New York Yankees: Josh Hader Update

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The New York Yankees have been talking with the Milwaukee Brewers for weeks on a trade for star reliever Josh Hader. I recently spoke with some sources close to the situation in Milwaukee, and they seem to believe that Hader is going to be traded this offseason.

So why are the Yankees so interested in Hader? The simple answer is control. Josh Hader would come with four years of team control, which would give the Yankees a ton of flexibility. Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, and Tommy Kahnle would all hit free agency before Josh Hader. The Yankees are looking at this as an opportunity to secure arguably the best reliever in baseball who would also give them coverage if they were to lose any of those arms in free agency. The Yankees are also looking at this as a way to secure the most dominant paper roster in recent memory. If the Yankees would acquire Hader from the Brewers, they would arguably have the best lineup, starting rotation, and bullpen in all of baseball.

The Yankees Really Want Josh Hader

The Yankees do not need Josh Hader. The Yankees want Josh Hader. Sources told Empire Sports Media yesterday that the Yankees were aggressive in their push for Josh Hader. The same sources also believe that Milwaukee will deal him before Spring Training. Dan Federico reported of another “Informed” opinion that believes Josh Hader will end up in New York.

According to Jon Heyman, The Yankees have reportedly floated the idea of making Miguel Andujar the centerpiece of this deal. Andujar is coming off a lost season due to injury, but in his first full season back in 2018, he should have won the Rookie of the Year award in the American League when he set the Yankees franchise rookie record for doubles in a season at 47 (Baseball-Reference). The ole saying goes, “Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.” Well, I can tell you in this circumstance, there is a lot of smoke around Josh Hader and the New York Yankees. Time will tell if Josh Hader does get dealt, but if the news breaks that the star lefty is leaving Milwaukee, don’t be shocked if he’s heading to a barbershop close to Times Square.

The New York Yankees trading J.A. Happ is inevitable

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

It finally happened. The New York Yankees made the sexy free-agent splash that all fans have been begging for over the last few years when they reeled in their “White Whale” Gerrit Cole. The Yankees gave Cole a record-breaking 9-year, $324 million contract to come in and be the ace of the staff.

With Cole now in the fold, the Yankees are looking to deal J.A. Happ. Last offseason, The Yankees signed J.A. Happ to a 2-year, $34 million contract with a $17 million vesting option for 2021. The Yankees were familiar with Happ and loved his track-record in the AL East, specifically in the Bronx. They were able to acquire J.A. Happ in July of 2018 for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney. In his first half-season with the Yanks, Happ was tremendous posting a 7-0 record with a 2.69 ERA.

Happ didn’t even come close to living up to his new contract in 2019, posting a 12-8 record with a 4.91 ERA and a FIP of 5.22 (Baseball-Reference). Throughout the year, I didn’t notice a tremendous drop-off in Happ’s stuff, but he could not keep the ball in the ballpark. Despite having a bounce-back September, Happ did not start a single game in the postseason, which saw the Yankees again fall short of making the World Series. Now that the Yankees have Gerrit Cole and a payroll that has swelled to close to $260 million, it’s time for them to shed some salary and dump J.A. Happ.

Now, you’d think with the numbers that he posted last year, there wouldn’t be a ton of interest in clubs picking up Happ’s $17 million contract. However, multiple teams have been talking to the Yankees about Happ, Empire Sports Media has learned. Teams that have reached out to the Yankees include the Brewers, Blue Jays, Rangers, Padres, and Angels.

Happ has a career track-record as a solid starting pitcher, and with the prices going drastically up for starting pitching, Happ is an attractive commodity. To me, the Brewers make a lot of sense for Happ as they are looking for another starting pitcher and currently have a hole at third that could be filled by Miguel Andujar.

Where could Happ land if the New York Yankees trade him?

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has been reporting that the Yankees are “the most active pursuer” of Brewers’ All-Star Josh Hader. Could the Yankees package Andujar, Happ, and prospects for the star reliever? The deal is something that could materialize, but I would not hold your breath. Meanwhile, the Angels are a team that is desperate for starting pitching help. After missing out on guys like Cole, Strasburg, and Kluber, you might see the Angels make a push to acquire Happ. The Blue Jays are another team that is looking to add a veteran starter and are interested in a Happ reunion.

What we do know is that unless the Yankees drastically change course, J.A. Happ is not going to be wearing pinstripes next season. The interest is there from multiple clubs, and the Yankees would love to get their payroll down as much as they can. The Yankees currently have 42 men on the active roster factoring in Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner. Gerrit Cole’s press conference is being rumored to occur tomorrow, December 18th, so we could see a move today. Will it be J.A. Happ?  Time will tell.

Why The New York Yankees Trading For Mookie Betts is foolish

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees are reportedly in talks with the Boston Red Sox to trade for Mookie Betts. This is, easily, the DUMBEST move Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner could make this offseason.

For Starters, the Yankees are LOADED in the Outfield!

The Yankees have Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Tauchman, and Clint Frazier, with the likely resigning of Brett Gardner in the Yankees immediate future. This also includes Estevan Florial, the Yankees top outfield prospect in the minors. 

Why… on earth… if they’re trying to stay under a luxury tax threshold… would they trade for a $28 million contract… just to add… another outfielder?

You’re going to need to include MINIMUM one (if not two) outfield players to make this trade work. The ONLY person the Yankees should be trading for in Boston is either David Price or Chris Sale. Because our starting rotation is garbage, and it’s only getting worse with the retirement of CC Sabathia, and the impending free agency of Masahiro Tanaka.

You would HAVE to dump Giancarlo Stanton to the Red Sox to make this an even viable deal in regards to the overall budget. And Mookie Betts is set to make more money than Giancarlo Stanton next year (Mookie’s aforementioned $28 million compared to Stanton’s $26 million). Not to mention Staton’s no-trade clause makes it harder for the Yankees to think about moving him. To offset Stanton’s mammoth contract, IF Stanton stays a Yankee through 2020, and doesn’t exercise the opt-out in his contract, the Marlins will pay us $30 million. (baseball-reference.com)

Secondly… WHY?!?!?

The Yankees, as mentioned, are stacked in the outfield. Okay, so Aaron Hicks is going to be on the IR list till MINIMUM June. Why would you trade for Mookie Betts, when all anyone is talking about is the fact the Yankees are going to try to stay under the second tier of the luxury tax? You can resign Brett Gardner for a fraction of what you’re going to have to pay Mookie Betts.

Seriously, you need a center fielder through the first half of the season. Judge, Frazier, and Stanton are all career corner outfielders. Tauchman is the only one who has a centerfield experience. And, as I said, you can bring Brett Gardner back (after his career season last year) to give yourself just a little extra help.

And the one thing that the Yankees need for 2020 is STARTING! PITCHING! NOT! MORE! OUTFIELDERS!

Remember the $30 million the Yankees will get paid if Stanton stays a Yankee and doesn’t opt out after 2020? That would offset Chris Sale’s 2020 salary. Eduardo Rodriguez is poised to do big things. and is signed through 2020. THAT’S who you trade for from the Red Sox.

Or, if you’re truly concerned about staying within a budget, sign a free agent pitcher and hammer out the contract so he gets paid what he wants, but it says within what you’re willing to spend year after year. 

Let Mookie stay in Boston. Mookie is above what the definition means… but do you know what the definition of Mook is?! I do. Why would you want a mook on the Yankees?

New York Jets & Jamal Adams are in Tough Spot

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

The New York Jets bonafide leader and a vital piece of this team’s minimal success over the past two seasons. Jamal Adams is electric, energetic, charismatic and an all-pro safely. However for the first time in his time with New York his allegiance to the squad has been question and drama for the first time surrounds him.

Owners and Gase To Blame

It’s often stated that organizations that can’t keep classified information are weak and unprofessional. The New York Jets succumbed to that level on trade deadline day. If any event was the greatest depiction of where this organization is currently at the negotiations and the drama that has followed it just shows how poorly run this team is.

Christopher Johnson, the main management core, and even the coaching staff should take this as a sign that they need to get their act together. Joe Douglas the man who is just doing his job by answering calls, fielding offers and looking for the best possible deals and opportunities shouldn’t have to answer for his actions because information was leaked. You don’t see Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft having to answer questions about their negotiations. Coaching needs to do a better job of supporting the players and keeping their heads in the game. Christopher Johnson and the powers that be need to get this organization back on track because it looks like a joke. Douglas looked like a consummate professional that didn’t belong to be affiliated with the green and white.

Jamal Adams Shouldn’t Have Opened Up

Robby Anderson and Le’Veon Bell received word that they would be staying in New York despite trade rumors, they jumped on social media and expressed their pleasure for staying in the green and white. Jamal Adams took to social media to voice his disscontempt for the handling of the trade deadline situation. The Jets and Jamal handles it poorly. The Jets should’ve been honest and upfront, Jamal shouldn’t have exposed conversations to social media. The fact is, the situation is now drama filled and a distraction for an already messy squad. There is no doubt that if struggles continue Jamal could be gone in the offseason. Ultimately, I believe the Jets dug themselves into a hole. Jamal Adams is special but he plays a position that is a premium for a rebuilding squad. It may make sense to trade Adams. Jamal needs to be a pro and understand that. His frustration is understandable and I still love him as a Jets fan and for any fans to call him a clown is rude. In the end I hope all works out but right now drama is prominent.

New York Yankees Are One of Many Teams Interested in Tanner Roark

The New York Yankees’ search for a starting pitcher before the trade deadline tomorrow continues. Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds is another option on the trade market that could give the Yankees what they are looking for. However, the Yankees are not the only team looking into Roark. The Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics join the Yankees’ interest in Roark, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Roark is credited to a 3.95 ERA this season with a 6-6 record. In his seven years in the major leagues, Roark holds a career 3.63 ERA and finished 10th in Cy Young Award voting in 2016 (Baseball Reference).

 

Roark is a crafty right-hander with an arsenal of pitches. He throws a fastball in the low 90s but is also armed with a sinker, slider, changeup, and curveball. He is a strikeout kind of pitcher, where he’s fanned 106 players in 107 innings pitched this season. Roark also consistently goes the distance, throwing at least 5 innings in most games. With the Yankees dominant bullpen, that could be dangerous to opposing offenses.

The right-hander is 32 years old and is currently signed to a 1-year, $10 million deal (Spotrac). He will be eligible for free-agency following this season.

Fits with the Yankees?

I believe Roark could be a good fit with the Yankees. His ability to go the distance with a start is something the Yankees need – especially in October. His arsenal of pitches allows him to keep hitters guessing and off-balance which will fit in with the Yankees strong defense. However the Yankees have said they are not interested in a short-term deal. Roark’s free agency following the 2019 season may raise some flags.

New York Yankees: Trade Rumors Update

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Teams know that the New York Yankees are almost desperate for a starting pitcher. They have tried to take advantage of this by asking the Yanks for young star Gleyber Torres. However the Yankees have made it seem that Torres is completely unavailable in any trade talks.

The club knows they have possible trade options with Deivi Garcia, Clint Frazier, and Miguel Andujar. The Bomber’s farm system also has a pack of talent that could be looked at. The Yankees seem that they are willing to trade away Andujar and Clint Frazier for a starting pitcher. Reports say that Garcia seems to be off limits, unless a Noah Syndagaard trade occurs.

General manager Brian Cashman said the club would be willing to trade away Garcia and Frazier however not for a short-term return deal. The Yankees definitely want depth, and they will not want to get rid of such high talent for only a one-year deal.

I believe the best bet would to be trade away Andujar and Frazier. It is clear that Andujar’s offense was not missed this season, credit to surprise-star Gio Urshela and slugger DJ LeMahieu. Clint Frazier also promises a strong bat and youth, where in the Bronx he is buried behind superstar outfield talent.

Everyone knows this starting rotation cannot win games in October. These next few days are the biggest of Brian Cashman’s career. He knows how special this team is and what they are capable of. The pieces just need to be put together.

New York Yankees: Interests Turn to Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

After Marcus Stroman was shockingly dealt to the New York Mets, general manager of the New York Yankees, Brian Cashman, is turning his head elsewhere. Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the best options left on the trade market. These are guys who can fit in with what the Yankees are looking for.

The Diamondbacks said that they are open to selling their veteran players. A deal with the Yankees would most likely send Deivi Garcia, Clint Frazier, and Miguel Andujar to Arizona. Many teams have asked for Gleyber Torres but the Yankees have made it clear that he is off-limits. There is also a boatload of Yankee minor league talent that could be dealt away to teams who are looking to rebuild.

Robbie Ray is a 27 year old veteran lefty who is signed on a 1-year, $6 million contact. He’ll become a free agent next year after his eligibility for salary arbitration. Zack Greinke is 35 years old who is signed on a 6-year, $206 million contract which goes into the 2021 season in which after he’ll become a free agent.

Ray holds a 3.91 ERA this season with a 9-7 record. He struggles with command however still get a lot of swing-and-misses. Veteran Greinke is credited to a 2.87 ERA with a 10-4 record. Both arms would swing perfectly with the Yankees offense and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cashman makes a deal that lands at least one of them. These next two days will be interesting.

New York Yankees: 3 Pitchers That Can Come in and Make an Impact

Are the New York Yankees interested in trading for Blue Jays pitcher, Marcus Stroman?

It is no question the New York Yankees need starting pitching. Every arm in the rotation currently holds an ERA above 4.00 and each starter has not gone past 4.0 innings in their last game started. None of them are going the distance which hurts the bullpen.

The staff has combined a total of 35 earned runs in their last respective starts. With ace Luis Severino still on the injured list, the Yankees need a consistent arm – maybe more than one.

Marcus Stroman

His record might not show it, but Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays is one of the league’s premier pitchers. He holds a 2.96 ERA this season in over 21 games pitches. The “Stro-Show” also consistently goes the distance – exactly what the Yankees need.

Stroman is not a swing-and-miss pitcher. He knows how to pitch and pitches to contact. He holds a 56% groundball rate. Throwing a fastball at around 93-94, Stroman also flashes a cutter, slider, sinker, changeup, and curveball. This arsenal of pitches keep hitters guessing and off-balance. Another thing to note, Stroman throws strikes. Take a look at this chart from FanGraphs, it shows how consistent he is within the zone.

I believe Marcus Stroman wants to come to New York. His intensity and fire will be loved in Yankee Stadium. Stroman even said this to New York reporters: “I love the bright lights. I was built for this.”

Madison Bumgarner

One of the best in postseason, the Yankees could use a guy like Madison Bumgarner. Last season in the playoffs it was evident that the Yankees struggled with their starters. Everyone remembers the embarrassing 16-1 loss to the Red Sox in the ALDS at Yankee Stadium last year…

Bumgarner holds a 8-3 record with a 2.11 ERA in the postseason. He is known for his dominance in the playoffs. The lanky left-hander played a big part in the Giants’ 2014 World Series championship. The guy knows how to handle big games and is someone who could fill in the missing pieces for the Yankees.

Noah Syndergaard

Many believe the New York Mets won’t trade away their prized Thor. However, many evaluators think differently. Noah Sydergaard will be eligible for free agency after the 2021 season, and that promises many teams two more years if he’s traded. Not only that, but the guy is one of the league’s best pitchers. His record doesn’t show, but triple digit fastball will play. In 126.2 innings pitched, he has fanned 126 while walking 36.

This trade fits perfectly for the Yankees. Syndergaard is a guy who can go the distance and sometimes flash a complete game. Behind the Yankee’s offense, Thor could be unstoppable in the Bronx.

New York Yankees: How has Clint Frazier been doing?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Ever since the New York Yankees controversially demoted Clint Frazier to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he has batted just .231 with two home runs. He is slugging .396 with just a .276 on-base percentage. With his short time in the majors, Frazier batted .283 with 11 home runs while slugging .513 and a .330 on-base percentage (Baseball Reference). Did the demotion to Triple-A hurt the young slugger’s confidence?

Following the news of Frazier’s demotion on June 16th, he met with media saying, “Yeah, pretty surprised,” Frazier said, adding, “It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s never fun especially with how much I’ve felt like I’ve contributed to this team this year.”

It is apparent that the young slugger is not playing the way he usually does down in the minors. He is batting .158 over his last ten games. Until last night, Frazier had gone 90 at-bats without hitting a home run.

Frazier’s future with the Yankees

General manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that the club intends to add at the trade deadline. They could be targeting Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, or someone else. Among other Yankee prospects, Clint Frazier has been the hot topic in trade rumors for the Bombers. An MLB scout ranked 10 Yankee prospects and Clint Frazier landed himself at #2 on the list. Other teams would definitely be interested in acquiring Clint Frazier, as he gives youth and a strong bat in a full-time role.

I personally believe if the Yankees are truly intending to add a starting pitcher at the deadline, Clint Frazier will be traded away. Emotionally, this hurts. Logically, it all makes sense. The Yankees already have so much outfield depth, having a 6th or 7th outfielder won’t do the team any good.

New York Yankees: Will Austin Romine remain the Yankees Back-up catcher?

In 2018, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez missed a good portion of the season because of groin injuries throughout the season. When he went down, back-up catcher Austin Romine did a great job behind the plate, but in the case for Yankees fans, did Romine do “too good of a job” in the sense that he could be traded to another team to take the role as a starting catcher? If that were to happen, would Kyle Higashioka do a good enough job as the back-up?

Is Romine deserving of a starting job elsewhere?

Around the trade deadline last season, the first rumors emerged that teams would possibly be interested in acquiring Austin Romine in a trade for a pitcher. He caught a good amount of games from May into mid-summer when Sanchez was rehabbing his groin and found himself on the DL twice.

In 242 at-bats in 2018, Romine hit .244 and had an OBP of .295 while slugging .417. In addition, he had 10 HR and 42 RBIs. He has shown in the last three seasons that he is a more reliable defensive catcher with a fielding percentage of .994 and a significantly less number of pass balls, compared to 18 passed balls for Sanchez in just 74 starts behind the plate in 2018.

Another thing that attracts teams to Romine is his work ethic and passion of the game. In 2018, he won the Yankees “heart and hustle award”, and has previously worked so hard to try and get back to the major leagues after limited appearances in 2011, 2014, and 2015, and no appearances in 2012. He’s also been known to stand up for his teammates and call out opposing players when need be. His most famous example of that is his brawl with Miguel Cabrera in 2017 against the Tigers.

Could Kyle Higashioka do a good enough job?

Kyle Higashioka has also been constantly working as hard as he can for his shot. Despite many trips up and down from AAA since the beginning of 2017, he wasn’t able to get his first until 2018 when he hit a long home-run during Sunday Night Baseball against the Red Sox.

His first three major league hits were actually home-runs but only hit .167 in 72 AB. He did have solid defense, with just one error in 20 starts, but his arm needs work. He would generally put the throws on target, just not quick enough.

Higashioka clearly had trouble at-bat in 2018, and also struggled in AAA batting only .202. With that average, he should be lucky that the Yankees were relatively low on catching options because he could have easily been sent down to AA. His fielding percentage was even slightly lower with Trenton, at .986.

Kyle Higashioka clearly needs work to be MLB ready. Besides his fielding percentage, his hitting numbers are nowhere near ready to be the MLB back-up catcher. If the Yankees were to trade Romine, they would need to receive a MLB ready catcher in exchange or sign an MLB veteran catcher, or claim one off of waivers. Veterans Matt Weiters, Caleb Joseph, and Stephen Vogt are all free-agents and could work as a back-up if a trade were to happen.