New York Yankees News/Rumors: Will Paxton haunt the Yankees,? Some Yankee times firmed up, and more

New York Yankees, James Paxton

James Paxton throwing well but unsigned

The New York Yankees James Paxton is no longer on the team after the Yankees let him walk into free agency after the 2020 season. But will the Yankees be haunted by that move? The news is that Paxton has been pitching like an ace during the offseason.

During the offseason, Paxton has been working out with the Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd. According to Boyd, the lefthander has been dynamite even though he still remains unsigned. The Yankees at the end of the season lost Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J. A. Happ to free agency. Tanaka has returned to Japan to pitch for his old team, where he is a national hero. Happ was signed by the Minnesota Twins, but Paxton still has not found a home for the 2021 season.

“Whoever gets him is going to get a steal,” Boyd said Wednesday on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. The New York Yankees know that Paxton can be an ace-like pitcher when he is healthy. The problem with Paxton and most likely the reason that he has not been unsigned is that he can’t seem to stay healthy. Last season, Paxton made just five starts, going on the injured list in August with a left forearm flexor strain. He had lower back surgery in February, which made him miss the initial spring training.

Boyd went on to say: “And he’s pumping the ball right now, too,” Boyd said. “He looks better than he ever has. We dove into some stuff, breaking down fastballs and understanding spin direction and all that. His ball just takes off. It’s fun to catch. I’m hoping he ends up in a Tigers uniform or something like that. Whoever gets him, they’re getting an ace.”

Many Yankees times are firmed up

The Yankees will start all their April weekday home games, except for Fridays at 6:35 p.m. again this season. Major League Baseball released the times for all games on Thursday, and the Yankees open their season at home on April 1, at 1:05 pm against the Toronto Blue Jays. Sunday games will be on ESPN and times are subject to change.

Highlights of the Yankees’ schedule include the Astros’ first trip to The Bronx since their 2017 sign-stealing scandal broke when Houston visits from May 4-6 which should be very interesting, because the Yankees have not forgotten their loss in 2017 due to the Astro’s cheating.  The Red Sox come to The Bronx on June 4 and the Yankees go to Boston for the first time on June 25. The two teams will be the only game in MLB on July 15 following the All-Star break, when they play at the Stadium to open a four-game set.

On Aug. 12, the Yankees will face the White Sox in the Field of Dreams game in Iowa after it was canceled a year ago due to the pandemic. The final series of the regular season comes against the Rays at the Stadium, with the last game on Oct. 3.

Should the Yankees target Tony Watson?

There is still time for the Yankees to complete one last free agent signing for their bullpen. They don’t necessarily have to, but adding another veteran, proven arm to a talented group can make them an even better team. During the offseason, the Yankees signed some returning arms in Cortes Jr. and Adam Warren. In a major signing, the signed Darren O’Day one of the best relievers during the 2020 season. He had a 1.10 ERA.

The Yankees might want to consider adding lefty Tony Watson to the already good bullpen. The Yankees could afford Watson as he would only take $2 plus million away from their reported access of $9 million without going over the dread luxury tax threshold. Watson is a left-handed relief pitcher with plenty of big-league experience; he has ten years already under his belt. He will turn 36 during the season, and a one-year commitment should be enough to lure him.

New York Yankees: James Paxton is reportedly on the Blue Jays’ radar

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees lost three members of their 2020 starting rotation to free agency: James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ. The latter signed with the Minnesota Twins this week, while the other two remain unsigned.

The Yankees brought Corey Kluber on a one-year, $11 million deal, but there is still work to be done to shore up the rotation. After Gerrit Cole, there is just too much uncertainty and inexperience. Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, Deivi Garcia, and Clarke Schmidt form a very good group, and Luis Severino will be healthy, presumably, by the All-Star break. But there is still a feeling that they are one arm short.

This is a problem because the Tampa Bay Rays are very good, even after losing two aces, and the Toronto Blue Jays have a much improved offense. They signed outfielder George Springer, closer Kirby Yates, and have an impressive core of batters.

Now, they need quality starting pitching to compete with the Yankees and Rays. And according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, they are making their due dilligences to bring talent into the organization.

“The very active Blue Jays are looking at starting pitching now and have James Paxton among others on their radar,” Heyman tweeted on Friday.

Paxton had a rough 2020 with the Yankees

The 2020 season started poorly for Paxton, then with the New York Yankees. He was punished in his first few turns and his fastball velocity was down significantly, from his usual 95 mph to 90-91.

He ended up missing the majority of the 2020 campaign with a left flexor strain after just five starts.

He finished 2020 with a 6.64 ERA in 20.1 frames, but his FIP was a much more decent 4.37. In a recent showcase, the former Yankees’ southpaw showed encouraging signs: According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, he reached 94 mph during a recent throwing session for scouts.

Truth be told, Paxton and the Yankees make sense for at least a one-year reunion. However, the organization doesn’t seem too inclined to seriously discuss a deal with him or Tanaka.

New York Mets: Three Candidates To Round Out The Starting Rotation

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Mets still need another arm to solidify their rotation as they wait for Noah Syndergaard‘s midseason return. The next expensive purchase for Steve Cohen will likely go towards George Springer over Trevor Bauer. In that case, here are three good options the Mets can sign for 2021.

1. James Paxton

Unless they overpay like the New York Yankees did for Corey Kluber, James Paxton should be a bargain for whichever team signs him. Injuries and lack of spring training cause Paxton to finish 2020 with an ERA over four for the first time in his career.

Paxton touched 94 mph on his fastball during a throwing session in December with just under 20 teams in attendance. The velocity is slightly under his typical mark, but it is an encouraging sign as he recovers from a flexor strain. Paxton would be a one-year rental and give the Mets a fifth starter with a reliable track record.

2. Gio Gonzalez

 

Gio Gonzalez was once a nemesis of the Mets during his days as a Washington National. Even after he left, Gonzalez still found a way to have success in Citi Field. Gonzalez is 11-2 with a 1.83 ERA and one shutout over 18 starts at Citi Field. He said he feels comfortable pitching in Citi Field and is another reliable option for their fifth starter. Gonzalez also understands his role as a reliever when Syndergaard returns and in the postseason.

3. Taijuan Walker

Taijuan Walker is a younger version of Kluber’s value in the free-agent market. Walker is only heading into his age-28 season and is coming off a 2.70 ERA in 2020. He may warrant more money due to his age and past performance, but his injuries are always a major risk. Walker has never made 30 starts in his career, and the last time he made at least 20 starts was in 2017. He has a 3.84 ERA in his career and gives the Mets another formidable starter without the pressure to pitch major innings.

New York Mets: Are James Paxton or Corey Kluber Worth The Risk?

New York Yankees, James Paxton

On Tuesday, reports surfaced of the New York Mets planning to attend Corey Kluber‘s showcase on January 13 and viewed James Paxton throw a couple of weeks ago. Both pitchers come off disappointing 2020 seasons and hope to resurrect their careers this year. The Mets plan to be contenders in 2021, but are these the answers to their rotation problems?

Paxton came to the New York Yankees in 2019 as the left handed-starter they needed after C.C. Sabathia’s time in pinstripes was coming to an end. He started slow but pitched to a 2.25 ERA in his last 10 starts, all wins. Paxton continued that dominance into the postseason with two dominant starts against the Houston Astros.

He suffered from a lack of spring training in 2020 and had a 6.64 ERA in five starts. A flexor strain in his left forearm caused his season to end prematurely. It was Paxton’s first full season with an ERA over four, and it dramatically dropped his value. Paxton’s injury history and inability to pitch deep into games limit him as a front line starter, but he fits as a back end option.

Should they sign a more reliable starter, Paxton is a good choice for the fifth spot. Three healthy months from Paxton is a solid expectation. When Noah Syndergaard returns, the Mets can opt for a six-man rotation or put Paxton in the bullpen.

Two-Two-Time Former Cy Young Winners?

Corey Kluber has an imposing resume over his ten big league seasons. He is a two-time Cy Young winner, three-time All-Star, and an ERA champ. His downside of heading into his age-35 season and going two full years without pitching a full season is a red flag. Kluber’s last two seasons are injury-plagued, with a torn teres major muscle limiting him to one inning in 2020.

Unless the Mets scouts are 100 percent sure Kluber is at his Cy Young form, the Mets should not guarantee him a rotation spot. If they were too cheap to get better options, then Kluber would be fine. Kluber is an older pitcher who has logged plenty of innings in a short amount of time. The Mets do not have the minor league depth to replace another injury-plagued pitcher.

With either pitcher, I would be inclined to bring one of them in once the rotation is set. Using each pitcher as a fifth starter is plausible but using Kluber as a safety net is preferable. In the end, both pitchers will get better offers from teams most desperate than the Mets. Those offers make Paxton or Kluber signing with the Mets unlikely.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Tanaka likely to be a Yankee, Garcia maybe not, and much more

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

With no decisions made, New York Yankee fans are getting antsier by the day while waiting to see what their team will look like in 2021. It appears that general manager Brian Cashman has everything on hold until he finds out if the team can resign the second baseman and batting title holder DJ LeMahieu. It now appears that if they can get a deal done, even if it’s a compromise, it will cost them more than they wanted.

Although the Yankees would love to resign their best player, it does present problems in an offseason where the front office doesn’t want to spend much money to stay below the luxury tax threshold after tremendous losses last year due to the coronavirus and the unclear outlook for 2021. The Yankees, after the season, let three pitchers walk, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ. Previously it only seemed that they might be interested in only resigning Tanaka, but that might not be the case.

For years Masahiro Tanaka has said that he would like to end his baseball career back in Japan with his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, who he last pitched for in 2013. Tanaka is a national hero in Japan. But that might be delayed. He recently admitted to NJ.com that he wants to remain a New York Yankee and will not consider playing for another American team in favor of returning to his homeland.

That statement may make it easier for the Yankee front office to resign the pitcher that has been good to very good for five of his seven years with the team. As the days pass, it seems likely that the Yankees will offer Tanaka a contract for one or two years at roughly half what he earned in 2020, if that. Tanaka had a solid 2020, finishing with a 3.56 ERA, 44 strikeouts even though he went only 3-3 in ten starts. Seeing that Tanaka has indicated he won’t likely deal with another team may get a deal done.

Four Players the Yankees could trade, two will shock you!

The New York Yankees will not be spending big to improve the team for the 2021 season, or at least it appears that way as they look to cut $30-40 million off their 2020 payroll expenditures. With that in mind, general manager Brian Cashman will be forced to trade off some players he may not want to, to make improvements in the team, most likely before spring training.

Even though the New York Yankees have pretty much been dead in the search for free agents, once they know the outcome of their priority to re-sign DJ LeMahieu, things will shift into high gear. If they can’t resign him, they will have $20 to $25 million more to spend. Although that amount may seem like a lot, just one number two-like starter could eat all that up. The answer is to trade prospects to get what they need.

Two of the most likely to be traded are Miguel Andujar that they don’t have much use for and number two pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt. The other two would shock Yankees fans, Deivi Garcia or Luke Voit. Although Voit would be the last resort after hitting the most home runs in baseball, Garcia could be in the mix. There is no question that if the Yankees are to make improvements, mostly in the starting rotation and the bullpen, they will have to make some trades that will hurt to get deals done.

Could the Yankees be taking a second look at James Paxton?

With the only pitchers in free agency that would dramatically change the Yankees’ chances of getting to another World Series after a very long drought being very costly, the Yankees will be looking for mid-rotation pitchers for relief. It appears the Yankees will need one veteran pitcher that can give them innings. They also need a good arm to replace Tommy Kahnle that has now signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the next two years and the faltering Adam Ottavino.

Reports are that the Yankees are not all out on the familiar James Paxton for another try. Paxton went 1-1 with an ERA of 6.64 this past season as dogging surgery issues allowed him only 5 starts on the season. A completely rehabbed Paxton could be a solid addition to a rotation that will lack veterans. He is 57-33 in his career and was one of the best 2019 pitchers for the Yankees when he recorded 15 wins against only six losses.

If the Yankees decide to sign Paxton for the 2021 season, it will not be near his 2020 salary after his poor showing. It is also not likely that other MLB teams will throw a lot of money at him either. He will likely only earn in the $7-10 million range for the 32-year-old. In this cost-cutting year, if the Yankees re-sign Tanaka and Paxton, they will get solid production near half the cost of last year.

Plan B is more likely by the day

With each passing day, it is less likely that the New York Yankees will be able to re-sign Yankee star player DJ LeMahieu. According to who you want to believe, the deal could be off the table due to the sides being off as much as $50 million in money and two years in contract length.

All of this, as other teams are hot on the trail of tieing up the star for a multi-year deal. The Los Angeles Dodgers have already taken star relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle from coming back to the Yankees also want DJ LeMahieu for his hitting ability and ability to play any infield position. Most industry insiders feel that DJ will end up with the Toronto Blue Jays, which would be the Yankees’ worst nightmare.

It appears that the main sticking point to the Yankees making a deal with LeMahieu is not money; it’s contract length. DJ is demanding five years of security, and the Yankees don’t want to go for more than three years. If the sides could both compromise for a four-year deal, DJ might accept it. However, if the Dodgers or Blue Jays drop five years on DJ, he will be gone, leaving the Yankees with a whole new plan to improve the team.

If unable to sign LeMahieu, it will leave the team with an additional $25 million to get a hard-hitting shortstop or second baseman possibly. They could also further address the catching situation. Not signing LeMahieu will turn the offseason for the Yankees on its head. There will be acquisitions and, more likely several trades on the block for a team with early exits in the postseasons and has not had a World Series win since 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

Yankees News/Rumors: Two familiar starting pitchers could be in play to return to the Bronx

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees have to allocate resources toward the starting pitching rotation whether they like it or not. With three starters hitting free agency, they must supplement their losses, and Luis Severino cannot be trusted to hold down the fort.

Severino isn’t even supposed to return until after the start of the 2021 regular season, so general manager Brian Cashman must take that into account.

Severino last pitched in 2018, going down early this past year and needing Tommy John surgery. In his prime, Severino was close to reaching ace status, but after two years without a significant sample size, going into the 2021 season, expecting him to be the number two behind Gerrit Cole would be an optimistic decision.

Then there is Domingo German, who the Yankees expect to gain back after being suspended for a domestic violence dispute. He has been hit around in the Dominican Republic, as he participates in winter ball with Gary Sanchez and a few other Yankees.

However, there are familiar faces that Cashman could consider, especially if he feels uncomfortable bringing in new players on cost-efficient contracts that might not represent quality.

The New York Yankees could consider retaining a familiar face:

James Paxton:

Paxton is a good option for the Yankees if they want to sign a player with ties to the team on a minimal deal. He pitched in just 20.1 innings this past year, so the Yankees could probably retain him on a short contract that wouldn’t eat up too much salary.

When at the top of his game, Paxton is a dangerous lefty pitcher who adds plenty of value to the rotation. It seems as if he is back to full health, recently pitching for 20 teams and hitting as high as 94 mph with his fastball.

Masahiro Tanaka:

Reports have indicated that Masahiro Tanaka will likely head back to Japan if the Yankees don’t offer him a new deal. Tanaka had a solid 2020, finishing with a 3.56 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and 8.25 strikeouts per nine. It has become clear that Tanaka is not a high strikeout pitcher but utilizes his finesse to create ground balls and easy out opportunities.

He did allow nine homers this past season and had a few tough performances, especially in the postseason. Usually, Tanaka is a consistent pitcher that the Yankees can rely on, but he’s no longer worth the $26 million he was set to make in 2020.

If the Yankees offered him a two-year deal worth $15-16 million per season, I would be happy with it. He’s one of the better options on the market that won’t cost upwards of $20 million, so he represents a possible option for Cashman as he navigates this strange off-season.

Too much of the Yankees’ off-season plans revolve around the extension of DJ LeMahieu, so I wouldn’t expect much action until they figure out that deal.

New York Yankees: James Paxton shows improved velocity in workout

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees were banking on a strong season from lefty James Paxton when MLB kicked off in July. Unfortunately, he was battered in his first few turns and showed dimished velocity, which was a concerning development because in the vast majority of cases, that is associated with an injury.

Since starting in the 90-91 mph range, Paxton’s velo was slowly starting to creep up to more respectable levels, but still, far from the 95.5 mph he averaged in 2019. And, as it turns out, he was injured: a left flexor strain cost him the rest of the season, as he hit the injured list after making only five starts.

Now, the New York Yankees’ left-hander isn’t associated with the team anymore, as he is now a free agent. In a market short of elite pitching, Paxton could secure a relatively good deal if he shows other teams he’s healthy.

The former Yankees’ pitcher is generating interest

According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, Paxton reached 94 mph during a recent throwing session for scouts. That’s an encouraging sign for the southpaw. It’s not quite his usual velocity, but at this time of the year, clubs will see it as a good sign.

According to Morosi, “as many as 20 teams” sent representatives to watch the workout. It’s not yet known if the Yankees were on that group.

Paxton’s agent, Scott Boras, has naturally been talking up his player, saying that he’s healthy and that he is generating plenty of interest in the open market. His recent showcase seems to validate both claims.

Overall, Paxton is looking to leave behind a very bad 2020 on a personal level. He struggled to a 6.64 ERA in 20.1 frames, and while his FIP was a much more decent 4.37, it was clear from the beginning that he was dealing with some kind of injury. In the five starts he covered for the Yankees this season, his fastball averaged 92.1 mph.

Yankees News/Rumors: Don’t rule out a James Paxton return to the Bronx

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees are preoccupied this free agency with DJ LeMahieu’s contract negotiations, but that doesn’t mean they are completely ignoring starting pitching. They have to replace James Paxton, JA Happ, and Masahiro Tanaka, who together opened up $52 million in available cap.

However, general manager Brian Cashman has committed to a long-term approach this off-season. He wants to wait until the latter months of free agency to address positions of need, allowing the more expensive players to shake out and more cost-efficient options to bubble to the surface. Ultimately, acting too early could result in overspending, something the Yankees are trying to refrain from after a tumultuous COVID-19 riddled season.

With Cashman looking to save money, don’t expect the Yankees to make any splash moves and bring in a player like Trevor Bauer unless LeMahieu walks for a better deal. One player to keep your eye on is a familiar face in James Paxton, who is preparing to make a comeback following a flexor strain he suffered in 2020.

Super-agent Scott Boras told MLB.com this past week regarding Paxton’s return from injury:

“He’s far into bullpen [sessions] and is throwing bullpens for select teams,” Boras said. “Obviously, he was not completely rehabilitated when he made an attempt to help his club and come back. Now, he’s certainly got his back strength back to 100% and he’s back throwing off the mound and doing well.”

Paxton only made five appearances in 2020, pitching a total of 20.1 innings. He finished with a 6.64 ERA and a career-low 32.1% ground ball rate. Honestly, it is not even fair to consider the 2020 numbers in a grander sample size. Looking at his 2019 season is more justifiable for a future contract. He finished with a 3.82 ERA with 11.11 strikeouts per nine and 15 wins.

The New York Yankees might take the cheaper route:

When healthy, Paxton is a phenomenal lefty pitcher who can offer significant value to any team. The Yankees don’t have many lefty arms, so his talents are extremely valuable, especially when he is playing at the top of his game. Paxton signed a one-year, $12.5 million deal with the Yankees last season, but an injury ended his campaign prematurely and severely limited the Bombers in the starting rotation, forcing them to rely on younger arms.
If Paxton is, in fact, 100% healthy, the Yankees could probably land him on a cost-efficient deal, and they know exactly what he brings to the team when he’s healthy. This would be a move I would welcome.

New York Yankees: What kind of contract is James Paxton looking at during free agency?

New York Yankees, James Paxton

James Paxton is an extremely talented pitcher. He has a 3.58 ERA (3.31 FIP) in 753.1 career innings, with a very good 26.5 K%. When he’s on, he can be very dominant, and the New York Yankees know that. They were his team for the last two years. But now, the southpaw is set to test free agency.

Yet, there is a feeling that it may not be the best of times for him to enter the free agent market. Sure, there aren’t too many top arms out there, but teams usually like safer bets to stay healthy when they are going to splash the cash.

Between his age (32,) his extensive injury history, the fact that he showed diminished velocity in 2020, and the left flexor strain that led to his absence during the Yankees’ playoff run, chances are that he won’t score the lucrative multiyear deal he probably deserves.

Those are probably the reasons why the New York Yankees don’t seem in a hurry to bring him back for the 2021 season. According to reports, “Paxton is in line for a one-year deal in the $8-10 million range. Perhaps a team sweetens the offer with a second-year option that vests with a certain number of starts.”

He didn’t have a good season for the Yankees

Of course, Paxton’s agent Scott Boras recently said that “there’s a great deal of interest” in the left-hander. But what else is he supposed to say? He is coming off a 6.64 ERA in the shortened 2020 season. He lost several miles off his fastball to start the year, and just when he was starting to get some of his velo back and right the ship, he went down with an arm injury.

Rotoworld speculates that “Paxton might be open to accepting a one-year bounce-back type of free agent deal this winter. Or maybe there’s a strong enough market that he could score high-dollar multi-year offers.”

NBC Sports Philadelphia reports “there will be plenty of interest in Paxton but he’s more of a buy-low candidate given his rocky 2020 and long injury history. Of course, he’s also represented by Scott Boras, so Paxton’s next contract probably will not be too team-friendly.”

Perhaps he can get that multiyear deal after all. But let’s also keep in mind that teams are going with cost-effective moves these days more often than not, and Marcus Stroman recently took a one-year qualifying offer after seeing what was there for him in the market.

The Yankees, as always, should be monitoring his market.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: James Paxton never recovered, Don Mattingly, Andrelton Simmons, and more

New York Yankees, James Paxton

James Paxton never full recovered from back surgery

The New York Yankees did not offer pitcher James Paxton a qualifying offer to stay with the Yankees. He is just one of three free agents starters. On February 6th, the Yankees announced that Paxton would be out of action for three to four months after surgery to alleviate a herniated lumbar disc. With the dramatically shortened baseball season, it turned out that he didn’t miss any games at the start of the season.  But was he really healthy enough to pitch?

The New York Yankees and Paxton announced he was good to go. Paxton ended the season starting only five games and having a record of 1-1 and an elevated ERA of 6.64. When he was on the mound, his pitching told a different story than the positive comments. He had lost three or four miles per hour of fastball velocity. Paxton’s last game was on August 20th. He left a game with forearm soreness that was diagnosed as a flexor strain. Paxton never pitched another game, and that includes the postseason. With his injuries and poor play, the Yankees did not attempt to keep him in pinstripes.

Now Paxton’s manager Scott Boras is boasting that several teams are interested in Paxton. In a conversation with MLB.com’s John Morosi, Boras may have let it out of the bag that Paxton wasn’t fully recovered from back surgery when pitching for the Yankees in 2020. Morosi made the following Tweet:

“Scott Boras told me today that free agent James Paxton is “close” to throwing for talent evaluators. He’s recently done additional strength training for his lumbar region, to more fully recover from February back surgery. “There’s a great deal of interest in him,” Boras said.

Even with the admission that Paxton’s lumbar region wasn’t fully up to strength due the back surgery while pitching for the Yankees this past season, it is doubtful that the New York Yankees will change their mind on Paxton, considering his injury history. Paxton was the second-best pitcher for the Yankees in the 2019 season.

Yankee great Don Mattingly is NL Manager of the Year!

For years “Donnie baseball” graced the New York Yankees Yankee Stadium. He was a true Yankees star for 14 years, earning an MVP, being a Gold Glover, and being a Silver Slugger and All-Star. Mattingly got every award that baseball issued. Mattingly’s back problems finally led him to leave the Yankees after the 1995 season.

After putting down his bat, Mattingly was a special instructor for the Yankees for several years. He became the Yankees bench coach replacing Lee Mazzelli. In 2007 the Yankees did not renew Joe Torre’s contract, and Mattingly became a candidate for manager, but the Yankee manager job was given to Joe Girardi. Torre moved on to manager the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Mattingly became his bench coach and eventually the Dodgers manager.

In 2016 after another Yankee great, Derek Jeter bought into the Miami Marlins; he enticed Mattingly to come to Florida and manage his new team. In Mattingly’s first years as Marlins manager, he had them win the most games in their history, and Don was 5th in the manager of the year voting. In this past coronavirus season, his Marlins had their first winning season. They went 31-29, and Mattingly got another award for his mantle, National League Manager of the Year.

New York Yankees look to solve shortstop: Andrelton Simmons

The New York Yankees have pitching problems they must solve, that have issues with Gary Sanchez, and they also would like to move Gleyber Torres back to his natural position at second base. Doing so means the Yankees must get a shortstop. With Francisco Lindor likely out of the picture due to cost, the Yankees are looking at all of their options, and one of them is Andrelton Simmons.

Simmons is an excellent defender, although not the greatest hitter. There is no question he would be a dramatic upgrade from Torres. However, for the Yankees, there are some problems, the most notably is Simmons history of ankle weakness, he has had three strains in the past two seasons. My guess is that the Yankee’s concerns about player injuries will shift them away from Simmons and toward the Athletic’s Marcus Semien.

Yankees DJ LeMahieu to reject qualifying offer today

DJ LeMahieu has today to accept or reject the Yankee’s qualifying offer of $18.9 million to stay in Yankee pinstripes for another year. The good money is on DJ rejecting that offer and testing the free-agent market. There are eight to ten teams that will be interested in LeMahieu driving up his cost.

The Yankees acquired the star player before the 2019 season for $24 million over two years. He has been everything the the Yankees could have asked for. Last year he was a Silver Slugger, and this year is in the running for AL MVP. He also won the batting title this year, becoming the only baseball player to win the award in both leagues.

The Yankees will most likely have to ante up $20 million a year and for several seasons to keep LeMahieu playing at Yankee Stadium. There is no guarantee that the Yankees will offer that much, but much more than that the Yankees could let him walk.