New York Yankees – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-03-24T12:10:47Z Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Release Wade LeBlanc]]> 2018-03-24T03:45:21Z 2018-03-24T00:36:18Z The Yankees announced today that they have released southpaw Wade LeBlanc. He had signed a minors pact in mid-January.

The 33-year-old hurler has thrown 130 innings over the past two seasons in the majors, working to a 4.15 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. He threw 13 2/3 innings over seven appearances in camp this year, allowing eight earned runs on 16 hits while posting a 10:1 K/BB ratio.

LeBlanc has long posted significant reverse platoon splits, so he’s not really a lefty matchup option, but he has 79 MLB starts under his belt and made plenty of multi-inning appearances last year. Teams weighing a signing will likely view him more as a long man or swingman option.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees, Red Sox Nearing Deal To Play Series In London In 2019]]> 2018-03-22T04:52:03Z 2018-03-22T04:51:35Z
  • The Yankees and Red Sox are nearing a deal to play a two-game series in London during the 2019 regular season, according to Janet Paskin and Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg. The series would take place at London Stadium, which hosted the 2012 Olympics, in what would be the first-ever Major League Baseball action in Europe.
  • ]]>
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Salazar, Darvish, Wade, Ellsbury, Machado]]> 2018-03-21T02:20:56Z 2018-03-21T02:20:56Z Some items from the Bronx…

    • Indians right-hander Danny Salazar was one of several pitchers the Yankees considered as potential trade targets last winter, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  Salazar is controlled via arbitration through the 2020 season and he has shown excellent promise when healthy, posting a 3.82 ERA, 10.5 K/9, and 3.27 K/BB rate over 587 1/3 career innings with the Tribe.  Unfortunately, Salazar has also been bothered by shoulder and elbow problems over the last two years, and he looks to miss at least a bit of time at the start of the 2018 season due to rotator cuff inflammation.  Despite the health risks, Salazar has been a popular trade target for multiple teams, with the Cubs and Brewers both being linked to the righty this offseason.
    • Also from Sherman’s piece, he doesn’t blame the Yankees for jumping at the unique opportunity to land Giancarlo Stanton, though in terms of pure payroll allocation, rotation help was more of a need than another big bat.  Aside from re-signing C.C. Sabathia, the Yankees didn’t do much to address possible questions in the rotation, though they did explore trades for the likes of Salazar and Gerrit Cole.  New York was only on the periphery of the Yu Darvish hunt, with GM Brian Cashman telling Sherman that “We talked about Darvish with [his agent] Joel Wolfe, but it never got off the ground. We kept seeing if his market collapsed and it didn’t.”  Cashman also noted that “Darvish was never a choice for us, in terms of length [of contract request] with a pitcher,” which Sherman interprets as the Yankees no longer being comfortable handing out major long-term deals to pitchers in their 30’s and/or with notable injury histories.
    • Tyler Wade will be on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster, manager Aaron Boone told’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters.  Wade’s multi-positional versatility will help a New York team that is only planning to have a three-man bench for now, in order to deploy an eight-man bullpen.  Wade’s roster opportunity may come at the expense of Jacoby Ellsbury, who Boone said isn’t likely to be ready for the start of the season as the veteran outfielder continues to recover from an oblique injury.
    • The Yankees have long been considered a prime suitor for Manny Machado when the Orioles star hits free agency next winter, though Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog questions whether the two sides are an ideal fit.  For one, New York has solid-to-very good shortstop and third base options both at the big league level (Didi Gregorius, Brandon Drury, Wade) and coming up in the minors (Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar), so even though Machado is an elite player, the Yankees might prefer to spend their money on pitching instead of the left side of the infield.  To that same end, Axisa wonders if the Yankees will, as rumored, once again far exceed the luxury tax level for big-money free agents like Machado, given Hal Steinbrenner’s desire to keep payroll relatively in check, at least by the Yankees’ standards.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Braves Return Rule 5 Pick Anyelo Gomez To Yankees]]> 2018-03-20T20:57:46Z 2018-03-20T20:57:46Z The Braves have returned Rule 5 draft pick Anyelo Gomez to the Yankees, as announced by New York’s official Twitter feed.  The 25-year-old right-hander has been assigned to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.  Atlanta had originally selected Gomez out of the Yankees’ farm system with the eighth overall pick of last December’s Rule 5 Draft.

    Gomez owns a 3.24 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and 2.58 K/BB rate over 269 1/3 career innings in the minors.  Most of that experience is in the lower levels, though he impressed enough in 2017 to earn a promotion to Double-A (36 2/3 IP over 17 games) and even a brief two-inning cup of coffee at the Triple-A level.  Gomez started just one of his 38 games last season, and the move to the bullpen resulted in a 1.92 ERA in 70 1/3 innings across all levels.  With an abundance of strong arms in the minors, Gomez’s return only further reinforces the Yankees’ depth, though he is probably behind several other pitchers in terms of getting a big league promotion some time this season.

    The Braves technically had two Rule 5 picks on their roster, as injury-plagued right-hander Dan Winkler’s Rule 5 status is still in effect despite missing much of the last three seasons due to injuries.  Winkler and the other intriguing arms in Atlanta’s system created a tough road for Gomez to find a spot on the 25-man roster, and he didn’t help his case with a rocky performance (10.80 ERA) over 8 1/3 Spring Training innings.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Gleyber Torres To See "50-50" Split At Second Base, Shortstop At Triple-A]]> 2018-03-18T23:33:17Z 2018-03-18T23:33:17Z The Yankees will deploy Gleyber Torres in roughly a “50-50” split between second base and shortstop at Triple-A this season, manager Aaron Boone told’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters.  Torres has spent the vast majority of his four pro seasons as a shortstop but received some time at second base over the last two seasons and third base in 2017.  One of the game’s top prospects, Torres is expected to make his big league debut at some point this season, and second base could be his ultimate position in New York given Didi Gregorius’ presence at short.  With Gregorius slated for free agency after the 2019 season, however, Torres’ presence gives the Yankees flexibility at both middle infield positions going forward.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Option Miguel Andujar]]> 2018-03-18T21:58:03Z 2018-03-18T21:57:51Z
  • Even after acquiring Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks in late February, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team would give Miguel Andujar a chance to win its starting third base job. That bid officially came to an end Sunday, as the Yankees optioned the highly touted Andujar to Triple-A, setting up Drury to start at the hot corner. The 23-year-old Andujar held his own during spring action, though, with a .916 OPS in a team-leading 42 at-bats.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jacoby Ellsbury Likely To Begin Season On DL]]> 2018-03-18T04:42:57Z 2018-03-18T04:42:51Z
  • Shoulder inflammation has troubled Blue Jays star Marcus Stroman this spring, but the right-hander told reporters Saturday that he’ll be available during the team’s first turn through the rotation this year. After throwing a pair of scoreless frames Saturday in his first spring outing of the year, Stroman said (via “I thought [Saturday’s game] went really well. I’m ready to rock — just progress over the next two starts and looking forward to pitching against the Yankees on [April 1].” Needless to say, that’s welcome news for the Jays, for whom Stroman delivered 201 highly effective innings in 2017 (3.09 ERA), thanks in part to an excellent 62.1 percent groundball rate.
  • Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stands “a strong chance” to begin the season on the disabled list, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. Ellsbury has been battling an oblique injury that has kept him out since March 1. The Yankees are, of course, built to go without him, given the presences of fellow outfielders Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. Their other outfield role may well go to young utilityman Tyler Wade to start 2018, King suggests.
  • ]]>
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[AL Notes: Morrison, White Sox, Yankees]]> 2018-03-17T18:30:15Z 2018-03-17T18:30:15Z First baseman Logan Morrison ended up with the Twins, but many expected the Red Sox to pursue him more aggressively than they did. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe has some interesting quotes from LoMo, who smacked 38 homers for the Rays last season but ultimately settled for a meager $6.5MM guarantee with performance escalators and a vesting option. Morrison says he himself didn’t have any conversations with Boston. His agent spoke with the club during the winter meetings, but apparently “that was it,” and clearly that discussion didn’t culminate in any serious offers. “Am I surprised? I guess. I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know if it was the most shocking thing I saw [in the market].” The Sox ended up re-signing Mitch Moreland to play first base for them on a two-year, $13MM contract.

    Some other American League-related items…

    • James Fegan of The Athletic has an insightful rundown of some young White Sox arms. Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning have all had their ups and downs this spring, and Fegan was able to get quotes from all of them on some recent performances in camp. For instance, Giolito spoke about his latest outing during which he allowed two runs in the first inning. “It’s one of those days where like, if one pitching isn’t working you can go to the other ones and I was able to do that for the most part after the first inning,” he said. Kopech offered some confidence in his performance. Threw a lot of changeups, changeups were good,” Kopech said. “My main two focuses were fastball command and changeup command. Both were really good. Got a lot of swings and misses on the changeup.” Anyone looking for more quotes from these young pitchers should give the article a full read.
    • The Yankees have officially tabbed right-hander Luis Severino to be the club’s Opening Day starter. Bryan Hoch of has some notable quotes from manager Aaron Boone on the subject. “”We feel like it’s his time for it,” Boone said. “With what he was able to do last year, we feel like he’s in a really good place now. We just felt like now is the time for him to take on that role and we think he’s ready for it.” While it’s hardly surprising to hear that the third-place finisher in 2017’s Cy Young voting will throw his club’s first game of the season, the announcement also comes with the news that lefty Jordan Montgomery will officially be given the club’s fifth rotation spot and start the Yankees’ home opener.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Twins Acquire Jake Cave, Designate Kennys Vargas]]> 2018-03-16T19:54:52Z 2018-03-16T19:34:09Z The Twins have acquired outfielder Jake Cave from the Yankees, per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter). Righty Luis Gil goes to the Yankees in return. In a corresponding move, Minnesota has designated slugger Kennys Vargas for assignment.

    The 25-year-old Cave just didn’t have a place in the Yankees’ plans with the organization already sporting a variety of quality outfielders at the MLB level. Meanwhile, Minnesota was likely not going to carry the out-of-options Vargas after signing Logan Morrison.

    It’s not immediately clear how the 25-year-old Cave will fit on the Twins roster, given that the club already has left-handed-hitting outfielders in Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, and Robbie Grossman (who is a switch-hitter). But the organization may just have decided it was worth taking a chance on Cave’s upside while letting him develop at Triple-A to start the year.

    Last season, Cave turned in a robust .305/.351/.542 slash with 20 homers in 437 plate appearances in the upper minors. He’s considered a quality all-around player who can play any of the three outfield positions. Of course, Cave has yet to have a chance to show whether he can carry his promise into the majors.

    The switch-hitting Vargas is a defensively-limited slugger who has shown some pop, but also some swing and miss, in reserve duty over the past four MLB campaigns. He carries a .252/.311/.437 overall slash with 35 home runs in 859 trips to the plate.

    As for Gil, he’ll represent something of a far-off lottery ticket for the Yanks. The righty has not yet advanced past the Dominican Summer League, but did put up a solid stat line there last year. In 41 2/3 innings, he worked to a 2.59 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Release Adam Lind]]> 2018-03-14T15:50:54Z 2018-03-14T15:43:42Z 10:43am: The Yankees have confirmed the move.

    10:39am: While the team has yet to announce a move, Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media reports that the Yankees released first baseman Adam Lind after yesterday’s game (Twitter link). Billy Witz of the New York Times tweets that Lind’s locker has been cleared out in the Yankees clubhouse and adds that he, too, hears the veteran is no longer with the organization.

    Lind, 34, reportedly had an opt-out date in his minor league deal with the Yankees, but that wasn’t set to come until March 22. It’s not clear at this time whether he’ll quickly line up an arrangement with another organization or if he’ll have to explore the market for a few days before landing in a new spot. He went 3-for-15 (all singles) with five strikeouts and a walk in 16 plate appearances with the Yankees this spring.

    Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets that Lind candidly told him he didn’t see a path to 300+ plate appearances when asked yesterday, which indeed would’ve been tough to envision, barring injuries elsewhere on the roster. Greg Bird is slated to serve as the everyday first baseman in New York and, like Lind, is a left-handed hitter. Tyler Austin provides a right-handed-hitting complement to Bird, and newly signed Neil Walker could conceivably see some backup time at first base if needed. There’s no room for Lind in the Yankees outfield, either, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury all on the 25-man roster.

    Last season with the Nationals, Lind slashed .303/.362/.512 with 14 homers in 301 plate appearances. That served as a nice rebound effort from a poor 2016 effort in Seattle and made that lone down year appear to be largely aberrational in nature. Lind has posted an OPS+ of 123 or better in four of the past five seasons, batting a combined .282/.348/.473 through 2142 plate appearances in that time. Of course, that production has come almost entirely against right-handed pitching, as Lind’s struggles against lefties has been a well-documented issue throughout his big league career.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Option Gleyber Torres To Triple-A]]> 2018-03-14T03:58:55Z 2018-03-14T03:58:55Z
  • The Yankees announced today that top prospect Gleyber Torres has been optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The move doesn’t come as a huge surprise given the team’s signing of Neil Walker to a one-year deal and Torres’ struggles this spring as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery in his non-throwing arm. Torres, who has just 55 games above Class-A Advanced under his belt and just 96 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, went 4-for-25 with seven strikeouts in Grapefruit League play. The 21-year-old will likely make his MLB debut with the Yankees at some point in 2018, and optioning him comes with the added benefit of pushing back his service clock to gain an extra year of club control (assuming he spends at least three weeks or so in the minors to open the season).
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Release Danny Espinosa]]> 2018-03-12T22:05:02Z 2018-03-12T22:05:02Z The Yankees have released veteran infielder Danny Espinosa from his minor league contract, GM Brian Cashman told reporters today after announcing the signing of Neil Walker (Twitter link via the YES Network’s Jack Curry).

    The move will allow Espinosa the opportunity to find a club better-poised to give him a chance at cracking the big league roster. Since the Yankees signed Espinosa earlier this offseason, they’ve acquired Brandon Drury in a trade and signed Walker to a one-year deal. With that pair on the 25-man roster, plus prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar on the horizon and utility options like Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes, Espinosa clearly faced an uphill battle in ever seeing any big league time in the Bronx.

    Over the past two seasons, the switch-hitting Espinosa has struggled to a dismal .197/.286/.344 slash with 283 strikeouts in 896 plate appearances — a whopping 31.5 percent strikeout rate. But, Espinosa is a talented defensive player that has experience all around the infield and has a history of decent offensive output against left-handed pitching. While it’s now been two years since he’s delivered anything in the way of offensive production in the big leagues, Espinosa still should hold appeal to other organization with lesser depth up the middle.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Sign Neil Walker]]> 2018-03-13T14:19:25Z 2018-03-12T21:53:10Z The Yankees have agreed to a contract with free-agent infielder Neil Walker, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Walker, a client of Excel Sports Management, will earn a base salary of $4MM, tweets’s Bryan Hoch.

    Walker can also boost his earnings a bit through bonuses, per Jack Curry of the YES Network (via Twitter) and Hoch (via Twitter). He can take home up to $500K via plate appearance incentives, with $125K apiece upon reaching each of 425, 450, 475 and 500 plate appearances.

    Neil Walker | Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    The agreement will bring to a close a lengthy trip through the free-agent process for the 32-year-old Walker, who struggled to find a landing spot this offseason despite a history of above-average offense and the ability to handle multiple positions around the infield. The infielder himself told Billy Witz of the New York Times recently that he thought he’d been close to an agreement with the Yankees before the team pivoted and acquired Brandon Drury from the D-backs.

    Now, it seems that the Yankees will have veteran options to fill in at both third base and second base as they round out their infield before Opening Day. The addition of Walker likely means that both Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar will begin the 2018 season in the minors, with Drury lined up at the hot corner and Walker at second base. That said, Walker’s ability to bounce between first base and third base as well, if necessary, could allow him to move to a utility role later in the year if Torres emerges and pushes him for the starting second base job.

    Walker is fresh off a solid .265/.362/.439 slash line with 14 homers in 448 plate appearances between the Mets and Brewers last season. A partially torn hamstring sidelined him for several weeks last summer, but he showed little in the way of ill effect late in the year, hitting at a .267/.403/.433 clip after an August trade to Milwaukee. Injuries have to be at least something of a concern with Walker, to be sure; in addition to last year’s hamstring trouble, Walker underwent back surgery in 2016 — a procedure that led to him accepting a $17.2MM qualifying offer from the Mets.

    Health-related red flags notwithstanding, Walker has hit between 12 and 23 homers per season with average or better walk rates and above-average contact skills each season dating back to 2010, when he first established himself as a regular in Pittsburgh. By measure of OPS+ and wRC+, he’s been 14 to 15 percent better than the league-average hitter in that time. He’ll add to an already-imposing Yankees lineup and deepen an already-envious collection of quality infield options for GM Brian Cashman and first-year manager Aaron Boone.

    The presence of Walker on the 25-man roster could also push utility infield option Tyler Wade to Triple-A early in the year, though fellow utilityman Ronald Torreyes also has options remaining. That group, paired with Drury, Torres and Andujar should leave the Yankees extremely well-positioned to deal with any injuries or unforeseen circumstances that may arise over the course of the season, and the added depth could theoretically go a long way toward keeping Walker healthy as well by affording him ample rest opportunities.

    With a fairly modest overall commitment, the Yankees should still have roughly $10MM to work with as they seek midseason upgrades in advance of the nonwaiver trade deadline. Maintaining that type of flexibility has long been reported to be a critical factor for the Yankees in any free agent negotiations. That Walker’s price point fell to the range of several other solid veterans who have signed in this range in recent weeks allowed the Yankees to come away from the offseason with both of the infielders in which they held interest when previously negotiating with Walker’s camp and with the D-backs on the Drury swap.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Designate Jake Cave For Assignment]]> 2018-03-12T21:45:03Z 2018-03-12T21:17:43Z The Yankees announced that they’ve designated outfielder Jake Cave for assignment. His roster spot will go to infielder Neil Walker, whose one-year Major League deal has now been announced by the team.

    Cave, 25, enjoyed a strong season between Double-A and Triple-A this past season, hitting .305/.351/.542 with 20 homers through 437 trips to the plate. Given his strong track record in the minors and previous interest from other clubs — the Reds selected Cave back in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft, though he didn’t crack their big league roster — it stands to reason that he could be of interest to other teams now that he’s lost his spot in the Bronx. Baseball America has ranked Cave among the Yankees’ top 30 prospects on multiple occasions, noting that he can play all three outfield spots and has average tools across the board, perhaps with the exception of his power.

    Outfield depth isn’t much of a concern for the Yankees even after losing Cave, with Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Jacoby Ellsbury all ticketed for the 25-man roster. The team also has Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney as 40-man options looming in the upper minors in the event should injuries arise.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Second Base, Frazier, Ellsbury, Rotation]]> 2018-03-11T02:20:25Z 2018-03-11T02:09:37Z The latest on the Yankees:

    • New York’s second base battle is likely down to Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade and Danny Espinosa, as Jace Peterson and Ronald Torreyes haven’t gotten enough reps this spring to realistically end up with the job, Brendan Kuty of posits. Yankees manager Aaron Boone indicated he could wait until the end of spring to name a starter. The 23-year-old Wade dealt with an injury scare to his left wrist Saturday, but it seems he avoided any serious issues, Bryan Hoch of relays.
    • Concussed young outfielder Clint Frazier isn’t recovering as quickly as hoped (via Hoch). Frazier, who suffered the injury Feb. 24, revealed Saturday the concussion is “affecting my driving,” and he’s even “calling my cats the wrong names at times. But they look the same, so it’s hard.” Added Frazier, 23, “I’m not reacting as quickly to things.” But Frazier’s statements came after some light baseball activities, when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman “said symptoms are particularly heightened,” Marc Carig of The Athletic writes (subscription required).  “It probably puts him at a disadvantage, to be honest,” Cashman contended.
    • While Frazier looked like a long shot to earn a spot on the outfielder-loaded Yankees even before his injury, that’s not the case for center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who will make the team if healthy. But Ellsbury isn’t a certainty for Opening Day because of a right oblique injury, according to Cashman (via Hoch). Injury troubles aren’t anything new for Ellsbury, who sat out a combined 115 games during a disappointing first three years with the Yankees (including 50 in 2017). When healthy, Ellsbury is likely the Yankees’ No. 5 outfielder, behind Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. That’s despite having upward of $68MM left on his contract.
    • No real surprise, but the Yankees are opening the season with left-hander Jordan Montgomery as their fifth starter, Boone announced Friday (per George A. King III of the New York Post). As was the case last year, Montgomery will slot in after Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and C.C. Sabathia. That means right-hander Chad Green, whom the Yankees were considering for a starting role, will continue as a reliever. Green was utterly dominant out of the bullpen in 2017, when he recorded a 1.83 ERA with 13.43 K/9 and 2.22 BB/9 over 69 innings. Montgomery wasn’t nearly that effective, but he was quite respectable as a rookie nonetheless, with a 3.88 ERA and 8.34 K/9 against 2.95 BB/9 across 155 1/3 frames.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[East Notes: Pomeranz, Glover, Freicer]]> 2018-03-10T20:29:13Z 2018-03-10T20:29:13Z Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz could attempt to throw two innings of live batting practice next week, writes Scott Lauber of ESPN. That would be a notable progression in his rehab back from a flexor strain, though it’s not yet clear whether he’ll be ready to take the mound for his first start of the season (Lauber notes that this would be either April 1st or April 2nd). Pomeranz is set to become a free agent following this season, and he’ll certainly want to avoid any injury-related question marks as he hits free agency amidst a  free agent pitching class that could potentially include Clayton Kershaw and fellow Red Sox left-hander David Price.

    Elsewhere along the Atlantic shoreline…

    • There’s no timetable for Koda Glover to begin throwing again, Jamal Collier writes in his latest inbox column for Collier adds that all signs point to Glover being out of the bullpen mix to start the 2018 season. The 24-year-old right-hander was expected by many to emerge as a closer option for the Nationals last season, but injuries cut his season short, and his 5.12 ERA across 19 1/3 innings doesn’t look pretty. However, his 4.25 K/BB ratio stands out as excellent; the Nats are surely hoping he can return soon to deliver on his potential.
    • Frecier Perez, the Yankees’ No. 9 prospect, is now represented by The Legacy Agency, Robert Murray of FanRag Sports tweets. The towering 6’8″ right-hander has risen rapidly across the Bombers’ prospect list thanks to his projectable frame and ability to consistently throw 100 MPH. Perez is 21 years old and was signed in 2014 out of the Dominican Republic for just $10K. Current Yankees scout Dan Giese spoke highly of Perez earlier this winter, citing his ability to throw strikes and feel for his change-up as reasons for optimism. He spent most of last season at Low-A Charleston.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Adam Lind Discussed Slow Offseason]]> 2018-03-04T16:14:51Z 2018-03-04T16:14:51Z
  • The Orioles are “intrigued” by Neil Walker and some in the organization see him as a potential bargain signing,’s Roch Kubatko writes.  Walker has been linked to teams like the Royals, Yankees, Mets, Brewers, Angels, and Pirates over the course of the winter, though with many of those teams addressing their second base needs in other ways, Walker is still looking for a new home as we enter March.  The O’s have Jonathan Schoop locked in at the keystone, of course, though Walker could be an intriguing add as a third baseman.  Tim Beckham is currently slated to get the bulk of action at the hot corner, though Beckham is unproven as an everyday player and the Orioles might prefer using him in a super-utility role.  If Walker was signed, the two players could form a third base platoon, as the switch-hitting Walker has struggled against left-handed pitching during his career.
  • Newly-signed Yankees first baseman Adam Lind was one of the many veterans caught up in the offseason free agent freeze, as he tells’s Randy Miller that his only two offers of the entire winter (both minor league offers) came within the last week.  A big asking price didn’t seem to be an issue (“I was just looking for a J-O-B,” Lind said) but the veteran was clearly frustrated at the lack of interest given his strong .303/.362/.512 slash line over 301 plate appearances with the Nationals last season.  “I talked to my wife about it.  I told her, ’What’s the point of doing well?’  What if I hit .280 this year? I probably won’t even get a big-league invite next year,” Lind said.  “You think you’re a good player and then to have no one value you….it’s tough.”
  • ]]>
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[AL East Notes: Swisher, Gomez, Orioles]]> 2018-03-03T15:25:05Z 2018-03-03T15:25:05Z Although the always-energetic Nick Swisher never made it back to the majors after signing a minors pact with the Yankees in 2016, he’ll end up contributing to the team in a different way. Mark Feinsand of writes in the second half of a piece for “Swish” will now serve as a special advisor to GM Brian Cashman. Though the terms of that job are typically pretty broad, Cashman envisions Swisher spending a lot of his time with minor leaguers in the organization. “He had a huge impact on that crew in Scranton when he was playing with [Aaron] Judge, [Greg] Bird, [Gary] Sanchez and all those guys,” said Cashman. “He brought the joy of playing the game on a daily basis, and it was infectious throughout that locker room. The opportunity to bring him into the fold and sprinkle him throughout our farm system was attractive.” On the field, Swisher was a .249/.351/.447 lifetime hitter; his playing career came to an abrupt end after a pair of rough seasons spent with the Indians and Braves from 2014-2015.

    Other items out of the AL East…

    • Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez is being met with a lot of excitement from his new teammates, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. In particular, Denard Span says that, “you’d rather have him on your team than playing against him. Because he’s a headache when you’re playing against him.” There are a lot of reasons for that, Topkin writes. Gomez likes to “mix it up” with bat flips and sometimes even instigates brawls. He’s also the type to play hard in every moment of every game, according to new teammate Kevin Kiermaier“He’s a guy who just loves baseball,” says Kiermaier. “Every time he takes the field, it doesn’t matter if you’re up eight runs or down eight, he’s going to go and play with that intensity.” One of the most interesting points Topkin makes about Gomez is that he can be a little bit misunderstood. Although he appears animated and aggressive, Rays reliever Sergio Romo describes him as someone who “always means well” and that some of the things he’s done have simply taken the wrong way on occasion. Gomez is set to replace the recently-traded Steven Souza Jr. in the Rays’ outfield this season.
    • Looking for a bit of insight into how players are cut from major league spring training camp? Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun helps shed some light on the subject by way of some words from Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Notably, Showalter is committed to spending time meeting with players prior to cuts. “I’m not going to rush through anything,” he said. “I want to hear from them as much as I want to tell them [some things], because I don’t want a month or two or three months to pass, and all of a sudden our success depends on them being able to come up and do something and we didn’t have those proper conversations.” Showalter also believes player feedback is an equally important part of those conversations.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Sign Adam Lind To Minor League Deal]]> 2018-03-06T20:26:23Z 2018-03-02T16:15:53Z The Yankees announced on Friday that they’ve signed free-agent first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind to a minor league deal with an invite to Major League Spring Training. Lind, who is represented by ISE Baseball, would earn $2MM in the majors with $650K in possible incentives, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).

    The contract also includes a pair of opt-out opportunities — on March 22nd and June 1st — which will allow Lind to test the open market if he is not added to the MLB roster. The Yankees view the contract as an “insurance policy,” Cashman adds, so it sounds as if the opt-out clauses could well come into play.

    Lind, 34, is coming off a strong season with the Nationals in which he slashed a hearty .303/.362/.512 with 14 homers in 301 plate appearances. That marked a nice rebound effort from a down season with the Mariners in 2016 and served as evidence that Lind is still plenty capable of contributing at the big league level. That he had to settle for a minor league pact this offseason speaks to the manner in which corner bats have been devalued throughout the league as a whole; Lind has posted an OPS+ of 123 or better in four of the past five seasons, batting a combined .282/.348/.473 through 2142 plate appearances in that time.

    Of course, Lind is not without his limitations. He’s logged a disastrous .217/.263/.329 slash against left-handed pitchers over the course of 12-year MLB career and is largely limited to first base on the defensive spectrum. The Nats did trot him out to left field for 197 innings last season, though that marked his first work on the outfield grass since 2010, and he unsurprisingly did not rate well there.

    It’s possible that Lind will simply spend camp with the Yankees before finding a better opportunity late in Spring Training. New York, after all, doesn’t have much of an opening for him with Greg Bird healthy and expected to man first base on a daily basis in 2018. Tyler Austin is on hand as a backup option for Bird and figures to make the team in a bench capacity as well, though he does have a minor league option remaining. Still, given Lind’s success in 2017 it would hardly come as a surprise if he landed with a club looking to deepen its bench later this month or perhaps finds a greater role in the wake of an injury elsewhere.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Neil Walker, Yankees Had Talks Prior To Brandon Drury Trade]]> 2018-03-01T15:03:08Z 2018-03-01T15:00:56Z Neil Walker tells Billy Witz of the New York Times that his camp held fairly extensive talks with the Yankees before they acquired Brandon Drury (all links to Twitter). Walker said he and his agents felt that they were “fairly close” to hammering out a deal with the Yanks, who instead swung a trade to bring in Drury for added infield depth. The 32-year-old switch-hitter felt the Yankees were a strong fit, as he knows the rigors of playing in the New York media market and was “certainly willing” to bounce around the infield and play multiple positions.  Walker was hoping for a multi-year deal with the Yankees, though, and suggests that the team ultimately “decided to hang onto money for midseason,” when they could be in the market for adding veterans via trade.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Gurriel, Frazier, Gausman, Stroman, Thornburg, Eaton]]> 2018-02-28T04:47:58Z 2018-02-27T19:13:14Z The Astros have shipped first baseman Yuli Gurriel to Houston so his injured hand can be evaluated, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports (Twitter link). At this point, the situation is more or less a mystery, with no real indication how the issue arose or just what the club is concerned about. Clearly, though, the team’s training staff has found cause to get a closer look from a specialist.

    Here’s more on some injury situations from around the game:

    • Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier has been diagnosed with a concussion, tweets’s Bryan Hoch. Frazier made a leaping catch in yesterday’s Grapefruit League game against the Pirates and stumbled a bit before falling backwards and hitting his head against the base of the left-field wall (video link). Manager Aaron Boone said Frazier will be down for “a few days” and acknowledged the seemingly optimistic nature of that timeline. Frazier is far from a lock to make the Opening Day roster in New York with Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Jacoby Ellsbury all on the roster, but he remains a key potential long-term piece for the Yanks.
    • It seems that Orioles righty Kevin Gausman has largely shaken off a home-plate collision yesterday, Roch Kubatko of writes. The young starter, who is a key factor in the team’s hopes for the coming season, says he “feel[s] pretty good” on the whole despite slamming into Tigers youngster Jeimer Candelario. For the time being, at least, Gausman is expected to take the ball for his next scheduled spring outing.
    • The outlook is at least a bit more worrisome for Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman. Per’s Gregor Chisholm, shoulder inflammation is holding Stroman back. Though he has already been cleared by an MRI of structural concerns, Stroman will rest up in hopes of moving past a problem that has evidently been going on for a few weeks. The key Jays hurler says he’s hoping to be fully ramped up for “the very beginning of the start of the season,” even if it’s not Opening Day, though surely the organization will proceed with caution.
    • The Red Sox will welcome reliever Tyler Thornburg back to the hill for the first time since he underwent surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports on Twitter. A bullpen session is just one of many steps back, of course, and Thornburg still has some hurdles to clear. He has yet to pitch competitively for the Boston organization (excepting brief spring action last year) since coming over in a trade in advance of the 2017 season.
    • Indications are that Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton is largely progressing well after a long layoff for a torn ACL. As Mark Zuckerman of writes, though, Eaton has yet to appear in game action. That appears to be less a reflection of Eaton’s surgically repaired joint than it is a planned effort to build him up deliberately. “We’re going to take it and be methodical and do it right for the first time and make sure I’m overcooked, so to speak, before I go out there.” While it’s surely tempting to max out Eaton’s reps after a lost season, skipper Davey Martinez emphasized the primary goal is to have Eaton at full speed come Opening Day.
    • The rival Mets are reporting shoulder and back soreness for Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom, respectively, but those don’t seem to be real concerns at this point, as’s Anthony DiComo reports. However, the New York organization is likely to hold back first baseman Dominic Smith for a while after he was diagnosed with a strained quad. He already seemed to face a difficult task of cracking the Opening Day roster, so this setback is not likely to help the cause. (New reliever Anthony Swarzak just left his relief appearance with an apparent calf injury, as Mike Puma of the New York Post was among those to tweet, though details are sparse at this time.)
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Morosi: Yankees Monitoring Top Available Starters]]> 2018-02-25T22:59:27Z 2018-02-25T22:59:27Z Yankees manager Aaron Boone suggested Sunday that they won’t sign either Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb, yet the team has “maintained contact with Lynn throughout the offseason,” Jon Morosi of writes. The Yankees are monitoring the top available starters in general, according to Morosi, who hears that the Brewers, Phillies, Rangers, Orioles and Nationals are doing the same. The Angels, meanwhile, are open to signing the best free agent reliever, Greg Holland, if the price is right, per Morosi. The Halos’ bullpen has seemingly taken a step back since last year ended, having lost Yusmeiro Petit and Bud Norris to free agency and added only Jim Johnson. While Holland would help make up for those exits, he’s presumably not going to sign for cheap, and inking the qualifying offer recipient would cost the Angels their second-highest draft pick this year and $500K in international spending room.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Aaron Boone: Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb “Aren’t Really In Play” For Yankees]]> 2018-02-25T15:37:11Z 2018-02-25T15:36:03Z During their quest to acquire starting pitching in recent months, the Yankees have been connected to a litany of potential trade and free agent targets. The list includes right-handers Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb, who rank as two of the best free agents remaining in this year’s class. It doesn’t appear either will end up with the Yankees, though, if we’re to believe manager Aaron Boone.

    “At this point I don’t see those guys as realistic options,” Boone said Sunday (via Bryan Hoch of “It’s my understanding that those guys aren’t really in play for us.”

    With the Yankees poised to stay under the $197MM luxury tax threshold and having anywhere from $10MM to $15MM left to spend, Lynn or Cobb would likely be a tight fit for the club’s budget (MLBTR predicted $14MM per annum for Lynn and $12MM a year for Cobb at the outset of the offseason). Although things haven’t gone according to plan for either pitcher since the market opened, they still seem likely to reel in contracts worth somewhere in the $10MM to 15MM-per-year vicinity. Further, because Lynn and Cobb rejected qualifying offers at the start of the offseason, signing either would cost the Yankees two 2018 draft picks (their second- and fifth-highest selections) and $1MM in international bonus pool space.

    Even if they’re truly not in the mix for Lynn or Cobb, the Yankees still have the financial wiggle room to make some sort of move(s) – particularly after addressing third base this week with the acquisition of the inexpensive Brandon Drury. However, general manager Brian Cashman may not feel any urgency to upgrade over the Yankees’ current starting five.

    New York’s on track to begin the year with Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery, the same rotation that helped the club to 91 regular-season wins and a berth in the ALCS in 2017. There are some question marks with each – arguably more in terms of workload and/or durability than performance – but if the quintet doesn’t deliver as hoped during the season, the Yankees could bolster their rotation via trade. That’s exactly what they did last year when they picked up Gray from Oakland in July.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Drury The Favorite For Third Base, But Competition Ongoing]]> 2018-02-22T16:51:20Z 2018-02-22T16:18:01Z While Brandon Drury may be the favorite, at present, to open the season as the Yankees’ third baseman, GM Brian Cashman made clear in speaking with the New York Post’s George A. King III that there will still be a competition for that spot. “Nothing has been handed to anybody, so the competition will play its way out,” said Cashman. “…You have horses coming into races as favorites and I think the experience that Drury has along with his abilities should give him a leg up going into this process. But we will wait and see what it looks like and how it plays out.” Miguel Andujar will still be given a chance to win the job this spring, per the GM, who also notes that the team still views Andujar as a player who will have a major long-term role with the Yankees. Both Cashman and new skipper Aaron Boone suggested that they’ll focus on third base as Drury’s primary position for now. Drury spent most of the 2017 season playing second base in Arizona, but the hot corner is his natural position.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Angels Acquire Jabari Blash]]> 2018-02-22T00:59:40Z 2018-02-22T00:47:46Z The Angels announced today that they’ve acquired outfielder Jabari Blash from the Yankees in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. In a corresponding move, the Angels have placed right-hander Alex Meyer on the 60-day disabled list. Blash was designated for assignment yesterday when the Yankees acquired Brandon Drury. Meyer was never likely to pitch in 2018 after undergoing shoulder surgery last September.

    Blash, 28, has long boasted impressive power in the minors but hasn’t put that together in the Majors. Blash logged a career-high 195 plate appearances with the Padres this past season, hitting .213/.333/.341 with five homers and six doubles but an alarming 66 strikeouts in that time (33.8 percent). While he’s limited to the outfield corners, Blash has strong on-base skills to go along with his considerable power, as evidenced by his career .258/.381/.571 batting line and 65 homers through 235 games at the Triple-A level.

    The Halos already have Chris Young on hand as a fourth outfield option, and Blash isn’t an ideal fit for that role anyhow, given his lack of prowess in center field. He could stick as an additional source of pop off the bench, though Blash also has a pair of minor league options remaining, so it seems likelier that he’ll head to Triple-A Salt Lake to open the season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Drury Could Open Season At Third Base For Yankees]]> 2018-02-21T03:11:58Z 2018-02-21T03:11:58Z
  • The most likely scenario for the Yankees and newly acquired Brandon Drury is that Drury opens the season as the team’s starting third baseman, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. That’d allow the Yankees to go with either Ronald Torreyes or veteran Danny Espinosa at second base and avoid rushing prospects Miguel Andujar or Gleyber Torres early in the season. Interestingly, despite the fact that Torres missed half the 2017 season with Tommy John surgery (in his non-throwing arm), the Yankees view Torres as closer to the Majors, per Sherman. Andujar is nearly two years older than Torres and has twice the Triple-A experience, though neither has even appeared in 60 games at the top minor league level yet.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Designate Jabari Blash For Assignment]]> 2018-02-21T00:59:19Z 2018-02-21T00:58:21Z The Yankees announced that they’ve designated outfielder Jabari Blash for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for newly acquired infielder Brandon Drury.

    The 28-year-old Blash has long boasted impressive power in the minors but hasn’t put that together in the Majors. Blash logged a career-high 195 plate appearances with the Padres this past season, hitting .213/.333/.341 with five homers and six doubles but an alarming 66 strikeouts in that time (33.8 percent). While he’s limited to the outfield corners, Blash has strong on-base skills to go along with his considerable power, as evidenced by his career .258/.381/.571 batting line and 65 homers through 235 games at the Triple-A level.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire Brandon Drury, D-Backs Acquire Steven Souza In Three-Team Trade With Rays]]> 2018-02-21T16:24:31Z 2018-02-21T00:30:00Z The Rays, Yankees and D-backs have agreed to a significant three-team trade that will send outfielder Steven Souza from Tampa Bay to Arizona, infielder/outfielder Brandon Drury from Arizona to New York and prospects to Tampa Bay. The Rays will receive left-hander Anthony Banda and two players to be named later from the D-backs as well as minor league second baseman Nick Solak from the Yankees. Additionally, the Yankees will send right-hander Taylor Widener to the Diamondbacks. The teams have announced the trade.

    Steven Souza | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    The acquisition of Souza will be the second notable outfield pickup for the D-backs in as many days, as the Snakes added Jarrod Dyson on a two-year deal yesterday just minutes after losing out on J.D. Martinez, who signed a five-year deal with the Red Sox. Souza is a solid consolation price to that failed pursuit, as he’ll give the D-backs a right-handed bat with lesser power but superior defense to Martinez — and it’s certainly notable that he’s coming off a 30-homer season himself.

    Souza, set to turn 29 in late April, hit .239/.351/.459 with 21 doubles, a pair of triples and 16 stolen bases in addition to his 30 home runs last season. While he can’t make up for the loss of Martinez’s bat on his own, he’s long shown plenty of pop at the plate and last season walked at a career-best 13.6 percent clip as well. He is, of course, not without red flags. Even if he’s able to sustain the uptick in walks, Souza figures to continue to hit for a questionable batting average so long as he continues to struggle with his overall contact skills. Souza whiffed at a 29 percent rate in 2017, and that actually represented an improvement over 2016’s alarming 34 percent strikeout rate.

    That said, he comes to the D-backs with three years of club control remaining, meaning he’ll be a fairly long-term option for them in an outfield mix that also includes Dyson, impending free agent A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas (though the D-backs would surely love to escape the remainder of Tomas’ onerous financial commitment).

    Arizona will also add a former 12th-round pick, Widener, that turned in a strong season in Class-A Advanced last season when he tossed 119 1/3 innings of 3.39 ERA ball with a 129-to-50 K/BB ratio over the life of 27 starts. He’s had some durability issues in the past, with Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of noting last summer that he had ulnar transposition surgery in 2015 and dealt with back and knee injuries in college. There’s starter potential for Widener, but he’ll need to prove capable of handling a regular workload in the rotation.

    [Updated Depth Charts: Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks]

    The 25-year-old Drury, meanwhile, will give the Yankees the infield depth they’ve been seeking as they currently make evaluations of Miguel Andujar at third base and Gleyber Torres at second base. After trading Chase Headley and Starlin Castro this offseason, the Yanks lacked certainty at both of those positions, but Drury presents a more experienced option than any of their infield prospect that has seen plenty of Major League action at both slots. If Andujar and/or Torres prove ready to handle a full workload in 2018, then Drury can shift into a super-utility role and provide depth at a number of spots around the diamond.

    Brandon Drury | Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Drury is fresh off a solid, if unspectacular .267/.317/.447 slash with 13 homers through 480 plate appearances this past season. Since establishing himself as a regular in the D-backs’ infield/corner outfield rotation in 2016, Drury has batted .275/.323/.453 with 29 home runs. He’s controllable for another four seasons and should factor into the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup, though which position he plays will likely be determined over the course of Spring Training.

    Drury, a rumored target for the Yankees dating back to December, comes to the Yankees with more than 1000 innings of MLB experience at second base and more than 300 innings at third base; that division of labor was flipped during his minor league career, as he logged more than 3000 innings at the hot corner in the minors and just 620 at second base prior to reaching the Majors.

    He drew above-average marks from Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating for his work in 947 innings at second base this past season, though both metrics feel his limited big league work at third base has been below average. Drury also has 700 innings of corner outfield work under his belt (where he’s drawn below-average marks as well) and has even played six innings at shortstop in the Majors.

    The acquisition of Drury likely puts an end to the oft-speculated possibility of a Mike Moustakas signing for the Yankees. And, because he’s not eligible for arbitration until next winter, Drury allows the Yankees to maintain plenty of financial flexibility, leaving room for in-season moves, which was reported to be a priority for GM Brian Cashman.

    As for the Rays, the trade sends the latest of several signals that the team is looking to retool its current group and scale back payroll. Souza avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.55MM deal earlier this winter, and he’ll now join Corey Dickerson ($5.95MM) and Jake Odorizzi ($6.3MM) as arbitration-eligible players whom the Rays have shipped out in recent days. The subtractions of Odorizzi and Souza leave the Rays with a projected payroll of just $78.77MM, and that’ll further drop once it’s determined how much (if any) of Dickerson’s salary they’ll need to pay in 2018. The Rays would owe Dickerson 30 days of his non-guaranteed arbitration salary for the 2018 season if he clears waivers and is released — roughly $975K — so this trio of moves should dip their payroll into the $73MM range.

    Cost savings notwithstanding, the Rays also look to have bolstered their farm system in a meaningful way with today’s trade. Baseball America rated Banda second among D-backs farmhands (albeit in a weak minor league system), while the publication considered Solak to be the 10th-best second base prospect in the game.

    The 24-year-old Banda entered the 2017 season as BA’s No. 88 overall prospect, but he struggled through a down year in 2017, pitching to a 5.39 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 42 percent ground-ball rate in 122 innings in the extremely hitter-friendly confines of Triple-A Reno. The former 10th-rounder also made his MLB debut in 2017, allowing 17 runs in 25 2/3 innings with a 25-to-10 K/BB ratio. Even with that rough run in Triple-A and the Majors, Banda still has a potential future as a mid-rotation starter, per BA, whose scouting report also noted that he also showed the skills to be a quality late-inning reliever.

    Anthony Banda | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Solak, meanwhile, batted .297/.384/.452 with 12 homers and 14 steals through 130 games / 538 plate appearances split between Class-A Advanced and Double-A in his first full season in 2017. He also displayed strong K/BB ratios, striking out at an 18.5 percent pace to go along with a quality 11.7 percent walk rate.

    It remains to be seen whether the trades of Souza, Odorizzi and Dickerson will serve as the catalyst for a full-scale fire sale in St. Petersburg, where the Rays still have highly appealing assets such as Chris Archer and Alex Colome. Technically speaking, the Rays have MLB-ready assets that can plausibly step into the fold in the place of Odorizzi, given the presence of pitching prospects like Brent Honeywell, Jose De Leon, Banda and Ryan Yarbrough, among others. Mallex Smith, meanwhile, is an option to step into the outfield in place of Souza or Dickerson, while veteran Denard Span can handle another outfield spot.

    But, it’s also true that the Rays face an uphill battle in a competitive AL East — especially following the subtraction of two of their better hitters from 2017 and a rotation mainstay in Odorizzi. Viewed through that lens, there’s good sense for the Rays to continue to at least explore trade possibilities for the likes of Archer and Colome as they look to bolster their farm, improve their draft/international pools for the 2019 season and establish a new wave of controllable, pre-arbitration assets that can help their lower-revenue organization form a core in the next competitive cycle.

    That type of thinking has drawn the ire of agents and the Major League Baseball Players Association this offseason, given the diminished number of teams that are even entertaining the thought of signing veteran free agents. But, it’s also factual that the system, as currently constructed in the latest CBA, favors aggressive tear-downs more than it does trying to walk the line between rebuilding and contending — a reality that could conceivably push the Rays into further action on the trade market.

    FanRag’s Robert Murray got the ball rolling on the story by reporting that Solak was headed to the Rays for an unknown return (via Twitter). FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweeted that Drury had been traded to the Yankees. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic broke the three-team nature of the swap, including that Souza was going to the D-backs (Twitter link). Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Banda was coming to the Rays in the deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Widener’s inclusion in the deal (Twitter link).’s Steve Gilbert added that there were a pair of PTBNLs going to the Rays in the swap as well (via Twitter).

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Julio Pablo Martinez Receives Clearance To Sign With MLB Organizations]]> 2018-02-21T02:22:10Z 2018-02-20T22:54:47Z Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and will be free to sign with a Major League organization beginning on March 6, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. The 21-year-old Martinez is subject to international bonus pools due to his age and lack of professional experience in the Cuban National Series, so he’ll now have to decide whether to sign with a team during the current signing period (when many teams have already spent the bulk or entirety of their league-allotted budget) or after the July 2 kick off the 2018-19 period.

    According to Badler, the Rangers, Yankees and Marlins are the current favorites for Martinez, who is one of the more touted prospects to come out of Cuba in recent seasons. If Martinez opts to sign with the Yankees or Marlins, per Badler, he’d likely be waiting until this coming summer to sign so that both teams could tap into their 2018-19 pools. The Yankees added a pair of Venezuelan prospects back in late December and also picked up former Braves farmhand Angel Rojas for $350K, thus accounting for some of what was left over from a failed run at Shohei Ohtani.

    Texas had  $3.535MM in pool allotments to spend on Ohtani before he opted to sign with the division-rival Angels. They’ve since reallocated some of their pool by signing shortstops Yenci Pena (for $675K) and Keithron Moss (for $800K) as well as outfielder D’Vaughn Knowles (for $500K). That’d still leave as much as $1.56MM to offer Martinez to begin his pro career in the current signing period (though it’s possible the pool is a bit lesser depending on whether Texas has made some smaller-scale signings that were not widely reported).

    Certainly, other clubs could enter the mix for Martinez — especially if he is keen on waiting until July to sign a contract. Far more teams would be able to weigh a pursuit of the 21-year-old at that time, and given the appeal touted by Badler in his scouting reports on Martinez, several teams would figure to have interest. Badler lists Martinez at 5’10” and 180 pounds, praising a blend of power and speed, and he’s expanded on the talented young outfielder in a pair of prior columns — both of which those looking to learn more about Martinez will want to check out.

    The left-handed-hitting, left-handed-throwing Martinez hit .333/.469/.498 with six homers, 11 doubles, two triples and 24 steals (in 29 attempts) during his most recent professional effort in Cuba. More impressively, he drew 52 walks that season against just 30 strikeouts in 264 plate appearances.

    He also appeared in 57 games and tallied 255 plate appearances in the 2017 Can-Am Association — the same independent league that was previously home to big leaguers Chris Colabello, Andrew Albers, Craig Breslow, Steve Delabar and Tim Adleman, among others — where he hit .297/.345/.449 with seven homers and 20 steals. In today’s piece, Badler notes that Martinez is likely of an appropriate skill level to begin his path to the Majors in Class-A Advanced or in Double-A.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Cashman: Service Time Won't Factor Into Gleyber Torres Decision]]> 2018-02-18T22:51:13Z 2018-02-18T22:51:13Z
  • The Yankees would buy themselves an extra year of control by having infield prospect Gleyber Torres spend at least 16 days in the minors this year, but that’s not going to factor into whether he earns a roster spot, according to GM Brian Cashman (via David Lennon of Newsday). “It’s not part of my evaluation process,” Cashman told Lennon. “We’re trying to win. If we feel that somebody could benefit from more time in the minors, we’ll make that decision at the end of camp. But I’ll take all the information from what I see and factor that into the evaluation. Every win for us is valuable.” Torres, one of the game’s top prospects, may well emerge as the Opening Day second baseman for the Yankees, who lack an obvious solution there. That would be especially impressive given that Torres is still just 21 and has only totaled 235 plate appearances above the High-A level. He raked over that sample size last year, with a .287/.383/.430 line between Double-A and Triple-A, before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow in June. Torres has fully recovered from the procedure.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Haven't Approached Jacoby Ellsbury About NTC]]> 2018-02-22T03:29:20Z 2018-02-18T15:51:40Z
  • Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was somewhat popular in the rumor mill during the winter, but he informed Jack Curry of the YES Network and other reporters Sunday that the team never approached him about waiving his no-trade clause (Twitter link). It would’ve been (and would still be) a tall order for the Yankees to move Ellsbury, who hasn’t delivered as hoped during his four-year Bronx tenure and still has another $68MM left on his contract. He’ll spend the spring trying to reclaim his old job as New York’s starting center fielder, a role Aaron Hicks usurped in 2017.
  • ]]>
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[New York Notes: Mets, Yankees, Wright, Lincecum]]> 2018-02-18T01:45:45Z 2018-02-18T01:45:45Z Some items from both of the Big Apple’s teams…

    • David Wright still doesn’t know when, or even if, he’ll be able to play again, though the Mets captain told’s Anthony DiComo and other reporters that he is still determined to return to the field.  “It would be easy if I didn’t have that drive to get back out there,” Wright said.  “If I didn’t love what I did, that would certainly make things easier.  But I do love what I do….When it’s all said and done, I want to be able to say I did everything I could.  If it works, that’s obviously the goal.  And if it doesn’t work, then I’ll rest easy knowing I gave it my best shot.”  Wright played 75 games total in 2015-16 and then missed all of last season due to various surgeries stemming from spinal stenosis.  For their part, the Mets are fully supportive of Wright’s efforts, and manager Mickey Callaway told the third baseman that the team still values his clubhouse leadership.
    • Though the Mets’ offseason lacked any headline-grabbing signings or trades, the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff is still giving the team an A (albeit “graded on a curve”) for its winter moves.  Davidoff feels the Mets did well in adding quality talent and depth without committing too much in long-term salary to the likes of Jay Bruce, Jason Vargas, Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak, Adrian Gonzalez, and Jose Reyes.  As well, all of those players were signings, so the Mets didn’t have to trade from their already-thin minor league system.
    • The Yankees seem likely to save most of their remaining payroll space to address pitching needs at the trade deadline, Joel Sherman of the New York Post opines.  In the short term, the Yankees will look to trade for a low-cost third baseman to bolster their infield.  The team is looking to be as flexible as possible given its desire to stay under the luxury tax threshold while still filling any remaining roster holes, and I agree with Sherman that the Bronx Bombers have more fill-in pitching depth than infield depth.  It doesn’t make sense for the club to spend much on an infielder since Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar are seemingly on the cusp of regular duty at second and third base.
    • “A source with knowledge of the [Yankees’] personnel decisions” told NJ Advance Media’s Brendan Kuty that Tim Lincecum looked “fine” in his recent showcase for scouts and that Lincecum will likely receive a minor league contract offer from a team.  The implication, however, was that New York wouldn’t be the team in question.  The Yankees were one of between 15-20 teams who sent evaluators to watch Lincecum throw on Thursday.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Nightengale: Manny Machado Wants To Play For Yankees]]> 2018-02-17T20:56:46Z 2018-02-17T20:56:24Z Orioles infielder Manny Machado “wants to be a Yankee and the feeling is mutual,” Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. The Yankees were among the teams that tried to trade for Machado over the winter, so it’s no surprise that they’re continuing to eye him a year before he hits free agency. Regarding offseason trade rumors, Machado said, “Thank God nothing went down and I was able to come back, and see my guys that I’ve been with for seven years.” Although the 25-year-old is content to be an Oriole for now, it seems highly unlikely he’ll remain with them past this year, considering the massive contract he’d land on the open market. And while the longtime third baseman plans to spend the rest of his career at shortstop, where New York has a quality starter in Didi Gregorius, the Yankees would find spots for both of them, Nightengale suggests.

    More from the American League…

    • The Indians announced Friday that right-hander Danny Salazar “experienced an onset of right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation” last month during his offseason throwing program. The 28-year-old is “a couple weeks” behind the rest of the pitchers in Indians camp, per the announcement, though he has at least resumed throwing. It certainly doesn’t appear as if Salazar is presently dealing with a major injury, but the shoulder trouble isn’t entirely insignificant. Salazar missed roughly six weeks of the 2017 season due to shoulder troubles, and he has a history of right elbow issues as well. He’s also seen his name pop up in occasional trade speculation, most frequently being linked to the Brewers, though one would imagine that ongoing shoulder issues would temper some of the interest that other clubs may have in Salazar.There’s not yet any indication that Opening Day would be in jeopardy for Salazar, whom the Indians have penciled into a rotation spot alongside Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer. Josh Tomlin and Mike Clevinger are both on hand as options for the fifth spot. Injuries limited Salazar to just 103 innings last season, during which time he posted a 4.28 ERA with a gaudy 12.7 K/9 mark against 3.8 BB/9.
    • Before he joined the Phillies on a three-year, $60MM contract in November, longtime Indians first baseman Carlos Santana proposed a five-year, $75MM deal to Cleveland, the player told Anthony Castrovince of However, “the Tribe was never seriously engaged with him at all this winter,” Castrovince tweets. Shortly after Santana left the Indians, they added replacement Yonder Alonso on a much cheaper pact (two years, $16MM).
    • Texas had interest in re-signing Andrew Cashner before he accepted Baltimore’s two-year, $16MM guarantee Thursday, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels confirmed to TR Sullivan of However, not only did the Orioles make Cashner a better offer, but it seems he wouldn’t have been a lock to remain a starter with the Rangers. “We talked to him and gave him a range of what we were thinking,” Daniels said. “He got a better deal. We even asked him if he would pitch in the bullpen, but he got a commitment to start, a multi-year deal, a good deal from Baltimore.” In 2017, his only year with the Rangers, Cashner paced their starters in ERA (3.40) and finished second in innings (166 2/3), though his success came in spite of a league-worst K/BB ratio (1.34).

    Steve Adams contributed to this post.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Moustakas, Lincecum]]> 2018-02-14T05:02:07Z 2018-02-14T04:55:29Z The Yankees have kept an eye on free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, writes Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, though he also cites people close to the team in characterizing an ultimate match between the two sides as a long shot. The Yankees would only have interest on a short-term deal and are concerned both with the financial implications and the draft forfeitures that would come with signing Moustakas. It’s not at all clear what type of market exists for Moustakas at present, as few contending clubs are looking for upgrades at third base, and rebuilding clubs generally figure to be strongly against surrendering draft picks to plug Moustakas into a lineup that doesn’t expect to contend anyhow.

    • More than 10 teams are set to attend Tim Lincecum’s showcase on Thursday, it seems. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, Rhett Bollinger of and Roch Kubatko of respectively report that the Tigers, Twins and Orioles will have scouts in attendance (all Twitter links). Heyman adds another handful of clubs, listing the Rangers, Phillies, Dodgers, YankeesRed Sox, Brewers, Padres and Braves as attendees (links to Twitter for the last three), in addition to the previously reported Giants. If anything, it’s perhaps more notable which clubs have elected not to attend the showcase, as there’s no real downside to at least taking a look and the showcase is shaping up to be reasonably well-attended. To that end, the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan wrote over the weekend that the Mets aren’t planning to have a scout in attendance.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Carlos Beltran Turned Down Front Office Position With Yankees]]> 2018-02-13T19:59:57Z 2018-02-13T14:15:53Z Just-retired slugger Carlos Beltran turned down a front office role with the Yankees earlier this offseason, reports The Athletic’s Marc Carig (subscription link). Beltran says that only a managerial position would’ve dissuaded him from his plan to take at least a year off from the game after retiring as a player, but he would consider other roles in the future. Carig chronicles Beltran’s indoctrination to the business side of baseball, which began back in a 2003 arbitration hearing with the Royals. Now, Beltran draws praise from executives like Cashman and field staff like Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who both effused praise for Beltran’s baseball acumen and future in the game in interviews with Carig.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Rumors: Lynn, Odorizzi]]> 2018-02-11T04:10:03Z 2018-02-11T02:33:03Z
  • In addition to the previously reported Yanks, the Mets asked the Diamondbacks about utilityman Brandon Drury at some point this offseason, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. Drury is still with the D-backs, though a deal could still come together before the season, Piecoro suggests. It probably won’t be with the Mets, though, considering they’ve signed third baseman Todd Frazier, outfielder Jay Bruce and infielder Jose Reyes in recent weeks.
  • The Yankees, continuing to seek help for their rotation, have “monitored” free agent right-hander Lance Lynn’s marketplace this offseason, per Jon Morosi of However, a Lynn signing may be difficult for the Yankees because of their desire to stay under the $197MM luxury tax threshold in 2018. They have around $15MM to spend, Morosi notes, and Lynn’s next deal could pay him somewhere near that figure on an annual basis. At the beginning of the offseason, MLBTR predicted Lynn would receive $14MM per year.

    • The Yankees have also shown offseason interest in Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi, as have the AL East rival Orioles, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Odorizzi would represent an affordable option for the Yankees, Orioles or any of the other teams known to be pursuing him, as the 27-year-old will earn a bit north of $6MM in 2018 – his second-last year of arbitration eligibility. Although, given that Odorizzi’s an extreme fly ball pitcher, it’s debatable whether he’d be a good fit for either New York or Baltimore – both of which play their home games at home run-friendly venues.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Didn't Make An Offer To Yu Darvish]]> 2018-02-11T01:24:20Z 2018-02-11T01:21:19Z
  • Likewise, tax concerns stood in the way of a Yankees-Darvish union. New York never even made Darvish an offer, Rosenthal tweets.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Aaron Hicks Angling For Everyday Job]]> 2018-02-10T06:36:03Z 2018-02-10T05:25:03Z
  • Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks says he’s coming to camp with sights set on winning a starting job in center, as Bryan Hoch of reports. The 28-year-old unquestionably impressed in 2017, with a surprising .266/.372/.475 batting line and 15 home runs. Of course, that’s the first time the switch-hitter has posted above-average offensive production and he has still yet to top four hundred plate appearances (due to performance issues and, more recently, injuries) in a given season. Plus, the Yankees have to consider Jacoby Ellsbury, who isn’t likely to find time playing in the corners with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton on hand along with Brett Gardner. It’s certainly still possible that the Yanks will clarify the roster logjam before the start of the season. If not, though, it seems reasonable to anticipate that Ellsbury will at least take a fair amount of time against right-handed pitchers. (While Ellsbury has long thrived against righties, Hicks has traditionally been better against southpaws.)
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees To Sign Shane Robinson]]> 2018-02-09T02:45:51Z 2018-02-09T02:45:48Z
  • The Yankees have agreed to a minor-league deal with outfielder Shane Robinson, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). He could earn at a $950K rate in the majors and will receive an invitation to MLB camp this spring. The 33-year-old Robinson has long been a reserve/depth piece, seeing action in eight MLB campaigns but compiling only 795 total plate appearances at the game’s highest level. He spent most of 2017 with the Angels’ top affiliate, slashing a sturdy .319/.370/.425 in his 385 trips to the plate.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Eduardo Nunez]]> 2018-02-09T00:44:23Z 2018-02-09T00:44:15Z Feb. 8: Jesse Sanchez of tweets that the Braves can be counted among the teams that have “serious” interest in Nunez. Atlanta has something of an opening at third base, where Johan Camargo is presently projected to serve as a bridge to prospect Austin Riley.

    However, there have also been multiple reports that the Braves aren’t likely to make a big splash at the hot corner; David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently characterized any such addition as unlikely, and FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported earlier today that the Braves would primarily be open to a one-year deal with any third base target. Given the fairly robust level of interest in the versatile Nunez, it seems unlikely that he’d command only a one-year pact.

    Feb. 6: Veteran infielder Eduardo Nunez has long seemed likely to command fairly broad interest, though his market got underway only recently since he spent the early part of the offseason recovering from a knee injury (though he was able to avoid surgery). It still seems that there’s some room for development in his market, as interest continues to percolate.

    According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, via Twitter, the Rays have joined the division-rival Red Sox and Yankees with interest. Tampa Bay, according to Rosenthal, is generally gauging the market for right-handed bats while simultaneously fielding interest in some of its presently more expensive assets, including Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome. In theory, either or both could be traded for younger, more controllable assets while clearing some salary for a free-agent addition such as Nunez.

    Nunez has been tied most closely in recent weeks to Boston (see here and here), and Rosenthal wrote again tonight that the Red Sox have shown interest in re-signing him. But he has also been connected to both New York organizations and a host of other possible destinations given his experience at third base, shortstop, second base and in left field. While Nunez doesn’t thrive at any one position and grades out below average at several, the ability to place him at multiple spots on a short-term basis holds plenty of appeal all the same. He’s also taken his offensive game to a new level in recent seasons, slashing .296/.332/.443 in 1290 plate appearances for the Twins, Giants and Red Sox dating back to the 2015 campaign.

    Of course, the Mets are no longer a reasonable possibility; per John Harper of the New York Daily News, the club believed it could’ve signed Nunez for approximately the same price it paid Todd Frazier (two years and $17MM). After some internal debate, though, the club opted for Frazier’s power and glovework at the hot corner over Nunez’s superior batting average and baserunning prowess but weaker contact profile and glovework.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Tanaka On Opt-Out Decision, Ohtani, Market]]> 2018-02-08T05:45:39Z 2018-02-08T05:45:39Z
  • Masahiro Tanaka again spoke about his decision to forgo his opt-out clause and return to the Yankees (link via Newsday’s Erik Boland). While Tanaka acknowledged that there were likely other possibilities for him in free agency, the righty doesn’t sound as if he ever gave serious consideration to testing the open market. “…[T]he important thing for me was to follow what my heart was saying, and that’s what I did,” said Tanaka. The right-hander, of course, now looks like he may have been well-served to remain with the Yankees, as nearly every starting pitcher that hit the open market this offseason remains unsigned, with a few exceptions (e.g. Tyler Chatwood, Jhoulys Chacin). “[Y]ou would never know it was going to turn into something like this,” said Tanaka of the stagnant market. Tanaka also spoke about his early struggles in 2017 and spoke about the disappointment over Shohei Ohtani’s decision to sign with the Angels, as well as his excitement to face his countryman down the line.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire Russell Wilson]]> 2018-02-07T19:34:56Z 2018-02-07T19:34:56Z The Yankees and Rangers have worked out a deal that will deliver the baseball rights to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from Texas to New York, as’s Jerry Crasnick reports. Unknown future considerations will make up the return.

    As Crasnick explains, nobody involved expects Wilson ever to factor on the diamond. While he once had a bright outlook in the sport, suiting up in the minors with the Rockies after being selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, he has no intentions of splitting his attention as he prepares for his seventh season under center for the Seahawks.

    Rather, per Crasnick, the arrangement is designed to accommodate Wilson’s desire to “play” for the Yankees. After two years of participating in Spring Training with the Rangers, he’ll evidently do so in 2018 with his new organization. Wilson thanked the Texas organization for “the chance to experience professional baseball again,” adding that “baseball remains a huge part of where I came from and who I am today.”

    Observant readers will note that both of New York’s MLB organizations now have contractual control over current or former NFL quarterbacks. Tim Tebow is expected to be a full participant in major league camp for the Mets after completing his first pro baseball season in 2017.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Darvish Still Hoping Dodgers, Yankees Will Enter His Market]]> 2018-02-07T21:18:19Z 2018-02-07T19:08:32Z
  • Top free agent starter Yu Darvish is sitting on multiple five-year offers, per Nightengale. At the moment, he’s still hoping an organization will decide to give him an extra year — or, in a longer-shot scenario, that the Dodgers or Yankees will find a way to move other contracts to open the door to a Darvish signing. For the most part, this seems to represent a continuation of the status quo, as is the case for the other top starters.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Saturday Marks 20th Anniversary Of Brian Cashman's Promotion To GM]]> 2018-02-04T05:07:57Z 2018-02-04T05:06:37Z On this day 20 years ago, the Yankees announced Brian Cashman would take over for the resigned Bob Watson as their general manager. The 50-year-old Cashman remains in that post today, making him the game’s longest-tenured GM, and it’s no surprise he has hung around when you consider the team’s accomplishments on his watch. The Cashman-led Yankees have gone to the playoffs 16 times, earning six American League pennants and four World Series championships along the way. The fact that Cashman has lasted as long as he has in the sport’s biggest market makes his run all the more impressive, a rival GM suggested to Buster Olney of ESPN. “Twenty years, in New York,” he said. “That’s, what, 140 dog years? Two hundred years?”  Olney’s piece is worth checking out for more on Cashman first two decades as a GM, including the relationship he had with former boss and late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. 

    More from around baseball as this historically slow offseason continues to plod along…

    • Tyler Kepner of the New York Times discussed this inactive winter with with a free agent who, like many other veterans, hasn’t enjoyed his trip to the open market. While commissioner Rob Manfred is zeroing in on implementing pace-of-play changes, the players themselves have bigger concerns, according to the free agent. “The players are so much more focused on what’s always been the crown jewel of our union, which is free agency, and the way that’s kind of been taken away,” he said. “It’s something you once fought and strove for — you wanted to become a free agent desperately.” Saturday looks set to pass without any major league free agent signings, continuing to leave upward of 110 players without deals.
    • The Astros, Cubs and Nationals have pulled off model rebuilds in recent years, observes Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required), who goes on to rank the majors’ current rebuilding clubs based on how well they’re executing their plans. No one is doing a better job than the White Sox, Bowden opines, in part because of the recent returns they’ve received in trades for such veterans as Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton. The ChiSox have five top 100 prospects, per Baseball America, and three – Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning – joined the organization via those deals (as did second baseman Yoan Moncada, who has graduated from top prospect status). The other two – Alec Hansen and Luis Robert – came from the draft and international free agency, respectively, which Bowden also highlights as important avenues in which rebuilding teams must hit the jackpot.
    • Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will sit out some of 2018 after undergoing left knee surgery in October, but there’s hope he won’t miss much time. As per his rehab schedule, Pedroia is lining up for a late-April or early May return, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe estimates. Pedroia told Cafado that he hasn’t suffered any setbacks in his rehab, adding that his “knee has responded well” to running and strength exercises. After roughly six more weeks of running and then, as Cafardo writes, “a period of agility work,” Pedroia will be able to start baseball activities. The 34-year-old franchise stalwart also explained to Cafardo that knee problems weighed on him both physically and mentally in 2017, when he appeared in just 105 games, but he’s currently pain-free.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[CC Sabathia Hopes Yankees Add To Rotation]]> 2018-02-04T00:50:25Z 2018-02-04T00:50:25Z
  • The Yankees have been on the hunt for starting pitching help throughout the offseason, though they haven’t made any significant moves on that front aside from re-signing CC Sabathia. Although the Yankees have a full rotation on paper with Sabathia, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery, Sabathia would like to see them add to it. “It is what it is, (but) you always need more,” Sabathia said to Brendan Kuty of “It’s a long season. You never know what’s going to happen. The more arms we got, the better.” As Kuty notes, the Yankees’ talented rotation does come with questions, namely in the form of durability/workload concerns regarding everyone in the quintet.
  • ]]>