Thursday, July 18, 2013

Five Reasonable Trade Possibilities for the Yankees

Yes, I'm not giving up hope just yet. I'm not going to board the selling train yet. I have five reasonable trades for the Yankees to make, given the depleted farm system.

Michael Young 1B/3B- Phillies- Michael Young is probably the closest thing to a perfect fit for the Yankees. He can play third base and first base maybe some second base as well. He is currently hitting .288 with six home runs and a .759 OPS. He is a seasoned vet who can handle a pennant race. The only thing that is that the Phillies don't believe they are not out of the race. They are 6.5 games out of the NL East. But they are at .500. If they lose a few more games they might be swayed to trade him.

Kendrys Morales 1B/DH- Mariners- Morales is someone who I personally like, but again the Mariners think they are not willing to sell. Even though they are 13 games out of the West. Our old buddy Jack Z likes to toy with us Yankees fans, but even so Morales would be a good fit. He is hitting .280, with 14 home runs and 54 RBI's. He's hitting way above 300 with runners in scoring position which is always a good thing as well. But for right now he is unavailable.

Jonathan Lucroy C- Brewers- Lucroy is Justin's man crush and I have to agree with him, if available he would be a great fit with the Yankees. He has the same amount of home runs as Buster Posey and is second among catchers in RBI's to Posey. He would cost a hefty fee, probably Slade Heathcott, Gary Sanchez, and Williams or Angelo Gumbs. Might be too much for the Yank's blood, or just not an attractive package for the Brewers.

Chris Carter 1B/LF- Astros- Carter is a younger version of Mark Reynolds, but is still very productive. He has 18 home runs and 47 RBI's on a very bad Astros team. Yes, he's hitting .229 and 123 strikeouts but he wouldn't cost much to get. He is a legit masher and this goes against everything I stand for, but the Yankees need a guy like him right now. They need straight up power. No way around it.

Hunter Pence RF- Giants- Hunter Pence is interesting, the defending World Series champs are 6.5 games out and eight games under .500. He is probably not going to be traded, but he is a free agent at the end of the year so it is a possibility that they can trade for him or even sign him as a free agent. Again, not likely for the Giants to sell but you never know.

Monday, July 15, 2013


It's one of my favorite nights of the year! Home Run Derby! Live updates during the Derby will be posted, but here are your rosters:

Robinson Cano, Yankees (C) (Round 1 - 4 HR)
Chris Davis, Orioles (Round 1 - 8 HR)
Prince Fielder, Tigers (Round 1 - 5 HR)
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics (Round 1 - 17 LONG HR)

David Wright, Mets (C) (Round 1 - 5 HR)
Bryce Harper, Nationals (Round 1 - 8 HR)
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates (Round 1 - 6 HR)
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies (Round 1 - 7 HR)

Of course we will follow the standard process of the last few years: 10 outs (any swings not resulting in a home run) per player in first round. Top 4 move to round 2. Repeat. Top 2 in the final, 5 out round. On the 9th out, the Golden derby balls are in play: raising money for charity. 

Prediction: I kinda want to see Michael Cuddyer win this! As Tupac once said, "Let's shock the people!")

Round Two

Michael Cuddyer - 8 HR/15 Total
Chris Davis - 4 HR/12 Total
Bryce Harper - 8 HR/16 Total
Yoenis Cespedes (just for fun) 6 HR/23 Total

Final Round

Yoenis Cespedes Your Champ - 9 HR
Bryce Harper - 8 HR

Congrats to Cespedes. He put on a show.

World Peace for All

Needed a break from a very long paper about the tax consequences of yada yada yada... so why not comment about the newly signed New York Knick: Metta World Peace!

The second he was amnestied by the LA Lakers (which was a move I didn't agree with), I tweeted that the Knicks should sign him. One might say: WHY! He's a soon to be 34-year old player, with a potentially disruptive personality, and his motivation questionable.

I agree with that... but look at the off-season for Eastern Conference teams thus far:
  • Bulls are getting their MVP point guard back
  • Nets and Celtics combined their teams together to form a super-team
  • Pacers beat the Knicks in the playoffs last year
  • Cavs are getting better with Kyrie emerging and Bynum signing
  • The Bobcats have significant..... okay nevermind on this one
The point is, New York is restricted by Amare's contract (and his bad knees) and has no room to make any type of additions to their team! They re-signed JR Smith, which I'm fine with since I can still play this song every time JR throws up a halfcourt 3-pointer or breaks someone's ankles in MSG ( They brought back Pope Prigioni to back-up Felton, but they couldn't even afford to bring back Chris Copeland because the only contracts they could offer are minimal deals. CHRIS COPELAND! The Knicks couldn't afford HIM!

So in a year where the Eastern Conference is getting dramatically better, the Knicks can't make any significant moves. Oh yeah, and Melo can potentially become a free agent after the season. Do you think Melo wants to be on a team with Amare and Tyson Chandler for many more years without ANY other additions? Although I don't think he will leave, it's certainly something he'll think about.

So a veteran who can add toughness, in his hometown, with something to prove, who is already being paid by the Lakers fell RIGHT into the Knicks lap! The Knicks couldn't even beat the Pacers last year as currently constructed and now other teams like the Bulls and Nets have jumped over the Knicks in the Eastern Conference.

Worst case scenario: Metta blows up and the team cuts him.. then they are right where they were last year, which is where they would've been without signing Metta. Everyone talks about team chemistry blah blah blah. Listen, Metta is a likeable guy and how much team chemistry did the Knicks even have last season anyway? Tyson complains after every call and made questionable comments about Melo, Amare is getting paid so much money and can't stay on the floor, Felton constantly complains, JR Smith (enough said)... so why not take a risk to make the team better by adding World Peace.

I say it's a no-brainer for the Knicks. I like the signing of Metta.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Top Five Storylines of the MLB Season So Far

Although the actual half way point of the MLB season was a few days ago, I figured it would still be appropriate to share my top season storylines.

1- Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are everyone's darlings of the first half. A full two games up on St. Louis in the central and the best record in baseball at 51-31. The question as always with the Buccos is can they keep this going all season. Last year they had a record of 59-44 at the halfway point. They ended the season 79-83. They have a lot going for them this season, their bullpen is one of the best if not the best with Jason Grilli shutting the door, a perfect 27-27 in save opportunities. The offense has come alive as well behind Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Pedro Alvarez. Even their starting pitching has been good behind #1 overall pick in 2011, Gerrit Cole, Jeff Locke and Fransisco Liriano. It might take one more starter for the Pirates to be stable in the pennant race. They have a long road ahead with the Cardinals and Reds hot on their tail two and four games back respectively. 

2- Puigmania

Is there a better individual story in baseball right now than Yasiel Puig? Probably not. He is right now the most exciting player in the game. Off to a historic start, only Joe Dimaggio had more hits in the first of month of his pro career than Puig. Dimaggio had 48, Puig, 44. He is hitting .443 with eight home runs and 17 RBI's. His OPS is 1.218, which is unreal even this early into a career. The Dodgers are making a push for him to make the NL All-Star squad, Jonathan Papelbon has been quoted as saying it would be a joke for Puig to make it over someone else. Remember this is the same guy who said he should close the 2008 All-Star Game over Mariano Rivera. What it most likely will come down to is the MLB will probably put him on the last man in vote, which he should run away with, that way the fans and the MLB get what they want. And aside from the All-Star craze, since joining the dodgers they are 16-11 and only 2.5 games out of first place in the west.

3- Crush Davis

Chris Davis is leading the world in home runs right now. He has 31 and the next closest is Miguel Cabrera with 26. He is on pace to hit 62 home runs. Doubtful he will make it there but if he can keep this hot streak going anything is possible. It's not just the power numbers either he's hitting .329 which is way above his career high of .270 last year. He is just one part of an unreal Orioles offense. He and Manny Machado could become the first pair of teammates to lead the league outright in home runs and doubles since Ruth and Gehrig, Heard of them? This home run race could go right down to the wire between him and Cabrera, Davis has to slow down at some point right?

4- The Woeful Yankees

Oh the poor Yankees, they aren't in first place, everyone feels bad for them right? Didn't think so. But seriously the Bombers have been decimated with injuries, losing Jeter, A-Rod, Granderson, Teixeria, Youkilis, should I go on? They have legitimate AAA players on the left side of the infield, i.e. David Adams, Alberto Gonzalez. Reinforcements are coming, A-Rod started his return in Charleston last night, Jeter is coming back as well as Granderson. Teixeria and Youkilis are done for the year. This means it's time for Brian Cashman to go shopping. Justin Morneau, and Alex Rios make sense as well as Michael Young. Michael Pineda is on his way giving them depth in the starting rotation as well. They have won their last two against Minnesota and will be playing Kansas City next all games that should be "winnable" then three against the Orioles in the Bronx. If they can stay afloat until reinforcements come in either trade or their own, they have a shot at winning the division and or the one of the wild cards.

5- #HarveyDay

Matt Harvey has been one of the bright spots of the 2013 season for the New York Mets, and in most peoples opinions deserved of starting the All-Star Game in Citi Field. He is 7-1, with a 2.00 ERA .07 away from Clayton Kershaw's league lead. He leads the NL with 132 strikeouts and leads the MLB with an 0.85 WHIP. Bruce Bochy the manager of the NL club says their is a good shot that Harvey will start the All-Star Game. Now Harvey may not be eligible for the Rookie of the Year, he is obviously eligible for the CY Young award. This could be a back to back CY Young's for the Mets. Although the record may not show it, Harvey has helped change the culture of the Mets. He wants to win every time he goes out, he is one of the most competitive athletes around. He doesn't care that he plays for the Mets, he wants to win every single time he goes out there. Although they may not be contending this year Matt Harvey looks like he will be a very special player for the Mets for years to come. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hot Stove gets Fired Up - MLB Playoff Run Trades Begin via the Cubs

Theo Epstein's phone is going to be ringing off the hook these next few weeks. Two moves today:

  • Closer (kinda-sorta the closer) Carlos Marmol sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RP Matt Guerrier
  • SP Scott Feldman and C Steve Clevenger sent to the Baltimore Orioles for SP Jake Arrieta and RP Pedro Strop.
Let's examine them further:

Both pitchers were designated for assignment last week. This was a matter for both teams to try and resuscitate some value. According to Dodgers beat writer Dylan Hernandez, "LAD identified mechanical flaws in Marmol's delivery ... confident they can fix him the way they did League last yr." Brandon League is pretty awful (I really dislike him a lot), but if they can figure it out, more power to the Dodgers. I would bet the Cubs will use Guerrier as much as possible to build his trade value. He's an impending free agent and the Cubs need the long-term pieces.

Feldman and Clevenger/Arrieta and Strop

Baltimore: These are nice playoff run pieces, and if they work, long-term potential solutions for Baltimore. Feldman has been quite good this season, and rather surprisingly too, 7-6 on an awful team with a 3.46 ERA. Take away his two awful starts against the Reds, and that ERA is a tidy 2.81. BUT, Feldman's poor starts have been against high powered line-ups: Reds, Braves, Cardinals all have a combined 8.02 ERA. It doesn't get easier with a rebounding Blue Jays (and hopefully NYY) lineup and a tough Boston line-up. He's a vast improvement over what they have, though. Clevenger has shown in the minors he can hit, and give Matt Wieters a day off.

Chicago: I like these as long-term solutions. Strop has been well, awful this year with a 7.25 ERA. But, he's had success as a middle-reliever before and adds to what expects to become a depleted Cubs bullpen via trades. Or, he like Guerrier, can be trade fodder if he improves. (Also a sleeper at closer). Arrieta's got the stuff: he throws gas, topping out at 97 MPH but he has not translated to the bigs well. He's got plenty of opportunity with the Cubs and could be like Jeff Samardzija and figure it out to be a solid MLB starter.

Follow me on Twitter @JMFlorio

Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Make the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby Watchable Again

Major League Baseball has tried to put luster back into the All-Star Game by adding that whichever league wins will have home-field advantage in the World Series. I have another way to try to make it just a little bit more watchable. Get rid of every team needing at least one all-star player, there are certain teams who just don't have players that should be on the all-star team, make it so every star in the game plays. If someone has star potential they should be there. For Example, Yasiel Puig, Puig has as much buzz around him as anyone in the game right now. Now I don't believe that he should be an all-star just yet, I do believe that he should be on the last vote in. Which he should win very easily. Also he should be in the Home Run Derby as of right now. My Home Run Derby Teams would be this:

American League- Robinson Cano, Mike Trout, Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera
National League- David Wright, Yasiel Puig, Carlos Gonzalez, and Bryce Harper

All of those guys I have listed here bring buzz with them. MLB did a great job picking both New York stars as captains of the derby. Now you have one of the most exciting young players in the game Mike Trout, Chris Davis who is on an absolute tear (31 home runs) and Miguel Cabrera the reigning triple crown winner in the AL. Now that's something people would want to see. In the NL you have the captain of the Mets and the captain of the NL, Yasiel Puig who like I said has as much buzz around him as anyone right now. Carlos Gonzalez who leads the NL with 22 home runs, and Bryce Harper who if he can get a few more home runs before the derby, (he returns tonight) should be in because he is the National League Mike Trout. The two of them should be two of the best players in the game for years to come.

Basically, the way I would get every star there, (no duh) and get rid of the every team needs one player. The Home Run Derby needs stars like I have mentioned. Guys who will draw, is what its all about. People in New York are going to want to see Puig, Chris Davis, Mike Trout. Guys who they don't get to see live much. I harken back to the 90s when guys like Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa all participated in the derby. Nowadays we have had guys like, Ricky Weeks, and Brandon Inge. Not that those guys don't have power and can't hit home runs. They don't jump off the page like Puig, Trout, Harper, Chris Davis off the year he is having.

Follow me on twitter @thedonnyfinkle

Alex Rios: A Name to Remember

With the way the Yankees have been playing, most recently being swept by the Orioles this weekend, all options should and will be pursued. One that has not gotten as much play is Alex Rios, yes, I know he's an outfielder and once Granderson comes back, the outfield won't be the problem. Think of it this way though, he's another righty bat with power. He hit .304, 25 home runs and 91 RBI's last season, and is at that same pace this season, hitting .270, 11 home runs and 36 RBI's on a bad team. The other point I want to bring up is he still can run, he has 14 stolen bases and the league leader has 20. Brett Gardner only has 11. He brings an element the Yankees don't usually have even with Gardner. Now as for what you would have to give up is the question. I'm not exactly sure, he is on the books for two years after this season so if the Yankees take his contract and don't make the White Sox take any of it, they could give up less for him. Plus the White Sox are shopping everyone outside of Chris Sale and Paul Konerko, which could me a trade for Rios and SS Alexei Ramirez. No one knows how well Jeter, if he can even come back, will play at SS. So Ramirez is always an option as well. Stay Tuned for updates and other rumors I can think up.

Follow me on Twitter @thedonnyfinkle