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Saturday, November 22, 2014

THE REAL STORY BEHIND JASON GRILLI & THE YANKEES


If you read the headlines today around the Yankee blogs, or even legit publications, Jason Grilli and the Yankees are getting cozy.  Well, this is how rumors start.  That's not the case at all.   Read the original content first... then then you'll know the true story. 

The reality is, Sweeny Murti of CBS Sports floated the idea of Jason Grilli coming to the Yankees... but there's 2 things that you need to know when you read it. For 1, it's a scenario or a back up plan... for 2, DRob's a priority:

"Should the Yankees end up losing Robertson, they will be looking for another bullpen arm, even if it’s not specifically as a closer. There will be a long list of names to consider should that happen, especially once the non-tender guys hit the market next month. One name that has already been discussed by Yankee brass and likely will be again if necessary is Jason Grilli.

Grilli is a well-traveled 38-year old right-hander who was an All-Star closer for Pittsburgh in 2013, but tailed off and was traded away in 2014. Grilli, a local boy from Seton Hall, pitched for the Tigers against the Yankees in the 2006 Division Series. He faced just one batter in the entire series, retiring Gary Sheffield on a ground out in Game 1. Why is that even slightly interesting? Because Sheffield is now Grilli’s agent."

THAT'S IT. No truth to the rumor that the Yankees are interested. In fact, the Yankees are interested in bringing David Robertson back but understand he needs to check out the marketplace, read HERE, and read Cashman's quotes:

"The one thing we do have a feel for is how good of a player he is, how good of a person he is, how great of a competitor he is. In the New York environment, he’s not afraid. He checks every box off. He came in behind Mariano Rivera. [It was a] seamless transition. That’s certainly no easy task. All those things obviously went into our level of comfort, despite being a reliever, of offering that type of number. Great deal of respect and obviously we’ll engage him now in the marketplace.”

So, I ask you... you're a Yankee fan, you're smart.   When did we suddenly take a leap to Grilli? Sweeny floated a backup plan. This isn't a rumor with legs ladies and gentlemen.  DRob is still in the mix, let's not give him an exit so soon. Let him go through the Free Agent process... THEN, if things don't work out, we look elsewhere.

As far as I'm concerned... DRob's the priority... Grilli's the fallback. Write that down...

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IT'S TIME FOR THE YANKEES TO DO SOME GROOMING


When will reality sink in with people that the current Yankees “formula for success” isn’t succeeding?
Yeah, Brian Cashman had a banner start to his tenure as General Manager with World Championship teams mainly built by his predecessor, but his current strategy of acquiring aging veterans through free agency and trading off minor league stars has resulted in just one ring in the past 14 campaigns.


In a very “Lemming-like” fashion, many in the media have continued to drink the Cashman “Kool-aid” with articles like the recent one posted in SB Nation claiming that Nick Swisher could be a good fit for the Bombers.
No one could have said it better than the father of BYB – Robert Casey – when he wrote that “Nick Swisher was a solid player for the New York Yankees, but we have other priorities and back up first baseman is NOT one of them.”  You can read his entire article here.
(In Picture: Greg Bird)
The point that Robert is making is that it’s time for a change in strategy.  Using our minor league players as nothing more than trade bait and only bringing them to “the show” to showcase them for other teams just isn’t working.
It is my sincere hope that Mr. Cashman watched and learned something from this season’s World Series.  The two teams that competed in the Fall Classic were littered with young, home grown stars.  The Giants and Royals built their teams from within, grooming their talent in the farm system and giving the deserving ones a fair shot in MLB.

(In Photo: Greg Bird)
To get out of the “rut” the Yankees have been in they need to recognize the fact that they have some minor league players worthy of a genuine chance to play every day in the Bronx.   Robert mentions Greg Bird, a first baseman who was a star in the recent Arizona Fall League.  He’s 22-years-old and last year played in AA Trenton. 
Many would counter that he needs more “seasoning” and bringing him up as a backup isn’t going to ensure the kind of regular playing time that he’d need.  Casey points out that he’d be behind Mark Teixeira, someone who has made it part of his in-season routine to sit out injured seemingly every other week.  Bird would get plenty of playing time – both at DH and 1B.

(In Photo: Rob Refsnyder)
Outside of Bird, the Yankees have been sitting on a gem at second base in Rob Refsnyder.  Many of us were puzzled that the team refused to bring Refsnyder up for the final month of the season when they desperately needed a contributor at second.  Instead, they called up Jose Pirela and played him in seven games – choosing to continually put mannequin Stephen Drew in the lineup rather than give Pirela a real shot at proving himself.
(In Photo: Aaron Judge)
There have been people who say that the Yankees surely know what they have and realize that it’s not good enough to put in the field at Yankees Stadium.  Then why was Bird named AFL MVP?  Along with Bird, guys like Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin and Dante Bichette Jr. showed Arizona some great Yankee fall baseball.  If our minor league system is so barren, then how is it that Dellin Betances and Shane Greene had such an impact this past season? 

(In Photo: Dante Bichette Jr.)
Neither entered 2014 with high expectations, yet both secured spots for themselves on future Yankee rosters through their play.  Greene was only called up because the pitching staff’s attrition rate left the Yankees no choice.   If the Yankees staff had remained healthy last season, we’d know nothing of the 26-year-old hurler. 
Yes, the team knows exactly what it has in the farm system.  The problem isn’t that there is no talent; rather, it is that Cashman chooses to use the minor league talent as the chum for the sharks that are potential trade partners. 
Instead of trying to catch lightning in a bottle with players on the downside of their careers who still have $30 million remaining on their contracts (like Swisher does), let’s learn a little something from the Kansas City’s and the San Francisco’s of the world – as well as from our own history in the late 1990’s – and do some grooming from within.   It will hurt less in the pocketbook, and return respect to our organization.


    

--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1




 
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Friday, November 21, 2014

THE YANKEES SIGNED A 16 YEAR OLD

Hey now...


Baseball America reports that the Yankees signed a 16 year old outfielder named Bryan Emery.

Ben Badler reports:

"Colombian outfielder Bryan Emery, the No. 23 international prospect for July 2, has signed with the Yankees.



Emery, 16, was the last available player from Baseball America’s Top 30 international prospects list for July 2, and the signing gives the Yankees 10 of those top 30 players. Emery is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with a loose swing from the left side. He had been switch-hitting, though he’s hit exclusively lefthanded in recent months. He’s strong and generates easy, explosive power, though leading up to July 2, there were mixed reviews about his game hitting, partly because of his environment."


MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez says Emery's deal with worth $500,000.

Looking at this, It's amazing to think that my own kid is just 4 years younger than this kid... it's crazy.

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A SOLUTION AT SHORT: JIMMY ROLLINS

Sweeny Murti of CBS wrote a good piece about the Yankees and some of the holes that need to be filled.  One of which is shortstop.


I found 1 thing he said very interesting:

"...the more I think about it, the more I’m fascinated by Jimmy Rollins. He turns 36 next week, but has only one year left on his contract in Philadelphia for $11 million. He’s realistically only slightly above average at this stage, both offensively and defensively. But Rollins is also a veteran with leadership skills and some swagger. 


 Those qualities will serve him well as the guy “replacing Derek Jeter.” It’s not a long-term commitment, and if the Yankees are willing to take on the entire salary it might not take a lot in prospect cost to get him..."


As much as I don't want a 36 year old shortstop, this idea makes sense.  It also buys the Yankees time if they're looking for a younger shortstop.


Now personally, I would rather a Elvis Andrus type of player, but only if the Rangers are willing to take a lot of that salary.  If not, maybe Rollins would be a smart, temporary choice...

We'll see.

What do you think?

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WILL THE YANKEES SNAG CUBAN, YOAN MONCADA?


Baseball America says the Yankees are a "favorite". I call that a "guess."  That's because it is.

The Yankees track record with Cuban players is terrible and I say that with who has been out there, who Yankee fans have gotten their hopes up about and then... nothing.

Do we need to go down the list?

Aledmys Diaz- He went to the Cardinals
Rusney Castillo- He went to the Red Sox
Daniel Carbonell- He went to the San Francisco Giants


Yoenis Cespedes- Signed with the A's

Those are just a few. In fairness, they did sign Adonis Garcia, read YANKEES SIGN CUBAN ADONIS GARCIA from May 2012.

Now, Brendan Kuty of NJ.com writes this, of another Cuban sensation, Yoan Moncada:

"...the Yankees will be the team to beat, according to a report from Baseball America’s Ben Badler.

Badler listed the eight teams most likely to fight for the 19-year-old, who brings impressive power and speed for an infielder. He’ll be attractive to just about every team, but to the Yankees for several reasons, the report said.

One, since the Yankees have already blown past their MLB-imposed spending limit for this international signing period, which ends July 2, they have nothing to lose, the report said...

Two, the Yankees’ biggest holes near the top at their farm system are at shortstop and third base — both places where they’re looking for major-league starters for 2015, as well.

And the third: Their wallets."

Now, based on that, I would love to have Moncada in New York.  But, here's the reality. If the Yankees like Yoan Moncada, I have no serious indication that it's going to happen.  That could only mean 2 things:
  • The Yankees are planning a sneak attack and sign him in the dead of night... something Brian Cashman does brilliantly.
  • They are interested, but aren't going to break the bank for him.
And to be honest, it's as simple as that.  You don't need to analyze Sabermetrtics or read the top Baseball publications or talk to baseball insiders on this rumor.  That's because it's a rumor with no clear cut answer... yet.

It's 50-50. Moncada could end up in pinstripes. He also may not.

Carry on...

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IBANEZ IS BRONX BOUND IF HE DOESN'T GET THE RAYS GIG


Just a quick note, and then a suggestion as to what happens if Raul Ibanez doesn't get chosen for the Rays Manager's job.

It's being reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times... the Rays have some finalists:
So what does this mean to a Yankee fan? Well, a lot. You need to root against the Rays on this one. 


We love Raul, but selfishly ,we don't want him getting the Rays gig.  Why you ask? If he doesn't, I would suggest it is then that the Yankees sign Raul as their hitting coach.  Why else would they be waiting as long as they have? Don't forget, the Yankees were supposed to announce a hitting coach right around the World Series ... read THE YANKS WILL PICK A HITTING COACH BY TUESDAY for that. That was October 18th, and that never happened, and then it was suggested that Raul was "intrigued" by the Yankees hitting coach job. Then... radio silence.

It's a gut feeling ladies and gentlemen... let's see what happens.

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