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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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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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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Breaking: David Robertson to sign with the Phillies

Breaking: David Robertson to sign with the Phillies

MLB Network insider Mark Feinsand was first to break the news that former Yankee relief pitcher David Robertson has agreed to a deal and passed a physical to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies on a 2-Year, $23 million dollar contract.

This offseason, Robertson decided to part ways with his former agent Scott Levanthal, and decided to represent himself in free agent contract negotiations. There was a post on the MLBTradeRumors website with his own personal statement explaining his decision.

This move to the Phillies also aligns with news that Robertson was most interested in signing with an East Coast team, which was announced earlier in the offseason.

Tweets Inside.

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Thoughts and Reflections - December 23, 2018

We have reached the “dog days” of the off-season. Following some early activity by the boys in pinstripes, the Yankees have stayed relatively quiet. Outside of an active trade market, some of which is active purely to clear salary, most teams are waiting to make their next move once Harper and Machado make decisions regarding their new homes for presumably the next 7-10 years. While teams, writers, and fans alike hold their collective breath, this is a good time to take stock of where the Yankees are, and where they might be in the first weeks of January. My scattered thoughts are in no particular order below:

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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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How I Saw It - The Wild Card Game (Andy Singer)

Throughout the course of the Wild Card game between the Yankees and the Athletics, I evaluated the game with a critical eye. What follows are my thoughts on what I saw in stream-of-consciousness fashion, inning-by-inning. As a prequel, feel free to peruse my thoughts and predictions posted prior to the game. Without further ado, follow along with the Yankees’ 7-2 win through my eyes:

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Miscellaneous Thoughts and Predictions Prior to the Wild Card Game

The day has finally arrived - the Yanks are set to take on the Athletics at Yankee Stadium in a sudden death game to move on to the ALDS vs. the Red Sox. After delaying the decision for a couple of days, the Yankees announced that Luis Severino will take the hill for the Yankees as the Athletics plan to use Liam Hendriks as their “opener” as they plan to throw the proverbial pitcher’s kitchen sink at the Yankees. My thoughts, in no particular order, are below:

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