Thursday, May 23, 2013

11 Yankees Trades We Wish We Could Take Back

Brian Cashman has been a pretty good General Manager for the Yankees, being the architect of 4 World Series winners, a ton of AL East titles and this year in 2013, receiving a lot of props for Lyle Overbay, Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner. While Cashman continually gets doubted sometimes by a large faction of Yankees fans, he often gets the job done well. This article covers 11 trades of the last 11 years (including this year as well) Yankees fans would probably wish he would take back. Here we go:

(In Chronological Order)

  1. 2003/2004: Nick Johnson, Randy Choate and Juan Rivera for Javier Vazquez. Vazquez was good everywhere but New York. Had a 4.91 ERA in 2004. Johnson's injuries killed his career but he had a few good years in DC and Choate has been a revelation in his mid-30's, though in NYC, he was mediocre. Rivera was a solid producer out in LA for the Angels. 
  2. 2004: Jose Contreras for Esteban Loaiza. Contreras was an World Series winner and All-Star in Chicago and became a quality reliever the last few years. Loaiza had a 8.50 ERA in New York. Enough said.
  3. 2004/2005: Javier Vazquez, Brad Halsey and Dioner Navarro for Randy Johnson. Vazquez went back to being a solid pitcher. Halsey was a "what could have been" guy and Navarro is catching in Chicago for the Cubs. Johnson had a 4.37 ERA in 2 years in NYC.
  4. 2006/2007: Gary Sheffield for Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett. All 3 pitchers pitched a COMBINED 6 1/3 innings for New York. Sheffield hit .275 with 25 HR and 75 RBI and 22 SB in 2007 for the Tigers.
  5. 2007/2008: Tyler Clippard for Jonathan Albaladejo. Clippard is one of the most dominant set-up men in baseball, thriving in DC with a 2.83 career ERA there. Albaladejo pitched to a 4.70 ERA in a season plus in NYC.
  6. 2008: Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen and Jeff Karstens for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. Karstens, McCutchen and Tabata have been solid contributors for Pittsburgh, both in starting/bench/relief roles. Ohlendorf kinda stunk, but Nady and Marte were not the big contributors the Yankees expected. Nady's injury opened up 4 solid years from Nick Swisher, though. Marte stunk too.
  7. 2009/2010: Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson. This one divides fans a lot. On the one hand, Granderson has supplied a lot of power....also a lot of strikeouts, whereas Jackson has gotten better with each year and they could really use Kennedy in the rotation. Your thoughts?
  8. 2009/2010: Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan. I was happy to see Melky go and Logan's been good in New York. Vazquez stunk again, Dunn's been a solid lefty reliever and Vizcaino could be in the Cubs rotation soon, and is only 22.
  9. 2010: Zach McAllister for Austin Kearns. 2 months of Austin Kearns hitting .235 for a pitcher who arguably has been Cleveland's best the last 2 years. These are the ones that irk...a lot.
  10. 2010: Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes for Lance Berkman. Berkman hit .255 with 1 HR with NYC. Paredes is most well-known for 2 collisions with the Astros 2B's the last few weeks (don't miss him) but Melancon, outside of last year's disaster with Boston, has been damn good in the bullpen.
  11. 2012: George Kontos for Chris Stewart. Chris Stewart sucks. Kontos helped the Giants win a World Series last year in the bullpen. Enough Said.
Which one bothers you the most? I hate #9 and #11 because they're so useless, moreso than the big ones. Tweet me which ones you hate @JMFlorio

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pick-ups

Is your fantasy team hurting like mine? It's time to scour the waiver wire. The best teams are able to make adjustments throughout the season and catapult towards a solid fantasy season. Here's some help: these players are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.


  1. 1B Brandon Belt - You know he's playing just about everyday, and with solid offensive producers Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval around him, he's got RBI opportunities. He's hitting .300/6 HR/17 RBI over the last 30 games. Grab him now. (In 76.9% of leagues)
  2. 2B/3B David Adams - I admittedly have a massive man-crush on the new Yankees 3B. The only thing that has kept him from MLB action is a brutal 2010 ankle injury, but he destroys lefties and has good numbers against righties, too. Puts together solid at-bats. (In 99.8% of leagues)

  1. OF David DeJesus -  A rare bright spot in the Cubs line-up. Someone's gotta get on for Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, right? I've always found DeJesus to be terribly underrated, and outside of that horrible year with Oakland, he's hit just about every year. (In 86% of leagues)
  2. OF Matt Joyce - He's got power, and in Tampa's line-up, that's a rarity for non-Longorias. He had a rough start but over the last 30 games, it's return to normal: .284/6 HR/17 RBI and more BB's than K's. (In 84.2% of leagues)
Starting Pitching

  1. SP Julio Teheran - He's not getting the K's that I believe people expected, but his last 4 starts have been pretty solid overall. A trendy sleeper pick, he's starting to get going, carrying a great 2.41 ERA over the last 33.2 innings. (In 80.8% of leagues)
  2. SP Jeff Locke - He'll get bumped from the rotation first, but he's hot. Carrying a 1.70 ERA over the last 37 innings, he'll get looks until he starts to get hit a little more. Ride him until he returned to normal. (In 76.6% of leagues)
Hopefully this helps. If you're looking for other positions, tweet me @JMFlorio.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How the Yankees will look in 2014

It's 1/4 of the way through the 2013 MLB season, and the New York Yankees are atop the AL East with one of the best records in baseball. All they do is keep winning. With that being said, it's never too early to examine what the team can look like in the future. Most of this is purely hypothetical, but what the hell?

C Francisco Cervelli
C Austin Romine

I would not be surprised if Chris Stewart is as good as gone when Cervelli comes back this year, but next year? They should go with Cervelli/Romine, ala Girardi/Posada circa 1999: playing time right down the middle.

1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
SS Derek Jeter
3B David Adams

IF Eduardo Nunez
IF Corban Joseph

Not a surprise here. Tex will be back. Cano will not leave via free agency: the Yankees cannot let him. I think Jeter returns for his last season next year. Kevin Youkilis will not be back either; I think David Adams runs with the 3B job with a solid rookie year. Back-ups will include Nunez at SS/2B and I think Corban Joseph replaces Jayson Nix; he can play corner IF and 2B.

LF Vernon Wells
CF Brett Gardner
RF Brennan Boesch

OF Zoilo Almonte

Wells and Gardner have 2 spots locked in. I think the Yankees let Granderson go because he's a candidate to be overpaid with declining skills. I also believe that the Yankees might let Ichiro go because they do not want to pay him to sit on the bench: they wanted him to hit his 3000th hit and he won't, so why not let Boesch and minor leaguer Zoilo Almonte compete for RF? Boesch wins and Almonte is a back-up.

Designated Hitter
DH Alex Rodriguez

Can't forget him, right?

Starting Rotation
SP CC Sabathia
SP Hiroki Kuroda
SP Michael Pineda
SP David Phelps
SP Vidal Nuno

CC and Pineda are locks. I think they convince Kuroda to come back for another year. I also believe Phelps can lock down another if he pitches well the rest of the way. I believe the 5 spot is wide open. If Andy Pettitte wants to come back, he's got it. They could go with Vidal Nuno or Brett Marshall competing. Or a cheap veteran, along the Cubs signing Scott Feldman last off-season, but Nuno is a safe pick. I think (and secretly hope) Phil Hughes gets overpaid somewhere.

LR Adam Warren
LHS Cesar Cabral
RP Shawn Kelley
RP Preston Claiborne
RP Mark Montgomery
SU Grant Balfour

CL David Robertson

I'm going with a young, talented, cheap bullpen. Mo retires, D-Rob closes and Balfour is the veteran back-up. I think the young guns take over with Joba, Boone Logan leaving via free agency. They are loaded with bullpen guys in AAA, might as well recycle them and see who sticks, right?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

At a Glance: Yankees top Minor Leaguers so far - Offense

It's finals week for this graduating senior, and needless to say with papers, exams, presentations, graduation prep and searching for a job, it's been quite the busy last few weeks. But, I have a little bit of time today to hit on the Yankees minor league system so far through its first month. Some players have gotten off to great starts and earned promotions to the big leagues (Austin Romine, Preston Claiborne, Vidal Nuno) and bumped up a level (Rob Refsnyder). So, we will look at some not only my favorite prospects in the Yankees pipeline but also some top performers offensively. Pitchers will come in a second post. Here we go:

C JR Murphy/AA Trenton  - .318/.412/.553/.965; .318/4 HR/18 RBI/14 BB/11 K

Murphy has been killing it so far down in Trenton, and I'm sure that AAA Scranton isn't too far off. He's kind of the forgotten catching prospect in this system, and keeping him behind the plate will help his defensive development.

1B Kyle Roller/AA Trenton - .298/.362/.482/.845; .298/4 HR/21 RBI/9 BB/31 K
2B David Adams/AAA Scranton - .325/.402/.506/.908; .325/2 HR/8 RBI/9 BB/14 K
SS Rob Refsnyder/A Charleston/Tampa - .378/.486/.504/.990; .378/1 HR/17 RBI/13 SB/20 BB/21 K
3B Ronnier Mustelier/AAA Scranton - .188/.316/.438/.753; .188/1 HR/1 RBI/3 BB/4 K

Kyle Roller is a big ol' boy - in the body shape of St. Louis Cardinals slugger Matt Adams. He's got some pop which can develop but that plate discipline worries me long-term. Adams would have gotten the call to the bigs a few weeks back, but due to weird roster regulations regarding his release & re-signing, he can't get the call until May 15. Chris Nelson needs to start hitting to keep Adams away - it's always been about health with Adams, never his ability to hit. I cheated with Refsnyder - he doesn't have a position but he can hit. He went to a big BB school in Arizona, so he could be in AA Trenton shortly and possibly in the majors as soon as 2014. Mustelier just finished his rehab and could replace Ben Francisco shortly.

LF Thomas Neal/AAA Scranton - .339/.382/.435/.818; .339/0 HR/14 RBI/3 BB/12 K
CF Zoilo Almonte/AAA Scranton - .294/.397/.451/.848; .294/3 HR/17 RBI/18 BB/21 K
RF Jake Cave/A Charleston - .283/.339/.377/.716; .283/0 HR/3 RBI/4 BB/11 K

I was going to give RF to Tyler Austin but he's kind of struggling, but I'm confident he'll turn it around soon. Neal was doing really well before a leg injury, and hopefully he is not too far away from returning. I admittedly like Almonte a lot - that BB rate has slowed to only 1 in May so far, but also a much lower K rate with only 3 in 19 May at-bats so far. Almonte is also a better hitter with runners on: .339 with runners on and .290 with RISP. Fingers crossed for Future RBI Machine. Cave has looked solid since being added to the Riverdogs roster.

I'll leave it up to you. Trenton's Neil Medchill or Scranton's Corban Joseph? Tweet me your answer @JMFlorio.