Free Agent Signing Reaction: Troy Tulowitzki

Free Agent Signing Reaction: Troy Tulowitzki

As most of the Yankee Universe is aware by now, the Yankees have signed former National League MVP, Troy Tulowitzki, to a 1 year contract at the league minimum salary following his release from the Toronto Blue Jays.  Interestingly, there were some very strong opinions regarding this signing on multiple media sources, particularly in light of the fact that this signing is for the league minimum salaries.  I discussed some of my thoughts last week on the Bronx Beat Podcast Episode #175, but I thought that I would expand on my thoughts here.

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Yankees Should Not Be So Anxious to Trade Miguel Andujar

Yankees Should Not Be So Anxious to Trade Miguel Andujar

No player should be untouchable, particularly one who has only one big league season under his belt and who has yet to prove himself with the leather. However, rushing to judge Andujar based on his weaknesses and swapping him for a middle of the rotation pitcher or a couple of pitching prospects would be a mistake. A wiser course would be to recognize what Andujar can do and use him accordingly. He may become their starting third baseman for years to come or perhaps the kind of player who between first base, third base and DH gets 500 or more plate appearances a year. Championship teams need those kinds of players and Andujar could be very good in that role.

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Free Agent Signing Reaction: Zach Britton

Free Agent Signing Reaction: Zach Britton

As it has been widely reported, Zach Britton has been re-signed by the New York Yankees, returning on an interesting deal that is for 3 years, $39 million, with a $14 million team option for a 4th year and provides Britton the opportunity to opt-out of the deal after 2 years. For the purposes of calculating the luxury tax, Britton’s cap hit will be $13 million. Re-signing Britton gives the Yankees another arm with a premium reputation in the bullpen. Does this move make sense for the Yankees?

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If I Were The GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Whole Series

The following is the entire “If I Were The GM; Looking Ahead to 2019” series. This is how I would build the 2019 Yankees…

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Manager

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Left Field

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Third Base

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Shortstop & Second Base

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - Starting Pitching

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Catcher

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Bullpen

If I Were the GM: Looking Ahead to 2019 - The Rest of the Roster

***

MGR - Aaron Boone

SP - James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Patrick Corbin, C.C. Sabathia

RP - Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Yusei Kikuchi, Jonathan Loaisiga, a free-agent left hander to be determined, and a host of pitchers on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Shuttle

C - Gary Sanchez

1B - Luke Voit

2B - Scooter Gennett

SS - Gleyber Torres

3B - Miguel Andujar

LF - Bryce Harper

CF - Aaron Hicks

RF - Aaron Judge

DH - Giancarlo Stanton

BENCH - Brett Gardner, Tyler Wade, Brian McCann (Update - It looks like McCann will sign with the Braves. My next choice here would be Robinson Chirinos as I think he can be acquired at a reasonable price. This could allow David Robertson to be brought in to solidify the bullpen even further.)

Brett Gardner and Two Paths Forward

Brett Gardner and Two Paths Forward

As has been widely reported, Brett Gardner is back in the fold for another year with the Yankees on a 1 year, $7.5 million deal. Here is what we know right now:

  1. By exercising Gardner’s $2 million buyout and resigning him to a $7.5 million contract, the Yankees saved $3 million against the luxury tax threshold vs. simply exercising Gardner’s final year $12.5 million club option.

  2. The Yankees now have 6 major league options for the outfield: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and Jacoby Ellsbury.

  3. River Ave Blues projected that the Yankees had roughly $49.7 million to spend before hitting the luxury tax threshold this winter prior to the Gardner signing. Signing Gardner gives the roughly $42.2 million to spend this winter in the Free Agent market.

Based on those facts, the Yankees can follow one of two paths: keep the current lineup relatively unchanged from last season (except for finding a Didi fill-in) and once again stay under the luxury tax threshold; or use the money saved in future tax savings by staying under the luxury tax threshold this year to make multiple splashes in the free agent market. Here’s what each path might look like this off-season:

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Nathan Eovaldi Needs to be a Yankee...Again

Nathan Eovaldi Needs to be a Yankee...Again

Much as I would like to pretend it’s a dream, credit must be given when it’s due: the Red Sox had one of the best seasons any team has had in the modern era, and they deserve congratulations for winning the World Series in decisive fashion. When any team wins the World Series, the media and even some baseball front offices create narratives about why that team won the World Series over every other team, as though the team in question discovered a formula that other teams should follow. These narratives are often not based on any statistical trends, and the truths unearthed about the construction of championship teams in the post-World Series offseason are often debunked over time - case and point, the 2015 Kansas City Royals. Very few teams are constructing rosters with “grit” and an undisciplined, high-contact, but low-power lineup while batting their worst hitter lead-off. Surely, an imagined trend will emerge during the autopsy of this World Series, but one aspect of the Red Sox’s championship season cannot be denied: the Red Sox utilized their financial might to their advantage over the last couple of years, even despite some flops. The Red Sox would have struggled to win this year without JD Martinez, David Price, Eduardo Nunez (in the playoffs, at least), and Mitch Moreland. What is important to note about this list of players is that it isn’t just filled with the players at the top of the free agent market, like Price and Martinez. The Red Sox were also able to use the free agent market to grab solid role players like Moreland and Nunez to fill out the roster. I think that the Yankees need to thread the needle between these two types of players this winter, and use their spending power to grab Nathan Eovaldi o help fill out the pitching staff.

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The Forgotten Free Agent

The Forgotten Free Agent

Much of the early Free Agency discussion in the Yankee Universe this offseason has centered on which 2018 Yankees to retain in Free Agency and whether Patrick Corbin or Manny Machado are good fits for the long-term Yankee roster.  Lost in the current conversation is possibly the most fascinating free agent in this year’s class: Bryce Harper.

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