New York Yankees – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-06-23T06:09:15Z WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Have Yet To Inquire On deGrom]]> 2018-06-19T22:19:42Z 2018-06-19T22:15:47Z Having experienced a precipitous fall after an 11-1 start to the season, the Mets are reportedly willing to listen to offers on the majority of their roster. While the Mets are said to have a preference to retain their controllable players, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News argues that the team would be foolish not to listen to offers on aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Ackert cites a source with another NL club in agreeing with yesterday’s report from Ken Rosenthal that the Mets are more willing to discuss trading Syndergaard than deGrom, despite the fact that Syndergaard comes with an extra year of club control. There’s a divide in the Mets’ front office about whether to even entertain offers, per Ackert, who adds that there’s nothing serious in the works at this time despite a number of teams checking in on both pitchers. The Yankees, she adds, have yet to make an inquiry.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees, Mariners Interested In J.A. Happ]]> 2018-06-18T15:03:57Z 2018-06-18T15:03:57Z The Yankees and Mariners are among the clubs interested in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, tweets Jon Morosi of Happ figures to be one of the top rentals available on the starting pitching market this summer, if not the top rental, so it’s hardly a surprise to see a pair of contending clubs with some rotation question marks eyeing the 35-year-old southpaw. Presumably, most contending clubs have at least considered making a run.

Happ is in the final season of a three-year, $36MM contract that has proven to be a bargain for the Jays. In 423 innings since signing that deal, he’s worked to a 3.36 ERA, averaging 8.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 with slightly above-average ground-ball tendencies. Happ’s 2018 season is among his best yet, as he’s sporting a career-best 10.2 K/9 mark and a 10.4 percent swinging-strike rate. Lefties haven’t stood a chance against him (.159/.188/.246), while the efforts of right-handed opponents have been relatively futile in their own right (.217/.294/.346). Cole Hamels may have Happ topped in name value, but Happ is the better pitcher and this point and looks like one of the clear prizes of the summer trade market.

Happ is earning $13MM this season, and there’s still about $7.3MM of that sum remaining to be paid out before season’s end. That’s hardly an insignificant sum, but it’s not a backbreaking total for most contending clubs, either. And, of course, the Blue Jays could help to facilitate the trade by agreeing to pay down a portion of Happ’s remaining salary as a means of helping to extract the best possible return.

Both New York and Seattle have had some issues in their rotation, even though both clubs have received above-average results from their starting pitching. The Yankees, for instance, recently lost left-hander Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery and have received inconsistent contributions from Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka. Domingo German has not seized the fifth spot in the rotation in Montgomery’s absence.

The Mariners, meanwhile, have received just 9 2/3 innings from Erasmo Ramirez in 2018. Felix Hernandez has been hammered for a 5.44 ERA, and while Wade LeBlanc has been terrific in the fifth starter’s role, there are questions about the 33-year-old’s ability to sustain his current level of production.

As for the Blue Jays, despite the fact that they just completed sweeps of the Nationals and Orioles, it still seems likely that they’ll be open to selling off veteran assets this summer. Even after going 7-3 in their past 10 games, the Jays are sitting at 33-38 on the season, placing them 15 games out of first place in the American League East and a similarly daunting 12.5 games back of a Wild Card spot in the American League. Toronto also has just six games against sub-.500 teams remaining between now and the All-Star break, so their upcoming schedule doesn’t present an easy road back to contention.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Ellsbury, Giambi]]> 2018-06-19T19:26:58Z 2018-06-17T20:17:43Z
  • Thanks in part to his myriad injury issues this year, the Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury has become a forgotten man as part of an outfield that boasts Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks at the major league level and Clint Frazier in the minors. Ellsbury may still factor into the mix this year, however, as he was examined by a back specialist last week and will soon “ramp up” to baseball activities, manager Aaron Boone told David Lennon of Newsday and other reporters Sunday. Ellsbury hasn’t played at all in 2018, the fifth season of an ill-fated seven-year, $153MM contract, because of hip, foot and back problems.
  • During their managerial search that culminated in Boone’s hiring last winter, the Yankees did not consider former major league slugger Jason Giambi, Brendan Kuty of reports. They did contact Giambi regarding a job in the organization, Kuty adds, though the ex-Yankee said Sunday at the team’s Old-Timers’ Day festivities that the timing wasn’t right for him. “I think they kind of tested to see where I was at and I just said I wasn’t ready,” said Giambi, who went on to suggest that he didn’t want to be away from his young children. Now 47, Giambi came up as a coaching candidate even before his playing career ended in 2014, as he interviewed for the Rockies’ managerial opening in 2012. That position ended up going to Walt Weiss.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Torres, Gardner]]> 2018-06-16T23:15:42Z 2018-06-16T23:14:46Z If the Yankees are going to acquire a front-line starting pitcher this summer, it’s not going to come at the expense of rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres. General manager Brian Cashman suggested to Brendan Kuty of and other reporters Friday that the 21-year-old Torres is untouchable. Asked if he’d consider dealing Torres, Cashman quipped, “C’mon now. I have to walk around this city.” Cashman estimates that he has talked trades with around 20 teams since June 6, though it’s no surprise that he’s uninterested in sending Torres anywhere. Torres has made good on the considerable hype he had as a minor league prospect by opening his MLB career with a .290/.345/.568 line and 13 home runs in 178 plate appearances. As a result, Torres may be the American League Rookie of the Year front-runner.

    • Torres is part of the new guard with the Yankees, whose longest-tenured player, outfielder Brett Gardner, remains a quality major leaguer at the age of 34. Gardner, who debuted with the Yankees in 2008 and is controllable through 2019 on a $12.5MM club option (or a $2MM buyout), discussed his future with Kuty earlier this week. While Gardner revealed that he’s aiming to play “two or three more years,” preferably with the Yankees, he admitted he’d consider finishing his career elsewhere if they “don’t want me here anymore and I still wanted to play a couple more years.” Whether Gardner will remain a Yankee in 2019 is far from certain – they may still boast outfielders Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier without him next year, after all – but he has made a strong case to stick with the franchise. Through 269 PAs this season, Gardner has batted .258/.350/.384 with five homers and seven steals. His above-average offensive output and outstanding work in the field (14 Defensive Runs Saved, 5.9 Utimate Zone Rating) have already led to 2.0 fWAR thus far.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire Wendell Rijo To Complete Erik Kratz Trade]]> 2018-06-16T15:23:37Z 2018-06-16T15:03:49Z The Yankees have acquired second baseman Wendell Rijo, who is officially the player to be named later in May’s Erik Kratz trade with the Brewers; the club’s PR department has announced the acquisition.

    Nothing about the 22-year-old Rijo immediately jumps off the page. Originally an international signee of the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic, Rijo’s played all of 374 games at the Double-A level and hasn’t been particularly impressive with the bat overall. This season, Rijo sports a .200/.304/.375 slash line with four homers across 93 plate appearances.

    Notably, though, his walk rate has made a significant jump in 2018. In a limited sample, he’s walked 12.9% of the time, which is up from just 7.7% at Double-A last season. Even more intriguing is the fact that Rijo’s suffered from some severe bad luck thus far; his .214 BABIP indicates that he likely deserves a higher batting average than the mere .200 he owns at present. Rijo was also active on the basepaths in his first three pro seasons, swiping at least 15 bags during each minor league season from 2013-2015. Though he hasn’t done nearly as much of that in recent seasons, one has to imagine he’s still got the potential to kick it up a notch on the bases.

    Regardless, the Yankees will be happy to get anything in exchange for the veteran Kratz, whom they re-signed to a minor-league deal during the offseason following using him mostly in a defensive replacement capacity and during just four MLB games in September of 2017. He’s been surprisingly effective for the Brewers this season: the backstop has three homers and a .511 wOBA across his 29 plate appearances in 2018.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Acquire International Pool Space From Brewers]]> 2018-06-15T21:45:00Z 2018-06-15T21:32:36Z The Yankees announced today that they have acquired international bonus pool availability from the Brewers. The swap will send minor-league righty Chad Whitmer to Milwaukee for an undisclosed amount of spending capacity.

    It is not immediately clear whether the funds are from the current signing period, which ends today, or for the new one set to open on July 2nd. Baseball America’s Ben Badler has provided ample detail on the Yanks’ most recent international class and previewed the organization’s upcoming dealmaking.

    Whitmer, 23, was a tenth-round pick last year who has yet to take the mound in the current season. He turned in 19 innings of 3.79 ERA pitching at the Rookie ball level (Gulf Coast League) in his debut campaign, allowing 24 hits but also recording an impressive 22:2 K/BB ratio.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 6/13/18]]> 2018-06-13T15:38:16Z 2018-06-13T15:35:12Z We’ll use this post to track Wednesday’s notable agreements from the top few rounds of the draft (rankings referenced are courtesy of Baseball AmericaMLB.comFangraphs and ESPN’s Keith Law — with the scouting reports from MLB and Fangraphs both coming free to the general public) …

    • Reds second-round pick Lyon Richardson scored a $2MM payday to forego his commitment to the University of Florida, per’s Jim Callis (via Twitter). That’s nearly half a million over the slot value ($1,520,300) for a player who has only recently emerged as a high-end pitching prospect.’s team was highest among major prospect outlets, ranking Richardson 67th on the basis of his ample upside as an athletic hurler who has shown big velocity despite unpolished mechanics.
    • The Yankees have announced a variety of signings, including deals with second-rounder Josh Breaux and third-rounder Ryder Green. These agreements were first reported by Callis (Twitter links), with the bonus values pinned down by Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (Twitter links). Breaux’s bonus of $1,497,500 handily tops his $1,086,900 slot value, while Green, too, receives an over-slot $997,500 bonus that exceeds his $576,400 slot value. All of the above lists include Breaux among the top 100 available prospects, with an increasingly promising bat and improving work behind the dish justifying the placement.
    • The Braves got second-round selection Greyson Jenista for a $1.2MM bonus that leaves them $250,500 of extra pool space to work with, Callis reports on Twitter. The Wichita State slugger received a fairly broad array of grades from prospect hounds, but the Fangraphs crew was highest. With big power and the ability to draw walks, but also plenty of swing-and-miss in his game, there’s a lot to like about the bat. One major question is whether Jenista will be able to work into being a reasonable defender in the corner outfield, or whether instead he’s destined for first base in the long run.
    • Second-rounder Alek Thomas will join the Diamondbacks rather than heading to TCU, as Callis also tweets. The deal includes a $1.2MM bonus that tops the $1,035,500 allocation that came with the 63rd overall draft slot. Law was quite bullish on the young outfielder, crediting him with “five-tool potential” and “an advanced feel on both sides of the ball.”
    • The Nationals have also agreed to terms with their second-round selection, UConn lefty Tim Cate, Callis adds on Twitter. It’s an at-slot, $986,200 bonus for the 65th overall choice of the draft. Best known for his big hook, Cate is an undersized hurler who has also had some worrying arm health questions crop up. Still, Baseball America ranked him 54th on its board, noting his “exceptional feel to land his breaking ball in the zone and bury it for swings and misses.”
    • Still another second-rounder, Florida Atlantic infielder Tyler Frank, will take home a $997,500 bonus from the Rays, per’s Jonathan Mayo (Twitter link). That leaves the Tampa Bay club with some extra funds to work with, as the 56th slot came with a $1,228,000 allocation. Also going under-slot were Royals second-rounder Jonathan Bowlan ($697,500 bonus vs. $1,168,300 slot) and Twins second-rounder Ryan Jeffers ($800K bonus vs. $1,140,600 slot), according to Callis (Twitter links)
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees To Promote Jonathan Loaisiga]]> 2018-06-13T04:33:12Z 2018-06-13T03:52:57Z The Yankees will promote right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga from Double-A to make a spot start later this week, manager Aaron Boone announced Tuesday (link via ESPN’s Coley Harvey). He’ll get the ball Friday in place of the injured Masahiro Tanaka. Domingo German will start Thursday for the Yankees, with Luis Severino going Saturday, per the report.

    It’s not yet clear if the Nicaraguan-born Loaisiga will get anything more than a one-off look in the rotation, but because he’s already on the 40-man roster and has thrown well so far in 2018, he’ll get the call over more name-brand prospects like Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams. In 45 innings between Class-A Advanced and Double-A, Loaisiga boasts a 3.00 ERA with an electric 58-to-4 K/BB ratio and above-average ground-ball tendencies.

    This will be the first taste of the big leagues for the 23-year-old Loaisiga, who ranks 12th among Yankee farmhands per Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of and per Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs. The two scouting reports offer a similar take on his three-pitch arsenal: a fastball that sits 94-96 mph, an above-average to plus curveball and the potential for an average changeup.

    The 5’11”, 165-pound Loaisiga’s size and injury history — he missed the 2014-15 seasons due to injury and had Tommy John surgery in 2016 — create some concerns that he’ll be forced into a bullpen role over the long haul. However, given that Loaisiga was picked off the scrap heap by the Yankees after being released by the Giants as a 21-year-old following those lost 2014-15 seasons, the very fact that he’s emerged as any type of prospect is already a bonus for the team and a testament to the right-hander’s raw ability and perseverance.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Drury Disappointed To Be In Triple-A]]> 2018-06-11T17:20:08Z 2018-06-11T17:20:08Z
  • Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post spoke to infielder Brandon Drury about the Yankees’ decision to option him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at the conclusion of his rehab assignment. Unsurprisingly, Drury expressed some disappointment and frustration at being sent down. “I wasn’t happy about it,” said the 25-year-old. “…It’s not easy. But this is going to make me better. Just gotta keep doing what I can do right now, be back up soon.” Drury is doing plenty to display both his abilities and his health in Scranton, slashing .324/.457/.461 through 127 plate appearances there. Unfortunately for him, Miguel Andujar has heated back up at the plate and is even beginning to draw a few more walks. Since Drury was activated from the DL and optioned, Andujar has batted .361/.413/.722 with five homers, drawing six walks against nine strikeouts in 80 plate appearances along the way.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Olney: Mets Should Listen To Potential Offers From Yankees]]> 2018-06-10T20:59:04Z 2018-06-10T20:58:05Z With the Mets looking more like bottom feeders than contenders, there has been speculation that they could listen to proposals for two of their best players, co-aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. The 29-year-old deGrom is under control through 2020, while Syndergaard, 25, is wrapped up through 2021, meaning each would bring back a significant haul in a trade. Of the teams that could go after either, the Yankees perhaps stand out as the most logical suitors, and Buster Olney of ESPN opines that the Mets would have to strongly consider offers from their crosstown rivals. While it would hurt the Mets and their fans in the near term to see one of those starters thriving with the Yankees, the return they’d get back would ease the pain, Olney contends. Ultimately, however, Olney doesn’t expect a deal between the teams to come to fruition, and he goes on to name several other starters the Yankees could pursue prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline if they attempt to upgrade their rotation.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[East Notes: Yankees, H. Harvey, Soroka, Cespedes]]> 2018-06-10T02:44:12Z 2018-06-10T02:44:12Z It turns out top prospect Justus Sheffield might not be the next minor league pitcher in line to join the Yankees’ rotation, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports in his latest video that the club nearly promoted 23-year-old Jonathan Loaisiga for a spot start during a doubleheader, until rain altered their schedule. Rosenthal notes that Loaisiga had never pitched above Low-A ball until this season. It seems like he’s met little resistance this year, though, as he’s posted a 3.13 ERA this season while striking out 10.96 batters per nine against an equally impressive 1.17 walks per nine. Of course, plenty could change by the next time the Yankees need another starter. It’s certainly worth noting that promoting Sheffield last Monday might have improved his chances of making the Super Two cut, had he impressed enough to stick in the rotation from there on out. There will certainly be some entertaining suspense surrounding this situation from here forward.

    Other items fresh off the East coast…

    • Orioles prospect Hunter Harvey was scratched from his most recent Double-A start due to a shoulder injury, Dan Connoly of reports. Harvey’s dealt with plenty of injury issues in his career already, and this latest case (described as “posterior shoulder instability) has left him on an unknown timetable to return to the rotation. Harvey also had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow in 2016. Even when on the field, he hasn’t been particularly impressive this year. His 5.57 ERA across 32 1/3 innings on the season is an eyesore.
    • Rookie Mike Soroka is set to come off the DL and start Wednesday for the Braves, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. O’Brien adds that manager Brian Snitker plans to hold Soroka to a pitch count of 85-90. Soroka is widely considered to be one of the best right-handed pitching prospects in the game, and he’s backed that up by pitching to a 2.77 FIP in three starts this season while striking out more than a batter per inning.
    • Injury news isn’t looking so good for a division rival, however, as the MetsYoenis Cespedes reportedly left his rehab start tonight with tightness in his right quad. He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow, but even a small setback is certainly discouraging; Cespedes has been riddled with injuries since signing a four-year, $110MM pact with New York following the 2016 season.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Place Masahiro Tanaka On DL]]> 2018-06-09T21:55:30Z 2018-06-09T21:55:16Z The Yankees have placed right-hander Masahiro Tanaka on the disabled list with mild strains of both hamstrings, according to the team, which recalled infielder Ronald Torreyes in a corresponding move. Tanaka suffered the injuries on the base paths during the Yankees’ game against the Mets on Friday, forcing him to depart after five quality innings. He’s now the second member of New York’s season-opening rotation on the DL, joining lefty Jordan Montgomery, who’s out for the year.

    Tanaka will miss “weeks,” manager Aaron Boone told Bryan Hoch of and other reporters, though it’s unclear whom the Yankees will call on in his absence to join Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray and Domingo German in their rotation. Two Double-A prospects – Domingo Acevedo and Jonathan Loaisiga – as well as Luis Cessa (who’s nearing a return from the DL, Brendan Kuty of tweets) and A.J. Cole seem to be their most realistic 40-man options. The club has an open 40-man spot, however, and could take advantage of that by selecting the likes of Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams or David Hale from Triple-A.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Sign First-Rounder Anthony Seigler]]> 2018-06-09T17:17:09Z 2018-06-09T16:20:47Z The Yankees have signed their first-round pick, 23rd overall choice Anthony Seigler, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. The high school catcher’s bonus is worth $2.815,900, the exact value of the pick, Jim Callis of tweets.

    Seigler, an 18-year-old Georgia native, ranked among the top 50 prospects entering the draft, according to FanGraphs (28th), Baseball America (41st), ESPN’s Keith Law (43rd) and (46th). Seigler’s “agile behind the plate, has a quick transfer that helps his arm play as plus at times and shows promise as a receiver and pitch framer,” per, which likens him to Austin Barnes of the Dodgers. Barnes has shown an ability to play second base, and Seigler also has the athleticism to line up at the keystone, according to

    Offensively, the switch-hitting Seigler is a contact hitter capable of using all fields, and he could develop into a double-digit home run threat, notes. He’s also relatively fast for a catcher. Interestingly, like major leaguer Pat Venditte (also of the Dodgers), Seigler has switch-pitching capability. He brings upper-80s heat and equal effectiveness from both sides, though he’ll sink or swim in the pros as a catcher.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Masahiro Tanaka To Undergo MRI On Hamstrings]]> 2018-06-09T15:06:25Z 2018-06-09T15:02:24Z Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka left his start against the Mets on Friday after five innings because of stiffness in both hamstrings. He’ll undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of the issue, though odds are he’ll require a stint on the disabled list, Randy Miller of suggests. Tanaka suffered the injury on the bases, thus cutting short a performance in which he allowed one run on one hit and a walk and struck out eight. The 29-year-old’s amid a second straight underwhelming season from a run prevention standpoint (4.58 ERA), but losing him would still be a significant blow for the starter-needy Yankees, who already lost lefty Jordan Montgomery for the season (and some of 2019) earlier this week.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Jordan Montgomery Undergoes Tommy John Surgery]]> 2018-06-07T20:29:15Z 2018-06-07T20:29:16Z June 7: The Yankees announced that Montgomery underwent Tommy John surgery today, adding that Dr. Christopher Ahmad also discovered a loose bone chip that was removed as well.

    June 5: Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who has been on the 10-day disabled list with an elbow strain for a bit more than a month, will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday this week, the team announced to reporters (Twitter link via’s Bryan Hoch).

    Obviously, the news comes as a blow to a Yankees club that was already likely to be in the market for rotation help on the summer trade market. With Montgomery now out of action for the balance of the 2018 season and a significant portion of the 2019 season as well, that need will only be emphasized more strongly by general manager Brian Cashman and his staff.

    [Related: New York Yankees depth chart]

    The 25-year-old Montgomery entered Spring Training 2017 as a dark-horse candidate for a rotation spot but forced his way into the organization’s plans and appeared to seize a long-term rotation spot with a very strong rookie showing. In 155 1/3 innings last year (29 starts), Montgomery notched a 3.82 ERA with 8.3 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9. He started six games for the Yankees in 2018, working to a 3.62 ERA in 27 1/3 innings, though his final outing lasted just one inning, and he’s been on the DL since.

    Montgomery will still accrue service time in both 2018 and 2019 as he mends on the 60-day disabled list. By the time he’s likely to be healthy enough for a full season of work in the rotation (2020), he’ll quite likely have gone through the arbitration process for the first time as a Super Two player. Montgomery entered the season with 153 days of Major League service time, so he’ll be at two years, 153 days once the 2019 season wraps up. That makes him a virtual lock for Super Two designation, and he’ll be controllable for the Yankees all the way through the 2023 campaign.

    With Montgomery now done for the year, the Yankees will continue to lean on Domingo German in the fifth spot of their rotation for the foreseeable future. He’ll fall in line behind Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and CC Sabathia, though it’s possible that the Yankees will ultimately turn to another option in the five-spot — at least until a presumptive trade acquisition comes together.

    German, 25, threw six no-hit innings in his first MLB start back on May 6, but he’s been rocked for 19 earned runs in 21 innings since that time. Top pitching prospect Chance Adams has struggled with the Yankees’ top affiliate this season, though lefty Justus Sheffield has been more impressive and could conceivably earn a look in the coming weeks as the Yankees plot a new trajectory in the wake of Montgomery’s unfortunate diagnosis.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Option Tommy Kahnle]]> 2018-06-04T21:04:25Z 2018-06-04T21:04:25Z The Yankees announced after Game 1 of today’s doubleheader that they’ve activated right-hander Adam Warren from the 10-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Tommy Kahnle to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

    The decision to send Kahnle to the minors would’ve seemed unfathomable following the 2017 season. The flamethrowing righty was a huge part of a July blockbuster with the White Sox and pitched to a combined 2.59 ERA with 13.4 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 0.57 HR/9 with a 40.7 percent ground-ball rate in 62 2/3 innings. Kahnle trailed only Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen and teammate Chad Green in terms of K-BB%, and his 16.7 percent swinging-strike rate was the eighth-best of any qualified reliever in baseball.

    So far, 2018 has been an entirely different story for the 28-year-old Kahnle, however. His average fastball velocity plummeted from 97.9 mph to 95 mph, and while that’s still plenty of heat, the near-three mile per hour drop is concerning all the same. Kahnle spent more than a month on the disabled list due to tendinitis in his right shoulder, and he’s allowed seven runs on six hits and a troubling 10 walks in nine innings when healthy. In addition to those 10 free passes, Kahlne has also snapped off a pair of wild pitches and seen his first-pitch strike rate drop from 62.1 percent in 2017 to 52.3 percent in 2018.

    While it seems likely to be a short-term stay, the potential for service time ramifications does exist. Kahnle entered the season with just three years, 15 days of big league service time, meaning he’d need 157 days of service in 2018 to reach four years of service time and stay on track to become a free agent following the 2020 season. If he spends more than a month in the minors, that timeline would change, though it seems reasonable to expect the Yankees are hoping for a minimal stay in Scranton to get Kahnle’s command back on track.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Release Oliver Perez]]> 2018-06-02T02:54:07Z 2018-06-02T02:54:07Z The Yankees have released veteran lefty Oliver Perez, according to Bryan Hoch of (via Twitter). He had joined the organization on a minors deal right at the start of the season after spending spring camp with the Reds.

    Perez, 36, received a June 1st opt-out date by virtue of being an Article XX(B) free agent. He spent the past two years with the Nationals, making 114 appearances but throwing only 73 total innings of 4.81 ERA ball with 10.5 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.

    Thus far in 2018, Perez has allowed just four earned runs in his 12 1/3 frames at Triple-A. He has recorded 13 strikeouts against three walks in that span. While there wasn’t an opening for him in the New York pen, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 15-year MLB veteran sign on with another organization that has a greater opportunity available.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Should Yankees Consider J.A. Happ?]]> 2018-05-31T17:35:13Z 2018-05-31T16:57:17Z
  • For all the speculation surrounding the Yankees and Cole Hamels, Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues that J.A. Happ should be every bit as much on New York’s radar this summer — if not more. Happ, unlike Hamels, doesn’t have a no-trade clause that includes the Yankees, and he’s also earning a more reasonable $12MM this season that aligns with the team’s luxury tax goals. Moreover, though, Sherman notes that Happ simply isn’t separated by Hamels in terms of talent as much as the pair’s reputation would suggest. The 36-year-old reinvented himself following a 2015 trade to the Pirates, and he’s posted better numbers in recent years (and again in 2018) than Hamels. The general thinking extends well beyond the Yankees, of course. If the Blue Jays decide to make Happ available to other teams this July, the southpaw would be one of their most attractive rental chips and would fit on virtually any contender looking to bolster its rotation.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Outright Ryan Bollinger]]> 2018-05-27T16:55:17Z 2018-05-27T16:45:11Z
  • The Yankees have outrighted left-hander Ryan Bollinger to Double-A, per a team announcement. Bollinger had a short stint with the Yankees, who selected his contract in time for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers and then optioned him afterward. The well-traveled 27-year-old will continue in Trenton, where he has logged 20 innings this season and posted a microscopic ERA (.90) with 5.9 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Hamels, Montgomery]]> 2018-05-27T16:02:31Z 2018-05-27T16:02:49Z The Rangers may trade left-hander Cole Hamels in the next couple months, and “it looks like the Yankees could be interested,” Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. Although the Yankees are among 20 teams on Hamels’ no-trade list, the 34-year-old suggested earlier this week that he wouldn’t block a move to a contender. New York certainly looks as if it’ll contend all season, which would appeal to Hamels, and the team figures to end up acquiring him or another legitimate starter at some point this summer. General manager Brian Cashman pointed to his pitching staff as an area that he could address Saturday, before Sonny Gray continued his disappointing season with an ugly start against the Angels.

    Regardless of whether the Yankees go outside for help, they should get back a rotation reinforcement, lefty Jordan Montgomery, in the coming weeks. Montgomery, who has been out since May 2 with an elbow strain, is “progressing” without any issues, Bryan Hoch of tweets. The second-year man is three-plus weeks into a potential six- to eight-week absence, and he had been in the midst of another effective season prior to going down. Righty Domingo German has served as a Montgomery fill-in for three starts, the first of which went swimmingly and the next two rather poorly.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Cashman: Yankees "Need Pitching More Than Anything Else"]]> 2018-05-27T04:52:02Z 2018-05-27T04:51:20Z
  • The Yankees, owners of arguably the majors’ premier offense and its second-best record (32-16), “need pitching more than anything else,” general manager Brian Cashman said Saturday (via Bryan Hoch of Cashman made that observation before right-hander Sonny Gray’s latest subpar start – a 3 2/3-frame, five-run performance in a loss to the Angels. Gray has now posted a 5.98 ERA/4.78 FIP with 7.97 K/9 and 5.07 BB/9 in 49 2/3 innings this year, which wasn’t the type of production the Yankees had in mind then they acquired him from the Athletics last July. His 2018 woes – not to mention a general lack of front-end starters behind ace Luis Severino – could force the World Series hopefuls to revisit the trade market for rotation help in the next couple months.
  • ]]>
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Gomez, Sanchez, Marte, Bird, Prado]]> 2018-05-26T16:35:44Z 2018-05-26T16:35:44Z Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez has been activated from the 10-day disabled list; he’d been sidelined since May 16th with a strained groin. The injury was thought to be minor at the time, and the fact that Gomez missed only the ten-day minimum leaves little room to doubt his health at this time. That doesn’t mean his performance comes without questions, though, as the veteran is slashing just .200/.252/.345 on the season. No corresponding move was required for Tampa Bay, as their roster was two men short following yesterday’s surprising trade with Seattle.

    And now a flurry of other injury-related items from around the league…

    • David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that Anibal Sanchez could be the Braves’ starter on Tuesday following a successful rehab start on Friday. Mark Bowman of takes it a step further by quoting manager Brian Snitker, who reportedly said that Sanchez is indeed penciled in to start Tuesday’s game. Sanchez has a 1.29 ERA in three appearances (two starts) on the season.
    • Adam Berry of writes that Starling Marte will be activated from the DL by the Pirates today if he reports to the ballpark feeling ready to play. It’d be a remarkably quick return for the 29-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined with an oblique injury. Injuries of that type have a reputation for lingering and causing players to miss extended time. One has to wonder what Marte’s potential activation would mean for the red-hot Austin Meadows, who’s managed more homers in the big leagues thus far (3) than strikeouts (2).
    • The Yankees have reinstated first baseman Greg Bird from the disabled list, optioning infielder Ronald Torreyes to Triple-A in a corresponding move. Marc Carig of The Athletic notes that the move makes plenty of sense considering the versatility of Gleyber Torres and the fact that a removal of Neil Walker from the roster isn’t reversible. Bird entered the season with plenty of hype surrounding him, but has yet to make his 2018 debut thanks to right foot surgery.
    • In a move that was widely expected, the Marlins placed Martin Prado (hamstring) on the 10-day DL today, recalling J.T. Riddle from Triple-A to take his place on the roster. It’s the latest in an unfortunate series of injuries for the formerly-durable Prado, who made only 147 trips to the plate last year following eight straight seasons with at least 500 PA.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Prado, Murphy/Goodwin, DeJong, Casilla, Trumbo, More]]> 2018-05-26T05:15:52Z 2018-05-26T05:08:48Z It seems that Marlins infielder Martin Prado has suffered a rather significant left hamstring injury, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The 34-year-old has endured a run of significant problems with his hamstring muscles in the past year or so. Details aren’t yet known, but it certainly sounds as if Prado will be sidelined for a lengthy stretch. He’s owed $13.5MM this year and $15MM for the 2019 campaign. The long-productive infielder has struggled to a .169/.221/.180 batting line in 95 plate appearances on the season.

    Here’s more on the injury front:

    • The Nationals finally got some promising injury news, as they’ll send both Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin on rehab assignments beginning tomorrow. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweeted the news with regard to the former; Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweeted manager Davey Martinez’s announcement on both players. Murphy has yet to appear in the 2018 campaign after offseason microfracture surgery, while Goodwin has been slow to return from a wrist injury.
    • It’s still unclear just how long the Cardinals will go without shortstop Paul DeJong, but he says he has been given a four-to-eight week estimate by the medical professionals, as Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. More than anything, it seems that broad range indicates that there’s not a lot of clarity at this point as to how long it’ll take to heal. All involved will obviously hope that it hues toward the earlier estimate, as the replacement options all have their warts as semi-regular shortstops.
    • It seems the Athletics will go without reliever Santiago Casilla for a stretch. He has been diagnosed with a shoulder strain, as’s Jane Lee reports (Twitter links). Details of his anticipated absence are not yet available, but it’s said to be likely that Casilla will end up on the DL. At the same time, he says he does not believe it’s a serious malady. The veteran entered play today with an ugly 14:13 K/BB ratio, but had allowed eight runs on only 11 hits in his 21 innings of action.
    • Though he seemingly avoided a more concerning fate, Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo will likely head to the DL to rest his ailing right knee, as Roch Kubatko of was among those to report (Twitter links). Trumbo was diagnosed with a fairly significant case of arthritis, which won’t necessarily put him on the shelf for long but also probably isn’t the best news for a defensively limited player who’s owed $12.5MM this year and $13.5MM next. He has been productive thus far in 2018, though, with a .309/.317/.469 slash through 82 plate appearances. On the other hand, it’s somewhat worrisome that he has managed only a pair of home runs and a single walk in that span.
    • In other AL East news … so long as there are no surprises in the interim, Nate Eovaldi will finally start for the Rays on Tuesday, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The Yankees announced that reliever Tommy Kahnle is back from the DL, which represents a promising development given the uncertainty that surrounded him when he went on the shelf. And while the Blue Jays still aren’t planning on a near-term return from Troy Tulowitzki, skipper John Gibbons says the veteran shortstop is at least ready to begin running, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of tweets.
    • While the Padres had hoped to welcome back catcher Austin Hedges in relatively short order, he’s now halting his rehab after his problematic right elbow flared up, as’s AJ Cassavell writes. It still seems there’s little reason to fear that Hedges is dealing with a real structural problem, though surely it’s frustrating for the organization that he hasn’t yet fully turned the corner.
    • Meanwhile, the Angels provided an update on hurler Matt Shoemaker, though it mostly suggests ongoing uncertainty with regard to the root of his arm issues. As the club announced, and’s Maria Guardado tweets, the latest examination “ruled out peripheral nerve involvement” but “showed mild edema in the forearm.” Shoemaker is also said to have undergone a bone scan. The results of that weren’t specifically cited, but it seems to suggest that the organization is looking at quite a lot of possibilities to figure out what’s really causing problems for the starter.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Release Adam Lind]]> 2018-05-25T17:24:52Z 2018-05-25T16:43:19Z The Yankees announced on Friday that they’ve released first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind for the second time this year. Lind inked a minor league pact with the Yankees during Spring Training and was released to pursue other opportunities, though he ultimately landed back with the Yanks on a second minor league pact. That seems unlikely this time, as he’ll now search for a different opportunity with a better path to the Majors than he has with the Yankees, where Greg Bird is nearing a return and Tyler Austin is showing power at the big league level.

    New York also announced that the organization has acquired the rights to catcher Wilkin Castillo. who’d been playing for the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. He’ll head to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in place of veteran Erik Kratz, who was traded to the Brewers today.

    The 34-year-old Lind has appeared at two levels with the Yankees thus far, slashing a combined .302/.362/.477 with three homers in 94 plate appearances. The bulk of the damage he’s done, though, came in an eight-game stint with Class-A Advanced, while his work with the team’s Triple-A affiliate has been less inspiring.

    That said, there’s no reason to think that Lind won’t catch on elsewhere as a depth option in the upper minors at the very least, if not in a greater role. He’s been an above-average bat in four of the past five MLB seasons, has a long history of hitting right-handed pitching at an especially strong clip, and produced a robust .303/.362/.513 slash with 14 homers in 301 PAs for the Nationals just last season. He’d make sense as a Triple-A stash for any number of clubs, while clubs like the Rockies have seen their first baseman struggle in the Majors and others, such as the Twins, have recently incurred an injury at that position (Joe Mauer, concussion).

    Castillo, meanwhile, received a small bit of big league experience with the Reds way back in 2008-09 but hasn’t appeared in the Majors since. He has just 22 games and 37 MLB plate appearances under his belt and is a career .244/.280/.352 hitter in parts of 10 Triple-A seasons. He should be a familiar face for those in Scranton, having spent 45 games there last season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Acquire Erik Kratz, Designate Jett Bandy, Option Orlando Arcia]]> 2018-05-25T17:13:02Z 2018-05-25T16:37:40Z The Brewers made a significant series of roster moves on Friday, acquiring veteran backstop Erik Kratz from the Yankees in exchange for cash and designating Jett Bandy for assignment to clear a spot on the roster. Both teams have announced the trade. Additionally, Milwaukee announced that shortstop Orlando Arcia and righty Jorge Lopez have been optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs in favor of veteran infielder Eric Sogard and right-hander Adrian Houser.

    Set to turn 38 in June, Kratz is off to a .269/.356/.538 start with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. While he doesn’t have a lengthy track record at the big league level, he’s shown throughout parts of eight big league seasons that he possess some pop, homering 24 times in 649 plate appearances and notching a .163 ISO. Of course, Kratz’s overall .203/.250/.366 slash line in that time has been sub-par and serves to illustrate why his time in the Majors has been sporadic. To his credit, he’s halted 34 percent of stolen-base attempts against him in the Majors and has been similarly effective throughout his minor league career (32 percent).

    As for Bandy, the Brewers will have a week to trade him, Ttry to pass him through outright waivers or release him. The 28-year-old showed a bit of promise early in his career with the Angels but has struggled in two seasons with Milwaukee, hitting just .202/.282/.326. While Milwaukee GM David Stearns has made his share of shrewd moves since taking over the team’s baseball operations department, the decision to flip Martin Maldonado to the Angels in exchange for Bandy likely ranks among his most regrettable swaps, as Maldonado has provided more with the bat and also took home an AL Gold Glove last season in his first year with the Halos.

    Arcia, meanwhile, looked to have gone a long way toward establishing himself as a regular in the Milwaukee infield last season. After struggling as a 21-year-old in his debut back in 2016, the longtime top prospect hit .277/.324/.407 with 15 home runs and 14 stolen bases last season. The 2018 season, however, has proven to be a full course reversal at the dish.

    Through 146 trips to the dish this season, Arcia has mustered a feeble .194/.233/.273 slash with two homers and five doubles. His walk rate is down two percent, his strikeout rate is up five percent, and his 28.6 percent hard-contact rate is considerably south of the league average. Arcia has contributed quality glovework, to be sure, but that apparently wasn’t deemed enough to salvage his spot on the roster for the time being.

    Tyler Saladino figures to be the primary beneficiary of the Brewers’ decision to offer Arcia a mental reset of sorts, as he’s hit well in his brief time since being acquired from the White Sox and offers a solid glove in his own right. While the 28-year-old certainly doesn’t possess the same upside as Arcia, who once ranked as one of the game’s 10 to 15 top overall prospects, he’ll serve as a stopgap while Arcia seeks to remedy his swing and improve upon his plate discipline in a lower-pressure setting.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Select Contract Of Ryan Bollinger]]> 2018-05-23T14:04:41Z 2018-05-23T14:04:41Z The Yankees announced today that they have selected the contract of lefty Ryan Bollinger. He will be added to the active roster for tonight’s game.

    A corresponding 40-man move is not necessary, as the Yankees had an open spot still available. The club still has plenty of flexibility for the time being, as several players currently on the 10-day DL could potentially be shifted to the 60-day DL should a need arise.

    Bollinger will make it to the majors about nine years after he was taken in the 47th round of the 2009 draft by the Phillies. He never pitched with the Philadelphia organization, but did spend three seasons in the low minors with the White Sox beginning in 2011.

    For the past three seasons, Bollinger has pitched outside of the affiliated ranks, making several indy ball stops and appearing last year in the Australian Baseball League. River Ave. Blues covered his unheralded signing, providing a video of Bollinger pitching in Germany and rightly noting: “Would be something if this guy made it, huh?” Indeed.

    Since joining the Yankees organization over the offseason, Bollinger has worked as a starter in the upper minors. In 29 innings, he owns a 1.86 ERA with 6.2 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9. It seems reasonable to presume that the 27-year-old will join the Yankees’ bullpen upon his arrival. It remains to be seen, though, how long he’ll hold onto his active and 40-man roster spots.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Greg Bird Nearing Return]]> 2018-05-20T20:15:10Z 2018-05-20T19:54:18Z
  • Yankees first baseman Greg Bird could make his season debut during the upcoming week, manager Aaron Boone told Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News and other reporters Sunday. Bird hasn’t played this year on account of the right ankle surgery he underwent in late March, after missing most of last season with foot problems and all of 2016 with a torn labrum. Owners of the majors’ best record (29-13), the Yankees have gotten off to a great start without the talented Bird, thanks in part to first base fill-in Tyler Austin’s production. The 26-year-old rookie has smacked two HRs on Sunday to give him eight on the season and raise his OPS to .930 through 100 PAs.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Sign David Hale]]> 2018-05-20T04:50:04Z 2018-05-20T04:49:26Z
  • The Yankees have brought back right-hander David Hale on a minor league contract, according to a team announcement. Hale, who will report to Triple-A, has now signed three separate minors deals with the club since January. He saw action with the Yankees under each of his previous two accords and combined for five innings of two-run ball. Between inking those pacts, the Twins claimed Hale off waivers from New York on April 26. Hale made just one appearance as a Twin, with whom he threw three frames of four-run ball, before they designated him for assignment. The Yankees have also designated Hale this season (twice, in fact), the latest occurrence coming earlier this week. The 30-year-old then elected free agency, where he sat on the market for a day before returning to the Yanks. Hale owns a 4.58 ERA during his 186 2/3-inning major league tenure.
  • ]]>
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[East Notes: Yankees, Eickhoff, Smith, Garcia]]> 2018-05-19T16:59:09Z 2018-05-19T16:59:09Z Aaron Boone recently offered some words of encouragement regarding the imminent return of first baseman Greg Bird to the lineup (h/t Marc Carig of The Athletic). But while Bird’s activation appears to be “around the corner”, news surrounding fellow Yankees hitter Jacoby Ellsbury is not as promising. Ellsbury is reportedly dealing with a minor back injury and as such is not participating in baseball activities at this time. The outfielder made just 406 plate appearances last season and has yet to make his 2018 debut. Unfortunately, Ellsbury’s absence is not the end of the bad news for the Yankees this week, as it turns out hard-hitting outfield prospect Estevan Florial will require surgery on a broken hamate bone (according to a tweet from George A. King III of the New York Post). The injury will keep him sidelined until at least August. Florial was off to somewhat of a slow start at the High-A level, posting a .246/.353/.343 slash line across 156 plate appearances.

    More out of the East…

    • Phillies righty Jerad Eickhoff is set to begin a rehab assignment, according to Matt Breen of the Philly Enquirer. He’ll kick it off at Triple-A LeHigh Valley. Eickhoff has been sidelined since spring training due to a lat strain, and at this time it’s not clear how he’d fit into a suddenly crowded Phillies rotation that includes Aaron Nola, Nick Pivetta, Jake Arrieta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin.
    • The Red Sox haven’t gotten any particularly good news about Carson Smith in recent days. According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, manager Alex Cora says the club can’t determine at this time whether or not the righty will pitch again this season. Smith was off to a serviceable start this season, posting a 3.77 ERA and 11.30 K/9 in his first 14 1/3 innings before going down with a shoulder subluxation.
    • The Blue Jays are describing left-hander Jaime Garcia’s injury as “left shoulder inflammation”. He’s been placed on the DL retroactive to May 16th. The Jays brought Garcia into the fold this past offseason on a one-year deal worth a guarantee of $10MM, but he’s disappointed thus far with a 6.28 ERA across his first 38 2/3 innings. In a related move, the club has recalled righty Deck McGuire from Triple-A Buffalo.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[David Hale Elects Free Agency]]> 2018-05-19T02:38:39Z 2018-05-19T02:38:39Z Righty David Hale has elected free agency after clearing outright waivers, the Yankees announced today. He had recently been designated for assignment.

    Roster churn is nothing new for Hale, who has had multiple stints in New York and one with the Twins this year, in addition to the time he has spent at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 30-year-old has allowed 15 earned runs in his 22 2/3 innings at all stops on the year.

    This is the most extensive action that Hale has seen at the game’s highest level since the 2015 season. All told, he carries a 4.58 ERA with 6.1 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 over 186 2/3 MLB innings.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Recall Clint Frazier, Designate David Hale For Assignment]]> 2018-05-15T20:44:25Z 2018-05-15T20:19:14Z The Yankees announced this afternoon that they’ve recalled outfielder Clint Frazier from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated right-hander David Hale for assignment in order to open a spot on the roster.

    This’ll be the first big league stint for Frazier in 2018 after sustaining a concussion during Spring Training and spending the first few weeks of the season on the disabled list. He’s played in four games with Class-A Tampa and another 12 in Triple-A, raking at a .362/.423/.702 clip with three doubles, two triples and three homers in Scranton. He’ll add some additional depth in the outfield for a Yankees club and, for the time being, return the club to a 12-man pitching staff with the subtraction of Hale. His presence will also give the Yankees an additional bat on the bench for an upcoming NL series, which undoubtedly played a role in his promotion.

    It’s the second time the Yankees have designated Hale for assignment this season. The 30-year-old inked a minor league pact with the Yankees this winter and was designated after tossing a pair of shutout innings on April 23 against the Twins. Once he hit waivers, it was actually Minnesota who claimed Hale, though the Twins were forced to DFA Hale themselves after just one rough appearance when their bullpen was stretched to thin levels by a series of rough losses. Hale wound up back with the Yanks on another minor league deal, had his contract selected once again, and allowed a pair of runs in three innings in yet another one-appearance stint with the Yankees last week.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Activate Brandon Drury From DL, Option Him To Triple-A]]> 2018-05-14T20:04:49Z 2018-05-14T18:14:51Z The Yankees announced on Monday that they’ve reinstated infielder Brandon Drury from the 10-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The move means that for the time being, New York will continue to rely upon Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Tyler AustinNeil Walker and Ronald Torreyes around the infield, with Drury somewhat surprisingly waiting in the wings at Triple-A on the heels of a very productive minor league rehab assignment.

    Drury hit the disabled list last month due to ongoing migraine issues and blurred vision. He’s reportedly tried out wearing some yellow-tinted glasses during rehab games in an effort to aid his vision, and while it may have been mere coincidence, the results from his recent stretch of 11 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre were impressive; in 42 plate appearances, he hit .343/.452/.514 with a homer and three doubles.

    [Related: Updated New York Yankees depth chart]

    However, Drury’s placement on the DL opened the door for some younger prospects to make their debuts, and during his absence, Walker’s bat began to show signs of life. The veteran Walker is hitting .346/.514/.462 in 35 plate appearances this month and has provided the Yankees with some key hits, while Andujar and Torres have shown varying degrees of promise. In the case of Torres, he’s hitting .319/.360/.493 with three homers through his first 76 big league plate appearances and hasn’t done much of anything to give the Yankees cause to send him back down to the minors.

    It’s more arguable that Andujar has shown some cracks at the big league level and could yet be in need of refinement. While he’s hitting .282 with a .458 slugging percentage, Andujar has drawn just three walks in 135 plate appearances, resulting in a paltry .296 on-base percentage. While he’s not striking out much, his .337 average on balls in play is considerably higher than the league norm of .295. If that BABIP regresses at all, then he could very well see his OBP fall into the .280 range. For the time being, he’s hit in six straight games (8-for-25), though all of his hits in that time have been singles.

    The Yankees could’ve created a temporary solution by sending Austin to Triple-A, but the 26-year-old has slugged five homers in 89 plate appearances despite hitting just .222 with a .292 on-base percentage. Austin seems likely to be a roster casualty when Greg Bird is ready to be activated from the disabled list anyhow.

    Whether due to an injury somewhere around the big league infield or a slump from Andujar, it still seems reasonable to expect that Drury will be back with the Yankees at some point in the relatively near future.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Soon To Face Infield Logjam]]> 2018-05-08T20:17:21Z 2018-05-08T16:46:01Z The Yankees may soon have a welcome problem on their hands with multiple infield options, with youngsters Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres performing well as Brandon Drury has tried to sort out a long-standing migraine problem. (Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes are also on the MLB roster, along with everyday shortstop Didi Gregorius.) As’s Bryan Hoch discusses in response to a reader inquiry, there continues to be progress in Drury’s health issue and he could soon be ready to return. While he could be optioned, Hoch suggests the organization could consider moving him around as well, possibly giving Drury time at second, third, and the corner outfield. Hoch also checks in briefly on injured first bagger Greg Bird, explaining that he’s on track to return later this month. Barring further injuries, there’ll certainly be some interesting decisions to be made for a ballclub that has been on a tear.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[MLB Announces London Series]]> 2018-05-09T03:10:26Z 2018-05-08T15:21:45Z As expected, Major League Baseball has announced that it is taking its show across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom next year. The Yankees and Red Sox will play a two-game set on June 29th and June 30th at London Stadium, the facility that hosted the 2012 Olympics.

    This initiative is the latest in a line of MLB overseas adventures, but the first that is located in Europe. Previously, the league has held regular season contests in Japan, Mexico, and Australia. (Additionally, games have been held on U.S. territory in locales that lack MLB franchises, with recent events in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.) That’s all in addition to the World Baseball Classic.

    It’s not surprising that the league has first focused on other international markets. The game of baseball has a greater foothold, of course, in Asia and Latin America. That’s not to say that it’s completely unknown in Europe, though. Those interested in learning more about Euroball may enjoy listening to the MLBTR Podcast episode on the topic, featuring subject matter expert Josh Chetwynd, from a few years back.

    International engagement is hardly a new concept in baseball or other professional sports, of course. Even the NFL has recently been holding games in London of late. But staging games that actually count in the standings is a relatively more challenging undertaking — and one that was specifically contemplated in the most recent collective bargaining agreement. That’s particularly true for baseball, with its intense travel schedule and near-daily games.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[German Earning Longer Leash In Yankees' Rotation]]> 2018-05-07T15:49:19Z 2018-05-07T15:49:19Z
  • Yankees right-hander Domingo German made a strong impression in his bid for a long-term rotation spot on Sunday, firing six no-hit innings in his first big league start. Manager Aaron Boone spoke to reporters after the game about the decision to pull German despite not having allowed a hit, revealing that German was actually given a bit of lenience and allowed to stay in the game beyond the pitch limit the Yankees had set on him for the game (link via Dan Martin of the New York Post). “I was hoping in the best case for five [innings] and a little more than 70 [pitches], but he was so efficient and attacking so much,” said Boone. German told the media that he was well aware of the limit he was on for the day and had no issues with being lifted from the game. With Jordan Montgomery on the shelf, the Yankees’ rotation had an opening, though German should get several more starts in that spot following Sunday’s outing. It’s nonetheless worth noting that top prospect Justus Sheffield was promoted to Triple-A over the weekend, so he may not be far off if German begins to struggle.
  • ]]>
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[C.C. Sabathia Likely To Retire If Yankees Win World Series]]> 2018-05-07T03:59:21Z 2018-05-07T03:59:21Z If the Yankees win the World Series this season, C.C. Sabathia will take it as the perfect ending to his 18-year career.  “I want one more parade and pretty sure that will be it,” the veteran southpaw tells George A. King III of the New York Post.  Sabathia also added that he would’ve retired had the Yankees won last year’s World Series, rather than suffer a tough Game Seven loss to the Astros in the ALCS.

    Sabathia turns 38 in July, so retirement was coming sooner rather than later for the former AL Cy Young Award winner.  Should the Yankees again fall short in the playoffs, of course, the obvious question would be if Sabathia would be willing to stick around for one more year, since New York’s contention window doesn’t seem to be closing anytime in the foreseeable future.  Health concerns will be paramount for a pitcher who has dealt with significant knee problems during his career (plus smaller but still-notable issues with his elbow, hamstring, groin, and hip), though in terms of performance, Sabathia is still a quality asset on the mound.

    This late-career revival seemed unlikely at the height of Sabathia’s injury woes, when his knee injuries limited him to just 46 innings in 2014.  At the time, it seemed as if Sabathia’s career would end after his five-year, $122MM extension with the Yankees was up, though a lack of shoulder-related injuries caused his $25MM option for 2017 to vest, and he managed to return as a solid, innings-eater at the back of New York’s rotation.  He posted a 4.12 ERA, 7.4 K/9, and 2.48 K/BB rate over 495 2/3 innings from 2015-17, topping it off with a 2.37 ERA over 19 postseason frames last October.

    There seemed little doubt of a reunion between Sabathia and the Yankees last winter, and sure enough, the left-hander rejoined the team on a one-year, $10MM contract.  Thus far, Sabathia actually has the lowest ERA (1.39) of any New York hurler with more than two innings pitched, though he has received quite a bit of BABIP (.211) and strand rate (81.4%) luck thus far.  Even ERA predictors, however, still paint a respectable picture (3.60 FIP, 4.42 xFIP, 4.20 SIERA) of the veteran’s performance this season.  Sabathia’s strong start has been particularly helpful for a Yankees rotation that has seen Sonny Gray struggle badly, and Jordan Montgomery head to the DL with a flexor strain.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Harvey, Didi]]> 2018-05-05T22:03:51Z 2018-05-05T22:03:41Z It doesn’t appear just-designated Mets right-hander Matt Harvey will continue his career in New York as a member of the crosstown rival Yankees. “Don’t bet on it,” a source told Brendan Kuty of when asked if the red-hot Yankees would pursue Harvey. The Yankees could arguably use another rotation option in the wake of fifth starter Jordan Montgomery’s flexor strain, which will keep him out for six to eight weeks. But the team’s plan for now is to replace the left-handed Montgomery with righty Domingo German, a 25-year-old who will make the first start of his big league career on Sunday.

    • The Yankees’ December 2014 acquisition of shortstop Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks has worked out beautifully for New York, which only gave up reliever Shane Greene in a three-team trade that also included the Tigers. With Gregorius off to such a tremendous start this year, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revisited the deal in an interview with Jack Curry of the YES Network (video link). The Yankees had long been interested in landing Gregorius, revealed Cashman, who credits the influence of his friend Kevin Towers and the team’s analytics department for New York’s desire to acquire the player. Towers, who passed away earlier this year, was the Diamondbacks’ GM when they picked up Gregorius from the Reds in 2012. Arizona fired Towers a couple months before Gregorius went to the Yankees in a trade that Cashman didn’t expect to consummate, largely because then-Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart also had a high opinion of Gregorius. The Yankees found a way to make it work, though, after involving the Tigers, who “coveted” Greene. It’s clear the trade hasn’t gone as planned for Detroit, however, as Greene has been a mixed bag while both the player it dealt – lefty Robbie Ray – and Gregorius have emerged as key pieces in Arizona and New York, respectively.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cashman: Walker's Roster Spot Safe]]> 2018-05-04T17:20:45Z 2018-05-04T17:20:45Z
  • Despite his struggles and a sudden glut of infielders in the Bronx, Neil Walker is in no danger of losing his roster spot, Yankees GM Brian Cashman tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Cashman points to Walker’s lengthy and consistent track record in the Majors in plainly stating that he “[doesn’t] see Walker as a guy to release, eat (his salary) or trade.” Walker is hitting .171/.233/.195 through 90 plate appearances, and the Yankees will eventually have Brandon Drury back from the disabled list, where he’ll join Walker, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and Ronald Torreyes in the infield mix. It’s not clear how the Yankees will manage that on-paper surplus.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jordan Montgomery Out Six To Eight Weeks With Flexor Strain]]> 2018-05-02T21:26:53Z 2018-05-02T21:20:15Z 4:20pm: Montgomery has been diagnosed with a flexor strain in his left arm and is expected to be out anywhere from six to eight weeks, manager Aaron Boone tells WFAN’s Mike Francesca (via WFAN’s Sweeny Murti, on Twitter). Montgomery will be shut down from throwing entirely for the next two to three weeks.

    Clearly, that comes as a significant hit to the rotation. For the time being, righty Domingo German is slated to take the hill in what would’ve been Montgomery’s place this coming weekend, though the team will surely consider other options in the long run as well.

    Notably, top prospect Chance Adams has gotten off to a dismal start to his Triple-A campaign in 2018, though southpaw Justus Sheffield has thrown quite well in Double-A. Both rank among the game’s best pitching prospects, though the 25-year-old German has handled himself quite well through his first 14 1/3 innings with the Yankees this season.

    2:31pm: The Yankees have announced a series of roster moves driven largely by the decision to place lefty Jordan Montgomery on the 10-day DL. He is dealing with an elbow strain, per the club.

    Righty David Hale, who recently re-signed with the organization, will join the active roster after his contract was purchased. To create a 40-man spot, the Yanks bumped outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to the 60-day DL. Meanwhile, outfield prospect Clint Frazier has been activated from the concussion DL and optioned to Triple-A.

    The real question here involves the health of Montgomery, who is a key rotation piece. There’s not much more clarity on that question now than there was yesterday, when he left his start early owing to the elbow problem. The 25-year-old is carrying a 3.62 ERA over 27 1/3 innings on the year but has seen his K/BB numbers dip along with his average fastball velocity as compared with his 2017 debut effort.

    As for Ellsbury, the move to the 60-day DL is largely procedural. He’s already been on the shelf for more than half of that time, and the transfer to the lengthier of the two disabled lists is unlikely to impact his return date, as the 60-day term is tied to his original DL placement rather than today’s move. He’ll be eligible to return to the active roster in late May, though there’s no clearly defined timetable to suggest exactly when he may be activated.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Montgomery Exits After One Inning, Heads For Elbow Exam]]> 2018-05-02T04:55:25Z 2018-05-02T04:55:25Z Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery exited tonight’s start against the Astros due to tightness in his left elbow and is traveling back to New York for an examination, as’s Bryan Hoch writes. Manager Aaron Boone said of the injury that the Yankees didn’t have any concern prior to Montgomery’s start, though he acknowledged that there is, of course, some degree of concern any time a pitcher exits with elbow or forearm tightness. Montgomery threw a perfect first inning and has a 3.62 ERA through 27 1/3 innings this season, but it’s worth pointing out that his average fastball has hovered at 90.3 mph this season after he averaged 92 mph on his heater in last year’s strong rookie campaign. Hoch adds (via Twitter) that Boone says Montgomery is in a “pretty good frame of mind” and is optimistic that he’s avoided a serious injury.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Yankees Sign David Hale]]> 2018-05-01T19:47:34Z 2018-05-01T19:47:34Z The Yankees have signed righty David Hale to a minors pact, per a club announcement. He’ll report to the team’s top affiliate.

    With the signing, Hale will return to the place (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) that he opened the 2018 season. He has completed a brief tour of the majors since, appearing both for and against the Yankees over an eventful ten day stretch.

    Hale, 30, owns a 4.56 ERA in his 183 2/3 career MLB innings. Most of those, however, came back in 2014-15. He has mostly worked in the upper minors since. In 81 2/3 total innings last year with the Dodgers organization, Hale carried a 4.08 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and just 1.5 BB/9.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Is Diminished Fastball Use Hurting Gray?]]> 2018-04-30T18:18:07Z 2018-04-30T18:18:07Z Sonny Gray has been clobbered by opposing hitters this season, and Sheryl Ring of Fangraphs suggests that the root of his struggles could be an organizational pitching philosophy that the Yankees seem to be employing. As Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan highlighted in an excellent piece earlier this month, the Yankees are using far and away the fewest percentage of fastballs in the league in 2018 — continuing a trend of increasingly diminished fastball usage in recent years. Ring notes that Gray, however, has never thrown fewer than 55 percent heaters (combining both his four-seamer and two-seamer/sinker). Gray’s success against lefties, in particular, has been in no small part attributable to the success of his fastball up and in on lefty bats, she observes. While there could obviously be multiple factors at play — Ring also notes a mechanical disparity between Gray’s wind-up from 2015 and from 2018, for instance — it certainly seems plausible that Gray’s increased use of breaking pitches is making it more difficult to position himself in favorable counts. He’s thrown a first-pitch strike to just 50 percent of the hitters he’s faced in 2018 — down from a career-best 61.7 percent in 2017.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Neil Walker Could Soon Be Victim Of Yankees' Infield Logjam]]> 2018-04-30T19:36:15Z 2018-04-29T17:45:52Z Now for the latest on the Yanks’ crosstown rivals…

    There’s a chance that Yankees infielder Neil Walker’s roster spot could soon be in jeopardy, George A. King III of the New York Post suggests. With third baseman Brandon Drury nearing a return from the disabled list and first baseman Greg Bird scheduled to come off the DL sometime next month, the Yankees could have an infield logjam which pushes someone out. That may prove to be Walker, even though he signed a $4MM deal with the Yankees in March. While Walker, 32, was previously a solid producer with the Pirates, Mets and Brewers, he has batted just .181/.231/.208 (16 wRC+) in his first 78 plate appearances as a Yankee. The fact that Walker didn’t have much of a spring training after going without a contract for several months has perhaps contributed to his sluggish start. Either way, he may need a significant uptick in production to stick on the roster if fellow infielders Drury, Bird, Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Austin are all healthy in the near future. Of course, there’s recent precedent for the Yankees quickly cutting bait on a free-agent signing. It happened last June when the team designated slugger Chris Carter for assignment just a few months after guaranteeing him $3.5MM.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rosenthal On Yankees' Third Base Situation]]> 2018-04-29T03:19:04Z 2018-04-29T03:18:24Z
  • More from Rosenthal, who notes (video link via Twitter) that the Yankees have an interesting situation developing at third base. It’s unclear how they’ll divide time at the position between hot-hitting rookie Miguel Andujar and Brandon Drury when the latter returns soon from the DL. Drury has been down with migraines since April 7, opening the door for the 23-year-old Andujar to come up and thrive. But Andujar could head back to the minors or even become trade bait with Drury around, Rosenthal observes. The Yankees are bullish on Drury, whom they had been pursuing for a while before parting with multiple prospects to acquire him from the Diamondbacks in February. Manager Aaron Boone confirmed the Yankees’ high opinion of Drury on Saturday, telling George A. King III of the New York Post and other reporters that they “view him as a front-line third baseman.” Drury’s still just 25 and under control for four years, including this one.
  • ]]>
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Notes: Austin Suspension, Walker]]> 2018-04-27T17:09:00Z 2018-04-27T17:09:00Z The suspension appeals for Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin and Red Sox setup man Joe Kelly have both been heard. Austin’s suspension has been reduced from five games to four, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link), while Kelly’s six-game suspension was upheld (Twitter link via’s Ian Browne). Both players were suspended and fined for their respective roles in the bench-clearing brawl two weeks back.

    • With Austin suspended, Neil Walker could pick up those starts at first base, and the opportunity will be an important one for him, writes Newsday’s Steven Marcus. With Austin and rehabbing Greg Bird likely to hold down first base, Gleyber Torres now at second base, Miguel Andujar at third base and Brandon Drury on the mend, Walker’s role with the Yankees is becoming increasingly muddied as he battles through a dismal start to the season. Walker, who is hitting just .172/.232/.203, made no excuses for his poor start and said his shortened Spring Training and injury history aren’t at the root of his struggles.