Yankees Lose Game #2 Against Tigers, Now Sit 2-3 on Short Season

Yankees Lose Game #2 Against Tigers, Now Sit 2-3 on Short Season

Maybe it’s just the commercials talking, but are we sure that we haven’t entered our own “Twilight Zone” for this season? The Yankees now have 10 players on the IL (which is 2 more than the next three closest teams: Angels, Blue Jays, and Pirates), and they haven’t been playing great baseball against sub-par teams.

However, it’s not just a Yankees thing (thankfully) as their biggest rival, and the reigning World Series Champion Red Sox are having an even harder time getting started this season, with going 1-5. (Maybe this’ll be a repeat of 2014 for the team from Boston?)

It does seems as though just about everything that could go wrong- outside of having the stadium slowly fall apart- has happened in some capacity, with some interesting line-up decisions, early season blunders on defense, and lack of hitting with RISP.

Let’s quickly wrap this last game up though, so we can start fresh again today and take the series from Detroit!

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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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Who's on First-And Do the Yankees Care

Who's on First-And Do the Yankees Care

Although many fans would still like to see Bryce Harper, Manny Machado or both in pinstripes before the season starts, the Yankees have been very good at addressing major needs, such as adding James Paxton to the pitching staff, as well as more minor ones like adding Adam Ottavino to an already strong bullpen and LeMahieu and Tulowitzki to help fill in for an injured Didi Gregorius. The Yankees, by contrast, have studiously ignored the first base situation. It is possible that Luke Voit will continue to hit the way he did after coming over to the Yankees late last season, but if he does not, the failure to address the first base question could come back to haunt the team. Spring training would be a good time to see if aging veterans, career AAAA players or players trying to come back from injuries, could contribute at first base. Auditioning people for the job of left handed hitting most of the time first baseman during the season is a much less appealing idea. 

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Competing Interpretations of the 2018 Yankees

Competing Interpretations of the 2018 Yankees

As the 2019 season approaches, most Yankee fans hope, perhaps even expect, that this year ends not with the team handed a defeat by the Red Sox, but rather with a celebration in the Bronx or at some yet undetermined National League ballpark. The question of whether or not the team is good enough to achieve that goal will be answered over the next nine months, but how we look at that question has a lot to do with what we think happened in 2018…

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The Most Talked About Yankees Trade Is Completed: Sonny Gray to the Reds; Becomes 3-Team Deal Late with the Mariners Also Involved.

The Most Talked About Yankees Trade Is Completed: Sonny Gray to the Reds; Becomes 3-Team Deal Late with the Mariners Also Involved.

Moments ago, Jeff Passan of ESPN tweeted that the Yankees and the Reds have officially traded Sonny Gray to play in Cincinnati.

Currently, the total return for the Yankees is unknown, yet many reports before the deal became official listed that 2B prospect Shed Long will be in the deal, which Jeff Passan had confirmed would be heading to New York, for a moment.

However, Passan now reports that the Mariners will be getting Long, and the Yankees are getting back OF prospect Josh Stowers from the Mariners. Ken Rosenthal has confirmed this reporting.

In addition, it was reported that the Reds were talking to Sonny Gray about an extension by both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman over this past weekend (check out our coverage from this past weekend, here).

Now, Ken Rosenthal is tweeting that a Gray extension has been announced for 3-Years (2020-2022), $30.5 Million (with a 2023 club option, plus bonus incentives). Keep in mind, Gray is already under contract for 2019 at a salary of $7.5 Million from arbitration.

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Yankees and Ottavino Agree to Deal, Solidify Top Bullpen in Baseball Yet Again

Yankees and Ottavino Agree to Deal, Solidify Top Bullpen in Baseball Yet Again

First reported by Robert Murray of The Athletic, the news has now officially been released (and corrected) that the Yankees have agreed to a deal with former of the Colorado Rockies pitcher Adam Ottavino.

Murray first reported that the deal was expected to be for 3-Years and $25 Million; but corrections from ESPN’s Jeff Passan have correctly labelled the deal as 3-Years and $27 Million.

This is the 2nd major free agent bullpen move the Yankees have made this winter, in addition with bringing back free agent Zach Britton earlier this month.

The Yankees have now truly recreated yet another powerful bullpen, as has been their biggest strength since the original moves to acquire Aroldis Chapman to join Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances before the 2016 season.

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The Yankees Do Not Need Another Big Bullpen Arm

The Yankees Do Not Need Another Big Bullpen Arm

Besides the looming $300 million elephants in the room, much of the current chatter around the Yankees is regarding the big bullpen arms available on the Free Agent market. It is no secret that the Yankees are interested to varying extents in David Robertson, Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino, and Andrew Miller. Each of these pitchers will cost a minimum of $10 million per year against the luxury tax calculation. Based on current estimates, the Yankees are approximately $7 million (when taking likely arbitration figures into account) shy of the luxury tax threshold. The Yankees will likely clear additional space when they find a taker for Sonny Gray;s projected $9.1 million salary, but it will still leave the Yankees with very little breathing room under the luxury tax threshold to adequately fill the hole left by Didi’s absence. It remains unclear whether the Yankees are willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold for any player that is not Harper or Machado, and if the Yankees lose out on either player, I am not sure that the Yankees will be willing to sign any of the aforementioned big bullpen arms. Much as I disagree with a path forward in which the Yankees do not exceed the luxury tax threshold this year, it is a real possibility. That being said, the Yankees can still form a formidable bullpen even without signing one of big free agent bullpen arms.

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