Tag: Aaron Judge

Gary Sánchez to Undergo Left Shoulder Surgery

This might explain Sánchez’s brutal 2018 at the plate.

Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez is set to undergo a left shoulder debridement operation, and will miss three months to recover. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day. The shoulder injury apparently has been bothering Sánchez since 2017.

Brian Cashman made the announcement to reporters from the GM Meetings taking place in Carlsbad, California. The surgery will take place sometime this week, and will consist of team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad removing damaged tissue from Sánchez’s left AC joint.

Cashman noted that he would be comfortable with Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka catching in case of a setback to Sánchez. The team also picked up veteran Ryan Lavarnway on a minor-league deal and will likely sign more catchers to similar deals.

“It may very well be something that affected him performance-wise,” Cashman said. “I can’t rule that out. Now is the time to take care of it.”

Sánchez had a terrible 2018, hitting just .186/.291/.406 (89 wRC+). He saw his infield fly ball rate and soft contact rate increase. This injury could explain the significant difference in his quality of contact. It’s admirable that he tried to play through the injury, but it’s better for the 2019 team that he shows up in the healthiest condition possible.

Aaron Judge had surgery on his left shoulder last offseason, and showed now ill effects during the 2018 season. Now, it’s Gary Sánchez‘s turn to power through a procedure like this and get back to his MVP candidate form from 2017.

Yankees Agree With Brett Gardner on One-Year, $7.5 Million Deal After Declining Option

The longest-tenured Yankee will be back in pinstripes in 2019.

The longest-tenured member of the Yankees will be back in pinstripes for 2019, as the team announced they have agreed to terms with Brett Gardner after declining his $12.5 million club option for the 2019 season. He will be paid a $2 million buyout since the team declined his option.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect at the end of the season,” Gardner told MLB.com, “but being able to come back and rejoin this special group of guys we have in place, continue my career in a Yankees uniform — and hopefully finish it in a Yankees uniform — it means a great deal to me.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported on Twitter that Gardner will earn $7.5 million in 2019. At the moment, it is unclear if he will earn any incentives for playing time or other milestones. The 35-year-old hit .236/.322/.368 (90 wRC+) with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in the final guaranteed year of the contract he signed with the Yankees in 2014. He saw his playing time shrink down the stretch as he fatigued yet again in the second half as the team swung a last-minute trade for Andrew McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants.

Gardner went 0-for-8 with three walks in five postseason games for the Yankees in 2018. He started in center field for Game 2 and Game 3 of the American League Division Series against Boston.

Gardner technically will get $9.5 million because of the buyout, but the team will only face a $7.5 million luxury tax hit because the buyout quantity was guaranteed to be paid from the last contract. Therefore, it was in the average annual value of the old contract as a sunken cost.

With free agency beginning in earnest Friday evening, it’s important to look at Gardner’s role for the 2019 season. I get the feeling that he won’t be a full-time player. Gardner’s abilities as a defender, baserunner and veteran leader can certainly help this team be better next year. Aaron Boone can also manage his workload to avoid the second-half burn out that we often see from him.

“We have some unfinished business. It was tough to sit back and watch the rest of the postseason this year,” Gardner said to MLB.com. “It was a great learning experience for us. We have a young team and had a great season, but we came up short of our goal.”

The most important part of this move is that it reinforces the once formidable outfield depth in New York. The 2018 Yankees got outfield appearances from Jace Peterson, Shane Robinson, Tyler Wade and Neil Walker because of injuries and trades. The team really can’t rely on Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier because of their injury histories. Top prospect outfielder Estevan Florial needs more development, and depth guys like Ryan McBroom, Mark Payton and Zack Zehner probably aren’t options yet. Who does that leave? Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. That’s a pretty solid starting outfield.

But, then again, the Yankees had a similar situation in 2017 and swung a trade for Stanton. This team could still go out and make a big splash for someone like Michael Brantley or Bryce Harper. Point is, the Yankees got caught with their pants down when all of their outfield depth suddenly dried up in 2018. I think this is a smart baseball move for a team with more additions to make before Spring Training opens in February.

Boras: Ellsbury Will Be Healthy to Start 2019

Can the 35-year-old STAY healthy for 162 games?

Jacoby Ellsbury collected $21.1 million during the 2018 season despite not suiting up past a March 24 Spring Training matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays. Injuries cost him the entire season, and he lost a chance to provide value when the Yankees’ seemingly formidable outfield depth suddenly disappeared from the organization.

With a nagging oblique issue and August 7 hip surgery behind him, Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, told George A. King III of the New York Post that the 35-year-old has his eyes set on Tampa.

“He got the right doctor and the right surgery, and I fully expect him to be ready [for spring training],” Boras said before Game 3 of the World Series, per King.

Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees in the 2013 offseason and has hit .264/.330/.386 with 39 home runs and 198 RBI in 520 games across four seasons. If you include missing all of the 2018 regular season, Ellsbury has missed 290 of a possible 810 games since signing in New York. That would be a .358 batting average, but unfortunately that’s not the metric we’re looking at. Missing 36% of your team’s games is just ridiculous for the amount of money he’s being paid.

Ellsbury suffered a concussion May 24, 2017, that setback his season and allowed Aaron Hicks to take over the starting job in center field. Ellsbury’s spot with the Yankees relies on his health in 2019, and the Yankees’ decision with Brett Gardner. Gardner has a pending $12.5 million club option, or $2 million buyout for the 2019 season.

With everyone assumed healthy coming into 2019, the outfield picture will feature Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Gardner (I think the Yanks decline his option, and bring him back for cheaper), Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

I would imagine Hicks, Judge and Stanton maintain their spots in the outfield/designated hitter rotation from last season. That leaves left field and the fourth outfield spot open to competition, and also assumes the Yankees make no significant offseason moves. Bryce Harper is the sexiest pick to fill the left field spot, though there are also rumblings of a position change for Miguel Andújar that would allow Manny Machado to fit into the puzzle as well.

What’s the simplest thing Ellsbury can do? Show up in Tampa in great shape, and stay healthy in order to help the team. He’s owed a little over $47.2 million through 2021 (assuming the Yankees buy him out), and the Yankees would love to squeeze some value out of him.

Offseason Notes: Corbin, Coaches, Harper, Severino

The offseason news cycle is starting to get underway for the Yankees after their disappointing ouster from the playoffs at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. The 2018–19 offseason is one that Yankee fans have been anticipating for years, as many expect the team to spend exorbitantly now that they’ve reset their competitive balance tax penalties. A lot of times, stories from the offseason only contain a few sentences of actual news, and I will compile them into posts whenever there’s enough news to put together.


  1. Jon Heyman of Fancred has already linked the Yankees to one free agent who would definitely help bolster the starting rotation: Diamondbacks’ lefty Patrick Corbin. Corbin grew up in Clay, New York, and told Bob Nightengale that he “grew up a Yankee fan” and said “It would have been cool” to be traded to New York last offseason. The lefty was third among qualified National League starters with 6.3 fWAR, paired with a 11-7 record and 3.15 ERA (2.47 FIP). He was sixth in the NL with a 48.5% ground-ball percentage, and was 11th best at limiting home runs (11.1% HR/FB rate – Chase Field helps too). Both numbers would be top-10 in the American League. At 29, he seems likely to get a contract somewhere in the 3-5 year length.
  2. If you wanted to see Larry Rothschild or Marcus Thames fired, you’re out of luck. George A. King III of the New York Post broke one of the stories likely to be addressed during tomorrow’s postmortem news conference when he tweeted that all Yankees coaches will be back in 2019. Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman will definitely be asked about the coaching staff as a whole, but King’s report makes it clear the Yanks want to keep this corps together.
  3. Uh, Scott Boras really has a way with words. He seemed to imply that Bryce Harper could still fit with the Yankees despite Giancarlo Stanton‘s gargantuan contract already on the team’s payroll. “A Bronx opera … The Three Tenors … Hal’s genius, vision,” Boras wrote in an email to The Athletic. “Alone the three were stars … now a galaxy of international popularity.” That would seem to imply a lineup that includes Harper, Aaron Judge and Stanton arranged in some way. That would be something. Boras clarified to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that he “didn’t say specific players,” but his implications were pretty clear.
  4. The Luis Severino news continues to get weirder. Another Jon Heyman report quoted an unnamed “Yankees person” as saying “The Red Sox had his pitches” in his ill-fated start in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Severino only made it one batter into the fourth, and a viral tweet shows Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts correctly predicting a fastball in the second inning. Before his Wild Card start, Pedro Martínez said Severino told him he pitched hurt in the second half. Severino denied it. The righty also got some less-than-great publicity when Ron Darling of TBS essentially accused Severino and the Yankees of not knowing the proper start time for the game, and accused him of only starting to warm up eight minutes before the scheduled time. Severino and the Yankees denied that.

There will probably be another one of these posted tomorrow with the information from tomorrow’s news conference with Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman. That’s at noon Eastern and will also be aired on the YES Network.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 5: Missed Opportunities Haunt Yanks

The Yankees almost came all the way back on the shaky Boston bullpen, but 5⅓ innings from Red Sox ace Chris Sale did the job.

J.A. Happ was not his dominant self against the Red Sox, allowing four hits and five runs over two innings, striking out two and walking one.

The Yankees got two runs in the sixth on a Luke Voit RBI single and Didi Gregorius RBI fielder’s choice. Both hits came off Ryan Brasier, but the runs were charged to the already-departed Sale.

Voit got another RBI in the seventh on a fielder’s choice that scored Andrew McCutchen off Matt Barnes. The Yanks pulled to within one when Aaron Judge smacked an opposite-field solo home run off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning.

The bullpen was solid, with Chad Green, Lance Lynn, Zach Britton and David Robertson recording six innings of shutout relief after Happ departed.

ALDS Game One: Battle of the Lefties

With the wildcard firmly in the rearview mirror, the Yankees turn their focus to their opponent in the best of five American League division series: the Boston Red Sox.

Two lefties with track records of mowing down their respective opponents tonight are set to battle in game one from Fenway Park. J.A. Happ, who came to the Yankees via trade, has been dominant since putting on the pinstripes and has always pitched well in Boston. Since joining the Yankees, Happ has gotten the win in seven of 11 starts, and does not have a single loss (I know record doesn’t matter, but that shows how good he is). He also owns a stingy 2.69 ERA in 63⅔ innings. He’s got a 5-2 record and 3.52 ERA in 10 career starts at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox turn to Chris Sale, their ace who has not pitched further than five innings since July 27. He’s been battling left shoulder inflammation and a significant drop in his fastball velocity. But, Bob Nightengale of USA Today cited unnamed scouts as saying the lefty has been hitting 95+ mph and his bullpen sessions and should be ready to go at full strength against the Bronx Bombers.


Red Sox Lineup:

  1. Mookie Betts – RF
  2. Andrew Benintendi – LF
  3. Steve Pearce – 1B
  4. J.D. Martinez – DH
  5. Xander Bogaerts – SS
  6. Eduardo Núñez – 3B
  7. Ian Kinsler – 2B
  8. Sandy León – C
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr. – CF

Yankees ALDS Roster and Starting Rotation

Sabathia and Tarpley in; Higashioka and Wade out.

The Yankees have announced their roster and starting rotation for the best-of-5 American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox.

Starting Rotation

Here is how Aaron Boone and Alex Cora will align their starting rotations:
  • Game 1:
    • J.A. Happ vs. Chris Sale
  • Game 2:
    • Masahiro Tanaka vs. David Price
  • Game 3:
    • Rick Porcello vs. TBA (likely Luis Severino)
  • Game 4*:
    • Nathan Eovaldi vs. TBA (likely CC Sabathia)
  • Game 5*:
    • TBA vs. TBA

Roster

  • Changes from Wild Card roster are reflected with strikethrough and bold.

Pitchers

  • Dellin Betances – 68
  • Zach Britton – 53
  • Aroldis Chapman – 54
  • Chad Green – 57
  • J.A. Happ – 34
  • Jonathan Holder – 56
  • Lance Lynn – 36
  • David Robertson – 30
  • CC Sabathia – 52
  • Luis Severino – 40
  • Masahiro Tanaka – 19
  • Stephen Tarpley – 71

Catchers

  • Kyle Higashioka – 66
  • Austin Romine – 28
  • Gary Sánchez – 24

Infielders

  • Miguel Andújar – 41
  • Didi Gregorius – 18
  • Adeiny Hechavarría – 29
  • Gleyber Torrres – 25
  • Luke Voit – 45
  • Tyler Wade – 12
  • Neil Walker – 14

Outfielders

  • Brett Gardner – 11
  • Aaron Hicks – 31
  • Aaron Judge – 99
  • Andrew McCutchen – 26
  • Giancarlo Stanton – 27
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