eight Yankee years, he had a batting average of over .300. I can think of many present-day Yankees that would love to have that batting average.  At third base, he had a .948 fielding percentage and in the outfield a 1.000 fielding percentage.

A famous apocryphal story that has made the rounds for years in baseball circles concerns the time when Brown’s road roommate was star New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra, who had little formal education. The two were reading in their hotel room one night, Berra, a comic book, and Brown, his copy of Boyd’s Pathology. Berra came to the end of his comic, tossed it aside, and asked Brown, “So, how is yours turning out?” Brown was a brilliant guy, having attended Stanford, UCLA, and Tulane, where he received his medical degree.

Life After Baseball

After Bobby Brown left baseball, he opened his Cardiology practice in Forth Worth, Texas. He took a leave from heart surgery in 1974 to become President of the Texas Rangers for a year before returning to his practice. At the age of 60, he retired from medicine and became President of the American League, a position he held until he was 70. Since then, he has been a regular at Yankee Old Timer’s Day celebrations. This amazing Yankee will be 96 this year. He is the last New York Yankee survivor of the 1947 and 1949 World Champion Series.

Now you know a bit more about Dr. Bobby Brown. We have lost so many of the Yankee greats in recent years, like Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Mel Stottlemyre, Don Larsen, Oscar Gamble, Bob Turley, and now we have lost Dr. Bobby Brown, the Yankees “Golden Boy.” For this sportswriter, it is a sad day as another childhood hero has passed.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Is this the most important offseason in years, are the Yankees running out of time?

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

The New York Yankees are facing a most difficult and important offseason than they have since 2008. The only similarity is that the Yankees have now gone years without a World Series win. This past season saw the Yankees again have an early exit in the postseason—this time to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.  In the last four years, the Yankees couldn’t get it done in either the ALDS or ALCS.

What is different this year compared to 2008 is the New York Yankees have lost a tremendous amount of money this past season with no fans and associated revenue. According to Michael Kay, the Yankees lost more money than any team in baseball. But when you consider the Yankees’ many money streams, they also made more money than any other team. Averaging it out, the Yankees had a 40% loss overall. A 40% loss for lower-tier teams can be devastating. Not so much for the Yankees; they are far from broke.

“Our objective was to win a world championship. We failed in that endeavor,” owner Hal Steinbrenner told Michael Kay on ESPN New York 98.7 FM last month (via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch). “Does that mean the entire season was a failure? No. I don’t think winning 10 in a row was a failure, and last year, I don’t think winning (103) games was a failure. I know people disagree with me on that, but I look at the season as a whole.”

That statement also highlights another difference in the team. A change in ownership. With George M. Steinbrenner, it was “World Series or bust.” As you can see from the statement, new owner Hal Steinbrenner still wants to win, but he looks at the success or failure slightly differently.

After 2008 George and the company went out and signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira for the sum of $400 million. The result of that purchase was a World Series win at the end of the season, the first since 2000. Hal Steinbrenner is not his father; he is a more conservative businessman; it is very doubtful he will spend anywhere near the $400 million his father did to solve the club’s problems. To be fair to Hal, he is in a different situation than his father was in 2008. In 2008 the team was flush with money and would be opening a brand new stadium.

The New York Yankees, for years, were known as a team with a lot of older veterans on the team. That all changed in the mid-2010s with a new core of “Baby Bombers,” including Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, and Gleyber Torres. Those baby bombers are not so much babies anymore; outside of Andujar and Torres, the others are approaching 30 years old. Add to that Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman are all on the wrong side of 30. I bring this up because, with this core, the Yankees are running out of time to achieve that 28th World Championship without a complete overhaul.

What the Yankees must do to win another World Series

The Yankees had several significant contracts come off the books after the season, including Masahiro Tanaka – ($22.1 million per year), Jacoby Ellsbury – ($21.9 million per year), J.A. Happ ($17 million), James Paxton – ($12.5 million), and DJ LeMahieu – ($12 million), Brett Gardner – ($10 million). Ellsbury did still count against their luxury tax payroll. Now that his contract is expired, he’s completely off the books. That gives the Yankees $95.5 million to spend. Last year’s normal payroll would have been $257,409,316, which is well over the $210 million luxury tax threshold that Steinbrenner says he wants to stay under.

The Yankees want to save with the $47 million that leaves only something less than $48 million available to fix everything they want to fix. As announced, DJ LeMahieu will be a priority signing, that will likely cost the Yankees $20 million; if they accomplish that, they will have just $28 million to hire a new premium type pitcher, solve the Yankees catching problem and address the situation at shortstop, they may also wish to bolster the bullpen after losing Tommy Kahnle to Tommy John surgery. $28 million doesn’t seem to solve everything. Cashman is going to have to be very creative.

If general manager Brian Cashman and, more importantly, Hal Steinbrenner really want to win their first World Series in twelve years, it appears they are going to have to break the bank. The Yankees so far have made no moves, but it is still very early in the offseason. Time will tell if they want to balance the books or become champions again.

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Will the Mets Steve Cohen aim to make the Yankees a second class team?

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

What may be good for baseball and the Mets may not be good for the New York Yankees. Just a week ago, MLB announced that Steve Cohen was the new owner of the beleaguered New York Mets. The headline’s question is will the multi-billionaire aim to make the New York Yankees a second-class New York team. The answer is probably not, but that doesn’t mean that won’t be the result. The new Mets owner has vowed to make the Mets the greatest team in baseball.

To understand this, you have to understand the man. Thirtyish years ago, Cohen was but a brash late-’80s Wall Street trader and possibly not one of the most savory. But that has all changed with his founding and ownership of Point72 asset management company in Stamford, CT that has earned him a near $15 billion net worth. Cohen will not be shy in spending that money to make his latest endeavor successful and see him as a winner. Cohen is all about self-image and being at the top of his game.

The Wilpon family has owned the poor Mets for the last eighteen years. The time has been marked by divisiveness, incompetence, and being cash strapped as the owners tried to sell the team. The owners actually wanted to sell the team but continue to make the management decisions. Several people and associates have tried to buy them a team, including former Yankee Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez. A little over a week ago, 25 of the 30 MLB teams approved the sale, and Steve Cohen became the new New York Mets owner.

With New York City and surrounds being the largest sports market in America, the Mets’ sale to Cohen will significantly impact baseball players and, more specifically, on the New York Yankees. Whether intentional or not, this situation will cause greatly increased competition for the nation’s top players. If Cohen aims to make the Mets great, it will surely put a strain on the Steinbrenner family who’s net worth is a 10th of Cohen’s bucks.

Make no mistake about it; Cohen is a smart businessman who will not just through dollars at the team; however, he will make wise decisions to obtain the best players and management to bring the team success. He has already fired the general manager of the Mets and his staff. He had a minor ownership stake back in 2012 and previously failed to buy the team, but now that he owns it, he is determined to show the world that he and his new team are winners.

The New York Yankees will not be able to control what Cohen does with his new team, but they will be responsible for keeping the New York Yankees the leading team in baseball. Everything will depend on Hall Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family.

Several close to Steve Cohen say the billionaire who’s wealth is reportedly at $14.6 billion from his ownership of Point72 asset management company, doesn’t care if he makes money off the team; his sole goal is to make the New York Mets the team in New York City. This is awful news for Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family as they are business people who want to profit from the team, not put their own money into it.

Hal Steinbrenner has already announced that he wanted the New York Yankees to stay under the baseball luxury tax threshold of $210 million. With so many needs, especially in repairing the starting pitching, that will be hard to do, and now with a looming financial battle, that may be impossible. There is no question that this new wrinkle has to please DJ LeMahieu, who may now be emboldened in his quest for more money and financial security in the future.

Hal Steinbrenner is reportedly worth only $1.2 billion; the family has a net worth as of 2015 at $3.8 billion. It’s actually hard to ascertain exactly how much they are worth because of their involvement with Legends Hospitality, the YES network, and other sport-related activities. What is clear is that the family is far in the shadows of the massively wealthy Steven Cohen. Hal is not his father, George M. Steinbrenner, who was not afraid to use his own money to make the New York Yankees the premier baseball team. It should be noted that Hal and his family do not own the Yankees; they own the controlling share of 55%.

Many believe now that Cohen has lost the second baseman, Robinson Cano, to a one-year suspension due to testing positive for PED’s, that he will use Yankees free agent DJ LeMahieu as his first conquest, outbidding the New York Yankees for MLB’s hitting leader and Silver Slugger. Winning over the Yankees will cement his determination to make the Mets better in the eyes of his the club’s fans and the financial world.

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The Yankees may now have to grossly overpay for DJ LeMahieu, find out why

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Yesterday was not a good day for the New York Yankees or the New York Met’s Robinson Cano. Cano was suspended for the entire 2021 season after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug (PED). When a crosstown team loses its star second baseman, at first glance, it might seem like a panacea for the Yankees, but in fact, it is a turn of events that are the opposite for the Yankees.

The New York Mets are a different team today than just weeks ago. The Met’s have a new owner, Steve Cohen, a billionaire with some, say, unlimited funds, and will be willing to spend a large chunk of that wealth on making the Mets the premium team in New York City. He will be a major contender for baseball talent. Unfortunately for the New York Yankees, the Met’s second baseman’s loss puts the Yankee free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu front and center for a bidding battle for his services.

There is no question that LeMahieu is the number one second baseman on the free-agent market by far. LeMahieu, for the second year in a row, is a Silver Slugger and won the batting title for the 2020 season, hitting .364 with an excellent ball to strikeout ratio. He had 10 homers and 27 RBIs. He had a 1.011 OPS and a .590 slugging percentage. The Yankees star has been everything the Yankees could have wanted and more, and now they will have to battle to keep him in pinstripes.

The Met’s Robinson Cano tests positive for PED’s

New York Mets second baseman  Robinson Cano has tested positive for PED’s namely Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug, as announced by MLB yesterday. The banned substance use is Cano’s second infraction for the use of PED’s. He was caught using PED’s back in 2018. Being caught a second time has led to him being banned from baseball for the entire 2021 baseball season. His first stint was for 80 days. Apparently, Cano did not learn his lesson. Cano was a New York Yankee for nine years between 2005 to 2013 before going to the Seattle Mariners and finally the New York Mets in 2019. Cano is not the player he was for the Yankees, but the loss will surely cause the Met’s owner to try to get an upgrade.

This is the official statement from the Mets regarding the suspension of Robinson Cano.

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the game.”

Cohen’s first step to make the Mets THE New York team

Several close to Steve Cohen say the billionaire who’s wealth is reportedly at $14.6 billion from his ownership of Point72 asset management company, doesn’t care if he makes money off the team; his sole goal is to make the New York Mets the team in New York City. This is awful news for Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family as they are business people who want to profit from the team, not put their own money into it.

Hal Steinbrenner has already announced that he wanted the New York Yankees to stay under the baseball luxury tax threshold of $210 million. With so many needs, especially in repairing the starting pitching, that will be hard to do, and now with a looming financial battle, that may be impossible. There is no question that this new wrinkle has to please DJ LeMahieu, who may now be emboldened in his quest for more money and financial security in the future.

Hal Steinbrenner is reportedly worth only $1.2 billion; the family has a net worth as of 2015 at $3.8 billion. It’s actually hard to ascertain exactly how much they are worth because of their involvement with Legends Hospitality, the YES network, and other sport-related activities. What is clear is that the family is far in the shadows of the massively wealthy Steven Cohen. Hal is not his father, George M. Steinbrenner, who was not afraid to use his own money to make the New York Yankees the premier baseball team. It should be noted that Hal and his family do not own the Yankees they own the controlling share of 55%.

Will a bidding war erupt over DJ LeMahieu?

Hal Steinbrenner has to be sitting in his office trying to decide if he will meet Steve Cohen’s challenge or if he is going to continue to milk the cow for profits; fans are damned. Until he makes that decision, fans will be waiting to see if he wants to bring the team back to the greatness it has so sorely missed since its last World Series Championship eleven years ago.

Whatever he decides, DJ LeMahieu is the winner in this situation. This was an offseason that was supposed to be sparse for free agents, which has changed somewhat for LeMahieu. The Yankees gave their only qualifying of $18.9 million to DJ. He refused that offer, probably not so much because of the money offered but because the contract was for only one year. DJ, at 32, has made it clear that he would like a contract that will give him security going into the last years of his career.

The experts that know feel that LeMahieu will want something in the $20 million per year area and for a period of four years. If a bidding war between Cohen and Steinbrenner erupts, that amount and contract length could increase to the point that Hal will be willing to let DJ walk and hope that general manager Brian Cashman can work his magic in replacing him.

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Richest team in baseball short on cash to make moves

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees are in near dire straits. With much to do to improve the team for the 2021 season, the Yankees find themselves with little money to accomplish that task. Some believe the Yankees may have lost as much as $700 million considering expenses. First, they failed to gain any revenue from fan dependent revenues due to no fans attending games. Then they had the biggest payroll in baseball to pay. Add to that front office payroll, security, and Yankee stadium upkeep, and you have a huge loss for the 2020 season.

The New York Yankees will also have to travel a thin line with what they spend as they have no idea at this point as to whether they will have another season not making a dime. The coronavirus is exploding all over the country daily, with no end in sight. This could cause no fans in the stands, at least at the beginning of the 2021 season. There is hope that the vaccines being developed could slow the spread of the virus by next summer, but that is yet to be seen.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees have to find a way to retain Yankee star and batting title winner DJ LeMahieu, obtain a pitching starter, and to a lesser degree, address the problems at the backstop and short. The Yankees have a guaranteed payroll of

That comes to roughly $120 million, add to that the arbitration-eligible players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, and others who will get about $28 million, it totals $148 million worth of payroll the Yankees already have to put out for the 2021 season. If you deduct that from the $210 million luxury tax threshold, it leaves the Yankees with less than $63 million to solve their problems. The Yankees will likely have to meet DJ LeMahieu’s demand that will likely be at $20 million, and the money is further reduced to $43 million to fix the ills. To put that into perspective, spending for Franciso Lindor and J. T. Realmuto would eat that up entirely with no way to fix the pitching rotation.

Therein lies the problem; the Yankees aren’t going to able to fix everything as they might like to. The two big problems that must be addressed is getting another premium-like pitcher and retaining DJ LeMahieu. With all the talk of needing to replace Gary Sanchez as a catcher and Gleyber Torres at short, those needs will take a back seat unless the Yankees can sell off some assets and make trades to accomplish those needs.

There are many creative moves general manager Brain Cashman can do. Still, he will be challenged unless owner Hal Steinbrenner is really serious about winning and opens up his pocketbook like he did last year, with the acquisition of Gerrit Cole. With so many questions looming regarding future revenues, that is not likely. The Yankees may just try to patch up the team and hope for the best with their prospects they already have upcoming.

New York Yankees News: Hal Steinbrenner speaks out on DJ LeMahieu’s play and more

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees Chief Operating Partner Hal Steinbrenner spoke out yesterday on the “Michael Kay Show” on ESPN when asked about contract negotiations for DJ LeMahieu.

“I think I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t recognize what a contribution he made to the club and how good of a player he is,” Steinbrenner said on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio in New York. “I recognize both those things. I’ll leave it at that.”

That statement didn’t exactly point one way or the other, as far as what talks have or haven’t been going on. In fact, saying, “I’ll leave it at,” he seemed to indicate to Kay not to ask any more questions. However, the conversation did continue when Kay posed a similar but more general question asking Steinbrenner what next year’s payroll will look like.

“We’ll see,” he said. “It depends what kind of money is going to be required to be spent based on what we look at and decide needs change. But look, there’s no doubt we sustained significant losses this year, more so than any other team in baseball. … We’re going to have to see what we really feel we need and what that’s going to cost, and we’ll go from there, the way we do every year.”

It is likely with no paying fans this year at Yankee Stadium and the extra cost incurred with health protocols and other expenses that the Yankees will try to balance spending while fulfilling the club’s needs to improve the team. The Yankee’s payroll payouts were cut in half this year by the pandemic reducing the massive losses the club endured. Another issue, with spending, will be complicated, like the Yankees, at this point, still don’t know if they will have fans in the stands in the 2021 season.

Getting back to LeMahieu’s situation, Steinbrenner’s statement indicates he is fully aware of how important DJ is to the club. He knows he is going to earn more money, even though no figures have been thrown around. Since signing him from the Colorado Rockies, he has earned $12M million a year for the past two years. Most in the know figure it will take a contract of three or four years will most likely be offered and in that area of $20M per year.  The New York Yankees won’t want to extend a contract longer than that, considering that LeMahieu will turn 33 next season.

LeMahieu’s first year with the New York Yankees DJ immediately showed his worth being an excellent defender at second base and a timely, frequent hitter. The quiet baseball player just did the job he was hired to do, and at the end of the season, won a Silver Slugger Slugger Award. This season even proved the Yankee investment was a wise one as LeMahieu remained healthy and won himself the AL batting title, becoming the only player to win the coveted title in both leagues.

Steinbrenner also spoke about the signing of Gerrit Cole, indicating that he was happy with Cole’s performance by heaping praise on him.

“highly intelligent, which we knew going in. Incredibly hard worker and he instills other people to work harder than they might even otherwise do. He’s hard-core. We got exactly what we wanted in Gerrit.”

In the coming month’s all the questions coming out of this season will be answered. How big a contract LeMahieu gets, what will happen with Gleyber Torres at short, and if there will be any catcher changes. Yankee fans will be watching closely if the ever-popular Brett Gardner will be on the 2021 New York Yankee team.

 

Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner Expects Fans at Yankee Stadium

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is very optimistic that the Yankees will have some sort of fan presence at Yankee Stadium this year.

In an interview earlier today with YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits, Steinbrenner said, “I do expect to see fans in our stadium at some point to some degree, and that’s going to be a great day as well.” 

He went on to say the stadium will “at first” be 20-30% full. He is confident that management can provide the proper precautions for fans to stay safe in the stadium. 

Teams can create their precautions regarding fans in stadiums. However, Commissioner Rob Manfred must approve them before they can be put into action. 

The MLB put out a statement that read, “The commissioner has made no decisions regarding permitting fans at games. The decision will be based both on whether local health authorities approve fans to attend games and whether our medical advisors believe it is appropriate to do so.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been very vocal about allowing sports venues to hold sporting events but hasn’t talked about allowing fans in attendance. 

The Yankees will stay in their home stadium for workouts and simulated games leading up to July 23rd. From there they will travel to Washington to take on the defending champs in primetime action. 

New York Yankees will join All In Challenge to raise funds in the battle against COVID-19

New York Yankees

Nearly every country in the world has implemented some sort of public health norms to help combat the current coronavirus outbreak that has taken thousands of lives around the planet. United States is the most affected nation from a death toll standpoint. Sports leagues had to suspend their games and halt their operations until further notice. That’s why we haven’t been seeing our beloved New York Yankees in the field lately.

And, as American is doing its best to combat the spread and the effects of the virus in society, the Yankees’ managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner is stepping up and joining the All In Challenge, which would certainly help any fan realize his/her dream.

Actually, Steinbrenner’s initiative to join the All In Challenge is a response from an invitation from former New York Yankees’ shortstop and current Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter. As a result, Steinbrenner put together a very nice package in which the person winning the auction will be present at a batting practice session of the team.

The person will also throw the ceremonial first pitch before a regular season home game at Yankee Stadium, provided that games can be played there because of the current coronavirus pandemic.

A complete Yankees-centered experience

Also, the winning person will get to take three guests to a game from the premium vantage point of the Legends Club seats, and will also bring home the game lineup card, autographed by Yankees manager Aaron Boone and the members of the starting lineup of that day.

“I absolutely accept Derek Jeter’s challenge. This is an incredible cause,” Steinbrenner said. “There’s been so many people affected by this coronavirus, so many people that need help. The New York Yankees are proud to be part of this.”

Per an MLB.com’s report, “one hundred percent of the money raised by the All In Challenge auction will go directly to Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry. The auction will accept bids until May 21.”

In turn, Hal Steinbrenner challenged John W. Henry of the Boston Red Sox, Fred and Jeff Wilpon of the New York Mets and the YES Network to create auction packages of their own.

New York Yankees: A look at contract extensions for Yankee players, what you need to know

New York Yankees fans have wondered from time to time why the Yankees haven’t locked up young talents like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and others.  The answer is likely to surprise fans; it doesn’t have that much to do with the player, it’s the owner.  Plain and straightforward, Yankee owner and managing partner Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t believe in it.  That’s not to be said that it hasn’t been done, but it does suggest why the Yankees engage in contract extensions so seldom.

This past year was an exception.  Aaron Hicks was a season away from free agency at the time, though the outfielder chose to forego the open market in favor of a new contract that paid him $64M in new money through the 2025 season.  Hicks will reportedly receive a $2MM signing bonus in addition to a $6MM salary in 2019 before earning $10.5MM annually from 2020-23 and $9.5MM in 2024-25. The club option is said to be valued at $12.5MM (with a $1MM buyout), and while Hicks doesn’t have any no-trade protection on the deal, he’d receive a $1MM assignment bonus upon being traded.

Ace Luis Severino inked a four-year, $40M deal that covered his four arbitration-eligible years as a Super Two player, and the agreement also contains a $15M club option for the 2023 season, which would have been Severino’s first free-agent year.   The New York Yankee also arranged a contract extension for Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees designated closer.  Chapman declined his opt-out in this contract in favor of a contract extension that will bring him $48 million over three years.  It gives him another $18 million in the last two years of the extended contract.

Going back to Steinbrenner’s dislike for contract extensions, the New York Yankees have only given extensions six times in the last eighteen years.   One was for CC Sabathia, who, like Chapman, waved his opt-out in favor of a $122 million extension in 2011.  Another was the extension for outfielder Brett Gardner who, before his free agency in 2014, accepted a contract extension worth $52 million over four years.  Gardner also just signed a new contract that will keep him a Yankee for another two years. The last year of his new contract includes an opt-out and buy out.

The main reason for Hal Steinbrenner’s distaste for extensions is that all of baseball remains so fluid these days.  The market for free agents continually changes from year to year and avoiding extensions tends to give the club more options on a yearly basis. An example of that is that if fans got their way last year and the Yankees locked up Judge, Sanchez, and Andujar to long term contracts, It would have most likely not have allowed the Yankees to go out during this offseason and acquire Gerrit Cole for $324 million over the next nine years.

Back in 2010 Steinbrenner in an interview with the Associated Press, he shed light on the subject:

“I just don’t believe in contract extensions, and that’s throughout the organization, no matter who it is.  Hopefully nobody takes that personally. It’s just business.”

He also added that it’s just against company policy.   Some good examples supporting that is when star player Derek Jeter came up for an extension, it wasn’t offered.  Instead, Jeter went into free agency and eventually signed a new contract after some hard negotiations.  The same is true of superstar closer Mariano Rivera he went onto the open market before signing a new contract with the Yankees.

During this offseason, the Yankees not only did not offer any contract extension but did not take up any of the player’s options, instead negotiating with them separately for new contracts.  Don’t look for the New York Yankees to be issuing any contract extensions in the near future, especially to Aaron Judge or Gary Sanchez, who both have long term injury issues.  If there is another exception to the rule, that would most likely be issued to DJ LeMahieu last year’s MVP, who will become a free agent after this season.

In the case of James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka, both who are aging, it is likely that any new contract that the Yankees make with them will be made after the season has concluded if there is a baseball season this year.