Yankees news/rumors: Scott Boras declares Yanks liars over lost revenue, Archie Bradley sports CC Sabathia gear

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

According to MLB owners, teams lost significant amounts of revenue this past campaign, and the New York Yankees reportedly lost the most of any club in baseball. Their emphatic statement regarding the loss has brewed caution of any significant spending this off-season, and it is expected the Yankees will prioritize DJ LeMahieu as their top player.

Bringing back LeMahieu was always a priority, but given the loss of revenue, most believed they wouldn’t be in the market for other big-name players like Trevor Bauer. However, one report states that teams didn’t lose any money last season as they cut significant costs across the board and still managed to earn plenty of revenue from television deals.

According to one super-agent, the team’s across the MLB didn’t lose any revenue as they paid a small fraction of players’ salaries during a shortened season but still raked in television revenue.

“There’s no team in baseball that lost money last year,” Boras said, per the Los Angeles Times.

Boras said teams collected postseason national television and in-season local television revenue while paying 37% of salaries in the pandemic-shortened schedule. He dismisses suggestions that the 2021 schedule might be shortened because, he said, owners have promised their local television partners a full season. “So you better believe we’re playing a full season,” he said.

If this is the case, the Yankees’ owners could be trying to utilize Covid as an escape route for the lack of aggressiveness in the market. Normally, the Yankees are involved in every trade, but they let one big one slip by them this past week with Lance Lynn going to the Chicago White Sox for an average reliever and pitching prospect.

Cashman is waiting patiently, trying to get the LeMahieu deal done before diving into any supplemental players. They are losing three starting pitchers this off-season, and Masahiro Tanaka is not expected to make a return, so they will have to find starting pitching elsewhere.

The bullpen is also a weakness, with Tommy Kahnle hitting free agency and Adam Ottavino having a disappointing 2020 season. One option that makes sense is Archie Bradley, who was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds.

This past campaign, he finished with a 2.95 ERA over 18.1 innings pitched. He’s a solid middle reliever who can add value to the bullpen. At just 28 years old, he has plenty of fuel left in his tank, and on a financial solvent deal, he could be a perfect fit for Cashman. He was also seen sporting a CC Sabathia jersey for good luck!

Scott Boras provides an injury update on behalf of New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton

New York Yankees, James Paxton

Scott Boras, famed baseball agent, sat down with Brendan Kuty of NJ.com to discuss the status of his client, New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton.

A forearm flexor strain saw Paxton go on the IL after five games in 2020 and stay there for the rest of the season. He had a 1-1 record with a 6.64 ERA while seeing his velocity dip.

“[James] made every effort to try to contribute this year, but the back rehab just wasn’t there yet and he just needed more time to where he could really go through his normal mechanics of 2019,” said Boras to NJ.com.

After having time to rehab, Boras is starting to see his client return back to normal form.

“The truth of the matter was, his ability to be James Paxton, it just needed a few more months of rehab on his back and his strength. Getting the velocity, getting the balance and being able to torque his back the way it was, just after the surgery, he just needed time,” said Boras.

2019 saw Paxton pitch to a 15-6 record with a 3.82 ERA in 150.2 innings.

“He’s back to the James Paxton of ’19 in how he feels, how he’s throwing,” Boras told Kuty.

However, it’s no sure thing that Paxton will be a Yankee in 2021. He hits the free agency market for the first time, and the team has a lot of guys that could make the rotation. They might not have a need for Paxton.

Gerrit Cole is the only sure lock in the rotation next year, with Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, JA Happ, Clarke Schmidt, and Deivi Garcia all vying for spots. The team will also have Luis Severino returning from Tommy John surgery sometime towards the middle of the season. It’s also rumored that the Yankees could be in on signing free agent Trevor Bauer this offseason. Bauer’s 1.73 ERA this season puts him in the NL Cy Young award mix.

One of the things that goes in favor of Paxton getting resigned is the fact that he’s a lefty. Happ and Montgomery are also lefties, but a healthy Paxton is better than both. In 2020, Happ had a 3.47 ERA while Montgomery had a 5.11 ERA. However, Happ is aging and losing velocity while Montgomery hasn’t shown enough consistency.

Regardless, the Yankees have tough decisions to make in the rotation this offseason. Although Paxton is no guarantee to be a Yankee in 2021, the fact that he’s healthy again could help his chances.

 

 

New York Mets: The Variables of the Pending Season

After MLB owners approved the plan to continue the baseball season, the war between the league and the players union is ready for its first battle. Out of all teams, the New York Mets find themselves in a unique situation compared to the rest of the league.

Outside of health concerns, the battle of salary negotiation is going to be the biggest fight in the process. Union chief Tony Clark and legendary agent Scott Boras both agree that being paid a pro-rata salary would be the agreement whenever games resume. The sacrifice stands at 30-40% of wages, which the owners claimed as feasible, according to the owners.

According to Boras, his clients are not willing to budge from the agreement. If salaries receive a blindsided cut, it will extend the baseball drought longer. Should the union have a legitimate legal case, the damage could wipe out the rest of the season. But Clark is just as poor as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. This situation serves as a prologue to how next year’s discussions on a new collective bargain agreement will play out.

The Mets Effect

The only Boras represented Met is Michael Conforto, and luckily 30-40% of his $8 million salary is $2.4 million through $3.2 million. That number is no worry for the organization, especially with the rest of their high priced talent.

The conflict comes from Wilpon ownership and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. First, the Wilpon’s have continuously lost money from the Mets franchise over the last few years. The revenue from SNY, which the Wilpons also own, covers the losses from the organization.

Due to the revenue from SNY, the Wilpons call it untouchable in any team sale discussions. Since revenue should grow from SNY, since fans will not attend games, they might squeak by and suffer minimal damage to their finances due to the lack of fan revenue. But you can never be sure with the Wilpons.

Agent to GM

Van Wagenen plays a role more connected to the players. Not too long ago, he was the co-head for CAA Sports Baseball Division, which happens to represent the most players (6) on the current 40-man roster. Should the Mets look to cut more money from the players, Van Wagenen would have to side with ownership since they write his paychecks.

Four of those players make less than three million, including Brandon Nimmo and Robert Gsellman. Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are the two high priced/talented members of CAA. Van Wagenen also negotiated the current contracts Yoenis Cespedes, and Robinson Cano collect. Cespedes already lost money in the offseason due to an injury on his ranch.

Van Wagenen does not make any final decisions, but he knows both sides of the fence. His voice will be heavily relied upon to fix and issues between players and ownership without it creating a media storm. Not to mention, he has to figure out the best pieces for a potential 82-game season at the same time.

Van Wagenen is a master agent and earned the GM job because he knows how to handle strenuous situations. He will be able to take any negative that comes out of the meetings and make it a positive. Few GMs in baseball have that ability.

Mets’ Conforto Hoping to Follow in Rendon’s Footsteps

Michael Conforto has been just about everything the New York Mets hoped he would be when they selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. In 2019, Conforto finished the season with 33 home runs, 92 RBI and 90 runs scored.

Still just 26, Conforto sees himself as an ascending player. With two years of team control left, he is aiming for free agency and his numbers are trending up, meaning by the time he reaches free agency in 2022, he’ll be in for huge payday.

Conforto is using the model set by Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, who peaked in his final two seasons in Washington, earning him a seven-year, $245 million megadeal from the Los Angeles Angels.

“I look at guys like Rendon — he’s just the first one that comes to mind to me, being a guy that really doesn’t have crazy plus power, doesn’t really have crazy plus speed,” Conforto told Mets.com. “He’s just a really, really, really tough guy to get out, a really tough guy to get off-balance, and that’s what I’ve always felt like I could be. And I have been in the past. I’m not going to compare myself to — I don’t want to compare myself to him. He’s put up six-plus incredible seasons. But that’s who I’m striving to be.”

In order for Conforto to be anywhere near Rendon territory, he’s going to have to raise his batting average and OPS significantly. He has hit just .257, .243 and .279 respectively over the past three seasons. By contrast, Rendon batted .319, .308 and .301.

The OPS numbers for Conforto over that period aren’t bad (.856, .797, .939) but pale in comparison to Rendon’s (1.010, .909, .937).

Conforto has said he’d like to be a Met for his entire career. Economics and his performance will dictate that. So will his agent, Scott Boras, who usually advises his clients to test the free agent waters over taking hometown discounts.

“Everyone always says that Scott is a big free agency guy and he’s a big fan of that, but Scott … is obviously going to give me the best advice that he feels he has for me as a player, and for my career,” Conforto said. “Ultimately, it’s my decision. I think it’s somewhat of a misconception about Scott and his clients. He wants what’s best for us. He’s going to give us his best advice. But at the end of the day, he’ll tell you, ‘It’s my client’s decision.’”

We’ll see. First things first, though. Conforto has to keep improving or the Met’s hometown discount just might be his best offer.