Tag: Tyler Wade

Yankees Sign Troy Tulowitzki; DFA A.J. Cole

Tulowitzki will suit up at the same position as his idol, Derek Jeter.

January 4, 2019: The Yankees have officially announced the Tulowitzki signing, and have designated RHP A.J. Cole for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.

Cole made 28 relief appearances for the Yankees in 2018, mostly in a mop-up role. He had a stellar first few months, but the wheels fell off when he finished the season with a 8.40 ERA in August and September. All told, Cole finished with a 3-1 record and 4.26 ERA after his April 24 acquisition in a cash trade.

For Tulowitzki, the plan is for him to be the Opening Day shortstop should his health allow it. The Yankees internal options, namely Hanser Alberto, Thairo Estrada, Tyler Wade or a position shift for Gleyber Torres, were not deemed sufficient.

“I think the Troy Tulowitzki thing is about being open-minded and reactionary and making sure we’re exploring all options that present themselves,” Brian Cashman said during the introductory conference call. “I think this probably snuck up on a lot of people. We’re aiming high and we’re evaluating other options that present themselves, and Troy was a late entry into the available marketplace.”

For now, the Yankees will feature an all-righty infield of Miguel Andújar at the hot corner, Tulowitzki at shortstop, Torres at second base and Luke Voit at first.

January 3, 2019: According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Tulowitzki will be undergoing his physical with the Yankees today.


After his release from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees attended 34-year-old shortstop Troy Tulowitzki‘s free agent workout in California. Now, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Yankees are in agreement with the veteran on a one-year, league-minimum contract, pending a physical.

Passan notes that Tulowitzki “is expected to play shortstop for the Yankees while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery,” and that the move does not remove the Yankees from the Manny Machado sweepstakes.

Tulowitzki was released by Toronto on Dec. 11, allowing him to become a free agent and sign with any of the other 29 teams. The Blue Jays still owe him $38 million through the end of the 2020 season, but the Yankees will be responsible for a $555K salary. He last played consistently in 2016, when he slashed .254/.318/.443 (104 wRC+) in 131 games for the Blue Jays. He managed to be a 3.0 fWAR player that year because of stellar shortstop defense. He missed all of 2018 because of bone spurs in both of his heels that required surgery.

At league-minimum, this seems to be a low-risk, high-reward move for the Yankees. They can easily cut bait with Tulowitzki if he’s unable to perform at a high enough level or if his ugly injury history shows itself again.

I’m intrigued to see what this means for Miguel Andújar. If the Yankees also sign Machado, it seems Andújar’s only path to playing time with the Bombers would come at first base, left field (unlikely) or at designated hitter. Of course, they could also use him as a trade chip to bring in a high-profile starting pitcher as well.

Ronald Torreyes Traded to Cubs for PTBNL/Cash

The Ronald Torreyes era is over. After 221 games, the Yankees announced today that they traded the versatile 26-year-old to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later or cash consideration. He had been designated for assignment Monday when the Yankees claimed pitcher Parker Bridwell from the Los Angeles Angels.

Torreyes had grown into a fan favorite since joining the Yankees in 2016 because of his energy and ability to produce as a bench player. He proved exceedingly useful in 2017, when he started the first month of the season at shortstop to allow Didi Gregorius to recover from a shoulder injury. Overall as a Yankee, he hit .281/.308/.373 (80 wRC+) with four home runs and 55 RBIs. He suited up at second base, third base, shortstop and right field for the Yankees.

Though he made a ton of contact, Torreyes provided little value with his offense. He walked 23 times in three seasons (3.8%), and only picked up extra-base hits in 6.4% of his plate appearances. He graded out as an average baserunner, but had little value as a pinch-runner since he only stole four bases in his time as a Yankee.

The real reason Torreyes was dealt appears to be his price tag. He is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this winter. I think the Yankees were planning to non-tender him if they did not find a destination by this Friday’s deadline. MLB Trade Rumors projected he would make $900K in his first go-around. The Yankees have way cheaper options for the utility-man bench role (Hanser Alberto, Thairo Estrada, Tim Locastro Tyler Wade, etc.) and Torreyes became the odd man out.

I’m expecting Toe will get a big hand at Old Timer’s Day at some point down the road. Only time will tell if Chicago is his final destination this offseason, as Torreyes has bounced around in the past. The Yankees acquired Torreyes along with lefty Tyler Olson in January 2016, but he got claimed by the Angels off waivers a week later. A week after that, the Yankees claimed him back from Los Angeles and the rest is history. For now, he’s a Cub. In February, we’ll see where he’s suiting up for Spring Training.

Yankees Claim Hanser Alberto Off Waivers From Texas

The 26-year-old joins the Yanks as infield depth.

The Rangers tried to sneak out-of-options infielder Hanser Alberto through outright waivers, but failed as the Yankees pounced with a waiver claim on the 26-year-old. Alberto is hitting .381/.435/.548 in his first 11 games for the Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League.

In parts of three seasons with the Rangers, Alberto hit .192/.210/.231 (9 wRC+) with defensive appearances at all four infield positions. It’s an ugly stat-line, but he did manage to hit .330/.346/.452 (106 wRC+) with seven homers and 58 RBIs for Triple-A Round Rock Express in 2018.

This move adds infield depth to the Yankees on the heels of Didi Gregorius‘s recent Tommy John surgery. Alberto is regarded as a strong defender, relatively young and cheap. I have a feeling the Yankees will try to sneak Alberto through outright waivers between now and the beginning of Spring Training. The team could use some veteran infield depth in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

At Triple-A, the Yankees are at risk of losing Rey Navarro and Gio Urshela to minor league free agency. Miguel Andújar and Gleyber Torres appear to be anchored in the major leagues, and Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade appear to have the inside track for bench roles in the big leagues. If Alberto does make it through the winter in the Yankees organization, he’ll compete for the utility infield bench spot and for a starting role with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Alberto has been added to the Yankees 40-man roster, which now sits at 37 players.

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.

Aaron Hicks Exits ALDS Game One With Right Hamstring Tightness

Hicks was the third most valuable Yankee in the 2018 regular season, per Fangraphs.

Just moments after Aaron Hicks smacked the Yankees’ second hit of the game against Boston in ALDS Game One, the Yankee center fielder pulled up lame on his jog to first base. The Yankees announced the injury was right hamstring tightness, and that Hicks was undergoing further evaluation.

Hicks was replaced by pinch-runner Brett Gardner, who also took over defensive duties in center field. Hicks had missed three of four games in a September series in Tampa Bay because of soreness in his left hamstring.

Aaron Boone said before the game that Tyler Wade (along with Kyle Higashioka and Luis Cessa) is working out at the Yankee facility in Tampa in case of injury, and he would likely replace Hicks on the roster if he were unable to come back. The problem there is that Hicks would be ineligible for the ALCS should the Yankees replace him and then advance past the Red Sox.

This is a developing story, and will be updated as news breaks.

Yankees Announce Wild Card Roster

The Yankees have announced their Wild Card roster.

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
  • Luis Severino – 40
  • Masahiro Tanaka – 19

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

Yankees Acquire Hechavarría From Pirates; Designate Bollinger for Assignment

More infield depth for the Bombers.

The Yanks added infield insurance just before the 11:59 p.m. Eastern deadline for postseason eligibility, acquiring defensive stud Adeiny Hechavarría from the Pittsburgh Pirates (with cash considerations) in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Just about all of Hechavarría’s value comes from his glove, as he owns a meager .254/.287/.342 (69 wRC+) batting line across 76 games with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh in 2018. The Pirates acquired him August 6 for a minor-league pitcher after Tampa Bay designated him for assignment August 1.

In 625⅓ innings at shortstop in 2018, Hechavarría has totaled +3 defensive runs saved and owns a +1.5 UZR. He has just three fielding errors this season, and five total at shortstop over the past two years. He also has 70⅔ innings of experience at second base, and 156 innings at third base. However, he has played exclusively shortstop since moving from Toronto to Miami in their mega-deal in November 2012.

Embed from Getty Images

In my opinion, this deal is simply a way to improve infield defense now that rosters have expanded to 40 players. Hechavarría is definitely not the kind of move you make to cover up a setback to Didi Gregorius‘ heel bruise, but it’s a move that allows for plenty of quality infield depth. It also seems to indicate that Gio Urshela will remain with the RailRiders through their playoff push. It’s worth noting that Hechavarría has a .299/.319/.418 (99 wRC+) line in his career at Yankee Stadium, though that just seems to be one of those crazy baseball quirks.

The Yankees will now have a surplus of utility infielders, as Hechavarría will join Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade and Neil Walker as options off the bench.


It seems the Yanks are trying to push Ryan Bollinger off the 40-man roster for a second time, having outrighted him May 27 after a one day appearance on the active roster. He was added again July 31, though he was optioned to the minors the next day. I believe he can elect free agency in lieu of another outright assignment, though the Yankees will try to sneak him through waivers after designating him for assignment.

%d bloggers like this: