Sunday, July 29, 2018

So long, Chasen Shreve

Late last night, after all the yelling, "Cooperstown" Cashman waived his magic rappel-rope, spake a secret Yankee incantation from the era of Syd Thrift, and - presto-change-o - turned Chasen Shreve and Gio Gallegos into a bag of donuts, also known as "Luke Voit." 

That's right, Luke Voit. He is a first baseman coming from the Cardinals, and don't bother remembering the name, aside from the fact that we can call him "Luke Void" and feel clever. He was St. Louis' version of Ryan McBroom, a Garrett Cooper wannabee with Gi-Man Choi's haircut, Chris Carter's strike zone and the future of Tyler Austin. If he were a movie, we'd say he is "direct to video." As a Yankee, he is "direct to Scranton." How many third string first-basemen do we need?

After the game, fans got a glimpse of the human side of the trade deadline. In front of reporters, Shreve nearly broke down, telling how he loved pitching in New York. You had to feel it. If they ever build a Yankee theme park, the roller coaster ride should be called "the Chasen Shreve Spiral of Death." Nobody produced more ups and downs than Shreve. When he arrived - along with the miserable David Carpenter in a trade for the then-sweetheart of Baseball America, Manny Banuelos - he threw lights out. By the season's end, he was half-punching bag, half-voodoo doll full of stickpins. You couldn't watch. And that was the Shreve we came to know: He could be great. He could be awful. A box of chocolates from Forrest Gump, with half of them filled with cream of arsenic. 

Of course, timing is everything, and if there is one thing about the 2018 Yankees, it is bad timing. Just days ago, Shreve enjoyed his greatest moment as a Yankee, bailing out El Chapo in the ninth, in what would have been, hands down, the most deflating loss of the season. And last night, while we were still in a self-congratulatory, chest-pounding delirium, telling ourselves how we had acquired the great Chris Britton for next to nothing, (Dillon Tate? we'll see), Britton couldn't give us a scoreless inning against one of the worst offenses in baseball. He got the first two outs, then couldn't throw a strike. Great. Just great.

Listen: The Yankees are in trouble. Luis Severino gets nobody out the second time in the order. No lead is secure with Aroldis Chapman; he barely escaped last night. Shane Robinson's home run belies the lack of production we should expect from right field. (What's truly amazing about the Shreve trade is that the Yankees didn't get an outfielder.) Today, we see what JA Happ has to offer. If he goes five and leaves with a lead, we'll call it a victory. If he gets pounded, a cringe-worthy day... well, cover your heads, folks. The trade deadline is still days away, and everything we do, at least in the short-term, seems to backfire. 


Rufus T. Firefly said...

It would not surprise me to see Tyler Austin in the package to gain an outfielder.

That is the only logic to obtaining Voit.

The real take in the trade is the $1M in international bonus pool money.

ranger_lp said...

I would not be surprised to see Austin moved. Interesting that when we needed an outfielder from AAA to replace Judge they moved up Robinson.

As for last night, once again you can't predict baseball, but you can predict doubleheaders.

13bit said...

Forgetting about this season - and that's getting easier to do each day, k by the way - I had great hopes, up until a month ago, for the future.

That's not so sure, anymore. I'm not that excited about the bag of shit that Beantown Brian has slung over his fake Santa shoulder. I am already beginning to suspect that Crashman© is more into "being Brian" than into making the Yankees a great team. Now, I'm beginning to wonder if he is a double agent, paid for by the RedSox.

Could it be that Boston has hacked his brain? I know that Boston fans read this blog and I am happy to give them some joy and shadenfreude - it all comes around, you morons, but that's beside the point - I know you're reading this and chortling. That's fine. We're all bent over and taking it like men while you can enjoy your PED-fuelled season.

One day, we'll get rid of Cashman and begin to rebuild. We're so lucky to have absentee slumlord Hal Steinbrenner and Randy "Skinny Harvey Weinstein" Levine to lead us to glory one day. For now, we have entered the deep forest and have lost our compass. Learn to like the taste of tree bark, fellow Yankee fans. We'll be eating a-plenty of it for a long time.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Amen, 13bit, and Duque!

This may be the most inexplicable thing Coops has ever done, and he's done a lot of them, including passing on Mad King George's idea that he pick up Ortiz for nothing after Big Papi was released by the Twins, and drafting or signing all those young "bargain" pitchers who required arm surgery.

First, there was dealing away our one, potentially—potentially!—good remaining, major-league ready, minor-league outfielder...the day before Judge gets hurt.

All right, call that one bad luck (although again, luck is the residue of design). But there is no excuse for this one.

Shreve had FINALLY got going, throwing consistently well after more than half a season of us tolerating his disastrous blow-ups. Now we have Sevvy injured or incapable or SOMETHING, Chapman obviously hurt or SOMETHING, CC and Tanaka the same ticking time bombs they have been for two years now, and even Sonny Gray with a wounded paw, thanks to his typically brilliant decision to try fielding without a glove.

Our pitching is wafer-thin right now, as Monty Python would say, and this is not the time to give away a viable middle reliever and get...not even lottery pix in return. Not even an outfielder, as someone pointed out. We have too many SOMETHINGS to give away still-ambulatory pitchers.

All the Coops talk about options and roster spots just boils down to poor planning—and it will be especially enraging if, as well may be the case, Machine Gun Chapman and/or Severino end up on the DL in the next few days.

Of course, once again, all those "roster problems" could have been made to vanish with the simple release of a single ballplayer. Yes, yes, I know: Neil Walker is now our hottest hitter, up to a blazing .365 for the month of July.

He was pretty hot for awhile in May, too, a month during which he hit .294, with 2 of his 3 home runs on the season. He followed that with his stunning, .063 June, in which he went 2-32.

But hey, have no worries. Maybe he can pitch, too.

Anonymous said...

Not seeing the issue.

Question: If you were building a bullpen and some asked you whether you would rather have Chasen Shreve or Zak Briton who do you choose? Forget what you had to give up (which was nothing really. Maybe Tate. And forget what you received (although we did need more international money - probably to cover commitments we made)

Just a straight up roster move... Shreve or Britton?


And Britton being nervous in your Yankee Debut after pitching for one of the worst teams in baseball (except when playing us) is understandable. It's a big head change. He will settle in.

As to the new first base guy. They never bring up Ford or McBroom, preferring to go with Walker at 1B so here's another guy we wont see. This was about International money and roster spaces. Fringe stuff and good moves in that regard.

Today we see Happ. The dog days of August are almost upon us. We don't have Judge, Sanchez, and possibly Severino (or even worse a diminished version that we keep sending him out a la Sonny Gray. The swagger is gone. The Mojo is fading. The Juju... Something needs to be done.

But the trades of the last few days... Good with them.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about some of the absurd punctuation and grammar above. I'm a little slow this AM.

Hey I just read this at MLB rumors: Altuve went on the DL. "Altuve hasn’t played since Wednesday, thus depriving the reigning world champion Astros of their much-ballyhooed double-play tandem of him and shortstop Carlos Correa, who’s also on the DL. A back injury has kept Correa out of action for just over a month, and he’s unlikely to return until sometime next month.

I did not know that. So only the Sox are invulnerable?

Doug K

TheWinWarblist said...

Game's on. HIcks to the sticks and all that.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I admire your optimism, Doug K. And yes, maybe the Sox WILL be vulnerable.

They have, essentially, three terrific hitters and one of them—Martinez—has played exactly one whole season in his seven years in the majors. Usually, he misses over a third of all games. So their season could change in an instant.

But as for what's just gone on...I dunno. Yeah, maybe Britton is back to his old form, so this is a no-brainer. But maybe he's not—and in any case he's a rental. And why couldn't we at least have SEEN Carroll and Rogers, to know if they had anything? And why trade a guy just when he shows he's coming around, after way, way too long a time devoted to helping do that?

It's about international money? Still more attempts to discern if 16-year-olds have what it takes for the majors? This is always a crapshoot, at best.

HoraceClarke66 said...

To sum it up, we are thinning ourselves—maybe seriously—at a position where we are already dangerously thin, pitching...just days after we got rid of an outfielder and saw our outfield get dangerously thin.

I mean, WTF?

Hey, it could all work out. Two or three Sox could get hurt, our guys could come back and we could romp through the postseason to fame and glory.

But it's a Mets thing to just hope for the best. As usual, our purpose is not clear. We're not sure if we're building for this October, or the future. In "baseball activities," confusion is usually a recipe for disaster.

TheWinWarblist said...

Why is The Master in love with scoring individual runs on an out? Doesn't he love big innings? Crooked numbers all over the scorecard? What is it with the run-on-an-out thing?

ranger_lp said...

According to Jack Curry, the Yankees have acquired $1.5M in international bonus money from the White Sox for minor league southpaw Caleb Frare. Chicago is in the $300,000 penalty phase for past international signings and can’t really spend the money this year. The Yankees have not yet announced the trade, but there’s no reason to doubt Jack. (Update: The trade has been announced. Done deal.)

Between the Frare trade and the Luke Voit trade, the Yankees have added $2.5M in international bonus money the last two days. They started with a $4,983,500 bonus pool, so they’re now up to $7,483,500. The Yankees also acquired an unknown sum of bonus money from the Brewers a few weeks ago. They can max their bonus pool out at $8,721,125 this year, and if they haven’t done it already, they should be pretty close.

The Yankees have already signed — or agreed to sign — several international players since the 2018-19 signing period opened on July 2nd. Top Cuban prospect Victor Victor Mesa remains unsigned — he hasn’t been cleared to sign yet, of course — and the Yankees could make a run at him. I think they’re focusing more on other players though. The Yankees are in the smallest bonus pool bracket because of their market size and other teams can offer Victor² lots more. We’ll see.

AND -----------------

With the international free agent signing period opening up on Monday, the Yankees are expecting to land several prospects including RHP Osiel Rodriguez and C Antonio Gomez.

The Cuban Rodriguez is the No. 5 ranked international prospect, according to Baseball America. At just 16 years old, Rodriguez' arsenal on the mound includes an overpowering fastball that has clocked at 96 mph.


So we get the next phenom pitcher and the next catcher that's not wanting ice cream.

TheWinWarblist said...

Well, today is going according to plan. Hicks to the sticks, a little Bird watching, top of the order contributing and the young Yankees just doing what the young Yankees do. And Happ doesn't suck so far.

Of course, young Nathan Eovaldi is tossing 6 innings of shutout ball for Boston; what else would one expect.

TheWinWarblist said...

Ranger, all catchers want ice cream. Trust me, I know. I was a catcher.

TheWinWarblist said...

But the rest of your post is welcome news. Minor league signings kept the pipeline full and healthy. And it shows that somewhere in the back of someone's mind is the notion to keep building.

TheWinWarblist said...

TheWinWarblist said...
This season is wearing me out! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH-HaHaaHAHAHAHAA-
AAAA-AA-Ahh-AHHH-AAAHHHHH-AAaAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHaaaaAAHHHHHHHHHHHaaaa-ah-ah-ah-aaaaaaaaAaAaHaHaHaaaAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!

JM said...

At least for the moment, Happ's not crap.

Anonymous said...

From the post:

"The Yankees signed Osiel Rodriguez, a 16-year-old pitching prospect out of Cuba, for $600,000 on Sunday... Baseball America ranked Rodriguez as the No. 1 pitcher in the international market and No. 5 prospect overall. The right-hander reportedly has a fastball that touches 96 mph as a still-developing teenager."

Doesn't mean much but some of these guys do pan out.

Doug K.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I don't know much Spanish, but I believe "Osiel" translates into "future candidate for Tommy John surgery." Loosely.

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