News and Notes: CC, Stroman, Frazier, Juiced Balls, A Draft Signing and Dan Jennings

Embed from Getty Images

This is my least favorite part of the baseball season. I don’t get excited for the All Star Game and we don’t have real games to watch for a few days. I can’t wait for Friday. While the players are on a much needed break, there is still news to cover. Let’s get right to it.

CC looks to stay with the Yanks after retirement

CC Sabathia wants to work in the Yankees front office after this season. This was definitely one of the more exciting nuggets to come out of the All Star festivities. It feels like the injuries, the team’s resiliency, the talk of potential trade targets and other narratives have overshadowed CC’s final season. CC’s business like demeanor approaching his final season plays a role as well. With that said, it is nice to know the big man will probably stick around in pinstripes.

I definitely want to be in the front office, something where I’m going to be around the team, around the club. I’ll be there in (at my home in New) Jersey. And I definitely I want to be around the Yankees for years to come.

CC Sabathia

The Yankees are well known for hiring former players to the front office. Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher and Carlos Beltran are all recent additions to Brian Cashman’s brain trust. In fact, Beltran and CC speak quite a bit about life after baseball.

I talk to Los a lot. He’s obviously one of my good friends. Just seeing what he does, being around the ballpark pretty much every day, helping out, being one of the guys. I think it would be something I could do and have fun doing.

The Yankees do a fantastic job of keeping their alumni in the family and leveraging their experience to the organization’s benefit. They can lend their well informed opinions to scouting, development and Cashman himself. The alumni can also go on the road and directly interact with the future generations of Yankees. This is something CC specifically mentions having a strong interest in doing. It will be nice to have CC around for years to come.

Yankees and Twins inquire about a Stroman/Giles package

With the trade deadline three weeks away from today, the rumors are starting to pick up. According to TSN’s Scott Mitchell, the Yankees and Minnesota Twins recently asked about a Marcus Stroman/Ken Giles package. The Yankees are clearly in the market for a starter and Stroman is one of the main targets. Bobby wrote a fantastic trade target piece on Stroman that is definitely worth reading or re-reading. He’s good and should be towards the top of the list of starting pitching targets.

Giles would be a great pick up as well. Despite being known for some embarrassing moments as much as his pitching, Giles would be a great addition to an already formidable bullpen. He’s in the top 3% of the league in XBA, XSLG, XWOBA and K %.

The cost would definitely jump up if Giles was included in a package with Marcus Stroman. One would think Clint Frazier would be the centerpiece of this deal especially considering Toronto’s lackluster outfield. Both Stroman and Giles are free agents in 2021 so you are getting some player control back in the deal. It would be expensive, but may be worth it for a title run.

Clint Frazier continues to work diligently on his defense

Speaking of Frazier, Jack Margaros over at Pinstriped Prospects wrote a nice piece on Clint’s daily pre-game defensive routine. Improving his corner outfield defense has been the primary focus for Frazier’s time in Scranton. He works with coach Julio Bourbon every day for an hour focusing on the intricacies of the position.

First step, reads to the ball, the routes that I take, conversations. It’s not always just mechanics out there. Julio is so fresh out of the game it’s almost like I’m talking to a teammate out there

Clint frazier

Clint’s defensive struggles are well documented. It is valid to say he’s improving his defense so another team could potentially reap the benefits. It is interesting that they have Frazier focusing primarily in left so maybe the team does still have long term plans for him. In any case, it’s nice to see the kid getting after it and looking to improve amidst all of the noise.

Tanaka believes the balls are different this year

The topic of juiced balls has been beaten to death. It is worth mentioning here because of Masahiro Tanaka’s struggles with his splitter this year. When asked by Brendan Kuty about the baseballs, Tanaka said the ball “just doesn’t feel right.” He went on to say the ball feels harder with lower laces.

This could be one reason for why Masa’s devastating splitter has eluded him all season. The lower laces specifically is an interesting observation. The lower the seams on a ball, the room to manipulate the ball’s movement through pressure decreases. This is especially the case for a pitch with a very pronounced grip like a splitter.

Maybe Tanaka’s splitter isn’t effective because it’s just one of those years. It could be that he has a better feel for the slider more than the splitter. Or perhaps the lower seams on the ball are making the difference. I believe we can all agree life will be better when conversations about the baseball come to an end.

Josh Smith signs with the Yankees

According to Jon Heyman, Josh Smith signed with the Yankees today.

You can check out Derek’s profile on Smith here.

Dan Jennings signs a MILB deal with the Yankees

Veteran lefty reliever Dan Jennings signs with the Yankees on a minor league deal. Jennings pitched eight games in relief for the Washington Nationals and had a rough go of it. He went 1-2 with a 13.50 ERA. He did strike out nine batters against two walks in 4.2 innings. Jennings has been assigned to short season Staten Island.


Patrick Corbin, not Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, looks like the Yankees’ biggest offseason regret


DoTF: Gasper, Wagaman score 3-hit games in defeats


  1. Dani

    “I believe we can all agree life will be better when conversations about the baseball come to an end.”

    I don’t agree at all because it’s pretty obvious that the ball is even more hitter friendly than during the past 2 years and we’ve reached a stage where it’s about to hurt the integrity of the sport.

    HRs are up a ton around the league, teams are on pace to beat the current single season record by 600 HRs (set with version 1.0 of the juiced ball 2 years ago). Just think about it: teams are on pace to hit 1700+ more homers than 5 years ago!

    Not too long ago hitting 200 HRs as a team was something special. This year 22 teams are on pace to hit 200 HRs and I think 10 are on pace to beat the Yankees single season record from last season.

    • Randy

      The best outcome offered by the game isn’t ruining the sport. Teams that actively try to torpedo seasons in the name of pocketing money seems much higher on the list than a bunch of home runs.

  2. RetroRob

    Whatever move Cashman makes will likely be a surprise, and not one of the obvious choices.

  3. Wire Fan

    1. I’m not sure there is a starter available at the deadline that I’d give up Frazier for. With the 26 man roster next year, Frazier is a pretty easy fit long term as you can now easily carry a 5th OF as a backup CF (Tauchman? cheap FA? Gardy again? ) and go with a 3 man corner OF/DH rotation with Judge, Stanton and Frazier.

    2. I do wonder if the starter market gets crazy if Cashman goes off the board and beefs up the bullpen and strengthens a strength (like the EE deal). Betances is a FA and Chapman could opt out of his remaining 2/30M, so even a non rental like Giles fits. Maybe Stroman + Giles is enough to deal Frazier and some lesser prospects? (other than that I hang on to Frazier)

    Get Betances back and you would now have a 7 deep bullpen. At that point you are talking about needing 3 innings out of your 3rd or 4th playoff starter in a big game (and you could easily use an opener to help the starter) . And there is also the possibility that Loaisiga could be an additional bullpen wildcard.

  4. SM

    Great observation with regard to Tanaka.

    Good for Frazier. He should be a lifelong Yankee. If they trade him, they will regret it for years.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén