Yankees Spring Training News & Notes

Wingack

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I think most Yankees fans (and even some Red Sox fans) haven't been this excited or interested in a Spring Training camp in years. I'm so amped for it that I am getting this thread up early, because some players are down there already getting early work in and news is starting to trickle out.

For example, and this is just the beginning of the Yankees marketing effort of these guys, the Yankees are opening spring training BP one hour earlier because of the Judge/Stanton spectacle.

Here is a cheesy hype video to get the juices pumping.

 

bankshot1

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Yankees trade for Russell Wilson

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/22357092/new-york-yankees-acquire-russell-wilson-trade-texas-rangers

The Texas Rangers announced Wednesday they have traded Seattle Seahawksquarterback Russell Wilson to the Yankees for future considerations. Wilson, a four-time Pro Bowler, is expected to appear at the Yankees' Grapefruit League camp in Tampa, Florida, sometime in February or March.


and from what I hear the Red Sox will be aggressively pursuing soon to be FA Malcolm Butler
 

jon abbey

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Joe Girardi has been hired by MLBN, he is on for the first time at 6 PM today.
 

Big John

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Joe Girardi has been hired by MLBN, he is on for the first time at 6 PM today.
I watched a good portion of Girardi's segment and I'm beginning to understand why his contract wasn't renewed. He reminded me a little of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in Moneyball. He managed using formulas that he had come to believe in over time.
 

jon abbey

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Man, no way. I saw most of his first two appearances and once again he is twice as intelligent and insightful as anyone around him. Brian Kenny should just shut up and let Girardi talk for both of them. Are you talking about something specifically? I am happy with Boone as a front office informed/controlled by manager, but I am one thousand percent certain that Girardi will be a better announcer than Boone was, not that they will have the same job.

Also my wife couldn't believe it was the same guy, she said he looked ten years younger, that Yankee job was killing him. If anyone is still hiring managers over 40, he'd be my top guy, I would jump on him in 2019 with a season to destress.
 

luckiestman

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Man, no way. I saw most of his first two appearances and once again he is twice as intelligent and insightful as anyone around him. Brian Kenny should just shut up and let Girardi talk for both of them. Are you talking about something specifically? I am happy with Boone as a front office informed/controlled by manager, but I am one thousand percent certain that Girardi will be a better announcer than Boone was, not that they will have the same job.

Also my wife couldn't believe it was the same guy, she said he looked ten years younger, that Yankee job was killing him. If anyone is still hiring managers over 40, he'd be my top guy, I would jump on him in 2019 with a season to destress.
Girardi used to do a lot of Yes games. I liked him. He was no Kitty Kaat but he was good.
 

jon abbey

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Kaat was great on pitching, maybe as good as Cone now.

Girardi will have to remember a bit how to be on the media side of things, but I have been watching way too much MLBN all winter and he is a breath of fresh air. Or you could hear more Billy Ripken... :)
 

cromulence

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I really liked Kaat on YES too, but for some reason he annoys me on MLBN. Let's just blame Costas.

I agree with JA about Girardi on MLBN - I was impressed. It was interesting to hear him talk about how they handled replay, and how dependent managers are on their replay guy. Girardi always had excellent stats when challenging (let's ignore the Cleveland fiasco), but from listening to him it sounds like it came from a mix of having a very good replay guy as well as high quality replays at Yankee Stadium. They also mentioned that MLB has paid for all stadiums to have X-Mo now, so that part should be a level playing field going forward.
 

Big John

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Man, no way. I saw most of his first two appearances and once again he is twice as intelligent and insightful as anyone around him. .
I thought he said he relied on formulas that he had developed over the years, such as his approach to handling a bullpen. I also though his comments on shifts were not particularly insightful. If a dead pull hitter starts going the other way, you have to make adjustments. So what else is new? And he didn't explain what those "adjustments" are. Do you reposition the defense, or perhaps pitch the hitter inside to make it harder to go the other way?
I did not hear any insights that were "out of the box" or creative. What did he say that Earl Weaver wouldn't have said (without the profanity of course)?
 

jon abbey

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Pretty sure Earl Weaver is not the guy he's replacing on MLBN.

The point is any animus you had with him as a manager, legit or non-legit, doesn't matter anymore, he's no longer manager, and as a person who understands the game he dwarfs anyone else around on TV currently (David Cone is close). I saw more of him late last night (when they repeat the shows, I told you I watch too much MLBN) and pretty much everything he says is interesting, knowledge from an actual recent insider. Maybe some of what he says sounds cliched (not what I heard, but ok), but I always made a point to listen to his interviews after Yankee games and I will make it a point to hear him now on MLBN.
 

Big John

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I had absolutely no animus against Girardi as a manager and I'm not sure that replacing him-- especially with an unknown quantity like Boone-- was the right thing to do. It just that he came across to me as the archetypal "good baseball man," not as an out-of-the-box thinker for baseball's 21st century, and that may be why the Yankees let him go.
 

jon abbey

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I think it might be the reverse actually, they seemed to want someone who doesn't do too much of their own thinking, whether it be old school or new school, because it gets in the way of the deep research of the front office.
 

Big John

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I think it might be the reverse actually, they seemed to want someone who doesn't do too much of their own thinking, whether it be old school or new school, because it gets in the way of the deep research of the front office.
Well if they wanted a YES man, I'm surprised they didn't interview Jack Curry or John Flaherty.
 

cromulence

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I just posted about this in the other thread, but makes more sense here. What an idiot. He picked a terrible time to try to shit on Cashman - his stock is as high as it's ever been right now. Only the oldest and bitterest of Yankee fans would side with Gossage here.
 

santadevil

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I love his quote too:
"He would've been gone 10 years ago if George was still around," Gossage said.
Good thing George only died 8 years ago this July

Goose showing some Alzheimer's now?
 

jon abbey

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Well, George was here but not really here for a few years before that, I don't think Goose has ever been too concerned with facts.

I love that dude endlessly from when he was a player, but he must understand that if you talk shit about the team year after year, eventually they are going to stop inviting you to be in camp with them. But he seems to have Schilling-esque self-awareness, so maybe he doesn't get that.
 

jon abbey

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So let's examine how many roster spots are open, there should be some good battles this spring.

Definitely on the team:

Sanchez
Bird
Didi
Judge
Stanton
Gardner
Hicks

Severino
Tanaka
Gray
Sabathia
Montgomery

Warren
Betances
Green
Kahnle
Robertson
Chapman

So, seven spots open to one degree or another, only one on the pitching staff, where the frontrunners are Shreve if they take a lefty or Heller if they take the better pitcher or maybe Domingo German if they want more of a long guy and think they have enough SP depth behind him. I would move Warren and audition guys in the sixth and seventh BP spots since Warren is in his last year anyway and NY has some high impact arms like German and Acevedo waiting for their chance and already on the 40 man.

2B: This is Tyler Wade's job to lose for now, the NY organization has been talking him up all winter and even David Cone tweeted about him the other day out of the blue, "Don’t sleep on Tyler Wade. Just saying." Wade will likely get April before the Gleyber Express arrives in the Bronx.

3B: Andujar would need to be down for 37 days to get an extra year of control, which I think is too long for NY if he is the best option, so he is the frontrunner to start the season currently, I think.

UTI: The cockroach of the Yankees, Ronald Torreyes, will keep this job yet again with solid play in camp, but if Wade plays well in April, Torreyes will go to AAA or elsewhere once Torres is up and Wade will become the Brock Holt utility guy that they had envisioned for him, he plays 2B/SS/3B and all 3 OF positions.

Backup C: Romine and Higashioka will battle it out again unless Cashman (please Brian) brings in an upgrade. I think there's a match with the Dodgers having way too much catcher depth and NY having an endless supply of bullpen possibilities, but hopefully something happens here.

Backup 1B/DH: Tyler Austin, this along with backup C are two of NY's weaker spots. Billy McKinney is also possible here, but since Bird hits lefty and McKinney hits lefty and Austin hits righty, it is not too likely.

Backup OF: Yankee fans pretty much universally hate him now, but Jacoby Ellsbury had a 1.7 BWAR in around 400 ABs last year, he is not worthless. Clint Frazier might be better but is also almost certainly better served by playing every day in AAA for now.
 

wallypip

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I'll throw in a few my thoughts on this.

This is starting off as the strangest camp that I've ever seen because of the market. There are so many unsigned mid-range FAs, that you have to consider the competitions to include them. I don't think anyone is going to win and keep a position on the roster by default. Neil Walker could step into a few different roles on this team and there are still a lot of middling starting pitchers out there.

I'm rooting for Hicks, but I'm not giving up on Ellsbury. I could see them splitting time in CF. It's a long season and i just think Ellsbury is going to play a part one way or the other.

I would have no problem with Tyler Wade as the starting 2B if they are giving Torres more time in AAA. However, that would have to mean that they are really comfy with Andujar at 3B. I don't want to see Torreyes and Wade in the lineup together everyday--even for a month.

I don't have a big problem with Romine as the backup catcher, but the idea of him getting any starts at 1B makes me want to look for an upgrade if Tyler Austin doesn't work his way on. Tied to that, the Yankees can carry a guy like Austin if they stick to 12 pitchers. Going back to Neil Walker, if his price is right, he can add insurance at 2B and 3B and you can live with him getting the occasional start at 1B. I'm not in love with Walker or anything, I just think the Yankees going to add someone who can hit near league average and play uneventful infield defense.

Giving Green a chance at starting is probably just the Adam Warren treatment, but there are going to be innings for starters this season. Luis Cessa needs to prove that he is as good as the other back end starters that are still on the market.

I'm really interested to see where Boone uses everyone. Judge and/or Stanton getting a lot of reps in LF will tell us a lot. Perhaps we see Torres getting regular reps at 3B? I have a feeling that Ellsbury is going to get second string treatment early on and that's going to come from the FO. Ellsbury keeps his mouth shut in public, but the way Boone handles that will be something the players notice.
 

curly2

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There are 7.6 billion people on Earth. Is it possible there's anyone angrier and more bitter about everything and everyone than Goose Gossage?
 

jon abbey

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This is kind of big news, Estrada is on the 40 man. He was a very long shot (no pun intended) to make the team already, since he was in AA all last year, but this cuts the candidates for 2B/3B by one for now:

Bryan Hoch‏Verified account @BryanHoch

Yankees manager Aaron Boone announces that infield prospect Thairo Estrada sustained a gunshot wound in his right hip during a robbery attempt at the end of January. He is in good spirits and expected to play the majority of the season.
 

jon abbey

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So now it's Wade/Andujar as the frontrunners, Torres needing a few weeks at least in AAA probably, Torreyes hanging around, and Espinosa and Peterson as more experienced guys not on the 40 man. Three of those six should make the team as the 2B/3B/UTI.
 

jon abbey

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So for the sake of argument, let's say that Moustakas and Boras would agree to a 1/10 deal with the Yankees. That is obviously a nice value in a vacuum, but does it make sense for NY even at that price? I kind of think it doesn't, because they really need to see what they have in Andujar at the MLB level before Machado/Donaldson hit FA.
 

crow216

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So for the sake of argument, let's say that Moustakas and Boras would agree to a 1/10 deal with the Yankees. That is obviously a nice value in a vacuum, but does it make sense for NY even at that price? I kind of think it doesn't, because they really need to see what they have in Andujar at the MLB level before Machado/Donaldson hit FA.
Yes, and then you trade him at the deadline. That is a considerable asset.
 

jon abbey

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OK, let's add in that he insists on a full no-trade clause, which is pretty reasonable given the circumstances. Also, if he was going well, why would NY trade him unless they were out of the playoff race, and if he was going badly, why would anyone want him?
 

crow216

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OK, let's add in that he insists on a full no-trade clause, which is pretty reasonable given the circumstances. Also, if he was going well, why would NY trade him unless they were out of the playoff race, and if he was going badly, why would anyone want him?
The kids are playing well enough and the offense is strong enough that you don't need him. If he can't get more than $10m, he obviously won't be able to secure a NTC. In this hypothetical, I can't see how at least 10 teams wouldn't opt in for his services. Shoot, if I were the Sox, I'd get that over JDM 10 times a day and 20x on Sunday.
 

Wingack

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Apparently there is no draft compensation for deals under $50 guaranteed money. Since that is the case, I would definitely sign him for one year, maybe even two.

We don't really know what the season holds in front of us. I would sign him if he we can stay under the threshold and have some wiggle room for in season moves.
 

jon abbey

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I think they would have just signed Todd Frazier again if they'd wanted to do that, Frazier is a way better defender and a better player overall.
 

jon abbey

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Revamping my roster predictions from a week ago after the Drury trade:

==================================

So let's examine how many roster spots are open, there should be some good battles this spring.

Definitely on the team:

Sanchez
Bird
Didi
Judge
Stanton
Gardner
Hicks

Severino
Tanaka
Gray
Sabathia
Montgomery

Warren
Betances
Green
Kahnle
Robertson
Chapman

So, seven spots open to one degree or another, only one on the pitching staff, where the frontrunners are Shreve if they take a lefty or Heller if they take the better pitcher or maybe Domingo German if they want more of a long guy and think they have enough SP depth behind him. I would move Warren and audition guys in the sixth and seventh BP spots since Warren is in his last year anyway and NY has some high impact arms like German and Acevedo waiting for their chance and already on the 40 man.

2B: This is Tyler Wade's job to lose for now, the NY organization has been talking him up all winter and even David Cone tweeted about him the other day out of the blue, "Don’t sleep on Tyler Wade. Just saying." Wade will likely get April before the Gleyber Express arrives in the Bronx.

3B: This is where Drury looks like he will slot in after Cashman's comments today, or at least he is the frontrunner now. Andujar would need to be down for 37 days to get an extra year of control, and now it's looking more like this will happen.

UTI: The cockroach of the Yankees, Ronald Torreyes, will keep this job yet again with solid play in camp, but if Wade plays well in April, Torreyes will go to AAA or elsewhere once Torres is up and Wade will become the Brock Holt utility guy that they had envisioned for him, he plays 2B/SS/3B and all 3 OF positions.

Backup C: Romine and Higashioka will battle it out again unless Cashman (please Brian) brings in an upgrade. I think there's a match with the Dodgers having way too much catcher depth and NY having an endless supply of bullpen possibilities, but hopefully something happens here.

Backup 1B/DH: Tyler Austin, this along with backup C are two of NY's weaker spots. Billy McKinney is also possible here, but since Bird hits lefty and McKinney hits lefty and Austin hits righty, it is not too likely.

Backup OF: Yankee fans pretty much universally hate him now, but Jacoby Ellsbury had a 1.7 BWAR in around 400 ABs last year, he is not worthless. Clint Frazier might be better but is also almost certainly better served by playing every day in AAA for now.

==================================

TL/DR:

Opening Day: Wade 2B, Drury 3B, Torreyes UI
By June: Torres 2B, Andujar 3B, Wade and Drury both on the bench, Torreyes and Austin no longer on the roster.
 

jon abbey

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First spring training game for NY today against the Tigers, on YES at 1 PM. Cessa is SP, no Judge or Sanchez but I believe Stanton will be making his debut in pinstripes.

196 Yankee games in the next 220 days starting today, hopefully more after that. Yippee ki yay, motherfuckers.
 

DBB23

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Clint Frazier to miss a few days after being diagnosed with a concussion.
Bryan Hoch‏Verified account @BryanHoch
Clint Frazier sustained a concussion on that catch against the Pirates in Bradenton, Aaron Boone said. “I would say it will be a few days, but I’m also pretty optimistic.”
 

jon abbey

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This is the week Russell Wilson will actually be in Yankee camp, today he was in the BP group with Judge/Stanton etc. and he went deep three times (in BP, to be clear). They don't plan to have him actually get into any games.
 

jon abbey

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Actually it looks like I was using partial/wrong Twitter reporting for that:

"Perhaps the highlight of Wilson's arrival came when Yankees batting practice Group 2 took center stage. Wilson joined Yankees sluggers Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird for a few rounds of live hitting. Unofficially, Stanton paced the group with 15 total home runs, while Judge had 10 and Bird had eight. Wilson got on the home run leaderboard, too, eclipsing Sanchez by one with six long balls."
 

jon abbey

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Clint Frazier to miss a few days after being diagnosed with a concussion.
Bryan Hoch‏Verified account @BryanHoch
Clint Frazier sustained a concussion on that catch against the Pirates in Bradenton, Aaron Boone said. “I would say it will be a few days, but I’m also pretty optimistic.”
"There's not a whole lot going on in my head," he said. "So I'm not too worried about losing anything."

http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2018/02/yankees_clint_frazier_has_funny_response_to_concus.html
 

terrynever

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I want to congratulate you on this one liner. It went unnoticed, buried here in the MFY section. Well done.
Yes, this was a gem from Lose.
Gonna be amazing to see the crowds this team draws in 2018 in some of the weaker AL markets.
Friday's telecast set a YES record for daylight ST telecasts.
 

terrynever

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Andujar with a game tying double and a walk off HR.

Kid is going to show he belongs.
Andujar's bat belongs already. Will they risk his glove and arm at third base to open the season?
Seems clear Gleyber Torres will begin 2018 in Scranton unless he hits .500 in March.
I would roll the dice and let Andujar open at third base. Yanks have options if he fumbles the opportunity. The presence of his bat down low in the lineup is exciting. Torres should be ready by Memorial Day. By that point, will there be any holes at all in this lineup?
 
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