Why Should New York Yankees Fans Treat A-Rod Better?

There’s a growing trend among New York Yankees fans. The trend is Alex Rodriguez deserves better treatment after the “years of mistreatment” from fans when he was a player.

I’m sorry, are we forgetting just HOW his last few years as a Yankee unfolded?

Remember how he sued the Yankees?

After getting caught in the Biogenesis scandal, A-Rod was facing a 162-211 game suspension for his involvement. During the appeal of MLB’s initial ruling, A-Rod sued the New York Yankees team doctor, and team hospital (New York Presbyterian) for misdiagnosing the hip injury that resulted in him missing most of the 2013 season. Part of the suit alleges:

Defendants, after performing, understanding and analyzing the MRI, had diagnosed Plantiff as suffering from a superior labral tear at the left hip; and without informing the plaintiff of the diagnosis, knowingly cleared the Plaintiff to resume playing as a third baseman for the New York Yankees during the [2012] season playoffs, thus allowing the Plaintiff to further injure himself and the necessity for additional surgeries.

Now, while the Yankees as an organization weren’t specifically named, A-Rod is trying to throw someone who looks after the ENTIRE TEAM under the bus. I mean, this is the guy who ultimately brought Mariano Rivera AND Derek Jeter back for their final seasons. Why would the Yankees keep someone around who didn’t have the best interest of every member of the team in their best interest, including Alex Rodriguez?

A-Rod was like Gerrit Cole

A-Rod wasn’t brought to New York to win more MVP’s than championship’s, he was brought them to bring more championships to the 96-00 totals. And he only brought in 1 extra championship. He was touted as someone who would win the team multiple championships. But when it came down to winning those championship’s, A-Rod was nowhere to be found. As a Mariner, A-Rod was 18-53, good for a .339 postseason average.

As a Yankee, A-Rod had only 3 series out of 14 playoff appearances with a batting average of .270 and lower. The man finished with a career postseason batting average of .259, and 41 RBI’s, over the span of 19 postseasons series/appearances (his last postseason appearance was the 2015 Wild Card game going 0-4). Specifically as a Yankee, though, he went 54-205, good for a .263 batting average as a Yankee. This isn’t the stuff that brings home the gold.

Is Gerrit Cole doomed to A-Rod’s fate?

If Cole win’s a couple Cy Young’s, and an MVP, it’s not why he was brought to the Yankees. He’s bringing brought to New York to win multiple World Series championships. So, unless Cole decides “The pressure is too much, I need to take steroids,” like Alex did multiple times, Cole is doomed to be treated just as harshly as A-Rod was. But can you really blame Yankee fans? We were promised something from A-Rod, and he failed to deliver. We’re promised the same thing from Gerrit.

And before you start with “Oh, baseball’s a team sport! It’s about the contributions from all 9 (in the American League it’s 10 with the DH) guys on the field!” stop and think about this:

A-Rod has a career 117.8 WAR, with a .295 career batting average in the regular season, as well as over 3,000 hits, at over 660 home runs. Derek Jeter had a WAR of 72.4, with a career .310 regular-season batting average, with 260 career home runs, and finishing in the top 10 of hits for his career. I’ve posted A-Rod’s postseason stats. Jeter’s were .308 with more home runs and more RBI’s in the postseason than A-Rod’s. By EVERY metric, Jeter shouldn’t be outperforming A-Rod in the postseason. They were both paid to slow the game down and win when it mattered most. But A-Rod, when the lights shone brightest, couldn’t do it, and Jeter could. Why should we treat A-Rod better than we treat Jeter when Jeter actually got the job done?

A 10 Part Breakdown the Yankees Depth. Part 8: Corner Outfield

The New York Yankees are blessed with their corner outfield positions. If only the Yankees had the same kind of depth at center field. Lets take a look at their corner outfielders:

Largely Interchangeable Parts

Giancarlo Stanton, as I’ve written before, is a more than serviceable outfielder who was moved from right field to left. Should Aaron Judge go down for an extended period of time, which he could (look at his injury history), you can just as easily slide Stanton back over to his natural position if you need him to play that outfield.

Aaron Judge is more than capable of putting up MVP caliber seasons. He probably would’ve won the MVP in 2017, and there are those who are saying he should after the discovery of the Astros cheating scandal. If you were to stick Judge and Mike Trout in the outfield together… wow. Those are two fantastic outfielders who can RAKE! Judge is really the only outfielder who can’t be moved as he’s exclusively been a right fielder his major league career.

Mike Tauchman is the team’s obvious 4th outfielder. He’s played everywhere, with his most experience coming in the corner outfield positions. But, if his offensive capabilities during the season show what he’s capable of as an everyday player, he could become a central piece of the outfield for the next 5-10 years.

Tyler Wade, while predominantly an infielder, but does have experience as an outfielder. Should two of our corner outfielders go down (Stanton and Judge are pretty injury prone so it’s not out of the question), we can stick Wade in either corner outfield spot to help plug the leak until they come back. Because, our 5th option, isn’t exactly the best.

We could stick Clint Frazier out there as a worst case scenario, but you got to be very careful. His defense is just that bad. I mean… look at the fact that the guy was taken out for defense IN MAY last year. That’s how much confidence they have in Frazier as an outfielder.

The corner outfield isn’t nearly as dire as center field or shortstop, but the health of some injury prone players will play a big part in the 2020 New York Yankees.

The New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury Saga Begins

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury

As I’ve reported, the New York Yankees separation from Jacoby Ellsbury was going to get ugly. Well, like the NFLPA represents all of it’s players, the MLBPA is doing the same. The MLBPA officially filed a grievance against the Yankees grievance in an attempt to recoup the money the Yankees are trying to withhold from Ellsbury.

So What Happened Again?

The Yankees argued that Ellsbury received unauthorized treatment from Dr. Viktor Bouquette. We all know that Ellsbury has been besieged by continuous physical setbacks, so he tried alternative avenues.

Bouquette and Ellsbury are arguing that when the Yankees inquired about Ellsbury receiving treatments, that the Yankees never said outright that Ellsbury needed to stop receiving treatments. That and the treatments were for nonbaseball related injuries. The Yankees are arguing that they did say Ellsbury needed to stop and that it was for injuries he sustained related to baseball, which would justify terminating his contract for breach.

What the MLBPA is Doing.

The MLBPA is looking to get Ellsbury back more than the near $50 million that was on Ellsbury’s contract when the Yankees cut him. Unless the Yankees decide to settle the grievance filed by the MLBPA, the case will be heard by arbitrator Mark Irvings, who will be hearing a grievance filed by Kris Bryant against the Chicago Cubs.

If the Yankees are successful and win this case, the $21 million that they would be paying Jacoby Ellsbury would be wiped off the books, which would bring them back into the second tier of the luxury tax. Considering all the financial manipulation the Yankees are engaging in NOW, even after signing Gerrit Cole, they would obviously love wiping out Ellsbury’s contract from their books for next season. It would allow them the flexibility to, let’s say… sign Dellin Betances to a 1 year, $10 million deal (which is what he’s looking for).

I think the Yankees need to just bit a bullet here and look to settle. They’re going to have to pay Ellsbury something. He’s a client of Scott Boras, the guy who represents their new ace. This is so he said, he said, that it’s going to be impossible to prove that Ellsbury violated his contract.

Didi’s Shots at Cashman Show Where the Yankees Priorities Have Been for Years

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

It seems like the Philadelphia Phillies are becoming the place where New York Yankees of the 2010’s reunite. Joe Girardi, Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson (recovering from Tommy John surgery), and Didi Gregorius. But it’s what Didi said about Brian Cashman that has Yankees fans in a tither. However, simply reinforces where the Yankees have been the last 5-8 years.

The Yankees Still Worry About the Luxury Tax

I’ve talked about how the Yankees were going to be a stronger team resigning Didi. But justifying resigning Didi was complicated. Didi did have a bad season, but you could just as easily chalk up his poor performance to his recovery from Tommy John. His struggles in August and September can be attributed to a usual mid season slump (his season didn’t start till June, remember?).

But resigning Didi was going to push them even closer to passing that third tier of the luxury tax. Resigning Brett Gardner, on top of signing Gerrit Cole to his contract (a necessity) are bringing the Yankees precariously close to crossing the $248 million third tier, forcing them to pay an extra 42.5% on every dollar spent on salary passed $248 million. The Yankees are doing everything that they can to avoid this. And resigning Didi was going to be more than $10 million, which unquestionably would have set them over the top.

So The Yankees Are Making Moves That Make Sense… for Them

I’ve written about how the Yankees are a better team keeping Gleyber at second, numerous times.I argue that the best thing they could have done was resign Didi, to keep their double play team together. But they didn’t want to spend the $10 plus on a deal for Didi that wasn’t the $17 million qualifying offer. It was also another way for them to save one of their draft picks.

They’re also now trying to move Happ to “soften the blow” of Cole’s contract. Not to toot my own horn, but this goes back to the Yankees offering the big contracts to the wrong players. That $17 million/year, 3 year deal was money you COULD have given Didi and Cole.

Hopefully this is the final year the New York Yankees make crazy decisions based on the luxury tax. Here’s hoping the CBA moves the threshold up even higher than it is.

A Ten Part Breakdown of the New York Yankees Depth. Part 7: DH

New York Yankees, Larry Rothschild

The New York Yankees are STACKED at the DH position. Pretty much everyone on the team can be the starting DH for the entirety of the 2020 season. So let’s see who makes the most sense:

Giancarlo Stanton AKA The OBVIOUS Choice

People underestimate the fact that Stanton is a competent outfielder. Is he Mike Trout defensively? No. But he’s just above league average as an outfielder, and we know what he’s capable of as a hitter. As a left fielder, he’s weaker looking at the defensive metrics. But he’s still a better defender in left field than Miguel Andujar is (currently) at third.

Stanton’s biggest bugaboo is his health and his strikeouts. When you look at Stanton’s career, he has exceptional seasons after a bad, injury prone season. So while it makes sense for him to be the DH, I force him being the left fielder more regularly.

Miguel Andujar AKA The SMART Choice

You can’t call Andujar a bad hitter. Andujar’s oWAR is 4.6 compared to the 2.2 WAR he posted in 2018. 97 strikeouts, 170 hits, 47 doubles, 92 RBI’s, 25 walks, and he hit into only 9 double plays. Someone who can sub in the field, will undoubtedly learn a new position to help create greater fielding depth for the team as a whole. Plus, he’d help balance out just how much our core of the lineup will ultimately strike out over the course of next season.

The Machine

DJ LeMahieu would be a fabulous DH on more occasions than one. The DH is a point of free offense in the lineup. Why wouldn’t you want a dude with a career .302 batting average be your everyday DH? He gets hits, and he sprays his hits all over the place. With his average of 30 doubles a season, he’d make an excellent DH.

Our First Basemen

Luke Voit and Mike Ford are possibly more prototypical DH’s. They’re bulky, they drive the ball, and most DH’s are relegated to playing first base when playing interleauge games.

So, there you have it. There are 5 more than capable men on the team who can be our regular DH. And that’s not even all the players we have who could be DH’s.

The New York Yankees Aren’t Worried About Their Left Handed Hitters, So Why Are Their Fans?

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

If Brian Cashman made decisions about the New York Yankees based on fan’s social media imprint, the team would be focused on 3 things right now. First is resigning Dellin Betances and signing Martin Maldonado. The New York Yankees are trying to move JA Happ to make room for Gerrit Cole’s contract. Betances would be expecting more than the $7.1 million he made last year, and Maldonado’s agent will be getting him more than $5 million, bringing the combined salary total to over $12 million. Plus, the team is all in on Kyle Higashioka, so neither is going to happen (while I think letting Betances walk is a mistake).

The last is signing/trading for left-handed hitters. The team is not worried about it, why are the fans?

The Yankees Don’t Need Left Handed Hitters

When I was in little league, I was a pure lefty. With the Yankees projected lineup for next year, we’ll be just fine with just Gardner in the lineup. Torres, DJ, Stanton, Judge, and Luke Voit all have the regular capability of going deep to the right field. Also, it’s only 314 to the left field. It’s the same distance to the right. So we have 6 guys in the lineup with the capability of going deep to right field. 5 of them are right-handed hitters.

Where Would We Play Them?

Kyle Shwarber is a left fielder/first baseman who’s a defensive liability. Voit and Stanton are better defensively than Shwarber, so where would you play him? Josh Bell is the first baseman. You got Voit, DJ, and Ford at first. Why would you trade for Bell? Yankees fans want to sign Jason Kipnis. He’s a second baseman/outfielder. He’s not going to play over DJ, Gardy, Judge or Stanton. So why waste money on him?

We Gotta Be Smarter Than This

Getting left-handed bats just for the sake of having left-handed bats means you have to sacrifice. It will mean giving up all our best prospects in January for someone who can bust as a Yankee before spring training starts. Yes, we haven’t won since 2009, but our team as constructed can win 5 championships in the next 7 years. Don’t screw it up because you’re scared there aren’t too many lefties in the lineup. Just calm down everyone. Pitchers and catchers haven’t even reported yet.

Is Josh Hader Even Viable for the New York Yankees?

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

Rumors are running rampant about whether the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers will finalize a deal for the Yankees to acquire left handed relief pitcher Josh Hader. The deal makes some sense, as the Yankees seem to think that they need to bolster their already strong bullpen with a lefty to compliment Zack Britton. But does it truly work?

Hader’s Stats and the Brewer’s Needs

Hader has put on a strong showing in his 3 years pitching pro ball. But how much more time does he have before he’s completely found out as a relief pitcher? His ERA has been steadily climbing each of the last 3 seasons, his hits allowed are rising, he gave up 15 home runs last season, walked 20, and allowed 22 ER. Did I mention that this guy is the Brewer’s closer? It’s a completely different animal coming in during the 6th inning than the 9th. Even with Chapman’s inconsistencies in October, you’re not trading Hader for his skill set late in games. (baseball-reference.com)

The New York Yankees have players the Brewer’s need. Frazier isn’t needed on the Yankees, and with Yellich’s injury last season, and Braun’s age, the Brewer’s can utilize Clint Frazier brilliantly. I think giving up Miguel Andujar now would be a mistake, as he can be used for a later season trade for someone like Corey Kluber. But after losing Mike Moustakas to rival Cincinnati, getting help at third is something the Brewers would need. Not to mention Tyler Wade/Thairo Estrada can be used to sweeten the deal. But no doubt questions will be asked about Chance Adams, Devi Garcia, or any number of other pitching prospects we have. 

Yes… this is the package the Yankees will need to put together for a 26 year old reliever who’s letting the league catch up to him.

Is It Worth It?

Remember all the racist, homophobic and sexist tweets from Hader’s youth we discovered in 2018? Why pursue someone with that kind of baggage when we could just simply, say, offer Dellin Betances a one year contract to bolster the bullpen? And the package of prospects that the Brewer’s will be demanding, on top of Hader’s seemingly obvious decline, it doesn’t seem worth it now before pitchers and catchers even report. This should be a January deal, at the utmost earliest, if it gets done at all.

The New York Yankees May Not Be Done Shopping For Pitchers

New York Mets pursuing Dellin Betances.

A lot of what I’ve been saying in my writing “The New York Yankees should do this”, is starting to come true. I told them they need to forget about the luxury tax and buy a starting pitcher, they did just that and got Cole. I told them they should try shopping JA Happ, they’re doing that now. I told them they need to sign Brett Gardner, they do that. So when I saw this rumor on Twitter, and it was corroborated by our own Alexander Wilson, I thought “Let’s see if they keep listening”.

This Would Be THE BEST Rotation In Baseball

Through the grapevine, the New York Yankees are looking to acquire one more arm, who would automatically move Sevy, Paxton, and Tanka to the 3, 4, and 5 spots in the rotation respectively. That arm is a three-time World Series champion this decade. And that is the left arm of Madison Bumgarner.

Now I know a lot of you are saying “He’s too old,” “he’s on the decline”, so just hold up. The guy is turning 30 next season, pitched over 200 innings, had a sub 4 ERA on a TERRIBLE Giants team, struck out over 200, and is on the comeback from back to back injury-shortened years by making all 34 starts he was scheduled to make for the Giants.

Yes, he gave up 30 home runs. And I already talked about how Cole will have to adjust to bring his fly-ball rate and home run totals down as well. But how could you not salivate at the prospect of your front 5 being Cole, MadBum, Sevy, Big Maple, and Masahiro Tanaka?! This would be baseball’s best starting rotation.

Why It Won’t Happen

It seems to be common knowledge that MadBum has no intention of leaving the national league. We all know the dude loves to hit, and that would be taken away from him pitching in the Bronx. And considering the success he has seen on the west coast, it seems more than likely that he’ll sign with the Dodgers.

Why It Could Happen

Bringing Andy Pettitte to talk to Cole did a lot to help persuade him to sign. MadBum is from North Carolina, recently retained Brett Gardner is from South Carolina. I think you all see where I’m going with this.