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Revisiting the MLBTR Archives: February 2017

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The Super Bowl has come and gone, but pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training still isn’t in sight. MLB’s labor situation is all there is to discuss at the moment, and we’ll certainly chat about that tomorrow afternoon. Perhaps the MLBPA will have a response to the owners’ offer from the weekend. Until then, let’s rewind to a February from five years ago.

February 6, 2017: Yankees Made Starlin Castro Available In Trade Talks

The Yankees explored trades for several high-priced veterans on their roster this winter, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post reporting that Starlin Castro was among these names.  The Yankees “let some clubs know [Castro] was available,” which comes short of actually shopping the second baseman but it does indicate at least an openness to the idea of a deal. 

After a not so great Yankees debut in 2016 (.270/.300/.433, 93 wRC+), the Yankees apparently sought deals for the infielder in the offseason. Obviously, nothing came to fruition, and Castro had a nice rebound at the plate in ’17. He hit .300/.338/.454 (111 wRC+) as the team’s second baseman. That performance helped rebuild some of his lost trade value.

As we know now, the Yankees moved Castro in a package for Giancarlo Stanton following the 2017 season. If anything, this rumor foreshadowed Castro’s eventual departure from New York.

Thoughts on A-Rod’s Hall of Fame Candidacy

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Happy New Year, Views Crew.  The lockout is well underway and the hot stove is by extension ice cold, but Hall of Fame discourse soldiers on despite the uncertainty surrounding the sport.

Balloting has officially ended, and results will be announced on January 25 for induction in July 2022.  Of interest to Yankees fans, this year marks Alex Rodriguez’s first year on the ballot after his 2016 retirement. There have certainly been many thousands of words written by dozens of writers on the controversy of his candidacy, but as late in the game as it is I’m going to go on record and say that A-Rod should be a Hall of Famer.  Going into this balloting season, I believed he may have an easier time than his steroid-tainted predecessors in convincing the writers, but as the winter has gone on I’m starting to have doubts.

Revisiting the MLBTR Archives: January 2017

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Another day with much ado about nothing for Major League Baseball and the Yankees. As such, let’s turn back the clock to 2017 in what’s now our second edition of the old RAB staple: Revisting the MLB Trade Rumors archives. In case you missed it, I wrote about December 2016’s rumors and news last month.

The Yankees were pretty quiet this month five years ago too, but at least there were some rumors. Let’s get to them:

Revisiting the MLBTR Archives: December 2016

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There is no hot stove to speak of right now, so let’s roll things back five years. I’m bringing back an old RAB classic: Revisiting the MLB Trade Rumors Archive series, with Mike’s blessing. We’ll keep this coming on a monthly basis.

The Yankees were in the midst of rebuilding (retooling?) following the 2016 season. For the first time in my memory, they were sellers at the deadline and replenished the farm. There was no appetite for tanking, but the Yankees clearly were headed toward the start of a youth movement, though contention began perhaps sooner than anticipated in 2017.

Similar to this winter, the owners and MLBPA needed to re-negotiate the CBA for the 2017 season (and beyond). Unlike this year, the two sides struck a deal by the end of November and the offseason proceeded as usual. The Winter Meetings were held in National Harbor, Maryland from December 4th through 8th, and thus there are plenty of rumors to sift through:

Remembering Some (Excellent) Guys as Gerrit Cole Keeps Rolling

It’s no secret that Gerrit Cole is off to an incredible start in 2021. Through 10 starts, he is doing exactly what the Yankees acquired him to do and more – he’s currently 6-2 with a 1.81 ERA, 92 strikeouts in only 64.2 innings, and an incredible 226 ERA+. Even his bad starts are merely average.  Although the true Gerrit Cole experience in New York may have been delayed, fans are finally hoping to see what a full season of ace pitching will look like from the team’s marquee 2019 signing, and so far we have not been disappointed.

If we were to project Cole’s early-season stats to an entire year, assuming he pitches approximately 200 innings, the results would be pretty mind-blowing; you would see something in the range of an 18-win season with over 270 strikeouts and 8+ WAR. Although the year is young, I couldn’t help but wonder – that would be the Yankees’ best starting pitching season in a really long time, right?  Where could Gerrit Cole rank in the pantheon of recent Yankees’ aces when the book is closed on 2021?

Throughout their vaunted history, the Yankees have employed many great pitchers who have done many great things. However, most lists of the “greatest Yankees starting pitchers of all time” and “greatest single-season Yankees starting pitching performances” feature predominantly, if not exclusively, performances from before 1980.  1980 was a long time ago – Gerrit Cole, in fact, was not born until September 8, 1990.  Cole is clearly poised to become the standard-bearer for a new era of Yankees pitching, but he may also be on his way to the best season the Yankees have seen since before his own birth.  To contextualize, I bring you a few excellent seasons by Yankees starting pitching, post-1990 edition.

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