New York Yankees: Yankees weekend news roundup, check it out

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees and the other 29 teams are still suffering through a lockout that is now 95 days long, with no apparent quick resolution in the offing. MLB canceled more spring training games last week due to not reaching an agreement. Spring training games will not start until March 5 at the earliest. It is evident at this point they will not reach that goal. This week MLB announced that the first two series of the new regular season are canceled.

The big news; No Yankee baseball

After over 100 days of negotiations, the owners and players have installed the universal DH, but not much else. The main issues in a new agreement are as far away as before the negotiations even started. If it isn’t bad enough, the players and owners can’t come to a resolution. We have recently learned that the owners can’t agree on some issues.

On a Zoom call, four owners reportedly voted against the league’s “best and final” offer that the MLBPA turned down before the league’s self-imposed deadline on Tuesday. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich later revealed that those teams were the Angels, Reds, Tigers, and D-backs.

So while the Yankees should be playing spring training games, they are instead working out at local high school fields, as the lockout prevents them from entering minor league fields until a new agreement can be reached. Although no one knows when the new regular season will start, it won’t likely be in April. On his part, Commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that all canceled games will not be made up, putting the entire season in jeopardy.

It’s that time of year, will Brett Gardner return yet again?

Brett Gardner is the longest-tenured Yankee, being the last Yankee to be retained from the 2009 World Series team. He has been with the Yankees since he was drafted in 2005, and 2022 would be his 15th major-league season. “Gardy” has been a mainstay with the Yankees, never being an MVP, but being an All-Star and Gold Glover, he has always been solid for the Yankees.

However, in recent years his star has dimmed, causing the Yankees to reevaluate bringing him back every year. Such is the situation again this season as the Yankees, while in a lockout, try to find ways to improve the team. Gardner has again made it clear that he wants to play another season, and he wants to play that as a Yankee. However, his agent has echoed the same but added that he, now in free agency, will look at returning to any team that values him as a player.

Pitcher Beck Way is working his way up the Yankee ladder

There has been much chatter about Yankees’ prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, mostly due to the team’s need for a new shortstop. There are other Yankee prospects to be examined; one of them is another story about an up-and-comer, earning some pretty hopeful reviews. Yankees pitching prospect Beck Way is described as having “electric” stuff.  The Yankees are hoping that he can even improve further in 2022.

Way has been playing ball for some time but only started pitching full time in his last year of college. He showed flashes of excellence in college, with a fastball that often reached over 100mph. With Yankee coaches working with him this season, they hope he can learn more control and continue developing. Last season, the 22-year-old righty pitched for the Hudson Valley Renegades with a 3.98 ERA.

Trades have won seasons for the Yankees

The Yankees have won many pennants and World Series due to making smart trades before and during winning seasons. This season may end up the same, with their many needs. The Yankees say they are good just the way they are, but that won’t put forward a championship team that likely will fall short yet again.

So, what is general manager Cashman to do after only being an observer during the first half of the postseason? He will have to act fast with all teams looking to add help. Another thing is that after having months to figure out what he will do, he will likely have to look to trades to put forth a winning team.

When the lockout is lifted, the Yankees are going to need: a first baseman, a shortstop, a center field insurance piece, possibly a fifth outfielder, bullpen help, and a number 2 or 3 starting pitcher.

Here is a look at three trades the GM should closely consider: Matt Olson, Merril Kelly, and Ketel Marte. Some moves will only require money. The ones that trades could solve should not be overlooked. Brian Cashman should first get with Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees have been successful with the A’s before. Get a deal done for first baseman Matt Olson without giving up too many prospects.

With the Yankees’ decision to go big or take the stop-gap avenue at shortstop, that decision should be made quickly. At the moment, that looks to end up a short gap replacement. Get in touch with the Diamondbacks, and talk about Ketel Marte. Marte is a seven-year veteran that can adequately play center, second base, and be a more than average shortstop for the Yankees.

The Yankees could possibly put together a big trade that would include Marte and Merril Kelly, who could solve a starting rotation for the Yankees.

Yankees News, 6/25: Taillon takes major step forward, Cashman on the trade prowl

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, jameson taillon

The Yankees took on the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon, looking to string together another victory — thankfully, they did so in fashion. The Yankees have only lost two of their last nine games and plastered the Royals for eight runs in the win. However, the biggest positive on Thursday was starting pitcher Jamison Taillon, who lasted 6.1 innings, allowing five hits and just one earned run. This was undoubtedly his best game of the season, and considering he currently hosts a 5.18 ERA, this clear progression is worth writing home about.

Prior to Thursday’s game, Taillon had lost his last four contests, giving up 12 earned runs during that time frame. He also allowed 20 overall hits and walked six batters. To see him take a significant step forward is exactly what the starting rotation needed, especially with Corey Kluber out for the next few weeks having suffered a shoulder injury.

The Yankees will now take on the Boston Red Sox on Friday evening with Domingo German on the mound. German has a 4.17 ERA and has allowed 14 homers and 67 hits over 69 innings pitched this year. For Boston, they will feature Martin Perez, who hosts a 4.32 ERA; the Yankees should have an advantage in this game. Boston is coming off three losses over their last four games, including two consecutively to the Tampa Bay Rays. They have scored just three runs in their past two games, indicating a minor cold streak.

The Yankees currently sit 3.5 games back from Boston and four games back from the 1st place Tampa Bay Rays. They can make a major dent in that number heading into a three-game series over the weekend.

The Yankees will likely be active during the trade deadline:

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com stated that Ketel Marte would be a perfect trade target for the Yankees, who’re in need of offensive/utility support:

Ketel Marte of the D-backs would be the best solution, though he is signed through 2022 (with affordable club options for 2023 and ’24), so the price tag to acquire him could be more than Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is willing to pay.

Marte would be a phenomenal pick-up for the Bombers, as he’s currently hitting .366 with four homers and 21 RBIs over 36 games this season. Logging an 11.7 batting and baserunning combined above-average score, he has been an offensive weapon for the Diamondbacks since returning from injury. The Yankees could use a utility player in the infield on a relatively affordable deal.

Yankees could be targeting Diamondbacks infielder to provide offensive support

Ketel Marte, yankees

The New York Yankees are preparing to take on the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday evening, on the back of a series sweep against the Boston Red Sox. Falling in their last four consecutive games, the Yankees are desperately looking for a sign of positivity and momentum, and unfortunately, it seems nowhere in sight.

Poor officiating the last few days has put the Yankees in between a rock and a hard place, as their offense has struggled to get going, but experiencing poor calls at home in the process shouldn’t be part of the equation. Of course, this issue goes well beyond the home-plate umpire, as the Bombers have been grappling all season long, showing little prowess, despite having a star-studded batting order.

The Yankees could consider looking to the trade market for a supplement. That is where Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Ketel Marte enters the fold.

Marte is an intriguing player who has played his last four seasons with Arizona. So far in 2021, he has played in 23 games, recording four homers and 14 RBIs, hosting a .382 batting average. He has struck out only 15.6% of the time, and while the sample size is small, historically, he has proven to be a stellar offensive weapon. In 2019, Marte posted 32 home runs, a career-high, showcasing his slugging abilities.

We know how much general manager Brian Cashman loves home-run hitters, and considering he has four in 23 games, there is a reason to believe he could be another double-digit option to inject into the lineup.

However, even the insertion of Marte could prove to be ill-fated, as their issues might stem from coaching rather than talent. When you have the highest payroll in baseball with players like Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and DJ LeMahieu available, it is hard not to have prolonged sustainable success.

Unfortunately, the Yankees are facing one of the bigger challenges over the past few years, inconsistencies. The Yankees have recently relied on their hitting to supplement their pitching, but now it has become the exact opposite, despite minimal changes in the batting order.

There is no question Marte would add a bit more spark to the infield, which would allow LeMahieu to play first base and Marte to fill in a second. Alternatively, he could play at shortstop, shifting Torres back to his natural position.

Depending on his price tag, this might be a solid move considering he’s also a switch hitter. Marte is currently on a five-year, $24 million deal, with club options in 2023 and 2024. He’s earning just $6 million this season, a respectable number for a player who could offer the Yankees essential value at the midway point in the campaign.