Looking Ahead...The Day Before Opening Day!

Looking Ahead...The Day Before Opening Day!

The Yankees offseason strategy seems to have been that the Red Sox won the division by eight games last years, but it is very unlikely so many things will go well again for Boston. There is a possibility they are right about that, but that can hardly be called a strategy in any meaningful sense. When the Yankees were eliminated by the Red Sox in the ALDS last fall, they had some clear weaknesses that needed to be addressed. Their starting pitching was not strong enough; defense at third base was a problem; first base was at best a big question mark; and the injury suffered by shortstop Didi Gregorius created a hole at that position. 

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Yankees Nearing MiLB Deal with LHP Gio Gonzalez

Yankees Nearing MiLB Deal with LHP Gio Gonzalez

As first reported by Jon Heyman, and backed up quickly by Ken Rosenthal, it appears as though the Yankees are closing in on a minor league deal (!) with LHP Gio Gonzalez that would net him a base of $3M.

According to Rosenthal, Gonzalez has a player opt-out on April 20th, as is common with veterans and signing minor league deals (more on this later), and additional salary incentives based on games started with the team would increase the $3M salary.

As the Yankees are already without their ace Luis Severino (Rotator Cuff; Out until May) and 5th-Man CC Sabathia (Knee; Out until Mid-April), it makes sense that they have been keeping their eyes on the still available starting pitching free agents like Gonzalez, in hopes of swinging a cheap, “can’t really lose” type deal.

Still on the market are other notable starting pitchers Dallas Keuchel, James Shields, Edwin Jackson, and a few other notable names.

Let’s quickly discuss this move:

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The Real Yankee Financial Advantage

The Real Yankee Financial Advantage

The ability to sign two young stars, with several bigger stars, like Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres likely looking for much bigger contract extensions in the next few years, is a less obvious way the Yankees can leverage their financial resources. Few teams in baseball can develop a core of young talent, or in the case of Hicks, fleece another team out of young talent, knowing that if that talent develops, they will be able to retain all of their key players. The Yankees can, and in the last few weeks took the initial steps towards doing just that. 

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Breaking: Phillies Sign Bryce Harper to Largest Free-Agent Deal in Sports History (13 Years, $330 Million)

Breaking: Phillies Sign Bryce Harper to Largest Free-Agent Deal in Sports History (13 Years, $330 Million)

The offseason of Manny Machado and Bryce Harper (and Patrick Corbin…remember he was a top-name to acquire this offseason?) is finally over.

First off the board came Manny Machado, who signed a 10-Year, $300 Million deal with the Padres just over a week ago. Here are some perspectives from writer Paul Semendinger from the day after the deal was first announced.

Earleir today, however, Jon Heyman posted the most simple tweet to convey the news, “Breaking: Bryce to the Phillies”. Following this came a flurry of tweets regarding how many years and salary, lack of opt-outs or deferrals, luxury tax considerations, and the like. (As always, linked tweets will appear in the article.)

The AAV on this deal will be about $25.4M a year for luxury tax purposes, which is in-line with most major contracts for top baseball players, and will set the Phillies up to have a solid support system around their new outfielder.

Ethan’s Quick Take: I honestly don’t know how to feel about this. The AAV is low enough that I can’t fathom not being able to sign Harper, but the years (until he’s 39!) is a major detractor for me. I think I am going to need to sit on this before I decide how I truly feel. Right now though, I’m content that this offseason of rumors is over.

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