Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye! The Hot Stove League is officially open for business!

All right, let's do this in an orderly, logical fashion—the same way we do everything else.

Set yourselves down by the potbellied, country store stove, now that the harvest is in....Somebody move the cracker barrel inside, shut the door against the chill, cut a wedge of cheddar off the big wheel, bring out the hard cider, and let's get started.

First order of business:  Catcher.

Three individuals to consider:  Fuck, marry, or kill—as the kids say.

Gary Sanchez
Austin Romine
Kyle Higashioka

Last off-season, supposedly, our esteemed general manager had the chance to trade Sanchez, even up for J.T. Realmuto.  If he really did pass that up, it should be considered a war crime and prosecuted as such.

Sancho did have a better season than last year, that much is true.  But hell, the Kurds are having a better season than Sancho's 2018.  (Sorry—too soon?)  He still seems like a shell of his 2016-2017 self, the man who reminded me of a young Johnny Bench.

Sancho was a .232 hitter this year, with an .841 OPS.  He's down to throwing out only 23 percent of runners, from his career high of 41%, and the passed balls just returned with alarming frequency in the playoffs.  About all he can still do is frame pitches well, and hit the occasional rocket blast into the bleachers.

One play would be to sign free agent Yasmani Grandal, and trade Sancho for the considerable number  of players he might still bring.  The trouble with that is, statistically—much as I would enjoy writing and saying "Yasmani" all year—Grandal is pretty much Sancho, four years older.

Romine is coming off his best year ever, 8 HRs, .281, .748 OPS, and throwing out a higher percentage of baserunners than Sancho (30%).  But he's also a free agent, unfortunately, and the temptation will be strong to let him walk and replace him with...

Higgy.  Who is also coming off his best year ever, which is, sadly, only .214 with three homers.

What would I do?  Go hard to sign Yasmani and deal Sanchez.  No, it won't be an upgrade over this year.  But it likely WILL be an upgrade over what Sancho will likely degenerate to, very quickly, in New York, and the return he would bring right now would be considerable.

The risk, of course, is that elsewhere—with competent coaching—Sancho will bloom again and achieve the stardom he seemed to be headed for.  But that will surely not happen in the Bronx.

WWCCD? (What Will Cooperstown Cashman Do?):  Almost certainly marry Gary—that is, leave him where he is—and let Romine walk.  Higgy will then become the new back-up until, Coops will tell us, his two big catching prospects, on whom he squandered the Yanks' first and second draft picks in 2018, make the majors (spoiler alert:  they won't).

What Would YOU Do?


Unknown said...

Hate to say it, but I ride or die with the Dirty Sanchez, aka Ice Cream Sandwich, aka The Kraken.

Unknown said...

And I have no explanation as to why I’m so married to the fat slob. I really don’t. I guess I fee he’s always a few at bats away from a rip like he went on in 2016 when he first came up: 20 HR, .299 avg in 53 games...

Anonymous said...

Yankee Happy Thought #3

It's fixable. In song.

There Must be 50 Ways To Fix The Yankees

(With apologies to Paul Simon - A great Yankee Fan in His own Right.

GM Brian Cashman called me up the other day
He said, “We just cant win it all,
No matter who I pay.”
I said, “Relax you putz and drink some chardonnay.”
There must be 50 ways to fix the Yankees.

He said, “I don’t know how
to build a winning team.
Hal’s obsession with the taxes,
always interrupts my schemes.”
I said, “Relax, sell hats, and go watch Field of Dreams.”
There must be 50 ways to fix the Yankees.

Don’t take Gardy back, Jack.
Sign Scherzer and Cole. Dole.
Lose the trainers and moobs, Boob.
Set Ellsbury free.

Stanton for a bus. Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just lose salary, Lee.
and you’ll be tax free.

Attach a fish hook from
Gary’s cap to Gary’s balls.
To continuously remind him not to swing
to clear the walls.
On second thought, just make sure you
trade him by next fall.

That’s just one of the 50 ways.

Aaron Judge keeps getting called out,
on low pitches for strike three.
So, stand the umpire on a box,
as it will help him see.
What the strike zone really is,
if you’re bigger than 6’3”

There must be 50 ways to Fix the Yankees.
There must be 50 ways to Fix the Yankees.

Don’t take Gardy back, Jack.
Sign Scherzer and Cole. Dole.
Lose the trainers and moobs, Boob.
Set Elsburry free.

Stanton for a bus. Gus.
You don't need to discuss much
Just lose salary, Lee
and you’ll be tax free.

Doug K.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

Doug that is a work of absolute genius I doff my bunnet to you my good sir

Alphonso said...

I woud re-sign Romine quickly. Fat Gary has proven he has no staying power.

If a trade then is offered for Austin, consider it well. If he is traded, than H is the back-up.

If not, we are stuck here. Gary has go remain the guy.

We need to change our expectations, though. He cannot hit in the 3,4 or 5 spot. More like 8thl

He will hit .230, strike out a lot, hit into a lot of DPs and launch 34 meaningless, tape measure HRs.

But he'll go 1 for 39 in the playoffs.

No one is going to make available a great catcher. Period. So we wait until we actually develop one.

Call the Molina family...they must have a grandchild we don't know about.

TheWinWarblist said...

1 for 38.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

The 2018 first 2 picks had differing seasons this year

Seigler never really got started was injured at start of season then had his knee fractured from a foul ball

So far in his career after 54 ganes he is hitting .216 OBP 350 SLG 267 only 1 HR so maybe not a lot of power yet hopefully he fills out and gets a bit stronger. He has managed to throw out 8 of 15 stolen base attempts for a 33% rate which is a bit better I think? 9 passed balls and 6 errors.

Breaux has done a little 1B and DH as well

In 81 ganes he is hitting .270 OBP .312 SLG .459 with 13 HR all hit at single A this season. 42 attemps and 12 caught for a not so good 22% stolen bases thrown out.9 passed balls and 7 errors

I agree it is probably a long shot for either to make it to the big leagues but both are still young and may improve.

I share the worry that if we trade Sanchez and even if we get some good young players in return it will still come back to haunt us as I have little confidence in both the coaching and the strength and conditioning that the Yankees seem to have.

As always feel free to tell me to shut up or I have got the figures wrong or I am talking utter mince as I am from Scotland and have never played or seen a baseball game in real life.

All the best from North Lanarkshire,Scotland

13bit said...

Doug...I bow down to your excellence. CBS-Sony is on the phone with a contract for you...

Anonymous said...


Mediasavvy said...

I want to tattoo "lay off outside pitches to the inside of Sanchez's left arm, so he can see it every time before he swings. But I'm not ready to dump him, yet.

The luxury tax will loom large in Yankee-ville and any money spent on FA's had better be spent on starting pitching, resigning Betances, Chapman and maybe Gardner (sorry, he doesn't suck yet and the Yankees will do it anyway, whether you like it or not).

Love to see Romine stay, but I think he'll get a better deal elsewhere. He's hoping Higgie hits better than his weight.

TheWinWarblist said...

Higgie hits better than his weight? He'd have to be fucking anorexic!!

13bit said...

If Romine walks, we will be wandering in the woods for ten more years - NOT because Romine could do for us, but for what it would represent, which would be: Cashman Business As Usual. It's as though he's in a parallel universe, filled with alternative facts based on his ego, rather than reality.

Ditch ICS while he's still worth something. Fuck his home runs. They don't mean shit. He's not a great hitter, not a great fielder AND - I know this is not a statistic, he is NOT CLUTCH. He's a real life bobblehead doll.

God, we are so fucked. What this last season taught us, beyond any doubt, is that Brian is the problem. Hal is a cheap asshole, but there are cheaper owners and bigger assholes. Hal's penultimate sin is tolerating Brian. Brian is the problem. Brian's ego. Brian could even be a good GM IF HE HIRED SOME BASEBALL GUYS and did not insist on being the genius that he thinks he is. His great failing is certainty. He think's he's right and trusts his gut when he should trust other opinions.

Dogshit Stew is on the menu for the foreseeable future with us. Dogshit stew.

HoraceClarke66 said...

First, Doug K., that was AMAZING! I think it should win Best Yankee Song of the Year.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Second, John of Scotland, that was an excellent, nuanced analysis. And Unknown, you may be absolutely right.

There are no wrong answers here—just the wrong people running the Yankees! In any case, as a great man once said, there's no predicting baseball.

I agree on at least moving Sancho down, if we keep him, Alphonso. And hey, who knows? Considering how little Coops often gets even for guys in demand (looking at you, Sonny Gray), it might be best to keep him hanging around in the hopes that, who knows, he somehow gets religion, works like the devil and makes something of himself,

Though somehow, I doubt it.

Ceeja said...

Gary sanchez is a backup catcher and a part time DH. That assumes, of course, that he can learn to layoff pitches one foot out of the zone.

So sign or trade for a first string catcher

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