Welcome to the final few weeks before opening day! I hope you have been enjoying spring training as much as I have. Baseball is close! I am overjoyed! March began the official Ball Boy Blog previews of all 30 teams. The previews feature all the Free Agent signings, trades, NRI, bold predictions, and some cool fun facts at the end! We are starting at the top of the 2020 ranks and working our way down from best to worst! Enjoy!
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AL Team: New York Yankees
Last Year Record: 33-27 finished 2nd the AL East and lost in the ALDS
Record x2.7: 89.1-72.9
Vegas Projected: 95.5, I am taking a huge under on the Yankees. I have them projected to finish 3rd in the AL East and with 88 wins.
Departed Free Agents:
SP Masahiro Tanaka(FA- 0.7WAR), SP JA Happ(FA- 1.2WAR), SP James Paxton(FA,-0.4WAR), RHP Jonathan Holder(0.1WAR), RHP Garrett Whitlock(Rule 5), RHP Kyle Holder(Rule 5), RHP Trevor Stephan(Rule 5).
LHRP James Reeves, RHP Migues Yajure, RHP Roansy Contreras, INF Maikol Escotto, and OF Canaan Smith, RHP Adam Ottavino, MiLB RHP Frank German
Free Agent Signings:
DJ LeMahieu- RESIGNED to a 6yr $90mil deal!
Re-Signed OF Brett Gardner to a 1yr $3mil deal. Gardner provides an excellent depth option for the Yankees behind Frazier, Hicks, Tauchman, and Judge.
RHRP Justin Wilson to a 1yr deal. The 33yo returns to the Bronx after spending time with the Tigers, Cubs, and Mets since 2015 with the Yankees. Wilson has been an effective reliever as he owns a 3.27ERA/3.54SIERA over 429.1IP
RHRP Darren O'Day- O'Day is coming off a season where he threw 16.1IP with a 1.10ERA, 8H, 5BB, and 22K.
SP Corey Kluber- The Club hopes that Kluber can produce similar numbers to 2014-18 that saw him average 218IP, 2.85ERA, 28.5% K rate, and 5.2% BB rate.
OF Greg Allen- The speedy Allen carries a .239/.298/.343 slash line over 618PA over the last four seasons.
RHP Jameson Taillon- Drafted second overall in 2010, Taillon has posted a 3.67 ERA, 21.5K%, 15.5K-BB%, and a 48.2% grounder rate over his Major League career.
UTL Derek Dietrich- The 31yo is coming off a sad 2020 where he hit .197/.347/.459 in 61AB. The batting average wasn't pretty, but the OBP and SlG% aren't awful by any means. Deitrich should provide a quality depth piece to a young Yankees INF and be a reliable piece to get on base.
OF Jay Bruce- The 33yo is coming off a woeful 2020 where he posted a 0.2WAR, .198/.252/.469 in 96AB. The Yankees are hopeful Bruce can be an excellent depth piece and be close to the career .245/.314/.469 hitter, he has been during his career.
C Robinson Chirinos- The 36yo is coming off a season where he hit .162/.232/.243 with the Rangers and Mets over 82PA.
RHP Kyle Barraclough- From 2015-17, he owned a 2.87ERA over 163IP. In 2019 however, he had a 5.61ERA over 33.2IP.
INF Andrew Velazquez- Over nine pro seasons, he has played everywhere but P, C, and 1B. He grades out above average at SS and could push Tyler Wade for the backup INF. At the plate, he owned a .159/.274/.206 over 77PA in 2020.
LHP Nestor Cortes Jr.- The 26yo lefty owns a 6.72ERA over 79IP at the MLB level. However, we hope that Cortes Jr can get back to his AAA numbers of a 3.11ERA with a 199K-62BB ratio over 205.1IP.
OF Socrates Brito- The 28yo outfielder carries a .297/.345/.491 slash line across 1451PA at the AAA level. He should provide excellent OF depth for the Yankees.
RHP Jhoulys Chacin- The 12yr vet will look to show he still has something left in the tank to offer the Yankees in 2021 in the rotation or a long-relief role.
RHRP Matt Bowman, LHP Lucas Luetge, LHP Tyler Lyons, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, RHP Nick Goody, RHP Luis Garcia, OF Ryan LaMarre, LHP Trevor Lane, RHP Reggie McClain, RHP Glenn Otto, RHP Addison Russ, RHP Adam Warren, C Roby Brantly, C Josh Breaux, C Kellin Deglan, C Max McDowell, C Anthony Seigler, INF Armando Alvarez, INF Ezequiel Duran, INF Chris Gittens, INF Hoy Jun Park, OF Trey Amburgey, OF Michael Beltre, OF Ryan LaMarre, OF Thomas Milone
C Gary Sanchez, RHP Luis Cessa, 1B Luke Voit, 3B Gio Urshela, OF Clint Frazier, OF Aaron Judge, RHP Ben Heller, RHP Chad Green, SP Jordan Montgomery, SS Gleyber Torress.
RHP Roansy Contreras, RHP Yoendrys Gomez, RHP Alexander Vizcaino, INF Oswald Peraza.
Returning from IL:
We will most likely not see RHP Luis Severino until later this summer as he has moved to the 60 days IL on 2/22/21
OUT OF OPTIONS: Gary Sanchez, C
Luis Cessa, P
Gio Urshela, 3B
Mike Tauchman, CF
Kyle Higashioka, C
I am watching a few top-10 prospects in spring camp: RHP Clarke Schmidt, RHP Deivi Garcia, INF Oswald Peraza, RHP Luis Gil, C Austin Wells RHP Alexander Vizcaino, RHP Yoendrys Gomez each are about a year out from the MLB, and the Yankees will be sure to get an extended look at their next wave of talent. Especially in the pitching department.
Fantasy Impact Players
SP- Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon
RP- Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton,
Position players- 1B Luke Voit, 2B DJ LeMahieu, SS Gleyber Torres, 3B Gio Urshela, OF Clint Frazier, OF Aaron Judge, OF Giancarlo Stanton
Upcoming 2022 Free Agents:
-The Yankees have two MLB contracts expiring after the 2021 season. Depending on the rebound and how he fares in his age 35 seasons, SP Corey Kluber could land another deal with the Yankees if he impresses.
-Justin Wilson carries a 2.3mil player option into the next off-season.
Storylines to follow
-Manager Aaron Boone was connected to contact talks through the winter. However, there has been no extension given to Boone. The manager's contract is up after the season; it will be interesting to see which direction they go from here.
-We will all be following Boone's adjustments to managing Aaron Judge's and Giancarlo Stanton's health. Making Frazier the everyday LF, re-signing Gardner, and maybe even Jay Bruce making the roster should farewell for getting worked into a reasonably consistent rotation between RF and DH.
-Another story we are following is the rotation. Cole sits at the top with new additions Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon set to fill in behind him. The return of Domingo German looms. The Yankees rotation will be interesting
-Lastly, I am following how the return of Domingo German goes. The pitcher issued an apology to the team, then a public statement apology on 2/25. Teammates didn't well receive the latter, and some don't support him having a spot back with the team or in the MLB. If you missed it, German was suspended following a domestic violence case.
I feel it's bold to predict a 3rd place finish and finish 7.5 games below the Vegas win total. I like the Yankees, don't get me wrong. But I think they are over projected because they are the Yankees and hold more name value than anything else.
Nick Swisher was a fan favorite for the Yankees from 2009–2012, bringing a very chill vibe to the clubhouse and a productive bat to the batter's box. However, after the 2012 season, he decided to sign with the Indians, and the Yankees got a compensatory pick at the end of the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft in exchange for Swisher's services. Who did they use this pick on, you ask? Aaron Judge.
Since interleague play began in 1997, there is only one NL team that the Yankees have played against in more than 20 games and have lost in those games more times than they've won: the Phillies (13–14). Ironically, the Phillies have the most all-time losses in baseball history at 10,837. (Fact as of the end of 2019)
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