Friday, February 23, 2018

With Yankees Exhibition Opener Today, An Off-Season Recap

Don't look now but the winter wait is over for the New York Yankees.

We're now into the exhibition season and the expectations are high with these Yankees having just missed the World Series by one game. There's no turning back. A World Series appearance is the next step and that is the good news/bad news for 2018. It is good in the sense that the Evil Empire, as the Yankees have been labeled in the past. Returning starting pitcher CC Sabathia did not mince his words in declaring that fact.

So for the Yankees it's pedal to the metal. The bad news only happens if the Yankees fail to make it to the Fall Classic. Expectations are high. Houston is the defending World Champion and is loaded with talent coming into the season. Cleveland is still good and Boston is a legitimate contender. It is going to be a challenge

So what have the Yankees done in this seemingly short off season?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Trade Breakdown: Brandon Drury To The Yankees

We first heard the name Brandon Drury mentioned in connection to the Yankees around the same time Manny Machado's popped up. There was a rumor that the team could acquire both Drury and pitcher Patrick Corbin. Corbin is still a Diamondback. Drury is headed to Tampa.

This deal was a a no-brainer, of course. Drury is only 25, can play both 2B and 3B and is under financial control. In 2017, in 135 games, he hit .267 with 13 HRs and 63 RBIs. A solid season.

The question now is: what happens to highly-touted prospect Miguel Andujar?

The word is that Andujar has just as much of a chance to be the Opening Day 3B as Drury does. I suppose that, if Andujar outplays Drury during spring training, that can happen. However, could both Drury and Ronald Torreyes stay on the roster? Sounds like an extra backup infielder to me, neither of whom can play 1B. Tyler Austin is the main candidate for backup 1B right now, but he's just as likely to get hurt as Greg Bird is.

I'm sure these things will work themselves out. After all, none of these guys is making a ton of money. It's not like the Jacoby Ellsbury situation. I simply cannot see a viable solution to that problem, especially with Ellsbury saying the Yankees never asked him to wave his no-trade clause. Sadly, it looks as if Clint Frazier could spend the season in Scranton, if he is not traded.

Then again, it is only February 21st. Plenty of time for things to be straightened out. And, if anyone can straighten them out, it's Brian Cashman.

First exhibition game Friday. It cannot come fast enough!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy Pitchers and Catchers Day 2018!

Finally! Our long off-season nightmare is over. Well, for us fans, it was more like a dreamless sleep. For the over 100 free agents who still have not signed yet, it was, and continues to be, a nightmare.

That being said, today's the day Yankees pitchers and catchers report to training camp. Aside from physicals and the occasional mildly exciting comment to the media, however, nothing usually happens on this day. Yet, to me, it's one of the most exciting of the year. Just seeing footage of players walking into the facility warms my cold winter heart. 

We found out yesterday that a Yankees icon won't be walking into that facility this year and, probably never will again. Goose Gossage reminds me of a character from a book I just started reading, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. Can't accept the fact that things change and feels people are rewarded in life for doing nothing. I hope the book has a happy ending, and I hope the same for this rift between Goose and the Yankees.

In the meantime, position players report on the 18th, and the first full-squad workout will take place on February 19th.

Bring it on!