Yankees News: Is Cashman being cheap? Tanaka’s future plans, Freddie Freeman on the horizon

freddie freeman, yankees

Yankees hire coaches on the cheap

The New York Yankees already being accused of being cheap, not scooping up any of the star free agents available to fill needed pieces, are again being called cheap. This week although in a lockout, the Yankees hired two new coaches.

At the end of the season they parted ways with hitting coach Marcus Thames and his assistant. They also got rid of third base coach Phil Nevin. Nevin has since been replaced by ex-manager Luis Rojas.  Now the Yankees have replaced Thames, by promoting Dillon Lawson to the post. Social media is all over this move, citing that the former University of Missouri and Houston Astros farm coach never hit a ball in the major leagues. After the Yankees lack of hitting in 2021, fans were hoping for a big name like, Paul O’Neill the “warrior” or other star hitter.

In another criticized move, the Yankees promoted Desi Druschel, a minor-league manager of pitch development to an assistant pitching coach to assist Matt Blake. Both of these moves are seen as cheap moves by the Yankee, and itt does signal that manager Aaron Boone will have a bunch of new coaches to work with.

Masahiro Tanaka; his future plans

Masahiro Tanaka was awarded a $155 million contract in 2014, to remain with the Yankees for seven years. Tanaka won 78 games with the Yankees, earning a 3.74 ERA. At the end of the 2020 season after winning only three games, he wasn’t offered a new contract and moved his pitching skills back to Japan. As it appears the Yankees made the correct decision as he went 4-9.  There was some talk of Tanaka returning to the Yankees, but that will not be the case, as he is returning to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles for the 2022 season.

Manfred institutes lockout, when will the season start?

The New York Yankees and all of major league baseball went into lockout when the owners and the players couldn’t come to an agreement on a new CBA (collective bargaining agreement). This is the first work stoppage in baseball in 27 years. Although there are some differences, it is like 1994 all over again. This is a lockout by the owners; in 1994, it was a walkout by the players; nevertheless, the result is the same, no baseball interactions by any of the parties involved until a new agreement can be reached.

With the sides still very far apart, and neither side willing to work in good faith, it spells for a very long work stoppage, as seen by most industry insiders. Most baseball writers from The Athletic think the work stoppage will last until the start of spring training.

Freddie Freeman and others still tangling out there for the Yankees

MLB players may be on lockout, but for the Yankees, they find themselves with as many holes to fill as the beginning of the postseason. Now, not being able to even talk to players or their agents until a new CBA can be signed. Once it is, Yankee manager Brian Cashman will have to pounce if he hopes to upgrade the team.

As it stands right now, the Yankees have no solid first baseman, no shortstop, no true number two pitcher, and needing help in centefield. In short, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager are already off the market, leaving Carlos Correa and Trevor Story as the only two big names left. After apparently failing to get Justin Verlander to the Yankees, they still need that one two punch. As of this moment the only first baseman available to the Yankees is Luke Voit, who is not the best choice. They could resign Anthony Rizzo, but the big name out there is Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, who would be the best first baseman for the Yankees since Mark Tiexiera.

LeMarr Hoyt and his connection to the Yankees, that led to the Yankees first Championship in 15 years

LeMarr Hoyt, that was once a Yankee passed away this week at 66, after a long battle with cancer. He never pitched in the majors for the Yankees, but may be responsible for the end of a 15 year drought in winning a World Series. The Yankees traded Hoyts to get Bucky Dent, who then GM Gabe Paul really wanted, the Yankees also picked up Reggie Jackson, and the Yankees won the 1977 and 1978 World Series.

It was a good move for Hoyt too. He would go on to win the 1982 Cy Young Award with the Chicago White Sox. He also lead the AL in 1983, but his pitching soon regressed, and his career was over after the 1986 season. He was plagued by a shoulder injury and began abusing drugs and painkillers, leading to his exit from baseball.

 

New York Yankees News and Rumors: Could Justin Verlander still become a Yankee?

justin verlander, yankees

The New York Yankees, in one of the few moves they made before the MLB lockout, was instituted, made a play for the Astros’ Justin Verlander.  The Yankees made a one-year, $25 million offer which was rejected, as he apparently took the Astros offer for the same money, but for two years. Now that may be in question.

With the MLB lockout in full effect, the Houston Astros and New York Yankee fans are left with a big question: Is Justin Verlander an Astro?

Almost two weeks ago, Verlander’s brother announced that his brother Justin had come to deal with the Astros for a two-year contract at $25 million a year, after coming off Tommy John surgery. The question lies in the fact that the Astros never officially announced the signing.

Although not likely, it could mean that Verlander could end up in pinstripes. What makes the whole situation so interesting is why the Astros never acknowledged the signing or even made any comments on Verlander’s future. Verlander also has not commented.  Jon Heyman on Twitter chimed in on the Verlander story.

Free agency mystery: Justin Verlander’s $50M, 2-year Astros deal (w/opt out) never was announced and presumably is not official. That means Verlander and Astros have to wait to finalize until a new CBA is done. It is unclear why the deal reported 2 weeks ago is now in limbo.
Verlander has had a great career with the Detroit Tigers for 13 years, but when the Tigers thought his career was on the downside, they sent him to the Houston Astros for prospects. The Houston Astros immediately turned his career around. In 2017, he won all five of his games. In 2018 he was 16-9. In 2019 he had a Cy Young Award-winning season, going 21-6. In each year of Verlander’s time with the Astros, they reached at least the ALCS and won it all in 2017.
The question for the Astros and the Yankees is if he will return to the pitcher he was before his Tommy John surgery. The Yankees took that bet on Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon in 2021. They were willing to take the same chance with Verlander by offering a $25 million contract for one year. That offer is still in place. According to his brother, he instead accepted a deal with the Astros for a two-year contract at the same annual dollars. Now with the lockout, we will have to wait possibly months for an answer to the question.

Yankees could have sneaky loop-hole to pry Justin Verlander away from Houston

justin verlander, yankees

The New York Yankees failed to make any big moves before the lockout commenced on December 2, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t preparing to spend big money once the owners and PLayer Union come to an agreement on a new CBA.

However, the days leading up to the lockout were intriguing, as team’s spent over $1.4 billion to bolster their squads further. One player who was plucked off the market early was starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who agreed to return to the Houston Astros on a two-year, $50 million deal. The contract included an optional second season, giving him more leverage in the situation.

Reports indicated that Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman had a one-year, $25 million deal on the table for Verlander, which would pair him with his former teammate, Gerrit Cole.

Nonetheless, Verlander elected to stay in Houston, but the contract was never finalized before the lockout, meaning he is still a free agent.

According to Emma Baccellieri, Justin Verlander’s deal was never finalized before the lockout commenced on December 2:

 Most intriguingly, Justin Verlander and the Astros never finalized their two-year, $50 million deal—even though it was first reported two weeks ago.

The Astros have stayed mum on the situation, although they did appear to clear a roster spot for Verlander. But he wasn’t on their 40-man when the lockout came down, which means that, technically, he’s still a free agent.

Verlander is coming off two seasons of rehabilitation, recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2021, failing to make even a single appearance. During the 2020 season, Verlander pitched just 6.0 innings at 37-years-old. Presenting him with a lucrative two-year deal for $50 million was undoubtedly a sign of optimism he could return to full health, and after hitting 97 mph in a bullpen session this past fall, plenty of teams are intrigued by the possibility of him reaching ace status once again.

The loophole is simple for Cashman, if he is willing to raise the stakes and present Verlander with an even more attractive offer, he could shift his attention from Houston and back out of the deal. While it is unlikely this happens, clearly, crazier things are currently underway in the world of baseball.

The last time Verlander pitched a full season was back in 2019 when he hosted a 2.58 ERA over 223 innings. He recorded a 12.11 strikeout per nine rate and 88.4% left on-base percentage. He is still capable of being an incredible player, and pairing him with Cole would give the Yankees one of the best starting duos in baseball.

The change in protocol after the owners and union come to a revised agreement could shift the way team’s view spending, which could open the door for a few different avenues regarding player contracts.

New York Yankees postseason in flux creates more questions than answers

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees ended their 2021 season when they lost to the Boston Red Sox in the winner take all wild card game. That was over six weeks ago. The Yankees immediately announced that there would be some big changes coming for 2022, especially at shortstop. But now with December just over a week away little has taken place.

Much to the delight of Yankee fans at the start it seemed that the Yankees would be opening up the purse and spend big to get the team right for the new season. Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman seemed on board indicating that they would spend big for a star shortstop like Carlos Correa or Corey Seager. But while Yankee fans argued who it would be, the Yankees threw out the wrench; with the idea they may go for a short gap option while waiting for prospects to be ready. Today we know nothing more than that.

Meanwhile the Yankees recognize they need somehow, to shore up he starting pitching rotation. The Yankees haven’t been able to do anything about that either. Unlike SS there are not a lot of starting pitchers out their in free agency. The big fish out there was Justin Verlander, we have learned that the Yankees weren’t shy and went right after him offering a one year deal for $25 million. But, for the same money he went with the Astros, the team that turned his pitcher career around.

In another surprising move and without the Yankees really getting involved the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard went to the Los Angeles Angels for $21 million, joining Mike Trout and MVP Shohei Ohtani. It now appears the two biggest free agent names are already gone, leaving Toronto’s Robbie Ray and Max Scherzer and a few others.

One of the reasons the pitching situation is to difficult to resolve, is that the Yankees may already have plenty of pitching, even if Corey Kluber who is in free agency walks. The Yankees have Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and Jameson Taillon. Beyond that they have the returning Luis Severino and Domingo German and a few starting prospects such as Luis Gil, Nestor Cortes Jr., and Clarke Schmidt.

The only problem is that other then the first three, the Yankees really don’t know what they will get. Also if the Yankees are going for another World Championship there is no big one two punch in that group going into the postseason. So the bottom line is that the Yankees do need that true number two starter.

Other than shortstop and starting pitching the Yankees need to shore up the bullpen, get a backup centerfielder and decide what to do at first base. Many decisions yet to come, stay tuned.

Yankees News: Hal Steinbrenner hints at big offensive acquisitions, details why Aaron Boone was extended

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

The New York Yankees are heading into an exciting off-season with money to spend. While they missed out on the Justin Verlander sweepstakes, electing to re-sign with the Houston Astros for $25 million over one season, there’s plenty of free-agent targets and potential trade prospects to consider in the coming weeks.

While pitching seems to be the team’s second priority, offensive efficiency is at the top of the list, something that Hal Steinbrenner stated at the owners’ meetings in Chicago.

The Yankees struggled on offense this past season, which was a primary reason for the downfall, as Steinbrenner said “the main cause of our problems this year was an inconsistent, underperforming offense.”

The Yankees ranked 23rd in batting average this past season and despite a roster loaded with sluggers, they landed at the 17th spot with a .407 slugging percentage. Their OPS sat at .729, good for 13th place in the league. Interestingly, they were unable to place in the top five in home runs, despite that being their ideology. That should give us a pretty clear indication the Bombers will be active in the market this off-season trying to acquire more fire-power.

The Yankees have dealt with significant injuries the past few seasons, which have dampened their production. However, when you’re spending as much money as the Steinbrenner‘s to field a great team, there are no excuses. With that being said, they are ready to open their checkbook once again and give general manager Brian Cashman the flexibility he needs to build a World Series caliber roster. That ultimately starts with solving the shortstop position with one of the top names on the market.

The New York Yankees extended Aaron Boone on a three-year contract as the team’s skipper:

Fans were ready to let Aaron Boone walk this off-season, but upper management views him as a piece to the puzzle that performed well enough to earn several more years with the team. Steinbrenner gave Boone a glowing review, hitting on his intelligence and incorporation of multiple streams of information to help build a winning roster — we are still waiting on the winning roster part.

“Aaron is one of the better managers in baseball,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday. “He’s extremely intelligent, he’s able to assimilate the tremendous amount of information we get from both analytical and pro scouting — we value each equally. He’s very well-balanced personality-wise, which is perfect for this place. And one of the main reasons is: The players want to play for him, they respect them, and they want to win for him, so it’s just not an issue for the players. It really wasn’t a tough decision for me.”

Yankees: Justin Verlander rebuffs New York to stay in Houston

Verlander

Right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander, whose name was on the New York Yankees’ radar as they tried to improve the starting rotation with a high-ceiling addition, decided to take his talents elsewhere, away from the Bronx.

Several outlets reported on Wednesday night that the veteran righty, a multiple time Cy Young award winner, agreed to re-sign with the Houston Astros, ending the Yankees’ hopes of landing the hurler.

According to Ben Verlander (his brother) of Fox Sports, Verlander is reuniting with the franchise that helped him resurrect his career a few years ago. He was also being mentioned as a possibility to join the Detroit Tigers, where it all started for him, but will stay in Houston.

Per the terms of the deal, the Astros are going to pay their star pitcher $25 million for his services during the 2022 season. Also included is a $25 million player option for the 2023 campaign, after the player rejected Houston’s one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer.

The Yankees will need to keep looking for a top starter

Verlander would have fit in like a glove in the Yankees’ rotation if he had chosen that path, right behind Gerrit Cole, as a potent one-two punch. It wasn’t meant to be, however.

The pitcher, who is already 38 years old, is said to be willing to pitch several more seasons. He wasn’t available for Houston in 2021, as he rehabbed from Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery. However, the expectation is that he is ready to go this spring.

As for the Yankees, they still need to upgrade the rotation and bring two or three top-caliber starters, because they lost Andrew Heaney and Corey Kluber to free agency and they shouldn’t entirely trust Nestor Cortes Jr.’s breakout campaign without a backup plan.

As of now, Cole, Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Cortes Jr., and Jameson Taillon (if he is ready to go by spring training) are expected to be in the rotation, but depth is thin behind them: Domingo German, Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Luis Gil could be next in line.

New York Yankees: Offseason pot starting to really stir, what’s next?

justin verlander, yankees

For the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams, they find themselves almost two weeks from the Atlanta  Braves World Series win, their first since 1995, two weeks from the baseball collective bargaining agreement deadline, the Rule 5 draft, you get the idea, there is a lot going on as the postseason heats up.

Yankees look to Justin Verlander to shore up pitching staff?

Is there a reuniting of starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in the Yankees near future?  It seems the Yankees may be stalling a bit in their desire to get the best Yankee shortstop on the market, in favor of zoning in on solving the Yankees starting rotation first. This may be caused by all the early movement in the pitching market ongoing. The Mets’ Noah Syndergaard going with the Angels, the Tigers officially announced their five-year deal for Eduardo Rodriguez.  The Blue Jays announced they would be extending José Berríos for $131 million. That’s a lot of movement this early in the postseason.

The news floating around is the the New York Yankees have spoken to Verlander and his agent about a two year deal. Justin will be 39 at the beginning of the 2022 season. ESPNS’ Jeff Passan indicated Verlander could sign with a team as early as this week. But that’s not all, Passan went as far as to predict that Verlander will end up signing with the Yankees. According to Passan the two sides spoke on November 9th, but at that time a deal was not imminent. The scuttlebutt is that Verlander is open to playing in the Bronx.

Update: According to  Verlander’s brother he will remain with the Astros, the team that turned his career around. He will sign a one year $25 million deal. So it’s back to the drawing board for Cashman and the Yankees.

Hold on, maybe no big name SS after all

Very early on in the postseason general manager Brian Cashman made it known that he wanted a new shortstop for the Yankees and most likely a big name. Over the last few weeks that idea may have changed somewhat in favor of a stop gap measure while the Yankees wait a year or two for the Yankees’ two prospects to mature to major league ready.

The Yankees have been considering Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, among others, but the Yankees may surprise with a short contract deal as a stop gap, instead of spending the big money. Instead putting some of the money into centerfield and first base.

John Heyman of MLB.com says first base is a leading need for the Yankees

One of the earlier situations the Yankees must solve is what to do with free agent Anthony Rizzo. Once they solve that, they can move on to other infield moves. As it is right now, the Yankees have three possible first basemen. Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit. Luke Voit, the once-heralded player, hasn’t been able to stay healthy for the last few years and is probably on the trading block. Gold Glover DJ LeMahieu played all the infield positions other than shortstop due to Gleyber Torres being moved back to second base after a two-year failed experiment as a shortstop.

There is no question that the Yankees still want a production lefty at first base. There is also news swirling around that they are looking at Oakland’s slugger Matt Olson, a rising star that the Yankees would like to trade for. This writer believes that Luke Voit’s time with the Yankees is limited. He is a righty that can’t stay healthy. A big name first baseman may leave Gleyber Torres in a Miguel Andujar situation, a past talent with no place to play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yankees face daunting competition for Justin Verlander’s signature as talks heat up

justin verlander, yankees

The New York Yankees are in the market for more starting pitching, in addition to a premium shortstop solution and potential first baseman. However, with Corey Kluber hitting the open market, general manager Brian Cashman is scouring free agency for a potential solution, and his answer might be former Ace Justin Verlander.

Verlander is coming off two seasons rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery, but he is still considered a fantastic player with gas left in the tank. At 37-years-old, Verlander hosted a bullpen session down in Florida at Eric Cressey’s facilities, the Yankees’ Director of Players Health and Performance. He reportedly approached 97 mph with his fastball, showing essential improvement.

However, while Cashman has his sights set on the former Houston Astro and Detroit Tiger, there are other teams entering the fold that could derail his pursuit.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Yankees have plenty of AL east competition for Justin Verlander, including the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

It is believed that Verlander wants to join a team that practices down in Florida for the most part, and the Yankees have facilities in Tampa. According to Rosenthal, Verlander intends to join an East Coast team preferably for that reason, so the Yankees stand out as a great option. Nonetheless, they will have competition with a Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, who are willing to spend this off-season and are looking to improve their starting pitching rotations.

If Cashman has the available funds to acquire a top shortstop like Corey Seager or Carlos Correa and bring in Verlander, he will overhaul two primary vulnerabilities on the roster.

It is essential to mention that Verlander’s last action came in 2019 when he recorded an impressive 2.58 ERA over 223 innings. He posted a 35.9% ground ball rate, 88.4% left on-base percentage, 12.11 strikeouts per nine, and 1.70 walks per nine, a stellar statistic. During his 2019 season, he was throwing his fastball 94.9 mph, slider 87.2, and mixing in a curveball, and change-up sporadically.

There’s a little doubt that Verlander would present a fantastic pairing with Gerrit Cole, who were teammates in Houston for quite some time. The Yankees seem to be leading the race for his signature, but it is vital to keep the other AL East teams in mind as we approach potential lockout on December 1.

New York Yankees favored to sign Justin Verlander? Decision could come soon

Verlander

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that the team would focus on upgrading shortstop along with examining first base, centerfield, and pitching this offseason. It’s clear that the Yanks intend to be very active this offseason.

This week is supposed to be an action-packed week for the front office. Tomorrow, we have the deadline for players who were extended qualifying offers. Later this week, we also have the 40-Man roster deadline which will force the Yankees to make some moves.

Right now, it appears that they are looking at making a bigger trade this week that would send multiple prospects back for one player. Brian Hoch mentioned this possibility on Jomboy’s Talkin’ Yanks podcast today. That said, the Yankees appear to be focused on pitching this week.

Earlier today, we saw the news that the Angels were signing Noah Syndergaard to a one-year deal. According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees were monitoring the Syndergaard situation but it’s not known whether or not they made an offer.

However, there is one starter who they appear to be locked in on and there is mutual interest. That pitcher would be former Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander. At the moment, Verlander appears to be the top pitching target for the Yanks.

Yankees favorites for Verlander?

ESPN’s Jeff Passan alluded to this yesterday in saying that the Yankees might be the favorites to land Justin Verlander. The Yanks had multiple scouts in attendance to watch Verlander throw his bullpen session and they came away very impressed with what they saw.

There are rumors going around now that the Yankees are talking about a potential two-year deal with the former Cy Young winner. Verlander will be 39 years old by the time the season starts, but he’s made it clear that he intends to pitch for several more years if his arm holds up.

The Yankees seem serious about signing Verlander and Verlander appears very interested in New York. A decision could come as soon as tonight if not tomorrow, but the expectation is that we will know where Verlander is going regardless by the end of the week.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is what Noah Syndergaard signed for today. The deal he got surprised many in the industry and if he’s commanding that kind of premium, Justin Verlander is going to want more. Given the tight rope the Yankees are trying to walk, that could perhaps force them to balk at the price.

If that were to happen, I would expect New York to shift towards acquiring pitching via trades with the premiums on free agents being so high. This should be a fun week for Yankees fan and don’t be surprised if at some point you see that Verlander is going to be wearing pinstripes.

Yankees could replace Corey Kluber with another oft-injured ace

justin verlander, yankees

The New York Yankees are gearing up for an exciting off-season, and while signing a star shortstop and a potential trade for Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson have plastered the headlines, general manager Brian Cashman is making some low-key moves.

The Yankees recently attended veteran starting pitcher Justin Verlander‘s workout as he rehabilitates from elbow surgery. Verlander hasn’t pitched since 2019, tossing 223 innings and recording a 2.54 ERA with the Houston Astros. During his bullpen session, reports indicated that Verlander hit close to 97 mph with his fastball, despite averaging 94.4 mph over the course of his career. His highest velocity was 95.6 back in 2009 with Detroit.

If the Yankees did bring him in on a short-term contract, it would be similar to how they viewed Corey Kluber, a veteran coming off injury who could produce at a starter level. However, there is a significant difference between Kluber and Verlander, and that is mentality and overall quality.

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The Astros’ former ace would be a dangerous pairing with Gerrit Cole at the top of the starting rotation, and with his high strikeout rates and low walk percentages, he would be an incredible addition if he can remain healthy at 38-years-old.

Verlander is coming off a contract paying him $66M over two years, but considering they were injury-riddled, he might settle for a deal in the $16-20 million per season range, if not less.

The Yankees can activate the trade market to find a supplement in the starting rotation after losing Andrew Heaney this off-season, but Verlander offers a potential elite talent who will likely dominate when active. Cole would appreciate his skills, given he’s played with him in the past and knows he can rely on him to sustain excellence on a weekly basis.

In the case the Yankees do land Verlander, they would also have Luis Severino, Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, and Jameson Taillon as their primary starters. Injuries have plagued this rotation in the past, and adding a starter coming off two years rehabilitating doesn’t exactly scream reliability. However, that has been Cashman’s strategy, and if it pans out, which we say every year, the Bombers would be sitting pretty.

What do you think of the prospect of signing Verlander? Comment here!