Could the Yankees make a blockbuster trade for Blake Snell?

New York Yankees, Blake Snell

The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman always manage to surprise fans with big moves, but this off-season could be different for a team that often leads the MLB in salary expenditures. With Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, and potentially DJ LeMahieu on massive contracts, the Yankees won’t have as much financial flexibility as they have in the past. These long-term deals have severely limited their ability to spend on other positions, notably starting pitching.

However, acquiring a player who won’t cost much in a trade would be a good move for the Bombers, who are looking to win a World Series now and not wait until Aaron Judge hits free agency. A trade for a productive player with a low-cost per-year would be a perfect scenario, but the Yankees don’t wanna give away some of their more promising young talents.

Nonetheless, rising players are sometimes utilized as sacrifices to bolster a team that has World Series aspirations, and the Yankees can afford to do that right now if they want to compete in 2021.

Who would be a good fit for the New York Yankees?

One fantastic player is Blake Snell, who had a dominant 2020 season with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have already indicated they are willing to trade Snell for the right price, and the Yankees have plenty of talent to spare if they want to go that route. Snell isn’t just a premium starter, but he is one of the best in the MLB, posting a 3.24 ERA this past season in over 50 innings pitched. He earned a career-high 49.2% ground ball rate (perfect for Yankee Stadium) and 11.34 strikeouts per nine. As for his pitches (he’s a lefty, another BONUS!), he utilized his slider more than ever before, seeing a decrease in his curveball and consistency with his changeup and fastball.

It seems as if Snell has found more success utilizing his slider, about 10% more in 2020 compared to 2019. This translated to better numbers across-the-board, and his pitch velocity has hovered at a consistent range.

The Yankees would have to give up some quality players and exchange for Blake, though. If I were Cashman, I would gauge interest in potentially including Deivi Garcia, Miguel Andujar, and another prospect for Snell, who would immediately make the Yankees’ starting rotation one of the best in baseball. García showed some solid stuff in 2020, but he is still a few years away from being considered a top-flight pitcher if he ever reaches that level. The Yankees can acquire an ace right now, who is only earning $10 million per season, fitting perfectly into their cash flow situation.

The Rays might be unwilling to deal with the Yankees based on their competitive nature in the AL East, but if they are willing to part ways with Snell for some quality prospects and starting level talent, the Yankees shouldn’t hesitate to make an offer.

MLB News: The Ray’s Glasnow allows six runs in Dodgers win in Game 1 (videos)

Tyler Glasnow won over the New York Yankees, but the Los Angles Dodgers took him for six runs in Game 1 of the MLB 2020 World Series. On a beautiflul night in Arlington, Texas the Tampa Bay Rays and the Dodgers took to the field to play the first game of the seven game Fall Classic. The first three innings of the game were uneventful and both pitchers put down their opponents.

Tyler Glasnow first faced trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning. With Muncy on base, Cody Bellinger hit a homer to right center, scoring Muncy for the Los Angeles lead. The Tampa Bay Rays got a run back when Kevin Kiermaier homered to right field in the top of fifth inning.

The bottom of the fifth was a nightmare for Glasnow and the Rays, as the game got out of reach. Glasnow allowed four Dodger runs in the fifth inning, and Ray’s reliever Yarbourgh couldn’t prevent two more runs, left on base by Glasnow from scoring. Meanwhile, the Dodger’s starter Clayton Kershaw sat for nearly 30 minutes. But that didn’t stop him as he pitched a scoreless top of the sixth inning.

Mookie Betts waited until the bottom of the frame to hit his first home run of the postseason, a long one to left field. Fleming in for Yarborough, struggled as he allowed two balls to the wall for the Dodgers 8-1 lead. Devin Floro took over for Kershaw in the seventh inning. Ji-Man Choi, with two on, pitch hit for the Rays causing a pitching change as the Dodgers went to Victor Gonzalez as Rays countered with Mike Brosseau, the ALDS hero. Brosseau singled, allowing another Rays run for the Dodgers 8-2 lead. Kiermaier, who got the home run against Kershaw, singled, driving in another Ray’s tun. Gonzalez got out of the inning with a comebacker double play, Dodgers 8 Tampa Bay 3. Clayton Kershaw got the win and Tyler Glasnow the loss.

Tampa Bay didn’t seem to have it altogether like they did in the ALCS. The Los Angeles Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw showed off for the Dodgers being dominant, allowing only two  hits and one earned run. Previously he had to deal with near-constant criticism about his postseason track record, he delivered six innings of one-run ball. He struck out eight batters and allowed two hits and a walk wiping away any criticism of his performance. Meanwhile Tyler Glasnow struggled throwing 112 pitches before the fifth inning. That the most pitches thrown in so few innings in postseason history, since they were tracked in 1988.

Mookie Betts did it all in the game, he scored two runs one from his homer in the sixth innings. He became the first player in World Series history with 2+ steals, a homer, and 2+ runs in a single game! But the real hero of the game was Cody Bellinger. He homered and made a fantastic over the wall catch to prevent an Austin Meadows home run.

The best of seven MLB series will continue tonight in Arlington at Globe Life Field at 8:08 pm. Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers will face Blake Snell of the Ray. Both teams will then have a day off on Thursday as they revert back to the Rays having home field advantage for the next three games at the same Globe Life Park. A game six and seven if needed will be on Monday and Tuesday of next week.  For MLB the bubble in the postseason has been very successful, not a single players has come down with the coronavirus.

MLB News: The Los Angeles Dodgers/Tampa Bay Rays World Series gets underway tonight

With the New York Yankees out of MLB and licking their wounds along with the Houston Astros, many fans are still interested in the Fall Classic. Those interested want to see close games with a series that goes the full seven games, with outstanding pitching and long ball heroes. I can’t promise you any of these things, but for sure, it will be an exciting series with two teams that are very energized.

The Tampa Bay Rays haven’t been to the World Series since 2008, and the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988. The game tonight will be almost freaky as the cameras pan around, and you see and hear the cheers, and moans of real fans in the stands, albeit limited.

Tonight’s game and all the World Series games will be at the brand new Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers, in Arlington, Texas. The game time will be 8:09 pm, and the game-time temperature will be about  80 degrees and will stay in the upper ’70s throughout the game. The skies will be clear, and a perfect night for baseball in the open Globe Life Field. The game will be broadcast on the Fox Network.

First out on the mound will be pitching ace Clayton Kershaw as the first two games, the Dodgers will be the home team. Kershaw on the year was 6-2 with an ERA of 2.16. In the postseason, he was 2-1 with an ERA of 3.32. Kershaw is a seasoned veteran in the World Series with four starts in his career and one relief appearance. Kershaw relies mainly on a slider and a low ’90s four-seam fastball with some backspin. The 32-year-old, 6′ 4″ 225 pounder has re-invented his pitching in the last two years by adding a changeup to his repertoire.

The Tampa Bay Rays will start their strike-throwing Tyler Glasnow, who has pretty much cemented his place as the Rays ace over Blake Snell. Glasnow won his Wild Card Game against the Blue Jays, beat the New York Yankees on October 6, but lost his short rest to the Yankees on the 9th even though he didn’t have an earned run. In his last outing against the Houston Astros, he lost, giving up four runs in six innings.

Glasnow’s shortcoming is that he is basically a two-pitch pitcher; he throws a high ’90s four-seamer and a mid-’80s curveball.  He rarely throws a change-up. Despite being a two-pitch pitcher, he had 91 strikeouts in the regular season and had the fourth-most strikeouts in all of the baseball’s postseason with 25K’s.

I give the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kershaw the edge in Game 1.

 

Rays’ Ji-Man Choi trolls Yankees and Astros in post-game celebration

New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Ji-Man Choi

The winner of the ALDS between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays was always going to celebrate in fashion. The bad blood between the two teams stemmed from the regular season when closer Aroldis Chapman threw a fastball at the head of Michael Brosseau.

That intensity spilled over into the postseason, where both teams went head-to-head and ultimately watched the Rays emerge victorious in game five. Brosseau hit the go-ahead homer in the final innings, ironically off Chapman.

Following the game, the Rays blasted “New York, New York,” mocking the Yankees and their usual celebration song.

Tampa’s first baseman, Ji-Man Choi, hosting a cigar, trolled both the Yankees and their future opponents the Houston Astros.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you would know that Houston was caught in the middle of a major cheating scandal.

They were found guilty of banging on garbage cans as a part of a sign-stealing scheme, which helped them win the 2017 World Series.

Choi and his teammates stomped on a recycling bin to replicate their opponent’s tactics, and hopefully what they will do to them in the ALCS. Despite the bad blood between the Yankees and Rays, I will be rooting for Tampa to beat Houston, as ever sane human should.

While Choi and the Rays stomped around and blasted “New York, New York” and “Empire State of Mind,” they won the series fair and square, and once again opened up old Yankee wounds that desperately need fixing this offseason.

Aaron Boone’s managerial decisions may have cost the New York Yankees the ALDS

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Late Friday evening, the New York Yankees dropped a decisive game five against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS to be eliminated from the postseason. Many things went wrong for the New York Yankees, but maybe most importantly was Aaron Boone. Some of his decisions may have cost the Yankees the series, going back to game two.

Game two is when Boone pulled Deivi Garcia after just one inning and put in JA Happ. The goal was to flip the Rays lineup with lefty vs. lefty matchups, but Happ isn’t dominant against lefties. Batters had a .250 average off him from the left-hand side in the regular season. Happ would give up four runs in 2.2 innings, taking the loss.

The decision to pull Garcia in game two may have cost the Yankees a win in that game, and in that case, the team wouldn’t have even needed game five.

However for the Yankees, there was a game five. In the eighth inning, Boone pinch hit Mike Ford for Kyle Higashioka, resulting in a strikeout. Ford had just a .135 average in 2020, making Boone’s decision look skeptical. They should’ve either left Higashioka, who did an incredible job behind the plate this series, or pinch-hit Clint Frazier. Frazier bats a career .260 against right-handers, and would’ve been facing one of the toughest Rays right-handers in Diego Castillo.

And finally, Boone called on Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning to try and get the final seven outs, mind you the game was tied. Chapman threw 23 pitches the night before, and was likely a bit gassed. Yet, Chapman is blamed for giving up the game-winning home run in a poorly managed game while the Yankees had just three hits. This isn’t Chapman’s fault.

Throughout the ALDS, the Yankees dealt with some inconsistent offense and poor umpiring. But ultimately, it may have been poor decisions from Aaron Boone and the Yankees that led to the team’s elimination.

Rays to pitch Glasnow in game five against New York Yankees on short rest

New York Yankees, NYY

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash announced after their game four loss that Tyler Glasnow will start the decisive game five against the New York Yankees. This comes as a bit of a shock as Glasnow pitched last on Tuesday and will be on just two days rest.

Glasnow threw 93 pitches over five innings on Tuesday, striking out 10 and picking up the win. In the regular season, Glasnow had a 5-1 record with a 4.08 ERA. The Yankees will be starting their ace, Gerrit Cole, on just three days rest. He threw 95 pitches in Monday’s game one win.

Since both starters will be on short rest, it’s uncertain how deep they will go into the game. Deivi Garcia could be an option to piggyback off Cole if needed, and Blake Snell could do the same for Glasnow. With the game being a win or go home situation for both teams, just about every pitcher will be available for both teams. Each squad has their bullpens relatively rested, but Chad Green, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman did see over an inning of work each for the Yankees.

The Yankees were able to stave off elimination in game four with a 5-1 victory. Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres each had mammoth home runs, while Kyle Higashioka had a pair of hits and an RBI. DJ LeMahieu also picked up two hits and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. The Rays scored their lone run on a fielders choice in the third inning.

First pitch of game five is set for 7pm ET from Petco Park in San Diego. Brian Anderson and Ron Darling will have the call on TBS.

Yankees in for battle as Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier starts the chirping early

New York Yankees. Kevin Kiermaier

The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays have plenty of bad blood from the regular season, and it would be no surprise if it spilled over into the postseason.

Awkwardly, both teams are currently sharing the same hotel ahead of Monday’s opening game of the ALDS. It will be one for the ages, as both teams went back-and-forth this season, with the Rays earning the upper hand. They go into the series with an advantage and momentum, but the Yankees have a team that is virtually unstoppable when they are playing at the top of their game.

Earlier this year, the hostility began when closer Aroldis Chapman threw a 100 mph fastball at the head of Michal Brosseau. This sparked extreme animosity between the two teams, and it is clear that both dislike one another.

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier didn’t hold back from expressing the truth: “The don’t like us, we don’t like them, and it’s going to continue to stay that way.”

Considering what went down, I’m not surprised that Kiermaier was openly negative toward the Yankees. His team got the best of the Bombers this year, and are arguably the best team in baseball, as outfielder Brett Gardner mentions.

“They had a really good season, ran away with the division. Obviously, it’s up to us to come out and play better against these guys,” Gardner continued.

Game one will feature two of the best pitchers in baseball, Gerrit Cole and Blake Snell. Cole was fantastic in his first post-season start in pinstripes. He lasted 7.0 innings, allowing two earned runs. He finished with a 2.57 ERA in the win over Cleveland in the Wild Card. Snell, on the other hand, was even better against the Toronto Blue Jays. He lasted 5.2 innings, striking out nine batters and allowing just one hit over 5.2 innings.

The major difference between the two was longevity. Cole managed to pitch almost two entire innings more than Snell but gave up two more runs. If the Yankees can remain patient and knock him out of the game early, they have a better shot at winning against the Rays.

The problem, Tampa has a stellar bullpen, and the Yankees struggle in that category. Their offense will need to be at the top of their game if they wish to walk away with a series win. Thankfully, they’re coming off a two-game sweep against Cleveland where they posted 22 total runs.

Yankees are experiencing awkward situation with Tampa prior to start of series

New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays have an awkward situation brewing: 

It was inevitable the New York Yankees would end up facing off against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS of the postseason. With both teams sweeping their opponents in the Wild Card, they will now continue their beef into exhibition play.

In what might be one of the more exciting series of the entire 2020 season, the recent history between the Yankees and Rays is tumultuous. Both teams have chirped at one another and taken potentially severe actions during live-action.

The most problematic action was by closer Aroldis Chapman, who threw an errant ball at the head of Michael Brosseau. A 100 mph fastball can threaten a man’s life, and that is exactly how Tampa took the stray ball.

One awkward situation is brewing between the two teams, who are currently staying at the same hotel prior to the start of the series. Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner spoke to the media via Zoom on his experience, so far.

“Nobody that I try to avoid on purpose,” Gardner said. “Nobody that I’m too scared of. Obviously, Kevin Cash is an old teammate of mine and some other guys over there I know kind of well. As I said, there was a lot of drama between the two teams over the course of the season. A lot has been made of that but our focus, I can’t speak for them, but our focus is on trying to beat these guys.”

Gardner understands that being mentally focused is the most important part leading up to Monday’s opening game. Distractions can often be the cause for failure, and the Yankees are doing everything they can to remain positive.

“I know they got in late (Friday night),” Britton said, “we were there pretty much for a whole day by ourselves. I expect both teams to be professional at the hotel. There’s families there. I wouldn’t expect that to carry over away from the field. It’s all about the competition on the field. Obviously we’re two passionate teams, so I don’t expect there to be any issues in the hotel. And if we see each other I’m sure it’ll be a friendly nod and just go about our business.”

Considering how hostile the games were, I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened at the hotel. Nonetheless, hostility will likely be saved for game day, in which the Yankees and Rays have plenty of time to go back-and-forth at one another. This should be one for the ages, my friends.

Just What The Doctor Ordered: Game Five For Tampa Bay And Houston

The New York Yankees could pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason.

It couldn’t of played out any better for the New York Yankees.

They were able to sweep the Minnesota Twins, and now the other ALDS series is going to a game five. The Rays were able to score three off of Astros ace Justin Verlander in the first inning of game four, while they held Houston to one run all night in a bullpen game.

Now, the series will shift back to Houston on Thursday night, but the Rays will be facing Gerrit Cole. Cole was dominant in game two, going seven and two-thirds innings, punching out 15 batters. The Rays will likely be throwing Tyler Glasnow, who was mediocre in game one. But, both teams will have a bullpen with everybody available, so starting pitchers will have a short leash.

How This Helps The Yankees:

No matter who the Yankees play, the opposing bullpen will likely be a bit tired come Saturday. The Rays and Astros will use almost everybody just to move to the next round. The only option for them is to go all in. The Yankees will have a bullpen that is well rested on Saturday, but may have a little rust.

If the Astros advance, Justin Verlander would be in line to pitch game two in Houston, making Zack Greinke the game one starter. Gerrit Cole would be on normal rest for game three, but would also be in line to pitch a potential game seven.

Obviously, pitching him in game three would be good for the Yankees since they would be able to see him at Yankee Stadium. Wade Miley would probably pitch game four, lining Greinke up for game five.

It’s kinda important in a sense that Greinke pitches in New York because he would be a huge target for heckling. We have discovered that his first name is Donald, and fans could heckle him a lot for it.

The Yankees have had the Rays number this year, so I’m not nearly by concerned playing the Rays.

The Rays and the Astros going to a game five helps the Yankees in a big way.

Rays Advance Over A’s, Nationals Advance Over Brew Crew

New York Yankees, Blake Snell

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Washington Nationals have won their respective Wild Card games and will advance to the Division Series.

AL Wild Card

Hitting four home runs, the Rays beat the Athletics by a score of 5-4 on Wednesday in Oakland. Yandy Diaz hit two solo home runs, including a leadoff home run. The Rays took the lead in the first at-bat of the game and never lost it.

The only non-solo home run of the game came off the bat of Avisail Garcia in the second, a two-run shot. Diaz hit his second homer of the day in the third, and Tommy Pham hit one for insurance in the fifth.

A’s starter Sean Manaea lasted just two innings. Charlie Morton took the win for the Rays, his third win in win or go home games in his postseason career.

The Rays will now take on the Astros in the ALDS, with game one starting at 2:05PM ET on Friday from Houston.

NL Wild Card

The Washington Nationals trailed almost all game, but some late-game heroics off the bat of Juan Soto surpassed the team over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Max Scherzer was by no means his best on Tuesday for the Nationals. He gave up three runs over five innings, and the Brewers were hitting the ball hard off of him all night. Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run home run just seven pitches in, giving the Brewers a quick 2-0 lead.

An inning later, Eric Thames joined in on the fun, making it 3-0.

The Nationals had trouble piecing together offense in the first seven innings, their only bright spot being a solo home run off the bat of Trea Turner. He had finished the regular season with five homers in his last 10 games with a new and improved grip.

In the eighth, Brewers all-star reliever Josh Hader hit a batter, walked a batter, and gave up a hit to load the bases. With two outs, Juan Soto hit a single to right that tied the game, but right fielder Trent Grisham booted the ball, scoring Anthony Rendon as the go-ahead run.

Daniel Hudson came in the ninth and got the save for the Nationals. They now take on the Dodgers on Thursday at 8:37PM ET. Patrick Corbin gets the ball for the Nats against Walker Buehler of the Dodgers.