Tag: Chase Headley

Yankees Acquire Jabari Blash From Padres for Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell

Chase Headley is headed back to San Diego as the Yankees traded the veteran corner infielder back to the Padres alongside RHP Bryan Mitchell for 28-year-old outfielder Jabari Blash.

Neither team has confirmed the trade. The deal was first reported by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, and confirmed by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

The Padres will take on the full $13 million left on Headley’s deal, and likely did so after acquiring the high-upside arm of Mitchell. Mitchell is out of minor league options, and would have been exposed to waivers if he did not make the Yankees’ 25-man roster out of Spring Training.

Headley split time between third base and first base in 2017. He hit .273/.352/.406 with 12 home runs, 61 RBIs and stole 9 out of 11 bases. His hitting stats were torpedoed by his awful May, where he went just 14-for-85 (.165) with an OPS of .446. Headley spent the first eight years of his career in San Diego before being traded to the Yankees in 2014.

Mitchell simply ran out of time to prove himself in the Bronx. He has a live arm and a great curveball, but sometimes could control neither of them. In four years up-and-down with the Yankees, Mitchell has a 2-6 record and a 4.94 ERA. His command still needs work as his BB/9 is 4.0 and H/9 is at 10.5. In the pitchers’ park that is Petco Park, Mitchell may have a chance to thrive.

Blash is the return for dumping Headley’s salary on the Padres. He has big power upside, but also swings and misses a ton. In 99 MLB games across two seasons, Blash has slashed (lol) .200/.323/.336 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs. He has struck out at a 35.8% rate in the big leagues. He may be a quick 40-man roster casualty since the Yankees already have a plethora of outfielders.

The Yankees cleared out a 40-man roster spot with this trade, and opened up third base to a competition from within OR to a free agent signing. There are still more moves to be made, so stay tuned.

Thoughts Following Giancarlo Stanton’s Introductory Press Conference

Giancarlo Stanton is officially a Yankee, and put on the pinstripes for the first time in front of the media at a press conference from the Winter Meetings in Florida. It’s crazy, and completely unexpected, to have a player with the pedigree of Stanton in pinstripes. A lot was said, and I have some thoughts following up on the introduction of the Yankees’ newest slugger.

  1. I did not realize how unhappy Giancarlo was in Miami. From his Instagram post before the press conference to comments made at the conference, this “breakup” between Stanton and the Marlins was long overdue. Stanton cited the lack of direction in the Marlins organization while at the lectern. He said he was “very excited to be a part of the Yankees, and this winning environment and culture.” Stanton really did not hold back in his criticisms of his former team. He also did not seem to have much of a filter in speaking with the media. It will be important for him to be honest with reporters, but hopefully he will steer clear of trashing or insulting other teams or players.
  2. In a breakout session after the formal press conference, Stanton’s agent Joel Wolfe said the 28-year-old has “no desire to opt-out” of his contract after the 2020 season. This seems to be a case of putting the cart before the horse. As written, Stanton is under contract until 2027 at the earliest, with a $25 million team option ($10 million buyout) for the 2028 season. Stanton would be 37 years old by 2027, and in a perfect world, would still be a productive designated hitter for the Yankees. But, as was the case with Alex Rodriguez, players will decay over time. I think it’s premature to talk about Stanton opting out when he hasn’t even gotten in a full Yankee uniform. Should we reevaluate the opt-out next season? Probably. Now? Not necessary.
  3. I still have some questions about how Stanton, Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner all fit into the same starting lineup. Luckily, Stanton expressed today that he was willing to move around in the field in order to help the team. He told a panel on the YES Network that he would be willing to play left field, where he has not played since five starts there in 2010 with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns. Stanton certainly has the athleticism to tackle left field, and will likely get looks there along with Judge during Spring Training.
  4. Starlin Castro might just be the unluckiest player in baseball. He gets traded out of Chicago right before they win the World Series, and then gets shipped out of New York as part of the transaction that turns them into a huge juggernaut. Castro likely never dons a Miami Marlins uniform, but rather will be flipped to another team that needs a quality middle infielder. Castro was an All-Star in 2017, and has experience at both shortstop and second base.
  5. Hal Steinbrenner said that the Yankees are not done making moves this offseason. But, I don’t expect them to make any moves near the magnitude of this trade. They are looking to shed a little bit more payroll by trading veterans Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley. Headley is an easier sell, given that he is a free agent after the season and owed just $13 million. The Yankees would have to eat substantial money to trade Ellsbury and his albatross contract. Plus, Ellsbury has a full no-trade clause in his deal, just like Stanton. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Ellsbury is “unlikely” to waive that no-trade clause. There are also rumors that the Yankees are seeing what returns they could get for trading promising young outfielder Clint Frazier. Frazier was the Yankees No. 2 prospect until he graduated by breaking the 130 at-bat plateau.
  6. Brian Cashman would not name a starting second baseman at this point in time. The Yankees will either try to sign a veteran for cheap, or allow one of their Younger players to win the position out of Spring Training. I think some combination of Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade will man the keystone to start the season. Cashman also mentioned Gleyber Torres and Thairo Estrada. Torres is obviously the more attractive choice, but he managed only 96 plate appearances at Triple-A before injuring his elbow. I predict he’ll start the season in Scranton so that the Yankees are sure he’s fully recovered. Plus, the Yankees can gain an extra year of control over Torres if they wait to start his service clock like the Cubs did with Kris Bryant. If Torres debuts like Bryant did, the Yankees will be absolutely ecstatic.

 

Todd Frazier: “It’d Be Great to Come Back” to Yankees

Todd Frazier, one of the key pieces of the Yankees’ 2017 postseason run, expressed his interest in a return to the Bronx in an interview broadcasted on MLB Network Radio.

 

The 31-year-old came to the Yankees as a piece in the trade that also brought Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson to the Bronx ahead of the 2017 Trade Deadline. Frazier solidified defense at third base, and contributed 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 66 games down the stretch. He was, however, a rental player, and became a free agent following the conclusion of the World Series.

Frazier conceivably fits in the Bronx next season, but only on the right deal. A one-year deal with a value around $15 million would let Frazier hold down third base and some designated hitter at-bats in 2018. But, Frazier is likely to be enticed by multi-year deals and a higher annual value from a team looking for power and solid defense.

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Plus, Frazier does not really fit into the Yankees long-term plans. Miguel Andújar (No. 5 NYY, No. 91 MLB) has shown an MLB-ready bat, with defense starting to round into shape. Gleyber Torres (No. 1 NYY, MLB) looks to recover from his elbow surgery last season to claim a spot on the big league roster. Chase Headley, who moved to first base part-way through 2017, is still signed for $13 million in 2018 and showed he can still contribute (1.9 fWAR).

As important as Frazier was, a reunion between him and the Yankees seems unlikely because their third baseman of the future (or his placeholder) is already with the team.

Prospect rankings via MLBpipeline.

Tyler Austin’s Last Stand

At age-26, and ranked as the team’s No. 14 prospect, Tyler Austin may be running out of opportunities in the Bronx.

Austin was drafted in the 13th round of the 2010 Amateur Draft, and debuted in 2016 (hitting the first of back-to-back home runs with Aaron Judge). He came up as part of the youth movement that captivated the league once the Yankees decided to become sellers at the deadline. Greg Bird was hurt, Mark Teixeira was retiring and Austin had his best chance to nail down the job.

He seemed primed to compete with the returning Bird for the starting first base job in Spring Training. Disaster struck next. On Feb. 17, 2017, Austin fractured the navicular area of his left foot, and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. The Yankees then signed veteran Chris Carter to a 1-year deal, and we know how well that turned out.

Austin dropped deep on the first base depth chart while injured. It took the team three weeks to promote him after his rehab assignment ended. His stock dropped so much that Carter and Matt Holliday started over him in those three weeks.

Despite hitting .300 after his rehab assignment ended, Austin struggled to a .154/.200/.385 line in four games before injuring his right hamstring. He missed a month, and found himself back in the minor leagues because the Yankees acquired Garrett Cooper from the Milwaukee Brewers. Cooper himself got hurt in August, and Austin returned.

He homered against Boston’s Chris Sale August 19, which endeared him to Yankees fans again. But, his future became uncertain after the 2017 season ended. The Yankees could have traded him to open an important 40-man roster spot for a younger player. But, they decided to trade Cooper instead. Austin’s defensive versatility and career .361/.432/.722 against left-handed pitching most likely extended his Yankee tenure.

Now, Austin has full control of his own destiny. With games at first base, third base, left field and right field on his résumé, he will be competing with Chase Headley to be a backup corner infielder and right-handed platoon bat. Austin has a better defensive reputation than Headley, and the former can play at more positions. But, Headley is owed $13 million in 2018, and Austin has one more minor league option remaining.

It feels like Austin will have to wow his way onto the Yankees 2018 roster. His spot on the roster will rely on strong defense and good at-bats against left-handers. If he cannot do that, then we will not see much of him in the Bronx

 

Red Sox 1, Yankees 5: Holliday Brings Labor Day Weekend Fireworks

Matt Holliday certainly made his presence known in his return from the disabled list.

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The veteran hit a crucial three-run home run to put the Yankees ahead for good in the sixth inning of Saturday’s matinee in the Bronx. He went 1-for-4 overall in the game. His homer pushed Masahiro Tanaka to his third consecutive victory on the mound.

“These are big games. I’m excited,” Holliday said. “I want to be part of this. I want to be part of this team. I missed being around the guys. I’m going to try to enjoy it.”

Chase Headley smacked his 10th home run of the year to open the scoring for the Yankees in the second inning. The score became tied when Eduardo Núñez scored on a Tanaka wild pitch in the top of the sixth. Holliday’s homer came next, then the Yankees added their final insurance run in the seventh on an infield single by Gary Sánchez.

The Yankee bullpen came in to pitch the final two innings once the starter was lifted. David Robertson and Dellin Betances cruised through the last six outs to net win No. 11 for Tanaka.

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The win did not come without a negative for the Yankees, however. Center fielder Aaron Hicks was removed from the game in the top of the seventh inning after robbing Hanley Ramírez with an impressive catch. Jacoby Ellsbury replaced him, and the injury was listed as “tightness in his left oblique”. He missed time with a right oblique injury earlier this season.


Box Score

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Sep 2, 2017 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston (77-59) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 1
New York (72-63) 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 0 X 5 10 0
W: Masahiro Tanaka (11-10) L: Drew Pomeranz (14-5)
Boston Red Sox
HITTERS AB R H RBI BB SO HR AVG
Eduardo Núñez – SS 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 .309
Andrew Benintendi – LF 3 0 1 0 1 1 0 .280
Mookie Betts – RF 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .262
Mitch Moreland – 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .252
Hanley Ramírez – DH 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 .244
Rafael Devers – 3B 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .287
Christian Vázquez – C 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 .290
Jackie Bradley Jr. – CF 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 .263
Tzu-Wei Lin – 2B 3 0 1 0 0 2 0 .283
TEAM TOTALS 32 1 6 0 2 7 0
BATTING:
2B: Núñez (32)
BASERUNNING:
CS: Devers (1)
FIELDING:
E: Devers (7, throw)
New York Yankees
HITTERS AB R H RBI BB SO HR AVG
Brett Gardner – LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .261
Aaron Hicks – CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .265
Jacoby Ellsbury – CF 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 .245
Gary Sánchez – C 4 0 3 1 0 0 0 .274
Aaron Judge – RF 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 .276
Didi Gregorius – SS 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 .292
Chase Headley – 3B 4 2 3 1 0 0 1 .278
Todd Frazier – 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .210
Matt Holliday – DH 4 1 1 3 0 0 1 .230
Greg Bird – 1B 4 0 1 0 0 3 0 .155
Ronald Torreyes – 2B 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 .295
TEAM TOTALS 34 5 10 5 2 8 2
BATTING:
3B: Ellsbury (3)
HR: Headley (10), Holliday (17)
RBI: Headley (53), Holliday – 3 (54), Sánchez (78)
Boston Red Sox
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Drew Pomeranz – LHP 5.1 8 4 4 2 5 2 3.36
Brandon Workman – RHP 1.0 2 1 1 0 2 0 2.37
Fernando Abad – LHP 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.82
Austin Maddox – RHP 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
TEAM TOTALS 8.0 10 5 5 2 8 2
PITCHING:
Pitches-Strikes: Pomeranz: 105-64, Workman: 16-11, Abad: 8-4, Maddox: 11-9
New York Yankees
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Masahiro Tanaka – RHP 7.0 5 1 1 2 3 0 4.54
David Robertson – RHP 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.32
Dellin Betances – RHP 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2.29
TEAM TOTALS 9.0 6 1 1 2 7 0
PITCHING:
WP: Tanaka
Pitches-Strikes: Tanaka: 97-66, Robertson: 13-9, Betances: 12-9

Yankees Call Up Five Players as Rosters Expand

September 1 has arrived, and the Yankees have made widely expected roster moves to take advantage of expanded rosters.

With suspensions to Gary Sánchez and Austin Romine looming, the Yankees selected the contract of Erik Kratz from Triple-A. The Yankees traded for him from the Cleveland organization Thursday as depth. The 37-year-old veteran was slashing .270/.359/.472 with 13 home runs for Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate. In 225 MLB games, he carries a .200/.248/.362 line. Luis Cessa moves to the 60-day disabled list to open a 40-man roster spot for Kratz.

Matt Holliday returns from the disabled list now that rosters have expanded. The veteran went .229/.349/.257 combined on his rehab assignment at Class-A Advanced Tampa and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It becomes hard to figure where he will get at-bats, given the return of Greg Bird and resurgence of Chase Headley.

The Yankees reinforce the bullpen by adding Ben Heller and Bryan Mitchell. Heller has been fantastic for Triple-A, with a 2.88 ERA and a 13.1 K/9 rate. Mitchell worked as a starter in Scranton, but has pitched mostly in long relief with the big league club. Jordan Montgomery also rejoins the Yankees.

Notable names to stay in the minors are Miguel Andújar, Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade. Both Austin and Wade were optioned to Scranton less than 10 days ago, and cannot come back unless there is an injury. There is no word on whether they will be promoted once 10 days have passed. Andújar, who has been on an offensive tear (currently on a 15-game hitting streak, .333/.379/.531 at Triple-A) remains in the Minors presumably to get full-time at-bats, continue working on his third base defense and help the RailRiders win a championship.

Reaction to Yankees-White Sox Blockbuster

There are tons of different ways to view the trade that went down Tuesday night between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. The Yankees got Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson in exchange for Tyler Clippard, Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo.

To start, there really is no way to determine who “won” this deal outright. The White Sox continue their trend of stockpiling young prospects, and the Yankees get necessary bullpen reinforcements controllable beyond 2017. Oh, and Todd Frazier.

A lot of people on the Internet have been viewing the deal as Rutherford (No. 3 NYY prospect pre-trade) for Frazier. In reality, Frazier feels like a throw-in. Logic says you don’t trade your No. 3 prospect for a rental hitting .207. Brian Cashman did not. He traded that prospect for two fantastic bullpen arms.

Kahnle and Robertson rank third and 12th in strikeouts-per-nine-innings in the MLB this year. Both have a history with the Yankees organization. This acquisition allows Joe Girardi to have an impressive arsenal at his command in the later innings. It also gives Chad Green the chance to dominate in a longer-relief role with more flexibility.

Todd Frazier’s arrival gives the Yankees the chance to maximize Chase Headley‘s value. He will move into a platoon at first base with Garrett Cooper. Headley hits righties way better than lefties this year, so the team can capitalize on that split and Frazier’s 16 home runs.

Rutherford’s departure stings a bit, but the Yankees already have a surplus of minor league outfielders. The team really likes 19-year-old Estevan Florial, and reports indicate that Rutherford profiles as a corner outfielder. Rutherford has a clearer, and faster, route to the big leagues with the White Sox organization.

Tyler Clippard gets a badly-needed change of scenery. His recent struggles made him a target for jeers, and made him an unusable player essentially. Ian Clarkin will have a chance to contribute for the White Sox, as long as his injuries subside. Tito Polo seems like a talented outfielder with lots of upside. He brings speed and athleticism to the ChiSox farm system.

The Yankees fix their holes, and the White Sox continue to plan for the future. This trade could be one that works out well for both.