Category: Rumors

King: Yankees, Pirates Discussing Deal for Gerrit Cole

The Yankees may look to the trade market to fill in a gap in their starting rotation, according to the New York Post’s George A. King III. On their radar: the Pittsburgh Pirates’ RHP Gerrit Cole.

King reports the Yankees are in contact with the Bucs about a deal that could include OF Clint Frazier and potentially more. King mentions that the Pirates would also look for “a pitcher ready to work in the majors,” which would imply someone like Chance Adams. There is no indication that a deal was close to done.

Cole had a down year for the Pirates, pitching to a 4.26 ERA, 8.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 1.4 HR/9. The Yankees would likely try to buy low on Cole, who they drafted No. 28 out of high school in 2008. Cole did not sign, instead opting to pitch at UCLA. He became the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

Frazier has become a bit of an odd-man-out in New York. He was ticketed to take over left field once Brett Gardner‘s contract expired, but the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton made that seem less likely since both Stanton and Aaron Judge may see time in left field. He made his MLB debut July 1, and posted a .231/.268/.448 line with four home runs, 17 RBIs and a 30.3% K-rate to a 4.9% BB-rate.

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Adams is seen as one of the most MLB-ready arms in the Yankees system. Many fans clamored for him to be promoted in 2017 when the Yankees needed starting pitching reinforcements. Split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017, Adams pitched to a 2.45 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9. His command could use some work, and many think he could profile better as a reliever because he only averaged five innings per outing.

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This deal would allow the Yankees to grab a high quality arm in Cole with hopes that he rebounds toward his All-Star season in 2015. The 27-year-old would not be a free agent until after the 2020 season, like current Yankee RHP Sonny Gray. He would shore up a Yankees rotation that is relying on a big bounce-back season from Masahiro Tanaka, and young arms like Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery.

Angels Have Reached Out to CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia‘s return to the Bronx may not be as obvious as most Yankees fans would like to think. George A. King III of the New York Post reported Sunday that the Los Angeles Angels discussed signing the veteran lefty.

Sabathia, 37, expressed interest in re-signing with the Yankees after his seven-year, $161 million contract signed in 2009 expired. CC pitched to a 14-5 record and a 3.69 ERA in the final season of his deal. Overall in pinstripes, he was 120-73 with a 3.75 ERA. He led the MLB in wins in 2009 and 2010, and was the ALCS MVP in 2009. He won his only World Series with the Yankees in 2009.

The Yankees were reportedly reaching out to Sabathia after failing to land RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani. Now, the Angels have Ohtani and are trying to snatch Sabathia from the Bombers, too. Sabathia would fit perfectly in the back of an already scary Yankees rotation.

If they are unable to re-sign Sabathia, the Yankees are reportedly in on RHP Alex Cobb. They also have been dangling the talented OF Clint Frazier as trade bait since they recently acquired reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton in a trade with the Miami Marlins. The Bombers are reportedly asking for a top-line starter plus prospects for Frazier.

The Yankees also have starting pitching depth available in their minor league system. Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield are considered as close to MLB-ready as the Yankees have. They are Top 5 prospects in the Yankees system, and rated as Top 100 overall by MLB.com.

Reports: Stanton Would Accept Trade to Yankees

With the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes finally wrapped up (he signed with the Los Angeles Angels Friday), the focus now shifts back to the offseason’s other huge storyline: where will Giancarlo Stanton be traded?

Craig Mish of SiriusXM reported this week that the 2017 National League home run leader has included the New York Yankees in a list of teams that he would waive his no-trade clause to join. The Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are on the same list. Stanton had recently been linked in trade talks with the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, though both teams indicated Stanton would not waive his no-trade clause.

It’s unknown whether geography will play into Stanton’s eventual choice. From the teams he has chosen, it’s clear he wants to win. With the Miami Marlins slashing payroll at every corner, it’s only a matter of time until the 6’7″ outfielder finds himself on another ballclub.

Imagining Stanton in a lineup with Greg Bird, Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez is a scary thought. Using 2017 numbers, that’s 153 home runs in the same lineup. It would take some maneuvering to find playing time for all the outfielders currently on the Yankees roster if Stanton were to come up north.

Acquiring Stanton would necessitate dumping the cumbersome contract of Jacoby Ellsbury, who is signed through 2020 and owed $63.4 million. Stanton, of course, is not cheap either. He is theoretically signed until his age-38 season (2028), with an opt-out following the 2020 season. He is still owed $285 million.

The Yankees would have to entice the Marlins to continue paying some of Stanton’s contract by including at least one prospect of decent value. After seeing that the Giants offered Joe Panik and three prospects not in MLB.com’s Top 100, the Yankees could easily make a better offer. That said, don’t expect to see Gleyber Torres headed to Miami in a trade for Stanton.

 

Heyman: Yankees, Marlins Have Discussed Giancarlo Stanton

The Yankees and Miami Marlins have reportedly had discussions regarding a trade that would send the 6′ 6″, 245-pound OF Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The article from Heyman is a really interesting read simply because Stanton is such a dynamic and expensive player. The 2017 NL MVP hit .281/.376/.631 (156 wRC+) with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs in his age-28 season with the Marlins. Stanton is signed through 2027 (can opt out after 2020) with a club option for the 2028 season. He has $295 million due from 2018 onwards.

There is an obvious appeal to adding another power bat to the Yankees lineup. Pair Stanton with the likes of Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez and you have an impressively scary lineup. But, the Yankees are looking to get under the luxury tax threshold this offseason, and taking on Stanton’s salary would make that difficult.

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Heyman mentions that the Yankees would have to unload Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and maybe even longest-tenured Bomber Brett Gardner to offset the cost of Stanton. With Jake Cave, Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney on the 40-man roster they would be able to offset the trades of Ellsbury and Gardner. Stanton would presumably start in left field since I would avoid moving Judge. Trading Headley would ensure that either Miguel Andújar or Gleyber Torres would start the season at third base.

As good as this deal sounds, I do not think it’s worth it for the Yankees. They are better off keeping their veterans and letting other teams overpay for Stanton. The Marlins want whoever takes Stanton to pay the majority of his contract (Jon Morosi reported today that the Marlins would accept the Giants paying “at least $250 million of the $295 million left”).

Of course, these teams have already linked up on a trade this offseason. The Yankees traded 1B Garrett Cooper and LHP Caleb Smith to the Marlins in exchange for Michael King and international signing bonus pool money ahead of the 40-man roster deadline. The other connection is that the Marlins’ CEO is former Yankees SS Derek Jeter, and the Vice President of Player Development and Scouting is former Yankee Gary Denbo.

The Yankees are better off letting Gardner and Headley play out their contracts, trying to dump Ellsbury to free up a roster spot. Then, once their luxury tax number resets, they can go all-out on a free agency class that includes Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

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Report: Alex Cobb Deciding Between Cubs & Yankees

Free agent RHP Alex Cobb is reportedly down to two teams in his decision on where to sign for the 2018 season and beyond, according to Peter Gammons of The Athletic and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The 30-year-old will likely pick either the Chicago Cubs or New York Yankees.

Cobb could follow his old manager Joe Maddon to the Windy City, where the Cubs have seen postseason success and a World Series title in 2016. But, he could also fit in a Yankees rotation that is looking for a solid fifth starter.

Cobb has a 3.12 ERA in five starts at Yankee Stadium. He is an extreme ground ball pitcher, with 2017’s 47.8 percent ground ball rate being the lowest in his MLB career. He has averaged just 0.84 home runs per nine innings in his career, which is an important stat if he were to pitch in the Bronx. Since missing all of 2015 and all but five starts in 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, Cobb has a 13-12 record and 4.20 ERA. Not exactly eye-popping numbers.

What may push Cobb to the Cubs could be a simple lack of space with the Yankees. CC Sabathia has been clear that he wants to return to the Yankees, and Brian Cashman said he was “excited” to speak with Sabathia’s agent. It’s also no secret that the Yankees are in the thick of the pursuit for Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani should he be posted by his NPB team. The Yankees also got a surprisingly fantastic season out of left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who may begin the season in Triple-A.

It’s frequently said that you can never have too much pitching. But, I think Cobb would only fit in with the Yankees if they are unable to land both Ohtani and Sabathia. The Cubs are more desperate than the Yankees are for starting pitching, and Cobb could prove to be too expensive for a team looking to get under the luxury tax threshold.

 

Report: Yankees Interested in Rangers INF Jurickson Profar

As the GM Meetings come to a close in Orlando, Fla., there is an interesting rumbling regarding the Yankees and Texas Rangers. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are intrigued by Rangers’ utility man Jurickson Profar.

Profar has been a disappointment since being billed as the No. 1 prospect in baseball prior to the 2013 season. He has posted a .229/.309/.329 line through 206 games at the big league level. He has yet to play more than 90 games in a season, and missed the 2014 and 2015 seasons due to a shoulder injury.

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But, he does have some redeeming qualities. He has pedigree, and could come into his upside later on in his career. At age-24, he still could “find it” and be a productive player. He has experience at every infield position, and 30 games in left field. That kind of defensive versatility is valuable. Where he would fit in a Yankee organization that has Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade remains to be seen.

Trading for someone like Profar would only make sense if the Yankees can unload a few of their excess 40-man roster pitchers. Guys like Luis Cessa, Giovanny Gallegos, Bryan Mitchell, Caleb Smith and more may be shipped off in a package to open up more 40-man spots for names like Domingo Acevedo, Thairo Estrada and Gleyber Torres.

If the Yankees can open up two or three 40-man roster spots while only taking on Profar (projected to make $1.1 million in arbitration per MLBTradeRumors), that would be a fantastic opportunity to buy low on a player with plenty of pedigree. They did it with Didi Gregorius, and also look to do so with Billy McKinney (Aroldis Chapman trade) and Dillon Tate (Carlos Beltrán trade).

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Yankees Name Kevin Reese Senior Director of Player Development

UPDATE (Nov. 3 at 10:42 a.m.): The Yankees have made the hiring official, according to tweets from reports Bryan Hoch and Mark Feinsand.


The New York Post is reporting that the Yankees have promoted director of professional scouting Kevin Reese to become the head of the organization’s minor league operations.

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Reese, who played in 12 games with the Yankees from 2005 to 2006, began scouting for the Yankees in 2008. He rose up the ranks to become the director of pro scouting in 2016. This move replaces Gary Denbo, who was poached by now-Miami Marlins CEO and part owner Derek Jeter to assume the same role in Miami.

George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the other candidates interviewed within the organization were Eric Schmitt (director of minor league operations), John Kremer (director of performance science) and Carlos Mendoza (field coordinator).

The hiring is also significant because prior reports indicated that the Yankees would wait to pursue a new manager until they hired a new directior of minor league operations. Now that Reese will replace Denbo, we can expect the Yankees will push their mangerial source into a higher gear. Names mentioned in connection with the position include current bench coach Rob Thomson (whose contract expired Wednesday) and current Dodgers analyst Jerry Hairston Jr.

H/T New York Post

Yankees Looking at Marlins’ Prado, Bour

Bob Nightengale of USA Today has reported that the Yankees have inquired about Miami Marlins’ players Martín Prado and Justin Bour.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today has reported that the Yankees have inquired about Miami Marlins’ players Martín Prado and Justin Bour.

The Marlins are looking to rebuild once again, having already traded Adeiny Hechavarría to Tampa Bay. Prado, a former Yankee utility man, and Bour, a lefty-swinging first baseman, would fit well in the Bronx. However, there are some issues.

Prado has been limited to just 21 games so far this year with a hamstring strain suffered in the World Baseball Classic. He is slashing .277/.299/.398 in those games. He also is not cheap. He is signed through 2019, and is still owed $28.5 million after this season. At age 33, he also does not fit into the Yankee future plans. This trade would only work if the Marlins give the Yankees some kind of salary relief on Prado.

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Bour, on the other hand, seems like he would be a perfect fit. Slashing .293/.365/.572 with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs, the 29-year-old would be under team control until 2021. Players of that talent level with that kind of control are not cheap, unfortunately. The Yankees would have to put together a strong package to acquire Bour. But, his left-handed power swing would do incredibly well at Yankee Stadium.

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Any discussions between the two teams are preliminary. They have been trade partners before, as the Yankees traded Prado and David Phelps to Miami for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones and Domingo Germán. It would be interesting to see if the Yankees repurpose young prospects in order to acquire MLB-ready talent. I personally don’t think either player is worth it yet.

Domingo Germán Reportedly to Take Sabathia’s Rotation Spot

Multiple sources are reporting that right-handed pitcher Domingo Germán will be recalled from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to pitch in the rotation spot of injured lefty CC Sabathia.

Sweeny Murti of WFAN reported today that Sabathia was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring. He suffered the same injury at the end of the 2013 season. In all likelihood, the Yankees will place him on the 10-day disabled list. The team has not estimated how long his stay on the DL will be. Sabathia injured the hamstring Tuesday night in Anaheim.

Germán made his major league debut on June 10, allowing 2 hits, one walk and one strikeout in 2⅔ innings. He was optioned back to Scranton immediately after the game, and did not make the trip out west with the Yankees. He has not appeared in a game since the demotion.

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The same sources that reported Germán’s returned to the big league club also report another interesting piece of information. The Yankees will be promoting exciting pitching prospect Domingo Acevedo from AA Trenton to AAA Scranton. Acevedo currently has a 2-4 record and a 3.25 ERA for the Thunder. While those numbers are not overwhelmingly stellar, he has struck out 83 hitters in 74⅔ innings.

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