2023 Yankees Spring Training News & Notes

TheYellowDart5

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Super excited for the Yankees to take Danish, teach him the whirly slider and have him suddenly become a 2.00 ERA guy.
 

jon abbey

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Obviously some top prospects here, but I am also kind of intrigued by Rafael Ortega on this list. I had a decent OBP last year with the Cubs, has some speed, a little pop. I'd like to see him make the roster potentially.
Over who? Florial is still 25, out of options, outhit Cabrera as teammates in AAA, and has never really gotten a chance with NY. I hope they dump Hicks, trade for Kepler, keep Florial as the 4th OF, and make Cabrera the utility guy. Ortega can start in Scranton and try to impress from there.
 

jon abbey

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Ortega did have a solid half season in 2021 for the Cubs, but he has no options left and is on a minor league deal, so things have gone wrong if and when he hits the roster.

For that LF spot, if they really can't figure out a match for Kepler, I would watch the guys coming from the system. In addition to Florial, Pereira and Dominguez could both push themselves into the mix quickly with a hot start in AA (both finished there last season), Pereira has already been on the 40 man for two offseasons. People like Elijah Dunham too, I'm less sold there but impressive first few seasons for a guy who NY signed after he was undrafted in the grossly shortened five round draft of 2020.
 

Wingack

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Ortega did have a solid half season in 2021 for the Cubs, but he has no options left and is on a minor league deal, so things have gone wrong if and when he hits the roster.

For that LF spot, if they really can't figure out a match for Kepler, I would watch the guys coming from the system. In addition to Florial, Pereira and Dominguez could both push themselves into the mix quickly with a hot start in AA (both finished there last season), Pereira has already been on the 40 man for two offseasons.People like Elijah Dunham too, I'm less sold there but impressive first few seasons for a guy who NY signed after he was not drafted in the grossly shortened five round draft of 2020.
Ultimately, I want the young guys to play. But Ortega is probably a bit better than Hicks, but I know the Yankees are stuck wit him.
 

EvilEmpire

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I think there is a reasonable chance that they'll work something out for Kepler, but I won't be surprised at all if Cabrera gets the job and plays well enough to keep it.
 

wallypip

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Over who? Florial is still 25, out of options, outhit Cabrera as teammates in AAA, and has never really gotten a chance with NY. I hope they dump Hicks, trade for Kepler, keep Florial as the 4th OF, and make Cabrera the utility guy. Ortega can start in Scranton and try to impress from there.
I was thinking about Florial recently. I'm not sure why he lost his prospect luster so quickly. I know he strikes out a lot, and the Yankees obviously have seen something about him that they don't like for the major league roster. IMO, he would be an obvious choice to give Bader days off so that they don't sacrifice much defense on his off days. I'm probably just fanboying another NY prospect, but if nothing else changes, I would like to see him compete with Hicks for ABs in LF.
 

terrynever

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I was thinking about Florial recently. I'm not sure why he lost his prospect luster so quickly. I know he strikes out a lot, and the Yankees obviously have seen something about him that they don't like for the major league roster. IMO, he would be an obvious choice to give Bader days off so that they don't sacrifice much defense on his off days. I'm probably just fanboying another NY prospect, but if nothing else changes, I would like to see him compete with Hicks for ABs in LF.
Hicks is taking up one young player’s roster spot. It’s almost criminal. Hicks is stealing youth and speed and defense. Maybe he can get hot for a couple weeks in spring training as an audition.
 

jon abbey

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Hicks and Donaldson definitely shouldn't be starting (Cabrera in LF, DJ at 3B, Gleyber at 2B) if the current roster is healthy, it's a slightly tougher argument to make that they clearly don't deserve to be on the bench.

I think if and when that becomes clear, they will be off the team but I guess we'll see. I do think that if Hicks played for a different team, NY might be eyeing him as a buy cheap rebound candidate, but maybe that's wishful thinking.
 

jon abbey

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Hicks was a good defender in NY's big LF when he made an effort last year (not always), and his arm is back to very strong. He will have another year away from his wrist issues, so maybe some power will come back.

I still really hope they can bump him off the roster with Kepler, who seems like a perfect bridge to the younger guys (2023 guaranteed, 2024 team option) and then Cabrera can be the 10th man utility guy.
 

terrynever

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Hicks was a good defender in NY's big LF when he made an effort last year (not always), and his arm is back to very strong. He will have another year away from his wrist issues, so maybe some power will come back.

I still really hope they can bump him off the roster with Kepler, who seems like a perfect bridge to the younger guys (2023 guaranteed, 2024 team option) and then Cabrera can be the 10th man utility guy.
I also like Cabrera in that utility role until he shows he can hit consistently. Willing to give Hicks another chance, too, because hope is always nearby during spring training.
 

wallypip

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I think that between Rizzo's back issues, Lemahieu"s recent injury history, and Donaldson's AARP status, there will be plenty of ABs for a Donaldson/DJ/Rizzo/Torres rotation in the infield. There's a good chance that Donaldson will show some positive regression this season and they are stuck with him, so it's worth giving him ABs early. However, someone needs to explain the IKF resigning to me. Is he a $7M insurance policy? I don't see where he fits unless the Yankees still consider him the starting SS. If so, that's more criminal than rolling with Hicks and Donaldson early on. (edit: IKF is $6M and it was arb settlement. Slightly different but my opinion stands.)
 
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jon abbey

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I think the idea was to trade IKF once Peraza or Volpe proves themselves, he’s not the worst utility infielder if Cabrera has to play LF regularly.
 

jon abbey

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It’s not going to happen and no one has even rumored it, but if Gleyber could play adequate LF defensively, that would sure help things fall into place.

DJ 2B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Gleyber LF
Bader CF
Donaldson 3B
Trevino C
Peraza SS

bench: Higgy, 3 of 4 of Cabrera, IKF, Hicks, Florial

Adding Kepler for IKF plus a prospect works much better:

DJ 3B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Gleyber 2B
Kepler LF
Bader CF
Trivino C
Peraza SS

bench: Higgy, Cabrera, Donaldson, Florial (Hicks and IKF gone)
 

Bread of Yaz

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It’s not going to happen and no one has even rumored it, but if Gleyber could play adequate LF defensively, that would sure help things fall into place.

DJ 2B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Gleyber LF
Bader CF
Donaldson 3B
Trevino C
Peraza SS

bench: Higgy, 3 of 4 of Cabrera, IKF, Hicks, Florial

Adding Kepler for IKF plus a prospect works much better:

DJ 3B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Gleyber 2B
Kepler LF
Bader CF
Trivino C
Peraza SS

bench: Higgy, Cabrera, Donaldson, Florial (Hicks and IKF gone)
Twinkies are well set in the middle with Polanco and Correa, with Farmer and Gordo as decent backups. They need pitching, and given that you dealt a lot of young starters away last year, and your bullpen has had some losses to injury and others walking, the fit doesn't appear great for a Kepler deal.
 

jon abbey

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Twinkies are well set in the middle with Polanco and Correa, with Farmer and Gordo as decent backups. They need pitching, and given that you dealt a lot of young starters away last year, and your bullpen has had some losses to injury and others walking, the fit doesn't appear great for a Kepler deal.
I'm far from a Twins expert but they don't really seem to have a 1B so plan on moving a natural OF there like Kiriloff or Gallo, because they have way too many OFs. If they did a Kepler for IKF+ deal, they could move Miranda to 1B and IKF to 3B, think that would upgrade their defense at both positions and they really need to move at least one OF.
 

Bread of Yaz

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I'm far from a Twins expert but they don't really seem to have a 1B so plan on moving a natural OF there like Kiriloff or Gallo, because they have way too many OFs. If they did a Kepler for IKF+ deal, they could move Miranda to 1B and IKF to 3B, think that would upgrade their defense at both positions and they really need to move at least one OF.
Gleeman suggests it will be Kiriloff at first, with Gallo taking over if the former's wrist presents problems.

Twins mailbag: Carlos Correa the GM, Alex Kirilloff’s backup and 6-man rotations - The Athletic
 

wallypip

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It’s not going to happen and no one has even rumored it, but if Gleyber could play adequate LF defensively, that would sure help things fall into place.

DJ 2B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Gleyber LF
Bader CF
Donaldson 3B
Trevino C
Peraza SS

bench: Higgy, 3 of 4 of Cabrera, IKF, Hicks, Florial

Adding Kepler for IKF plus a prospect works much better:

DJ 3B
Judge RF
Rizzo 1B
Stanton DH
Gleyber 2B
Kepler LF
Bader CF
Trivino C
Peraza SS

bench: Higgy, Cabrera, Donaldson, Florial (Hicks and IKF gone)
The easier solution would be if Stanton could play more OF. That would open the DH spot for other players. It might even help DJ stay healthy to get a couple of DH days a week. If somehow the Yankees swing a deal for Kepler, you need some kind of righthanded compliment for him if not a straight platoon partner.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Gary Sanchez has caused waves on social media after posting a video of him working out in Yankees gear. My guess is that he just has a ton of Yankees gear because he was with the organization for a jillion years.

But I'd be fine with a non-roster invite!
 

jon abbey

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Yeah I don't see how that makes sense, they have three catchers they like defensively on the 40 man already, and Sanchez isn't an asset at DH or anywhere else, and his presence would be a major distraction.

Boone press conference at 1 PM, hopefully no bad news about injuries we don't know about yet.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, not expecting anything from him this season, brutal trade.
 

jon abbey

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I think how bad that deal is will depend on how the pitchers they traded (Sears, Waldichuk, Medina) develop and how the guys NY bump up to fill those spots develop, but yeah, looks like a complete washout at this point.
 

EvilEmpire

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Ah well. I had low expectations to begin with and I'm not surprised to see even that low bar not get cleared.

I have a lousy memory for such things, but it seems like trading with Oakland rarely works out well. At least since the 50s and 60s.

Agree with Shiner. Better to know now than string this thing out into the season.
 

DeadlySplitter

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That was a quick turnaround from an hour ago. Blake avoiding hte issue and Boone comes right out and says it this time.

Even if Sears etc. don't pan out, those prospects had helium July of last year and could have been used towards a better asset like Bryan Reynolds, maybe
 

TheYellowDart5

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Genuinely funny to me that for as good a GM as Cashman is when it comes to making trades, whenever he makes a midseason trade for a starter, it routinely blows up in his face. Montas, Andrew Heaney, Lance Lynn, Sonny Gray ... his track record there is amazingly bad.
 

jon abbey

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Genuinely funny to me that for as good a GM as Cashman is when it comes to making trades, whenever he makes a midseason trade for a starter, it routinely blows up in his face. Montas, Andrew Heaney, Lance Lynn, Sonny Gray ... his track record there is amazingly bad.
It is, but part of that is he also doesn’t give up guys who end up blossoming in return.

It’s also interesting that all of Gray, Lynn and Heaney were fantastic as soon as they left NY, Montas will probably be great for someone else in 2024 too.
 

EvilEmpire

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For whatever reason, some guys just don't thrive in NY.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a stat or metric that Cashman can use to figure that out in advance. Montas might not be one of those guys, but with the injury I doubt we'll ever find out for sure.

Extra glad they got Rodon. I hope he's one of the good ones.
 

jon abbey

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So one thing is that NY now can have three open 40 man spots because of guys to the 60 day IL when they choose to use them, Effross, Montas and Gil. It was a little unclear why NY had 24 pitchers and just 16 position players on the 40 man, now it is essentially 21 and 16.
 

jon abbey

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For whatever reason, some guys just don't thrive in NY.
This is definitely true, but it really only applies to Gray of those four. Heaney and Lynn were two month rentals, Montas was basically hurt since they got him.
 

jon abbey

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Most quotes this time of year are meaningless but this one’s interesting as it seems Gerrit Cole has a decided preference for who gets the #5 spot now, and it’s not who everyone expects (German).

“Clarke Schmidt’s my dog and we’ve got some other (replacement options) that are great, too,” Cole said. “Domingo also seems to show up for us.”
 

EvilEmpire

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I haven't heard anything beyond the bit you just quoted saying that King was throwing later in the afternoon after Nestor and Kahnle.

It isn't much, but King throwing goes in the "good news" bucket for me.
 

jon abbey

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Yes, he’s back and fine. The NY bullpen is quietly quite loaded.

Schmidt (assuming German in the rotation to start)
King
Marinaccio
Trivino
Kahnle
Peralta
Loaisiga
Holmes

Honestly any or all of those eight could be closers, plus Weissert and Cordero both were great closing games in AAA last year.
 

jon abbey

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Meanwhile the big news today is that NY and Boone are open to playing Judge or Bader in LF sometimes so that Stanton can play RF at home sometimes. Some may remember I was talking about this possibility down the stretch last season, but of course it seems like a much better idea to implement in the spring as opposed to September.
 

jon abbey

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Yes, he’s back and fine. The NY bullpen is quietly quite loaded.

Schmidt (assuming German in the rotation to start)
King
Marinaccio
Trivino
Kahnle
Peralta
Loaisiga
Holmes

Honestly any or all of those eight could be closers, plus Weissert and Cordero both were great closing games in AAA last year.
7 of those 8 actually had MLB saves last year, the only one who didn't was Marinaccio.
 

jon abbey

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And I will go through this in more detail as we get closer to Opening Day, but that is essentially 'adding' King, Marinaccio, and Kahnle to the NY ALCS bullpen, 5 deep to 8 deep. Add Rodon in the rotation, and NY has as of now replaced Castro and Taillon (gone), Montas (hurt), and Weissert (currently would begin in AAA) with those four from the 13 man ALCS roster.

View: https://twitter.com/Yankees/status/1582764343497674752/photo/1
 

jon abbey

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Also I don't remember where I read this, but IKF put on like 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason to try to add some power to his lil baby noodle bat, that has to make him even less likely to win the SS job (no no no no no).

Thankfully, I would guess he is currently probably fourth in line, Peraza 1st, then some combo of Volpe/Cabrera, only then break glass and use IKF.
 

EvilEmpire

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Meanwhile the big news today is that NY and Boone are open to playing Judge or Bader in LF sometimes so that Stanton can play RF at home sometimes.
We'll see how it works out, but I do like this quote from Judge:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/35707715/yankees-mull-moving-judge-left-field-stanton-right-field

"I did mention it to him, if we need to get Big G in right field at Yankee Stadium, put me in left," Judge said of his conversation with Boone on more playing time for Giancarlo Stanton. "I don't mind it. I don't mind switching around so we can have (Harrison) Bader, me, and Big G out there. So, we'll get some reps in spring training and (get) comfortable out there."
Given that Stanton seems to hit better when he's in the field, Judge/Bader/Stanton would easily be the best offensive OF they can put out there without too much risk to the defense. I guess Hicks will stick as the utility OF until he breaks again or Cabrera steals the job from him.

If it works it is way better than paying a pirate king's ransom for Reynolds and puts the concerns about LF to rest.
 

jon abbey

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What did they do when he played CF or DH or didn’t play?

Jasson Dominguez will start NY’s first game on Saturday, I think not on TV live but on MLBN Saturday night. That’s about as exciting as February baseball gets. :)