New York Yankees: Fans are angry as Yankees sit idly by, ignoring the free agent market

yankees, corey seager

New York Yankee fans are confused, frustrated, and even angry as one after another target or player of interest drops off the market, being scooped up by other teams, even teams within the Yankees’ division.

Most of the confusion arises from the Yankees’ near pledge to improve the team for 2022 by spending big and acquiring players to return the team to championship contention. But instead, what fans have gotten is a front office that has been surprisingly quiet, if not completely dormant, as other teams are picking up quality players with amazing speed.

Just yesterday, two huge free agency monikers dropped off the market, with the big prize, Max Scherzer, going to the crosstown New York Mets and Corey Seager going to the Texas Rangers. Although Scherzer was more of a wish for the Yankees, they were never really in on him due to the projected cost. However, no one would have ever dreamed that he would be signed for $43 million a year, making him the highest-priced starting pitcher in MLB history. The big slap in the face is that he went to the Mets.

At this point, there is no question that the Mets are making moves to bring them to at least an NL East division win, and maybe going to their first World Series since 2015, in which they lost to the Kansas City Royals one game to four. The New York Yankees have not appeared in a World Series game since they won in 2009.

The Yankees were seriously looking at Starling Marte to bolster their center field presence, but that fell through when the Mets scooped him up last week with a four-year contract for a reported $78 million. With the Mets signing Scherzer, they have already spent double the money the Yankees might consider spending. If that isn’t a statement, I don’t know what is.

The other big name off the market yesterday was shortstop Corey Seager, who went to the Texas Rangers for a reported $325 million for 10 years. Not only is he no longer available to the Yankees, but that contract sets the bar for the only other huge name on the shortstop market, Carlos Correa, who presently remains unsigned. With that likely cost, the Yankees will not be contending for him.

Another big name now off the Yankees’ radar is former Blue Jays’ co-ace Robbie Ray, who went to the  Seattle Mariners for three years at $115 million. In return, the Blue Jays signed another Yankee pitcher of interest, Kevin Gausman, to a 5-year deal worth $110 million. What may be surprising to Yankee fans, as well as the front office, who’re watching other teams spend insane amounts of money.

Whether you believe the Yankees are being cheap, or Hal Steinbrenner won’t let loose of the purse, you can’t blame the Yankees for not signing any long-term, big-money contracts like the ones that seem to dominate the free agency market. After all, the Yankees are mulling a contract extension for star Aaron Judge that will be costly, and already have two monster contracts to pay to ace Gerrit Cole and the remaining huge contract for Giancarlo Stanton. Most of these contracts are being signed by teams that couldn’t contend last season, and don’t already have huge contracts on their rosters.

Although there may be some action today, and before the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires tomorrow night, it looks like general manager Brian Cashman will have to work his magic, like he did with DJ LeMahieu, as only some crumbs are going to be left over.

New York Yankees FA target, Kevin Gausman, accepts Giants’ qualifying offer

Kevin Gausman, New York Yankees

One of the New York Yankees targets in the free agent pitching market is off the board. First reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Kevin Gausman has decided to accept the qualifying offer from the San Francisco Giants.

Gausman’s decision comes on the heels of Marcus Stroman also accepting his qualifying offer from the New York Mets. With those two decisions, two potential targets for the Yankees are off the board.

There was no word on the potential interest in terms of the Yankees and Marcus Stroman. However, there were some rumors that the Yankees were intrigued and interested in Gausman who had a fantastic year for the Giants.

Gausman was a pitcher that the Yankees were also interested in back at the August trade deadline. However, a deal never materialized and Gausman stayed with the Giants. It was reported that Gausman had multiple year deals on the table.

However, in the end, the Giants starting pitcher decided it would be best to stick with San Francisco for another year. Perhaps hoping there will be more money in the FA market after a somewhat normal 2021 MLB season.

Yankees Options From Here

Gausman was definitely someone that the Yankees were interested in for the back end of the rotation. Of course, the Yankees are also talking and thinking about bringing back Masahiro Tanaka on a short-term deal.

Tanaka has only been with the Yankees since he made the jump to the majors seven years ago. In addition to the interest in Tanaka, the bombers are said to be interested in potentially bringing in Charlie Morton on a one or two year deal.

Despite Stroman and Gausman being taken off the board, there are still options for the Yankees. The top prize is Trevor Bauer, however, early reports seem to indidicate that the Yankees won’t spend the money required to get a guy like Bauer.

Expect the Yankees to look at a couple of pitchers to fill out their rotation. It was reported today that bringing back Tanaka wouldn’t take the bombers out of the running for a guy like Charlie Morton. It’ll all come down to the dollars at the end of the day.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Trevor Bauer rejects QO, will the Yankees target him?

trevor bauer, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees failed again with another losing postseason. During this long and cold offseason, the Yankees will have many decisions to improve the team in hopes of a 28th World Championship. But that being said, there is a huge cloud hanging over the offseason. That cloud includes the fact that the Yankees lost more money this past coronavirus season than any other team, an amount that approaches $700 million, considering no revenue from fans in the stands, no concession revenue, security, upkeep of Yankee Stadium, and both staff and player payrolls.

The other cloud rolling in is that there is no clear path to a normal season in 2021. The coronavirus is roaring through the country with no end in sight. That is producing an unclear picture of what the 2021 baseball season will look like and whether fans will finally be allowed in the stands of baseball parks; thus, all teams face an upcoming season with revenues doubtful. The New York Yankees will look to keep their player payroll below the $210 million luxury tax mark.

With all of that in mind, the Yankees do have holes to fill, particularly in their pitching starting rotation. By only offering DJ LeMahieu a qualifying offer, they have effectively taken over $70 million off their payroll. That includes the end of the Jacoby Ellsbury contract. The Yankees will have money to spend and still stay under the luxury tax benchmark. But, you can be sure that the Yankees will use it creatively to improve the team. That creativity will not include Trevor Bauer who has just refused his qualifying offer from the Cincinnati Reds.

There is no question that Trevor Bauer will be the best pitcher in free agency this offseason. After all, he is coming off a stellar season and is a finalist for the NL Cy Young Award. In eleven starts, he had two complete games, averaged near seven innings a game, all with an ERA of 1.73. No problems there, but the Yankees don’t need to spend on another ace unnecessarily. They already have one in Cole. What they do need is a premium type 3rd in the rotation pitcher. Bauer will be looking for a big dollar contract that the Yankees won’t be willing to hand him.

Don’t worry about Bauer; he will do fine as several teams will be interested in him, including the New York Mets. The Yankees have co-ace Luis Severino rejoining the team sometime before the All-Star break. They will have a season that most likely will include a returning Domingo German, who is off suspension, and was the Yankees best pitcher in 2019. Most project that they will also take back Masahiro Tanaka, but at a discounted short contract.

With all of those pitchers, a newly acquired mid-rotation guy, like a Kevin Gausman or Charlie Morton, and all the young bevy of arms, including Deivi Garcia, the Yankees could end up with the best starting pitching rotation in baseball without spending big for Trevor Bauer.

The New York Yankees have plenty of other issues to spend on, include several arbitration-eligible players headlined by Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, that will all need raises.  With their excellent 2020 play, Clint Frazier and Luke Voit will receive the largest raises.

The Yankees also need to address their infield needs. Specifically, do they pick up a shortstop for the struggling Gleybor Torres? Do they get a real catcher or go with Sanchez or Higashioka. The Yankees have much to do but don’t look to them to spend big on anything. Most likely the Yankees will make a spending priority on keeping DJ LeMahieu in pinstripes.



New York Yankees News/Rumors: Yankees outright Kahnle, why is the stove so hot? All the news in one place

Kevin Gausman, New York Yankees

Tommy Kahnle and the New York Yankees may be parting ways

The New York Yankees have outrighted Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle has been with the Yankees for four years; during that time, he has been one of the better Yankee relievers, going 6-3 with an ERA of 4.01. Last season he pitched in only one game before undergoing Tommy John surgery in August. Under most circumstances, that would mean that Kahnle would miss most if not all of the 2021 season. The Yankees decided to offer him an assignment to the minor leagues. Kahnle refused and opted for free agency.

This action does not preclude him from being in pinstripes again, but it does allow him to test the free-agent market for his services. What interest he draws is yet to be seen, as he won’t be available to pitch in the 2021 season. Any team that wants him will be looking for his help in 2022. With so little funds available to teams, it will be interesting to see how giving teams will be in acquiring free agents. He is free to talk to any team with his free agency, including the New York Yankees, should they decide to negotiate with him. We may not have seen the last of Tommy at Yankee Stadium.

Why is the stove so hot?

That’s an odd question for a baseball discussion, but that’s really what it is, a baseball discussion. For the last hundred years or so, the baseball offseason has been called the “hot stove.” According to the year, that stove can run hot or cool according to how much there is to discuss. After a season with no fans in the stands, the MLB teams don’t have a lot of money to spend to better their teams, and that includes the New York Yankees, which would lead you to believe that this season the stove will run cold.

Not so, with so many free agents on the market, sportswriters like myself and fans alike will have much bologna to throw around. And most of it will be bologna, as predicting what teams will do this early in the postseason is like predicting the first snowfall. But the question remains, why is this period called the “hot stove?” Back before the turn of the century when there was no television or internet, fans of all sports would meet on weekends at their local post office or general store and gather by the wood or cold fired pot belly stove to discuss the sports news of the day, thus the “hot stove.”  This offseason, the stove is sure to run hot.

Bauer, Kluber, Gausman, or somebody else?

No matter how you try to configure the New York Yankees pitching rotation, the bottom line is they need help. That help should come from a group of premium pitching free agents. And there are many available, but probably only a few that the Yankees will target. Trevor Bauer would be the logical choice as he is the best in the free-agent market, but he may be too good for the Yankee budget.

There has been a lot of talk this week about the Yankees targeting Corey Kluber or Kevin Gausman. Kluber is coming off two injury-riddled seasons but is healthy now. Kluber, the 34-year-old righty starter, went 4-3 with an ERA of 3.97 with the Cleveland Indians before signing a contract with the Texas Rangers. The Rangers failed to exercise his 2021 option for $18 million. He broke his arm, had an oblique injury, and appeared in only one game for the Rangers, resulting in a shoulder strain that kept him off the mound for the entire season. If the Yankees go after Kluber is will only be for a low-cost, prove-it type contract.

Kevin Gausman is a different story. Gusman had a fine year with the San Francisco Giants. Gausman is a veteran righty who went 3-3 with an ERA of 3.62 in 10 starts; he also pitched out of the bullpen. Of the three pitchers mentioned, Gausman will be the economy pick. He is a solid pitcher but could hardly be called a premium pitcher. If the New York Yankees decide to go after him, it will cost them something in the $8-10 million range.

Is the Yankee pitching situation really dire?

The New York Yankees pitching situation is a hot topic this offseason. The Yankees lost Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ to free agency. Although many sportswriters predict that the Yankees will resign Tanaka at a discount, they will still be short pitchers.  With Cole, Tanaka, and Mongomery, they will have to fill two slots. One of them will be filled by Luis Severino, who will most likely take the second place behind Cole.

No decision has been made on the off suspension Domingo German. They did install him back onto the 40 man roster, but owner Hal Steinbrenner has said that he will have to prove that he is a changed man in order to join the pitching staff. The big question is, how will Severino and German pitch after not pitching for over a year? If they both pitch well, the Yankees are actually in great shape in the future. But are the Yankees willing to take that chance, or will they try to add a premium arm to the rotation?

The DJ LeMahieu complicated and tangled web

All New York Yankees fans know that the Yankees need to keep DJ LeMahieu on the payroll. The Yankees know they want him on the team as well, but at what cost. DJ has been everything the Yankees could have wanted and more. Considering his stats and awards the Yankees stole him from the Colorado Rockies. He signed a two year $24 million contract and now he is a free agent.

As a free agent in this no money postseason, LeMahieu will nevertheless want a big raise. Most believe that will, be in the $20 million a year range and for no less than four years. If he wants much more than that, it is very possible the Yankees will let him walk. If he does walk that will allow the Yankees to solve one problem by moving Gleyber Torres to second base, his natural position, but they would lose a shortstop. This could lead them to take another look at the Indians star, Francisco Lindor, one of the best shortstops in the business. He would likely want a shorter contract, but at the same money LeMahieu would ask for. The Yankees really have a tangled web of decisions to make.


New York Yankees targeting starting San Francisco Giants pitcher in trade deal

Kevin Gausman, New York Yankees

With the trade deadline nearing at 4 PM, the New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are silently making calls and checking up on different players who could be of value. While they missed out on starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, due to an absorbent price tag, they have targeted San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman as a potential option.

What would Gausman bring to the New York Yankees?

The San Francisco starter has had a tumultuous start the 2020 season, driving down his stock and potentially making him a cheaper target for the Yankees. He currently has a 4.54 ERA with a 1-2 record. Over 35.2 innings pitched, he’s allowed 37 hits, six homers, and eight walks. However, he has a solid 48 strikeouts. He’s been a decent pitcher over the past few years, posting a lofty 5.72 ERA in 2019 with the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds.

Ultimately, with James Paxton being placed on the injured list with a forearm flexor strain, adding a starter to the rotation would be beneficial. However, the past few days have been decent for the rotation, with Deivi García posting six scoreless innings against the Mets in the second game of the doubleheader on Sunday.

Jordan Montgomery also had a decent outing, and Michael King pitched well over the weekend, despite leaving the bases-loaded for Brooks Kriske on Sunday. Starting pitching hasn’t been the kryptonite for the Yankees. It has been their bullpen.

Cashman checking up on Gausman is interesting, and they might be able to get him for cheaper than expected. Either way, the Yankees would have to give up prospects or some of their youth outfielders. Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier rank atop the list of potential trade pieces, but Gausman might not be worth one of those starting level players. I would prefer the Yankees to go out and find a bullpen arm that could help supplement the loss of Tommy Kahnle.

Yankees reach out to the Giants about Kevin Gausman (Report)

Kevin Gausman, New York Yankees

Another day and another pitcher is on the New York Yankees radar. Per Andy Martino, the Yankees have reached out to the San Francisco Giants about starting pitcher Kevin Gausman.

The Yankees have been very active this week reaching out to Seattle regarding Taijuan Walker and reaching out to Cleveland regarding Mike Clevenger. Gausman would be one starting pitcher that the Yankees are familiar with.

Yankees have familiarity with Gausman

The New York Yankees have a lot of familiarity with starter Kevin Gausman. Before being traded in 2018, Gausman spent the first five years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles. He has faced the Yankees on a number of occasions.

Gausman has really good stuff, and he’s shown great potential at times in his career. The problem with Gausman has been his inconsistency. Take this year as an example of Gausman’s inconsistent pitching.

So far in 2020 in six appearances, Gausman is 1-1 with a 4.65 ERA and a WHIP of 1.290. Now, he is striking out a career high 12.2 batters per nine innings. His FIP also suggests that he’s been the victim of some bad luck with his FIP coming in at 3.12.

When I mention Gausman’s inconsistency, it usually plays out in games. I’ve seen him pitch this year, and he can look like a top of the rotation arm at times. Yet, there are other innings where he leaves a lot of pitches just begging to be hit a long way.

If he can hone in on his strengths, I believe that he could really be a game changer for the Yankees. I’m also loving the velocity I’m seeing out of Gausman. In his last start that I noticed his fastball was touching 97 on the gun.

The Yankees are needing another pitcher for the stretch run. I think that Matt Blake could be the guy to assist with unlocking a more consistent Kevin Gausman. A winning team probably wouldn’t hurt either. Gausman will be a free agent after this season and shouldn’t cost a ton, but given teams’ need for pitching, you never know.


New York Mets’ Free Agent Profile Kevin Gausman

New York Mets, Kevin Gausman

The New York Mets are in need of both bullpen and rotation help. Luck for them free agent pitcher Kevin Gausman can fill either spot.

With Zack Wheeler leaving for the Phillies and the bullpen being the mess it is the New York Mets need a lot of pitching help. They need a fifth starter who doesn’t remind fans of Jason Vargas and they need any bullpen help they can get. Kevin Gausman can fill either role for the Mets.

Gausman started his career with the Baltimore Orioles. He made his major league debut in 2013 as a long man. He made 20 appearances and fives starts. Gausman didn’t adapt to the role well. He struggled mightily in his rookie year.

In 2014 he was moved into the rotation full time. Gausman excelled in 2014 with a 3.57 ERA and 3.42 FIP. Gausman looked like he was ready to take the MLB by storm as one of the games best young pitchers. That never happened though.

Gausman has been up and down his whole career. Over his first five seasons, Gausman had a 4.18 ERA and 4.08 FIP. He was a decent back-end starter but nothing more than that. He continued that trend in 2018 with the Orioles, but at the deadline, the Braves made a move to get Gausman.

Gausman pitched some of the best baseball he has in his career. He made 10 starts with the Braves and pitched to a 2.87 ERA and 3.78 FIP. It looked like leaving Baltimore got him going. Then 2019 ad the juiced ball came.

Gausman was a victim of one of the worst ERA and FIP differences in all of baseball in 2019. Gausman started the year as a starter with the Braves. He made 16 starts and had a horrendous 6.19 ERA, but his FIP was 4.20. That seems to indicate Gausman was still the same back-end of the rotation starter he’s been most of his career.

That wasn’t enough for the Braves though. They designated Gausman for assignment in August. The Reds claimed Gausman and immediately stuck the mercurial starter in the bullpen. Gausman’s found a groove in the Reds’ bullpen.

Gausman had a 3.10 ERA as a reliever. He struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings ad only walked 2.7 batters per nine. Both of those numbers were career bests for Gausman. He found new life as a reliever and pitched as well as he’s ever pitched. The only issue is that this is an incredibly small sample size.

The Reds non-tendered Gausman after the season deciding that he wasn’t worth the over $10 he was going to get in arbitration.

Whether the Mets want to try Gausman as a starter or stick him the bullpen long term Gausman seems an ideal fit. He’ll likely come on a cheap one-year deal and help this team out in multiple ways. There may not be a better fit for the Mets to gamble on this year than Kevin Gausman.