Tag: Winter Meetings

Winter Meetings Day Three: Yankees News and Reactions

Only one more day of this image!

I have a feeling that tonight’s Winter Meetings wrap up is going to be a bit more boring than it was on Monday or Tuesday, don’t you think? Of course, that’s because the Yankees already claimed their big prize last night, signing 29-year-old righty Gerrit Cole to a monstrous nine-year, $324 million contract late last night.

Even though the big business is done, though, there was a lot happening in Yankeeland and around the league. The Meetings will wrap up tomorrow night, and so to will this little mini-series. Anyway, let’s get right to it.

1. Cole, Cole, Cole, Here’s Some More Cole: We have absolutely blasted this website with content related to Gerrit Cole today, as one does. Derek kicked us off with his thoughts this morning. Randy followed up with his take on the Yankees’ white whale. I followed suit this afternoon with my own thoughts after digesting the news a bit. That’s it for our content for now, of course, though there will be more to come.

I’ve rounded up the most interesting tidbits related to the big signing here in addition to my favorite reads of the day. I know if you’re anything like me–and let’s be honest, if you’re reading this site, you are–you probably can’t get enough Cole, so be sure to check out all of this stuff, too. Here’s the latest and the greatest:

  • Remember when fans were freaking out about Cashman’s comments? Turns out Cashman already knew the deal was pretty much in place. Absolutely hilarious. (Andy Martino)
  • Andy Pettitte, Cole’s favorite Yankee and starting pitcher on the night of the famous Cole photo, played a big role in the negotiations. (Joel Sherman) As I said on Twitter, though, obviously the money mattered more.
  • Brian Cashman said the Yankees are always looking to use the “whole toolbox”, including spending a lot of money when necessary. (Erik Boland)
  • Hal Steinbrenner okay’d the ninth year himself and the Yankees are rightfully responding to industry blowback with “too bad!” (Jon Heyman) He even spoke directly with Boras to okay the move himself, which got the deal over the finish line. (Buster Olney)
  • Alex Cora is sad. (Erik Boland)

And here were some good reads:

  • Behind the paywall of The Athletic, Lindsey Adler and Marc Carig each explored the move.
  • Zack Kram at The Ringer took a look, too.
  • Over at FanGraphs, the great Jay Jaffe took a fairly in-depth look at Cole’s arsenal and projections.

2. Other Yankees News: Believe it or not, there was actually other stuff happening with the Yankees today aside from Gerrit Cole. Crazy, I know. We got an update on the backup catcher situation, heard about Dellin Betances, and that was that. The Yanks will probably re-sign Gardner before the Winter Meetings end and then look to trade Happ. That’s my guess, anyway. Here’s the rundown:

  • Austin Romine will likely not return to the Yankees in 2020. (Dan Federico)
  • Martin Maldonado might take his place. (Mark Feinsand) He was Cole’s personal catcher with Houston. (Lucas Apostoleris) It would be hilarious to just poach all of the Cole apparatus away from Houston, in my opinion, even if Catcher ERA is the dumbest stat in baseball.
  • Signs point to Dellin Betances not returning to the Bronx. (Kristen Ackert)That would suck! Good news is that it’s mostly speculation at this point.

We’ll keep you posted as these storylines develop, of course. Hopefully, it’s a quiet night from here on out. I’d like to get some sleep, but I also want to continue to enjoy Cole Day™.

Around the League

These Winter Meetings have been a whole hell of a lot more eventful than the last few, huh? It’s great. I’m enjoying it. I mean, look at this monster rundown from today:

  • MLB’s investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing operation will extend into the new year. (Ken Rosenthal, subs req’d)
  • The Rangers, Nationals, Angels, and Dodgers are engaged with Anthony Rendon. (Ken Rosenthal) The Angels want to get a deal done tonight. (Ken Rosenthal)
  • Colorado, for some reason, will entertain offers for Nolan Arenado. (Jon Heyman) The Dodgers are involved in the talks. (Jon Morosi)
  • Los Angeles is also in on Francisco Lindor. (Bob Nightengale)
  • After missing out on Cole, the Angels are now linked to Cleveland’s Corey Kluber. (Fabian Ardaya)
  • Madison Bumgarner may end up with the hated Dodgers. (Ken Rosenthal) The Diamondbacks are also pursuing him.
  • The Dodgers signed Blake Treinen to a one-year, $10 million deal. (Jeff Passan) That’s more than he was projected to receive from arbitration before he was non-tenured. I covered Treinen here.
  • Rick Porcello has a three-year offer but wants to take a one-year deal to rebuild his value. (Jon Heyman)
  • Former Yankee Edwin Encarnación has interest from at least five teams and understandably prefers to remain in the AL. (Jon Heyman)
  • Toronto responded to the big Cole signing by inking a deal with Tanner Roark. (Ben Nicholson-Smith and Shi Davidi) It’s a two-year, $24 million deal. (Buster Olney)
  • The Nationals and reliever Daniel Hudson have a deal. (Brittney Ghiroli)
  • The Brewers and righty Josh Lindbloom signed a deal today, too. (Jeff Passan)
  • New York’s other team signed Michael Wacha. (Joel Sherman)
  • Miami is linked to Eddie Rosario. (Jon Heyman)
  • The league released a study about the balls. Spoiler: they were different, no matter how they frame it. (Jeff Passan)
  • Good news! All 30 stadiums will have extended netting next year. (Jon Heyman) It’s about freakin’ time. (Jon Heyman)
  • Hawk Harrelson was inexplicably awarded with the 2020 Ford C. Frick Award. (Baseball Hall of Fame)

Enough about these other teams, though Today was such a good day this was for the Yankees. I had a pep in my step all day despite sleeping approximately five minutes last night. Good stuff.

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Winter Meetings Day Two: Yankees News and Reactions

I was going to start this post by saying that, despite a storm of rumors, there haven’t been many actual signings or trades at this year’s Winter Meetings and that it was kind of boring. However, Didi Gregorius had to go ahead and sign a deal with the Phillies, which was definitely NOT what I had in mind. I had a brief reaction to that move earlier, but have a few more fleshed out thoughts below as well.

Even still, though, it’s been a pretty quiet few days. Jon Heyman and a few other reporters have posted the same tweet 50 times–did you know the Yankees, Angels, and maybe a few others are into Gerrit Cole?–but otherwise, it’s been quiet. The one redeeming factor is that the Yankees have been connected to it all, so there’s a lot to say anyway. Let’s get right to it.

1. Gerrit Cole Sweepstakes: I am ready for the Gerrit Cole saga to end. These last few days have been exhausting. It feels like it should wrap up any day now, and it probably will, but the minutes and hours are starting to feel really long, aren’t they? Today was basically a repeat of yesterday. The biggest difference was that both Brian Cashman and Scott Boras addressed the media, which led to the predictable Twitter meltdowns over the order in which Boras listed the teams, how Cashman described the Yankees’ pursuit, the timeline, and on and on.

It’s understandable–and I am certainly guilty of it, believe me–but it’s important to remember the facts. Most of these statements and rumors are just windows into our own preconceived notions just confirm our own biases, after all. The actual landscape hasn’t changed much. For example, we know that the Yankees are making Cole their top priority and are prepared for a bidding war. We know that Cole hasn’t signed yet. We know that Boras will use the media to try to create leverage and that teams can’t say much publicly. None of this changed today. Remember this to stop yourself from going insane. It’s easy to go insane.

(Take it from me, a guy getting Twitter alerts from Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, Jeff Passan, Jack Curry, and Joel Sherman all day. I know a little something about “going insane.”)

Anyway, with this all in mind, here is the latest:

  • The Yankees made their first offer late on Monday night, though it wasn’t exactly where Cole wanted it to be. Obviously. (Jon Heyman)
  • That offer, according to ESPN sources, eclipsed Stephen Strasburg’s record deal inked yesterday. While we should file this into the “well, obviously” category, that’s good. (ESPN) Word on the street is that the offer is around eight years and $292 million, which passes the sniff test. (Mike Axisa)
  • The Yankees are in a “holding pattern” until Cole signs. (James Wagner)
  • Arte Moreno and the Angels are “all-in” in their pursuit of Cole. (Andy McCullough, subs req’d) This, again, isn’t anything new, but it’s real confirmation that the Angels are serious. They met with Boras this afternoon. (Fabian Ardaya) They also traded Zack Cozart and 2019 first-round pick Will Wilson in a salary dump move reminiscent of the NBA. (Maria Torres) That clears salary but also opens up a spot for Anthony Rendon, so be careful what you read into this.
  • As expected, Scott Boras argues that there are a few mystery teams in on Cole. (Jon Heyman) One of those teams is the Houston Astros. (Joel Sherman) The Giants are also one of those teams. (Mark Feinsand) The Dodgers are also expected to make a push. (Jon Heyman)
  • For what it’s worth, Jon Heyman just now said on MLB Network that, unless the Angels go ten years, it’s most likely going to come down to the Dodgers and Yankees. Who knows?

2. A J.A. Happ Trade is Real: The Yankees are looking to move J.A. Happ to free up some space, according to Joel Sherman. SNY’s Andy Martino says that there are several NL teams interested in Happ in addition to the Blue Jays. This makes sense to me. My guess is that teams–including the Brewers, who are linked to him–expect the ball to return to normal next year. If that happens, a fly ball pitcher like Happ, in a bigger stadium and less powerful league, is probably a good candidate for a rebound season. It’s a bet I’d be willing to take, but I’m pretty much in the “Happ was a perfect candidate to get screwed by the rocket ball” camp. Take that for what you will.

Who knows what a deal will look like, but remember that Happ brings with him a $17 million salary and a vesting option for 2021. Cozart, who the Angels just traded in a salary dump, has a $13 million salary for 2020 and that took a 2019 first-round draft pick to unload. I know pitchers are rarer, but it will take more than Bryan Mitchell to unload Happ, I think. Even without the rocket ball. Perhaps this is the impetus for finally trading Clint Frazier. For what it’s worth, I swear I saw somewhere that they don’t need to deal Happ before potentially signing Cole, but I can’t find the citation now. Whatever. We’ll keep you posted on this.

3. More Didi Gregorius Fallout: I am still sad about Didi Gregorius, guys. I loved Didi and it’s not just because I was in the house for his Wild Card homer and his grand slam in the ALDS this year (though that didn’t hurt). Dude was just so much fun to root for. I get why he’s gone, honestly, but I was playing around on FanGraphs–as one does–and saw a few notable stats that popped out. It feels like Didi’s excellence slipped under the radar a bit recently, so here are his rankings among 19 qualified shortstops from 2017-18 in a few key areas:

  • fWAR: 8.9 (3rd)
  • Strikeout Rate: 12.2% (3rd)
  • ISO: .208 (5th)
  • SLG: .486 (5th)
  • wRC+: 115 (5th)
  • HR: 52 (5th)

In other words, not only was Gregorius a great guy to root for, he was a solid anchor up the middle for two very excellent Yankees teams. Not bad for a guy just a few of us believed in back in 2015.

4. Other Yankees News: I covered most of the big stuff above, but there were still a few other relevant notes from throughout the day if you can believe it. I told you the Yankees were involved in everything this year. Here’s the rest:

  • Brett Gardner: The Yankees want Gardner back, but aren’t going to sign him until at least after the Cole saga wraps up. (James Wagner)
  • Dellin Betances: Dealin’ Dellin is working out with the same doctor who treated Kevin Durant. (Joel Sherman)
  • Luis Medina: Tim Naehring said on YES Network tonight that Luis Medina could follow the “Luis Severino path.” That Medina, who will be 21 during the season, may make his debut in 2020, as Severino did at that age. Exciting! (YES Network)

Around the League

Of course, there was plenty of non-Yankees news today, too. Here is the latest from around the league:

  • The Astros want to cut payroll and are shopping Carlos Correa, which is absolutely insane. (Ken Rosenthal)
  • Speaking of insane and stupid, the Red Sox are trying to trade David Price to cut salary. As expected, there are many suitors. (Jeff Passan)
  • The Twins are interested in Hyun-Jin Ryu, Madison Bumgarner, and Dallas Keuchel. (Jon Heyman) MadBum will probably clear nine figures. (Jon Heyman) The Twins are a top target.
  • A reunion between Anthony Rendon and the Nationals appears unlikely as Rendon is not interested in the Nationals’ deferment strategy. (Ken Rosenthal) The Angels, as well as the Dodgers, have expressed interest in the third-basemen. (Jon Heyman)
  • Matt Boyd, who I profiled here back at the trade deadline, is drawing interest. (Jon Heyman)
  • The Pirates are shopping Starling Marte, with the Mets as possible suitors. (Jon Heyman) They want a “young, controllable” catcher for the 31-year-old outfielder, which, lol. I too would like one million dollars. (Jon Heyman)
  • Adam Frazier, though, may be the most popular Pirate on the trade market this year. (Jon Heyman)
  • The Reds are talking to Marcell Ozuna. (Jon Heyman)
  • Former friend Hector Noesi signed a Minor League deal with the Pirates. (Ken Rosenthal)
  • Adam Jones inked a two-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan. (Joel Sherman)
  • The 2020 MLB Draft will be held in Omaha on the eve of the College World Series from June 10-12, which makes sense. (Kendall Rodgers)

That’s a wrap from today, folks. It’s about 8 pm over in San Diego, so more could still come. Like I said last night, hopefully, I rush to my computer soon to write the post we’re all waiting for. That sure would be nice. Until then, tomorrow will be another day of reading tweets about how the “Angels, Yankees, and possibly Dodgers are in on Gerrit Cole.” Get pumped! Have a great night, everyone.

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